Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 3

To know Christ is better than everything else

Philippians 3:8

In Matthew 13:45-46, Christ told a story about a trader who bought and sold pearls. (Pearls are like precious stones; they come from a sea animal called the oyster). When that trader found a pearl of truly great value, he sold all his possessions to buy it.

In Mark 10:28 Peter declared that he had left everything to follow Christ. He probably meant that, at the present time, he was away from his home, his family and his work. Peter explains why he chose to be with Christ in John 6:68. Christ’s words gave him something that nobody else in the world could offer: life without end.

Paul too had seen how truly wonderful it is to know Christ. When he met Christ (Acts 9:1-6), he at once left everything in his former life to serve him. The things that he left were not merely his home, his friends and his family. He did not merely give up his opportunity to become a great, popular and wealthy man. Such things hardly mattered to Paul, even before he became a Christian.

Rather, Paul had to give up the most precious things in his life, those things in which he had pride. He was proud that he belonged to Israel; God’s special nation. He was proud of his family’s history. He was proud of how well he obeyed God’s law. All these things were good. However, if Paul put his trust in these things, he was not truly trusting Christ. Without Christ, Paul saw that he was in fact depending on himself: his advantages in life, his personal qualities. Truly to know Christ, Paul would have to depend on Christ for everything.

That was the decision that Paul made, and he never regretted it. Through his many troubles in life, his trust in Christ, and his desire to know Christ only became stronger. In Christ, Paul had found someone much more wonderful than anything that he had previously known.

Next part: Righteousness through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9)


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