What Do You Want Image






What Do You Want?

Are you willing to forsake anything to achieve your goal?

Philippians 3.8–11

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 16, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2018


  1. Am I right in assuming
    1. that you would lose everything to preserve the lives of your children?
    2. You value them more than all
    3. your accomplishments, possessions, job, and other relationships.
  2. Should we not think of Christ the same way?

    John Ardley, one of the Martyrs, being told by the cruel Bonner of the pain connected with burning, and how hard it must be to endure it, with a view of leading the martyr to recant, he nobly replied, “If I had as many lives as I have hairs on my head, I would lose them all in the fire, before I would lose Christ.” Like Paul he aimed, not at losing, but at “winning Christ” (Phil. 3:8) (Acts And Facts, no. 518).

  3. Let Christ be our greatest desire,
    1. even if it means losing everything.
      1. We have gained nothing, if we lose Christ.
      2. If we have gained Christ, we have gained everything.
  4. Let Christ come before all

    On July 1st, 1555, John Bradford was burned to death. He was chaplain to King Edward Sixth of England, and was one of the most popular preachers of his day…As he was being driven out to Newgate to be burned, permission was given him to speak, and from the wagon in which he rode to his death the entire way out from West London to Newgate he shouted: “Christ, Christ, none but Christ” (Aquilla Webb, Encyclopaedia of 7700 Illustrations, no. 3346).

    1. These two men followed the example of Paul, and
    2. Paul is an example for all of us.


  1. Philippians 3.8–9 | Losing All to Find All

    8 But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith (Phi 3.8–9).

    1. “Paul was never satisfied with his knowledge of Christ and always craved more fellowship with him” (Robertson).
    2. Paul counted all things loss for Christ.
      1. This includes the items of verses 5 and 6.

        5 …circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless (Phi 3.5–6).

        1. Everything he inherited and
        2. everything he accomplished
          1. he would lose
          2. for the sake of knowing Jesus Christ.
        3. Everything he owned.
        4. Everything that happened to him, both good and bad.
      2. This sacrifice was worth it
        1. so that he could have the excellence of
        2. the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord.
          1. With all that you know about Christ,
          2. do you not agree with Paul?
          3. We sing:

            Just one glimpse of Him in glory
            Will the toils of life repay
          4. If we count all things loss
            1. to gain the excellence of the knowledge of Christ,
            2. will we not see more than one glimpse of Christ?
      3. Jeremiah 9 makes the same contrast between
        1. what we are or have, and
        2. knowing God:

          Thus says the LORD:
          “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
          Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
          Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
          But let him who glories glory in this,
          That he understands and knows Me,
          That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
          For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
          (Jer 9.23–24)
    3. In the same spirit, Paul says, that for Christ,

      “I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”

      1. In verses 1–7, he merely said
        1. that he was willing to suffer the loss of
        2. his heritage and accomplishments for Christ.
      2. Here he considered those things as rubbish.
        1. How many things do you keep in your home that you do not use?
        2. How many things in your home will you take with you when you die?
          1. When a man died, someone asked,
            1. “How much did he leave?”
            2. The answer was, “All of it!”
          2. He who dies with the most toys, still dies.
            1. Yet, we cling to them
            2. as if they are matters of life and death.
        3. How much of our
          1. heritage and accomplishments
          2. do we cling to with all our might?
            1. How much of them matter?
            2. How much of them will we take to heaven?
      3. Gaining Christ more than compensates for the loss of all things.
        1. What does it mean to gain Christ?
          1. Paul spoke of his heritage as a Jew, but
          2. listen to his heritage as a Christian.

            9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith (Phi 3.9).
    4. Paul wanted
      1. to be found, and
      2. to be found in Christ.
        1. We cannot come to Christ with righteousness from the Law.
        2. We cannot come to Christ with righteousness from any other source.
        3. We want to be found with the righteousness that is through faith in Christ.
  2. Philippians 3.10–11 | What You Need to Know

    10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Phi 3.10–11).

    1. Paul does not just want to know about Christ, but to know Him.
    2. Paul also wanted to know “the power of His resurrection.”
      1. Later in Philippians 3:

        20 …our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself (Phi 3.20–21).
    3. Also, Paul wanted to know

      “the fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings, being conformed to His death.”

      1. In 1.29, the apostle had already written,

        29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Phi 1.29).
      2. This started when he counted all things as rubbish for Christ.
        1. Paul was then baptized in Christ.
          1. The old man was buried.
          2. A new one was resurrected.
        2. From then on, he died with Christ.

          “When most hope to avoid all suffering, even that connected with the cause of Jesus, is it not remarkable that Paul longed to share with Christ in this regard?” (Wayne Jackson).

          “We know that the Christian’s life is not all easy. It does have a velvet side, but it also has a side that is as rough as sandpaper. Someone said that persecutions have a way of eliciting from us the very best that is in us. Some trees are said to grow best when they are heavily loaded, and airplanes take off into the wind, not with it” (Foy Smith).

          “Paul became one of the world’s most powerful examples of complete unselfishness. The selfish person wants to always be on the receiving end of the line. He does not realize that true greatness comes by way of service to others. I came across a beautiful story in an old book. It tells of the preacher who called on a very poor family that lived in a dilapidated shack. When he came out he found one of the sons admiring his new car, so the preacher explained that he received it as a gift from his brother. What would most folks say? Why it would go like this: ‘I wish I had a brother like that.’ But not that poor lad. He said: ‘I wish I could be a brother like that.’ Paul was a brother who constantly gave himself in service—complete, unselfish. Why? Because he truly knew ‘the fellowship of his suffering’” (Foy Smith).

    4. Paul explained in verse 11 why he was like this,

      “11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

      1. When Paul says, “if, by any means,”
        1. he shows that the power was beyond his reach, but
        2. there was something that he could do to insure it.
      2. In Luke 20 Jesus explained
        1. that not everyone experiences this resurrection,
        2. which leads to eternal life.
          1. It is for His followers only.

            35 “But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage” (Luke 20.35).


  1. When we lose self, we can
    1. gain the excellence of the knowledge of Christ;
    2. gain Christ;
    3. be found in Christ; and
    4. know Christ.
  2. Is it worth it?
    1. What do you want in life?
    2. Jesus wants you, do you want Him?