“I Count All Things But Loss”
Volume IX ~ Issue XLIII ~ July 19th, 2009
By: Brian A. Yeager
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The Apostle Paul was writing to the church in Philippi when he said: “For we are the circumcision (comment: meant in a spiritual way, not physically circumcised: Romans 2:28-29 and Colossians 2:11), which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:3-11).

The Apostle Paul was “set” in this life prior to his conversion to our Lord. He was in among the religious leaders of the Jews (Acts 9:1-2). As he said above, he was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, etc. This meant, among the Jewish culture, Paul was in a prestigious place. Yet, those things meant nothing to him when he came to realize that his service to the Jews was actually contrary to the will of the Lord (Acts 9:3-18). After his conversion, he did not stick around and play both sides. He immediately began preaching Christ and showing his repentance for the wrongs he had done (Acts 9:19-22). If Paul wanted to have a mindset that would promote worldly success, he could have. He could have prospered among the Jews. He could have continued to have fame as a persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:3). Yet, he realized Heaven was worth giving all of that up. How about you?

What Will You Give Up For The Lord?


Some people have this idea that Christ doesn’t require us to sacrifice for Him. The old, “come as you are and remain the like” mindset is prevalent among pretentious “Christians”. However, it is not the truth. The Lord does require sacrifices from all of us (Luke 14:25-33, I Corinthians 6:19-20, and Galatians 2:20). The point of Paul, used in the introduction of this article, is that his mindset was a Lord first mindset. Paul had predetermined to give up anything that he needed to for his service to the Lord to be faithful. We must do the same. We must set our minds to be on the Lord’s will, rather than our own will (Romans 12:1-2, II Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 5:17, and Colossians 3:1-4). We must come to a determination that all other things are second place in our lives (Matthew 6:33). This would include family, careers, recreation, etc. (Luke 9:57-62).

Knowing that the Lord must come first, some still seem to fail when challenges come up. Some will allow their interests in this present world to supersede Christ (II Timothy 4:10). We all should have realized, at the point of conversion (Acts 3:19), that we’ve made a decisive commitment to the Lord (Acts 11:23, Acts 14:22, and II Timothy 3:14). As the songs says, “I have decided to follow Jesus”, that is what you declare by the action of obeying the call of the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20 and Romans 6:1-18). As a Christian, you no longer live the rest of your time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God (I Peter 4:1-2).

When asked, “What will you give up for the Lord”; the answer must be, “anything and everything” (Matthew 16:24 and Matthew 19:27-30)! The hesitation of some is all that Satan desires. The little doubts are enough to cause us to err. Yet, when you have accomplished the “no turning back” mindset, you give no footholds (Ephesians 4:27) to the devil (Philippians 3:14-15 and Hebrews 12:1-3). When doubts and the “buts” come into our minds, then we’re in trouble!

The “I Count All Things But Loss, BUT…” Mindset


We all might remember reading the correspondence from the fake Christian in Pine Bluff, AR. Remember, this guy said he was worshipping in error. He said he had always worshipped in error. He said he was going to talk with his elders about this. He said he realized his worship was worthless (Mark 7:7-9) and his following of those in error made him wrong too (Matthew 15:14). Then he said: “But no matter how they respond, it appears we will remain members here at 28
th (if allowed) since Sandra is adamant…”. Notice the “but” of this fellow. His “but” is his wife. He has decided that he will serve the Lord, BUT only as much as his wife will allow. A man cannot be led by his wife and please the Lord at the same time (I Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-24, and Colossians 3:18). Moreover, we should never heed to someone who is apostate whether they are male or female (Proverbs 19:27 and Isaiah 3:12). That being said, we all need to understand that choosing our families over the Lord will cause us to be lost (Matthew 10:34-39 and Luke 18:28-30). This guy who allows his wife to come before the Lord is going to burn for eternity and his wife is making sure he takes his whole family with him!

The “but” mindset not only causes us to be lost, but it causes others to be lost as well. Using the same couple as an example, this guy allows his wife to help his son stay a drug addict. This guy allows his wife to help their daughter stay in an unscriptural marriage. She keeps him from exposing error. Since he cannot say “no” to his wife, he ultimately ends up strengthening the hands of the aforementioned evildoers (Jeremiah 23:14 and Ezekiel 13:17-22). Think of how many souls will be lost because of this single “but” in this man’s life!

Conclusion


“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).