My dear Brothers and sisters;
Oh that we need to have our eyes opened so that we may know what we ought to know, namely, the surpassing value of knowing Christ. I pray the Father, in the name of Jesus, that He may grant to us such blessing, for if we do not know Christ, and the value of knowing Him, we have no hope of seeing ourselves transformed. We will continue to be at the mercy of our sinful dreams and desires, at the mercy of the latest current of our societies. At the mercy of our many limitations as human beings. And we will simply not know what we should know, until it will be too late.
The Apostle Paul knew the “Value” of Knowing Christ
We see in his letter to the Philippians that the Apostle Paul had come to understand the surpassing value of knowing Christ. He came to realize that knowing Christ was the greatest treasure he had to possess, above – and actually in lieu of – everything else that He had.
Philippians 3:7,8 – But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…
Knowing Christ was, for Paul, worth everything and more. He did not simply consider that everything that he had – and was in his society – to be little to lose in order to gain that intimate knowledge of who Christ is, but he also considered them to be a real waste, an encumbrance.
Philippians 3:8 – Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ.
One element that is very interesting to note is that Paul plainly declared that he did not yet know Christ, but that this was his goal, and that he was doing everything to reach it.
Philippians 3:10-12 – My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. 12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
But my question to my God is HOW? HOW Father may I KNOW THE VALUE of Knowing Christ?
If I know the value, my life will change. My desires will change. My pursuit will change. At this point, it matters more to me that know the value of knowing Christ, for if I do not know its value, how will I pursue that knowledge. Paul knew the value, hence he made “every effort to know Christ”.
Oh my people, the answer is right before our eyes! It is right there in the passage itself: CHRIST HAS TO TAKE HOLD OF ME FIRST!
Philippians 3:12 – Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
The verb translated “taken hold of” is katalambánō [Greek: 2638], and it has a forceful, almost violent connotation to it. It means to grasp something in a forceful (firm) manner; (figuratively) to apprehend (comprehend), “making it one’s own.”
Is that how the Christian life starts? I am not sure. Perhaps not necessarily. But one thing seems sure to me: Understanding the value of knowing Christ starts this way. Christ must take hold of me. He must apprehend me. He somehow must manifest Himself to me FIRST.
We know that the consequences of Christ taking hold of us are pretty severe, if Paul’s loss of everything is any indication. Could it be therefore that there is timing to when Christ does decide to take hold of each one of us, so that He does it when He knows it is the right time? I ask God for I do not know.
But one thing Paul does offer is the following. Whatever truth we DO know, we should strive to live up to it.
Philippians 3:16,17 – In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us.
May God open your eyes and mine, that we may understand these deep truths, and the value of knowing His Son, Jesus, the CHRIST.
In Jesus name. AMEN.