1. Worth the Loss of Everything (verse 8)
2. Gives us Righteousness (verse 9)

This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. Some people wear ashes on their forehead on this day as a sign of repentance. It began the season commonly referred to as "Lent." Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends forty days later on Easter morning. Churches throughout the world observe this time as a time to prepare their hearts for the celebration of Easter. It's sort of like the season of Advent in preparation for Christmas--a time to prepare your hearts to really reflect upon the birth of Christ. Only, Lent is a time to reflect upon the life, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus intentionally for forty days.

Now, this takes many, many different forms. Some will identify themselves with Jesus, who fasted and prayed in the wilderness for forty days in preparation for His ministry by spending their time in fasting and prayer. Others will seek to work through the life of Christ by reading the four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) during this time, especially focusing on the passion account. Others will seek to engage themselves in the sufferings of Jesus by inflicting some "suffering" upon themselves, seeking to take up their own cross, or by depriving themselves of some pleasure they enjoy for these 40 days.

Others commit themselves to various disciplines in their lives, as in seeking times of silence and solitude, reading a book, keeping a journal, giving up something precious that is distracting their walk with Christ. Others turn it outward as an opportunity to make efforts to serve others -- doing some loving tasks, visiting a "shut-in," serving in a soup kitchen, seeking reconciliation with others.

All of these are wonderful things. And if the Lord uses a specific time in the church calendar to motivate people to righteous living, I'm all for it.

Now, there are some intrinsic dangers of celebrating Lent. One of which is that commitment to Christ can be seen as a seasonal thing, a temporary thing. In other words, people can easily make a commitment to God for forty days, and afterwards, return to their former manner of life. This is the idea of Mardi Gras. "Mardi Gras" is French for "Fat Tuesday." It is always celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and the idea of the holiday is that Lent will be a time of fasting and self-denial. So let's party hearty before the fasting begins. Let's pork out and be gluttonous one last time before we fast. And if you know anything about Mardi Gras, you know that the celebrations are often ungodly. And yet, there are many who will party before and after Lent, but behave somewhat righteously during Lent, thinking that they have done their religious duty before God. But, Christ is worthy of being followed all the year, not merely during the forty days before Easter.

Another danger of celebrating Lent is that easily can move us into a works-based righteousness. As people focus their attention upon fasting and praying and being quiet before the Lord, they can easily think that they will be accepted by the Lord due to their righteousness. And as people focus their attention upon performing good deeds for others, they can easily think themselves to be righteous. But, our standing before the Lord comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This fact makes our text this morning especially pertinent, because, in it, Paul will put forth the bankruptcy of works and the glories of Jesus. What a timely word for us, because this is exactly what our text is talking about this morning.

Our text this morning covers Philippians 3:8-9. Before we read, I want to tell you how we at Rock Valley Bible Church have sought to take advantage of the season of Lent. Rather than encouraging you to engage in a forty-day period of self-denial. We want to use the time to help us reflect intentionally upon the cross of Christ by celebrating the Lord's Supper every Sunday in Lent.

This means that this morning, and for the next five Sunday mornings, we will celebrate the Lord's Supper in our morning worship services. And my hope and prayer for all of us is that the Lord will use our Sunday mornings to focus our attention upon the sufferings of Christ, so that come Resurrection Sunday, our worship will be enhanced, as we celebrate His resurrection from the dead, having thought long and hard about His sufferings.

Let's read, ...

Philippians 3:8-9
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

These verses are really an amplification of what we saw last week in verses 4-7. If you remember, Paul put forth seven of his religious advantages. The first four of them were his inherited advantages. According to verse 5, we see Paul saying that he was circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. These things put him clearly into the heart of the Jewish nation, a community that God has promised by covenant to bless them.

Then, Paul puts forth three advantages that he obtained through his own efforts: as to the law, a Pharisee, as to zeal, a persecutor of the church, as to the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless. These placed him at the head of the Jews of his day. He was a righteous and zealous leader of the Jews. If anyone could stand before the Lord on his own merits, it would be the apostle Paul. In fact, that was Paul point in verse 4, ...

Philippians 3:4
although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:

And then, Paul lists why he could have confidence in the flesh. Then, after listing all of his benefits, Paul puts forth a shocking statement in verse 7, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ."

Now, if that statement doesn't sound shocking to you, it is because you have heard the gospel many, many times before. And you know that religious works cannot save you. You know that salvation comes by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. And so, verse 7 doesn't much surprise you.

But, to those in the first century who first heard this message, they would have been shocked. Each of these qualities were good things. So, imagine that I take a balloon. And as Paul explained each of his religious advantages to I blow the balloon up a little bigger. As Paul said, "Circumcised the eighth day," those originally hearing it would have thought of how that was a good thing. And so, imagine I blow a puff of air into the balloon. "Of the nation of Israel," another puff. "Of the tribe of Benjamin. A Hebrew of Hebrews," two more puffs. "As to the law, a Pharisee. As to zeal, a persecutor of the church. As to the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless," three more puffs. At this point the balloon is all inflated and looking pretty good.

But then, comes verse 7, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ." I burst the balloon! Pop! And what's left? A few ripped up shreds of rubber. These works are like a burst balloon, totally useless. Your righteous works cannot save you. And that's the point of verses 4-7. [1]

Now, in our text this morning, Paul is simply going to expand upon these verses. In fact, we can see that right there in the first few words of verse 8. They are translated in all sorts of ways. The New American Standard version reads, "More than that." The ESV says, "Indeed." The NIV says, "What is more." The New King James says, "Yet indeed." The King James says, "Yea doubtless." But all of the translations have the same idea. What follows is ever the more so true. And what follows is a look at all of life.

The difference between verses 7 and 8 is a matter of tense. Verse 7 is in the past tense. Verse 8 is in the present tense. Verse 7, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ." This is past tense. Verse 8, "More than that, I count all things to be loss." This is present tense.

And right here is the point where we see Paul's train of thought here. He's no longer looking back to his salvation when he renounced all of his Jewish works of righteousness, considering them to be less than nothing and meaningless. No, he's thinking about how he views his works now. He's looking at his Christian acts of righteousness. He's looking at his religious deeds after becoming a follower of Jesus. And the verdict is the same. "It's all loss. It doesn't help me at all."

Now, that might sound like a bad thing -- like Paul is in a really bad state. But really, it's a good thing. Because Paul has found something that's better! Continuing in verse 8, ...

Philippians 3:8
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

In other words, knowing Jesus Christ is far better and profits far more than anything else that you may know or do in this life. My message this morning is entitled, "The Value of Knowing Christ." My first point is this, "The Value of Knowing Christ" is, ...

1. Worth the Loss of Everything

That's the main point of verse 8, ...

Philippians 3:8
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

In preparing to preach this morning, I listed to a message preached by Al Martin, a retired preacher from Monteville, New Jersey. When he preached on this text, he gave an extended analogy to explain the heart of what Paul was experiencing in Christ. I found it very helpful. I'll share it with you.

He said, ...

Imagine a man who is happily married. In fact, he has been happily married for 30 years. But, he never married until he was 35. And up until age 35, he was what people would call a "confirmed bachelor."

He was so convinced of the advantages of bachelorhood that he not only remained in the bachelor state, he was nothing less than almost repulsively aggressive and evangelistic about the benefits of the bachelor state. Whenever he found a single person, he tried to confirm that single person in his (or her) single state. And he was forever talking about the pluses of bachelorhood. Independence. "I can do what I want when I want." "Freedom." And he had all of these advantages for 35 years.

But then, at age 35, all was reversed by the introduction of one whom we will call "Mary." We will name our man, "John."

And now, some 30 years after marriage, he hears that there is a group of single people in his acquaintance who are being bombarded by an aggressive bachelor such as he was in his early days. And these young men are being told again and again, "If you really want to live, if you want life in its fullness, avoid the married state. Bachelorhood is the essence of living."

Well, upon hearing this, he writes a letter to this group of men to be circulated amongst them. And in the course of writing his letter, he says, "If anyone knew the advantages of bachelorhood, I knew them." And then he lists them all. Then he says in his letter the following words, "I too once counted the distinct advantages of bachelorhood as gains, but the things which were gains, I counted loss for the sake of Mary." (That's verse 7 of Philippians 3).

Now, verse 8 is this. "In fact, I furthermore affirm that after 30 years of marriage, I still regard all the so-called advantages of bachelorhood as loss for the surpassing value of knowing and dwelling with Mary Ellen, my dear wife, for whose sake I suffered the loss of all of the so-called advantages of bachelorhood and I regard them at this very hour as refuse in order that I may continue in union with my wife enjoying all of the objective and subjective privileges, joys and burdens of the married state." [2]

Pastor Al Martin made the point that Paul is like this "John." Whereas this "John" was zealous for his bachelorhood, so also was Paul zealous for his previous life of Pharisaism. Whereas this "John" had found delight in his marriage to "Mary" as far superior to any joy and delight of his bachelor days, so also could Paul speak of the delight of knowing Christ to be far better than the days of Pharisaism. Paul is now writing as a satisfied Christian.

That's what he's saying in verse 8, ...

Philippians 3:8
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Notice what is superior. It's "knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." This is what salvation is. It is knowing Jesus intimately. It's not merely knowing "about Jesus." It is knowing Jesus. It is having a relationship with Him.

That's why so many people can rightly talk about having a "personal relationship" with Jesus. He is One to whom you speak. One from whom you listen. One whom you obey.

Now, surely, one's relationship with Jesus is a bit different than all other relationships. He is God and we are mere humans. We don't see Him like we see other people, but we do believe in Him and we do know Him. Peter said it this way, "And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8). It is knowing Jesus that far surpasses anything else we might possess here upon the earth.

Jesus said it this way, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3). Note that Jesus didn't say, "This will be eternal life, ... in knowing God and Jesus Christ." Jesus spoke this way on other occasions. In John 3:16, He says, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." When you believe, you have the promise of a future eternal life that will save you from perishing.

But, that's not what Jesus says in John 17:3. No, He said, "This IS eternal life, ... to know God and Jesus Christ." In other words, knowing Jesus Christ in this life has the quality of eternal life! This is the heart of what Paul is saying here in Philippians. "Knowing Jesus is better than all things." "Knowing Jesus is more valuable than all things."

Using parables, Jesus said it this way ...

Matthew 13:44-46
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Paul had found the treasure. Paul had found the pearl. He has willingly sold all. There was no buyer's remorse here. The man who found the treasure sold everything he had, "with joy," because he knew that the treasure was worth more than all that he owned. The merchant sold all that he owned because it was worth more than everything that he owned as well.

And though all things are loss in this life, there is something greater. Knowing Christ is greater. Jesus said it this way, ...

Mark 8:35-36
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

In other words, yes, knowing Jesus will cost you your life. But it is worth it! Your life here on earth is nothing but a breath. Gaining your life with Jesus is worth far more than you could ever imagine. Jim Elliot summed it up, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

That's why "The Value of Knowing Christ" is Worth the Loss of Everything. Because what we gain far exceeds anything that we lose. And that's Paul's point. He willingly has willingly given up everything. He did what the rich young ruler failed to do.

Remember when this man came to Jesus?

Matthew 19:16-22
And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." Then he said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

What a sad story. He loved his riches more than knowing and following Jesus. He held to his own righteousness, rather than confessing his sin. Not Paul. Paul gave up everything to follow Jesus.

Now, it's not that Paul went around poor all of the time. There were times that he had little. There were also times that he had much. But through it all, he held lightly to the things of this world. In Philippians, chapter 4, Paul speaks about the gift that the Philippians had sent him. He said, ...

Philippians 4:10-13
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

There were times when the Lord was greatly blessing his life, and he was able to live in abundance. There were other times when the Lord was withholding material blessing, and he was able to live with very little, because he wasn't clinging to the things of this world. Instead, he was clinging to Christ.

But, it wasn't merely physical possessions that Paul gave up. He gave up religious standing. He gave up religious opportunity. You might say it this way: He started over.

This is the very thing that Nicodemus struggled with doing. Remember when he came to Jesus by night?

John 3:1-12
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Nicodemus *said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

One of the very real things that Nicodemus struggled with was how he could give up everything to follow Jesus. "How can a man be born when he is old?" (verse 4). As if to say, "How can I start over?" For Nicodemus, this would be particularly difficult. He was a Pharisee. He had religious standing. He had a reputation. He was "the teacher of Israel," and expected to have all of the Bible answers.

I'm sure that he also had several of the characteristics that Paul spoke about. Circumcision. Of the nation of Israel. As to the Law, a Pharisee. He could add, "As to community, "the teacher of Israel." And following Jesus would cost him all of those things.

Though Nicodemus left that night in confusion, he later came to faith, denouncing all of his religious deeds, and identifying with Jesus and His disciples by bringing spices to anoint the body of Jesus (John 19:39). And I'm sure that Nicodemus could say with the apostle Paul, ...

Philippians 3:8
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

"The Value of Knowing Christ" is Worth the Loss of Everything.

I point you again to verse 8, and how Paul views his religious attainments. He says, "I count them but rubbish." Now, there is some doubt as to the exact meaning of this word. It occurs only here in the New Testament. It is the Greek word, pronounced, "skubala."

Most translations use the word, "rubbish" (NASB, ESV, NKJV). The NIV uses the word, "trash." This is the waste material that we throw away as utterly useless. This is the garbage that was thrown to the dogs. But, there is another way that it can be translated. The KJV translates it as "dung." That is, manure, human excrement.

Show and tell time. In the Brandon home, we have taken this Greek word and brought it into use. We have used this word to describe what our children have placed into their diapers. "Gross, Stinky, Yucky, Get-it-out-of-here stuff." Whether it means that or rotten, useless, moldy food, I really don't know. But, the comparison is correct. When compared to knowing Christ, any religious attainment that we might have before God is like stuff we throw away. "The Value of Knowing Christ" is Worth the Loss of Everything.

And so, I ask you, "Is this your perspective?" Just like last week, the main application this morning is by way of perspective. How do you view your religious attainments? How do you view your own righteousness? How do you view the things you do for God? Prayers; Bible reading; the training of your children; your commitment to church; service in the nursery; help in Children's church; your evangelistic efforts; your hospitality; your counseling to others; the fruit of the Spirit in your life; your leadership (or submission) in your marriage; the fruit in the lives of your children; how you help your neighbor; how you honor your parents; the Bible verses you have posted in your home; your commitment to feed the poor; your righteous deeds during Lent. Do you trust in them? Or, would you rather throw them out, because knowing Jesus is your supreme treasure?

Verse 9 brings us to why knowing Jesus is so valuable. Not only is "The Value of Knowing Christ" Worth the Loss of Everything (verse 8). But also, "The Value of Knowing Christ" ...

2. Gives us Righteousness (verse 9)

It is through knowing Jesus that we are made right with God. It is not through our works of righteousness that we are made right with God. Titus 3:5 says, "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit." Our righteousness before God comes by God's mercy through knowing Jesus Christ. That's Paul's point in verse 9.

Philippians 3:9
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

This is the very reason why Paul would so willingly give up everything. This is the very reason why Paul was so willing to throw away all of his religious deeds. Because righteousness before God doesn't come through my righteous acts. At the end of the day, Paul was seeking to be righteous. He was seeking to be right with God. And he knew that he would never attain this by being good enough to stand before God on his own merits.

You don't come before God by the works of the law. Romans 3:20 says that "through the law comes the knowledge of sin." You don't come before God through the law. Rather, you come to God with the righteousness that only God can give. And He gives it to us by faith. Look again at verse 9, ...

Philippians 3:9
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

This is how it has always been.

Genesis 15:6
[Abraham] believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

It was through the faith of Abraham that God considered Abraham righteous. Theologians call this, "imputation." God imputes His righteousness to us. That is, "God thinks of Christ's righteousness as belonging to us." [3]

Here's how Wayne Grudem explains it in his Systematic Theology. "Christ's righteousness is imputed to us, and therefore God thinks of it as belonging to us. It is not our own righteousness but Christ's righteousness that is freely given to us. So Paul can say that God made Christ to be 'our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption' (1 Cor. 1:30). And Paul says that his goal is to be found in Christ, 'not having a righteousness of my own based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith' (Phil. 3:9). Paul knows that the righteousness he has before God is not anything of his own doing; it is the righteousness of God that comes through Jesus Christ." [4]

This is in contrast to the Roman Catholic doctrine of "infusion," whereby (and I quote from R. C. Sproul) a sinner, "cooperates with and assents to the grace of justification, [in] which grace is infused into him." [5]

And the difference is this. Roman Catholic doctrine believe this: that you believe in God. God then gives you a righteousness, which you possess. Which enables you to do righteousness. And then, when you stand before God, He looks at you and declares you righteous, because in fact, you are righteous, because God has infused righteousness into your being. And the things that you do actually merit your forgiveness. In fact, some people are so righteous, by grace, that their own righteousness is more than they need and it overflows into the "treasury of merit" than then can be used by others to reduce their temporal punishment.

Classical Protestant theology says something different: that you believe in God. God then views you as righteous, even though you are still a sinner. And when you stand before God, He looks at you and views you as righteous, not because you are righteous, but because God has imputed righteousness to you. This righteousness didn't come from us. It came from Jesus. And so, in actuality, when God looks upon you, He sees Jesus.

And I believe that classical protestant theology is more in line with Scriptures like Philippians 3:9.

Philippians 3:9
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

In other words, the righteousness that I have doesn't come from me. It comes from God. It's not my works of the law. It's not my heritage. It's not my baptism. It's not my confirmation. It's not my standing in the church. It's not my good deeds to my fellow man. It's not my prayers. It's not my fasting. It's not my giving to the poor. It's not my zeal. It's not my devotion to the Lord. It's not my knowledge of correct theology. It's not my helping the lady across the street. It's not my deeds done during Lent.

No, it's Christ's righteousness that comes to me through faith in Christ (verse 9). My righteousness comes "from God on the basis of faith." Not on the basis of what I do.

Now, I labor this point because this is the very heart of the gospel. This is the very thing that gives us reason to "Rejoice in the Gospel." It is 2 Corinthians 5:21, "[God] made [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." This is the exchange that takes place because of our faith. We believe and God gives us righteousness. God can do that because Jesus was crucified upon the cross for our sin.

I love the way that Al Mohler said it, ...

We live in a culture focused on self-fulfillment, on radical individualism. Most Americans believe that life is something of a quest and that the self is something of a project. And in this project of self-fulfillment, they believe that what is most important in life is the ability to develop an exciting, exhilarating, satisfying, and secure sense of self. They look for fulfillment primarily within the self.
We are no living in an age in which the primary question asked by most persons is, Am I well? What they mean is, Am I well? In a psychological sense.
Therapeutic modalities and answering questions with a therapeutic response have become the reflex of our society. If you doubt this, just go into your local Christian bookstore; what you are likely to find are rows upon rows of books that demonstrate this very therapeutic worldview, with just a few Bible verses added to make it Christian. We have to understand that for Americans this is normal. It is normal to be told that the self is the center of the meaning system, and that the self is a project that they undertake throughout the entirety of their lives. As a result, most Americans believe that their major problem is something that has happened to them, and that their solution is to be found within. In other words, they believe that they have an alien problem that is to be resolved with an inner solution. What the gospel says, however, is that we have an inner problem that demand an alien solution--a righteousness that is not our own. [6]

In Jesus Christ, God has given to us an alien righteousness.

Philippians 3:9
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

"The Value of Knowing Christ" is Worth the Loss of Everything (verse 8) and it Gives us Righteousness (verse 9).

This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on March 9, 2014 by Steve Brandon.
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.

[1] The seed for this illustration came from James MacDonald, preaching on this passage from his "I Choose Joy" series.

[2] This illustration was transcribed from Al Martin's message entitled, "I Count All Things to Be Loss" from Philippians 3:8, preached at the Trinity Baptist Church, Monteville, New Jersey on Sept. 27, 1981. You can listen the message here.

[3] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 726.

[4] Ibid, pp. 726-727, italics his.

[5] R. C. Sproul, Getting the Gospel Right, p. 163.

[6] Al Mohler, Preaching the Cross, chapter 3, "Preaching with the Culture in View," pp. 80-81.