7But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ.
7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Becoming a Christian always involves change. There can be no new life without a putting to death of the old life. There can be no new way of living without a stopping of the old way of living. In this sermon on Philippians 3:7 titled “Gain to Me…,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the conversion of Paul and particular hindrances that were present for Paul, and can still hinder people from coming to the Lord. He shows that Paul could have boasted in his birth as a Jew, his ability and knowledge as a Pharisee, and his zeal and sincerity as a persecutor of the church. However, none of these things are sufficient to save anyone. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that many think that to be Christian is to be sincere, knowledgeable, and zealous about God and good things. However, none of these address their relationship with God or their sin. In fact, Paul counts all of these things as trash in comparison with knowing Christ. Furthermore, no one can seek out God by the strength of their own mind. If anyone is to know God it will be through God’s self-revelation through His word. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also discusses true fruit of a converted Christian and implores his listeners to examine themselves.
- Paul relied upon his birth and background as a Jew which blinded him to the truth of the gospel. Many today rely upon their nation, family or upbringing and assume they are Christians.
- Paul relied upon his own ability and intellect which can prove a stumbling block. Many today rely upon their own understanding and philosophy of life.
- Paul was extremely sincere in persecuting Christians but sincerity alone is not enough. One can be sincerely wrong. Truth matters more than sincerity.
- Paul was very religious but his religion blinded him to the truth. Religion can be a hindrance and substitute for true Christianity.
- All these things Paul relied upon depend upon ourselves - our birth, intellect, actions etc. But Christianity depends upon God's action and grace.
- If Christianity depended upon ourselves, it would be unequal and unfair. But the message is that all are lost and need to be born again by God's grace.
- If the things Paul relied upon were enough, Christ would be unnecessary. But Christ is essential - his incarnation and death are vital.
- Those who rely upon themselves and their religion often have nothing to offer others. But Christians can offer hope and grace to all.
Face to Face with Christ
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.