The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:8: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
The New International Version says “garbage”. The New American Standard Version says “rubbish”. The King James Version says “dung”. If Pastor Grant was translating, the Old Guy Version would say “manure”.
Paul is not using an obscenity, but he is making a graphic comparison.
The Apostle Paul was a cultural elite when he was known as Saul. He had wealth, the best education, and was a rising political star. Then, on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians, he met Jesus.
Saul became Paul.
In one moment of bright light – all that Saul considered important became garbage or rubbish or dung or manure. He saw Jesus – there was and is nothing else.
The word “know” that Paul uses in Philippians 3:8 means “intimacy”. There is another word in the Greek for knowledge – “oida” which means “facts”. You can know all about Jesus “oida” – Bible verses, doctrine, books – but not know or “ginosko” Jesus.
Facts do not necessarily mean intimacy.
Saul had plenty of “oida” about God but then he had “ginosko” with Jesus and everything previously in his life became manure.
Two considerations for you:
- Do you have “oida” about Jesus? Podcasts, books, connect groups, online services? Or do you have “ginosko” – an experience so overwhelming about your relationship with Jesus that everything in life means nothing in comparison?
- Do you show symptoms of “ginosko”? Can’t wait to get up in the morning to see Him? You want to tell everyone about Him? Your doubts and fears diminish when you think about Him during the day? You have hope and even joy during the most difficult times?
Grant Edwards on New Year’s Eve 1971 had a “ginosko” moment when I accepted Jesus and was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean. Almost 50 years ago. I still get up every morning excited about talking to Jesus.
Garbage, rubbish, dung or manure? Or – love, joy, peace, patience, righteousness, gentleness, and self-control?
To get “ginosko” ask boldly for Jesus to appear to you. It might be a dream, an overwhelming experience, a baptism in the Spirit, but I am confident it will happen.
Jesus wants “ginosko” with you!