The world was shocked in 1925 by the announcement that Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell was leaving his dazzling career as an athlete to serve as a missionary in China. Liddell had been born in China to missionary parents. His youth, however, had been spent in Scotland and London where his athletic talent and speed had been developed. Despite his unique running style, Liddell had an almost unbroken record of victories at track events around the British Isles. Then, in 1924, Liddell won gold at the Paris Olympics. Already popular, he became something of a celebrity. But there was something more important to Liddell than a gold medal, or an olive wreath crown. He had his eyes set on a far greater prize that lasts for eternity. He had been speaking at Christian events for some time when the Lord began to direct him to China. Leaving a promising future in athletics, Liddell went to serve and share the gospel in China. He served there faithfully until a brain tumor ended his earthly race. He died in a World War II Japanese internment camp where he had become greatly beloved for his service and kindness. Eric Liddell was willing to lose the acclaim and success this world offered to win a far greater and more lasting crown. Study Philippians 3:7-11 to learn more about what makes a person willing to give up everything to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ask the Lord to give you understanding so that you can understand His Word and how He wants it to change your life today.
Read Focus Verses
Read Philippians 3:7-11 and notice what is lost and what is won.
Read Philippians 3:1-6 to see what things are referred to in verse 7.
What does verse 7 say Paul counted loss?
For whom did Paul count these things as loss?
A Little Word
According to verse 8 is there anything that he doesn't count as loss for Christ?
In verse 8, what does Paul say is so excellent everything else doesn't matter in comparison?
Lose to Win
What did Paul win according to verse 8?
What does verse 9 say about righteousness?
Who does Paul want to know in verse 10?
What three things are mentioned in verse 10 that are part of knowing Christ?
What does Paul hope to attain through this?
Keyword - Loss
Marking the words gain and loss through today's passage will help the contrast stand out.
Mark the word loss in today's passage.
Keyword - Win
In contrast to the loss of everything Paul had once esteemed, he now had Christ.
Mark the word win in today's passage.
Mark 8:34-37 summarizes much of what is said in today's passage.
In Your Words
In your own words, what is Jesus saying in Mark 8:34-37?
How does that help you explain what Paul says in today's passage?
Read Matthew 13:44-50 and notice how these parables further explain being willing to lose everything that a person once counted dear or important to gain Christ.
Tried by Fire
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 emphasizes the importance of this decision to seek the things of Christ.
How do these verses in Matthew and 1 Corinthians help us understand how critical this perspective is?
Status and Achievements
The status and achievements Paul lists in Philippians 3:4-6 gave him a religious standing as a Jew. (You can study them further with the study guide for that passage titled "Good Works Can't Get You to Heaven.")
What are some status symbols or achievements of religion that you might be tempted to think could get you closer to God?
In the Beginning
Paul gave up everything to win Christ. Who is Jesus Christ and why is He worth everything? John 1:1-3 tells us about Jesus Christ before the world began.
John 1:14 tells us that this mighty Creator God took a human body and became a man.
In Matthew 20:28 Jesus tells us that He came to live on earth to give His life to set others free.
Sinless, Yet Bore Sins
1 Peter 2:22-25 shows how Christ gave His life as a ransom.
Christ Died for Us
Romans 5:6-8 helps us understand how amazing it is that Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23 explains why Jesus Christ had to die to save us.
Death Couldn't Hold Him
In Acts 2: 24 we learn that it was impossible for Christ not to rise again.
Romans 4:24 tells us why Jesus' resurrection is so important to us.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 calls this the gospel or good news.
Who is Jesus Christ?
Who is Jesus Christ and what has He done for us?
In John 3:16 we see that anyone who believes on Jesus Christ may receive salvation and eternal life through Him.
Confess and Call
Romans 10:9-13 tell us more about how a person can accept this salvation God offers to them.
How does a person accept God's free gift of salvation?
Ephesians 1:3-6 tells us of one of the many glorious gifts those who believe on Jesus Christ receive through Him.
Hebrews 7:25 tells us one of the things Jesus Christ is doing right now for those who have called on His Name.
Coming to Get Them
In John 14:2-3, the Lord Jesus tells His people that He will come someday to take them to the place He has prepared for them.
Since the Resurrection
What are some of the things Christ does for His people since the resurrection?
Based on what you've seen in these verses (and others you might know), why did Paul want Christ even though it meant losing everything else?
Ephesians 2:8-9 helps us understand why Paul had to stop trusting in his good works to gain Christ.
One or the Other
Romans 11:6 further emphasizes that salvation is either by works or by grace - it can't be by both.
Works or Grace
You've seen that God's Word teaches that Jesus Christ pays the whole debt for a Christian's sin and gives them His complete righteousness which is the only way they can come to God and enter heaven. How would you explain to someone the reason Paul had to give up his trust in his good standing and good works in order to win Christ and have His righteousness and salvation?
In Mark 10:29-31 Jesus tells us that those who lose everything to follow Him will be rewarded.
Glorying in Him
In 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 we learn more of what it means to be found in Christ as it says in verse 9 of today's passage.
A Fresh Start
We find in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that a person gets a fresh start when they are in Christ.
Romans 8:1 also speaks of being in Christ.
According to these verses, what are some of the things it means to be found in Christ?
Isaiah 64:6 helps us understand why we don't want to stand before God in our own righteousness.
A New Perspective
When we realize that our best works outside of Christ are unclean before God because of our sinful hearts and intentions, how does that change the way we look at leaving off all dependence on self to have Christ's righteousness?
2 Corinthians 5:21 shows us that those who trust in Christ receive His complete and perfect righteousness on their account.
On All Who Believe
In Romans 3:21-22 we're told that no one who believes in Christ is exempted from this precious gift of Christ's righteousness.
How does understanding this truth that Christ's righteousness is counted as the righteousness of all who believe in Him help you understand the reason Christians can live in heaven with a perfect God?
Paul speaks of knowing Christ. Jeremiah 29:13 promises that if we seek the Lord with our whole heart, we will find Him.
We see in 2 Peter 3:18 that Christians are called to always be getting to know the Lord Jesus better.
Search the Scriptures
In John 5:39, Jesus tells us how we can get to know Him better.
Getting to Know Him
How can you get to know Christ better?
His Mighty Power
Read Ephesians 1:15-23 and notice what verses 19-20 say about coming to know the power of Christ's resurrection.
The Same Power
Romans 8:11 reinforces this glorious truth that the same power that raised Christ from the dead works in a Christian's life
How will coming to know the power of Christ's resurrection change a person's life?
Suffering with Him
Romans 8:16-18 tells us more about the fellowship of Christ's sufferings.
Comforted with Him
In 2 Corinthians 1:5 we see that those who share in Christ's sufferings also share in His comfort.
Reign with Him
2 Timothy 2:11-13 reveals another benefit of sharing in the suffering of Christ.
As a Christian
1 Peter 4:12-19 clarifies that this suffering is suffering for the faith of believing in Jesus Christ and living according to His Word.
In John 15:20, Jesus warned His followers to expect to suffer like He did in this world.
The Power of Christ
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 we get a further understanding of why Paul had learned that the fellowship of Christ's sufferings was sweet though painful.
Fellowship of His Sufferings
How would you explain why Paul wanted to enter into the fellowship of Christ's sufferings?
Crucified with Christ
Galatians 2:20 helps us understand what it means to be conformed to Christ's death.
Buried with Him
Read Romans 6:1-12 and notice what it says about Christians dying with Christ. If you have an extra moment, read the whole chapter as it all deals with this theme and the last few verses make it very practical.
Crucify the Flesh
Christ was crucified for the sins of His people. Notice in Galatians 5:24 that Christians crucify their flesh (the sinful part of their nature).
Conformed to His Death
What does it mean to be made conformable to Christ's death?
They That Hear Shall Live
John 5:24-29 explains more about this resurrection Paul hopes to attain.
Ever with the Lord
Notice what 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says about this.
In Revelation 22:12 we see that when Christ comes, He will bring His reward for His people with Him.
Why did Paul desire so much to attain the resurrection of the dead?
How could you use the verses you went through earlier which talked about how to accept God's free gift of salvation to tell someone how they could attain the resurrection of the dead to eternal life with Christ?
All for Jesus
Have you ever counted all of your good works and efforts as nothing and instead trusted in the righteousness and death of Christ to save you? If you have, spend a little time recommitting to that. If not, will you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and turn from your sins to Him, asking Him to save you?
That I May Win Christ
Write some things that this study of Scripture has helped you remember or learn that Jesus Christ is to you. Worship Him for them and remember why you gladly lose everything to win Christ.
That I May Know Him
How are you going to begin getting to know the Lord Jesus better every day?
We hope this study has helped you see that it is worth losing everything to win Christ and challenged you to get to know Him better.
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