If believing in Jesus means being ridiculed and mocked, means a loss of freedom, means pain and sorrow, and might even mean costing you your life, why do it? If following Christ's plan and surrendering to Him could possibly mean losing everything, why make that choice? What are the benefits of making that decision

I think Paul the apostle would say, "I'm so glad you asked." In Philippians 3, he dove into five inestimable benefits we gain from following Christ.

1. Knowledge. "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish" (v. 8). Did you know that the Bible describes believers as people who know God? (See Jeremiah 31:34; John 10:14; 17:3; 1 John 5:20.) Knowledge here is far more than intellectual or theological knowledge; it means personal experience, involvement, or familiarity.

2. Position. "That I may gain Christ and be found in Him" (vv. 8-9). Almost ninety times the New Testament says we are in Christ. That means we are united to Him in His life, His death, and His resurrection (see Galatians 2:20). When God looks at you, He sees Christ. He no longer sees your imperfections, failures, and sins. He sees the Savior who died for them. Being in that position is a monumental benefit.

3. Righteousness. "Not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" (v. 9). Paul found that true righteousness can't be produced through rule-keeping; true righteousness must be provided. And God provided it through Jesus: "[God] made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

4. Fellowship. "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (v. 10). I believe what Paul was saying here was "I want to walk through life's best times and life's worst times in fellowship with Jesus, because He suffered more than I ever will. He understands." Sorrow may walk with you, but Jesus will walk with you through the sorrow.

5. Glory. "If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead" (v. 11). Now, Paul was not doubting here; he was simply being humble and stating his unworthiness while expressing confidence that all believers will experience a literal, physical resurrection from the dead. It's going to happen at an event called the rapture of the church (see 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). This is the believer's eventual, ultimate benefit. When you think about it, we belong to the greatest organization in the world. Our retirement package is out of this world—literally. It's in glory. It's in heaven.

I encourage you to take a moment today to thank the Lord for these five benefits—and the countless others that aren't listed here. And remember that our confidence in these things isn't founded in something subjective; it's in something objective—that Jesus entered time and space to save us from sin and give us life for eternity. Following Him, no matter the cost, is the ultimate privilege.

Skip's signature