Your Cart

The Rubbish Heap of Righteousness: Philippians 3:7-11 and the Madness of Christ

Brothers, sisters, saints of the Most High, today we delve into the fiery depths of Philippians, chapter three, verses seven through eleven. A passage, mind you, not for the faint of heart, but for those with a hunger in their bellies and a thirst in their souls. Here, the Apostle Paul throws open the gates of his own heart, revealing a stark truth.

“But what things were gain to me,” he writes, “those I counted loss for Christ.” Oh, what a confession! Paul, the Pharisee, the persecutor, the man of impeccable pedigree and pride, throws his trophies on the rubbish heap. His lineage? Mere dust. His learning? A tinkling cymbal. His righteousness? A filthy rag, fit only for the dung heap.

Why? Because, beloved, he tasted the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, his Lord. He saw the luminous beauty of the One who died for him, and everything else – the accolades, the status, the self-made righteousness – all turned to ashes in his hand. He saw them for what they truly were: glittering trinkets, paltry distractions from the blazing sun of Christ's love.

And it's not just Paul, brothers and sisters. It's you and me. We all have our little rubbish heaps, don't we? Our worldly possessions, our petty ambitions, our self-inflating pride. We cling to them, hold them dear, thinking they bring us meaning and purpose. But oh, the folly of it all!

Paul, wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove, shows us the way. He says, “I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung, that I may gain Christ.” Dung, brothers! That's what our precious trinkets become in the light of Christ's glory. Not mere loss, not simply unimportant, but filth, something to be scraped off our boots and thrown away with disgust.

But what does he gain in exchange for this glorious rubbish heap? What treasure outweighs the world? He gains Christ, he says. To be found in Him, not having a righteousness of his own, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God by faith.

This is the madness of Christ, brothers and sisters! To throw away everything we hold dear for the sake of knowing Him. To trade our self-made righteousness for His perfect grace. To walk the path of suffering and shame, not for some earthly reward, but for the hope of a resurrection from the dead.

Is it easy? No. It's the hardest thing you'll ever do. It's the daily mortification of your flesh, the constant battle against the siren song of the world. But oh, the joy, the peace, the unquenchable fire that burns in the heart of those who have tasted the madness of Christ!

Let us follow Paul's example, dear friends. Let us build our lives on the rubbish heap of our own righteousness and climb atop it to gaze at the rising sun of Christ's love. Let us cast off our worldly trinkets and embrace the glorious poverty of faith. Let us, in the words of the Apostle, press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

And when the world looks at us, bewildered by our joy in suffering, our peace in persecution, our hope in the face of death, let them see the madness of Christ burning in our eyes, and let them know, let them truly know, that we have found a treasure beyond compare.

Go forth, brothers and sisters, and make this world your rubbish heap. For in the end, only one thing matters: knowing Christ Jesus, our Lord. And that, my friends, is a madness worth embracing.