I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:8 NIV)
Man has constructed his own interpretations of Christianity and of truth, brought in his own systems and has confused things so much that you really do not know, unless you have clear discernment such as Nehemiah had, what is of God and what is not of God. There are multitudes of good, honest, sincere Christian people who really are in the most awful fog as to what is of God and what is not of God religiously. Man’s religious systems have brought about that confusion and multitudes of honest people believe with all their heart that the thing that they are in is of God, and it is just possible for them to get such an awakening to see the whole thing was man-made and not of God at all; “…much rubbish.”
Paul was one of those. Reflect upon his past life, privileges, and inheritances which he at one time believed were so utterly and absolutely of God for him, and that he really was in God’s will. He came to a time when he said: “The things which were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ… for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ”; and yet he was so devoted to all that as a traditional religious system in which he at one time was living as out from God, which had now become merely an outward thing of forms and external laws. He believed, nevertheless, that it was all of God until the light shone, until he saw that in comparison with the fullness of Christ it was refuse. It is a strong word that he uses; the word he uses is “stuff to be flung to the dogs.” Saul of Tarsus throwing his Judaism to the dogs! He did it when he saw Christ. You can never come out of the rubbish until you see Christ.
Ask the Lord to reveal to you the fullness of Christ and you will find things which have gripped and held you become as mere refuse, stuff to be flung to the dogs. There was much rubbish in the place which once represented a clear line of division between what was of God and what was not of God; confusion, mixture. I shall not attempt to apply that more thoroughly. The Lord will have to show us by revelation what the rubbish is, but there is the simple statement and it contains a truth, and you and I will really have to ask the Lord to show us even in religious matters, where man ends and God begins, or where God ends and man begins, so that we shall be delivered from everything that man has imposed or added upon what is of God, and we shall be able to get right down to foundations, the rubbish being removed: and there is a very great deal of ecclesiastical rubbish about in these days that must go. That is a real difficulty in recovering the full testimony of the Lord Jesus.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: Concerning Jerusalem
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I highly recommend the Daily Open Windows devotional which can be accessed, subscribed to by email, or downloaded for free from this page on The Online Library of T. Austin-Sparks. It may also be followed on the Daily Open Windows Facebook page. Check it out. It is excellent!
Please also see the series just completed, “Tradition, Scripture and the Church” – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5, which I truly feel is one of the most important series to date on this blog.
This excerpt will also be added shortly to the “Author’s Excerpts” section of this blog as a permanent page. You can find other excellent excerpts by T. Austin-Sparks, Watchman Nee, A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, and more there.
May God bless you as you continue to seek “the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus (our) Lord!”
All blessings in Him,