Found and Known
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(7)But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. (8)More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ (9)and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. Philippians 3:7-9
Verse 9 in this passage is one of the biggest of all the big Bible verses. It is elegant in its presentation of what we call "foreign righteousness" and its description of what is really the nuts and bolts of our salvation, that is, how salvation can happen at all. Paul spends significant time in his letter to the Romans unfolding and expounding on this topic of righteousness by faith, but here in Philippians is this beautiful, concise explanation. It answers some of the most basic - and important - questions about salvation:
What is required for you to be found in Christ? Righteousness.
Do you have this righteousness within yourself? No.
How do you get this righteousness? Faith in Christ.
Where does this righteousness come from? God.
This right here, this righteousness from God, is part of the surpassing greatness and value of knowing Him who gave up everything so I would not lose my soul.
You may have heard “justification” or “justified” defined as “just as if I’d never sinned.” Well that’s true, but a fuller definition would include “just as if I’ve always obeyed.” In Christ, when we are born again, we don’t just go from negative to neutral. We go from negative to positive. It’s not just forgiveness that’s put on our account, it is actually the perfect righteousness of Jesus! That is how salvation works and that is some great good news!