top of page

Taking Account

When is the last time you did some accounting in your life? I know it’s tax season, but that’s not what I’m talking about. When have you done some evaluating, assessing, accounting of what matters most in your life for the sake of Christ? 

In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul does some accounting in his own life when he writes: But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Phil. 3:7

Paul uses these accounting terms to assess what really mattered in his life. For Paul, the “things” that he was living for before he surrendered his life to Jesus were commendable - a righteous life, obedience to the law, a dogged defense of the Jewish faith; yet none of these “things” brought him satisfaction, acceptance with God, and ultimately joy on his journey! 

I love the assessment pastor and author Warren Wiersbe makes about Paul’s values before he knew Christ. “Like most religious people today, Paul had enough morality to keep him out of trouble, but not enough righteousness to get him into heaven. It wasn’t bad things that kept Paul away from Jesus - it was good things. He had to lose his religion to find salvation!” 

When Saul of Tarsus literally saw the light on that Damascus Road and met Jesus, not only did his name change, but so did his values! (Acts 9:1-31). He went from vehemently persecuting Christians, to living with the disciples and moving about Jerusalem boldly speaking in the name of Jesus! (Acts 9:28)

When Saul opened up the accounting books of his life, he discovered that everything he was living for apart from Jesus, was really just refuse, trash, garbage. In Philippians 3:1-11, Paul explains that there are two views of righteousness, but only one is acceptable to God.


Paul had warned the Believers in Philippi before, but now he warned them again to steer clear of people who embrace works-based salvation. (Phil 3:1-2). Paul didn't have a high opinion of those who taught that you must work your way into heaven. And there were a lot of those kinds of false teachers around in the first century; sadly, they still exist today. In Paul’s time, these “Judaizers” mixed the law with grace and came up with a hot mess!  They taught that Gentiles must first become Jews before they could become Christians. This issue was resolved in Acts 15, which was a big victory for Paul’s ministry and the gospel of grace; yet these false teacher continued to viciously “bark” at Paul and “nip” at his heels. 

True Christians place their confidence in Christ, not in themselves. (Phil 3:3a)

We don’t need a symbolic ritual to mark our clean hearts; we have been cleansed of our sin in Christ. While the Judaizers in that time placed their confidence in a ritualistic act and obedience to the law, the Believer’s confidence is not in the flesh, which will fail, it is is Christ Jesus alone! 

True Christian’s good works are the result of their faith, not the cause of their salvation. (Eph. 2:8-9)There are many important symbols and practices of our faith including: the Lord’s Supper, baptism, tithing, but none of those acts save a person from their sins. There is only one way to experience salvation and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. The only work that gets a sinner to heaven is the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross! 

If Paul had chosen to go the way of the Judaizers, he could have been their poster boy! (Phil. 3:4b-6); but he knew faith righteousness was God’s plan. 


We will never be good enough or do enough good to earn our salvation!  When Paul committed his life to Jesus, he did some accounting of his life. Paul lost some things, but he gained far more than he ever lost. And when you meet Christ, and grow in your faith, you will too. You will experience life change!

When you come to Christ, it changes your values, your righteousness and your desires. (Phil 3:7-11) Paul had many achievements in his field as a zealous leader and accomplished scholar. All of this had been valuable to him; those credentials profited him in his life. But when he met Jesus, his perspective changed. He no longer considered those things valuable or profitable because in his mind they brought glory to him, but not to Jesus. He went on to say, those things were now a loss, and in fact, they were garbage. (Phil 3:9)

Paul knew Jesus; he didn’t simply know of Jesus or know about Jesus. Paul really knew Jesus and knowing Jesus is having an intimate, personal relationship with Him. Yet he wanted to grow deeper in his relationship with Christ; he wanted to experience His power and even His suffering. Knowing Jesus changed Paul’s life and his perspective on life and what he valued in life! That’s what happens when you truly know Jesus. Do you know Him today? If not, you can! And when you do, it changes you. He changes you.

When you come to Jesus, and even as you mature in your faith, there is always some accounting to do, some evaluating and assessing. I wonder when the last time was you did some accounting in your own life as to what really matters for Christ’s sake? Are there things right now that you have in the profit column that really shouldn’t be there? 

Are there things in your life - time, talents, treasures - that you have been using for your own glory and not for Christ’s glory? 

For much more, click here to listen to: Joy on the Journey - Part 7 - Accounting Gains and Losses


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page