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 How to Count It All As Loss by John Piper



What does it mean to count everything as loss for the sake of Christ? What does it mean to renounce all that we have for Christ’s sake?

Paul said he does this. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). And a few verses later he said, “Brothers, join in imitating me” (3:17).

So this is commanded of all believers.

This Is Basic Christianity

This is what it means to be a Christian. It is not advanced discipleship; it is basic Christianity. This is confirmed in Jesus’s words, “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Renouncing all we have is the same as “counting everything as loss.” This is what happens in conversion. You can’t be a disciple without it. Jesus said this.

He describes this conversion in a parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44). Selling all you have with joy, in order to have the treasure of the kingdom, is a parable-way of saying: count everything as loss in order to gain Christ.

So, to become a Christian is to awaken from the blindness of spiritual death and find Jesus so all-sufficient and all-satisfying that 1) we count everything as loss, 2) we renounce all our possessions, and, in parable-language, 3) we sell all we have to possess the treasure of Christ.

How to Count Everything As Loss

In everyday practical terms, what does it mean to do this? It means at least these four things:

1. Renouncing all (counting all as loss) means that, if we must choose between Christ and anything else, we will choose Christ.

That is, even though God does not bring us to the crisis of either-or at every point, nevertheless, we are ready, and have resolved in our hearts that, if the choice must be made, we will chose Christ.
2. Renouncing all (counting all as loss) means that we will deal with everything in ways that draw us nearer to Christ, so that we gain more of Christ, and enjoy more of him, by the way we relate to everything.

That is, we will embrace everything pleasant, by being thankful to Christ; and we will endure everything hurtful, by being patient through Christ.
3. Renouncing all (counting all as loss) means that we will seek to deal with the things of this world in ways that show that they are not our treasure, but rather that Christ is our treasure.

That is, we will hold things loosely, share things generously, and ascribe value to things in relation to Christ. We will seek to live the paradox of 1 Corinthians 7:30–31, “Let [Christians] buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it.”
4. Renouncing all (counting all as loss) means that if we lose any or all the things this world can offer, we will not lose our joy, or our treasure, or our life — because Christ is our joy and our treasure and our life.

That is, in smaller losses we will not grumble (Philippians 2:14), and in greater losses we will grieve, but not as those who have not hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
A Settled, Joyful, Defining Resolve

This is what I believe it means to find Jesus so all-sufficient and all-satisfying that 1) we count everything as loss (Philippians 3:8), 2) renounce all our possessions (Luke 14:33), and, 3) “sell” all we have to possess the treasure of Christ (Matthew 13:44).

None of us loves Christ this perfectly, or lives so consistently. But to be a follower of Jesus, to be a true Christian, means that these four ways of dealing with “everything” will be the settled, joyful, defining resolve of our lives.

This is what we will mean when we say with Paul, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”


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 2014/3/4 17:20Profile
Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1505


 Re: How to Count It All As Loss by John Piper

This is not a good understanding of counting it all as loss. Jesus is the prime example in that He literally took up His cross to obey the Father. This was not a self effacing, self righteousness described above. This was conscious obedience of the revealed will of the Father. Christ had come down from Heaven where the real, eternal things are and there being of the God head, He gave it all up to obey the Father. He knew that the Father's word was true and would surely come to pass. The Father had promised that He would exalt Christ above every other name that was named.

Christ had a life, relationships, a business, extended family, a dear mother and father, siblings and a community but when the Spirit sent Him out - it was all loss. It didn't matter that he had invested 30 years in learning to be a carpenter, his relationship with His mother or those in His community. Being the Word of God, the exhortations to the churches in Revelations were already known to Him that He would overcome and obtain the crown that is above all crowns. He knew in whose hands He was held and that nothing could touch Him that the Father did not allow, including death. Yet, His walking in the Will of the Father meant that even in death He was safe because His father's word always comes to pass.

Who is your father?

 2014/3/13 10:50Profile
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re: How to Count It All As Loss by John Piper

I thought the teaching touched on some very good points. I appreciate what was shared in that it spoke to the root of the issue, which is the heart. I believe we are to willingly lay down everything and take up our cross to follow CHRIST daily. Its about what we hold on to, what is our treasure? The attitude of my heart if I am walking with Jesus should be one of desiring the things that will bring about HIS KINGDOM and I should willingly be ready to sell all, give up all and follow HIM as HE leads. I have seen this in a very practical way in the lives of some fellow believers who were given ultimatums from family, they were told, "give up all this Jesus business or don't come round any more." they chose CHRIST. I do see JESUS as our perfect example, HE always did the will of the FATHER and walked in submission to HIM and we are called to do likewise.

I agree that JESUS is all-sufficient and all-satisfying, when we turn to HIM there is by the indwelling of the HOLY SPIRIT with in us an understanding and knowing that I no longer need fear or hold on to the things of this world, that through CHRIST JESUS I have all that really matters and all I could ever need. The things of this world pale in comparison to HIM, they hold no attraction. In walking with HIM and knowing HIM as LORD my eyes are opened to the reality that these things are passing away, they are fading and my real life is buried in HIM. My attitude is changed and my desire is to follow HIM no matter what. I have counted the cost and realized that nothing this world can offer could ever take the place of JESUS!

Thank you Greg for sharing this
God bless
maryjane

 2014/3/13 11:22Profile
Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1505


 Re: One Thing You Lack, Katz

This is a fuller understanding of the topic of selling all. I post it for consideration.

Quote:
“A certain ruler” (Luke 18:18), rich, accomplished, noble, Torah observant, full of “great possessions” asked Him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” That question is undeniably great—not only as the question of what lies beyond death, but for our purposes, the critical enablement for a sustaining, overcoming, last days’ life of discipleship, service and worship.

It is the same life of which Jesus spoke when he said “I have come to bring you life and that more abundantly.” It is the indescribably precious life of God Himself, and it is evidently not given until we also comply with the same requirement made of him: “sell whatsoever thou hast.” For whatsoever we have, however accomplished, is of man and keeps us from an absolute reliance on Jesus for our life. That ‘whatsoever’ is inclusive of our spiritual insights, ministerial ability and even the best of our motives in serving the purposes of God. What we have not fully grasped is that “there is none good but God.” Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, September 28) writes, “The only ‘good thing’ from Jesus Christ’s point of view is union with Himself and nothing in between (my emphasis).”

“What must I do…” indicates the premium this young ruler puts upon man. Do we know what it means to relinquish, let go, abdicate, cease from ourselves, surrender, renounce, and abandon ourselves to the Lord? There is that ‘one thing’ we lack, and when that is deficient everything is inadequate! Therefore, “go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast”—talent, ambition, spiritual attainment, commendable preaching style—what-so-ever! And thou shalt have treasure in heaven, exceeding the best we have known, that waits upon this totality of renunciation that few are willing to make! Therefore, we don’t enter into the Kingdom, that heavenly dimension of reality and authority, though we prattle about it profusely, because we “trust in our riches”—make them our confidence and our dependence. The eye of the Lord is fixed upon us, beholding us and loving us as He did him; “and Jesus looking upon them saith, with man it is impossible—but not with God”! When will we really believe Him? ”Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

He yearns for the infusion of His Life for us that comes with union with Himself:

The believer can each day be pleasing to God only in that which he does through the power of Christ dwelling in him. The daily inflowing of the life sap of the Holy spirit is his only power to bring forth [enduring and eternal] fruit…That same Spirit that dwelled and still dwells in the Son becomes the life of the believer; in the unity of that one Spirit and the fellowship of the same life that is in Christ…it is a life union that makes them one (from Andrew Murray’s Abide in Christ, p.36).

This is that Shalom spoken of in Hebrews: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (4:9)—that ultimate hallmark of biblical faith to which too few have come. This is that spoken by Jesus, “If any man come to me and hate not his father, mother, and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26)! You (preachers especially) must “sell all” you have; your impressive soulish verve, your picturesque affectations, your calculated stylisms—all that comprises your “riches”—your own life also, if you would follow Him in the same totality by which He followed the Father, taking up the cross. Murray enjoins us to “meditate on this until your soul bows to worship in the presence of [this] mystery”—it is that very act of bowing that breaks the soulish powers that have had too long sway. Here perfect union between Christ and the believer is found.


Art Katz, One Thing You Lack

https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=23555

 2014/3/13 13:15Profile
MaryJane
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Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings Jermey221

How blessed we are to have such and amazing and wonderful FATHER who has shared these things with two fellow brothers in CHRIST. I see the merits in what both men shared and how they even seem to convey the same heart, abandon all to JESUS! I so love it seeing the HOLY SPIRIT revealing these things to us so that we might share them with one another.

Art Katz wrote: He yearns for the infusion of His Life for us that comes with union with Himself:

and then he goes on to quote Andrew Murray:

The believer can each day be pleasing to God only in that which he does through the power of Christ dwelling in him. The daily inflowing of the life sap of the Holy spirit is his only power to bring forth [enduring and eternal] fruit…That same Spirit that dwelled and still dwells in the Son becomes the life of the believer; in the unity of that one Spirit and the fellowship of the same life that is in Christ…it is a life union that makes them one (from Andrew Murray’s Abide in Christ, p.36).______

and then we have these powerful words from John Piper:This Is Basic Christianity

This is what it means to be a Christian. It is not advanced discipleship; it is basic Christianity. This is confirmed in Jesus’s words, “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). ____

I love seeing this, the HOLY SPIRIT speaking through brothers at differing times, revealing to us, that as Paul said: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

I just find myself so blessed, thank you and Greg both sharing these things. Just think how many others will be reading the words of these men at some distant time in the future and they too will see the HOLY SPIRIT working, drawing men hearts closer and deeper into their walk with JESUS just as HE has done for us today! What an amazing and awesome GOD we serve.

God bless
mh


 2014/3/13 13:46Profile





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