Sunday, May 13, 2012


We're studying Philippians and I am transfixed by this one verse and it is all because of one little word:zēmioō.’ The verse says 'For His sake I have suffered loss ( order that I may gain Christ' - 3:8b) and zēmioō’ is the Greek word for 'suffer' and it describes sustaining damage and receiving injury. It really changes everything! It shows that there is a cost to leaving everything in order to follow Christ’s example. I’m thinking about my own life and when I feel the sting of loss I can recognise my nature to constrict these experiences to being as little as possible. In this small book I see a great call/reminder that it should be costing something to be a believer of God; to represent His gospel; to shine blatant in a dark world. It has provoked this inner debate in me because in one sense I understand and live in the freedom of Christ. This is freedom from needing to perform in order to receive everything He has done. He already paid such a price, so why is there still a cost? This didn’t rise up in me out of my reluctance to pay-up but I just wondered where in my understanding I had gone wrong. I realised that whilst it is true that Christ achieved everything He needed to through His life and the cross and whilst He paid the price so that I don’t have to, my faith in Him will still need to manifest in some way. If there was anything I learnt from the book of James, it was that true faith manifests. Therefore I think Paul was showing that for one who is a zealous follower of Christ, they can expect to follow really closely in Christ's footsteps. This means denying yourself and denying your rights and embracing rejection. This isn't the price we pay to be righteous (for it is by His efforts, not ours) but rather this is what faith will look like. There will be a sting as each believer learns to live in a way where their personal, self-centred desires suffer and whimper. But Jesus is worth it, isn't He?