We need to see a vision of the excellency of Christ. Paul saw it, and for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ he considered all other things (even good things) to be refuse, so that he may gain Christ (Phil. 3:7-8).
We may still treasure and desire other things today, but when Christ is revealed in us (Gal. 1:15-16) and when He lives in us (Gal. 2:20), our system of values will change. The more we see Christ, the more we set our eyes and heart on Him, the more He becomes precious and excellent to us.
Since Christ is the Excellent One, the knowledge of Christ is also excellent – and on account of this excellent knowledge of Christ we will drop all other things, considering them as refuse and dung.
Mary also saw the preciousness of Christ, and because she had a revelation concerning Him through His words, she poured out all she had most precious on Him (see Matt. 26). The disciples were using their commercial mind to find out how much you can sell the pure nard for – while Mary was simply “wasting” all she had on the Lord.
To those who love Christ in such a way, to those who spend all they have most precious on Him, Christ is altogether lovely and worthy of their offering. Oh, that we may see a revelation of the knowledge of Christ to this extent!
Knowing Christ in His Excellency and Supreme Preciousness
…What things were gains to me, these I have counted as loss on account of Christ. But moreover I also count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ. (Phil. 3:7-8)
Paul had all kinds of good, religious, and spiritual things that he treasured before he met Christ, but when he was saved, when it pleased God to reveal His Son in him, his concept of value changed. Now Paul treasured Christ and considered Him exceedingly greater and more excellent than the law or anything in Judaism.
Today we as believers in Christ need to see the excellency of Christ, the supereminence of Christ, the supreme preciousness of Christ, and the surpassing worth of Christ. When we see Christ in His excellency, we will consider the knowledge of Christ far more excellent than anything else the world or religion has to offer.
When we see Christ’s supreme preciousness and surpassing worth, we will be happy to count all things to be loss on account of the excellent knowledge of Christ.
We may go to a good school, a prestigious university, graduate with a good degree, and have an excellent job with an amazing career – but when the Lord calls us to serve Him, to drop all things for Him and simply move somewhere for His interest, because of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ we count ALL other things loss and simply GO!
It is a glory to God and a privilege to us to leave everything and follow Him, paying any price to gain Christ, because Christ is the most precious One, and He is preciousness to us! We as Christians are glad to suffer the loss of all things and even count them as refuse that we may gain Christ!
The Urgent Need of the Excellent Knowledge of Christ
We may have read of Christ, heard of Him, and even spoken of Him – but how precious and how excellent is the knowledge of Christ to you? Did you see Christ in His excellence? Are you desperate to see more of Christ that you may gain Him more?
We urgently need the excellent knowledge of Christ that we may know Him, enjoy Him, and become Him even as He is (1 John 3:2). We need to see what Paul saw, what Peter saw, and what the overcoming saints throughout the ages saw.
What caused so many lovers of Christ to drop everything and go somewhere for the Lord and live the Christian life among unknown and even evil people? What caused Paul to go all around Asia Minor and even into Europe to speak to people about Christ?
We have an urgent need of the revelation of Christ’s preciousness and His excellence. When Christ is recovered to us as the preeminent and excellent One, we will become one with Him and we will pay any price to speak Him forth, live Him, express Him, and do anything for Him.
Pouring Out Upon the Lord What is Most Precious to Us
In Mark 14:3 and in Matt. 26 we see a woman who came to the Lord and poured out upon Him an alabaster flask of very costly pure nard (ointment). She broke the flask and poured it over His head. The disciples in their commercial mind were calculating how much would that nard cost, and how many poor people could have been fed with those money – they thought “it was a waste”.
Since the Lord Jesus was on earth all the way until now, all throughout history, there have been thousands of precious lives of people, heart treasures of men, high positions of many, and golden futures of bright people who have been “wasted upon the Lord Jesus”. Many have seen Christ’s preciousness, and they loved Him to the uttermost, even to the point of pouring out everything they had on Him.
To those who love the Lord Jesus in such a way He is altogether lovely, precious, excellent, super-eminent and He is worthy of their offering! They don’t consider this a waste, but rather a privilege untold to give a fragrant testimony of His sweetness!
This is the gospel: the Lord Jesus loved us so much that He became a man and laid down His life for us, and now we love the Lord so much that we pour out all we have most precious upon Him!
We need to have a deeper and higher revelation of the excellence and preciousness of Christ, so that we would treasure Him to the extent that we would even pour out our God-constituted being upon Him.
Brothers and sisters alike, we need to go through the process of seeing Christ and being inwardly transformed until we treasure the supreme preciousness of the Lord and love Him to the uttermost.
The goal of the gospel is that we would pour out upon the Lord Jesus what is most precious to us – “wasting ourselves” upon Him.
Lord Jesus, unveil us to see Your preciousness and Your excellence. Lord, we urgently need to see the Wonderful and Excellent Jesus Christ. We treasure with affection all that You are to us, dear Lord. Your Person is so wonderful, and Your being is supremely precious. Precious Lord, we break our flask of alabaster in love for You, pouring out upon You what is most precious to us. It is a privilege for us to give a fragrant testimony of Your sweetness and to waste all we have most precious upon You for Your satisfaction!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Ron Kangas’ sharing in this message and portions in, The Conclusion of the New Testament (by Witness Lee, msg. 348), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Crystallization-Study of Daniel and Zechariah, week 11 (entitled, The Evil and Wickedness of Commerce versus a Divine Sense of Value concerning Christ and the Church).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Read a translation of this article in Vietnamese via here.
- Further reading:
# The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 21, pp. 5-17.
# Phil. 3:8 and note 3, 4, 5, and 6 – concerning the excellency of Christ (Recovery Version).
# Matt. 26:8 and note 1, v. 12 and note 1.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Precious Lord, my flask of alabaster / Gladly now I break in love for Thee; / I anoint Thy head, Beloved Master; / Lord, behold, I’ve saved the best for Thee.
# She took opportunity / To love You; Lord, with her best. / Like her, Lord, I too would pour / My love and all that I have.
# The goal of the gospel is that, / Loving the Lord Jesus / With the first love, / We would pour out upon Him, / Pour out upon Him / What is most precious to us.
- Pictures credit: Phil. 3:7 and Matt. 26:8.