In the same way, grace makes Christ our one and only treasure. Grace produces a longing for Christ. And grace gives us satisfaction with Christ. Grace enables us to let go of all that we have, that we might have Him who is worth infinitely more than the sum of all our living. What does it mean to “have Christ?” It means to be found in Him. It means to be His. If we are “in Christ,” then we are Christ’s beloved and He is our Beloved. “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song 6:3). Grace makes Christ such a treasure to us that any price to have Him is a bargain. We are overjoyed to relinquish all to have Him. We will gladly renounce all confidences to trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone. We will consider personal loss to be gain to have and be found in Him. As Moses, the reproach of Christ will be greater riches to us than all the treasures of this world (Hebrews 11:26).
What must we give to have Christ? We must give up thinking there’s something we can give. We must never think we can purchase the gift of God (Acts 8:20). Unlike the treasures of the world, Christ gives Himself and all things freely. Salvation and faith to believe Him are alike gifts of God’s unearned and unearnable favor.
Believers know they cannot buy God’s grace. We cannot buy God’s love. We cannot purchase God’s Son! When we find Christ as all-sufficient, we also find that all that we are and all that we have is worth less than nothing. With Paul, we say, “v7) What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. v8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, v9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:7-9).
The hardest thing a man can do is to renounce his own goodness. What must we give to have Christ? We must own that we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. We must own that we have nothing and need everything. And we must own that everything we need is found only in Him (Revelation 3:17; Colossians 2:9-10). We must relinquish all hope of ever finding in ourselves what God requires and demands, and rest in knowing that He has already provided and found it in His Son. We must see and be persuaded and embrace this fact: God gives out of His own free and sovereign grace, to His glory. And all of God’s blessings are singularly found in Christ alone. Our best deeds must be discovered to us, and owned by us, as loathsome and as worthless as dung (Philippians 3:8). It is not only the hardest thing a man can do to relinquish his own goodness, but with men this is impossible (Mark 10:27). But when Christ and His work is all to us, then our work and worth will become nothing to us. And He -- not we -- will be our confidence, our worship and our boast (Philippians 3:3).
The world offers treasures at a high cost. It says, “Agree with me. Seek me. Trust me. Rejoice with me. Honor me. Love me.” The world not only demands these, but demands them in unrivaled devotion. The only thing the world cannot tolerate is intolerance of itself. The world requires singular devotion. Our Lord teaches men that we can serve only one master. The world makes promises it cannot keep: promises of health, wealth, beauty, honor, satisfaction, life, love. Men spend their lives and their labors to have them. But the world lies. It cannot give one thing of all that it promises. In the end, its promises will pass away along with it.
Unlike the world, Christ gives freely. Truly, all spiritual and eternal blessings in Christ are without cost to us: “Come, buy milk and wine without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1-3). If we thought to give all the substance of our house as barter to gain the blessings freely given us out of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, it would utterly be contemned (Song of Solomon 8:7). Nevertheless, to have Christ, we must abandon all that we have, all that we are, and all that we hope to be in ourselves. We must enter in at the narrow gate. We must be stripped, utterly naked, helpless and in ourselves hopeless. We must find our all in Him, and finding our all in Him will mean that we find all that is in us, and all that is in the world, to be valueless, worth nothing, worth less than nothing. All that we have in ourselves and all that the world has to offer means less to us than the influence of a spider’s web on the downward course and speed of a falling anvil.
The world cannot give what we need. It cannot give life. It cannot give love: its ‘love’ is mutable and conditioned on payback. The world does not, will not and cannot honor Him to whom all honor and glory are due. The world cannot do justly. The world cannot do right. The world cannot satisfy God’s justice. It cannot fulfill His law. The world cannot make peace with God. The world cannot know God, which is eternal life. The world does not know and cannot love the Lord Jesus Christ. The world is passing away. But Christ is all. Having Him, we have all things. If I have Christ, all things are mine, whether the world or life or death or things present or things to come. (Gen. 33:9-11 -- Jacob’s enough means ‘all things’; 1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:9-10; 1 Cor. 3:21-23).
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).