Philippians 3:9
and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.
Christ and FaithL. Mann.Philippians 3:9
Found in ChristT. Boston, D. D.Philippians 3:9
Found in ChristR. Sibbes, D. D.Philippians 3:9
Imputed RighteousnessT. C. Finlayson.Philippians 3:9
RighteousnessJ. Lyth, D. D., T. Boston, D. D.Philippians 3:9
Salvation in ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 3:9
The Believer's RighteousnessJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 3:9
The Righteousness of God by FaithProfessor Eadie.Philippians 3:9
The Two RighteousnessesPhilippians 3:9
Christian JoyJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 3:1-11
Grounds of Christian RejoicingJ. Lyth, D. D., W. D. Pope, D. D.Philippians 3:1-11
It is God's Will that We Should Rejoice in HimPhilippians 3:1-11
Joy in the LordR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 3:1-11
Joy in the LordKnox Little.Philippians 3:1-11
Joy is not Always EcstasyH. W. Beecher.Philippians 3:1-11
Prideless PrideJ. J. Goadby.Philippians 3:1-11
Repeating the Same TeachingJ. Hutchison, D. D.Philippians 3:1-11
RepetitionH. Airay, D. D., R. Sibbes, D. D.Philippians 3:1-11
The Elevating Power of JoyKnox Little.Philippians 3:1-11
The Importance of Christian JoyR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 3:1-11
The Joy of Christian BrethrenR. Sibbes, D. D.Philippians 3:1-11
The Repetition of Old Truth IsJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 3:1-11
The Usefulness of RepetitioH. Melvill, B. D.Philippians 3:1-11
The True CircumcisionR. Finlayson Philippians 3:1-16
Privileges no Ground of TrustR. Johnstone, LL. D.Philippians 3:4-10
The Faith of St. PaulT. Jones, D. D.Philippians 3:4-10
A Business-Like AccountC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 3:7-9
Christ is True GainJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 3:7-9
Diverse Estimates of Paul's SacrificesJ. Trapp.Philippians 3:7-9
Life for ChristJ. Vaughan, M. A.Philippians 3:7-9
Loss for GainC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 3:7-9
Self-Renunciation for Christ not to be RegrettedJ. F. B. Tinling., Sunday at Home.Philippians 3:7-9
The Christian's AccountsDean Vaughan.Philippians 3:7-9
The Gain of LossL'Estrange.Philippians 3:7-9
The Importance of Spiritual AccountsJ. Hutchison, D. D.Philippians 3:7-9
Worldly Honour Consecrated to ChristJ. F. B. Tinling.Philippians 3:7-9
The Knowledge of Christ the One Thing NeedfulV. Hutton Philippians 3:8, 9
Phases of ChristD. Thomas Philippians 3:8-11
The EnthusiastR.M. Edgar Philippians 3:8-11
The True Ground of a Sinner's HopeT. Croskery Philippians 3:8-11
I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.


1. It implies a knowledge of the way of salt, afloat, the Word of God being our guide. (Romans 10:17.) Eternal life hinges upon it. "This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). It is by this knowledge we are justified. "By his knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many" (Isaiah 53:11).

2. It implies an experimental acquaintance with him. It is he himself who gives us the knowledge of himself. "He hath given us an understanding that we may know him who is true" (1 John 5:20). We thus realize Christ in pardoning mercy, in subduing grace, in abiding peace.

II. THE EXCELLENCY OF THIS KNOWLEDGE. This may be set forth either positively by the nature and effects of the knowledge in question, or by contrasting it with all the things the apostle classes among "loss."

1. Positively.

(1) The experience of all God's people attests its excellence.

(2) The Word of God proclaims its excellence (Jeremiah 9:24).

(3) It is through this knowledge we become partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:3).

(4) It is by it we are enabled to escape the corruptions of the world (2 Peter 2:20).

2. By contrast with all things classed as loss. "I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." He had already included in this class all the distinguishing privileges and prerogatives of his Jewish descent, as well as three points in his personal character which, as a Jew, he had made the subject of boasting. But he now expands the language so as to include all things whatsoever, conceivable or inconceivable, as lying under the category of loss. Everything was valueless under the sun when weighed against the knowledge of Christ.

III. THE APOSTLE'S CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS POSSESSING CHRIST. "Christ Jesus my Lord." This is the happy language of assurance.

IV. HIS PRESENT AND ABIDING SENSE OF THE EXCELLENCY OF THIS KNOWLEDGE. He spoke before in the past tense, "I counted these things loss for Christ." He now gives us his present judgment respecting the whole momentous concern, "I do count them but loss and dung." - T.C.

And be found in him
I. SHOW HOW OR WHEN GOD COMES TO SEARCH AND THE SAINTS ARE FOUND IN CHRIST. The world is a confused heap, and many times the counterfeits are found among the jewels, but God hath searching times and will find them out.

1. The preaching of the Word is a time of plain searching in Christ.

2. A time of temptation.

3. A season of the Church's trouble and persecution. A true friend is known in adversity, so is Christ to the believer, and he to Christ.

4. The time of death and judgment.


1. As branches in the true vine (John 15:1-6). So are they safe, for barren trees shall be cut down for the fire, but Christ mystical is a tree the axe cannot approach.

2. In a place of refuge. "The Lord shall be as a sanctuary to them." They are in the city of refuge where one drop of wrath cannot fall.

3. Under a covert, in a hiding place — even the Mediator's covenant blood.

4. In the covenant, in Christ's chariot (Song of Solomon 3:9, 10; Isaiah 27:4-5).


1. God will search and find out every one of us, be where we will. We may deceive ourselves and others, but God is not mocked who searchest the reins.

2. If God find us out of Christ we are undone. We shall have nothing to shelter us when He draws us out of our lurking holes.

3. if we are found in Christ we shall be safe in time and eternity, blow the storm as it may. Over trouble He will lift up our head; and when death comes it shall be without its sting.

IV. THE USES. Let it be your great care to be found in Christ as Noah in the ark, and Lot in Zoar.

1. Let not the searching time find you at a disadvantage.(1) In an unregenerate state — "dead in trespasses and sins." This is a soul-ruining state, fire meeting stubble; the judge the criminal.

2. Be found in Christ.

(1)United to Him by His Spirit through faith.

(2)Walking in Him.

(3)Living in Him and upon Him (Galatians 2:20).


1. If you be found in Christ, He will be found in you, so shall you have a double security in time of trial (John 17:21-23). Christ is found in believers as in His own house.(1) His dwelling, and who will not defend that.(2) His banquetting house. What provisions He brings with Him for storm and Beige.(3) His fortified house. "None shall pluck them out of My hand."(4) His temple, which He will not allow to be profaned.(5) His garden. He "will water it every moment," hedge it about and preserve it.(6) As the soul in the body (Colossians 3:4; Galatians 2:20; Acts 2:25-27).

2. If you be not found in Christ you will be found in a bad case in time and in eternity.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

The phrase implies —

1. That there is an estate in Christ.

2. An abiding in it.

I. LET US EXPLAIN THE PHRASE. It is taken from plants which are grafted into stocks, or from the branches which are in the tree. Of this union there are three degrees.

1. We are in Christ in the eternal love and purpose of God.

2. When Christ died we were in Him as a public person.

3. More properly now by faith, as friends are in one another by love. But as Christ is in heaven, how can we be united to Him? I answer, If a tree did reach to heaven and have its root in the earth, doth this hinder the union of root and branches. And although Christ be in heaven, yet are we united to Him by His Spirit, and receive influence from Him of all grace and goodness.


1. Justification by faith. For if the question is, How are we saved by Christ's righteousness? I answer, Christ and we are one, and whatsoever He hath is ours.

2. The sacrament. The Paoists would have the bread transubstantiated, that the body of Christ may be united to us. But I ask, How is the foot united to head? By spiritual vigour passing to and fro through the body. It is not, therefore, necessary that there should be corporal union. Christ comforted His disciples more by His Spirit when He departed, than He did by His corporal presence.

III. THE COMFORT OF THIS. Before we were in Christ we were in a state of horror and condemnation. But now we are in Him —

1. Our nature is exalted to the Godhead.

2. Whatever we may lose in other states here is a state that cannot be shaken.

3. Blessed are those who die in the Lord.

4. After death we shall be with Him in our Father's house. 5, All who touch us touch Him (Acts 9:4).


1. In duties towards God how thankful we ought to be to Him.

2. It ought to stir us up to duties in respect to our fellow members, particularly in charity to Christ's poor.

3. Towards ourselves. We are to carry ourselves with dignity, and to grow up into our living head.


1. We must come where He is.

2. We must separate ourselves from what is contrary to Christ.Learn —

1. That a Christian is continually under Christ's wing till he be in heaven.

2. There is such a time when God will search men out and lay them open as they are.

3. The foundation of future happiness must be laid now.

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

Not having mine own righteousness

1. His own is either.(1) The false, superficial righteousness which He had as a Pharisee (ver. 6), or(2) any that might stand in competition with Christ.

2. The righteousness of God is His gracious method of pardoning penitent believers in the gospel, and accepting them to life in Christ. This is so called because —

(1)It is found out by God (Job 33:24).

(2)Given by God (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

(3)Accepted by God (Matthew 3:17).


1. His own is by "the law," the other that which is "by the faith of Christ," i.e. appointed by God, merited by Christ, and received by faith.

2. These are often opposed (Romans 3:21-22; Romans 10:3).

3. The law may be taken in two ways, either for —(1) The law of works, which required a man to be justified by a perfect, sinless obedience of his own. This is opposed to the righteousness of God by faith in Christ (Romans 1:17-18; Romans 3:20), and by justification is impossible, for none of us have it. If we had, there were no sin, and no place for Christ; but we have all broken with God, and can show no work justifiable by the law (Romans 3:12).(2) Or the ceremonial law. By this Paul proves that no man can be justified, and therefore the Jews sought righteousness where it was not to be found, and were guilty of a three-fold error.(a) They thought that pardon and acceptance were to be secured by the bare works of that law.(b) They overlooked and rejected Christ, who is the end of righteousness to every believer.(c) They would keep up this law when it was to be abrogated.


1. That which he renounced was(1) partly the superficial righteousness of conformity to the external law, a mere speculative righteousness, and(2) partly the righteousness of the law covenant which some falsely fancied they might fulfil.

2. That which he affected was "to be found in Christ," etc.(1) The state of His person, or the way this is applied.(a) The word "found" is emphatic, and often used with respect to the day of judgment (2 Corinthians 5:3; 2 Peter 3:14; Matthew 24:46). It implies that the last day is one of exact search and trial.(b) "In Christ," i.e., incorporated into His mystical body, or united to Him by the Spirit (John 15:2; Romans 8:1). Being united to Him by faith, love, and holiness, we are made partakers of His righteousness.(2) The righteousness with which He would appear before God. The righteousness of the new covenant is two fold.(a) The supreme righteousness is Christ's obedience unto death (Romans 5:18-19), i.e., our great righteousness before God by which His justice is satisfied, and by the merit of which all the blessings of the new covenant are procured for us.(b) The subordinate righteousness, or the way and means and conditions by which we get an interest in and a right to this supreme righteousness is faith (Romans 4:3), and our continuance in it is conditional on a new obedience (1 John 3:7; 1 John 2:29). This has respect to the final judgment (Matthew 25:46), where the righteous are those who are fruitful in good works. Conclusion: We are justified by faith only, without works, as Paul asserted; and by works and not by faith only, which is the assertion of James. Justification hath respect to some accusation, and as there is a two-fold law of works and grace, there is a two-fold accusation and justification. Now when we are accused as breakers of the law of works we plead Christ's satisfaction as our righteousness, no works of our own. But when we are accused as non-performers of the conditions of the covenant of grace, as being neglecters of Christ the Mediator, we are justified by producing our faith or sincere obedience. Whence learn —

1. That the day of judgment will be a day of exact search and trial (Romans 14:12).

2. That in this day there is no appearing before God with safety and comfort without righteousness of some sort or another (1 Samuel 6:20).

3. The righteousness of the law of works we cannot have (Galatians 3:10; Romans 3:23; Psalm 143:3).

4. Man having broken this law, is lost or disabled to his own recovery, or to do anything whereby to satisfy God (Romans 5:6).

5. Because man was under such an impotency Christ became the Mediator, and

(1)Became a sacrifice to offended justice (Ephesians 5:2).

(2)A ransom for sinners (1 Timothy 2:6).

6. Upon His death Christ acquired a new right of dominion over the world, to save on His own terms (Romans 14:9: Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:7-11).

7. Being possessed of this Lordship, He has made a new law of grace for our recovery (Mark 16:16; John 3:16-18).(1) He hath set down the terms of life and death.(2) The privileges of the new grant are exceeding great — pardon, peace, adoption, the gift of the Spirit, and the right to glory.(3) The danger of final impenitency and refusing these things, and not submitting to this righteousness is very grievous (Hebrews 10:39).

8. The terms of the new law are repentance, faith, and new obedience.

(T. Manton, D. D.)

I. The righteousness of the LAW —

1. Consists in works.

2. Is our own.

3. Is defective and useless.

II. The righteousness of FAITH —

1. Is through Christ.

2. Perfect.

3. Acceptable to God.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. Righteousness is the result of obedience to the law. Christ fulfilled the law in our room.

1. By His active obedience to its commands. Now the law demands of the sinner were very high.(1) Spotlessness of nature, for if the fountain be poisoned, how can the streams be wholesome. The Son of God satisfied this demand by taking on Himself a sinless body and soul.(2) An obedience as broad as the law — "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things." Christ fulfilled all righteousness and did no sin.(3) An obedience raised to the highest degree the law requires. It is not enough to be sincere or do one's best. Christ answered this by His perfect love to God and man.(4) Continuance to the end without the least failure (Galatians 3:10). Christ became obedient unto death.

2. By his passive obedience. Failing in active righteousness the law takes hold of the sinner and says, "Pay what thou owest."(1) The law required life as the penalty of transgression — "In the day that thou eatest," etc. Christ satisfied this demand by dying "the just for the unjust."(2) The sufferings must be voluntary, for God hates robbery for burnt offering. Christ for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.

II. THIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RECEIVED BY FAITH. It is received and becomes ours by faith, as faith unites us to Christ. Upon this union follows a communion with Christ in His righteousness. The soul by faith marries with Christ and the righteousness is its dowry. The soul flies to Christ for refuge, and that righteousness is its cover.


1. That only can shelter us from the wrath of God which satisfies His law, and this righteousness alone satisfies His law.

2. It is the righteousness of God, so called because —

(1)It is of Him who is God (Jeremiah 23:6).

(2)Accepted of God.

3. It is the righteousness of the only wise God to save sinners, when nothing else could do it (Psalm 40:6-7).Conclusion.

1. Never entertain low thoughts of sin. It is the worst of evils, which could not be remedied but by the sufferings of Christ.

2. Never entertain low thoughts of forgiveness. Every pardon is the price of blood more precious than a thousand worlds.

(T. Boston, D. D.)


1. Not personal, but through Christ.

2. Not of the law but by faith.


1. In Christ in whom the believer dwells.

2. Is found here and hereafter.


1. It is purposed.

2. Originated.

3. Effected.

4. Approved by God.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

History and our own personal life has no more strange and pathetic page than is suggested by the words, "I have suffered the loss of all things."

1. We are started on an infinite journey; and no surer witness to this exists than in the easy and familiar way in which we let object after object fall from our lives in our pursuit of what seems to be greater. Or like a general who leaves the stronghold he is defending, deserting cannon and baggage and the unfinished toil of months because the tide of battle has set elsewhere and all his force must be concentrated there, so are we in the great battle of life.

2. The same thing is true in higher regions. We cannot rest in intellectual attainment. We climb where thought is giddy; and at last, here is law. Where is God? Without that discovery know ledge is dross, and we can suffer the loss of it if we can but reach Him and be right with Him.

I. THE FAILURE OF LEGAL RIGHTEOUSNESS TO BEING US PEACE. Through such a process as that to which we have referred the apostle had passed in the urgent march of his spirit to its home in the heart of Christ. There is a tone almost of solemn mocking in the appeal he makes to the past. "My Saviour did not find me among the offscourings of the world. He did not pick me from the mire. If any man had a right to boast I had." But it all led him to the "O wretched man that I am," etc. This law, under the mountain shadow of which we have been standing, brought him, brings us, no peace. All that it can do is to open the doors of the temple, which by faith we must enter if we would behold God.


1. There is a condition where no such cry is heard — the Pharisaical. A man may go on looking at the outward so long, and so succeed in stifling his spiritual aspirations as to arrive at the conclusion that all he can do is to obey the letter of the law.

2. But a man who has found out that even strict obedience to the moral law cannot reveal God will understand this cry. The highest commands that law ever laid, and the lowliest obedience ever rendered, have no Divine significance but in the revelation of an Infinite Person, to whom we stand personally related. We ask to be clothed with Himself.

III. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS REVEALED TO FAITH. To the apostle the voice of faith that is in Christ was a sufficient answer to this cry. "Not having mine own righteousness." The Incarnation was the only possible answer for God to give and for us to receive. The law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might receive Himself. This is enough, and in Christ we have the righteousness of God.

(L. Mann.)

This righteousness is the only ground of acceptance with God. It is not of mine, but of God, as in His grace He has provided it, so that it is said of us we are "justified freely by His grace." It is wrought out by Christ and in His blood (Romans 5:9); or it is "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." It becomes ours through faith. This faith is "counted for righteousness," or subjectively "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness." Of the possessor of such righteousness it may be said that "a man is justified in the sight of God." Christ obeyed the law for us and suffered its penalty, and the merit of this obedience unto death becomes ours as soon as we can say, "We have believed in Jesus." He that was unrighteous becomes righteous, and escapes the condemnation which sin merits (Romans 8:1; Romans 1:18); nay, enjoys the benefit of redemption (Ephesians 1:7). When works of law are disclaimed, and faith is simply reposed on God, guilt is cancelled, acceptance enjoyed, and such a change of state involves a change of character (Romans 8:4). The sinner is not indeed held by any legal fiction to be innocent. The entire process implies his guilt, but he is no longer exposed to its penalty; he is held, or dealt with, as a righteous person, "the external justice of Christ Jesus being imputed to Him" (Hooker). And the result is (Romans 8:30). This righteousness, Divine in its origin, awful in its medium, and fraught with such results, was the essential element of Paul's religion and the distinctive tenets of His theology.

(Professor Eadie.)

The grand truth of this doctrine lies just here — when a sinner casts himself in penitence on the mercy of his Saviour, God estimates him not according to what he has been, or is in himself, but according to what he is in relation to Christ. We ourselves are constantly estimating things and persons as they stand related to other things and persons. The geologist estimates the significance of certain remains according to the strata in which they are "found." The chemist estimates the action of certain elements according as they are "found in" this or that combination. The merchant estimates goods according as they stand related to the needs of this or that market. You present your sample; he refuses. "These things won't sell now out yonder in Brazil." You say, "Oh! but judge them on their own merits; see what excellent cloth, what beautiful patterns." But it is of no use. You go into a garden in the early spring when the leaves are just beginning to appear. Two branches are touching each other. The gardener says, "This branch will be laden with fruit, but that will have little or none upon it." You see no difference. The leaves are as fresh and green on the one as on the other. But the gardener judges them according to their relations. The one branch is "found in" a tree which he knows to be fruitful, the other in one he knows to be almost barren. Is it a fiction when he imputes the qualities of the stock to the branch? Or he comes into your garden and sees in one of your borders a plant which is not thriving. "That plant," he says, "will die here, put it in the hothouse." He comes back in a few weeks, and the same plant is "found in" the hothouse. "It is all right now," he says. He does not mean that it has recovered vitality or beauty, but it is in the fair way to health. Its change of relation has "saved" it. Or, say that you go into the studio of a famous artist, and you see him sketching a picture on the canvas. It is but little — only a faint outline; but he tells you his idea, and you know how he has worked out other ideas. It is only a beginning as yet; but it stands related to a master hand, and you can imagine what it will be when finished. Your estimate of the same picture would be very different if you "found" it in the studio, and under the hand of an inferior artist. Or again, you may be told that a newborn babe and a newborn ape are each a mere piece of flesh and blood, and that under the dissecting knife little difference could be detected between them. But the babe is "found in" humanity. It stands related to the human race, and you estimate it according to its latent capacities, although at present there may be no sign of distinctive intelligence. Or, you may apply to have your life insured, and you go to a physician to be examined. He inquires as to any illness you may have had, and into your present state. But he also asks about your parents; when, and of what they died, and also about your brothers and sisters. You might say, "Why not judge of my case purely upon its own merits?" No; his judgment will depend partly on the family stock in which you are found, and he will "impute" to you the healthy or unhealthy qualities of the family stock. And is God not to estimate men according to their relation to Himself, and to His Son? No man is "justified" in living a life of sin, nor in living a life of self-confident Pharisiasm; but when a man comes in a humble and contrite heart and throws himself on the mercy of the righteous One, praying for pardon, and cleansing, and strength to live a better life, his relation is changed and he is justified.

(T. C. Finlayson.)

A man had been condemned in a Spanish court to be shot, but being an American citizen, and also of English birth, the consuls of the two countries interposed, and declared that the Spanish authorities had no power to put him to death. What did they do to secure his life when their protest was not sufficient? They wrapped him up in their flags, they covered him with the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack, and defied the executioners. "Now fire a shot if you dare, for if you do so, you defy the nations represented by those flags, and you will bring the powers of those two great empires upon you." There stood the man, and before him the soldiery, and though a single shot might have ended his life, yet he was as invulnerable as though encased in triple steel. Even so Jesus Christ has taken my poor guilty soul ever since I believed in Him, and has wrapped around me the blood-red flag of His atoning sacrifice; and before God can destroy me or any other soul that is wrapped in the atonement, He must insult His Son and dishonour His sacrifice, and that He will never do, blessed be His name.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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