But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of
Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them
rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my
own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the
righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Paul says that all of his religion is like trash compared to having
his relationship with Jesus Christ. He had been one of the top of the heap as far as the
religious system was concerned but his position in the system did not bring him
righteousness with God. The same thing is true today even in "the Church" as many attend
regularly and go through the motions, traditions and rituals without faith in Jesus. If
we compare our actions with that of Paul, we even come up short and he said that all of
his qualifications were as trash. Paul lost his religion and we need to as well because
it does not have the power to save.