But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ Philippians 3:7-8, ESV
First, we must go hard after Christ in order to know him. Verses 7 and 8: “Whatever gain I had I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Paul went hard after Christ, forsaking all the things people normally boast about; and he did it in order to know him. Notice verse 7 is past tense—probably referring to conversion (“I counted all loss”). But verse 8 is present tense: he continues to renounce everything that hinders his getting to know Christ.
Why? Because knowing Christ is a value that surpasses everything else. The evidence of conversion is whether you become a Christian Hedonist. Christian Hedonists always go hard after the highest value. They sell everything joyfully for the buried treasure and pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44–45). We must go hard after Christ, because not to means that we don’t want to know him. And not to want to know Christ is an insult to his value and a sign of spiritual stupor or deadness in us. But when you go hard after Christ, to know him, the reward is your joy and his honor.
Paul prays for us in Ephesians 3:18–19 that we “may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” There is so much of Christ yet to be known! His wonders are inexhaustible to all eternity. You, who claim that he is your pearl of great price and your treasure chest of holy joy and yet who do not go hard after him to know him, are caught in a contradiction that cannot go on. You must go hard after Christ, or eventually surrender your claim to own him as the Lord of joy.