Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…
If the soul be without knowledge it is not good. This is true in regard to worldly knowledge; much more to heavenly.
I. ITS OBJECT — Christ Jesus. It —
1. Comprehends adoring views of the Divinity of His Person. Do away with these, and scriptural revelation becomes chaos.
2. Involves intelligent apprehensions of the mediatorial and vicarious character of His work (Romans 3:25).
3. Includes a believing and experimental acquaintance with the way in which sinners become interested in the blessings of redemption by being reconciled to God through faith in Christ.
4. Implies an obedient regard and solemn recognition of the high authority of Christ as King and Lawgiver.
II. ITS NATURE.
1. It is not visual and corporeal, but intellectual and theoretical. The former was the ease in the days of our Saviour's flesh, and yet to many it was of no avail. While something more than head knowledge is required, yet that is essential. Ignorance is not the mother of devotion.
2. Experimental and appropriating; this is unintelligible to carnal men. Who can make a blind man understand colours, or a deaf man sounds. Sin has got into the heart, Christ also must get there.
3. Practical and constraining. Mere uninfluential knowledge of Christ will only aggravate the sinner's doom. Hell is full of it, Does your knowledge, then, lead you to love good works, to hate sin, to be humble and obedient?
III. ITS EXCELLENCY.
1. It is the essence of all gospel truth.
2. By it alone we obtain a comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the Divine character. "The world by wisdom knew not God," but he that hath seen Christ, hath seen the Father.
3. It may be seen in the excellency of those who have made and still make it their chief study. Angels, Prophets, Apostles, and the greatest of uninspired geniuses — Bacon, Newton, Milton, Locke.
4. In the excellent effects it produces on individual character. There is no necessary connection between science and sanctity, but that between the knowledge of Christ and purity and charity is inevitable.
5. In its improving influence on society at large. Compare heathen nations with Christian.
6. The possession of it stander in inseparable connection with the salvation of the soul. What is civilization compared with this?
7. It shall outlive and eclipse all other knowledge.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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,
WEB: Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ