(2) The refuge of carnal ease. The knowledge of Christ excels all other, inasmuch as it rests on the infallible testimony of God.3. But do not be proud. All this gain is to be reaped in life; but the believer gains much more by death: for then we shall awake in His likeness.III. 3. The greatness and dignity of its subject. So identified with SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE, that when he gained Him his whole nature was filled with power and gladness. (6) Domestic and social relations are great mercies, but we must part from them. Other things are mere conveniences. Man's desire is to be happy, and nothing outside of Christ is necessary to this end, for with Christ man may be happy and lack every earthly blessing (Philippians 4:13). (e)Content not yourselves with light without heat. Abide in your refuge.2. (2) Men are gainers, lose what they will for Christ.2. (Professor Eadie. So identified with the LIFE that when he gained Him he was endowed with the noblest form of it.III. (2)Communion with God for them who have been afar off. It imports that we are naturally without Him (Ephesians 2:12). QUERIES OF PROFIT AND LOSS.1. (c)Let the Word of God be familiar to you (Colossians 3:16; John 5:39; Deuteronomy 6:6-9). T. (1) You are in earnest as regards the end with reference to which you estimate what is gain (ver. COMPREHENSIVENESS. It shall outlive and eclipse all other knowledge. A doubting Christian is unfit to act for Christ in a difficult time. The Church shares this curiosity with regard to the eminent servants of Christ; and it has pleased God with regard to two of them to gratify this feeling. THE GRAND SCOPE OF THE APOSTLE. What an instance of the influence of Divine grace I He had been Christ's bitterest foe. The mind may be dazzled by a splendid conjecture, and astonished by a wonderful narrative, but it can rest in neither until verified. It imports that we are naturally without Him (Ephesians 2:12). F. B. Tinling, B. It will abide when we have lost all other things (Matthew 6:19-20).3. "(2) But this has also a moral reference, being quickened in Christ from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. WHAT THIS KNOWLEDGE IS.1. Use, to persuade us to own Christ as a Lord. Death. Buchanan, D. D.If the real worth and dignity of our knowledge in any department depend on the subject to which our thoughts are directed, it were easy to show that the religious peasant may find a nobler subject of thought in the structure of a flower, than the irreligious philosopher finds in the structure of a world!(J. CHRIST HIMSELF IS MOST EXCELLENT, THEREFORE THIS KNOWLEDGE IS EXCELLENT KNOWLEDGE. Do you take Him for and instead of all? (4) Self-righteousness, a house built on sand as Paul found it. (2) Be not subjects in name add by profession only (Colossians 1:10).III. L. They have made a good choice that have received Christ.3. SUBSTITUTES FOR CHRIST. Daily providence.4. Cost what it will they will not think they are even hands but gainers.3. We are to stand on nothing so as we may gain Christ.(T. Exhortation. Nothing too much for Him, but be content to have Him on any terms.2. And, therefore, viewing what was in Christ as in comparison with Judaism, Paul felt that the old forms and types and usages were now as the refuse which the spirit had put away on receiving for itself, and appropriating for its full health and growth and nutriment, Christ's revelation.(T. Lynch. But he gave up everything to come as you must come, an empty handed, empty hearted sinner to Christ. USES.1. T. Some subjects are so inconsiderable that the knowledge of them is of little value, and a mind may be full of them without being enlarged, because the subject of its thought is insignificant. (b)They are enemies to our faith. IT IS THE CHRISTIAN'S GRAND OBJECT, AND SHOULD BE THE DESIGN OF EVERY ONE TO WIN OR GAIN CHRIST.1. "He giveth power to the weak."3. (2)All together. As guilty sinners, under the curse and condemnation of the law, we wanted a Saviour who should bear our sins and provide such a salvation as would harmonize the moral attributes of God, and make it honourable in God to pardon. This is always the object which St. Paul sets before himself and his readers; hence the vital interest of his life and writings.3. (2)In His love. What is our loss without Christ?3. (1) How foolish are men who, like Martha, are diligent to get other things, but who neglect the one thing needful. When the apostle wrote these words he had been serving Christ for thirty years, and had derived no earthly advantage, but had suffered every earthly loss for Him. To apprehend Christ yours on good grounds is the excellency of this knowledge.3. TO BE FOUND IN CHRIST is it the fitting sequel of winning Christ.1. David and St. Paul are to us more than historic characters; we are admitted into the inner workings of their hearts. T. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. Some subjects are so inconsiderable that the knowledge of them is of little value, and a mind may be full of them without being enlarged, because the subject of its thought is insignificant. (1) If Christ be gain then we may make some losses for Christ if we may not have them and Him too (Hebrews 11:26; Mark 10:29-30). And then it is not a thing or a system, but an individual. All this gain is to be reaped in life; but the believer gains much more by death: for then we shall awake in His likeness.III. Study the excellences of His person, the advantages of His offices, the riches of His grace. Of many things we may be ignorant, because we cannot attain the knowledge of them; and of many others we may safely be ignorant; but this knowledge is necessary to salvation (Proverbs 19:2). A heirship.(T. Christ is appropriated as gain. Ignorance is not the mother of devotion.2. (2) A saving knowledge such as is accompanied by, (a)Faith, i.e., a certain persuasion of the truth of our redemption by Christ upon evidence so as we may venture our souls and all our interest in His hands (John 6:69; Acts 2:36; John 17:8).(b)Love. If a Christian met with it, he would possess it with safeguards, receive it with thankfulness, use it with diligence, as a good steward. (4) This interest is a most enriching interest — "All things are yours. Christ is a friend that will help in all cases. The true knowledge of Christ engages the heart and captivates the soul — "They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee." They have made a good choice that have received Christ.3. By comparison. There can be no faith in or love to Jesus without it. (2) Those who part with Christ for temporal profit (Hebrews 12:16).2. F. B. Tinling, B. A.Men who have made the greatest sacrifices for the cause of Christ have hardly been conscious of them. Do away with these, and scriptural revelation becomes chaos. Then you may claim all the benefits of His salvation as your own.2. That you may win Him He sends forth His servants with invitations; He offers His blessings gratuitously; He throws a thousand impediments in your downward course, so that you may go to Him.IV. ITS TENDENCY IS TO GENERATE LIVELY HOPE, AND FILL THE SOUL WITH PEACE AND JOY.V. Christ is, won so as to be enjoyed as gain; and yet not as the miser wins wealth to hoard it, or the spendthrift to waste it, but for profitable use.II. Practical and constraining. Thompson. (2) If the latter, it is no wonder that what things were gain to you are now counted loss, for they seem but to aggravate your condition of wrong standing, however good they may be in a sense, and however you may multiply them. It lays down for our guidance a clear, simple, and comprehensive rule for the whole conduct of life, marking out the end at which we should steadfastly aim, and the means by which we should seek to attain it: and it affords us the blessed assurance that Christ Himself will be our leader, and His Spirit our guide. (3)In His offices and work.II. How thoroughly He meets our case. WHAT GAIN WE HAVE IN HAVING CHRIST.1. Of many things we may be ignorant, because we cannot attain the knowledge of them; and of many others we may safely be ignorant; but this knowledge is necessary to salvation (Proverbs 19:2). It is derivative, and cannot be supreme, but subordinate (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2; Philippians 2:11). (Canon Miller. The apostle had won Christ already, but he would win a full enjoyment of Him.2. Many kinds of knowledge have no direct influence on character or conduct, but in this knowledge, all that is useful in truth is blended with whatever is beautiful in morals, and both are so represented that no man can be familiarized with the Bible without being elevated. Be about them what they will, if Christ be not in them they will count them loathsome.5. Had not Paul won Him already? To what purpose otherwise is its display? There was a knowledge of Christ Jesus set forth in the paschal lamb, as eaten by the Israelites, and in the lifting up of the brazen serpent. Winslow, D. D.)The excellency of Christian knowledgeJ. Christ is gained when we get an interest in Him and in His benefits (1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 3:14). To what purpose otherwise is its display? His are unsearchable riches.4. What so great as a kingdom? And, therefore, viewing what was in Christ as in comparison with Judaism, Paul felt that the old forms and types and usages were now as the refuse which the spirit had put away on receiving for itself, and appropriating for its full health and growth and nutriment, Christ's revelation.(T. (4) There is no ease that is permanently pleasant but in Christ. In most cases reconciliation is more likely to be effected by letting the matter sleep and die. (4)Saints on earth. The former was the ease in the days of our Saviour's flesh, and yet to many it was of no avail. The magnitude of the evils it averts and the value of the benefits it secures. It has a powerful efficacy on the heart and life. For defence, that I may meet every adversary.2. It is most necessary. By this they have a spirit of discerning. USES.1. Yet from the vividness and instructiveness of its imagery, he was enabled to let go every false confidence and rely only on the true. This is the theme to which the apostle deliberately bent his unequalled powers, and the more we know of it the less shall we wonder that he determined to know nothing else. Abraham (John 8:56); Moses (Hebrews 11:26); the Prophets (1 Peter 1:10-11); and Kings (Luke 10:23-24); Paul (1 Corinthians 2:1-2); angels (1 Peter 1:12; Exodus 37:9).2. It implies an experimental acquaintance with him. May I become a par taker of Him? (5) A hasty inconsiderate profession of religion from whatever motive.2. As he was failing he grasped a little branch of some bush that was growing halfway down. if not the excuse will not screen the sinner in the day of God's visitation. Manton, D. D.)The excellency of the knowledge of ChristR. The heathen world is an evidence of this. (c)Let the Word of God be familiar to you (Colossians 3:16; John 5:39; Deuteronomy 6:6-9). sure. I see an instant end of the weary attempt to amend the old position, and a way wonderfully open for the immediate occupying of a new one.2. Remember that St. Paul did not write these words in the first fervour and flush of a new conversion. Creation (Colossians 1:16).2. The only revealer of God. Can any votary of pleasure after thirty years' service of self, sin, and Satan say that there is nothing more he desires so much as a few more of those sinful gratifications?2. (3)In His offices and work.II. The Christian hath the kingdom of God within him. (a)Because the saints may attain to it. Two questions arise.1. Innumerably more excellencies than are in all creatures together are in Christ alone, for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.IV. Remember the rich fool! That which will turn everything to our advantage — "All things work together for good." With the utmost certainty — "yea, doubtless." Burder. With affection, counting all things loss and dung. I. (2)In His love. "(a) The Christian hath more in possession than the greatest on earth. Comprehends adoring views of the Divinity of His Person. What it is to win Him and how. Everlasting (Luke 10:42).4. Conclusion:1. Philippians 3:8 New International Version (NIV) 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. THE MANNER IN WHICH THE APOSTLE DELIVERS HIMSELF ON THIS GREAT SUBJECT.1. In knowing Christ we know the glorious excellencies of God (John 14:7; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:6).3. (2) Saints in heaven are only like the lilies wearing a glory for which they never toiled. (3)In His offices and work.II. Ay, but when Christ appears, when the Sun of Righteousness arises in the heart and discovers His excellency, His all-sufficiency, then a man's own sparks vanish; then all his formerly beloved and rich esteemed ornaments are cast off; then all he has, and all he has done, privileges and outward services, are loss and dung. 3. In Him are hid all the treasures of them.2. "(3) Whatever excellence is in anything else, it is derived from Him. Resolve to give yourself up to Him to serve Him. In ancient times there were thousands of followers of the systems of Aristotle or of Plato, but whoever heard of such an expression as "in Aristotle." If so, be thankful (Matthew 13:16; Luke 10:21; Jeremiah 9:23-24).3. It should be our constant and vigorous effort to increase in it daily.2. I see an instant end of the weary attempt to amend the old position, and a way wonderfully open for the immediate occupying of a new one.2. Human science diverges into several branches. THE POSSIBILITY OF WINNING THIS PRIZE. Christ is, won so as to be enjoyed as gain; and yet not as the miser wins wealth to hoard it, or the spendthrift to waste it, but for profitable use.II. (5)His enemies.2. Here we have the key phrase of St. Paul's writings; but it is only a continuation of the Master's teaching (John 15)(1) This has reference to the believer's legal condition before God. )The great prizeL. All these figures had their substance in their great Antitype. He awoke. Most useful.4. The writers of the Old and New Testaments are like the cherubim overshadowing the ark — face to face, and looking down at the propitiatory, which is Christ.(J. He is the fountain of life.1. They have some excellencies, He has all; theirs are derived, His original; theirs imperfect, His complete; theirs finite, His infinite. "We are no scholars" is often only an excuse for negligence and indifference. What is our loss without Christ?3. In the gospel we get not only perfect precepts, but the motive union with Christ. )The superiority of the knowledge of ChristD. )Winning ChristW. Conclusion: 1. What is our gain without Christ?2. The Christian in this has "the consolation of Israel," and has more left in Christ than he has lost; but the worldling loses all without compensation.3. Grotius said, "I have destroyed life, laboriously doing nothing. The least practical kind of knowledge is useful, if it raise the mind above those sordid tendencies to which ignorance is allied; but the knowledge of geometry is the more valuable by reason of its many useful applications to mechanical arts; and astronomy itself, the sublimest of all the sciences, by reason of the aids which it affords to the practical art of navigation. To what extent have we given up all things for Christ and the excellency of His knowledge?(L. THE REFUGE.1. (d)Make use of those who are already acquainted with Christ (Hebrews 10:25; Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 15:7). (3) Worldly reputation depend, upon the uncertain thoughts of others and may be easily stained; but the Christian shall shine with eternal honour. In this view the knowledge of Christ is not limited to the facts of His personal history, but represents the sum and substance of saving knowledge. (3) An interest in Christ is the best interest you can have in the world.(T. (2) Saints in heaven are only like the lilies wearing a glory for which they never toiled. So Jesus Christ cannot be taken away from any part of the system of Divine truth, without doing irreparable injury to the beauty and perfection of the whole Christian system — "for to Him gave all the prophets witness." It brings the soul to rest in Christ and His righteousness alone for pardon and acceptance, and to cast away all those rotten proofs of good nature, harmlessness, accomplishments, etc.6. In what respect?(1)Singly. Solomon counted all that was in the world as two great cyphers — "vanity and vexation." )Winning ChristCanon Miller.The world has ever shown curiosity with regard to the inner lives of its great men. Because —1. 2. Are power and strength? So when men are in the state of nature and darkness, then their Church privileges and carnal prerogatives, then their outward performances and self-righteousness, make a fine show in their eyes. Welcome others to it.(W. (2)In His love. But neither the devil nor Christ will be served in this way.2. COMPREHENSIVENESS. But do not be proud. Grotius said, "I have destroyed life, laboriously doing nothing. SUBSTITUTES FOR CHRIST. F. B. Tinling, B. A.Men who have made the greatest sacrifices for the cause of Christ have hardly been conscious of them. They have some excellencies, He has all; theirs are derived, His original; theirs imperfect, His complete; theirs finite, His infinite. But for all this loss he was amply compensated by the gaining of Christ. To what purpose otherwise is its display? (2)In His love. There is a great distinction between all human morality and the morality of the gospel. Nothing too much for Him, but be content to have Him on any terms.2. This is always the object which St. Paul sets before himself and his readers; hence the vital interest of his life and writings.3. For defence, that I may meet every adversary.2. Watson. 9).Winning ChristProfessor Eadie.To the apostle Christ was —I. To count Him gain in opposition to what Paul once counted gain. All things pertaining to life and godliness are given through this knowledge (2 Peter 1:3-4). (2) To those of you who have some of it — grow in it. In the gospel we get not only perfect precepts, but the motive union with Christ. In Him are hid all the treasures of them.2. (1) Because things that nearly concern us do most affect us. (3)In His offices and work.II. Manton, D. D.1. Grotius said, "I have destroyed life, laboriously doing nothing. The writers of the Old and New Testaments are like the cherubim overshadowing the ark — face to face, and looking down at the propitiatory, which is Christ.(J. The Christian hath the kingdom of God within him. All this gain is to be reaped in life; but the believer gains much more by death: for then we shall awake in His likeness.III. attention is focused on what we’re gaining instead of what we’re giving (2)This interest is the one thing necessary.All things must go for necessaries (Matthew 6:25). There is a wide difference between a system and a Saviour, between abstract truth and a living, loving person. What an instance of the influence of Divine grace I He had been Christ's bitterest foe. The apostle desires to win Christ and be found in Him. It has a powerful efficacy on the heart and life. Ay, but when Christ appears, when the Sun of Righteousness arises in the heart and discovers His excellency, His all-sufficiency, then a man's own sparks vanish; then all his formerly beloved and rich esteemed ornaments are cast off; then all he has, and all he has done, privileges and outward services, are loss and dung. Therefore awake from sleep; walk closely with God; examine yourselves; receive the Spirit so freely given of God to bear witness with yours.3. By faith man becomes one in Christ, and when God looks upon him, He looks upon him as being "a man in Christ. Jay.I. Yet from the vividness and instructiveness of its imagery, he was enabled to let go every false confidence and rely only on the true. Buchanan, D. D.Knowledge is one of the most valuable of all attainments. "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?" THEY ARE TRULY WINNERS, LOSE WHAT THEY WILL, WHO GAIN CHRIST. I used the experience as the opening story and as a focusing metaphor throughout the sermon. The spiritual astronomy, which points to Christ as the Morning Star, gives a directory also to guide our course amidst the storms and tempests of that voyage in which we are all embarked. The image of God consists in "knowledge" as well as righteousness, etc. Christ is, won so as to be enjoyed as gain; and yet not as the miser wins wealth to hoard it, or the spendthrift to waste it, but for profitable use.II. But for all this loss he was amply compensated by the gaining of Christ. (5) We must trade and win as merchants do (Mark 10:22).2. That all the knowledge of Christ that brings not to Him is but splendid ignorance according to the Word.2. Only the Christian can meet that with equanimity, for Christ has robbed it of its terrors.4. All knowledge is good, but its highest subject is the greatest Being. Grotius said, "I have destroyed life, laboriously doing nothing. 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