This coming from Paul awakens —1. Take, e.g., the character of Christ.6. To confirm this consider —1. Religion only, of all the forms of human knowledge, is immortal; the usefulness of every other is only temporary.(J. (b)Certainty; but Christ is unchangeable. He is our ransom from the wrath of God, and so you have somewhat whereby to appease your guilty fears (Colossians 1:14).2. Manton, D. D.)Winning ChristT. It is most comfortable, for here is comfort at all times and in all cases (Philippians 1:21).2. Adversity. (3) The Scripture insisteth much on a personal entering into covenant with God (2 Chronicles 30:8). THAT ONLY IS THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST WHICH TERMINATES IN AN INTEREST IN AND ENJOYMENT OF HIM. He was conscientious, earnest, and ecclesiastically all that could be required. It makes those who have it excellent (2 Corinthians 3:16, 18; 1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21). He awoke. (3) This interest is satisfying to the soul, while nothing else can give satisfaction, He is substance, all else is shadow and dream. Nothing too much for Him, but be content to have Him on any terms.2. They are apt to glory in them, and rely on them, as that by which they may gain the favour of God and eternal life. A believer cannot always say, "Christ is mine"; but he can say "I am His" (Psalm 119:94).2. (2) His character, also, and office and work (1 Corinthians 2:2; John 1:14). (3) It is superior to the speculative unsanctified notions of nominal Christians (Titus 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:19; Luke 13:27).2. Inquiry. Christ is a friend that will help in all cases. Consider —I. Two points of saving knowledge exemplify this. Jay.I. Let every spark of knowledge kindle zeal and love. )Winning ChristCanon Miller.The world has ever shown curiosity with regard to the inner lives of its great men. God. (2) Men are gainers, lose what they will for Christ.2. Clarkson, B. D.Even as a poor beggar discovering a rich mine or some vast treasures, is ready to leap for joy that he has found that which will make him rich forever; he casts away his former rags, he despises his former poor and wooden furniture, for he has discovered that which will enrich him and make his condition plentiful; so the soul to whom the Lord has made this rich, this excellent discovery of Christ, he has found a mine more precious than gold, and larger than all the face of the earth; he casts off the rags of his own righteousness; his former accomplishments are now but as a beggar's furniture; his heart is full of joy; he says, Rejoice, O, my soul; rejoice with me, my friends, for I have discovered the unsearchable riches of Christ.(D. The wisest know but little of what is to be known (Hosea 6:3; 2 Peter 3:18).(G. So it is with those who have only a speculative knowledge of Christ. So it is with those who have only a speculative knowledge of Christ. Do you take Him for and instead of all? Men sometimes set up a blazing profession because their feelings have been wrought upon, and without any idea of what the profession involves. It is for nothing short of this that you are called upon to count all things but loss. Hell is full of it, Does your knowledge, then, lead you to love good works, to hate sin, to be humble and obedient?III. Is most pleasant. Abide in your refuge.2. Buchanan, D. D.)The relation of the knowledge of Christ to the gospel schemeJ. (b) The little that a Christian hath, having Christ, is more valuable than the abundance of a Christless man. (Professor Eadie. He had a high position and brilliant prospects. Great thoughts in religion are necessary for man; and true religion must in its own nature have them. All these excellencies are in Him in a more excellent manner. He that hath the Son hath life.5. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. Would that every anxious soul would go and do like wise!(J. They have a poor portion who are without Christ.2. Creation (Colossians 1:16).2. (2) On the affections. (h)Make use of Christ's prophetical office.(D. (4) All things besides Christ cannot make a man happy, but Christ can. Looking at the terrible abyss below, he could not. (3) Investing us with the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 53:11). Opposed to all this is Christ. The only uncertainty is that which man's depraved nature invents.3. (1) We must work and win as labourers do (Philippians 2:12). L. Nye.One night an inquirer, long under deep conviction, but still unsaved, dreamt that he was walking along the edge of a terrible precipice, and fell over it into a terrible abyss. (c) The Christian makes a sanctified use of what he possesses, and so "all things work together for good." (2) The refuge of carnal ease. All knowledge is good, but its highest subject is the greatest Being. "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." The profits of sin and its pleasures are renounced as well as self-righteousness.4. Its adaptation to the highest interests of our nature, and its supply for all our yearnings after happiness, knowledge, and a nobler state of being.4. What must we lose to gain Christ?4. Christ, however, is not an external teacher, but He is in me and I in Him, and so I have power to obey His law.II. What would you do without Christ if you were to meet with —1. As faith is belief of the truth, this knowledge includes it.IV. There he hung and cried for help. 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." WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. (8) Life and self are loss without Christ.III. There is a wide difference between a system and a Saviour, between abstract truth and a living, loving person. Take out the science of dynamics from the other sciences and you reduce them to a shadow. IT IS THE CHRISTIAN'S GRAND OBJECT, AND SHOULD BE THE DESIGN OF EVERY ONE TO WIN OR GAIN CHRIST.1. Do we possess it? There is an entirely new estimate of gain and loss. Consider —I. (2) On the affections. A heirship.(T. The loss of all that St. Paul counted gain. What must we do to win Christ?6. THE POSSIBILITY OF WINNING THIS PRIZE. Therefore awake from sleep; walk closely with God; examine yourselves; receive the Spirit so freely given of God to bear witness with yours.3. (2)This interest is the one thing necessary.All things must go for necessaries (Matthew 6:25). THEY ARE TRULY WINNERS, LOSE WHAT THEY WILL, WHO GAIN CHRIST. Boston, D. D.)I. But unblessed of God it is delusive and borders close on misery. THAT ONLY IS THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST WHICH TERMINATES IN AN INTEREST IN AND ENJOYMENT OF HIM. (1) On the judgment; when this knowledge in Christ is exalted as the chiefest among ten thousand, and the richest treasure esteemed dross in comparison with His riches. "The things which are seen are temporal," etc. Watson.Its notes are —I. Do you believe in His name, renounce every other foundation, build upon Him, place all your dependence in Him? Inquiry. (e) The Christian hath a far better right to his little, for it comes by covenant and not simply by common providence. (2)All together. But in the knowledge of Christ all men are deeply interested, inasmuch as their safety and happiness depend upon it.4. (3) On the practice. This is for His glory, and that others may fall in love with Him.2. That knowledge of Christ which is not an interest in Him is mere opinion which is dubious and uncertain. As he was failing he grasped a little branch of some bush that was growing halfway down. (b)Because doubts are hurtful. F. B. Tinling, B. But besides self-righteousness and worldly advantages to be given up, a Christian must expect to bear ridicule and persecution.2. Jay. The apostle desires to win Christ and be found in Him. 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. The profits of sin and its pleasures are renounced as well as self-righteousness.4. (3) An interest in Christ is the best interest you can have in the world.(T. (c)Let the Word of God be familiar to you (Colossians 3:16; John 5:39; Deuteronomy 6:6-9). If ever a man could have gone to heaven without Christ it was he. The loss of all that St. Paul counted gain. WHAT IS MEANT BY WINNING CHRIST.1. Its certainty. (c)They are the spring of apostasy. THE POSSIBILITY OF WINNING THIS PRIZE. (h)Make use of Christ's prophetical office.(D. What God teaches must be absolute truth. To confirm this consider —1. Is most pleasant. Christ is our treasury and storehouse, from whence we fetch all our supplies (1 Corinthians 1:30).5. )The superiority of the knowledge of ChristD. L. F. B. Tinling, B. Lyth, D. D.)I. Paul had just enumerated several things, whose possession, while he was without Christ, gave him a certain sort of pleasure.II. What so great as a kingdom? (2) Consider what you are without Him. There are others necessary for some, but not for all. The excellency of Christ naturally fires gracious hearts, because —(1)All their hopes are in Him, and(2)all their desires.II. Buchanan, B. D.)The necessity of letting go every false confidenceJ. (2) It is distinguished from the knowledge of the law of Moses (John 1:17; Hebrews 10:1). David and St. Paul are to us more than historic characters; we are admitted into the inner workings of their hearts. In what respect?(1)Singly. Its certainty. What an instance of the influence of Divine grace I He had been Christ's bitterest foe. if not the excuse will not screen the sinner in the day of God's visitation. This is for His glory, and that others may fall in love with Him.2. 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. (c) The application may be implicit, dark, and reserved, when we have not so full a persuasion of our good estate, but comfortable encouragement to wait upon God in the way of duty; it may also be explicit, clear, and open (Ephesians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 5:1: 2 Timothy 5:8). 2). (2)Communion with God for them who have been afar off. It is for nothing short of this that you are called upon to count all things but loss. in an instant, the arms of Jesus were about him, and he was safe. What must we do to win Christ?6. Sermons on Philippians. This is always the object which St. Paul sets before himself and his readers; hence the vital interest of his life and writings.3. ITS PECULIAR EXCELLENCY AND TRANSCENDENT VALUE. 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. Grotius said, "I have destroyed life, laboriously doing nothing. All things pertaining to life and godliness are given through this knowledge (2 Peter 1:3-4). WHAT KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST IS THAT WHICH IS SO EXCELLENT? "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." Adversity. In applying Christ seek necessary grace rather than comfort.3. Alexander, D. D.arises from the fact —I. 2). Mudge, B. (2) Jesus, i.e., His intention and execution of those offices — viz., salvation. Do you take Him for and instead of all? HOW MUCH THIS GAIN EXCELS ALL OTHER.1. Be about them what they will, if Christ be not in them they will count them loathsome.5. So identified with the TRUTH, that when he gained Him he gained the highest knowledge.II. Solomon counted all that was in the world as two great cyphers — "vanity and vexation." He is the fountain of life.1. Do you believe in His name, renounce every other foundation, build upon Him, place all your dependence in Him? The excellency of Christ naturally fires gracious hearts, because —(1)All their hopes are in Him, and(2)all their desires.II. )The superfluosness of the lawJ. Looking up he saw, in his dream, Christ standing on the edge, and saying, "Let go the twig and I will save you." (4) All things besides Christ cannot make a man happy, but Christ can. Here we see the prophecy fulfilled, "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree," etc.2. S. Candlish, D. D.)The believer's refugeW. (d)Seek it not for curiosity, but that you may enjoy Christ more. (3)Saints in heaven. There he hung and cried for help. (d)Seek it not for curiosity, but that you may enjoy Christ more. (5) He can do for us what no other can, procure pardon for sin, peace with God, a right to heaven.3. )The excellency of the knowledge of ChristJosiah Redford.If the soul be without knowledge it is not good. There is a great distinction between all human morality and the morality of the gospel. Boston, D. D.)That I may win ChristT. 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." (a) The application of comfort is when I respect Christ under such a term as implies some privilege to me, that He is my Saviour, etc. Fiducial. But Christ must be really and earnestly sought as well as desired.3. (b)Lay a good groundwork in the principles of the knowledge of Christ, otherwise you will but build in the air (Hebrews 6:1). This is often done by those who evince an unconquerable repugnance to accept the gospel. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THIS KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. ITS NATURE.1. Winslow, D. D.I. This is for His glory, and that others may fall in love with Him.2. THE BELIEVER'S SAFETY in it against —1. It is remarkable how Paul makes every other topic tributary to this. It is not enough to count Christ as gain. (3) An interest in Christ is the best interest you can have in the world.(T. "The world by wisdom knew not God," but he that hath seen Christ, hath seen the Father.3. THOSE WHOSE GRAND OBJECT IS TO WIN CHRIST, WILL COUNT ALL BUT DUNG THAT COMES IN COMPETITION WITH THIS BARGAIN. (4) There is no ease that is permanently pleasant but in Christ. Paul had just enumerated several things, whose possession, while he was without Christ, gave him a certain sort of pleasure.II. THE MANNER IN WHICH THE APOSTLE DELIVERS HIMSELF ON THIS GREAT SUBJECT.1. F. B. Tinling, B. A.Men who have made the greatest sacrifices for the cause of Christ have hardly been conscious of them. But in Christ all is precious; grace, pardon, peace. (2)All together. Jay.I. That which was before St. Paul was not Christianity but Christ. 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. (b)Because doubts are hurtful. So Livingstone, as late as 1857, said, "I never made a sacrifice;" and Hudson Taylor, the leader of the China Inland Mission, has publicly made the same statement of himself. A doubting Christian is unfit to act for Christ in a difficult time. 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). The only knowledge that meets the solemnity of a dying bed is this. What so great as a kingdom? 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. ITS EXCELLENCY.1. QUERIES OF PROFIT AND LOSS.1. "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." To kindle desire and raise joy in Christ. As the loadstone draws iron, so does Christ the sinner.4. THE VALUE OF THE PRIZE. Opposed to all this is Christ. CHRIST HIMSELF IS MOST EXCELLENT, THEREFORE THIS KNOWLEDGE IS EXCELLENT KNOWLEDGE.1. (1)An interest in Christ makes God ours, for lie is God. "We are no scholars" is often only an excuse for negligence and indifference. Most universal (1 Corinthians 2:22-23; 1 Timothy 4:8).3. What do we gain with Christ?5. 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. (4) The highest earthly good is a broken cistern, and even grace and glory are but His gifts.III. )Loss for gainD. He looked into the black yawning gulf beneath, and again cried out for help. (1)An interest in Christ makes God ours, for lie is God. Buchanan, B. D.The practical applications and uses of this knowledge are as important as its direct and immediate influence on the mind. Other things are mere conveniences. This is true in regard to worldly knowledge; much more to heavenly.I. It is a knowledge of Christ Jesus as —1. The moral influence it exerts. )The true method of reflectionT. (2) This gain may be gotten at a cheap rate (Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 3:18). Yes, but his experience was the same as that of all other Christians in whom we find the good work begun but not completed. So identified with the LIFE that when he gained Him he was endowed with the noblest form of it.III. (5) This interest is the only lasting interest. Buchanan, D. D.Knowledge is one of the most valuable of all attainments. "This is life eternal," etc.VI. We are to stand on nothing so as we may gain Christ.(T. A knowledge of Christ's person as God and man. "The world by wisdom knew not God," but he that hath seen Christ, hath seen the Father.3. Where will the splendour of human science be then?2. It is applicable, not only for our direction in every condition of life, but also for our comfort and support in the hour of trial: imparting those blessed consolations which the world can neither give nor take away; and even, in the hour of death, when all other knowledge fails, and leaves the soul to sink alone and unbefriended into eternity, this knowledge gives us that hope which is an anchor, sure and stedfast, entering into that which is within the veil.(J. (3) Worldly pleasure. (3)Saints in heaven. Other things are mere conveniences. It is remarkable how Paul makes every other topic tributary to this. Our natures are renewed, and not only the favour and fellowship of God restored, but His image also (Titus 3:5-6; 2 Peter 1:4; Hebrews 12:10).4. The world.2. Winning Christ —1. Thus I once thought that my personal qualifications of birth, privilege, attainment might do. Remember(a)how it excelleth all other gifts. IT FITS THE SOUL FOR HEAVEN. What must we do to win Christ?6. What will be the wealth of all the Indies to us when we come to die. What is our loss without Christ?3. They have a poor portion who are without Christ.2. The transcendent excellency of Christ is proved.1. Monarchs lose their kingdoms because they are outside them. 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. Jay. By faith man becomes one in Christ, and when God looks upon him, He looks upon him as being "a man in Christ. Would you possess this knowledge? WHAT IS MEANT BY WINNING CHRIST.1. Had not Paul won Him already? He is the Creator, and as the creator of a thing, must be greater than the thing created, so the knowledge of Christ must be superior to that of nature.2. We should seek this certainty. On this principle the humblest disciple may be occupied with loftier contemplations than ever occur to an irreligious philosopher.2. L. Winning Christ —1. SUITABLENESS AND ADAPTATION. Heathen morals are many of them very beautiful, but they lack the grand disideratum — the motive power. Look in what varied views and degrees the ancient seers had an apprehension of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, for he was the Shiloh of departing Jacob; Isaiah's "Root of Jesse;" Jeremiah's "Branch;" Ezekiel's "Ruler among the people;" Haggai's "Desire of all nations;" Daniel's "Ancient of Days;" Zechariah's "Fountain;" and Malachi's "Sun of Righteousness." Useful. THE PERSON WHO WISHES TO WIN CHRIST. 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