(3) But just as all else is thus felt to be worthless Christ is seen to be gain. S. Candlish, D. D.is perfect security and consummate blessedness. (1) If we win Christ we gain all (Matthew 13:45-46). "Beholding His glory, we are transformed," etc.III. Life? Saints are said to be the excellent of the earth; but He is fairer than the children of men — "altogether lovely." WHAT IT IS TO WIN CHRIST.1. Christ's blood will not avail unless it be sprinkled. (d) What the Christian hath he hath for nothing, but others will have to pay a dear reckoning for what they have — "What is a man profited," etc. Most universal (1 Corinthians 2:22-23; 1 Timothy 4:8).3. What a relief to find in Christ the reconciler and the peacemaker; the justifier of the ungodly and the revealer of God. USES.1. Paul had just enumerated several things, whose possession, while he was without Christ, gave him a certain sort of pleasure.II. )Winning ChristCanon Miller.The world has ever shown curiosity with regard to the inner lives of its great men. Security? (3) Worldly reputation depend, upon the uncertain thoughts of others and may be easily stained; but the Christian shall shine with eternal honour. There is no necessary connection between science and sanctity, but that between the knowledge of Christ and purity and charity is inevitable.5. The OBJECT of this knowledge. 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. (1) He is the best gain if God be preferred before the creature, eternal glory before finding riches, the soul before the body. There is nothing in Him but is excellent. He expounds the prophets, the types, the obligations of the moral law, all with reference to Him. (6) Domestic and social relations are great mercies, but we must part from them. Solomon counted all that was in the world as two great cyphers — "vanity and vexation." 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. Practical and constraining. "Beholding His glory, we are transformed," etc.III. (h)Make use of Christ's prophetical office.(D. (3) Angels are all servants. Be about them what they will, if Christ be not in them they will count them loathsome.5. He is our ransom from the wrath of God, and so you have somewhat whereby to appease your guilty fears (Colossians 1:14).2. THEY ARE TRULY WINNERS, LOSE WHAT THEY WILL, WHO GAIN CHRIST. Christ's blood will not avail unless it be sprinkled. Are wisdom and knowledge valuable? (3) An interest in Christ is the best interest you can have in the world.(T. Jay. Thompson. 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. Saints are said to be the excellent of the earth; but He is fairer than the children of men — "altogether lovely." The excellency of Christ naturally fires gracious hearts, because —(1)All their hopes are in Him, and(2)all their desires.II. That knowledge of Christ which is not an interest in Him is mere opinion which is dubious and uncertain. )Willinghood lightening sacrificeJ. Alexander, D. D.)I. (Matthew 13:45-46). The devil.Conclusion:1. 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. Prosperity. (4) The highest earthly good is a broken cistern, and even grace and glory are but His gifts.III. What do we gain with Christ?5. That all the knowledge of Christ that brings not to Him is but splendid ignorance according to the Word.2. Boston, D. D.I. It shall outlive and eclipse all other knowledge. Jay.I. Lynch. Positively. (1) You are in earnest as regards the end with reference to which you estimate what is gain (ver. That which will turn everything to our advantage — "All things work together for good." All things pertaining to life and godliness are given through this knowledge (2 Peter 1:3-4). "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out." Looking at the terrible abyss below, he could not. WHAT IT IS TO WIN CHRIST.1. (1) He is the best gain if God be preferred before the creature, eternal glory before finding riches, the soul before the body. )The excellency of the knowledge of ChristJosiah Redford.If the soul be without knowledge it is not good. (1) He is God, "the true God and eternal life;" therefore His excellence is infinite. But in Christ all is precious; grace, pardon, peace. Hence it follows that religion must of necessity embrace the highest kind of knowledge, and the knowledge of Christ is that of "God manifest in the flesh," exemplifying the perfections of the Divine character, fulfilling the purposes of the Divine mind. A king may be a criminal before God.2. Redford. He that has it studies to improve Christ, and to use Him for those blessed purposes for which He is given (vers. With affection, counting all things loss and dung. (2) Consider what you are without Him. Redford. THE PERSON WHO WISHES TO WIN CHRIST. See Christ in everything that is good, make your knowledge of what is evil heighten your desire of Christ. His are unsearchable riches.4. Resolve to give yourself up to Him to serve Him. (a)Because the saints may attain to it. (2) To those of you who have some of it — grow in it. (d)They are prejudicial to the growth of religion. (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. Happiness and usefulness depend upon it. (1) Men on earth; the greatest one His vassals, the best only good through Him. It was exactly so with St. Paul.II. This is the refuge of many of our youth particularly. (b)Because doubts are hurtful. Thompson. A doubting Christian is unfit to act for Christ in a difficult time. Remember the rich fool! (d)They are prejudicial to the growth of religion. Alexander, D. D.arises from the fact —I. (3) To attain it. (5) Friends are much valued, but how often do they prove themselves like brooks dried up (Job 6:15). (5) A hasty inconsiderate profession of religion from whatever motive.2. (4) Self-righteousness, a house built on sand as Paul found it. (2)This interest is the one thing necessary.All things must go for necessaries (Matthew 6:25). (2) If we win not Christ we gain nothing and lose all (Matthew 16:26).II. (4) Self-righteousness, a house built on sand as Paul found it. Nye. (1) Knowledge of other things is no way comparable to the knowledge of Christ either for pleasure or profit. USES.1. Two questions arise.1. "(a) The Christian hath more in possession than the greatest on earth. Buchanan, D. D.)The relation of the knowledge of Christ to the gospel schemeJ. (4) Our personal interest in Christ is the ground of our comfort and confidence (Habakkuk 3:18; Luke 1:17). 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. Have what they will they will count they have nothing while they have not Christ.4. Redford.It is said of Phidias, the celebrated sculptor, that in preparing the design, and in executing the elaborate carving of the shield of Minerva, over the portico of the Acropolis of Athens, he so curiously wrought and intertwined his own name with the work, that it could not be obliterated or taken out anywhere without injuring the whole. (2) On the affections. (e) The Christian hath a far better right to his little, for it comes by covenant and not simply by common providence. 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. Knowledge in general is grateful to the mind, yet some kinds are painful (Ecclesiastes 1:18). Burder. (8) Life and self are loss without Christ.III. )Winning ChristCanon Miller.The world has ever shown curiosity with regard to the inner lives of its great men. Jesus Christ is such a Saviour.4. Welcome others to it.(W. S. Candlish, D. D.)The believer's refugeW. (2) Those who strive not to communicate this knowledge. Buchanan, B. D.The practical applications and uses of this knowledge are as important as its direct and immediate influence on the mind. He cannot recommend charity without speaking of Christ, nor express gratitude for temporal mercies without thanking God for His unspeakable gift (Colossians 3:11). 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. To apprehend Christ yours on good grounds is the excellency of this knowledge.3. In view of the end for which I once pressed then I now perceive Christ to be gain. The image of God consists in "knowledge" as well as righteousness, etc. (e) The Christian hath a far better right to his little, for it comes by covenant and not simply by common providence. Then you may claim all the benefits of His salvation as your own.2. Heathen morals are many of them very beautiful, but they lack the grand disideratum — the motive power. But Christ must be really and earnestly sought as well as desired.3. 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. Most universal (1 Corinthians 2:22-23; 1 Timothy 4:8).3. Its certainty. "He giveth power to the weak."3. 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. Life? Useful. The language suggests a goal and a starting post; that "I may win Christ," the goal or end I have been seeking to reach; that "I may be found in Him," ready not only for resistance to old adversaries, but for a new start and onward movement towards Divine perfection. By it alone we obtain a comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the Divine character. When he speaks of the past history of the world it is to show how it was a preparation for Him. (d)They are prejudicial to the growth of religion. "He giveth power to the weak."3. You will rarely find two scientists perfectly to coincide. (h)Make use of Christ's prophetical office.(D. Am I now a partaker of Christ? (1) The refuge of wilful ignorance. You care little about righting your position towards God; or is it your anxiety to stand well with Him? (4) We must run and win as racers do. If a Christian met with it, he would possess it with safeguards, receive it with thankfulness, use it with diligence, as a good steward. Boston, D. D.)To win ChristI.IS GREAT GAIN.II.IS THE NOBLEST OBJECT OF AMBITION.III.IS WORTHY OF EVERY SACRIFICE.IV.REQUIRES SELF-RENUNCIATION AND FAITH (ver. Winning Christ —1. Christ was typically seen in Melchesidec, King of Salem; in the binding of Isaac as a sacrifice; in the persecution of Joseph. He was conscientious, earnest, and ecclesiastically all that could be required. This is the excellent effect of this excellent knowledge.(D. Many will take Christ as Saviour who will not own Him as Lord, but this is to apprehend Christ without His crown, and so not an excellent knowledge.2. All things pertaining to life and godliness are given through this knowledge (2 Peter 1:3-4). Most useful.4. Manton, D. D.)The excellency of the knowledge of ChristR. (1) How foolish are men who, like Martha, are diligent to get other things, but who neglect the one thing needful. What are the stars without the sun?2. JESUS CHRIST MUST BE KNOWN AS LORD.1. (2) The refuge of carnal ease. By Him we are made heirs of eternal life (Romans 8:17).II. F. B. Tinling, B. A.Men who have made the greatest sacrifices for the cause of Christ have hardly been conscious of them. He is the fountain of life.1. 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. Welcome others to it.(W. "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?" Whenever a soul is on its way to Christ, the alarm is sounded in hell, and if the soul would bare Him it must be in opposition to flesh and blood, and principalities and powers. (Professor Eadie. 2). 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. THE REFUGE.1. What is our gain without Christ?2. O. He cried again; and again came the same answer. That which was before St. Paul was not Christianity but Christ. (3) Experimental (2 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Peter 2:2-3). In its improving influence on society at large. The word κερδησω is put in opposition to the loss he had incurred, and means that there was enough in Christ to compensate him.I. All these figures had their substance in their great Antitype. Would that every anxious soul would go and do like wise!(J. S. Candlish, D. D.is perfect security and consummate blessedness. It is to get Him to be ours and enjoy Him. What is this application? (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. (f)Live up to the knowledge you have; that is the way to attain more. 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. Some reasons. The Christian finds the war still going on in his members, desires a livelier assurance, wishes to grow in grace and to know more and more of Christ. It is to get Him to be ours and enjoy Him. The only revealer of God. 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. (3) Faith is included (Isaiah 53:11; Psalm 9:10).II. Saints are said to be the excellent of the earth; but He is fairer than the children of men — "altogether lovely." 3. 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. Boston, D. D.)To win ChristI.IS GREAT GAIN.II.IS THE NOBLEST OBJECT OF AMBITION.III.IS WORTHY OF EVERY SACRIFICE.IV.REQUIRES SELF-RENUNCIATION AND FAITH (ver. (5) This interest is the only lasting interest. What is gain to me is what puts me on a right footing with God. In a worldly man's hands it is as a razor in the hands of a child — "The prosperity of fools destroys them."2. )The true method of reflectionT. Paul had just enumerated several things, whose possession, while he was without Christ, gave him a certain sort of pleasure.II. (2)This interest is the one thing necessary.All things must go for necessaries (Matthew 6:25). But CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE THE VALUE OF THINGS. "In Me ye shall have peace."6. (b) The little that a Christian hath, having Christ, is more valuable than the abundance of a Christless man. in an instant, the arms of Jesus were about him, and he was safe. It is that knowledge which the most excellent creatures on earth and the most exalted in heaven desired, obtained, and gloried in. Christ was painted in hieroglyphics and read by the Jews in all their ceremonial observances. Christ is coveted and sought as gain. In what respect?(1)Singly. Death. (e) The Christian hath a far better right to his little, for it comes by covenant and not simply by common providence. But Christ must be really and earnestly sought as well as desired.3. Death. By testimony on the part of —(1)God (Isaiah 13:1; John 3:16). So identified with SPIRITUAL INFLUENCE, that when he gained Him his whole nature was filled with power and gladness. Boston, D. D.)To win ChristI.IS GREAT GAIN.II.IS THE NOBLEST OBJECT OF AMBITION.III.IS WORTHY OF EVERY SACRIFICE.IV.REQUIRES SELF-RENUNCIATION AND FAITH (ver. Everything that one really needs is comprehended in this: "He that spared not His own Son" etc. (2) Partaking of the Divine nature, i.e., of His holiness, the image of God (Colossians 3:10). All their predictions had their measure of accomplishment in Jesus Christ. Clarkson, B. D.)The excellency of the knowledge of Christ in the excellence of its subjectJ. What must we do to win Christ?6. 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