Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord…
I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Paul presents Christ in four aspects.
I. As A PRIZE. "That I may win Christ." What is it to win Christ? It is something more than to become acquainted with his biography, something more than to understand the doctrines he taught or the theory of his life and mission. To gain him is to gain his moral spirit. His moral spirit is himself - that which marked him off from all other men that have lived - that is the Christ. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
II. AS A REST. "Found in him." For the soul to be found in Christ is to be found in his character. We are all living in the characters of others. The unregenerate world lives in the fallen character of Adam. The regenerate world lives in Christ, in the character of Christ. Resting in his character as the branch rests in the trunk of the tree, deriving from it its life, its form, its hue, its fruit. Oh to live in his character, in his spotless purity, in his immeasurable love, in his matchless excellence! Those who do so will not have their "own righteousness, which is of the Law," etc., but his moral rectitude.
III. AS A THEME. "That I may know him." The knowledge here does not mean intellectual knowledge, but heart-knowledge, experimental knowledge.
1. Know him by experience personally. Before you can know a person you must have the spirit that animates him. Love alone can interpret love, etc.
2. Know by experience the power of his resurrection. All the spiritual significance and benefits of his resurrection from the dead.
3. Know by experience his sufferings. "Have fellowship with his sufferings." There are three kinds of suffering:
(1) those in which Christ could have no fellowship;
(2) those which he experienced, and in which men could have no fellowship; and
(3) those in which men are bound to have fellowship with Christ. We are commanded to be partakers of some of his sufferings.
(1) We should have fellowship with the intense regret which he felt on account of the existence of moral evil. The fact of evil sat as a mountain of agony on the heart of Christ. Sin was a horrible thing to him, the "abominable thing "which he hated.
(2) We should have fellowship with the sorrowful sympathies which he had for the sufferings of men. His tears over Jerusalem, etc.
(3) We should have fellowship with those sufferings which he endured on account of the dishonor sin does to the infinite Father.
IV. AS A MODEL. "Conformable unto his death." What does this mean? To die in the manner which he died on the cross? No. But to live and die in the mood he did, which was self-sacrifice. He died, not for himself, but for others. "He gave himself a ransom for many." Self-sacrificing love is the essence of personal Christianity, and nothing else. - D.T.
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