CHRIST REVEALED IN VARIOUS BOOKS
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The Gospel of John reveals Christ to us. In John 1:1 we see that Christ is God Himself. Surely the law cannot compare to God. How foolish it is to keep the law and neglect God! The law may produce religious "dogs," but God begets sons. According to the book of Revelation, the holy sons of God are in the holy city, but the dogs are outside (Rev. 22:15).
According to the first chapter of John, Christ was not only God, but the very means, the channel, through which everything came into being. This means that He was the Creator. Furthermore, John 1:4 says, "In Him was life." One day this wonderful One became flesh, and, having become flesh, He became the tabernacle of God (John 1:14). As the tabernacle, He had the glory of the Father, and with Him were grace and reality (John 1:14). Out of His fullness, we have received grace upon grace. This One declared God whom no one had ever seen.
Acts 2 reveals that the very Jesus who was crucified on the cross has been exalted by God to be the Lord and the Christ. Today Jesus is Lord and Christ, the anointed and appointed One of God. In Romans 1:4 we are told that Christ was designated in the power of resurrection by the Spirit of holiness to be the Son of God. This One is over all, God blessed forever (Rom. 9:5). One day this Person became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). What a wonderful Person He is!
In Colossians we see more of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. Colossians 1:15 says that He is the image of the invisible God. Colossians 1:15-17 go on to say that Christ is also the Creator as well as the Firstborn of creation, the first item of all the creatures. Moreover, not only were all things created in Him, but they also subsist in Him, for He holds all things together. I once read an article that said that some power at the center of the universe is holding the universe together. If this power were removed, the entire universe would collapse. This holding power in which all things subsist is Christ. He is the hub of the universe; all the spokes are joined to Him. Colossians 1 also reveals that Christ is the Firstborn from the dead in resurrection and that He is the Head of the church (v. 18). Verse 19 goes on to say that God the Father is pleased that all His fullness would dwell in Christ.
Colossians 2:2 says that Christ, the wonderful One, is the mystery of God; 2:9, that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily; and 3:4, that He is even our life. How marvelous and inexhaustible He is!
Hebrews 1:2 and 3 say that Christ is the heir of all things, the effulgence of God’s glory, and the express image of God’s substance. Through Him all things were made, and He upholds all things by the word of His power. Elsewhere in Hebrews we see that He is the High Priest in the heavens (4:14), a Priest not according to the law of letters, but according to the power of an indestructible life (7:16). He is also the Mediator of a better covenant (Heb. 8:6).
Finally, the book of Revelation shows us that this wonderful One is the redeeming Lamb with seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 5:6). There are a great many other aspects of Christ revealed in the New Testament. But these are sufficient to show us something of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.
COUNTING ALL THINGS LOSS
Let us return to the illustration of the gold ring in the attractive box. If children have the excellency of the knowledge of the ring, they will not fight over the box. Instead, they will seek to gain possession of the ring. Before his experience on the road to Damascus, Paul did not have the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. He treasured the law and was zealous and righteous according to the law. But one day his eyes were opened to see the excellency of the knowledge of the wonderful One. On account of this excellency, he counted as loss all things, whether they were related to religious gain or natural gain. Paul said that he counted all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. Christ refers to God’s anointed and appointed One, the Messiah, who accomplishes everything God has purposed. Jesus is the name of the Nazarene who lived in Palestine. Today Jesus Christ is our Lord. This means that He has something to do with us. On account of the excellency of the knowledge of this wonderful One, we count all things loss. Furthermore, we even suffer the loss of all things. I would like to cast everything aside on account of this Person. Compared to Him, all other things are dung, dog food. When Paul was one of the "dogs" in Judaism, he needed dog food. But when he became a son of the living God, he had no further need for it. In its place, he had better food, the wonderful Person of Christ Himself. We are no longer dogs feeding on refuse; we are sons of God feeding on Christ Jesus our Lord.
May we all have more of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. If we do, we shall drop everything religious and everything natural on account of Him and on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Him. When we worship by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, have no trust in the flesh, and have the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord, we have the proper basis for the experience of Christ.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)