Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nathanael Vincent on The Knowledge of Christ

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
—2 Peter 3:18

This Knowledge of Christ should grow more Spiritual. He is not to be known after a carnal manner; and therefore Popish Images are very unfit representations of him; not that his flesh is swallowed up of his Divinity as Servetus dreamed: but his flesh is glorified, and as transcendently glorious we must now look upon him. We must also know him as the purchaser and bestower of all Spiritual gifts and graces, that we may be further renewed by his Spirit: the Apostle is thus to be understood when he says 2 Cor. 5: 16, 17. Though we have known Christ after the Flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more; therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new Creature.
Compare all other knowledge with this knowledge of Christ, and see the vast difference in excellency. And this will stir you to grow in it. The philosophers of old, how restless were their minds, how endless their inquires! The farther they went, the more they were puz'led; and after long study, they came to understand that they fully understood nothing. The Wise King of Israel after he had diligently employed his large understanding about human knowledg; he cries out as a man exceedingly vexed and disappointed. Eccles 1:18. In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. But the knowledge of Christ is of another nature. He that rightly understands the Lord Jesus, understands how to have his guilt removed, his heart renewed, his conscience calmed, his soul secured, and that forever. This knowledge is not a vexation but a satisfaction to the Spirit, both because of its certainty, and because of the superabundant grace and fulness in Christ who is known. Here it may truly be said, Intellectus est in quiete; the better Christ is understood, the more the soul that understands Him is at rest.
—Nathanael Vincent