The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Knowing God in Christ

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From a sermon by David Clarkson on Philippians 3.8, concerning the excellent knowledge of Christ:

In knowing Christ we know the glorious excellencies of God, John xiv. 7.  The Father and Christ are so like, as he that knows the one knows the other also, sees the Son, sees the Father.  This is so apparent, as Christ seems to wonder that Philip, who had seen him, should speak as though he had not seen the Father, ver. 8, 9.  He is known in the knowing of Christ, and seen in the seeing of Christ.  Hence he is called ‘the image,’ Col. i. 15, – that which represents, and in a lively manner holds forth to us, the infinite perfections of God; therefore styled, Heb. i. 3, ‘the character,’ – not a shadow of him, not a dead, superficial representation of him, such as pictures and portraitures are, but a living, express, subsisting, perfect representation.  The similitude seems to be borrowed from a signet’s impression, which represents all the sculptures and lineaments of the seal.  But no similitude can reach this mystery; only this we learn by this expression, that as Christ is perfectly distinct from, so is he a full and perfect resemblance of the Father, of the same nature and essence with him, so that there is no perfection in the Father but the same is substantially in the Son, so that in knowing Christ we apprehend (as weakness will suffer) the excellencies of God; hence the glory of God is said to shine in the face of Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6, so that those who know Christ, thereby see the glory of God in the face of Christ.  That knowledge, that light which discovers Christ, discovers the glorious excellencies of God, the brightness whereof appears in the face of Christ.  Nor is this only true of Christ as he is the Son of God, of the same nature with the Father, but also as he is Mediator.  In the great work of redemption, the Lord caused his glory to pass before the sons of men.  Never was there such a full, such a clear, discovery of God’s glorious perfections, as was made to the world in Christ.  In him we may see infinite power, wisdom, justice, mercy, holiness; glorious truth, faithfulness, unchangeabless [sic]; the glory of love, of free grace, of goodness; he even caused all his goodness to pass visibly before us in Christ, so that he who knows Christ knows all these glorious excellencies; ergo, &c.

“The Excellent Knowledge of Christ” in The Works of David Clarkson (1864, reprint, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1988), 1:255.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Thursday 14 October 2010 at 12:07

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