Pt 1 Knowing Nothing But Christ

Pt 1 Knowing Nothing But Christ

Knowing Nothing But Christ

1 Corinthians 2:2

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

There are times when the consideration of a sermon or a sermon series can become overwhelming. At times it is only due to;

  1. the consideration of the amount of work that needs to be done to do it justice,
  2. other times it is simply due to the volume of the topic and which points are of the most value, 
  3. and other times it is simply due to the infinite depth and value of that which you are to attend to that overwhelms you, 

But I have never, till now, given consideration that all three aspects of an overwhelming topic come together in one; this is what I face in speaking solely of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

It is not the amount of work that gives me the great difficulty in this topic, it’s not the volume of the topic either that concerns me, John wrote that if only all Jesus did were to be written, “I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:25

But nor is it the infinite depth or even the value of the topic of Jesus Christ that overwhelms me the most; it is that my Love for him gives me the greatest fear of misrepresenting my Lord.

Those words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2 struck me with the overwhelming nature of speaking of Jesus Christ and how flippant we so often are in speaking of him, that now, when it comes to giving our consideration of Jesus Christ I wish I were ALWAYS “determined not to know an thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”. 

My greatest desire is to reveal him to you in the best temporal light I can, fully knowing how inexpressible he is.

It was John Flavel in 1671 who, after writing no less than 42 sermons on the topic of Jesus Christ notes in his introduction to the series the imperfect expression and impression man can make on Christ saying;

What shall I say of Christ? The excelling glory of that object dazzles all apprehension, swallows up all expression. When we have borrowed metaphors from every creature that has any excellency or lovely property in it, till we have stript the whole creation bare of all its ornaments, and clothed Christ with all that glory; when we have even worn out our tongues, in ascribing praises to him, alas! we have done nothing, when all is done. [1]

He is the pearl of great price in Matt 13:46, but how do we consider an infinite price?

If the “price of wisdom is above rubies” Jb 28:18, what are we to say of the price of the knowledge of Christ?

Paul lays the claim that he is …determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

         What are we to say of the greatest minds of the world who’s knowledge of matters if physics and science, mathematics and philosophy, history and biology etc, who have attained to all the wisdom and knowledge of the world, who have amassed the greatest of riches and power for this knowledge, if they know NOTHING OF  CHRIST????

         The encyclopaedic minds of the greatest men of the world are but dull and blind compared with the most illiterate Christians who know nothing else BUT Christ!

The disciples of the Lord were charged with being “unlearned and ignorant men” in Acts 4:13, but they were the wise concerning their souls.

In Matthew 11:25 Jesus said

25 … I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

In 1 Corinthians 1:26–31 Paul wrote

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

All the knowledge of the world will never bring you to heaven, no matter how many books you will read, no matter how much your success is measured by the yardstick of men, all of it is worthless if the knowledge of Christ is wanting. 

Jesus Christ and him crucified is the ONLY knowledge that will bring you eternal life.

While the world sees the reality of God and turn their faces from him (Rom 1:19-22) saying in Job, “…Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways” (Jb 21:14), they lose to themselves the only hope available for their souls and await only that judgement for their sin they have determined to take upon themselves. 

Hebrews 9:27 says, 

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

But the praise of the passage continues in the next verse saying;

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.


Conviction of Highest Consideration

1 Corinthians 2:2

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Paul’s statement provides a focus of his attention to the Corinthian Churches, he was in every way convicted upon the highest of considerations possible and so he writes.

Paul was no fool, a Pharisee of the Pharisee’s and a student of the revered Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), he was not behind the very chiefest of the apostles (2 Cor 12:11), and yet the conviction of his heart was toward the highest of his consideration that he “determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified”.

So different a picture to the people of the world. It seems that the very opposite is true for so many, and all the more as we see the day approaching. 

It seems as if they have a desire to know EVERYTHING ELSE, but Christ. To them he is “the stone which the builders rejected…” (Mrk 12:10), they will turn to anything and everything but to Jesus. Little wonder the Lord said;

Matthew 7:13–14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

Little idea have they for the trouble that is to come upon them. The knowledge of the one that is able to save them from all their sin and lead them to eternal life, is the one knowledge they desire perfect ignorance of, how are they now to be delivered?

Like the terminally ill patient who’s Doctor has the only cure available, a cure that multitudes throughout history have taken, it is as old as the ancients and as reliable as all proof can prove, but instead she turns herself away from it looking for something else; 

she gathers herself with the Athenians on the Areopagus looking for a “new doctrine”, always desiring to “either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:18).

Turn in your bibles to Isaiah 47

Isaiah 47:11–13

11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. 13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.

Pauls highest consideration was instead to know NOTHING else “save Jesus Christ and him Crucified”, but the vanities of the world will look for everything but Christ and sink against the evil that will consume them in the day of their death.

         Man has a terminal illness and there is but one solution, one cure, one tonic, it is Jesus Christ and him crucified. Man’s sin will find him in hell for all eternity BUT FOR Jesus Christ and him crucified, Paul’s consideration is to KNOW NOTHING AMONG THE PEOPLE SAVE JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIEDbut the people of the world desire to know EVERYTHING ELSE apart from “JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED”.

Jonah wrote; 

Jonah 2:8

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

The people of the world think they have made their plans well and will wonder, when in hell, how they got to be in that place.

Jonathan Edwards wrote an incredible description of the possible deliberations of those in hell in 1741, in his most famous sermon Titled “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God”;

If it were so, that we could come to speak with them, and could inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected when alive, and when they used to hear about hell, ever to be the subjects of that misery, we doubtless should hear one and another reply, “No, I never intended to come here; I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself; I thought my scheme good; I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief; death outwitted me; God’s wrath was too quick for me; O my cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter, and when I was saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ then sudden destruction came upon me”[2]

If only, if only you would have Christ as the highest consideration of your soul

  • If only Jesus plagued your mind as it did the apostle.
  • if only his name was the name above all names in your mind, 
  • if only you were a fool for everything else in this life and but took the greatest knowledge of Christ in your consideration for the next, how wise would you then be?

If only, like Paul, you determined not to know any thing…, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.


Committed To No Lower Communication

1 Corinthians 2:2

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

When the greatest gift you are given is the one thing that you least deserved, you never want to speak of anything less.

Turn in your Bibles to 

1 Timothy 1:12–16

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

There is a reason why Paul is committed to no lower communication, and it is the same reason so many of us only love to speak of Jesus and nothing else. 

  • When we come together it is Christ we love to talk of; 
  • when we dine we give him thanks, 
  • when we turn to sleep we give him thanks, 
  • when we awaken from sleep we praise him for another day, and those of us for whom MUCH is forgiven, LOVE MUCH!

Paul determined not to know any thing among the churches, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified, because Paul was forgive MUCH….indeed, he was forgiven more than any other person alive, then and now;

V15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

We far too often overlook this verse, we think Paul is just being hyperbolic, we think that he is just trying to talk up his salvation and does not really mean that he was the “Chief of Sinners”. Seems even John Bunyan desired to give Paul competition in the 17th century when he wrote his biography and titled it “Grace Abounding To The Chief of Sinners”, the only problem for Mr Bunyan was that Paul had already claimed the title.

Paul stated that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

He gives a brief description of his “Sin” in verse 13 saying;  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. But the seriousness of his statement is given reason in verse 16;

6 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Beloved, Paul was INDEED the very Chief of sinners, and he was so for the very purpose of revealing the long-suffering of Jesus Christ, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

In other words, there is and can be no other man on earth that is disqualified from receiving the grace and forgiveness and salvation offered by Jesus Christ.

If PAUL was able to obtain grace as the very CHIEF OF SINNERS, who can’t be saved? None, according to Paul, surpassed him for his sin, there are NONE alive today that Jesus Christ did not die for, if Jesus had long-suffering for the chief of sinners (AND THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE CHIEF), then he has long suffering for anyone who is willing to know… Jesus Christ and him crucified, for the saving of their souls.

Paul is committed therefore, to NO LOWER communication, For I determined not to know any thing, EVERY communication in his mind is LOWER and of the smallest value compared to Jesus Christ, and him crucified, because Paul believed he was least deserving of the greatest gift of all, and it is similar for all of us who are more perfectly aware of the evil nature of our sin before and what we have been saved from. 

A beautiful and simple picture of this is given us in Luke 7. We come to understand why the desire of those forgiven of sin desire so much to speak of Jesus Christ, it is so wonderfully reflected in this woman who loved much;

Luke 7:36–47

36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. 44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.


Constrained For the Name Above All Names

1 Corinthians 2:2

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

I always find the truth of a value in a thing when I see a Satanically motivated world take its opposite. The name of Jesus Christ is a name above all names, often identified in an evil world as a name reduced to an idle word, even a swear word, a word of no value and no significance other than to reduce the minds of men to putty in the hands of the devil rather than clay in the hand of God.

But this contempt for the name of Christ won’t last forever, turn in your bibles to the book of Philippians;

Philippians 2:5–11

5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It is and every will be the “name which is above every name” and it shall be “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow”, this is the inevitable end that all who set his name under their feet and curse his name with the tongue God had made, will one day exalt him and bow the knee, “that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

There is therefore a reason why Paul is CONSTRAINED FOR CHRIST, a reason Paul is moved and motivated to preach him and to testify of him, it is because there is NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN BY WHICH MEN OUGHT TO BE SAVED.

A wonderful passage is given to us in Acts chapter 4 that I would encourage you to turn to that you might see for yourself both the value of the name and its disdain in the hearts of those who hate him.

A lame man sat begging for alms at the gate called Beautiful in Acts 3, and Peter and John looked at him and said “Silver and God have I none; but such as I have I give theee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

Now an explanation is given to those who are examining these two apostles of Christ who we come again to see the value of the name;

Acts 4:10–20

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 

15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Paul was Constrained, MOTIVATED for the name of Jesus Christ, PETER and JOHN, equally MOVED to preach him even against the decrees of the rulers and governors of the city. Each and all the disciples of the Lord, stood against the governments of their day to preach Christ contrary to the rules imposed upon them and all but John were directly killed for the privilege of the work.

  • Will you shy away from the name above all names?
  • Will you be ashamed when the time comes to demand your denial of the name above all names?
  • Are you now ashamed? If not, what ‘constrains’, what motivates, so many of you to silence???? What moves you to say nothing about the name above all names?

You, whose sins are many, though you may not have been the “chief of sinners”, you may have given some competition, you who were forgiven much, do you love much? Then exalt his name and LEAVE TO HIM THE CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR DEVOTION AND TRUST.


Compelled By The Purpose of His Crucifixion

1 Corinthians 2:2

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

It is not just the name of Jesus Christ that Paul limits his knowledge to, it is the work that Jesus came to work that COMPELS him to purpose. It is “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” that moves him. It is the reason Jesus came into the world and it is all that the scriptures speak about.

When Jesus was contending with the Jews he made this incredible declaration saying; 

John 5:39

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Eternal life is synonymous with Jesus Christ, without Christ there is no life. Life is in Christ, death without Christ.

Turn to 1 John 5

1 John 5:12

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

There you have 19 single suable words that testify to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you thought that the Gospel was difficult to understand, you cant get any simpler than 1 John 5:12.

If you have the son you have life, if you don’t have the son you don’t have life.

You can search the scriptures and think you have eternal life, and yet they are they which testify of Christ.

Paul was compelled by the purpose of “Jesus Christ and him crucified”, and what was the purpose? To save you and I from the judgment of our sins. 

How do we know we have sinned? 

The same way we know we have broken the law!

I was a teenage boy growing up in Melton. We had a Toy World there and it was a good Toy World, it had good quality items. One of which was a Grey Nichols Cricket Bat. 

I was working as a paper boy and saved enough money to buy myself my very first and only BMX Bike for around $100. I only made about $10 per week on the paper round but also worked in my dads Pizza shop making about the same, so it was a couple of months and I bought the bike and used it to go to Toy World.

I didn’t have the money for the Bat which cost almost as much as my bike, so I took it and walked out of the shop. I knew it was wrong, I had a conscience, but I did not bank on being caught.

It was a heavy arm that landed on my shoulders that had me realise I was caught and it frightened me to death. 

Our life is measured by the Law of God, we have a conscience and know also what we do and how we live is wrong. There will come a time in every person who has NOT “known…Jesus Christ and him Crucified” that the LONG and STRONG hand of God will land on his shoulders, and WHO IS ABLE TO STAND?

Romans 3:23

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ecclesiastes 7:20

20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Isaiah 64:6

6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

These sins will have their day of reckoning, all who have confidence in life today will have that confidence vanish in the moment of their death, a moment which is even now imminent

None have the promise of tomorrow, none have the promise of another breath.

In the book of Job we read of God in whom it says;

Job 12:10

10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

In light of this Jonathan Edwards wrote;

there is hell’s wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of: there is nothing between you and hell but the air; ’tis only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.[3]

But some are so confident that they are “good enough” to somehow escape on their own, they think their own righteousness will save them rather than realize they are nothing but filthy rags and are happy to ignore “Jesus Christ and him Crucified”, to this Jonathan Edwards rightly states;

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock[4]

But for this we have a hope and it is in the name above all names, but will you believe it?

Isaiah 53:6

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The purpose of his crucifixion was to take YOUR PLACE. Will you believe it?


Will you believe he did this for you?

Will you be ..  determined not to know any thing…, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified?

[1]. John Flavel. ‘The Fountain of Life’ pg. 6

[2]. Edwards, J. (2003) Sermons and Discourses, 1739–1742. Edited by H.S. Stout, N.O. Hatch, and K.P. Farley. New Haven; London: Yale University Press (The Works of Jonathan Edwards), pp. 408–409.

[3]. Edwards, J. (2003) Sermons and Discourses, 1739–1742. Edited by H.S. Stout, N.O. Hatch, and K.P. Farley. New Haven; London: Yale University Press (The Works of Jonathan Edwards), p. 410.

[4]. Edwards, J. (2003) Sermons and Discourses, 1739–1742. Edited by H.S. Stout, N.O. Hatch, and K.P. Farley. New Haven; London: Yale University Press (The Works of Jonathan Edwards), p. 410.


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