Flavel on the Knowledge of Christ
“Let us compare this knowledge [the knowledge of Christ] with all other knowledge.
1. All other knowledge is natural, but this wholly supernatural, “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27). The wisest heathen could never make a discovery of Christ by their deepest searches into nature; the most eagle-eyed philosophers were but children in knowledge, compared with the most illiterate Christians.
2. Other knowledge is unattainable by many. All the helps and means in the world would never enable some Christians to attain the learned arts and languages; men of the brightest parts are most excellent in these; but here is the mystery and excellency of the knowledge of Christ, that men of most blunt, dull, and contemptible parts attain, through the teaching of the Spirit, to this knowledge, in which the more acute and ingenious are utterly blind: “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.” (Matthew 11:25). “Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh; not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” (1 Corinthians (1:26-27).
3. Other knowledge, though you should attain the highest degree of it, would never bring you to heaven, the principal thing, namely Christ, being wanting. Other knowledge is also defective, in the purity of its nature: the learned heathens grew vain in their imaginations, (Romans 1:21); and in its efficacy and influence on the heart and life: they held the truth in unrighteousness: their lusts were stronger than their light (Romans 1:18). But this knowledge has most powerful influences, changing souls into its own image (2 Corinthians 3:18), and so proves a saving knowledge unto men (1 Timothy 2:4).”
— John Flavel, The Fountain of Life, pages 14-15