But even that can be unprofitable. Anyone who has spent much time around Christians will know that knowledge of the gospel message very easily turns into argument about the gospel message. What exactly is its extent? How do the details work? What is the centre, if there is one?
I would suggest that, just as Scripture only profits us if we read it for the sake of the gospel, the gospel only profits us if we love it for the sake of the Person, Jesus Christ, who stands at the heart of it. If we love the doctrines of the gospel for their own sake - because of their ideological value, say, or their philosophical beauty - we are in danger of missing Christ. We need to look for, and desire, the Word within the word within the word.