Paul writes in Philippians 2:1-5: “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus”
Well, there you have it. We are to live our lives like Christ Jesus. “He is our good example.”
Mark Twain said, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” Perhaps the thing most annoying about a good example is its inability to accomplish the same achievement in our lives. Now, a good example can inspire us but it can’t enable us. Now, unless the person we admire can enter into our lives and live his life through us enabling us, then what’s the use?
In verse 13 of the above text Paul tells us that our good example does enter into our lives. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Now let’s think this through.
First God gave the Ten Commandments, followed by the Law. Some individuals at least in their own estimation, kept them. They didn’t understand that we need a life, not a list. Jesus intentionally set a standard that we could never achieve. Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt 5:20)
It was not a challenge to try harder, but a challenge to give up. He wanted us to see that a righteousness that would please God is unattainable. He came along and raised the bar so high that all men would give up trying to jump over it. Jesus said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
Well, there it is! Abide in Him, and all that He is and has is yours, just as the branch receives the full life of the Vine. Don’t abide, and you will immediately be in the flesh. The world has so many classes by which it appraises man. But among Christians we have only one class struggle…to abide or not, to be spiritual or carnal, that is our struggle. To make sub classes out of the carnal or the spiritual is ignorance rooted in ego, pride, and glory.
When we are abiding, there is no one better than us. At that moment we are an earthly vessel with a perfect life, His life, flowing in and through us. Our good example is living His life through our bodies.
That’s it! The mystery revealed. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27)
What is impossible with man is now possible with God. It doesn’t get any better than that.
We appreciate your continued prayer and financial support. We need both to meet the ministry obligations. Thank you for your faithfulness.
Please keep our contributing author, Carol Royse, in your prayers. She had surgery this week for a detached retina. Pray for a speedy recovery. Thank you.