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Monday, September 22, 2014

War In Your Heart # 63

Victory Through the Second Man at Calvary

Christ Our Pattern

Christ, "the faithful and true witness," reveals the pathway to victory and the God-prescribed pattern.

Revelation 3:21: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Specifically note two words, "overcome," which indicates the pathway to victory, and "throne," which points to the goal of victory. Note also "his throne," the Father's, which He shared through overcoming, and "my throne," the Son's, which He will share with the overcomers. The throne is the symbol of authority, government, and sovereignty. Overcoming is the way to the throne. The Son of God took that way, so it is the way the sons of God must take. "Even as" shows that there is no other way.

Christ the Overcomer - Our Pattern for Victory

God's second Man was "the Lord from heaven." As "Lord" He was God. As "from heaven" He was related in some way to the throne of God. Then how could He possibly be our pattern for victory? The very thought seems incredulous, even presumptuous.

Yet in Philippians 2:5-11, perhaps the greatest Christological passage in the New Testament, He is most certainly and clearly set before us as the pattern for victory. Does the content of the epistle reveal any occasion or necessity for such a revelation?

In the Word God never divorces doctrine from duty. He invariably couples truth with experience. It is evident that everything was not going smoothly within the Philippians Church. Two strong-minded women, both presumably very prominent and efficient leaders in the work of the Church, were not like-minded; an occurrence in church life which one can hardly call solitary. Paul knew it and writes pleadingly in this letter, even mentioning them by name and beseeching them individually to become like-minded "in the Lord."

Philippians 4:2: I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, them individually to become like-minded "in the Lord."

Lest the brethren take undue satisfaction in this feminine squabble and plume themselves in an unmerited humility, let it be known that all was not perfectly harmonious among the brethren. They did not "in lowliness of mind each esteem others better than themselves." Rather were they divided into two distinct factions in their attitude and relationship to Paul. One group was envious, self-seeking and contentious. The other group loved Paul and out of their good will toward him wanted to help him in every possible way (Phil. 1:14-17).

So Paul makes a fervent plea to the entire church to have victory over self-esteem, self-seeking, self-exaltation rooted in empty pride, and beseeches them to be one-minded and like-minded by becoming lowly minded. But was it possible for strong-minded, carnally minded persons to be one-minded? The Spirit of God through Paul points out the one and only way. They should take Christ Jesus, the Overcomer, as their pattern and should have in them the mind that was in Him. They must become Christ Jesus Minded (Phil. 2:5).

"This mind." What mind? Verses 6-8 reveal it to be the most humble, the very lowliest mind conceivable; the mind of the most glorious, majestic, regal Person heaven or earth has ever known, yet a mind that in its attitude toward Himself reached a measure of voluntary self-abnegation and self-renunciation which is altogether inconceivable and incomprehensible apart from the revelation which the Spirit of God alone can give. Let all who call themselves His depend wholly upon the Spirit to reveal the deepest depths and the highest heights of this truth, that Christ Jesus may indeed be the pattern which we shall joyously follow into the life of self-abnegation and self-renunciation which is divinely appointed for us in Him.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 64 - (The Mind in Christ Jesus)

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