The Image of His Son (continued)
Philippians 3:1-21 (continued)
I an not now dealing with the great work which He did in the matter of atonement, in His great redemptive activity when He took upon Him our sin, bore it in His own body on the tree, coming under all the billows of God's wrath and coming into the full depths of judgment on our behalf. I am not speaking about that; that is a thing which we do not enter or share in; blessed be God! It is not necessary for us to enter into that at all now. We need not know judgment. There is no condemnation. He has taken that side for us, but there is another side, a representative side where His history is the history of every child of God. That, of course, opens up a very wide sphere which can only be lightly touched upon in these moments, and we are coming, I think, in these coming days to see the content of that, breaking it up into its fragments. One merely intimates it here, that there has to be a beginning where the entire will of God had to take its place absolutely, and be established and enthroned as the governing law of man's life.
That was what happened at Jordan in the case of the Lord Jesus. At that moment, though having a sinless will, He had nevertheless a man's will, the will of the human, and that as something apart from, something in itself detached from the will of God, and that man's will, the will of the human, the natural will which He possessed was, although sinless, set aside for the will of God at Jordan and there from that moment for Him there was the one governing thing of all life in word, and thought, and deed, in goings and in comings, in acting om in refusing to act, speaking or refusing to speak, going or refusing to go, in the timing of things which He did, now or not now; and you will call to mind that on every one of those things you will have examples of the acts of the Lord Jesus. In all it was a matter of "not My will, but Thy will," and Jordan represented Calvary for Him in the matter of repudiation of the natural will of man and the establishment of the will of God; that He should henceforth not live unto Himself. And so He stepped out and was challenged immediately beyond Jordan on that very question. Challenged upon that matter as to whether He would act out from Himself; upon the most plausible basis that a man could act upon. You know the enemy very rarely puts it up to you to do a thing which he tells you is sin, but he usually tells you to do a thing on very good ground for doing it. He came to the Lord Jesus about bread and said, in fact, necessity knows no law, necessity requires it, it is necessary to do it, it is absolutely essential. If you have been brought to that position at any time you know how difficult it is. What necessity? An earthly interest or a heavenly interest?
That is the question. We have always to look to see if there is any higher necessity than an earthly one and we never discover until we have raised the question as to whether earthly interests are the necessity. If you take an earthly necessity as an argument you become earth-bound and get the thing horizontally - it seems to be necessary that I do this. The Lord may see it in another way. Get a heavenly necessity along that line. The enemy said necessity knows no law; but there is a law not of this earth, a law of heaven. So the Lord Jesus refused to act out from Himself, but always out from God. That was Jordan, and there has to be that crisis when once and for all in every detail of the life it is not going to be a government by the earth, a government by things here, a government by human reason, arguments, necessities, a government by anything that is less than the will of God, to which there is true abandonment. Christ's life from Jordan always was the outworking of that law.
We have to go into that more fully. But those three and a half years from Jordan also have their counterpart in the life of every child of God because there you see a life of absolute dependence upon God for everything, accepted by Him, a voluntary thing but nevertheless very, very real; absolute dependence upon God, and because of that He is revealing what man is here upon earth according to the mind of God. A man who is God-governed and let in a God-consciousness every moment of his life; that is the earthly life of man according to the mind of God. The Lord Jesus reveals that man who walks here on the earth under the government and control of the Holy Spirit, to Whom he brings everything to get His authority; to get the mind of God.
(continued with # 4)