Phil.1:20 Christ Magnified
One of the great miracles made possible by our Lord’s death for us takes place in the sphere of our human bodies. Before salvation these bodies involving our fleshly mind formed a kind of blockage to the work of God. We were but men, we walked as do the men of this world, we thought like them, desired what they desire and were deceived as indeed they are.
It took the powerful light of the Gospel and the penetrating oil of the Holy Spirit to get through this Adamic blockage. The flesh resists but finds that God is more powerful. Suddenly the chains fell off, the dungeon floods with light, I rise, etc.
We find, however, that we still see “men like trees walking.” Only if we follow the admonition and example of the Apostle Paul will we experience what God has designed to be the privilege of all His children, that of having these very bodies of ours become the means by which Christ may be magnified. It is as we are yielded (Rom.12:1) that we can provide the transportation, so to speak, for the Christ who lives within us so that He may be evidenced in this world (1 John 4:17 b).
As a yielded Christian Paul could say, “for to me to live is Christ.” He goes on to say that his body is not just a pane of glass so that men can see the Lord inside, but becomes like a magnifying glass so that He increases in their view ( and I decrease)(John 3:30). In fact, I will eventually decrease until there is nothing left of me (physical death), but even that will be “gain for me.”
This may sound a bit mystical, but beware of discounting the reality of it all. The reason why we might falter a bit in making such a declaration about ourselves is that we are not seeing it clearly or we just do not want to see it. That’s dangerous! Let’s put our finger on these verses and say to the Lord, “please teach me to know this by experience no matter what it takes.”
Phil.2:12&13 “....work out....”
The working out of salvation as mentioned here makes me think of toothpaste. Someone
put the toothpaste in the tube, all we have to do is squeeze it a bit and out it comes. God put Christ in us when we were born again, and the circumstances of life bumping against us should cause Him to come out. Anything else that comes out must be confessed as sin shouldn’t it? We either respond to a blow on the cheek with a retaliatory reaction, or we turn the other cheek. There is no middle ground.
Another way to look at it is to think of a sponge in a pail of water. If the water is dirty when the sponge is plunged, when it is wrung, the water is still dirty, but if the original water is clean then only clean water may come out. Let the water represent Christ’s life in the Spirit and the sponge, us. If we are filled with the Spirit as we are commanded, then no matter how much we might abuse the sponge, only what’s in can come out. We get rid of the dirty water (self) by reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God (Rom.6:11), not trying hard to be better. Remember, the formula is: confess, reckon and yield.
So, if the sponge were to be slapped or stomped on and anything but clean water comes out, it shows that it was not filled with the right stuff. The Spirit of Jesus on the cross and that of Stephen being stoned was one of forgiveness. I guess we should fear and tremble if it be otherwise with us when a relative or co-worker uses us poorly.
Phil.3:11 Resurrection Now!
I believe probably that Paul is thinking of the resurrection in the same sense as Rom.6:13, that is, as a present daily walk. The fact that he says he had not yet attained it would make no sense if he were referring to the glorious resurrection of the future. As we know, he often spoke of not only being already resurrected but even being seated together with Christ (Eph.2:6). He calls this “walking in newness of life”(Rom.6:4).
It is this power of Christ’s resurrection that Paul desired to know in his walk with the Lord. To enjoy it one must first be conformable to Christ’s death. This, I believe, is simply another way of saying that we must count ourselves to have died when He died and on that basis take our stand on resurrection ground.
Of course, we, like Paul, have not fully attained and should “press toward the mark” along with him. It is this for which Christ laid hold of us (apprehended).
Let us not be like those around us who “mind earthly things” (v.19), but rather look for our Savior who, when we see Him, will change us into His image and likeness. Won’t it be wonderful to have a body like His!
Phil.4:2 Euodias and Syntyche
During the summer following my first year at Providence Bible Institute, one of my assignments was to write a commentary on the book of Philippians. I was delighted to discover the meanings of the names of these two ladies. Strong’s Concordance provided me with this information as I looked in the Greek Lexicon. Euodias means “fine traveling” and comes from a word that was used by Paul when he spoke of “a prosperous journey.” Syntyche, on the other hand literally means “accident” and comes from a word meaning “to chance together.”
It didn’t take my imagination long in putting together a scenario. The first sister was doing just fine in her journey along the Christian highway until she met sister “soon touchy” (as someone called her). There is always someone whom God has available to knock us into shape!
Let these two sisters get together and pray instead of being filled with cares, and they will have peace (v.6).
Let them think right(v.8) if they would be virtuous.
Let them be contented as Paul was (vss.11&12).
Let them remember that they can put up with anything thru Christ (v.14).
Let them look to God to supply any need they might have (v.19).
If they would both have a mind to do these things, they would be thinking alike, yea they would be thinking like Christ.