Addresses on Philippians: Philippians 2, Part 2

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 4
I used to wonder when I was quite young why it was that the Lord Jesus chose the death of the cross. Why not some other? Death had to be the wages of sin—death was separation, and we had to be separated from God on account of sin. Holiness and sin cannot dwell together, and so the Lord Jesus took what sin had brought in upon the world, although there was no sin in Him. He could have gone back to the glory as a man, but He was going there not alone; but to take others with Him, and seeing He was willing to make Himself of no reputation, and take that low place before the eyes of men, God says, “For that reason, I will exalt Him.”
Man at first said, “I want to be exalted,” and he fell. The race is down. The Lord Jesus comes into that into which man fell—death, separation from God—and chose the death of the cross. There was no place lower. Men put Him there, but they could not have put Him there if He had not been willing to go. Was there ever a man like that before? Look at Him as He is going there—what a manifestation of divine life! Instead of reviling, He says nothing. When they say to Him, “I adjure Thee,” He would answer when put to such a test. Is that like your heart and mine? We hear someone saying something against us which is not true. How we are ready to stand up for ourselves; this is not like the Lord. How one’s heart melts when he thinks of it. “When He was reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” How do we take the harsh things said about us? Do we pray for those who say such things? This is what the Lord did, and He exhorts the disciples to pray for their enemies. Who could write such words as these? No one. It is a revelation from God; not man’s thoughts.
Only to be a little while longer here, and then I shall be with my Lord, and I shall be like Him. I shall not have this body in which I fail so much now, but a body even like unto His own body of glory—like Himself, then, in every way; and then the desire must come from the heart to be like Him down here. He humbled Himself when He was a man down here, and became obedient, even to death, and that the death of the cross. The One, the lowliest Man who ever trod this earth, is the One to whom every knee must bow; and we can say, He is the only One worthy of it.
Do you think for one moment the apostle could have rejoiced that Christ was being preached in contention? He as much as says, I don’t care if Christ is preached in contention; that is all right, Christ is being preached. Isn’t it blessed to get Christ so before the soul? Now he can say to them (13th verse), “Wherefore, by beloved.” I am absent from you, and not able to help you any longer, but I want you to work out your own salvation. “Your own” stands in contrast to his helping them in the past. Do this with fear and trembling. Why? Just because of these wretched hearts of ours. How am I to be able to manifest Christ? With a good deal of self-confidence, getting up in the morning and saying, “I am just going to see today how much I can manifest Christ”? No, that would not be with fear and trembling. Take the blessed Lord, as man, and what does He say? “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put My trust.” If the blessed Lord could take that place as man, how much more should I? The old Adam nature never could do it. It is the opposite in every particular. I have Christ—He is my life—and I have the Spirit of God, and am therefore responsible to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Where is my strength? “For it is God that worketh in you.” So it isn’t my strength; it is God that worketh in me. Then I may again utter these words, “Preserve me, O God.”
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Did the Lord do things with murmurings and disputings? The forty days in the wilderness, tempted of Satan, never brought a word of complaint from the Lord. It was that which enabled the apostle Paul to say, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” When in trial, the moment you bring the Lord in, the thought is: He has something to say to me, and then seek to know what He has for me to learn in the trial. When I think of that, I can’t murmur. Murmuring comes when we forget to bring the Lord in.
“In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” What a contrast there ought to be with us and the world, and if this is laid hold of by our souls, and there is a manifestation of it in our general walk, no matter where we are, whether in meeting our brother, or in connection with a lot of ungodly people at work, Christ will shine out. When one thinks of all the Lord has done, we can’t help saying, “Lord, preserve me.” I know my heart is just the opposite, but I desire to manifest Christ in my ways and conversation. I am responsible, and have to answer for myself.
(Continued from Page 48)