Christ Jesus Our Pattern

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Notes of G. V. W.; Lecture on Phil. 2
I WAS looking last, time at the 1St chapter, as presenting the measure in which, by a man of like passions as we, eternal life was exhibited down here. This epistle being a sort of practical commentary of that word in the Gospel of John, "I in you." We find the power of eternal life in Christ dwelling in and being manifested down here in a man (Paul), and Paul could get into circumstances to write a letter to his beloved Philippians, and let out most strikingly this eternal life dwelling in him. In chapter i. verse 20, he says, " In nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death." In circumstances where everything might be supposed calculated to bow down the heart, but no! The only thought in that heart was, that Christ might be in him, magnified.
We find in chapter i. the principle of eternal life-" For to me to live is Christ; " and in the 2nd chapter the pattern of the eternal life in the blessed Son Himself. Here very remarkable words are used. It is not English to say " To me to live is Christ." Here it points to what was that life of the Son, in the 1St chapter, the power of Paul in manifesting that life. He could say truly " To me to live is Christ." As the hands of a clock tell of that which is working inside, so Paul's life told of what was in his heart. He couldn't have said " To me to live is Christ " without the throbbing of that life in his soul.
Verse 1St. "If there be any," etc. Here he teaches notes well known to himself and these Philippians, calling on them to answer by a walk becoming the servant of Christ. He is a man full of the anointing, seeing everything in the presence of. God. " Fulfill my joy;" " Consider one another." Let' every one be the mark of another, not occupied with self, but with those who are the objects of Christ's love; If I see you' trying to build one another up, it is the joy of my heart.,,
Verse 5. " Let this mind," or, let this be minded by you. People read this, as if' it referred to the power of God in the mind., but it, is very different; it is the power of intelligence as to' the mind of God. He, has a 'mind of His own-man has not that mind, but he can understand the things of God. He has given us eternal life, we have the principle, and, are to exercise it as Christ did. From first to last, Christ was the servant, the Sent One, doing God's will-" Let this mind be' in you." It is the thinking, as Christ thought-not the mind of God-but the principle he has given, and what He is, ever sustaining. 'His name be praised, Christ's whole heart was set on His Father's mind. God had not two thoughts. He carried out the one, thought of -the Father's mind, and to, do it, had to come down here, to the death of the Cross. If I want to be thoroughly ashamed of self, it is when reading this chapter, contrasting self with that Divine. One, He who_ through His whole course never had a will. Every day, as a saint, I find I have a will that' must be kept under. Paul does not care what he suffers, or what becomes of him, so long as Christ be magnified in his body-he attained to an immense extent like-mindedness with Christ. We do not illustrate that eternal life Chris. It has given us, as did Paul, looking at the character of the glory of the Son here; it is not the humiliation only of the Son of man (the. Spirit of God, is very guarded) He being in the form of God, verses 7, 8. Who was that babe in the manger? Ah! that manger' was a good place, by way of contrast with the glory of the titles brought out there. Who was that babe? The one over whom angel's sung, the only begotten in the bosom of the Father. He came down and lay in a manger-the one who thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He emptied Himself, He did make Himself of no reputation, washing His disciples' feet. This blessed One laid everything aside. All the divine power was in Him. He, the one by whom God made all things, 'when He came down and died, He laid it all in abeyance. I could not do that; if I tried to lay aside anything that distinguished me from others, it would be sure to come out, just when I did not want it to betray me, but He had perfect, absolute self control over Himself. I could not trust to your patience or forbearance with me, but I can trust God's perfect patience. Where should you find a man that would willingly abide under a yoke? The will tosses there, and Christ has to put His children there, to break that will down, saying " Now, I have done that, you can walk under my yoke and find it easy." Who but God could have gone on 4000 years with man, finding nothing but sin, sin, sin, till His Son came, the only one without sin and (He having been put to death) going on again 2000 years longer, and at the end, still unwearied in patience and goodness. What a heart the Lord Jesus must have after 6000 years of nothing but man's sin and the failure of His people, saying at the end, "Behold! I come quickly." He has a heart not like ours, but the contrast of all that we are. Adam's desire was "to become one of us (Gen. 3:2222And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (Genesis 3:22).) The blessed Lord was the Son, and the object of all worship, not a thing to be snatched at. He was it. "Being obedient unto death," going to the cross, with the consciousness that He was the Son of the Father, in whom all the Father's eternal counsels stood, and saying, " Lo, I come to do thy will." He could go down even to the death of the cross. He said, " I have power to lay down my life," etc. I do not bring in the thought of atonement there; it is the perfection there of obedience, spewing how entirely His mind was subject to God and the Father. Everything He did He did as the servant of God. We can turn to Him and say, there is One whom we Can trace from the manger to the cross, and never find but on two occasions the expression of a will of His own, and that expression each time was perfect. The first-when anticipating drinking the cup the Father had given, and it would not have been perfect unless thus..Was it nothing to that holy One to think of all the billows and wrath He was going to bear for sin? The Gnostics said he did not suffer at all-it was a dreadful heresy. If not there as sin-bearer, all the fruits of His having died would have been at an end. He would not take the cup from man's hand, but at God's. The second expression of His will is in John 17th, " Father, I will," &c. What a blessed expression of perfect satisfaction in those poor things. He was soon going to leave them, and He could say, " Father, I have kept them in thy name," and I am coming for them, " and will that they should be with me where I am." He would not be alone in glory, He would have them sharers of it.
You and I have wills that are constantly working. You should get your will judged by the contrast between you and Christ. Get the beauty of Christ coming cloven, without any will, saying, " Lo, I come to do Thy will, and but for that will having been perfectly fulfilled, you would have been writhing eternally in hell.: Adam snatched. after what he thought would better' his circumstances, and he got Satan to be his patron, to get some thing for self. Christ walked down here perfectly will-less. Man had done what he liked, hut God had stood behind and given the cup (that was what man. would not see). The cup was not what He met with from the hand of, man, but from God. It was the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God that He should die, and that as a man, because of carrying out all the counsels of God, he should go up to the highest place-everything in heaven; and earth to bow down to Him. Oh, how just God is! Did you ever snatch at a thing which God would have given you? Paul had a will, he would go to Jerusalem and had to go to Rome, but the Lord said, I shall go with you. Now will-less, I am as Christ, whose will it was to be the subject servant of God, nothing else, and there He is in the glory now, still in this character.
How little one's heart thinks of Him. Paul thought a great deal of Him. When could He get water enough, even to „turn that wheel? Water enough to keep his heart fresher and fresher as lie went on? Oh! It was the person of. Christ revealing 'Himself, that and only that, kept his heart fresh. That one, now on the Throne, in the highest place, because of His most perfect subjection: what a thought, that He is the eternal lover of souls, and all that I, have is in. Him; and it is all given me by the Father, and He will keep it.. The Holy Ghost sent down by. Him, seals it upon our heart, so that we can say, we know whose we are, that we are loved by Him-" God working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure." He would have a people, with all the freshness of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ for them. If God is working in us, there: is no distance between the potter and the vessel; it is in the potter's hand fashioning it and his hand is very close to the clay.
It is very blessed to be a temple of the Holy Ghost, but we must take care to remember that it is God who is molding and working in us, as He did in Paul, that Christ may be magnified in these bodies, whether by life or by death. There is not a thing I may be doing, that is bright to me now, that will continue to look bright in heaven unless Christ be the object of it. It is the expression of the life of Christ in a person that must be made manifest, one may be in bed sick; another running over the earth preaching, another in prison, no matter where it be, if Christ be in him, that set of circumstances he is in, is just the place where the life of Christ is to break forth and to shine most brightly. If a believer bad to take to his bed, for six weeks, and came to Christ, saying " Lord fill this chamber with Thyself," what brightness theft:, would be You do not find with many now, that Christ is first, Christ second, Christ third, not the rock, whence all supplies are to be drawn, not all handed up to Him, as the one teaching His child to read. You do not find likeness to Christ coming out, not like a seal with a good engraving; from which; if you gave me wax, I could make a good impression. Let Christ be inside and Christ will shine out; but if you let your heart be filled with care and trouble Christ cannot shine out, you will know what joy is when He can shine out; " Work out your own salvation," and when Christ has revealed Himself to me as a Savior, and ''I know the question of sin is settled, having eternal life, God says, " Now I shall teach you what a win you have, how unlike you are to 'my Son." God 'wants to have this body, soul, and spirit, all for Hiinself. If you see any beauty in Christ, and say "Ii would desire to have that," God' will work it in you.
In verses 15 and 16, we have a picture of what Christ
was down here. Christ shined forth all through His course. We are called to follow Him-" to be blameless," &c. Paul adds, " that I may rejoice," &c. There is one thing very sweet, and that is the communion of the saints in glory. Paul could say, " I shall meet you in the glory, and I want your walk to be such now, that you may be my joy and crown of rejoicing in that presence." If Paul stand there, with those beloved Philippians and Thessalonians as his crown of rejoicing, the great principle is brought out, that everything done down here for Christ will then shine out, and people will have the joy of it coming out there. The real question of sin is, the wanting to have a will of your own. Christ had none. He never found anything to be bitter, because He took it all from the Father's hand. We fret because we think things are so cruel, and complain because Satan has got such power; but all is under the hand of God, and there you get God's love, God permitting these things for blessing afterward, as in the case of Job. When I have looked back, at trials, and I have seen how I wanted that process, and if inclined to glory in gifts-how God took away things to strip self of everything-that one might find Him enough, I got down on my face and there I found He was enough.