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“For Me to Live is Christ” (Phil 1:21)

“I live by the faith of the Son of God.” Meaning, not that faith which Christ, as man, had, but that of which He is the Author and Object, by which the just man lives; not upon it, for the believer does not live upon any of His graces, no, not upon faith, but by faith upon Christ, the Object; looking to Him for pardon, righteousness, peace, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation: which Object is described as "the Son of God."

- John Gill

 

 

 “For Me to Live is Christ” (Phil 1:21)

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 5:20 - NLT). “I live,” because of course, the person—the individual—remains still the same. It is not Platonic mysticism, no pantheistic absorption into “the ocean of being.”

Men we are, and are ever to be; whatever change we pass through in new birth as to spirit and soul, whatever change awaits the body at the time when the Lord Jesus shall call us to be with Him, we shall never lose our essential identity with what God created us to be at first. We are the same persons all through—the same individuals. The fall did not unmake us as men; our new birth does not unmake us on the other side. We never lose our essential manhood; our individuality is never changed.

But it is “no longer I” (old I - Ro 8:9—NC) because of the blessed fact of my death unto sin in the Lord Jesus on the Cross, and because of His risen and ascended life for me in heaven which I by faith have laid hold of. I have come into the infinite blessedness of my Father’s thoughts and actions concerning me. Him, whom God has accepted for me and as me, I have learned to accept in the same way for and as myself. As the life which He has given me is His very own life (Col 3:4), and has in Him its source and spring, as “life hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3), so “in me Christ lives” down here. I have by faith realized identification with Him and as His—part of Himself: “for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Eph 5:30).

His peace, His joy, are mine; His life and Spirit are mine; His pursuits, objects, and interests are mine; the love of His Father is mine; His present rejection and future glory are mine also; and all this in the power of a love wherewith He has at His own personal cost, set me completely free from all that I but now had title to, or which had title to me.

I have now rest for my heart. I am no more at the impracticable work of trying to be what I am not; I am all I desire to be (1Jhn 4:17—NC). Only, sense and experience do not present to me my true self at all. My life is in Christ Jesus, thus I am in Him and only faith recognizes this, which also recognizes the Cross of the Lord Jesus as that wherein my old man was judged and set in death for God. My “old man was crucified with Christ”; my “new man” is the one in Christ alone.

Here the perpetual sunshine settles down upon my soul. God is for me—with me—and must ever be. No cloud in there of His putting; no hiding ever of the Father’s face. I may turn away—true, I may forget, but I have only to turn to Him again to find undimmed, His glorious face shining upon me in His own Beloved, and in His presence I am ever welcome and at home.

The Spirit who has come to take of the things of Christ and show them to my soul comes not to fill me with my own righteousness, or gladden me with my own beauty, or set up another object before me outside of the Lord Jesus whom I love and before whom I stand in glory (Jhn 17:22). The Lord Jesus, and He alone, is faith’s Object; for it knows no other objective. Ought I to have faith in myself? Ought I to have an object there? The Cross of Christ then, is the death of the old man; His grave its burial, that burying my dead out of my sight, I may be free to be occupied with Him who is not dead, but living, and in Whom I live.

- F W Grant

 

Excerpt from MJS devotional for January 16:

“The true hope makes all the difference to us in our ministry. Our expectations have been personally proven. It makes possible joy in the midst of sorrow, confidence in the midst of defeat. It changes our attitude toward those to whom we minister. We see them not as they are at the moment but as we know the Lord is going to make them. Then patience and forgiveness are easy, for we already see the Lord’s finished work. It changes our prayer for them. We ask not for some little progress or partial blessing for them but for the Lord’s complete victory. It changes our teaching ministry to them. Instead of fearfully giving a little more of God’s truth, we confidently declare all the counsel of God. There is ever before us the joy of the finished work which we know the Lord is going to accomplish.” -A.M.

 

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