Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Fellowship Of The Cross

"Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus." --Philippians 2:5.

Paul here tells us what that mind was in Christ: He emptied Himself; He took the form of a servant; He humbled Himself, even to the death of the cross. It is this mind that was in Christ, the deep humility that gave up His life to the very death, that is to be the spirit that animates us. It is thus that we shall prove and enjoy the blessed fellowship of His cross.

Paul had said (ver.1): "If there is any comfort in Christ," -- the Comforter was come to reveal His real presence in them -- "if any fellowship of the Spirit," -- it was in this power of the Spirit that they were to breathe the Spirit of the crucified Christ and manifest His disposition in the fellowship of the cross in their lives.

As they strove to do this, they would feel the need of a deeper insight into their real oneness with Christ. They would learn to appreciate the truth that they had been crucified with Christ, that their "old man" had been crucified, and that they had died to sin in Christ's death and were living to God in His life. They would learn to know what it meant that the crucified Christ lived in them, and that they had crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. It was because the crucified Jesus lived in them that they could live crucified to the world.

And so they would gradually enter more deeply into the meaning and the power of their high calling to live as those who were dead to sin and the world and self. Each in his own measure would bear about in his life the marks of the cross, with its sentence of death on the flesh, with its hating of the self life and its entire denial of self, with its growing conformity to the crucified Redeemer in His deep humility and entire surrender of His will to the life of God.

It is no easy school and no hurried learning -- this school of the cross. But it will lead to a deeper apprehension and a higher appreciation of the redemption of the cross, through the personal experience of the fellowship of the cross.

(Andrew Murray - Secrets Of The Cross - Second Day)


Anonymous said...

A very similar verse is also:

1 Peter 4:1
"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,"

It is interesting that however much we want to only have our Holy Father and His on and only Son in mind for our motivation in everything, God still allows for our motivation to sometimes live as a Christian motivated by reward. I don't fully grasp why this is. But Jesus does it in the Gospels too "who ever loses his life will keep it". Is Peter and Jesus really appealing to our motives that are not simply the motive for Christ? It's like God knows that deep down, being in the flesh we still have a problem with cultivating pure motives. Unless of course the desire for keeping our life, or ceasing from sin ARE pure motives - thoughts?