Larger font
Smaller font
Copy
Print
Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents

    April 23, 1885

    “Notes on the International Lesson. Philippians 2:5-16” The Signs of the Times 11, 17, pp. 262, 263.
    MAY 10—Philippians 2:5-16

    “LET this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” In the verses previous to this Paul exhorts us to likemindedness. It is not in this epistle alone, but in several others that he presents this subject. Indeed it is the chief duty of Christians to be of one mind. In 1 Corinthians 1:10 it is written: “Not I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” In Romans 15:5, 6 we read: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And in Philippians 2:2 Paul says: “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.... Let each esteem other better than themselves.”SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.1

    IN that last prayer of Jesus, before he went over the brook Cedron into Gethsemane, this was his one great request, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one, even as we are one; I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:21-23. Here three times in quick succession the prayer is that all who believe on him may be one; and twice is expressed the consequence of such unity, “That the world may believe” that he is the Son of God. The great heart of him who gave his life for the world, yearns for the belief of those for whom he died. A few then believed in him, and through these is he to be made known to the world, and that the world may believe their testimony they must be united. Burdened with this great argument, he prays with an earnestness only second to that in Gethsemane, that all his followers may be one, that so the world may believe that he was sent of God, and so believing be saved.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.2

    CHRIST not only prayed thus but he made ample provision for the fulfillment of his prayer. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:15-17, 23. Thus “our fellowship is “formed “with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ.” And this is the only possible way in which we can have true fellowship one with another. For if this man has, by the Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Father and with the Son; and if that man has, by the Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Father and with the Son, they must have fellowship one with another, for the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one; and those who have fellowship with these must be one likewise.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.3

    WE repeat, they must be one; it is impossible that they should not be, as along as they keep the unity of the Spirit. But Satan is alive, he is active and determined, he will stir up division, strife, contention if it be possible, and there is where each one must ever be watchful, earnest, and vigilant, that he be no one through whom the adversary may wound the previous body of Christ. Paul’s warning is that “of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:30. There is the secret of all perverseness and division—self-exaltation, to draw away disciples after them. Instead of being disciples they want to be masters. Instead of exerting themselves, in meekness and quietness, to gain disciples to Christ, they seek, in willful self-assertion, to draw disciples after themselves. But that is not all, they will “draw away disciples,” that is, they will endeavor in their perverseness to draw disciples of Christ away from him unto themselves. “Take heed to yourselves.” “Let no man deceive you.” Let no man deceive himself.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.4

    “I THEREFORE the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” As we have seen, the Holy Spirit is the pledge of our unity with the Father and the Son, and the means of our attaining unity one with another, and here is set before us our duty to endeavor to keep this unity of the Spirit. And the basis of that unity is the word of God, which was written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. It is this word in which all are to be of the same mind and about which all are to speak the same thing. It is in the truth of God that all are to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. It is in the faith and work of Christ that there is to be no division. For he said, “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” And, “Thy word is truth.” John 16:13; 17:17. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14, 16. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” But “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:9, 14.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.5

    “MADE himself of no reputation.” Is has been said that—SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.6

    “The purest treasure that mortal times afford, Is—spotless reputation.”SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.7

    But character excels reputation, as far as light excels darkness. Thousands of men to-day are living on their reputation, while their characters are as black as night. Thousands have the reputation of being very charitable, who at the same time have so little character that they will rob the fatherless, oppress the widow, and grind the faces of the poor. Many have the reputation of being the very exemplars of liberality, giving abundantly to the church, to the Sunday-school, and to missions, who at the same time are so destitute of character as to rob their employers, their customers, or their creditors, that they may support their reputation of being liberal to the cause of religion. If there were a vastly greater demand for character, and a good deal less of a willingness to be dazzled by reputation, the world would be much better off than it is. A good reputation can be made in a day, but years are required to make a character. A good reputation can be made by one single act, but it requires all the acts of a good life to form a good character, even in the eyes of men.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.8

    IT is character alone that is acceptable to God. No brilliancy of reputation can dazzle him. He demands truth in the inward parts. “God looketh on the heart.” And here people make a great mistake as often as in anything else. Thousands when called upon to obey the truth of God, will put first their reputation, and what they think is their influence, and will make their allegiance to God—their character—yield to these. Christ “made himself of no reputation;” so likewise did he who was the figure of Christ, he “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt.” So it will ever be. The disciple is not greater than his Lord. The people of God have ever been subject to reproach; the truth of God has always been unpopular, and men often have the opportunity to follow Christ most closely by, like him, making themselves of “no reputation.” Often it becomes necessary for us to forfeit reputation before men, that we may perfect character before God.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.9

    “HE humbled himself.” He, the only begotten Son of the Highest, he by whom all things were created, for our sakes became poor, and was despised, afflicted, tormented, and crucified; he, the King of glory. Another, one of the very highest of created beings, determined to exalt himself to be like the Most High. He who exalted himself is to be abased to the lowest hell. He who humbled himself has been highly exalted, and has been given “a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” With the one who exalted himself—short exaltation, eternal humiliation. “Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.10

    “DO all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” Jesus said, “Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16. But how many of us consider that we must be wise as serpents to be harmless as doves.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.11

    “AMONG whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Said Jesus, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14. This is sometimes quoted “cannot easily be hid,” but the Lord did not say so. He said it “cannot be hid.” When a man professes the name of Christ, men themselves expect him to depart from iniquity. Wherever he is know he cannot be hid. If his life is consistent with his profession, well; if it is otherwise, it cannot be hid. So with the light. “Ye shine,” says Paul. We often hear persons say, “I want my light to shine.” We need have no care about the fact of its shining. “Ye are the light,” says Christ. “Ye shine,” says Paul. If we have professed the name of Christ, our light will shine, and we cannot prevent it. But how it shall shine is for us to control. “If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:23. “Take heed therefore that the light that is in thee be not darkness.” Luke 11:35. It is not the fact of our light shining, but the manner of its shining, about which we are to be concerned. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works.” “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12.SITI April 23, 1885, page 262.12

    “HOLDING forth the word of life.” If we will have our light to “so shine” that men may see our good works, then we can hold forth to men the word of life, with hope of its being accepted, and then we may rejoice in the day of Christ, that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. “Wherefore work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”SITI April 23, 1885, page 263.1

    A. T. JONES.

    Larger font
    Smaller font
    Copy
    Print
    Contents