The Daily Word of Righteousness

Suffering and Glory, #2

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (Philippians 3:10)

When we are young in the Lord our union with Christ's crucifixion and resurrection delivers us from the authority of the Law of Moses and from the guilt and force of sin. When we are older in the Lord the same union enables us to bring resurrection life to other people. Finally, we perceive as the goal of our life the removal of all self-centeredness and the gaining of the perfect knowledge of Christ, of the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.

What is true of Christ's servants who are living in and by His eternal life?

They constantly are delivered to death for Jesus' sake.

Why does Christ continually deliver over His servants to trouble, to afflictions, to perplexity, to persecution, to being struck down?

Because such suffering provides the opportunity for the eternal, indestructible, resurrection life of Jesus to raise them up. The servants of the Lord thus are driven to live by the power of Christ's resurrection rather than by their own energy and wisdom.

When we become powerless to act, the Lord must assume control if something is to be done. We always have the sentence of death in ourselves such that we do not trust our own strength or wisdom but trust in God who raises the dead.

What is working continually in the faithful minister of the Gospel?

The death of trouble, afflictions, perplexity, persecution, being struck down.

What is working continually in those who are partaking of the ministry of the faithful minster?

The indestructible resurrection life of Christ; Christ's power that raises up the minister and is conveyed to the hearers.

What faith does the Apostle have?

The spirit of faith that causes him to speak the Word of God.

I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: (Psalms 116:10).

What did Paul know?

God who raised the Lord Jesus will raise Paul also with Jesus and will present him with the saints in Corinth before His holy Presence.

Why were the things that were happening taking place, especially the tribulations that were coming upon Paul?

They were taking place for the spiritual benefit of the believers in Corinth.

The grace of God that was raising up Paul was spreading out to many people. Therefore many people would be praying for Paul and giving thanks for his deliverance, bringing an abundance of glory to God.

Why did Paul not faint or lose heart because of his troubles?

Because he understood that God was bringing forth the Glory of Christ through Paul's tribulations.

What was happening to Paul's natural personality, his flesh and blood self? It was decaying, perishing.

What was happening to Paul's inner, born-again man? It was being renewed day by day.

What was Paul's momentary, light tribulation creating? An eternal weight of glory so marvelous as to be beyond all comparison.

Notice that it is the tribulation that produces the glory. Tribulation, when we permit it to bring forth the Life of Jesus in us, produces a weight of glory. The weight of glory is the "house which is from heaven" of the next chapter. The house from Heaven is the robe of righteousness and glory that will clothe our resurrected body when the Lord appears from Heaven. The robe of righteousness consists of the "things done in his body," of II Corinthians 5:10.

To be continued.