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The Daily Word of Righteousness
So Great Salvation, #11
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Psalms 8:4)
Man is an offspring of God. Man is the image of God. Man is not complete until he is part of God, of Christ, of other people. But man is more than this.
Man is the source of fruitfulness. Christ has called each of the elect to be fruitful. We have been chosen and ordained with this in mind.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8)
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (John 15:16)
The unfruitful Christian is not allowed to remain in Christ.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2)
Adam and Eve reproduced blood (the temporary life force of man), and flesh and bone (the eternal form of man). But the saints reproduce the Divine Life of Christ, and the image of Christ, in themselves and in others.
Fruitfulness comes out of our death. It is impossible for us to retain our life and at the same time to bear the Life of Christ and the image of Christ.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)
Divine fruitfulness and strength flow from the cross. It is as we bear in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the Life of Jesus can be communicated from our mortal flesh.
God continues to bring us down to death so "the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (II Corinthians 4:7). God will not give His Glory to another. No proud flesh will be allowed to boast itself in His Presence.
The crucifixion of Christ and the weakness and imprisonment of Paul and the other Apostles have brought the Life and image of Christ to the whole world.
One of the living beings in and around the throne of Almighty God is like an ox. Every true "man" must be willing to bear patiently the burden God assigns to him. He must labor on—to the point of death if need be. Glory always follows the suffering endured by the servant of the Lord.
Fruitfulness comes about as we are willing to serve sacrificially, to die to self-serving, self-aggrandizement. We are to be obedient to the death of the cross. It is from the death of the saints that the life-giving Glory of Christ proceeds. As we bow our necks to the yoke, in obedience to the Father's will, the image of Christ is created in other people.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. (Proverbs 14:4)
In the Kingdom of God, life comes out of death. The way up is down. We must be willing to serve and then to be offered up as a sacrifice, as was true of Elisha's oxen.
And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him. (I Kings 19:21)
The powerful ministry of Elisha followed the service and sacrifice of the oxen.
To be continued.