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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Attaining the Out-resurrection, #8
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)
We would suggest that the upward calling of the new-covenant saint is identical to the commission given to human beings in the beginning:
To be in the image of God in spirit, soul, and body.
To be male and female, that is, to have the capacity for union with God and with all who are in God.
To be fruitful.
To have dominion over the creation.
As to image:
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
As to union:
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:21).
As to fruitfulness:
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).
As to dominion:
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Revelation 3:21).
Of the four parts of the original commission given to mankind, union is the most important. When God made man He made him male and female so it would be impossible for any individual to achieve image, fruitfulness, or dominion apart from union with another person. Only the Father, God, is capable of image, fruitfulness and dominion apart from union with another person.
The third chapter of Philippians concerns the complete union of the saint with Christ. Paul was laying aside all other goals so he might pursue the one supreme goal of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ, of knowing the power of His resurrection from among the dead (not the power of Paul's resurrection but the power of Christ's resurrection), of sharing in Christ's sufferings (not Paul's sufferings).
Do not the power and the sufferings become Paul's?
Yes, they do indeed. But the important aspect is that they are Christ's power and sufferings. It is not what we attain that is so vitally significant. The one true achievement of the human being is to enter all that Christ is, that Christ does, that Christ becomes, that Christ experiences, that Christ attains and inherits.
We are coheirs with Christ. Not one thing we are or do is of value apart from the Lord. The necessary aspect of salvation is union with Him.
The difference between the False Prophet (religion), and Christ (Divine redemption), is as follows: the False Prophet and those who belong to him are seeking image, fruitfulness, and dominion apart from union with Christ, apart from union with God. Christ and those who belong to Him are also seeking image, fruitfulness, and dominion, but only as these elements flow naturally from union with God.
All religious formulas, whether they have to do with fasting, meditation, faith, standing on the promises of Scripture, discipleship, patterns of baptism, gifts of the Spirit, organizational designs, or whatever else may be emphasized, are of the False Prophet unless their goals are achieved through union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
To be continued.