September 20, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Now thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:14
Fix our eyes and heart on Jesus Christ. That means, our focus does not vary from one concern to another. It compels us to maintain a commitment to His lordship and authority. This is not governed by our endeavor, but by daily resignation of heart and spirit to the full control of the Holy Spirit, working in our life..."conforming us to the image of His Son."
Paul knew something about this. He said, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
He realized that the old life of the flesh had to be put to death daily, so the indwelling Holy Spirit would not be hindered by any impediments in his life. His life was an absolute captive of Jesus Christ. He was not concerned if he could maintain his spiritual statue...all of this was committed to the authority of Christ. It was not his life that was of ultimate significance, but, that the life of Christ might live in him and through him. He had no other interest, no other purpose, no other goal in life.
He said, "Brethren, this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). He was consumed with Christ being in total command of his life, and he, being a "captive" in the train of Christ's triumphs. You might say, "What about those he encountered day by day? Wasn't he concerned for their welfare, their spiritual state, and growth in grace?" Most certainly, but he was now viewing them from God's perspective, not his. The compassion of Christ now enlarged his vision, and the love of God now constrained him to be a debtor to all men. He was motivated by ONE outside of himself. He now appropriated the boundless resources of God in Christ Jesus, whereby he said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). What a glorious realization!
But there is more! To so live, is to know the joy and blessedness of being led of God, who "always causes us to triumph in Christ [who leads us in a triumphal procession as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those that are being saved and those who are lost. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). Wow!
"We are to God the aroma of Christ"--the essence of His life being manifested through us, His grace exemplified in our walk, His compassion seen in our response to others, and His servanthood molding our character. The "aroma of Christ" penetrating our life, blessing all we encounter, overcoming the prejudice, rebellion, hostility, and discord that engulfs the lives of so many. To have this truth inscribed upon our hearts, will radically change our life!
This is the result of being a "captive of Jesus Christ!" Paul's life was lived outside himself. Christ was the driving force of his life, whose love consumed the whole of his being!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-09-20
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