The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ brought in a complete change in the way God dealt with man. His desire today is to bring a rich and bountiful supply of His Spirit to all His children. But how do we receive this supply? Gal. 3:5 says “He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit and does works of power among you, does He do it out of the works of law or out of the hearing of faith?”
Are we still struggling under the law, or are we receiving the Spirit through faith?
In Ephesians 1:3 and 2:6 the apostle Paul says that we have been blessed and have been seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Well, it might say that in the Bible, but what does it say in your experience? Day by day, are you in the heavenlies or do you find yourself spending your time in anxiety? Most of us would have to truthfully answer that we spend much more of our time wrestling with anxiety than enjoying a life with Christ at peace in the heavenlies.
The truth is, that after man fell, human life became a composition of anxiety and worry. So how is it then that the apostle Paul also said in Phil. 4, “Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is near. In nothing be anxious…”?
This book (Phil) is a book about living Christ and magnifying Christ. And practically, what does it look like to live Christ and magnify Christ? It looks like living a life full of forbearance and without any anxiety. So Paul brings us to the very practical side of our actual living and our expression. Forbearance is the sum total of the entire Christian life. If you were to add up the christian life, what does it look like….it looks like forbearance. If you add up the human life apart from Christ, what does it look like…one huge sum of anxiety.
So these two go together. So practically for us to magnify Christ and to live Christ…what does it look like? It looks like living a life full of forbearance without any anxiety. Very practical.
Paul..he knew what the human life was…nothing but anxiety. And what was the christian life…nothing but forbearance. To live Christ is to have forbearance without anxiety. This is to live Christ. For me to live is Christ. And this is what…no anxiety but full of forbearance. We cannot understand such a chapter as Phil 4 by merely studying the Bible. We need our experience to tell us what Paul really meant. Forbearance is the totality of the proper christian life. And what is the totality of the human life? That is anxiety.
So Paul picked up these two things to charge us on the positive side…to let our forbearance be known to all men. For years and years I heard and got to read a number of books on Gal. 2:20. Actually, I didn’t see exactly who was living this way. The answer is in Philippians. Because Paul in Philippians has stepped further not only to tell us that Christ lives in us…but even the more to tell us that to him is to live Christ.
You have to realize to have Christ living is us is not so much as to live Christ. This is much further. And to live Christ is to be full of forbearance and no anxiety. If you just have “this much” anxiety, you are void of Christ “this much.” How much Christ is here in your daily life…this will be measured by forbearance and anxiety. If you have forbearance, you have Christ. If you have anxiety, you are void of Christ. If you have forbearance, surely you don’t have anxiety. If you have anxiety, surely you don’t have forbearance. You cannot have both at the same time.
The first prerequisite to have no anxiety is to realize that every circumstance is an assignment from our Father…especially the bad circumstances. Just learn to know whatever comes to us is of our Father. Especially the unprofitable things are His better assignment.
Galatians chapter 4 is a wonderful chapter focusing on two (2) divine sendings. God first sent forth His Son…but not only so,…He also sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. These 2 sendings in Galatians 4 are our topic on today’s podcast.