So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Phil. 1:20).
If we look to other Christians as examples to follow, we will soon be discouraged by the prevailing low standard. If we look to Christ as our example, we will be utterly discouraged because of His infinitely high standard. Hence it is essential that we understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is our life; He is not a legal example to emulate, but the source of life from which we grow.
"It is not in any conventional standard of frames and feelings that the disciple is to find the measure of attainment required of him. It is not by any painful reproducing of another's spiritual history that he is to acquire the true comfort of spirit which he longs for. Outward imitation, though it be of the perfect Example Himself, has little place in the order of spiritual growth - little place because little possibility. Without Me (i.e., apart from Me, in separation from Me) ye can do nothing.' To abide in Christ is the only secret of Christlikeness; for only thus is obtained the likeness of unity, which is perfect and enduring, instead of the likeness of conformity, which is only partial and transient." -A.J.G.
"In the pathway of discipline and trial we learn by bitter experience the truth of Paul's confession, In me. . . in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.' Coupled with that is the lesson that God waits with infinite patience, like the potter, to work out a design and beauty with such frail material." -M.H.F.
"And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18)
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