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New Testament Living

(Text: Phil 1:20-21)
Taking Christ As Our Lives, Living Christ As Our Life-Principle 

Philippians is a book on the experience of Christ. The statement, "To live is Christ," is simple, yet very profound. How then do we actually live this Christ Life? Suppose a certain person is naturally eloquent, he can be an outstanding preacher and draw a great crowd. Another brother is not born with the ability to speak eloquently. On the contrary, he is slow and halting in his expression. Whenever this person stands up to speak, he is in fear and trembling. He would pray desperately to the Lord, saying, "Lord if you don't speak, I will not be able to speak. If you don't do something about my speaking, I am finish." In this illustration, which of the two brothers do you think is really living Christ? 

A naturally eloquent brother may have the same expression of living Christ as well, for with him the principle is the same. He may pray, "Lord, I am in fear and trembling that my eloquence and intelligence might replace you and that my ability might hinder you and keep me from enjoying you. Lord, as I speak I have no trust in my natural ability." In this way he denies himself and repudiates his ability, eloquence, intelligence, cleverness and knowledge. Therefore, when he speaks, he also experiences Christ and lives Him. Hence, the way to live Christ is to have no trust in the flesh, which means to have no trust in ourselves. When we reject ourselves in this way, only Christ is left. Then whatever we do will be the experience of Christ. Christ does not need what you are or have, but you need Him. In every way Christ wants to replace you with Himself. This is the essence of the New Testament Living. 

To live Christ is not merely to have a holy life or to live holiness. To live Christ is to take Christ as your life. Let's take two other situations to expound this truth further. Firstly, in the area of human love. Our love is limited because it is not Christ. If we love others with our own love, we shall discover that eventually our love will be exhausted. The ones we love will place more and more demands upon us to exhaust our love. The love of a husband is exhausted by his wife, the love of parents is exhausted by their children, and the love of the pastors is exhausted by the saints. Loving others by our limited love is not living Christ as we are living by our natural strength. When our love is exhausted, we are either frustrated or despair over our own insufficiency. During this moment, when we come to the end of ourselves after experiencing much failures. Then will we realise our sufficiency can only he met in Christ. Christ must become our love in living this life. 

Another instance, there was a brother recently who wanted to help a casual acquaintance by offering a small sum of loan to him. I asked him: "Do you lend out of sympathy or have you ever consider Christ by asking Him about this matter first?" In other words, are you living for the Lord or for yourself? What does this mean? It simply means that I will not take any action without relying on God. I will find no sufficiency in myself I will not take any step just because I have the power to do so. In other words, you have to lose your own initiative to act (Jn 15:5b). Too often, we have programmed to act, to think, to decide apart from Him. 

In conclusion, the New Testament Living demands the total denial of the soul-life. Christ must governs all aspects of our life. This life-principle can be defined in these Greek words: "The Son can do nothing out from Himself." (Jn 5:19)

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