NEED, THEN SUPPLY
"Not as though I had already attained. . . but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also l am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).
The heavenly Husbandman develops a believer on the same principle that He does a tree: planting, growth, consolidation, rest, and then more growth. There are stages. We are shown our sin and need--self. Then we hunger for freedom and life--Christ. This is a progression. At first, we consider the shocking revelation of self the greatest of calamities; later, we realize that it is the pathway to the blessed revelation of our life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Before we can take on the likeness of the Lord Jesus, we must see ourselves and know how we look; we must be brought into the place where we are not dismayed nor cast down when we discover how little we are conformed to His image. It is only as we see our need, that we can be supplied." -C.McI.
"It does us no good, but only discourages us if we see our failures and shortages and do not behold the beauty of Christ, and apprehend and experience our sufficiency in Him. On the other hand, if we see only what we are in Him and do not discern our defects; if we do not apprehend that which must be appropriated and worked out in us; if we do not see all that must be put off, and that Christ must be put on in actual control and manifestation, we become self-satisfied and puffed up--we lose our invaluable 'need.'" -C.McI.
"I certainly do count everything as loss compared with the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8, Wms.).
2-4. FREEDOM'S FOUNDATION
"I have been crucified with Christ, and I myself no longer live" (Galatians 2:20, Wms.).
Upon conversion, the new believer feels that every opposition to a joyous, fruitful Christian life has been overcome once for all. Later, when the world and self begin to insinuate themselves once again, he thinks that determination and self-effort will keep him free. Finally, after a seemingly endless struggle, the defeated believer is brought back to the Cross. Here is the source of liberation from the power of self and the world.
"Sinners are not saved until they trust the Savior, and saints are not delivered until they trust the Deliverer. God has made both possible through the Cross of His Son." -L.S.C.
"The believer can never overcome the 'old man' even by the power of the 'new' apart from the work of the Cross, and therefore the death of Christ is indispensable, and unless the Cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the 'old nature,' he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome sin and self, and the struggle is a hopeless one." -C.U.
"Just as the Lord Jesus came into this world where this old humanity was and came into it not to ally Himself with it but to take it into death by the Cross, even so He now by the Holy Spirit, in regeneration, comes into us where there is this old fallen life and not to ally Himself with it, but to hold it in the place of death by the same means--His Cross." -N.D.
"But may it never be mine to boast of anything but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world!" (Galatians 6:14, Wms.).