“If We Suffer with Him”
To enter into glory
we must pass through
the same process
In a recent Note we considered how there was an aspect of the death of Christ that was so pleasing to God, namely, the “crushing” (Isa. 53:10) that enabled the divine life that was within Him to be released to all of us (; cf. Luke 12:49-50; John 12:24, 19:34).
We must not think, as Christians, that Christ died so we don’t have to. While that is the case in relation to our sins, it is not true in relation to how we enter into glory. That is, He paid the price for our sins so we don’t have to be punished for them. However, we all must pass through the same process of “crushing” that He went through in His death, so that the divine life within us may be brought forth in resurrection.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”
— John 7:38
So, these “rivers of living water” can only flow out from our innermost being. Just as the divine life was concealed within Christ, now that we have been born anew it is concealed within us, in our “innermost being.” Thus, for it to be released, our “outer man” must be crushed through the Lord’s dealings with us (2 Cor. 4:16) so that what is within our “innermost being” may flow out in an unrestricted way.
The Apostle Paul was aware of this. He said that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels,” and therefore, the apostles were
…always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.
— 2 Corinthians 4:7, 10-12; cf. Romans 6:3-5
Consider how Jesus lived His own life on the earth; He did not simply do many works for God, but rather, lived in absolute obedience to, and dependence upon, the Father (John 5:19), an obedience that was ultimately expressed in His willingness to go to the cross (Matt. 26:38-44), so the Father could bring Him into resurrection and glory.
So now it comes to us.
Do we truly love the Lord? Then may we learn from His example, that love is expressed not by how much we do for Him, but by how much we allow Him to do for us, even allowing Him to bring us though the very process of death and resurrection He went through.
Jesus Himself explained that process in this way:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
— John 12:24-26
And a short time later He added:
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”
— John 14:23
So, if we do love the Lord and seek to serve Him, we will “follow Him” in this way. That is, we will “be with Him” where He is, as a seed fallen into the ground. This will allow Him to make His home within our heart, and the “living waters” will then flow out from within us to bear much fruit in resurrection.
No doubt, this process will involve much suffering, but eventually, either in this age or the next, we all must take this way. (See our previous Note,) Moreover, the ultimate result, just as in the case of the Lord Jesus Himself, will be glorious. For if we are children, we are heirs of God,
…and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
— Romans 8:17; cf. 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Hebrews 2:10
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— 13 October 2022 —