The Focus of the Apostle Paul
He was so burdened
whenever he spoke
of Christ being formed
in the believers
Recently on the radio program we’ve been covering the matter of transformation. As we have shared, to be transformed means that the very nature of God in Christ is wrought into our being. (You can listen to past episodes online via The Christian Faith Radio Hour Podcast.)
As I considered this, I was struck by how Paul stresses this point in each of the four short books that Brother Witness Lee rightly called “the heart of the divine revelation,” namely, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. It seems that whenever Paul comes to this matter, he is speaking of what is really on his heart.
In Galatians Paul tells the believers he is in travailing for them again, as though in childbirth, until “Christ is formed in you” (4:19).
In Ephesians he bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the saints would be strengthened by His Spirit into their inner man, so that Christ could make His home in their hearts through faith (3:14-17).
In Philippians Paul speaks of his own experience in pursuing Christ, as an example for the other saints. He desired to know the power of Christ working within him and conforming him to the image of Christ, and thus he forsook all to
…know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
— Philippians 3:10
Finally, in Colossians, Paul tells us that God had given him the stewardship of making known the mystery, which had been hidden from the ages, of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” According to this stewardship he was laboring and striving according to the very power of God to present every man “full grown in Christ” (1:24-29). Moreover, he was involved in a great conflict, that the saints would be comforted and would enter into the full knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ (2:1-2).
What a burden the apostle had, and what a struggle, to bring the saints into the real experience of Christ as their life so that He could be formed in them! May the Lord gain many in our time who would enter into this very same struggle, so that the Lord’s desire could be fulfilled among His children today.
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— 2 July 2022 —