CHRIST AS OUR DAILY VIRTUES
We must build up a proper daily life with a proper character. To merely behave in a certain way is a performance and is hypocrisy. Our living should not be a performance. Rather, we should be proper persons with a proper living. “To live Christ” is not merely a slogan. The living of Christ must be the reality of our daily life. The revelations in Philippians 1 through 3 concerning the salvation and righteousness of God are very high. However, they all point to the living of Christ as the divine reality in our human virtues. Therefore, in chapter four Paul applied these revelations to our practical daily life. In verse 2 he said, “I beseech Euodias, and I beseech Syntyche, to think the same thing in the Lord.” According to verse 3, these were very good sisters who had been helpful to Paul. These sisters were living Christ and magnifying Christ to a certain extent. However, they were still dissenting. Spiritually speaking, they were appraised highly. Their names are in the book of life, and they labored with Paul and Clement (v. 3), but in their practical life there was a big problem. In the same way, we may speak of spiritual things, but our person may not be true, honorable, righteous, pure, and lovely.
One aspect of our daily life is the way we dress. We should learn to dress properly at all times. To dress properly only when we know someone is coming to visit us is hypocrisy. It is not a genuine daily life. If we are loose in the matter of dress, we are probably loose in everything else as well. In the same way, if we do not make our bed after rising in the morning, it is not likely that we can study the Bible very well.
The very Christ whom we live and preach must be our daily virtues. Our love for people should not merely be human love, but human love filled with and expressing the divine love, which is Christ, the embodiment of the processed Triune God. The ethical philosophers of China stressed the development of the human virtues. They taught that we need to develop the sense of our conscience, which they called the “bright virtue.” If some would go to China to teach them of Christ as the divine love filling our love, the Chinese scholars could be subdued. We not only have a conscience; we also have the embodiment of the processed Triune God, who today is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the all-inclusive, consummated, sevenfold intensified Spirit. Such a Christ is our motivator, the inward motivating power. Christ as our motivating power may be compared to an electric motor empowering the development of our human virtues.
In Philippians 1 the motivator is the Spirit of Jesus Christ (v. 19) who is the bountiful, all-inclusive, all-capable, and all-sufficient supply. Christ passed through incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement by the all-inclusive Spirit. Now this Spirit, who is the consummation of the Triune God, is in our human spirit. In chapter two the motivator is the inner-operating God (v. 13), the processed Triune God embodied in Christ who became a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b). In chapter three the motivator is the power of Christ’s resurrection, and this power is also the processed Triune God as the all-inclusive Spirit of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus Christ, the inner-operating God, and the power of His resurrection refer to the same person.
The motivator in chapter four is seen in verse 13, which says, “I can do all things in Him who empowers me.” This motivator is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the operating God, and the consummated Triune God as the power of resurrection. He is not only in us, but we are also in Him. In this One who empowers and strengthens us, we can do all things. “All things” refers to every aspect of our human virtue, as spoken of in chapters one through four. We can be true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and well-spoken of in Him. We can live the top human life, full of human virtues filled with the divine attributes.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question: How do we reconcile the high teachings in Philippians 1 through 3 with the emphasis on the details of our daily life in chapter four?
Answer: Living Christ and our daily life do not need to be reconciled; they are one. The very Christ whom we live and magnify in Philippians 1 should be our virtues in our daily life in Philippians 4. The reality of all the items of our virtues, such as truthfulness, honor, righteousness, and purity, is Christ, who is the righteousness of God based on faith.
Question: How can attention to the details in our daily life help us?
Answer: Attention to details will help us to go to Christ. We have to have a morning watch to meet the Lord Jesus, to enjoy and contact Him. We need to have the assurance that through the cleansing of His blood we have the anointing. The anointing is Christ moving in us, and the moving of Christ is His presence. Early in the morning, regardless of how busy we are, we must have at least some time to stay in the presence of the Lord. Then we will meet Him, and He will supply us. He will become the motivator and the “motor” for our Christian life. Then, if we are wrong in some aspect of our daily life, He will bother us within. In this way, we will learn how to live Christ.
(The Experience and Growth in Life, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)