WITHOUT MURMURINGS AND REASONINGS, HOLDING FORTH THE WORD OF LIFE
In Philippians 2:14 Paul said, “Do all things without murmurings and reasonings.” Although murmurings and reasonings are two small things, they are two real problems. There is hardly a couple which has no murmuring or reasoning between them. We have also seen that murmuring is from the emotion and comes mostly from the sisters. Reasoning is from the mind and comes mostly from the brothers. Problems in our family life arise frequently from the sisters opening up their mouths first. Once they open their mouths, murmurings come out. When the brothers answer, they often get into reasonings. Perhaps your life in the Training Center is not much different. But whenever we have murmurings and reasonings, we have not worked out our salvation.
Hence, Paul said in verses 15 and 16, “You shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.” We the saved ones are the luminaries. We are qualified to reflect the divine light of Christ and to hold forth and demonstrate to others the word of life. To hold forth the word of God’s life is also a part of our salvation.
Philippians 1 tells us that to be saved is to magnify Christ. In chapter two, to be saved is to live out salvation and to hold forth the word of life. In chapter three, to be saved is to be found in Christ (v. 9). If we murmur or reason, others will not find us in Christ. We have to realize that the way God ordains for Christians is the way of salvation which is also the way of expressing and magnifying Christ. The key to all these experiences is the death of our self. When that happens, others will see that we are a person in Christ. The righteousness in us will not be the result of our keeping the law. Rather, it will be through faith and based on God’s righteousness (v. 9). This is to be saved. This is also to magnify Christ and to live out salvation.
THE POWER OF RESURRECTION AND THE CONFORMATION TO THE CROSS
In Philippians 3:10 Paul continued on to say, “To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” In this passage, we see further the secret to experiencing Christ. One of the secrets is the power of resurrection. The other is the conformation to His death, which is the conformation to His cross. Stanza one of #631 in Hymns says, “If I’d know Christ’s risen power, I must ever love the Cross.” The power of resurrection is our riches. If you are a rich man, you will spend your money gladly. To be conformed to the cross is the way our riches are spent. This passage tells us the experience of Paul. It shows us that if we do not know the power of resurrection and do not live in resurrection, there is no way for us to die by ourselves. It is the power of resurrection that bears us on to death and that takes us on the way of the cross.
Today the reality of Christ’s resurrection is the Holy Spirit. When you live in the Spirit, you live in the reality of resurrection. The last stanza of #631 in Hymns says, “If God thru th’ Eternal Spirit nail me ever with the Lord.” It is the Spirit who nails you. Hence, it is not your colleagues or your husband or wife who is dealing with you. Rather, it is the Holy Spirit in you who is taking you on in the experience of the Lord’s death, so that you can be conformed to His death. Therefore, the conformation to the cross comes about through the power of resurrection.
This is why we must learn to exercise our spirit, experience the Spirit, and receive the killing of the cross. If we would not receive the cross, but would only exercise our spirit, this experience of the spirit would not be reliable. The result of a true exercise of the spirit will surely cause us to die and to be crucified. The cross and the Holy Spirit go together. The two also follow one another. On the one hand, we must receive the cross before the Holy Spirit will fill us up. On the other hand, we must be full of the power of the Holy Spirit before we can receive the cross. The two complement each other. From Philippians 3:10 we see that the power of resurrection is the Spirit, and the conformation to the cross is death. This is the secret to our experience of Christ.
(The Glorious Vision and the Way of the Cross, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)