Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Jesus Christ and Him Crucified in Us is the Genuine Example)
Did you know that Paul references to the Old Testament in only a small percentage in his Epistles? Why? Also, why did Paul not use Old Testament people more often than a small percentage in his Epistles? Paul had Christ revealed in him. We find Paul providing the Church with the genuine example that we need to consider. Although Jesus was fully the Son of God, we find him over 68 times in the New Testament refering to himself as the Son of man. Why? Certainly Jesus Christ is the genuine example for us. Let's look into God's Word and let the Holy Spirit speak to us about the things that are the genuine example. . . . Father, may we Your Son, His sacrificial death, Your love and power that raised Him from the dead, and the genuine example that You have in Him for every Spirit birthed son.
THE GENUINE EXAMPLE
"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (II Timothy 1:12, Expanded Greek Translation - EGT).
First, Paul's Life is the Genuine Example of the Christ-Life for Birthed Sons
Paul said, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). Paul clearly lived what he preached and taught. Paul did not live his own strength and power, but by the strength and power of Christ as his life (II Cor. 12:9,10; Phil. 4:13; I Cor. 1:24). Paul knew that all Spirit birthed sons are members now of a new creation race (II Cor. 5:17). Spirit birthed sons should no longer live life separate from Christ, in any of their thoughts and actions. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Paul, that Christ was his very life to live in him as him (Gal. 2:20). Christ had completed the atoning work on the cross. This fully satisfied the Father. The Father raised the Son from the dead, indicating His total satisfaction with the Son's finished sacrificial work. We are now reconciled to Father and are candidates for the Spirit birthing (Eph. 2:15). The Father in His fullness of grace has sent the Son to now live in every member of His many membered body (I John 5:11,12; I Cor. 12:27). Paul's life is the genuine example of how Spirit birthed sons are to live. Christ lives in them as them.
Second, Jesus is the Genuine Example of Living by the Life of Another
Paul said, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (I Cor. 11:1). The Greek verb in this verse is "mimetes," which means to mimic, to imitate or to follow. Paul is not instructing or encouraging anyone to be a Christian actor, just to look like and act like Jesus. Christ lived by the life of the Father in Him as Him. Jesus said, "he who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). The Father in Christ was doing the speaking and the works through Him (John 14:10). Jesus is the way to the Father. Jesus is the truth of the Father. Jesus is the life in the Father (John 14:6). Paul was actually instructing and encouraging every Spirit birthed son to live by the life of another – Christ, who is their very life. We are imitating or following Paul who let Christ live in and through him, just like Jesus Christ let the Father live in and flow through Him. Jesus Christ is the genuine example of how we are to live by the life of another. That is a liberating reality!!
Third, Forgetting the Past with Christ Living in You is the Genuine Example
Paul tells us that he was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee; and concerning the righteous which is in the law – blameless (Phil. 3:5,6). Even with all that he was or had attained, Paul said he had no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3). Paul said what things were gain to him in the flesh, he counted "all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" (Phil. 3:7,8). This is what Paul meant when he said, "forgetting those things which are behind" (Phil. 3:13), that he would no longer live by his attainments and the strength of his flesh. Paul said that he would "press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). The prize is letting Christ live in and be expressed through you. This is the mature mind and the genuine example (Phil. 3:15-16).
Fourth, Christ is the Genuine Example of Living by the Spiritual Mind
Paul tells us to "ever let this mind ever be in you which ever is in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). This is the eternal Son of God who is co-equal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (Phil. 2:6). However, Christ completed his atoning work as the last Adam (I Cor. 15:45-47). For a season, Christ once then emptied Himself (Greek: kenosis) of all of His Godly past and made Himself of no reputation (Phil. 2:7). Christ "humbled Himself and became obedient . . . even to the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8). Jesus usually referred to Himself as the son of man (some 68 times) often asking others questions. Christ wanted to be identified with mankind as the final Adam. The Father fully accepted the Son's sacrifice, as Jesus provided it as the son of man. God then highly exalted the Son (Phil 2:9). Christ lived by the mind and will of the Father in Him (Phil. 2:5; John 4:34). We are to live by "the mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:16). Christ is the genuine example of living by the Spiritual mind. This is how birthed sons are to live in the Spirit.
Fifth, Paul Knew that Old Testament Heroes are Not the Genuine Example
Paul exhorted us to be found "rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Tim. 2:15). Paul also tells us that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Tim. 3:16). However, there are different dispensations, where God is dealing with man in different manners (Eph. 1:10), that also must be considered in the rightly dividing process. Rightly dividing keeps us from mixing law from another dispensation, into this current 100% grace dispensation for doctrine (Eph. 3:2). In his Epistles, Paul references Old Testament scripture (usually out of Psalms and Isaiah) with most being general examples of man and God in a small percentage of his text. Paul does use Old Testament people in a small percentage of his teaching, for examples in his outreach to Israel, or his focus on a relationship with God no longer based the law or being a Jew. Since none of these Old Testament examples ever had Christ living in them, Paul knew that Old Testament heroes are NOT fully the genuine example for the Spirit birthed sons.
Sixth, The Mystery of Christ in Us is the Genuine Example of Spirit-life Flow
Paul had a "revelation of Jesus Christ" by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 1:12). Paul said, that the Father chose "to reveal His Son in me" (Gal. 1:15,16). Through this revelation of Christ in him as him, Paul received a great liberty in this liberating secret (Gal. 5:1). Paul said, that by revelation the Father made known the mystery of Christ living in us as us (Eph. 3:3). Paul sees this mystery of Christ living in us as us, as the primary focus of the Father to liberate and empower the Church. Paul sees his ministry "to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery" (Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:25). "Christ in us" is the only hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Glory is Christ living the Father's life in and through us with His expression of love-for-others. This is the genuine example of Spirit-life flow.
Seventh, Jesus Christ & Him Crucified is the Only Genuine Example for Us
Paul really did know "in whom" he had believed (II Tim. 1:12). Paul refused to use any other examples that might detract anything from the reality of the truth of the mystery of Christ in you as you. This is why Paul, "determined not to know anything among you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (I Cor. 2:2). Paul knew that Christ living in you is the 100% grace life; and Christ crucified was 100% death to all else. This is the ONLY genuine example for Spirit birthed sons.