Experiencing Christ

A Living That Expresses Christ (1)

Rom. 9:22  And what if God, wishing to demonstrate His wrath and make His power known, endured with much long-suffering vessels of wrath fitted for destruction,  (23)  In order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory.

(Part 1 of 2)
Here I wish to point out that all human virtues were created by God. According to Genesis 1:26, we were made in God’s image. Our human virtues are a vessel made to contain the divine virtues, just as a glove is made in the image of a hand to contain the hand. The Bible reveals that the image of God is Christ (Col. 1:15; 2 Cor. 4:4). Therefore, to say that man was made in the image of God means that he was made according to the form of Christ. Man was created according to Christ so that he could contain Christ and express Him. A glove is designed in the pattern of a hand so that it can contain the hand. Likewise, man was designed by God to bear the pattern of Christ. When Christ comes into a person, that person becomes a vessel containing Christ.
Romans 9 indicates that we are vessels to contain the glory of God. The glory of God denotes the expression of God, and this expression is Christ. Human virtues such as truthfulness, dignity, purity, and loveliness are all aspects of man as a vessel to contain Christ as the reality.

On the basis of Paul’s word, “To me to live is Christ” (1:21), we can rightly say that the virtues in 4:8 are aspects of the expression of a life that lives Christ. Since Paul himself lived Christ, he certainly would not charge the saints to live something else instead of Christ. Therefore, the virtues he mentions in 4:8 must be the expression of the reality lived by Paul and by other saints. This reality is Christ Himself.
(Continued tomorrow)
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