The Expression of a Life Which Lives Christ
Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (5) Let your forbearance be known to all men. The Lord is near. (6) In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brothers, what things are true, what things are dignified, what things are righteous, what things are pure, what things are lovely, what things are well spoken of, if there is any virtue and if any praise, take account of these things. (9) The things which you have also learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace will be with you.
In 4:4 Paul says, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Whether or not the believers were dissenting, they all had to rejoice. Those who would not rejoice were wrong, but those who could rejoice were right. According to Paul’s word here, we should rejoice in the Lord always. This rejoicing affords us the strength for the oneness spoken of in verses 2 and 3. In order for Euodias and Syntyche to think the same thing, it was necessary for them to learn to rejoice. Rejoicing in the Lord is also the secret of having the excellent characteristics listed in verses 5 through 9. If we would have the virtues found in these verses, we need to rejoice in the Lord. To rejoice in the Lord is a very important matter.
If we enjoy Christ and experience Him, we shall have a certain inner reality. Such an inward reality invariably issues in an outward expression. In 4:5-9 we find a full expression of this inward reality, a full expression of a life that lives Christ. In 1:21 Paul declares, To me to live is Christ. This statement is a testimony of Paul’s inner reality. But what is the real expression of a life that lives Christ? This expression is found in the virtues listed in 4:5-9. In the same principle, in chapter two Paul sets forth Christ as our pattern. Suppose we take the crucified and exalted Christ as our pattern. What will be the expression of a life which lives according to this pattern? The expression is in 4:5-9.