“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12 KJV)
When the word of God hits, pricks the conscience, and troubles the soul. If and when that happens, we can rejoice! It means that the Holy Spirit is at work on our mind, heart, soul and deeds.
There are times attitudes and actions make us enemies of the cross. It is at the foot of the cross that we discovered we are one in Christ.
“ For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also, is Christ.” (1Co 12:12 KJV)
If we meet someone who is filled with the spirit of Jesus, they are part of us regardless of class or race. When we know this, we discover that we are citizens of heaven and not enemies of the cross. Prejudice ignorance lack of love and understanding are all signs of an unredeemed world in such things should have no part to play in our lives.
If we are citizens of heaven, it means that we have accepted the inheritance God has given us through Jesus Christ and revealed by the Holy Spirit. Enemy of the cross and citizens of heaven are in tension with one another indeed conflict
Philippi was a Roman colony and the citizens of that city were Roman citizens retired veterans from the regions of Roman colony was meant to be a fragment of Rome it was a place will Roman dress was worn; Roman magistrates’ government; the Latin tongue was spoken; Roman justice administered, and Roman models observed the citizens of that colony were expected to promote the interests of the mother city, Rome, and maintain its dignity
A Roman colony was meant to be a microcosm of all that Rome was.
God’s church and its citizens are meant to be a colony of heaven, we have our conversation in heaven that is we have a life of prayer.
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” (Acts 4:32 KJV)
In a Roman colony newborn Roman dress is a sign of the citizenship. Citizens of heaven we are to wear the white garments of righteousness. John of Patmos, in his vision, heard an angel speaking to the church at Sardis and the angel said “1And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead…. 4Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:1, 4-5) We are to wear the garments of righteousness which can only come from a faith which is a life and real. In a Roman colony, magistrates’ government; in the colony of heaven, the church, it is the spirit of Christ the King and his word who governs. In a Roman colony the Latin tongue was spoken in the colony of heaven the citizens speak the words of Christ!
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJV)
In a Roman colony justice was administered, in the church the justice of God is administered
Isa 55:9 KJV
(9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
1Co 11:1 KJV
“ Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:11))
we are in the world but not of it, our eyes are not meant be fixed in earthly things in the negative sense of the phrase that is selfishness and materialism prejudice.
We must be aware of the danger that to be wholly absorbed in the world can mean that we are weaned away from God holiness and heaven. Gosse (Gosse, Philip Henry, 1810-1888) tells us in his book “The Romance of Natural History”; of creatures which inhabit the coral reefs… So long as they keep the passage to the surface clear, they are safe; if neglected, the creature finds the coral passage to the surface grown around it and enclosed in a living tomb. And so, it is with the life of the soul on earth.
The world is around us everywhere. The danger is when we allow it to grow between our souls and God, we are never to forget whom we belong.
I know my beloved and my beloved knows me! (see Song of Solomon 6:3)
“…Even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) – I make Christ my example. He is my model in all things; and if you follow him, and follow me as far as I follow him, you will not err. This is the only safe example; and if we follow this, we can never go astray. Barnes comment on this verse.
For further reflection
“ If Ye Keep My Commandments, Ye Shall Abide in My Love, Even as I have Kept My Father’s Commandments, and Abide in His Love ” (John 15:10)
“Obey and abide—That was the law of Christ’s life as much as it is to be that of ours. He was made like us in all things, that we might be like Him in all things. He opened up a path in which we may walk even as He walked. He took our human nature to teach us how to wear it, and show us how obedience, as it is the first duty of the creature, is the only way to abide in the favor of God and enter into His glory. And now He comes to instruct and encourage us, and asks us to keep His commandments, even as He kept His Father’s commandments and abides in His love.” (The True Vine – a 31 day study on John 15 – Andrew Murray – May 1828 – 18 January 1917)