4-13. DUAL RECKONING"For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).
"Reckoning" on the work of the Cross is the only relief from the carnal burden of self. Then comes the spiritual burden of Christ--to be more like Him. "Reckoning" is the answer there, too. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through [in] Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6.11). If we seek to escape the death, we will not experience the life.
"We are not to try to crucify self, but we are to agree (reckon) with what God has said and done. In the lives of most believers self has usurped the place belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a criminal worthy of death, but the trouble is that they do not realize that this self-life has been crucified on the Cross. They do not believe the facts of the Word, and sin therefore reigns in their lives; they live in bondage to sin, praying for deliverance, praying that they may die to sin, but refusing to believe what God says He has already done." -L.L.L.
"The constant tendency is to try to improve the manner of one's life here below by adopting Christian principles, whereas you will never arrive at it unless you start from 'crucified with Christ.' Then it is not thinking of what I am, but of what He is, 'Christ liveth in me.'" -J.B.S.
"And ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:10).
4-14. APPRECIATION, NOT DEPRECIATION"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16).
As believers we rejoice in the fact that the Lord Jesus died for us, but few are affected by the fact that He arose for us. Fewer still realize that we died and arose with Him. Learn the facts! There will be continual struggle and failure until we gain adequate understanding of the liberating truth.
"The Lord Jesus on the Cross removed the barriers which separated me from God--my guilt, my sin, the law; and He dealt with my enemies--the world, the flesh, the devil. These six things were dealt with, so that we need no longer be in bondage through fear and that we may come boldly to the throne of grace.
"Have we given a hearty assent to these things which the Lord Jesus did for us? Or have we, as we read the Word, drifted by them, taking it all for granted? Let us lay hold of that for which God has laid hold of us. Let us gird up the loins of our mind and consent to that which He did for us. Let us enter into all that which being united to Christ as our Life means. Let us rejoice in all that was accomplished for us on Calvary." -L.L.L.
"It is necessary that the truth conferred by grace should be known as a possession and the virtue of it apprehended, before there can be any walk in keeping with it. For if there be ignorance or misapprehension, the truer the conscience, the more defective is the practice." -J.B.S.
"Set your affection on things above" (Colossians 3:2)
4-15. PURPOSE, PROVISION, PROCESS"I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory" (Exodus 33:18).
There are three vital factors that will keep us on the path, and in the power, of spiritual growth: (1) study to know that God's purpose in saving us is to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28, 29); (2) learn to reckon upon the finished work of the Cross as His provision for that purpose (Romans 6:11); (3) yield to the Holy Spirit as He carries out the daily process of that purpose (2 Corinthians 4:11).
"Christ Jesus' earthly life showed the path, His heavenly life gives the power, in which we are to walk. What God hath joined together no man may separate. Whosoever does not stand in the full faith of the Redemption, has not the strength to follow the Example. And whosoever does not seek conformity to the Image as the great purpose of Redemption, cannot fully enter its power. Christ lived on earth that He might show forth the image of God in His life; He lives in heaven that we may show forth the image of God in our lives." -A.M.
"God has but one way of revealing Himself, it is 'Christ in you.' He has no other way of showing Himself to men except as Christ lives in us; not by the Shekinah glory in the temple built with hands of men, but in lives redeemed and freed and cleansed as they walk about in this dark world with Christ living in them." -L.L.L.
"And we all, while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually into the same likeness; and the glory which shines upon us is reflected by us, even as it proceeds from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18, Cony.).