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"And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation." 2Co 1:7
The Lord has appointed the path of sorrow for the redeemed to walk in. Why? One purpose is to wean them from the world; another purpose is to show them the weakness of the creature; a third purpose is to make them feel the liberty and vitality of genuine godliness made manifest in their soul’s experience. What am I, and what are you when we have no trials? Light, frothy, worldly-minded, carnal, frivolous. We may talk of the things of God, but they are at a distance; there are no solemn feelings, no melting sensations, no real brokenness, no genuine contrition, no weeping at the divine feet, no embracing of Christ in the arms of affection.
But when affliction, be it in providence or be it in grace, brings a man down; when it empties him of all his high thoughts, lays him low in his own eyes, brings trouble into his heart, I assure you he needs something more than mere external religion. He needs power; he needs to experience in his soul the operations of the blessed Spirit; he wants to have a precious Jesus manifesting himself to his soul in love and blood; he needs to see his lovely countenance beaming upon him in ravishing smiles; he needs to hear the sweet whispers of dying love speaking inward peace; he needs to have the blessed Lord come into his soul, manifesting himself to him as he does not manifest himself to the world.
What brings a man here? A few dry notions floating to and fro in his brain, like a few drops of oil in a pail of water? That will never bring the life and power of vital godliness into a man’s heart. It must be by being experimentally acquainted with trouble. When he is led into the path of tribulation, he then begins to long after, and, in God’s own time and way, he begins to drink into, the sweetness of vital godliness, made manifest in his heart by the power of God.
"But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead." 2Co 1:9
What is life naturally and what is death naturally? Is not that life in which there is breath, energy, movement, activity? And what is death but the utter cessation of all this moving activity and vital energy? To die is to lose life, and by losing life to lose all the movements of life. Thus, when the Lord takes, as it were, out of our heart and hands everything in which we once had life, in which we lived and moved and seemed to have our earthly, natural, and enjoyed being, and condemns it by his holy word, so as to record therein, and in our conscience as an echo to his voice, a continual sentence of death against it, he delivers us over unto death.
And you will observe that none but the living family of God are so delivered—"For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake;" and observe also that the reason for this mysterious dispensation is to bring to light the hidden life of Jesus within, for the Apostle adds, "that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." And observe also the connection which this sentence of death has with the death of Christ—"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus."
We must suffer with Jesus if we are to be glorified with him; must die with him if we are to live with him. His death is the exemple—the model and the means of our own; and as he had the sentence of death in himself upon the cross, so must we be crucified with him, that we may be conformed to his suffering, dying image. Thus not only is there a death by, under, and unto the law, so as to kill the soul to all creature hope and help, to all vain confidence, and all self-righteousness; but in the continual teachings and dealings of God upon the heart, and especially in times and by means of heavy affliction, painful trial, and powerful temptation, does the Lord by his Spirit and grace execute a sentence of death in all those to whom he is giving to drink of Christ’s cup and to be baptized with Christ’s baptism.
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Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25