If we would rise into fellowship with His sufferings, it must be by stepping forward in the spirit of faith, even though it should be into a burning, fiery furnace. Then assuredly the saddest mystery about it is that it should ever have been given us at all. As a suitable pattern for imitation, which is the meaning here.I. (3) In this our Lord's life followed a universal law. ITS REWARD.1. This estimate of the evidential value of the resurrection is altogether opposed to the mind of our Lord and His apostles. But faith in what? This being conformed to Christ's death is brought in, is carried on, is completed, by faith. It is true, thank God, that we are not now liable to sufferings of the same nature; but a man who maintains a high standard of religion, and condemns the world by his conduct, will meet with persecution in the way of petty annoyances, designed misconceptions, and coldness. And those to whom sorrow does not come go in quest of it; they have self-made troubles as hard to endure as those God sends. This is explained by the following clause.1. IN THE FIRM PERSUASION IT SHOULD CREATE THAT THE CHRISTIAN CREED IS TRUE AS A WHOLE AND IN ITS SEVERAL PARTS.1. The two are in different portions of His being. THE UNITY OF DOCTRINE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS IS ILLUSTRATED AND CONFIRMED.II. We have seen it in its total severance from sin and sinners. His grace helps us to die to sin, and live to God through union with Him who, as He bore our sins, and identified Himself with our misery, is also made righteousness unto us, whereby we through our regeneration grafted into Him, are before God righteous in His righteousness.II. (5)The despised. There, two women, each tied fast by their arms and limbs to a stake, stand within the sea mark; and many an earnest prayer is going up to heaven that Christ who bends from His throne to the sight would help them now in their dreadful hour of need. J. Gloag, D. D.1. (3) A lingering death. it is true that Christ has set all mourners an example; but "He also offered Himself without spot." As the strongest and most endearing motive to holiness of life — "constraining us."3. If we would rise into fellowship with His sufferings, it must be by stepping forward in the spirit of faith, even though it should be into a burning, fiery furnace. But we have fellowship thus:(1) The lowly born and despised disciple may have fellowship with the sufferings of Him whom sinners contemned because He was the carpenter's son. Those who cordially believe it are constantly repeating it.IV. (1) God's light — the light of the Divine purpose resting upon the problem of human life — indicated the way that led to Calvary. Prepares for heaven. Philippians 3:13-14 [originally preached 12-30-01] I waited 31 years, to the day, to become your pastor. He carries its scars yet, and will carry them to his grave. He suffered —(1) Voluntarily and cheerfully — do we suffer willingly? Christ's resurrection is the pledge of ours.2. And we, too, if we would have real fellowship with Jesus, must see to it that our fellowship is intelligent fellowship. Just so thy fondly cherished hopes of earthly distinction must be laid down at the foot of His cross; thou must be content, so far as they are concerned, to be stripped and nailed to the cross of shame, and made a spectacle to men.3. What was it that wrung that "My soul is exceeding sorrowful." Of course there is an important sense in which He was a partaker of this class of sufferings. (1)The righteousness of Christ was perfect in its universality, motive, duration, spirituality. By an actual participation in suffering for His sake. (2) Voluntary, whereas all ours are deserved being entailed by sin.2. (4) The tempted likewise. Imputed guilt crushed Him; shall actual guilt bring to us. And so it is with true believers. He that reads about the sweetness of honey may guess at it, but he that tastes it knows what it is (Colossians 1:6). (Homiletic Monthly. "I thought," said she, "the angels might have brought it; for some one seemed to say, pointing to the large heavy crown, 'I wore this for thee; wear thine for Me,'" and meekly she bent her head, and wore the wreath, and now she has laid it by for the crown which she wears. It is occupied by groups of weeping spectators. So we are not only permitted to sympathize with Christ as the Man of sorrows, but that, just as two partners in a firm are both joint possessors of the capital which belongs to the firm, so that wondrous wealth of sorrow which belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ, so far as it is a source of wealth, belongs in a measure to us, who are partners with Him. In the vision of the morning there appeared to her a minute crown twined here and there with thorns, and by the side of this tiny ensign of the Saviour's deep, abounding love, lay another crown, composed wholly of thorns, large murderous spines, such as doubtless composed the wreath of painful mockery that bound the brow of the Son of God. When He returns it will be in the fulness of the resurrection glory.II. What becomes of us when we drag ourselves into this comparison. THERE ARE SENSES IN WHICH WE CAN HAVE NO COMMUNITY WITH OUR LORD IN HIS SUFFERINGS.1. The elder of the two is staked furthest out. Look to the thing end not to the measure or degree(T. Manton, D. D.)Experimental knowledge of ChristT. ITS REWARD.1. Day after day, week after week, your wants are supplied. (1) Those who think of them as chiefly corporeal, or proceeding from the treatment of men, or from natural causes, cannot share this fellowship. In the ends for which He died. Sin and the devil will not let us alone in its various stages. Such must be the law of our life. The eye that is the quickest to see beauty is most pained by deformity; the ear that most loves harmony is most pained by discord. IN THE FIRM PERSUASION IT SHOULD CREATE THAT THE CHRISTIAN CREED IS TRUE AS A WHOLE AND IN ITS SEVERAL PARTS.1. An inward and spiritual feeling of what we hear and believe, concerning Christ and His truths, whereby answerable impressions are made on our souls (Psalm 34:8; John 4:42).1. But we have fellowship thus:(1) The lowly born and despised disciple may have fellowship with the sufferings of Him whom sinners contemned because He was the carpenter's son. Sight is the knowledge of faith, taste that of experience (1 Peter 2:3; Psalm 34:8). H. Burns, D. D.The death of Christ is presented to us in three different lights.1. If, then, God has made a new creature in Christ Jesus, He has provided for it an element and gratification for its spiritual desires. And, in like manner, if Christ rose from the dead the third day, according to the Scriptures, the Christian also has experience of an inward resurrection. St. Paul, being thus sure of the resurrection as a fact, was not embarrassed by an a priori doctrine forbidding him to ignore it. We are conformed to this when the Divine glory is the end of all our actions, and when we wage war against sin.3. It is a token of God's mercy as well as our infirmity that we are benumbed by pain. Suffering — the suffering of arduous effort, patient resignation, and trust when faith is tempted to fail.2. Draws forth the better qualities of a man. AN EXPERIMENTAL KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST IS SO GREAT A BLESSING THAT WE SHOULD COUNT ALL THINGS BUT LOSS TO GET IT. We, too, may suffer beside Christ without suffering with Him.2. In its influence upon our justification (Romans 4:25).3. (4)Alienation from God.(5)Pride.(6)Envy.(7)Earthly-mindedness.2. "If we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with Him." Do we desire that the Lord may nerve us to participate in His sufferings? THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM THIS FELLOWSHIP. They were distinct in kind from ours. And so with great mental suffering. "Sorrow is better than laughter." Total resignation to the will of God means âbeing made conformable unto His death,â not just doing enough to ease our conscience, Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â a. (b) He looks on man as a guilty being and on God as a righteous judge. IN OUR SANCTIFICATION. But no Christian escapes distress of some kind.2. By faith in them as real and efficacious, and by appropriating their fruits to ourselves. If I am being conformed to it I am nothing; nothing as ground of hope, or as cause of fear.4. Sermons from Philippians Back to Sermon Archive November 25, 2018. This is an important truth, and Paul emphasizes it elsewhere. It extinguishes our love for the world.III. But where were they meantime? )Being made conformable unto His deathR. It tends to relieve the burden of our sorrows.5. (Musical Anecdotes. But when the Teacher whose voice pierces, rouses, quickens the conscience is accredited by an interference with the observed course of Nature, the combined evidence is in reason overwhelming.III. To the principles involved in the Saviour's death. The Divine Agent in this is He of whom Christ said, "If I go not away the Comforter will not come." The seeds of virtue germinate in the hotbed of affliction.3. And to this common fund we are each of us permitted in our measure to contribute (Colossians 1:24).II. Such must be the law of our life. There are circumstances in the modern world which make belief in the Divine government harder than it was for our ancestors. IN WHAT RESPECTS A CHRISTIAN MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE SUFFERINGS OF HIS MASTER.1. Yet I am reminded, "Blessed are they that thirst," etc. There was the cord of —(a) Obedience. In His resurrection.5. Consider —. Martin. HOW MAY I ATTAIN IT? Pope. (2) From sympathy with the distressed. Not by entailing suffering on Himself, or courting it for its own sake. They who shrank back from suffering — that Peter who was ready to say, "That be far from Thee, Lord," and denied his Master — that man gathers his fellows round him, and they lift up the voice of praise, rejoicing that they are counted worthy to suffer persecution for the sake of Christ. LET US ANALYSE THIS EMINENTLY DISTINGUISHING FEATURE OF CHRISTIAN ATTAINMENT. If we heard the inward voice of conscience alone we might doubt whether there was really anything external which warranted it; if we witnessed the outward miracle alone we might see in it a mere wonder with no moral consequence. )The fellowship of Christ's sufferingsDean Alford.I. The Christian should be always pressing onwards to higher attainments of knowledge, faith, and holiness. The plant that struggles toward the light testifies that light is its proper element; the captive eagle that spreads its wings in vain testifies that its proper home is in the broad fields of air. It would not have been surprising had the apostle denied fellowship with Christ in His glory. Considerations of pleasure and pain were subordinate. (Canon Liddon. We who were dead in trespasses and sins are quickened by it into life.2. His last words upon the cross testified that His trust remained unshaken. Oh for a heart to sorrow in all the sorrows of humanity! In the motives which prompted to it. Those who share the pains of Christ are entitled to His joys. And so it will be with us. (Dean Vaughan. Here is a text for us to try ourselves by. (2) From sympathy with the distressed. Response full of the boldest faith, and brightest hope; she firmly answered, "I see Christ suffering in one of His own members."(T. How is human sorrow sanctified by such a revelation as this? HOW MAY I ATTAIN IT? The joy of Christ was in the love He bore His Father, although that also made His grief. )Fellowship with suffering longed forS. Burns, D. D.)Conformity to Christ's deathDean Alford.The participle "being made" is present, and implies a process that is going on and will continue through life — not an act like justification, simultaneous with the exercise of faith. To know its power is to feel our confidence strengthened in sorrow and death. If your object is applause, what communion can there be between you and "the despised and rejected of men"?(S. And as we enter into the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus, our views of sin will become more keen and clear, and also bring along with them a more painful emotion than could otherwise be ours. FITTED TO RAISE US INTO NEWNESS OF LIFE. The disappointments in store for the conscience which is eagerly searching for clear traces of a law of right vigorously asserting itself are so frequent and so great, that men lose heart where heart and purpose are specially needful. By suffering as far as possible in His Spirit. There was no cross in the garden; nor does the prospect of suffering explain the agony there; nor the endurance His cry. What is there in the saints which should die? What is there in the saints which should die? If we learn what it is to be conformed to the image of His death, as our wilfulness and waywardness learn to submit themselves to the gentle discipline of suffering, and if in each fresh cross we find a fresh revelation of the loving will of the Father, how calm, how resurrection-like our lives must needs become!(W. (Canon Liddon. Guthrie, D. D.)The fellowship of Christ's sufferingsAnna Shipton.A dear suffering Christian on a bed of sickness, which has now proved the portal of heaven, shrank for a while from the prospect of prolonged anguish which opened before her. And we, too, if we would have real fellowship with Jesus, must see to it that our fellowship is intelligent fellowship. THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM THIS FELLOWSHIP. (f) That without shedding of blood is no remission of sins. Gives greater confirmation of the truth. We, too, may suffer beside Christ without suffering with Him.2. All else is earthly and therefore transient; this affects the dearest and eternal interests of men.2. The Christian should need no such argument, for the very purpose of his existence is to be conformed to Christ, but this he cannot be without the fellowship of His sufferings. (1) These principles are —(a) That Jehovah is a just and holy Being, and that evil cannot dwell with Him. There is conformity —1. IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER.1. His whole life was one of persecution, beginning with His birth, closing only with His death. The suffering of the previous verse is a different thing from this, yet it co-exists with this in the spiritual life. And as it was with them historically, so it seems to be doctrinally here. W. (4) The tempted likewise. HOW MAY I ATTAIN IT? I may not know all that God has revealed about the blood of Jesus, nor be able to satisfy a theologian, but just as I know that the sun gives me light, and food nourishment, so I may know that Christ's blood takes away sin.3. And so it is with true believers. And do not be cast down that you have not received the fulness of blessing. LET US FOLLOW OUT THIS CONFORMITY INTO SOME OF ITS ATTENDANT CIRCUMSTANCES.1. It was not merely an affecting and mysterious historical event. As the noblest expression of Divine love for man; as the infinitely meritorious price of our redemption; as the only safe ground of a trembling sinner's hope.2. (b) That the Divine administration implies the punishment of sin as well as the reward of righteousness. Death had a sting, but it was not pain, nor shame; it was sin.II. The plant that struggles toward the light testifies that light is its proper element; the captive eagle that spreads its wings in vain testifies that its proper home is in the broad fields of air. Christ never was sick or unwell. We do not learn about Jesus by having âhead knowledgeâ, NOTE: … Knowledge puffeth up … I Corinthians 8:1, Â Â Â B. (2) The poor may have fellowship with Him who had not where to lay His head. In the furnace of affliction the dross of earth is removed, passions are mortified; pride is humbled, and so our graces are confirmed and strengthened.2. Son, behold thy mother." We are not here to understand a participation in those He endured as the substitute for sinners, although in a certain sense we do share them, and that not only in the sense of enjoying their advantages. And remember He saw iniquity as none else could see it; and yet He loved the men whose sin He loathed, and because He loved them He bore the awful burden of their sin. IN RELATION TO PAIN.1. (a) He acquiesces in them as essential and worthy of God. Christ's death was a death unto sin. Not by entailing suffering on Himself, or courting it for its own sake. The flagons which he sends me, and the love tokens which he gives me, they stay me for awhile with the assurance of his affection, but they only impel me onward with the more unconquerable desire that I may know him. Oh to be partakers with Christ in the glory of that last cry, which is the triumphant issue of suffering. They gathered with Him round the supper table, and gazed into His sorrowful countenance, but could not understand the mystery of His sufferings. What is the shape that we must be like. There is conformity —1. M. H. H. Aitken, M. Oh for a heart to sorrow in all the sorrows of humanity! Not only as a Martyr, but as a Sin-bearer (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). (4) "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Can I have fellowship in that? God has made nothing for pain. The first lesson of life is one of vicarious suffering. (3) From grief for sin. I must know His nature, offices, works, and glory.3. Blessed are they whose love grows with sorrow. (4) "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Love cannot clasp all it yearns for in its bosom, without first suffering for it. Beecher. The fellowship OF HIS SUFFERINGS.1. (4)As an earnest of heaven.3. These He could have broken, but there were other cords, and of how strong, that bound Him there. Our enjoyment of the everlasting benefits of Christ's sufferings is dependent on this fellowship.2. HOW WELL WE FELLOWSHIP IN HIS SUFFERINGS, Â Â Â A. Christianity Is Not Like Any Other Of The Religions In The World, Â Â Â Â Â 1. Let me enter into the fellowship of the sufferings of Jesus, that will make me hate sin. Sometimes he speaks of our Lord as though He were a sphere of being within which the Christian lives: (2 Corinthians 5:17); sometimes as the inhabitant of the Christian soul (Colossians 1:27). )The fellowship of Christ's sufferingsDean Vaughan.I. (1) They were meritorious, whereas we cam never have any merit in God's sight. Prepares for heaven. M. H. H. Aitken, M. A.Historically the disciples found themselves incapable of entering into the fellowship and sufferings of Jesus till touched by the power of His resurrection. It looks back and it points forward. When infinite purity comes in contact with impurity, sorrow and moral indignation must be the result. No; in our Christian life, Christ is first and midst and last: and no mere moral strength or determination can be reckoned on as accessory to Him in his great work. We know this.1. Can I have fellowship in that? Sometimes in the midst of all his enjoyment he says, "These are not my portion," and when deprived of these he can encourage himself in God (1 Samuel 30:6; 1 Samuel 1:18).4. Love cannot clasp all it yearns for in its bosom, without first suffering for it. (b) That the Divine administration implies the punishment of sin as well as the reward of righteousness. So we are not only permitted to sympathize with Christ as the Man of sorrows, but that, just as two partners in a firm are both joint possessors of the capital which belongs to the firm, so that wondrous wealth of sorrow which belonged to the Lord Jesus Christ, so far as it is a source of wealth, belongs in a measure to us, who are partners with Him. By a tender sympathy with all His followers in the sufferings they endure. In the vision of the morning there appeared to her a minute crown twined here and there with thorns, and by the side of this tiny ensign of the Saviour's deep, abounding love, lay another crown, composed wholly of thorns, large murderous spines, such as doubtless composed the wreath of painful mockery that bound the brow of the Son of God. The child which has no one to suffer for it is a miserable wretch. The eye that is the quickest to see beauty is most pained by deformity; the ear that most loves harmony is most pained by discord. Oh to be partakers with Christ in the glory of that last cry, which is the triumphant issue of suffering. No. It recedes, but only to return, and now, the sufferer gasping for breath, her death struggle is begun; and now for Margaret's trial, and her noble answer. (3) A lingering death. No system of thought that does not admit the fact of sin, or attempt to explain its meaning, or assist us in becoming delivered from its dominion, can hope to satisfy the needs of mankind. Negatively. Therefore, dig deep, and set by as much time in the day for Him as you can, He will be won by labour."(C. When I feel and know that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from sin I have the highest kind of this fellowship. There was no cross in the garden; nor does the prospect of suffering explain the agony there; nor the endurance His cry. Love cannot clasp all it yearns for in its bosom, without first suffering for it. (4) In the exercise of lively faith — do we give way to despair?II. We may torture ourselves if we will, but shall continue as ungodlike as before. Every man feels this in himself; one part of his being paying another's penalty. 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