[Papercut Press Publishing]1999-09-14 - Port's Faithful Shepherd, Chapter 2, Part 3

1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

"Get your union with, and interest in Christ cleared and confirmed to you daily more and more. Confirm that you are a branch in his vine, John 15:1-7, a member in his body, 2 Corinthians 13:5. This may be done three ways. (For parts one and two of this chapter please refer to devotionals from 8-31-99 and 9-6-99) 3. By surveying and observing in what manner you take Christ daily, and for this there are five resolves, as...

  1. Whether you do wholly renounce all opinion and conceit of your own righteousness and pride? Matthew 8:34, Philippians 3:7-10, so that you come to Christ empty of yourself, very vile, yes, nothing in your own eyes, unworthy to receive Christ.

  2. Whether you lay hold of Christ alone with an empty hand of faith, bringing nothing to Christ in the matter of salvation.

  3. Whether you find the Father drawing your heart towards Christ, John 6:44, in hungering panting desires, that will never be satisfied without Christ; so that the focus both of your judgment, Philippians 3:7, 8, and affections, 1 Corinthians 2:2, Galatians 6:14, run towards Christ?

  4. Whether you take Christ as a Lord to rule you, and as a Jesus to save you, Colossians 2:6, knowing Christ as one that is all, and your all, your wisdom, your righteousness, your sanctification, and redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30, your spiritual food, John 6:36, clothing, Romans 13:14, strength, Philippians 4:13, life, Colossians 3:3, Galatians 2:10.

  5. Whether you seek and wait for Christ (out of a sense of your spiritual helplessness). Do you view the sacraments, prayer, meditation, and fellowship, not as they are your own works of sanctification, but as they are God's ordinances appointed for the purpose of the manifestation and communication of Christ to your soul?

Frequent meditation upon these things will make clear to you your manner of taking Christ, which will evidence to you, your status in Christ." Robert Port

Some comments: Parts A and B; We don't think of ourselves in these terms in the church today. We don't view ourselves as vile, unworthy, empty in ourselves. It should give us something to consider that historically that is how Christians, viewing themselves apart from Christ, thought of themselves. In times past if you had a poor self-image, that was to be expected. But in Christ, you had a healthy self-image, with Christ you had all. We often have a habit of viewing ourselves as we are in ourselves apart from Christ and seeking worth and value from such self-introspection.

As I read the old writers, such as Port, their personal worth is never thought of positively apart from Christ. Any self-worth that a Christian has is always grounded in and established from the principal of our being in Christ. This can be seen in the remaining parts of section 3 of Chapter 2, parts C-E. The value of the Christian is viewed optimistically upon the foundational principal of his/her union with Christ.

These thoughts are not often heard in the Church of Christ today. I place them before you for consideration. You may agree, or disagree with Port. What counts is not whether Port is right or wrong but rather what matters is what the Scriptures teach. I hope that you will seek the Scriptures to see if these things are true. (Acts 17:11)

Soli Deo Gloria,
T-

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