Editorial - ‘Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others’, Phil
John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
‘We all deserve a little “me” time’. This was the focus of the advert promoting another ‘must have’ product. Yet, in that simple statement, there lies the nub of human thinking – ‘me’ first. We are encouraged to think of ourselves. In our planning we are expected to factor in ‘what’s in it for me’. Sadly, bombarded with such material and such thought processes of the world, believers are often drawn into the same mindset.
However, the Christian is expected to swim against that tide. To emphasize this, Paul presents the greatest example of what the Christian’s attitude to life should be, ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus’, Phil. 2. 5. The Lord relinquished that position of honour and glory that was rightfully His in order that He might assume the lowest place, and pass through the death of the cross. Why? For others, including you and me! Seeing us in our desperate need brought the Saviour to earth, and led Him to go to the cross, its darkness and judgement, in order that we might be saved.
How do we live our Christian lives in the light of the example of Christ? Do we put the spiritual interests and welfare of others before ourselves? Or, do we prefer to press our own rights? A. T. Robertson offers the following interpretation of our verse, ‘Not keeping an eye on the main chance for number one, but for the good of others’. Such an attitude does not come naturally. Verse 12 of the chapter suggests that it is something that we have to work at, letting the Holy Spirit accomplish His own work in our hearts. Philippians chapter 3 indicates what our attitude should be to all those things that might be regarded as advantageous to ‘me’. Are we pressing towards the mark? Are we seeking to manifest a Christ-like life, seeking the spiritual blessing of others, even when it is at our own expense? We need to challenge our own hearts on a regular basis!
In this issue of the magazine, we tackle a couple of topical questions, as well as seeing a number of profitable series come to an end. We thank John Hall for his short series on the priesthood, particularly as it was his first! The series on prophetic truth, which concluded in our last magazine, has a follow-up article, which explores the implications of these truths. We express our sincere thanks to the authors once more, and trust that in this issue, as in each of them, there will be material to cheer as well as challenge the Lord’s people.
There is a separate note regarding the retiral of Roy Hill from the committee. In view of this I am pleased to announce that Rutherford Rabey, from the Wylam assembly, in England, becomes chairman of the Trust, and I take on the additional responsibility of General Editor of the magazine.