August 15, 1999
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Biblical Christianity is nothing more than the continual dependence upon God through Christ for all life, all light or direction in life, and virtue or goodness. It is Satan's false religion that seeks life, direction or goodness from any other source other than through Jesus Christ.
John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
All goodness comes from God, just as sure as all life comes from God.
NOTE the interest in creating life in the laboratory. It has not been done, nor will it be done. Life in a laboratory is the same as fallen man seeking life and goodness outside of the indwelling Spirit of God.
Adam was created in God's image and in fellowship with God. Adam's fall brought a separation from God; it brought a separation from life, light and goodness. There can be no return to life, light and goodness without being returned into favour with God.
2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
God commands man to be reconciled to himself.
Reconciliation basically means being reunited with someone we are in disagreement with. In our fallen condition, we are at odds with God. We think we have goodness, light and life in ourselves. We must change our opinion, and realize there is nothing apart from Christ.
Notice v. 18, And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. In other words, it is God who works the reconciliation in fallen man.
Reconciliation cannot be accomplished by man's own efforts any more than he can create himself. This is a reason man refuses to give up on evolution. Evolution means man created himself, and if he created himself, he can find enough good in himself that he can save himself.
Reconciliation, which is saving faith, must be a gift of God. For no man nor angle can show any love, faith nor desire toward God without God placing that divine living seed within him by his Spirit.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
In other words, no part of creation can offer anything to the Creator but that which was first given to him by the Creator.
The command is be ye reconciled to God. Fallen man is at in conflict with God. He believes he is good enough to save himself, and make it through life on his own. The command is be ye reconciled to God--agree with God that we cannot save ourselves.
Be ye reconciled to God also includes daily reconciliation--agreeing with God that he alone is all wisdom and life and goodness, and that he alone through his Spirit and word must guide us.
In other words, Biblical reconciliation restores man to willing submission to God's daily guidance of his life. Biblical reconciliation has settled in our hearts that we will do nothing, plan nothing, nor think anything that is apart from God's will for us. To say that reconciliation is otherwise is to permit a heart of rebellion against the Divine will.
Biblical reconciliation means that we look for ways we can please do things pleasing in God's sight.
God's indwelling Holy Spirit is given not only to assure us of eternal life with God, but he is given to make us a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:17.) The purpose of Salvation and the indwelling Holy Spirit is to create in us the image of the Creator, the image of Christ.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
By his own blood, Christ payed the price for our sins, and reconciled us to God the Father. By his own blood, he conquered our rebellion against the will of God.
When fail to honour the Holy Spirit as the giver of both eternal life and new life in submission to the will of God and daily power over sin, our religion is no better than what the apostate Jews of Christ's day had.
Redemption is redemption from rebellion against God, both concerning eternal salvation and daily salvation.
No plant nor tree can grow and bear fruit without the same power that gave it life from its seed. In the same manner, if there will be any life, light and goodness in any person, it can only come from the continued life-giving power of the Spirit, the same Spirit that gave new life in the first place.
We can open and read the word of God at any place, yet without the life-giving power of the indwelling Spirit of God, it will leave us as poor, empty and unchanged as it found us. The word of God can delight us, but if that delight is not grounded in the inspiration of God's indwelling Spirit, it is nothing but Adam's fallen nature. This truth presented in both Testaments at all times, in the Law, the Prophets, the Gospels.
Christ himself said, I can of mine own self do nothing. (John 5:3). If our master said this, how much more true is that of us? Is a servant greater than his master?
The Apostle John said, God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 Jn. 4:16.)
Can a mirror reflect light that it did not first receive? Can the creation offer proper affections to God unless he first received them? Can we love God except he first loved us, and placed his love in us?
Thus, those who dwell in any love except the love brought forth by the indwelling Spirit are not dwelling in the Christian God of the Bible.
The life of man can never be in him, but must be a growth of life in and from God.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Everything in life that has not the source of God's Spirit is earthly, sensual or devilish. Whether the angles in heaven or the lowliest of creeping things, there is nothing wise, holy, good or just except as it conforms to the will of God. That is, subject to God's design and function.
The nature of sin is declining from the will of God. So our greatest desire must be that God's will may be done in us as it is done in heaven:
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
It must be our settled purpose and intention of our hearts that we will do nothing, plan nothing nor think anything but so far as we have reason to believe it is the will of God.
It is a great rebellion against God to think that our will may every rightly differ from God's will.
We must be convinced in our hearts that we have no other purpose in the world than to be what God requires us to be, to do what God requires us to do.
We have no other purpose in this world than to find the place that God would have us to be.
We have no other purpose in this world than to see what God would have us to see,
We have no other purpose in this world than to desire what God would have us to desire.
We have no other business in the world than to serve the Lord with gladness -- that is, to do what we believe is pleasing in his sight.
Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
To even think we can do any of these things on our own, is to think we created ourselves.
[TO HERE, August 14, 1999]
We cannot say we believe in the Lord unless we believe that he alone is infinite love, life, wisdom--direction in life, and goodness.. And that means that we must have the inner confidence that God's will for our lives is designed in his infinite LOVE, LIFE, WISDOM and GOODNESS.
Therefore, we must be as thankful and pleased with everything that happens in our lives as though we ourselves chose it. What more can we ask out of life than for our own lives to be guided by infinite LOVE, WISDOM and GOODNESS?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
When we allow ourselves to have anxieties, fears and complaints, we do one of two things: DENY God's wisdom and love and goodness or we confess that we are out of his will.
Jude 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. 17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jude tells us that the Lord will judge the ungodly. V. 16, the murmurers and complainers are those who walk after their own lusts--things do not go the way that is pleasing to their own lusts, so they murmur and complain against the Lord, v. 19.
Then Jude gives the answer to murmurer and complaint, v. 21, Keep yourselves in the love of God. That is, remember that God is infinite love and that he guides his wiling children in that love. So, when we murmur, complain and worry, we are denying the Lord's love for his own, or we are confessing we are out to the will of the Lord.
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Note we are told in v. 36 that impatience means we lack confidence that we are in the will of the Lord.
The normal attitude of the Christian is to be continually thankful to the Lrod in every situation, confident that all our infinite God works all things work together for the good of those who are sincerely trying to do the will of God as best they understand it.
To be only able to thank God in happiness and prosperity and not in calamities and sufferings is not real trust in our loving Heavenly Father. That is not faith any more than if we would say that we do not believe God created the heavens and the earth because we did not see him do it. Faith means we believe what God says regardles of what our natural senses tell us.
It is as certain that nothing happens by chance to the trusting, obedient Child of God as it is that the world itself did not happen by chance. For this reason, we can,
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore. We are to 17 Pray without ceasing. And 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Otherwise, we will 19 Quench ... the Spirit. (That is, do not put out the fire of the Spirit who gives the inner enthusiasm and ability to please God.)
We can rejoice and give thanks to God not because we can analyze everything that comes into our lives. Rather, because in child-like faith, we are confident we are doing his will the best we know and that the infinite God, in his love, wisdom and goodness is directing our lives.
If we realy belive that God is love, then we cannot be too much resigned to his divine will in our lives. We cannot rest too much in the fact that he is dirrecting our paths.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
One of the worse evils we can do is to doubt God's loving goodness toward those who to the best of their knowledge are trusting in the Lord with all their hearts.
We have trusted Christ to redeem us from our rebellion agaisnt God in salvation. How foolish of us to refuse to trust Christ in oru daily walk to redeem us from our rebellion against God. We lean to our own understanding instead of trusting him to and thanking him for daily conforming us to the divine image of Christ oru Creator.
It must be our settled purpose and intention of our hearts that we will do nothing nor plan nothing nor think nothing but so far as we have reason to believe it is the will of God.
Rejecting God's will for our own will is the worse of rebellions. Gospel salvation restores man to willign submission to all of God's designs for his life, which is what Adam failed to do. Wehn we rebell like this against God, we are saying that a person can be reconciled to God and at the same time hide in his heart rebellion against God.