God has given us vital principles of the Christian life – foundational gospel facts. But how few Christians can live or even accept these simple truths of God’s Word.. constructing arguments to destroy truth – to fit in with a skewed understanding. How many Christians consider that God is better pleased with them through works. How many can’t get their heads around being perfect in God’s sight – through Christ? How many object to His child-training in their life when it becomes uncomfortable? How many distort the character of God to fit their developed, biased perceptions. Well, I can tell you it is probably more than you think, and it all comes back to believing God’s Word and trusting His love…period.
Every spiritual principle of growth, God has set out in His Word. And God is taking a life-time and possibly longer to bring us to maturity. He takes the normal, natural things of life and uses them as His teaching tools. And the history of a myriad of saints – demonstrates this pattern of His working. He brings us to faith through rebirth.. but after a few years of bliss – work begins.
He first teaches us what the old sin nature is capable of… as Paul reminds us:- I know that in my flesh dwells no good thing. Rom.7:18 How patiently he reminds us that He has set aside the first nature to establish the new. And no matter how much you object to this principle, God has said it and therefore it is so. We may quite like our old sinful nature and be quite proud of its accomplishments! We may not actually agree with God’s ways.. well I am afraid that’s tough!
For we are only accepted by God ‘in the Beloved‘. He will have no part in the old and we are only complete in Him – and all else must be put in the place of death. Some Christians learn this quicker than others. Some pass through life still kicking against the pricks of God’s sovereign will. Some would like to remain ‘complete in themselves‘ as well as being ‘complete in Him‘.
Well, one salty saint sees this as our progress, he writes:- The First step is that we believe that the Lord Jesus was sent of God. Second, that in the fulness of His work we are justified. Third, we make His acquaintance. Fourth, we come to see Him in heaven. We know our association with Him there, and His power here. Fifth, we learn the mystery – the great things we are entitled to because we are part of His body. Sixth, that we are seated in heavenly places in Christ and Seventh, lost in wonder and in praise in the knowledge of Himself. So after the product of ‘initial faith‘ – is the processes of sanctifying faith. After initial ‘perfection in Him‘ – we are being made perfect by the Spirit. After initial ‘acceptance in Christ‘ – we are to ‘learn obedience’ in life. After initially being ‘complete in Him‘ – we are being changed into is likeness….
And after all of this… what then? The interesting this is, that over these years I have observed it all comes back to one thing… LOVE. Firstly, our relationship with the Lord Jesus is by faith. Secondly.. that faith without love is really very ineffective. Thirdly, every promise in Revelation 2 and 3 brings you back to loving Jesus. Fourth, every crown we can gain has its roots in love. Fifth – there is nothing we can do of ourselves. All these are vital principles of the Christian life. All these truths are foundational Gospel facts. The bottom line is that Jesus is coming back soon – are you ready?
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