“We admit no faith to be justifying, which is not itself and in its own nature a spiritually vital principle of obedience and good works”
– John Owen
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness”
If the heart truly believes in Christ it will always be UNTO righteousness. A life unchanged is a life untouched by the power of Christ. Any belief which does not bring a heart unto righteousness is religious, cold and dead.
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”
1 Corinthians 15:22
It is not what a person believes but in whom they believe.
“For you need endurance so that, having done the will of God, you may receive the promise”
The promise of God is inextricably linked to obedience; in other words, doing the will of God. When we choose His way above our own, we discover the unfolding of His person and character and a desire to “follow the Lamb” where-so-ever He leads. Obedience is simply a life of following Him.
The promises of God require our obedience coupled with trust and endurance. It is impossible to obey without trust. To step into the unknown requires a trust in Him to sustain the step which faith has initiated. Abraham could sacrifice his most beloved thing in this world because he “accounted that God was able to raise him up”. His faith in God enabled him to obey the call of God. In his obedience he was afforded a revelation of “Jehovah Jireh” who would in the fulness of time provide the Lamb of God. Obedience is always the precursor to revelations of God. To those who follow Him is the way of holiness known.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”
The path of holiness has little to do with conforming to some strict code of ethics or aligning oneself to a ritualistic way of life. Holiness is the power of the life of Christ within.
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour”
The true servant of Christ can only serve Him by following Him. The disciple of Christ cannot serve two masters or bear an allegiance to anything or anyone other than Him. Serving Christ will render an individual incapable of blind loyalty to an organization, an individual or a self-serving agenda. His way will crucify everything in our life unto the realization that we are His and His alone.
“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it”
“Ye do well to remember that habitual affectionate communion with God, asking Him for all good which is needed, praising Him for all that is received, and trusting Him for future supplies, prevents anxious cares, inspires peace, calmness and composure, and furnishes a delight surpassing all finite comprehension”
– James H. Aughey
“Many Christians estimate difficulty in the light of their own resources, and thus they attempt very little and they always fail. All giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence to be with them”
– Hudson Taylor
“A teaching is what one knows; truth is what one does.”
(While in prayer the other day, this phrase came to me; an admonition to remind me of the true Christian life. The subtly of knowing when it is not coupled with doing can become a deception. It is in the daily-ness of living that the reality of His life in us is truly known and shown.)
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light…”
Truth is the Life of Christ moving within the human heart. Truth is a Person and a power; the power of God. Truth cannot leave a life in bondage or apathy. Its relentless activity within the redeemed soul is ever moving and empowering, lifting us out of bondage and corruption.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”
Many may ascribe to the teachings of Christ, but those in whom His light and truth penetrate become a new creation fashioned into His likeness and nature. This change and transformation can only be known through the wonder of relationship; a continuing in His Word and a persistent seeking of Him to bring true freedom within.
“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”
Tenacity of spirit is a defining signature of the true disciple. Freedom is the fruit of discipleship; the joy of knowing and walking with Him. The creative power of God is released to become servants of righteousness in those who discover this new freedom in Christ.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness”
“…Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments”
What blessing does God pronounce upon such a man?
“His seed shall be mighty upon earth…”
If ever there was a time for the raising up of strong “seed” in the earth, it is now. If ever there was a time for the people of God to live to honour and exalt His Name in the earth, it is today. The fear of the Lord brings a delight in obedience and the exaltation of His Name in the earth. The Blessings of God are sure to those who live their lives to please Him alone.
“I receive not honour from men”
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?”
The fear of the Lord will bring a singularity of purpose to one’s life. Compromise and instability are the result of a life without conviction and purpose and is readily perceived by our children. It requires strong faith to live uprightly before the Lord. It requires diligence and faith to stand through the storms of life. Even in times of failure and discouragement there is to be the shining forth of a heart that rises from every situation with an even stronger determination to live for Him.
The sins we tolerate in our own life will surely be seen by those closest and dearest to us. Our attitude and response to the call of God, in separation and holiness, is a hidden ministry that flows from within. The depth of our life in Christ can be measured by our estimation of sin. The deeper our walk with Him, the deeper will be our hatred of sin and the deeper our desire for righteousness. Sadly, it has become the norm for men to turn a blind eye to the sin of others, even our own children and those whom we consider brothers and sisters in the Lord. The fear of the Lord produces men with strong convictions by which they stand. The fear of the Lord is the foundation upon which strong families are built.
“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother”
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
The fear of the Lord produces men with strong convictions by which they stand. This fear of the Lord is the foundation upon which build strong families are built. God is looking for us to raise up children who will be mighty in their own walk in the Lord; to be a light and a blessing to others in this world. We seek the blessing of God to fall upon our children and grandchildren, for His life to be resident within their hearts. The true strength of our families comes as each member has their own relationship with Jesus and knows His convictions and His tender mercies for themselves.
“For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”
1 Timothy 3:5
“I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Purpose is the inevitable result of seeing Him. The true Love of God does not leave a life void of passion or purpose. Paul’s presentation of the Gospel made no allowance for a partial pursuit of God. For him, it was unfathomable to love God with a divided heart; becoming more like Christ was the only purpose. He knew in his own experience that the Love of God was the pure power and wonder of Life. Love is the means by which God subdues all things unto Himself. The human heart was created for this: to glorify God and to reveal His wonder, His person and His wisdom to the rest of creation. Continue reading “Vision and Purpose”
“The Church’s foundation is unshakable and firm against the assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly batter and crash against her, she offers the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress”
— Ambrose (339-397)
“It is never on account of its formal nature as a psychic act that faith is conceived in Scripture to be saving. It is not, strictly speaking, even faith in Christ that saves, but Christ that saves through faith. The saving power resides exclusively, not in the act of faith or the attitude of faith or nature of faith, but in the object of faith”
– B.B. Warfield