“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren”
1 John 3:14
The evidence of Christ’s resurrection life in our hearts is love. Love is more than an emotion, more than a sentiment, it is the very essence of God. The vastness of the love of God is an ocean one can never pass over. It is a love that transcends knowledge. Paul in his prayer for The Church at Ephesus prayed that they would be strengthened by grace in order
“…to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”
The way to be filled with God is to grow into the Love of Christ. Love is the power and the faculty by which He unveils Himself to the human heart. Love sees humanity clearly. When Christ hung on the cross amidst the jeers and the mocking of the crowd He saw beyond the animosity of the moment into the deep pain of their condition.
“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”
That same love gives us the capacity to see past the injuries of relationships with His people; it empowers us to see past the rejections and disputes of our brothers and sisters and into the causes of them. In Love’s sway we first begin to all deal with the unholy and carnal roots within our own hearts. Love is never blind. Christ on the cross was the eternal proof of the depth and horror of our sin. God’s love sees all and responds. So it is in our lives: love is to become the springboard for our responses to the situations around us. The Love of God being formed in us is the power to live in Him; from this perspective we find the overwhelming need to abide in Him.
To actually love “in deed and in truth” is the revelation of the extent of Christ’s life in us.
“My little children, let us not love in word, or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18
It is incumbent upon us to weigh our life in the light of His truth.
“Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am”
Jesus took on our frailty that we might live in the power of God; our poverty becomes the portal for His strength.
“For I know with an absolute knowledge and stand persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in itselfexcept it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed. To that one it is unhallowed. For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve, no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. Therefore, stop allowing your good to be spoken of in a reproachful and evil manner; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; for the one who in this serves the Christ is well pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved by men”
Romans 14:14-18 (Wuest Translation)
Paul prefaced this plea to the Body of Christ with:
“For, on the one hand, there is he who judges a day above another day. On the other hand, there is he who subjects every day to a scrutiny. Let each one in his own mind be fully assured. The one who has formed a judgment regarding the day, with reference to the Lord he judges it. And the one who eats, with reference to the Lord he eats, for he gives thanks to God. And the one who does not eat, with reference to the Lord does not eat, and he gives thanks to God…”
Romans 14:5-6 (Wuest Translation)
“But as for you, why are you judging your brother? Or, as for you also, why are you treating your brother with contempt? For we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God. For it stands written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Therefore, then, each one of us shall give an account concerning himself to God. Therefore, no longer let us be judging one another. But be judging this rather, not to place a stumbling block before your brother, or a snare in which he may be entrapped”
Romans 14:10-11 (Wuest Translation)
There is within the economy and glory of Christ the liberty and respect for each member to hold within their hearts their own faith concerning food, drink, and days. The secret to this liberty is that they are “serving Christ” in their persuasions.
Paul in Colossians stated:
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”
Let not him who regards a day judge him who regards not a day; let not him who regards not a day judge him who esteems a day over another.
The living fabric of Christ’s Body is more than meat, drink or reference to some day or season. His LIFE is the very sinew and connection of each and every part. The ignorance of who and what the wonder of Christ is becomes apparent when the mundane issues of life become of more importance than the unity of His Spirit in our midst!
Paul goes on to say in his letter to the Colossians that they who judge others in respect to the elemental and menial things are
“…not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God’s growth. If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances, “Don’t handle, nor taste, nor touch” (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?”
We violate the very life of Christ who supplies the rich ministrations through which we are knitted together. Those who emphasise the mundane over the Holy will give an answer to Him in the Day of Judgment.
Paul finishes his discourse of these things by stating that the observance of these things will in NO WAY bring victory for a believer over their flesh. There are no spiritual victories to be gained by the foolishness of fleshly ordinances. Our victory comes only by living and abiding within the sphere of Christ Himself.
May God free us from the horror and stain of the Pharisee spirit in the observance of trivial matters while failing to comprehend that “the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (1 Timothy 1:5).
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Seven Ones – Perfection)
Those who would destroy the bonds of peace and sever the very ligaments of Christ over the rudimentary elements in respect to days, food and drink, know not the heart of He who is the Head of all things.
One cannot read the beauty of Ephesians Chapter 4 and Colossians Chapter 2, with any illumination of the Spirit of God, and not feel the very essence of Christ Himself beckoning us to preserve the Unity of His Spirit and the wonder of the Body of Christ.
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”
Fellowship is the natural outflow between those who are in Christ. Where there is no deep and powerful flow of Christ there is darkness and separation from the Life and Wonder of Christ. Beware of something added (or taken away) from the Life Giving essence of Christ alone. Light (not knowledge) is the basis of true fellowship.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7