Wednesday, April 22, 2009

abide in ME (part 3)

Chapter 5: As You Came to Him, by Faith
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith...abounding therein. -Colossians 2:6-7

Not less essential than for the commencement, is faith for the progress of the spiritual life. Abiding in Jesus can only be by faith.

The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last. It is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Savior to receive His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God.

Simply by the Word of God, That Word, as it were, compelled you to believe that, notwithstanding guilt in the past, and weakness in the present, and unfaithfulness in the future, the promise was sure that Jesus would accept and save you.

Do not think so much of yourself as a branch, nor of the abiding as your duty, until you have first had your soul filled with the faith of what Christ as the Vine is.

Ask the Father by the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what a glorious, loving, mighty Christ this is, in whom you have your place and your life; it is the faith in what Christ is, more than anything else, that will keep you abiding in Him.

And then, when faith can well say, "He is my Vine," let it further say, "I am His branch; I am in Him."

Chapter 6: God Himself Has United You to Him
Of [God] are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. -1 Corinthians 1:30
My Father is the husbandman. -John 15:1

As the believer enters into this, the divine side of the work of salvation, he will learn to praise and to worship with new exultation, and to rejoice more than ever in the divineness of the salvation he has been made partaker of. At each step he reviews, the song will come, "This is the Lord's doing" - divine Omnipotence working out what eternal Love had devised. Of God I am in Christ Jesus.

The words will lead him even further and higher, even to the depths of eternity. "Whom he did predestinate, them he also called" (Rom 8:30). The calling in time is the manifestation of the purpose in eternity. Before the world was, God had fixed the eye of His sovereign love on you in the election of grace and chosen you in Christ. That you know yourself to be in Christ is the stepping-stone by which you rise to understand in its full meaning the word, "Of God I am in Christ Jesus."

The God who chose Christ to be the Vine fitted Him thoroughly for the work He had as the Vine to perform. The God who has chosen me and planted me in Christ has thereby engaged to secure, if I will but let Him, by yielding myself to Him, that I in every way be worthy of Jesus Christ.

How it would quicken the sense of dependence and make me see that praying without ceasing is indeed the one need of my life -an unceasing waiting, moment by moment, on the God who has united me to Christ, to perfect His own divine work, to work in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

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