One with Christ

The Bible teaches that when a man and a woman are united in marriage they become ONE.  The same principle apply wen a person receives Jesus as a personal Savior. Years ago a young Christian author wrote,

Someone says “I am lost whenever I think of Christ and myself as two,” and it seems so to me now. Think over the expressions “Christ, who is our life;” “Alive in Jesus Christ;” “He that hath the Son hath life, & he that hath not the Son hath not life;” and many others like them, and tell me if you don’t think they teach a most marvelous and glorious reality? Our only life is Christ, and in Him “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily!” It almost takes my breath away to think of anything so glorious! Surely this will answer every question about our individuality, our independent will, our fighting etc.
The grand fight of all our lives is, as you say, with Amalek and other enemies which typify the flesh. It is not the temptations of the flesh we are to resist, so much as the flesh itself, the legal element in our natures, which is continually turning us back to reliance on the flesh. Our fight is emphatically a fight of faith not a fight of effort. It is a fight to cease from effort in fact and to suffer another life to be fully worked out in us. And I think a deeper typical meaning than has ever been discovered yet, must lie hid in Israel’s old contests.”
—To a Friend, March 28, 1867
Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Implicit Faith

Could we say that a successful Christian life consists of having victory over sin? It is easy to focus on ministry and activities a person does. We measure the success of a pastor by the size of the local church he leads. We read a missionary biography and are impressed by how many tribes that person reaches.  In the secular world success is measure by accomplissement.

More I read the Bible more I find that true success is more related to holiness. We are engaged in a spiritual battle against sin. Real success seems to have a moment by moment victory over sin. The good news is that God gave us the power to have such victory. It is a live a life similar to the life Jesus lived on earth. To live like Christ in a fallen world.

Let me share with you a note written by Hannah Whitall Smith to her cousin Carrie on February 26, 1867.

The whole matter lies in this—trusting Jesus to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. It is taking Him to be our daily, hourly, momentary Saviour from the power of sin, just exactly as we took Him to be our Saviour from its guilt. We have actually no more to do in the one case then in the other. He assumes all the responsibility and accomplishes all the work. Our only part is to commit ourselves to Him, and trust Him with implicit faith. All you can do is to commit yourself to Him this very moment to begin the work from now and carry it on in His own way. Just say to Him continually, “I trust you, I trust you.” And you will find that your faith will grow wonderfully.
Try the plan of handing over your temptations to Him to conquer, and you will be astonished at its success. In short, trust Him with your whole self, with all your life—every moment of it, with everything you are, or have, or do. Let Him, in short, be your life. It is a great trust, but He is worthy of it. He cannot possibly fail you in the least particular. He is infinitely trustworthy. No human words can set forth His worthiness to be trusted to the uttermost. It seems to me I never really trusted Him before, and it makes my heart ache to think of the long years in which I have dishonored Him so much when He was so worthy to be trusted!

Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life: The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Are you “BUSY”?

Satan called his team for a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep the Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches, let them have their conservative lifestyles.

“But steal their time, so they can’t gain that relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day! How shall we do this shouted the angels? ‘Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,’ he answered. ‘Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow. Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 – 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.’

“Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon, their home will offer no escape from the pressures of work! Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

Go ahead, let them be involved in soul winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!”

This Christmas season let’s not forget the essential: enjoying family and friends, but let’s focus on the essential meditating on what God did 2000 years ago.

1 John 3:16 (NLT)
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.

Loving the Scriptures

An anonymous Christian said one day “When I was filled with the Spirit, I loved the Scriptures so much that if I could have gotten more of the Word of God inside of me by eating it, I would have eaten the Book. I literally would have taken and eaten it—leather and everything—if I could have gotten more of the Book inside my heart.”

Well, you don’t get it by eating it, but the Word of God is sweet to the Spirit-filled person because the Spirit wrote the Scriptures. The spirit of the world does not appreciate the Scriptures—it is the Spirit of God who gives appreciation of the Scriptures. One little flash of the Holy Spirit will give you more inward, divine illumination on the meaning of the text than all the commentators that ever commented.

It 1727 the Moravians who were quiet people, like you and me, but they waited and prepared their hearts, and one morning, suddenly, that which they called “a sense of the living nearness of the Savior, instantaneously bestowed,” came upon them.

Now, when the Holy Spirit is allowed to come with particular intimacy in a human soul, He never talks about Himself, but always about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Count Zinzendorf wrote that the small group of 75 German Christians arose and went out that building so happy and joyful that they did not know whether they were on earth or had gone on to heaven. The historian says that, as a result of that experience, within twenty short years those Spirit-filled Moravian Christians did more for world missions than the entire Church in all of its parts had done in 200 years. It made missionaries of them.

The New Testament speaks of the sense of “wonder” among the early Christians. The Church in our day seems to have lost this. I remember that Dr. R.R. Brown, of Omaha, once said to me, “God is so good to me that it frightens (amaze) me!”[1]

[1] A. W. Tozer, The Counselor: Straight Talk About the Holy Spirit from a 20th Century Prophet (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 1993), 149.