Thursday, May 20, 2021

All That Is Required

 Thursday, May 20, 2021

By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.   1 John 4:13 NASB

All That Is Required
Once a person becomes a Christian he is faced with one monstrous dilemma.  He is supposed to live, love, walk, and talk like Christ while loving his enemies, abstaining from the very appearance of evil, growing in grace, worry about nothing and be thankful for everything, rejoice always, deny ourselves, accept the fact of our death, and follow Christ every day of our lives. We are to set our affections on things above and not on things on the earth.  Added to these and dozens of other demands made upon us, we are supposed to be of good comfort, cheerful, and kind in the midst of an unkind world.

What a shock when we find that even after we are saved we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength.  We are not encouraged anywhere in the Bible to resort to our best. There is no evidence in the Scripture to be found that God expects anything of us but total failure.  This is the reason for the cross in our salvation and the cross in our inner life. Self would do its best and take the credit. Self can live a life that has some appearances of Christlikeness, but self cannot be Christ like.  Our dilemma is clear . . . we cannot be what God desires and what the Bible requires.

The only one who can make us Christlike is Christ.  According to the Word of God, there are just two ways that men can live their lives. They can either live according to the flesh by following their own carnal nature, or live according to the Spirit of God by putting under control the desires of the flesh.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Galatians 5:16-18 NASB

It is this dynamic, Christ in you, which secures our salvation. If Christianity were nothing more than a man deciding to worship Jesus and doing his best to imitate Him, there indeed would be little hope.  But if Christianity is Jesus coming into an available human body and acting like Himself, then there is abundant hope.   If my salvation depended on my ability to be like Christ, I could be lost again and again.  But if my salvation depends on Jesus, then I cannot be lost.  My salvation is secured not by my imitation of Christ but by my participation in Christ.  He, Himself, living in me, is the security of my salvation. I need no other. 

We are not in the world to bear witness to Christ through our own strength.  Christ is in us in the world to bear witness of Himself.  The Christian life is not the doing of things to please God but the yielding of our bodies to God so that He can through the indwelling Christ do things for Himself.  Man working for God is one thing. God working in man is quite another.

Allow Christ in you to work and quit working against Him by trying in your own power to do what only He can do. He is able to work through us to be all that is required and He alone is the security of our salvation. 

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  Romans 8:11

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