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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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NetChaplain

The Rest of Faith

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As it is seen from this writer’s article, our death with Christ was not physical like His, but our “death with Christ” (Rom 6:8; 2Tim 2:11) is a reality applied (imputed) in the believer upon the reception of faith in Him. This article points out the importance of understanding that what those reborn do has no affect toward the production of this reality, because it is fully completed in the soul and is progressively manifested in the lives of believers as they are, not conforming, but “being conformed” (Rom 8:29) in their walk. It has been well said that “Christians are growing in the walk of what they already are in the Lord Jesus!

NC

 

 

The Rest of Faith

 

Dying with the Lord Jesus is not something we can do. Our crucifixion with Him is an accomplished fact, which took place when we died unto sin in Him on the Cross (at rebirth—NC). Our responsibility is merely to count upon this fact by faith. How does this work in practical experience?

 

First, where do I look if I am to know that my sins are forgiven? When I look to Calvary I see Him dying for me—wounded for my transgressions. The Holy Spirit Himself shows us this wonderful pardon given because of the death of Another. On the same principle of faith, if I am to know my union with the Lord Jesus in His death unto sin as a growing experience I must once again come to Calvary.

 

There, I look at the Cross and say, “Lord, I accept from my heart not only the fact of Your death for me, but also my death with Thee.” It is by that means of faith that the Holy Spirit will take the veil off, showing me the truth, and leading me into its reality. It is not a question of our dying, but of the Father having planted us into the death of His Son (our death in Christ is a past occurrence, which is progressively manifested the more we are “conformed” in our walk to “put off the old man”—NC).

 

Self-effort is so subtle in its workings that there are many believers who have wearied themselves out “trying to die,” and found unavailing the “reckoning” of their minds (Rom 6:11), seeking to grasp a fact, which can only be understood as it is revealed to the heart and mind by the Holy Spirit through the Word. The Cross has freed us from our old man, that we may see ourselves as new men in Christ Jesus.

 

When we are really learning the secret of heart acceptance of our Father’s plan in the destruction of that which comes to us from the first Adam, and His design to bless only that which is bestowed upon us in the Last Adam, we come into “rest of faith” (Heb 3:18).The stress and strain which are the hallmarks of modern Christian life and service begin to fade away.

 

No longer do we need to cry out that we may be “used” (because He will show us how He’s using us—NC); no longer need we keep our halos at the correct angle; no longer are we to be swayed this way and that by circumstances and the impact of the shifting currents of the suggestions of others. As under the gentle touch of the Spirit we seek, as time goes by, that the fact of our death with the Lord Jesus is applied in an ever deeper way—so, spontaneously and “without self-consciousness,” His life is manifested in our mortal bodies (2Co 4:11).

 

In spring, nature is clothed with its new beauty after the winter by secret springs of God-given life. If you and I will only wait humbly on the Holy Spirit of God, that the Lord Jesus’ death may have opportunity to do its liberating work in us, the streams of life will flow of themselves.

 

Many are concerned these days with questions such as—power for service, the authority of the believer, etc. These basic principles of faith will bring such questions into proper perspective, and provide that humble-minded sanity and balance, which is indicative of true spirituality. The great concern of the Enemy is either to hold us back from the realization of our full union with the ascended Lord Jesus by persistent accusation, and the reiterated harping on our own inability, or to push us into some over-balance because we seek to lay hold in the realm of the old Adam, of those blessings and promises that belong exclusively to the new man in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Set your affections on things above . . . for ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:2, 3).

 

- J C M

Edited by NetChaplain

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