Complete and Effective Divinity

soft white flower
If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection… —Romans 6:5

Co-Resurrection. The proof that I have experienced crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a definite likeness to Him. The Spirit of Jesus entering me rearranges my personal life before God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him the authority to give the life of God to me, and the experiences of my life must now be built on the foundation of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus penetrates every bit of my human nature. It takes the omnipotence of God— His complete and effective divinity— to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house— He invades all of it. And once I decide that my “old man” (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me.

He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals to me. Once I have made that important decision about sin, it is easy to “reckon” that I am actually “dead indeed to sin,” because I find the life of Jesus in me all the time (Romans 6:11). Just as there is only one kind of humanity, there is only one kind of holiness— the holiness of Jesus. And it is His holiness that has been given to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new spiritual order.

by Oswald Chambers

Resurrected Faith

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Three years of growing faith and hope among His followers were dashed on the shoals of despair when Jesus was apprehended and killed. Typical of the despair felt by those in Jerusalem were two despondent followers of Christ who left Jerusalem to walk to the village of Emmaus. On the way, they encountered a stranger who seemed to know nothing of the past days’ events in Jerusalem. Yet he rebuked them for their despondency, for not recognizing the meaning of the death of the Nazarene. And then He revealed to them that He was the Christ, raised from the dead. “So [the two] rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem . . . and they told about the things that had happened on the road” (Luke 24:33, 35).

When the two disciples saw that Jesus had been given new life, they received new life as well. Such is the power of the Resurrection; such is the meaning of Easter!

If you grow despondent in the face of life’s circumstances, remember the Resurrection—proof that God’s power is sufficient to resurrect your faith.

Recommended Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Christianity is not merely a program of conduct; it is the power of a new life. Benjamin B. Warfield

An Early Confession

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

One of the specific reasons Paul wrote this letter to Timothy is contained in our text. The church is to guard and declare the “mystery of godliness.”

A “mystery” in Scripture is something which was previously hidden, but which is now revealed. Here the mystery is the blessed truth that God is in the business of producing godliness in the lives of men and women; in this context, it is through the work of the church (v. 15). This ministry of the church in proclaiming this mystery was augmented by a doctrinal confession, or hymn, which was presented in:

“God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit.” “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness” (Romans 1:4). This couplet relates Christ’s human/divine nature. His humanity was evident to all; His divinity was declared through the Spirit.

“Seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles” (or nations). Angels observed, and to some degree participated in, Christ’s earthly ministry, but the salvation and godliness He offered was only to men, “which things the angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:12).

“Believed on in the world, received up into glory.” Other teachers have gained a following, but only Christ ascended directly into heaven following His resurrection.

Doctrinal confessions or hymns can be an aid in learning and remembering truth, but the goal of each is godliness—“this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). JDM

Not asking for Anything

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. —Psalm 116:1-2

I think that some of the greatest prayer is prayer where you don’t say one single word or ask for anything. Now God does answer and He does give us what we ask for. That’s plain; nobody can deny that unless he denies the Scriptures. But that’s only one aspect of prayer, and it’s not even the important aspect. Sometimes I go to God and say, “God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already.” God’s already put me so far in debt that if I were to live one million millenniums I couldn’t pay Him for what He’s done for me.

We go to God as we send a boy to a grocery store with a long written list. “God, give me this, give me this, and give me this,” and our gracious God often does give us what we want. But I think God is disappointed because we make Him to be no more than a source of what we want. Even our Lord Jesus is presented too often much as “Someone who will meet your need.” That’s the throbbing heart of modern evangelism. You’re in need and Jesus will meet your need. He’s the Needmeeter. Well, He is that indeed; but, ah, He’s infinitely more than that.

Father, forgive me for so often just coming to You with my grocery list. You’ve been so faithful; You’ve given me so much; You’ve blessed so richly. I realize my incredible debt to You, and I simply worship at Your feet. Amen.

Believe What God Says He Will Do for Us

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19

True faith requires that we believe everything that God has said about Himself, but also that we believe everything He has said about us!

Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do. Right here is where popular religion breaks down. It never quite accepts the severity of God or the depravity of man. It stresses the goodness of God and man’s misfortune. It makes sin a pardonable frailty and God is not too much concerned about it—He merely wants us to trust in His goodness.

To believe thus is to ground faith upon falsehood and build our eternal hope upon sand. God has spoken. We are all under solemn obligation to hear the affirmations of the Holy Ghost.

To manipulate the Scriptures so as to make them excuse us, compliment us and console us is to do despite to the written Word and to reject the Living Word. To believe savingly in Jesus Christ is to believe all He has said about Himself and all that the prophets and apostles have said about Him.

A dreamy, sentimental faith which ignores the judgments of God against us and listens to the affirmations of the soul is as deadly as cyanide. A faith which passively accepts all of the pleasant texts of the Bible while it overlooks or rejects the stern warnings and commandments of those same Scriptures is not the faith of which Christ and His apostles spoke!

The Transformed Life

He that taketh not his cross… is not worthy of me. MATTHEW 10:38

Many of the great evangelists who have touched the world for God, including such men as Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney, have declared that the church is being betrayed by those who insist on Christianity being made “too easy.”

Jesus laid down the terms of Christian discipleship, and there are some among us who criticize: “Those words of Jesus sound harsh and cruel.”

This is where we stand: Receiving Jesus Christ into your life means that you have made an attachment to the Person of Christ that is revolutionary, in that it reverses the life and transforms it completely! It is complete in that it leaves no part of the life unaffected. It exempts no area of the life of the total man.

By faith and through grace, you have now formed an exclusive relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ. All of your other relationships are now conditioned and determined by your one relationship to your Savior.

To receive Jesus Christ, then, is to attach ourselves in faith to His holy person, to live or die, forever! He must be first and last and all!

Lord, Your call upon my life is total. But there are times when I feel pulled in other directions that may not be pleasing to You. Give me grace and strength to keep You in first place in my life.