NONE BUT THE HUNGRY HEART
ONE STANDARD – CHRIST
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. (Hebrews 6:1)
When the standard of the Christian life is low, the responsibility for growth is placed upon the believer. But when it is known that God's standard for us is His Son, all expectation of maturity must be placed in Him – "for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian's very life, and the Holy Spirit dwells within our spirit to manifest Him, to work out all that is in Him and to reproduce Him in us. We must remember that there is something in the sight of God that is higher than work. There is Christ-likeness. That is our Father's purpose, and it is His work.
It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to the Lord Jesus. A holy ministry is an awful weapon in the hands of God.
In a great many evangelical churches the Gospel of salvation is magnificently presented, seekers are led to Christ; but the totality of the Gospel, the Gospel in its ultimate category, is by no means so clearly presented, nor maybe even understood by teacher as well as pupil. It is evidenced by exhortation to Christian living being mainly challenges to pray more, study more, give more, witness more, surrender more. The emphasis is predominantly on the active dedication of the Christian to his Lord, and to a much less degree on the dynamic remolding of the believer by his Lord.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10) ¢
LIBERATED FROM LEGALITY
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
One of the most subtle, tenacious, and all-pervading errors amongst Christians is slavery to the legal principle (the Galatian error). And, as in deliverance from the power of sin, there is no freedom from law apart from the death we shared in Christ on the Cross. "You too in the body of Christ have ended your relation to the law" (Rom. 7:4, Wms.).
It is a harmful perversion of the truth of God to teach (as did the Puritan theologians) that while we are not to keep the law as a means of salvation, we are under it as a "rule of life." Let a Christian only confess, "I am under the law," and straightway Moses fastens his yoke upon him, despite all his protests that the law has lost its power.
Men have to be delivered from the whole legal principle, from the entire sphere where law reigns, ere true liberty can be found. This was accomplished on the Cross. There we' died unto the law' (Gal. 2:19); we were there 'discharged from the law' (Rom. 6:14). And those who believe this enter the blessed sphere where grace reigns. The Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer, performs in him the will of God, whose will, at last, is a delight (Rom. 8:3,4; 12:2). -W.R.N.
"Law taught me to love my neighbors as myself – made my love for self the measure of my duty to my neighbor. Christianity looks for having no self at all, but giving up ourselves for our neighbors."
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Heb. 13:21) ¢
These articles were excerpted from the devotional, "None But the Hungry Heart" #2, which was compiled by Miles J. Stanford.
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