Saturday, February 7, 2009


LIFE IN THE HOME versus WORK IN THE SHOP The Christian life is ''Faith working by love'' [GALATIANS 5;;6]. The faith- life sets up the highest possible control and motivation--the love bond. Grace not only establishes a head and body union; it joins us to Christ in marriage-''married to Another'' [ROMANS 7;4; see EPHESIANS 5;31-32]. Love is the highest motivating power known to personality. Love moved God in the overcoming of the greatest possible obstacles [JOHN 3;16; ROMANS 5;8]. Grace brought us over onto His Side, in the realm of divine love, where ''the love of Christ constraineth us'' [II.CORINTHIANS 5;14]. What a let-down to fall away from grace, drop His love out of our lives and plod along on our own, in dependence upon self-effort and self-motivation. The situation is much like that of a man leaving the home for the shop. He LIVES at home; he WORKS at the shop. As he goes forth his wife's kiss and words of encouragement linger with him. Her love warms his heart. As he enters the shop his eye falls upon rules tacked upon the wall; and there are certain city ordinances to be observed. How different, he thinks, from the life at home. During the day a watch is kept to see that men observe the regulations of the shop. The men are conscious of working by rules, by orders, and by the clock. At the close of the day, is our friend so fond of the shop routine that he asks for a copy to take home and post on its walls-just to see that he doesn't break any of them/ No, indeed. What a relief to enter his home; its atmosphere is love; its life is free. Love regulates and motivates each wishing to please the other. The home is so sacredly sovereign, that no police ever intrudes to ensure that city ordinances are being observed. How beautifully free is the life that flows from a heart filled with true love. Grace has given us such a life; and grace enables us to live it. WHEN A CHRISTIAN FAILS--WHAT/ We are in the realm of practical Christian living. In this realm we meet many disappointments. many embarrassing situations and problems. There are failures, plenty of them. Seemingly true Christians fail to live the life. Every serious lapse is, at root, a case of falling away from grace. It cannot be otherwise. Grace supplies all the resources of God for life's living, even God Himself. ''Christ liveth in me.'' If I am living where grace operates to supply these resources, I am ''kept by the power of God.'' If I move out from the realm of grace, its supply is cut off; I am thrown back upon my own resources, and ''I'' fail. ''I'' do what ''in Christ''I could never do. We all know Christians whose lives are a puzzle. I think with sadness, of preachers who are outstandingly doctrinally sound. They are known as gospel preachers, proclaiming the Word of God and the cross of Christ; but--, here is one, who cheats the government in his tax return; here is one who lies; another is mean, unkind, inconsiderate; another ''gets mad''; another is foul in personal speech; another treats his wife contemptibly; another is guilty of immorality; another is labeled ''crooked.'' How shall we explain such lapses/ Has the CHRIISTIAN FAITH failed/ No, indeed. The explanation is this; doctrinally they are on His Side, in the realm of grace; practically, they are back on Our Side, fallen away from grace. Grace can no longer operate to exercise His control, so ''I'' is back in the saddle, denying in practice the gospel preached from the pulpit. Grace given its freedom never fails, simply because God never fails. If I live ''in Christ,'' then, ''for to me to live is Christ''[PHIL. 1;21]. Christ is not dishonest, or dishonorable, or foul of speech. My responsibility is to ''abide'' in Him, giving Him freedom to express Himself in my personal, practical living. This is the one guarantee of heart and life purity. I could be impure; men far better than I have been, but CHRIST IN ME-NEVER.... The life in grace, the life of faith ministers Christ to the heart every moment-it's the only way to live. Label your life; ''KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD'' -END-

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