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Monthly Archives: March 2013

It all centers in a Person.  When the Person is gone the experience is gone.  And then the old defeat comes back.  I know how very sad it is to look at the inconsistencies in the lives of those who claim to have experienced righteousness by faith ~ and to say it has not done much for them.  I am often tempted to do just that myself.  And you may say it of me.  I do not claim any qualification to write on this vital subject except the miracle that I have experienced myself.

But the miracle is the Person.  I have lost the experience whenever I have lost staying in touch with this awesome Person.  And so will you, we need to daily enjoy His presence.  Once you have known Him, you can never be satisfied without Him.  The pain of separation is there.  And it is severe.  And the only way to end the suffering is to end the separation.

And so it is your privilege and mine to look away from the weakness in us to the power of the living Christ.  By our own choice we can end the separation and keep the Person.  And as long as the Person is there we can never perish !!

You, see this new-birth experience is not a theory.  It is not simply a change of direction.  It is not a commitment alone.  It is a relationship with a Person.  It is a companionship with a Person, a Person you can talk with as you would with a friend.  You can talk with Him about your problems, about your work, your successes and your failures and your dreams.  Talk to Him about people.  Talk to Him in traffic.  Talk to Him about the green lights and the parking places and the icy streets.  Talk to Him about your temptations ~ and talk to Him about them in time!

Now I must tell you that this new-birth experience is a very fragile thing.  It is not a once-for-all-time experience.  It can easily be lost.  It is essential that we be converted to God every single day of our lives.  Every living human being advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains to perfection of divine character, a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality.  Evidently it is possible to have that experience today and lose it tomorrow.  More tragic still, it is possible to be so overwhelmed with the wonder of it that you focus your eyes on that first bloom of the new life and don’t realize it is gone.

Why wasn’t it understood?  Why is it so little understood even today?  The answer is simple.  The enemy does not want it understood.  The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken.

The enemy does not want it understood.  But it is understand or perish !

I have felt sad to see some trying to preach justification by faith when they did not know a thing about it in reality.  Until you know it in Christ Jesus, then it will be natural, and God’s power will be with you.

It is meant to break the power of the enemy.  And it is capable of doing just that.  That is why the enemy of men does not want it understood.  It is a threat to his power over mankind.  But it is exactly what humans need ~ something to break the power of evil in their lives.  Things have not changed, no matter how sophisticated the veneer.  You can arrange seminars on drug abuse, panels on situations ethics, and symposiums on hypnotism or sensitivity training or whatever may be the latest fad ~ and it may or may not do some good.  But what people really want to know is how to break the chains, what we call “vicious cycle.”  Nothing else will do.

It’s understand or perish !

And so if you do not understand, if the term “righteousness by faith” leaves you cold, there are three things you can do.  You can stand aside and wonder.  Or you can scoff.  Or you can go to your knees and find the reality for yourself ~ and never regret it !

Has the term “righteousness by faith” become so familiar that we never look inside to see what is in the package, to discover what Heaven is trying to give us?  Has it become only a cliche’ or a slogan or a controversy left over from 1888 to be debated and researched, defended and analyzed, controverted or extolled, written about and talked about and prayed about, made a tool to assess blame, an excuse for our Lord’s delay ~ and seldom lived?

There is not one in one hundred who understands for himself the Bible truth on this subject [justification by faith] that is so necessary to our present and eternal welfare.

 

Yes, Nicodemus.  You will find it ~ but not until one black Friday when you make your way once more outside the city to stand beside a cross on which hangs the Son of God.  You will see Him lifted up just as He said He would be lifted up.  Drawing all men unto Him ~ beginning with you.  Only then will you recall again what He told you this night ~ and understand.

How can these things be?  How can a man be born again?  That is your dilemma, Nicodemus.  And it is ours.

 

“I asked Him how it could be.  And He told me.  But I still do not understand.  I will, though.  I am determined to keep listening.  I am determined to search the Scriptures in a new way until I understand the profound truth that Heaven was trying to share with me this night.  Profound.  And yet He spoke of it so simply.  Perhaps that is why I did not understand.  I walked into that garden looking for theory and discussion and debate.  I walked out looking for life.  And I mean to find it.”

It is only natural to resist that which we do not have, to say it is not real.  It is human to deny and even oppose an experience that we do not possess.  There is always the temptation to accommodate the unknown strictly to the known.  Like the schoolboy who embellished the story of the Israelites’ Red Sea crossing with a company of crack Marines and the latest military equipment ~ explaining, “If I told it the way the teacher told it, you’d never believe it!”

Dilemma.  The dilemma of trying to understand what someone else possesses and you do not.  The dilemma of knowing what you want and not knowing how to obtain it.  The dilemma of climbing one step and falling back two.  The dilemma of phoniness ~ and delay ~ and a deadline deafeningly close.  These ~ and more ~ are our dilemma.

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