DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE MYSTERIOUS TRUTHS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE?
THE SUNFLOWER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)
Growing up into Christ (YOU ARE TRULY DIVINE)
The change of heart by which we become children of God is in the Bible spoken of as birth. Again, it is compared to the germination of the good seed sown by the husbandman. In like manner those who are just converted to Christ are,” as newborn babies,” to grow up” to the stature of the men and women in Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 2:2; Ephesians 4:15. Or like the good seed sown in the field, they ought to grow up and bring forth fruit. Isaiah says that they shall” be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3. Therefore, from natural life, illustrations are drawn, to help us better understand the mysterious truths of spiritual life.
Not all the wisdom and skill of command can produce life in the smallest object in nature. It is only through the life which God himself has imparted, that either plant or animal can live. Therefore, it is only through the life from God that spiritual life is begotten in the hearts of man. Unless a man is “born from above,” he cannot become a partaker of the life, which Christ came to give. John 3:3.
As with life, so it is with growth. It is God, who brings the bud to bloom and the flower to fruit. It is by his power that the seed develops,” first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Mark 4:28. Moreover, the prophet Hosea says to Israel, that “he shall grow as the Lily.” “They shall revise as the corn, and grow as the vine.” Hosea 14:5, 7. And Jesus bids us” consider the lilies how they grow.” Luke 12:27. The plants and flowers grow not by their own care, anxiety, or effort, but by receiving that which God has furnished to minister to their life. The child cannot by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its own stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth. The plant, the child, grows by receiving from its surroundings that which ministers to its life – air, sunshine, and food. What these gifts of nature are to animal and plant, such is Christ to those who trust in him. He is there” everlasting light,” “a sun and shield.” Isaiah 60:19; Psalms 84:11, he shall be as ” the dew unto Israel.” “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.” Hosea 14:5; it Psalms 72:6. He is the living water,” the bread of God… Which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” John 6:33.
Now in the Maecenas give of his son, God has in store call the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life given atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.
As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams of may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of righteousness, that heavens light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ.
Jesus teaches the same thing when he says, “abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abides in the vine; no more can ye, except he abide in me… Without me you can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart From Him, you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water.
Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ’s for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. However, every such effort must fail. Jesus says,” Without me ye can do nothing.” Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with him, daily, hourly, by abiding in him, that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the author, but the finisher of our faith. It is Christ’s first, last, and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way.” I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalms 16:8.
Do you ask,” how is I to abide in Christ?” In the same way as you received him at first.” As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him.” ” The just shall live by faith.” Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 10:38. You gave yourself to God, to be his holy, to serve and obey him, and you took Christ as your Savior. You could not yourself atone for your sins are changing your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ sake did all this for you.
By faith, you became Christ’s, and by faith, you are to grow up in him, by giving and taking. You are to give all, your heart, you will, your service, give yourself to him to obey all his requirements; and you must take all, Christ, the fullness of all blessings, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper, to give you power to obey.