Musings 103

1 Corinthians 2:1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. 6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

I Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

The New Testament is full of the teachings of grace and full of the teachings of how men must have grace to live and to please God. The Father does not look upon men just to see if they are fulfilling their duties, but He looks upon men and is pleased if He beholds Christ in them. If the duties of men and the lives of men carry out the external duties and yet it is not because they have Christ in them working in them the strength of grace, those duties are no better than the so-called righteous deeds of the Pharisees.

A minister that is orthodox in doctrine because of the strength of his intellect and not out of love for Christ is not pleasing to God. It is Christ alone who pleases God and the man who believes and lives by grace alone will please God because He behold Christ and His work in that man. God is not pleased with the sanctification of anyone unless Christ Himself is that person’s sanctification and it is a sanctification wrought by grace alone. Apart from Christ we can do nothing (spiritual, truly good, pleasing to God). All that will please God must come from Christ first and it must be Christ who works this in our souls.

The Gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ is good news, but it is always good news both for the rest of the life of the believer and for eternity. We never get beyond our need of the Gospel and the Gospel should never be anything but good news to believers. Those who are most sanctified in a practical sense never get beyond their absolute and utter need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they never get beyond their need of the blood of Christ and of His perfect righteousness. No one is ever sanctified beyond what the life of Christ has done in them by grace. Sanctification is not just a mere grinding our teeth and fleeing from sin in our own strength and doing good works in our own strength, but sanctification is for us to share in His holiness more and more.

Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.

This is a very encouraging verse. We are not here to work up holiness, but we share His holiness. We don’t have a holiness that we can come up with based on our strength and even based on His commands, but our holiness is to share or partake of His holiness. We can think of holiness as coming to us as all true fruit comes from the branch which receives all from the vine. The branch has no ability to bear fruit apart from what comes to it from the vine. The fruit is not to the glory of the branch, but it is to the glory of the vine. Instead of people working and working to be holy, they should seek the Lord for grace to be holy. We must seek the Lord to share in His holiness or partake of His holiness which can only come to those empty of their own righteousness and to the humble who seek Him and His glory rather than self. We are to be holy unto the Lord, but that very holiness is from Him or it will be nothing but that which comes from the strength of self. Christ is our holiness and all holiness we have is from Him and it is by grace.

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