Monday, December 28, 2009

"To Live"

(Friends: I shared with a friend today that I am honored and blessed to be surrounded by a company of trusting saints who somehow peer into black nights and see the Light that "shineth in darkness." So many of you are such examples to me of loving faith and devotion to God, and this is dedicated to all of you who bear continual witness to my heart that our Lord's tomb is empty, His heavenly throne occupied, and His Spirit mightily at work in those who believe the Word of God in the face of any and every challenge. I thank God, and I thank you. Glen)

"The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).

Every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has been unchangeably enlivened in our being and innermost personhood by the entrance of the Holy Spirit into our spirit. The Apostle Paul in fact declares that we are therein as eternally alive from the dead as is the Lord Jesus Himself.

"Christ being raised from the dead diet no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:9-11).

In being and personhood, we are eternally alive in Christ. The application and experience of such life by faith, however, is a different matter. We may or may not "live" in the sense of trusting God in the day to day challenges of life in a fallen world. Countless opportunities await our determination to believe the Word of God by affirming its truth, and submitting ourselves to the particular paths that genuine faith always beckons us to walk. We are most alive in the sense of practical experience and application when pressed to such trust, and when we must "live by faith."

The world would have us believe that those most alive are the most wealthy, the most healthy, the most beautiful, the most happy, and the most secure. The Bible counters this world of shadowed illusion by its declaration that "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21). That is, to know, love, trust, obey, and share the Lord Jesus with others is life - "Christ... is our life" (Colossians 3:4). In fact, if we could quantify life in some form of measure, the most alive person in the world at present would likely be some trusting saint who has apparently lost everything, but who nevertheless believes with all his heart that he has everything because he has the living Christ.

We are most alive, we are only consciously and vibrantly alive when we are trusting God. Thus, He determines and allows the challenges of the winepress whereby the sweet and new wine of the Holy Spirit flows in our hearts by the crushing that causes faith to be a matter of our very survival. It is a hard way, and one that will often break our hearts. But it is a living way, the living way of He who declared "I am the life," and who walked the same path of faith that beckons us - "I live by the Father" (John 14:6; 6:57). Yes, to live is Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.

"He is thy life."
(Deuteronomy 30:20)

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