The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Truths That Abide"
We began yesterday's message with "Find the most faithful believer on the planet," addressing the humility of whomever that might be.
Today, let us track another path, this one dark and tragic. "Find the most failing believer on the planet, and …"
What is true of such a one? Much, of course, that speaks of unnecessary and unfortunate wanderings from the path of righteousness. Failure to honor and please the Lord characterizes unbelief and disobedience, along with God the Father's discipline of love (Hebrews 12:6). The wayward Christian may well discourage other believers, as well as failing to provide an influence that leads unbelievers to faith in the Lord Jesus. Nothing sadder exists in the world than a fallen son or daughter of God in whom the Spirit of Christ lives, but without the mighty effect that should be present. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat" (Hebrews 5:12).
Amid the tragedy, however, realities concerning "the most failing believer" abide. Consider the Corinthians, the most wayward fellowship of believers mentioned in the New Testament epistles. To such "carnal" ones, the Apostle Paul wrote…
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:3; 16).
The context of this affirmation reveals one of the most profound realities of God's grace and truth in the Lord Jesus, namely, that when the Holy Spirit enters the spirit of a convert at the time of the new birth, He comes to stay. Forever. Paul confirms this truth in his epistle to the Romans, where he reveals that the spiritually enlivened believer can no more die again than can the risen Lord Jesus (Romans 6:9-11). Indeed, the great tragedy of the fallen Christian is that he descends into carnality with the Spirit of Christ no less the Life of his life than in times when he ascended to the highest summit of faithfulness. To Corinthians lying wounded and broken along the path, Paul saw them united to Christ, making their waywardness all the more mournful and tragic.
Many other truths of God's salvation in Christ remain fixed in the fallen. Space does not allow for a full consideration at present, but suffice it to say that our Father's grace in His Son provides irrevocable gifts based not on our faithfulness, but rather on that of the Lord Jesus. Our experience of such abundance will surely reach a low ebb when we fall into unbelief and disobedience. More importantly, our capacity to reflect well upon the Savior and lead others to Him suffers greatly. The atoning work and enduring intercession of our Savior nevertheless secures many realities of God grace in us apart from our response (Romans 5:1-2; Hebrews 7:25; I Corinthians 1:1-9).
The most failing believer can and must be rescued from his inexcusable failure to access the presence and power of Christ for a life of faithful godliness. One powerful aspect of our seeking to help involves reminding him of truths that abide in his heart and relationship with God, secured by his ever faithful Savior. Paul's example in his dealings with the carnal Corinthians guides us in this aspect of restoration. Those who truly know the Lord Jesus cannot fail to be touched by such reminders of grace. This appears to have been the case with the Corinthians, as evidenced by Paul's second epistle to them (II Corinthians 7:9-11). Most of all, we exalt the Lord Jesus in His Person and work for both the faithful and the failing. Yes, saints may fall from grace and its power to enable godliness. The Savior, however, eternally abides in faithfulness and the power to restore even the most fallen believer to a vibrant walk along the path of righteousness.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
Weekly Memory Verse
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.