In the Christian life everything depends upon the word of God. God is able, and desires to keep us from sinning; but this must be done through His word. So it is written, "By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer." "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee." This is the way that God has appointed, and there is no other way to have this thing accomplished. His word is the way of salvation and the way of sanctification (Christian living). This is the way He manifests Himself. By His word He created all things in the beginning; and it is by His word that He creates men anew. The worlds were not only created by the word of God, but they are also sustained by it. "By the word of God the heavens were of old, and...the heavens and the earth, which are now; by the same word are kept in store." So the Christian is not only created by the word of God, but by that same word is sustained, nourished, and caused to grow. All things are held up in place by the LORD, and this is as true of the Christian as it is of any star or world on high. The Christian is held up, and held in his right course, by the word of [YAH ]. This is to be believed and depended upon by everyone who professes the name of Christ. You and I can no more hold ourselves in the right way than can the sun or the earth [or the moon]. The Christian is kept in the way of the LORD as certainly and as easily as is any planet in the universe. It is written that He "is able to keep you from falling." And He says, "I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." "Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand."
Without the word of God, the life of man is as barren of power and of good as is the earth without rain. But only let the word of God fall upon the heart as the showers upon the earth; then the life will be fresh and beautiful in the joy and peace of the LORD, and fruitful with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus, the Christ. The word of God being living and full of power, when it is allowed to work in the life, there will be a powerful work wrought in that individual. When that word is allowed to work, there will be the work of God manifested in the life, His power working mightily. Thus "it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure." "It shall accomplish that which I [YAH ] please." Why not let it?
From the Scriptures it is plain that the word of God is self-fulfilling. This is the great truth presented everywhere in the Bible. There is no power in man's word itself to accomplish what he says. Not so with the word of God. When the word is spoken by the LORD, there is at that moment in that word the living power to accomplish what the word expresses.
At first [in the beginning], there were no worlds at all. More than this, there were none of the materials of which the worlds are made. There was nothing. Then God spoke, and all the worlds were in their places. What produced them and the material of which they are composed? It was the word spoken that did it all; because it was the word of God. There was in that word the Divinity of life and spirit, the creative power to do all the word expressed. "And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." The word of God in the Bible is precisely the same as that word that made the heavens. It was Jesus, the Christ who spoke the word at creation; it is He who speaks the word in the Bible. At creation the word He spoke made the worlds; in the Bible the word He speaks creates in Christ Jesus the man who receives that word. Let the word of God dwell in you richly. Receive it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God. "To you is the word of this salvation sent." "And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able" (literally, 'full of power') "to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified."
A leper said to Jesus, "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean." And Jesus answered him, "I will; be thou clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Are you mourning under the leprosy of sin? Have you said, or will you now say, "Lord, Thou canst make me clean"? Immediately you are cleansed as certainly as was that other leper. Believe the word, and praise the LORD for its cleansing power. Believe it for yourself, here, now, immediately. For the word is to you now, "Be thou clean." Accept it as did those of old, and immediately it works effectually in you the good pleasure of the Father.
The righteousness of God is that which every man is to seek first. It is impossible to separate the life of God from the righteousness of God. As certainly as you have the righteousness of God, so certainly you have the life of God. "Now the righteousness of God is made known." Now, this very moment, even while you read, the righteousness of God is manifested "unto all, and upon all them that believe." Do you believe in Jesus, the Christ now, at this moment? When He plainly says a thing to you, and you will not say that that thing is true to you, then do you really believe Him? The LORD wants you to say that what He says is so; that it is so "now", at this moment; and that it is so to you and in you. "A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you. " When the LORD says a thing, it is true, even though nobody in the world ever believes it. But He wants it to be true in you as well as in Himself. And when you acknowledge that what He says is true to you "now" at this moment, then that thing is true in Him and in you. This is believing God. Many are ready to admit, in a general way, that what the LORD says is so; they will admit that it may be so to other people; but that it is so to themselves, just now, they will not say. Such people do not really know that the word of God is true. "Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God." If you do not have faith for yourself, faith of your own, you do not have faith at all. If you do not believe the word of the LORD as being true to you personally and now, you do not believe it at all; for you are not living yesterday nor tomorrow, but just now. Therefore the word of God is that now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation; and "now the righteousness of God...is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by 'faith of Jesus Christ' unto all and upon all them that believe."
Do you believe in Jesus, the Christ as your personal Saviour now? Then this moment thank the LORD that His righteousness is manifested unto you and upon you. You are justified through "the faith of Jesus Christ". The moment the sinner believes in Christ he stands in the sight of God uncondemned; for the righteousness of Christ is his; Christ's perfect obedience is imputed to him. Is not this sufficient to cause you say now, at this moment, if never before, that "now the righteousness of God is manifested" unto you and upon you who now do believe in Jesus?
Would you rather have the righteousness of God now than to have your sins? God has "now" set forth Christ Jesus "to declare" to you "His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past." Will you let the sins go now, this moment, and take the righteousness which He has set forth purposely to give, and which He now, this moment, freely gives? "Was" is past; "shall be" is future; but "being" is present tense and He emphasizes the present power and blessing of this fact. "To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness."
O poor, trembling, doubting soul, is not this assurance enough that now at this moment, the righteousness of God is yours? That now you are being justified freely by His grace? That now you are being washed freely by His word? That now, at this time, righteousness is declared to you for the remission of all your sins that are past? Will you live by it now? This is justification by faith. This is righteousness by faith. It is the simplest thing in the world. It is simply whether THE WORD of God shall be true in you "now" or not. "Now," at this time, it is true; it is true in Him. Now, at this time, let it be true in You!
"If any man be in Christ He is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (A. T. Jones)
A NEW CHARACTER
The path of the just is a progressive one, from strength to strength, from grace to grace, and from glory to glory. The divine illumination will increase more and more, corresponding with our onward movements, qualifying us to meet the responsibilities and emergencies before us. Growth in grace will not lead you to be proud, self-confident, and boastful, but will make you more conscious of your own nothingness, of your entire dependence upon the LORD. He who is growing in grace will be ever reaching heavenward, obtaining clear views of the fullness of the provisions of the gospel.
You may be free in Christ; you may be the children of light, and not of darkness. God calls upon every man and every woman to renounce every evil habit, to be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the LORD. Jesus will help you, so that you need not remain in indolence, making no effort to correct your wrongs or improve your conduct. The sincerity of your prayers will be proved by the vigor of the effort you make to obey all of God's commandments.
The child of God will not rest satisfied until he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ and sustained by His life-giving power. When he sees a weakness in his character, it is not enough to confess it again and again; he must go to work with determination and energy to overcome his defects by building up opposite traits of character. (Adapted from My Life Today.).
Do you know the Advocate? "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not." (1 John 2:1). Stop sinning? Cease from sin forever? What a state to be in! Not that one purposefully sins and desires to sin. Some just impulsively do so. Over and over they find themselves being taken unaware in an unguarded moment. They appreciate the last part of the verse: "And if any man sin, we have an advocate...".
Is this your experience? Do you, on occasion, yield to your besetting sins? Do you keep the commandments of God continually, or do you break them when under provocation? "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (verse 4). If we sin, we have an advocate, but we do not know Him. "And this is life eternal, that they might know Him." (John 17:3). Friend, do you know Him?"And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments."(1 John 2:3)You will know Him by the WORD.
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