Docstoc

TheSanctifiedLife-ChapterfrombookTheWaytoEternalLife

Document Sample
TheSanctifiedLife-ChapterfrombookTheWaytoEternalLife Powered By Docstoc
					The Sanctified Life
And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you …that you should be Mine. (Lev. 20:26) Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp {separating from the multitude}, bearing His reproach. (Heb. 13:12-13) Jesus shed His blood on the cross for the purpose of preparing a fully sanctified life He can share with His disciples. By choosing to follow Him through the cross, we can enter into His sanctified life and find complete freedom from the self-centered, selfseeking and self-exalting form of life that everyone first receives from Adam. His indwelling life does away with the body of sin that naturally lives for self, so we too may live for God’s will alone. Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin… For the death that He died, He died to sin {living for self} once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” (Rom. 6:6, 10) Those who have truly chosen to follow Christ are easily recognized. They are not necessarily identified by the testimony they give with their mouth, but by the fact they no longer live for themselves. Many people insist they are Christians but they are still living by their own will for their own pleasures. In other words, the body of sin is still living on. But those who have truly received Christ’s sanctified life into their heart will be found living for God alone. “Because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15) Having died to their self-life, their whole being is given up to live for Him. If there is anything remaining in your life, in your household, or in your married life that is not fully given over to the Lord to be used for a display of His glory, you are resisting Christ and His way of the cross. That part of your life that is not fully yielded to God is considered evil in His sight. It is something that He needs to destroy before it destroys you. But you must make the choice to have it done. “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin {the old self-originated form of life}, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:11) Christ died for the purpose of gaining full possession of the vessel of your body. The vessel belongs to Him whether you give it to Him or not. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price…” (1 Cor 6:19-20) What do you think He will say to you on the great Day of Judgment if you have refused to give Him your body to be used as He had originally purposed? The basis of His judgment of you will not be so much on what you have done, but on whether or not you have given the vessel to the Lord so He may display His life and works through it. Christ had only one purpose while walking in a mortal body. He lived for the will of His Father alone. From the moment He recognized the necessity of being about His Father’s business, even as a young child, there was never a moment when He was not

fully occupied with this one great purpose. And there is only one reason why someone does not have this same innate desire. It is because they are not partakers with Him in His fully sanctified life. They have not yet followed Him outside the camp and taken His way of the cross. For the death that He died, He died to sin {to self-will} once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Rom. 6:10) And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (John 17:19) And whoever does not bear his cross {by choosing to die to self-will} and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:27) Christ sanctified Himself so that He would have a sanctified life {a life set apart for God’s exclusive use} to give to His disciples. And the life of holy love that is in Him lives for God’s will alone. This is the Christ you must receive. It does not do any good to believe in a Christ of your own imagination and making. You will need to receive into your heart, the true Christ, who has sanctified Himself to provide you with complete freedom over the old self-centered, self-seeking and self-exalting form of life. Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith: test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you {with His fully sanctified life}—unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Cor. 13:5 NIV) And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:24-25) It is written that Christ “through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.” (Heb 9:14) Jesus did everything through the Spirit. When we are living through the Spirit as He did, we can expect the Spirit to also enable us to walk as Jesus did. He takes of the things of Christ—His lowliness, His humility, His submissive and lamblike spirit —and begins to make them known to us. “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” (John 16:14) Jesus walked daily with His Father. He did not do anything according to His own wisdom or will. He never even spoke His own words. When we come to that place where we no longer have an independent life of our own, but desire only to do the Father’s will, we will know that we have become partakers with Christ in His fully sanctified life. It is the mark of a purified heart. (Acts 15:8-9) And that is our heritage – not to be moved by the pressure of human opinion, human love, or human ideas of duty, but to be moved moment by moment by the Spirit of God. We must not permit anything or anyone to move us away from His purposes for our life. The closer we are in harmony with His perfect will, the more we will enjoy His indwelling Presence. In contrast, those who direct their own steps will find that they have separated themselves from His heavenly life. God will only make His eternal life known within our inner being after we have begun to reckon ourselves to be dead to self-will and have begun to live for His purposes alone. “My sheep hear My voice…and they follow Me {by taking the way of the cross}. And I give them eternal life…” (John 10:27-28) The Lord needs disciples who will learn to wait on Him and listen for His voice. He needs fully sanctified followers who are always at His disposal and remain tuned to the voice of His Spirit. These are His true brothers and sisters—the sons and daughters of God. (Rom. 8:14)

And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matt. 12:49-50) The devil will tempt even earnest souls to step out in their own will and strength. And he does not mind if these individuals remain in the church if he can deceive them into living by their own resources. He understands how this self-directed course leads to a self-exalting form of life. Knowing that it spreads carnal darkness within the church, he uses these people to distort Christianity and to hide the fully sanctified life that Jesus gives to His true followers. Jesus set an example when He set His mind on the way of the cross and did not permit anyone to distract Him. We will need to do the same. The devil will come to us with many distracting thoughts to turn us back to the ways of the world. And some of these thoughts will come from those we love. We must not permit the wisdom of men to turn us away from God’s revealed will. We should note that Jesus’ own disciples tried to discourage Him and turn Him away from the way of the cross. But the Father then led Him to the mountain where He could speak with the ambassadors of the heavenly world. Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:30-32) Similarly, if you hope to receive real support when you take this way of the cross, it will be necessary to go to the mountain of God for your support. When He provides others to help you through this difficult period, it will always be people who are already living in the heavenly realms. They will know how to provide real help. Very few ever find close relatives and friends to stand behind them and encourage them when they set their mind on taking Christ’s way of the cross. In fact, the way of the cross typically splits families apart. It was because of the implications of this way of the cross that Jesus said, “For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three.” (Luke 12:52-53) It was when Peter attempted to turn Jesus from the way of the cross that Jesus said to him, “You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matt. 16:23) Fallen man thinks in terms of saving himself and living for himself. We can therefore expect others—those who live by the “psuche” life—to do their best to turn us away from Christ’s way of the cross. But we must not permit the wisdom of man to change our direction. Those who choose to fully surrender to the Word of God will receive a vision of the heavenly Pearl. As He did with Jesus, God will open the heavens and reveal the glory that is on the other side of the cross. While these souls will still need to go through a painful period of trial and crucifixion—a death to the old self-originated form of life, this “selling all” will in due time result in being lifted by the resurrection power of the Spirit into the heavenly realms with Christ. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Rom. 6:5) The carnal mind does not see the value in following Jesus. Because it finds its life from the temporal realm, it just naturally thinks in terms of finding spiritual support from the world and its things. It does not comprehend how a person can experience an enjoyable spiritual life after dying to the self-directed and self-seeking ways of this world. This is where we must have faith in the God who can create worlds out of nothing and hold them up by what appears to be nothing.

There was a reason why Peter and the others did not want to encourage Jesus when He set His mind on going to the cross. If they were to remain His disciples, it meant they too needed to follow the same course. We therefore find Peter rebuking Jesus in an attempt to save himself. It was at this point that Jesus began to teach His disciples how each of them would need to lose their “psuche’ life if they hoped to find His eternal “zoe” life. (Matt. 16:24-25) There is only one way to follow Jesus. We must voluntarily choose to lay down the old “psuche” life that is developed through self-will. This is the narrow path that Jesus established: “My Father loves Me, because I lay down My {“psuche”} life… No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.” (John 10:17-18) And if we truly desire to be lifted by His Spirit into His eternal life, we too must choose to lay down our “psuche” in the same way. Jesus warned His disciples in advance because He knew that it was not an easy course to take. But He also wanted them to know that dying to the old self-originated “psuche” life is the only way to find His heavenly “zoe” life. There is no way around it. And that is why there are so few being saved from their old self-originated way of life. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to {“zoe”} life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt. 7:14) Christ is very open and straightforward about His teachings. No one needs to be deceived by the devil. He even instructs us to sit down and consider the cost before we choose to follow Him. We gain nothing if we end up being like the foolish man who begins to build a tower and never finishes what he starts. (Luke 14:28-30) Those who have truly considered the cost from the very beginning are more prepared to press through every trial. It was for this reason that Paul was constantly trying to build Christians up in their faith. He knew that the path into Christ’s eternal Kingdom-life—the way of the cross—would inevitably take every believer through a period of suffering. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:21-22) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time… But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (1 Pet. 5:6, 10) And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple… So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has {from the self-originated form of life} cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:27, 33) Up on the mountain we find the Father comforting His obedient Son and rebuking Peter. He said, “This is My beloved Son; hear Him.” The disciples were refusing to listen to Jesus. Like many today who have heard the same words, they simply do not acknowledge what the Lord has stated. Yes, they hear the words. But they do not accept them into their heart. Where is the disciple who has truly denied himself and lost his “psuche” life in order to find our Lord’s heavenly life of perfect love?

When Christ sanctified Himself, He died so that all His followers would have a means for being fully sanctified with Him. No one can set themselves free from their selfcentered and self-exalting form of life. This old demonic way of life will naturally rise out of the heart until the heart has been filled and purified with the “zoe” life from above. Christ died so that those who are caught up in self-love, and in their own interests, may find a real deliverance from their old self-seeking nature. But each individual is still required to go into their own Garden of Gethsemane and make a choice to follow Christ through the cross, if they hope to find His eternal life. Those who are still depending on the temporal realm for their spiritual life will naturally be worried about anything that separates them from their idols. There will still be a sense of fear in approaching death. But once we are truly sharing with Christ in His eternal life, we are completely delivered from the fear of being separated from the world and its things. There is no longer any sting in death. Those who have already died to the “psuche” life begin to glory in the cross. “But God forbid that I should boast {in anything} except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ {in His crucified and fully sanctified life}, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14) This mark of the cross is recognized on Christ’s true disciples by the way they live for God alone. Because they no longer live for themselves, it becomes a sign to others. It identifies them as the crucified ones who are receiving divine life from the heavenly realms. This way of the cross is the means for becoming victorious in every hardship and trial. When we are participating with Christ in His heavenly “zoe” life, we find that our spirit is lifted above all other principalities and powers. Our spiritual life is no longer weighed down by the darkness and oppression that surrounds this world. We must not be fearful of going too far in this way of the cross. Those who sink the deepest will find themselves being lifted into the highest measures of the spiritual life of heaven. There is no limit to how far we can enter into Christ’s heavenly Kingdom-life through a yielded faith. While others may turn back from the way of the cross for lack of spiritual vision, we need to realize that it is the only means for finding a spiritual life that is able to satisfy the soul “as with the richest of foods”. We pray that each of our readers will have this same vision. I have seen you in the sanctuary, and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than {psuche} life, my lips will glorify you… My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (Ps. 63:2-5 NIV) Have you received this same heavenly insight into the promises of God? Do you believe that He can do what He has promised? Then why not humble yourself under His mighty hand by sinking down into your nothingness so He may exalt you in due time? You will lose nothing when your ever-dying “psuche” life ceases to be and you are living in the heavenly realms with Christ and sharing with Him in His “zoe” life. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. {It cannot be united with God in His heavenly life.}… He who loves his life will lose it… If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me {through the cross}; and where I am {in the heavenly realms}, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me {in this way of the cross}, Him My Father will honor. (John 12:24-26)

We must receive Christ and His life as He is – as the Lamb of God. The book of Revelations consistently refers to Christ in heaven as the Lamb. The eternal life that is in Him is the spirit of the Lamb. And it is by sinking down into our nothingness and becoming “one spirit with Him” that we share with Him in His heavenly life. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. (Rev 14:4-5) So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen. (Matt. 20:16) While the teachings of our Lord always sound difficult when first heard, let us remember that we are not expected to live them out in our own strength. The first disciples had this same problem. But once the glorified Lord filled them with His sanctified life, they too were enabled to remain faithful to death. The command never provides the power to fulfill the requirement. There is no real power in the letter of the law. The commands found in the Word of God continually contradict our nature. The intent is to turn us to Christ. He is the One who has sanctified Himself so that we may be fully sanctified in truth. His life—the Living Word—does by nature what the law requires. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son…that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:3-4) And of His fullness we have all received {we all have access to His fully sanctified life}, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17) At first it may sound strange to read how grace and truth came through Jesus rather than through the laws that were written down for our understanding. It is easier to understand grace being contrasted with law. But many wonder how there can be a contrast between “truth” and the laws of God. And yet there is the same contrast. Here is where we need to realize that “truth” is more than the “shadow” of what can be learned by the mind through written laws. For divine Truth to be real, it must have reality within our heart. It must come to us in the power of the Spirit before the Living Word—Jesus Christ—will be displayed through our mortal bodies. The letter does little more than condemn and kill the spirit. It is the “Spirit of grace” who takes the truth and makes it a real part of our inner nature. He takes of the Kingdomlife of Christ and reveals the life in power within our inner being. “For the kingdom of God {our Lord’s Kingdom-life} is not in word but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves {because there is nothing self-originated in the spiritual man}, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Cor 3:5-6) God requires His children to yield their whole being to the teachings He has revealed through His inspired Word. And as we have shown, Christ has only promised to reveal Himself within our inner being after we have fully responded to His teachings. (John 14:21) But trying to live by law through our own efforts does not supply eternal “zoe”

life to the soul. Those who are truly honest with themselves will find that the law does not give life, but actually breaks the self-sufficient spirit. Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came {and the eternal “zoe” life was available}, we were kept under guard by the law {as a means to constrain sin}, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ… (Gal. 3:21-24) The words of George D. Watson may be helpful at this point. As he indicates, the law of God requires us to be like God in holy love. And the law is insistent in its demands. But in the end it must turn us to Christ if we truly hope to fulfill all the righteous requirements of the law. (Rom. 8:3-4) Let us remember that the law in its letter knows no mercy or deviation and, although Paul says it is holy, just and good, and has an office to fill of exacting righteousness, and is essential in God’s economy, yet it is not the minister of grace; that is reserved for the personal Christ Himself, for the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ… The Holy Ghost administers the law of Mt. Sinai to the conscience, just as literally as He administers the atonement to the heart of the obedient believer. This explains that vast world of religious life and experience known as “legal bondage.” A soul in the early joys of justification does not feel any bondage of service, but if it fails to go on to the perfection of love, the law will soon put in its claim for perfect love, and if the subject still fails to yield to it, the law will seize on that soul and make a “bondsman” out of him… Such a soul feels it must serve the Lord, and yet there is a bondage in its prayers, in its spiritual reading, in its benevolence… The creditor of the law has really seized upon the inner, delicate fountains of the soul, and its grasp will never be relinquished until such a one yields himself up to an unlimited consecration, and to loving God [to living for God alone] just as the law requires. Many thousands of sincere religious people are in this condition. There is a fully sanctified life that can provide every believer with a real freedom from that old nature that still desires to live for self. You should not look at these truths as exaggerations. Christ sanctified Himself fully so that you may be sanctified in the same way. You can now receive an abundant entrance into His heavenly Kingdom-life if you will go to Him outside the camp where He died to self-will once for all on the cross. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11) For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3)


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:9
posted:8/5/2009
language:English
pages:7