Volume VIIIssue 50
Published occasionally for Zion’s mourners
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Hebrews 12::12-13


I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

This verse along with several other New Testament passages of scripture profoundly declare the glorious and perfect standing of the sons of GOD with their FATHER. One is“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal 6:14) Another is “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1) And yet another is, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:11) Still another is, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1Cor 1:30-31)

We have all heard the mantra: “What you have is GOD’s gift to you, what you do with what you have is your gift to GOD.” This teaching is espoused far and wide among many well-meaning folks who are convinced that it is a basic truth. It certainly has a nice ring to it and is very appealing to the natural religious mind. This is exactly the concept that the Jews followed according to Paul’s description. “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Rom 10:3)

Paul recognized that he could not in any way enhance that which was given to him by GOD’s grace nor did he suppose he could somehow perform some deed of righteousness which could insure GOD’s continued favor or, conversely, commit some act would cause him to forfeit that gift. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1Cor 4:7) He understood quite clearly that there was no place in the believer’s life wherein he might glory in his own effort, regardless of the supposed triumphs or victories which GOD was pleased to manifest in him. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.” (Rom 14:7-8)

Those who have been given the privilege to be the sons of GOD are so because it has pleased GOD to make them such. HE has redeemed them with the precious blood of HIS only begotten SON and does, in HIS own time, call them out by HIS grace. HE has seen fit to leave them in this world for a season, not as a “proving ground”, to find out which among them are worthy, but rather to manifest HIS faithfulness to them in applying the righteousness of CHRIST to them, even though they be thought to be the offscouring of the earth by its inhabitants, and in and of themselves worthy of nothing but death. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2Cor 4:7)

How can any man ever take credit for that which is the operation of GOD’s SPIRIT? “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13) Or how can a man entertain the notion that he can somehow become a child of GOD by some activity of his own? “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(John 1:12-13) Paul said:

“I am crucified with CHRIST.” He makes it clear that HIS redemption is in and by CHRIST. One of the most glorious aspects of that which CHRIST has performed is a contemplation of HIS love for and union with those whose sins HE atoned for. HE came as the “KINSMAN REDEEMER” for all of those whom HE loved before the foundation of the world. HE says to HIS FATHER, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” (John 17:6) HE is the ELDER BROTHER of all of those who belong to HIM and can no more be separated from them in that capacity than HE can be separated from HIS FATHER as the ETERNAL SON. Therefore, when HE suffered they suffered, when HE died they died, when HE rose again so did they, and when HE comes back they shall be with HIM.

“Nevertheless I live”. He is saying that he presently is alive in a state totally free from the condemnation, power, and guilt of sin, He cannot be brought under its curse any longer because he is dead to the law and alive unto CHRIST. His case has been taken out of the court of sin and death, (since CHRIST has died in his behalf) and now he dwells under the law of the SPIRIT of LIFE in CHRIST JESUS where there is no condemnation of any sort that can be leveled against him, by men or angels… (see Rom.8:1,2)

“Yet not I but CHRIST liveth in me.” Lest any man should think that the power of this LIFE is in any wise his own or that its ownership is somehow “transferred” or the righteousness thereof “imparted” to him, he makes it clear that all of his “righteousness” is that which is his by the imputation of CHRIST’s righteousness and that any product thereof is that of the SPIRIT of CHRIST who dwells in him.

“And the life which I now live in the flesh”. Then so that no man should think that he is describing some “out of body” (or purely spiritual) experience he plainly declares that the LORD is pleased to operate in us and through us in these mortal bodies. Some seem to think that those whom the LORD is pleased to manifest as HIS children can live in such a manner as to be totally at odds with the work of that SPIRIT. Paul entertained no such notion saying, “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”(1Cor 6:10-11) GOD is pleased to work in those HE has justified and called. A man devoid of the SPIRIT’s presence is not a manifested child of GOD. “But ye are not in the flesh, (i.e. operating under its dominion) but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom 8:9)

“I live by the faith of the SON of GOD.” He makes it very plain that even that faith in which we stand by the grace of GOD is not ours. That “faith” which we possess is “of CHRIST” in its origin. HE is the giver of faith, no man can boast either in its presence or in any wise as to the degree with which it is bestowed upon him, it is the gift of GOD. It is the faith “of CHRIST” because all of the hopes and expectations of the sons of GOD have their total basis in that which HE has done in their behalf. It is the “faith of CHRIST” as to all of their desires for the future. “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69)

“Who loved me and gave HIMSELF for me.” “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1Cor 6:19-20)