Well said...

theophilus

New member
From http://iblp.org/questions/what-are-commands-christ

swaller
Friday, January 15, 2016

"Thank you for commenting on our website. I want to share with you a truth that God has been and is teaching me that has revolutionized my walk with the Lord and totally changed the way that I view the Christian life. For so many years I tried to live the Christian life but found my self failing miserably. I knew that we were supposed to try to be like Jesus but I found that on my best day I could not perfectly be like Jesus. Not only were my actions wrong but I also knew that often times when I did do "good" it was a out of selfish ambition for the recognition of men. When we look to ourselves to live the Christian life we find ourselves utterly incapable and unable to do it and the pat answer to just try harder just does not cut it. As we look in Scripture we cannot help but be staggered with the reality that God is calling us to live a life that we could never live. I have seen that my striving and trying to be like Christ in my own strength simply leads to me failing more. So what is the answer? If this Christian life is just based on us giving it our best shot then we should just give up now because we cannot do it. Where is hope then?

I believe that God allows us to come to the point of despairing of ourselves because until we utterly despair of our own ability we will continue to strive in the flesh. So what is the answer? How is this Christian life we are indeed called to live even possible? I believe we find the glorious answer in Colossians 1:26-27: "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" What a wondrous, glorious reality that the secret of the Christian life is Christ IN us living the Christian life through us! Now there is hope, because the Christian life no longer depends on my striving but rather on the life of Jesus Christ that dwells in me. In 1 Peter 1:4 we read: "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." We have been made partakers of the divine nature in Christ Jesus. Not just observers of the divine nature or just copiers of the divine nature but PARTAKERS! As believers in Jesus Christ we are made to partake of His very nature!

God does not call us to just strive in our flesh to be like Him nor does He just give us power and then we take that power and overcome the sin in our lives. No! He gives us the life of His Son Jesus Christ and Christ as the power of God, lives His overcoming, resurrection life through us! Without the reality of Christ in us this Christian life does not even make sense! I have seen from Scripture and also from my own experience that it is not about us trying but rather it is about us dying and Jesus Christ living His life through us. We read in Galatians 2:20 "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." If you have trusted in Christ as your Savior you have died in Christ not physically but spiritually and so have I. We have to realize that our problem is profoundly bigger then just the sinful things that we do the problem is who we are: we are sinners. It is our very nature. Therefore the cross had to deal with more then just the sinful things I have done it also had to deal with me and my arrogant self that thought I could do so much for God in my own strength. On the cross not only did Jesus conquer death, hell, and the grave (and He certainly did conquer those things) but he also conquered me. Praise God!

In Christ we died but it does not stop there. In Christ we have been resurrected and it is no longer us who lives any more but Christ who lives in us. If I were to some up the Gospel in just four words they would be these: "yet not I, but Christ" Christ lives in us! This is the only way the Christian life is possible. I have my seen my best efforts at self improvement have led to disaster because it was not improvement God was looking for but rather it was a total overhaul. God was not looking to improve me or make me a better person but rather He was wanting me to receive the reality of my death with Him that He might bring forth the glorious resurrection life of His Son through me.

Now my hope is not in my best efforts to be a good Christian but rather my hope is set on my resurrected Lord who lives inside of me. Remember in Christ we died and this is good news because someone who is dead is free from sin. "For he that is dead is freed from sin." (Romans 6:7) Because we died in Christ we have been set free from sin and we have also been raised with Him to newness of life. In John 15 we see that our relationship to the Lord is like that of a branch in a vine. The branch does not bear fruit by striving or trying but rather by simply resting in the vine and having the life of the vine flow through us. The life of the branch is one of the branch continually receiving life from the vine and our life as believers is found by continually abiding in Christ who is our life. It not by striving or trying but rather abiding in the Vine. Remember: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
(Philippians 2:13) It is not you that work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure but rather it is God that works in you.

I also wanted to share the definition of a word that changed my life! The verse " If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. So the question then is how do we keep God's commandments? The word I want to look at the definition of is "keep". The word translated keep in this verse is: tēreō and it means to guard, or to watch. It has with it the idea that you are keeping the commandments before your face, you are thinking about them, you are meditating upon them. As we keep the commandments through meditating upon them obedience flows out as a natural fruit but if we just strive to obey the commandments in the power of the flesh we will end up in hopeless despair. As we keep God's Word before our face by meditating upon it, His Word like water washes us and cleanses us and renews our mind. There have been things in my life that I was helpless to change, things that I knew were wrong and yet could not muster up enough strength in myself to change the things and by focusing on trying to change the things instead of getting free from them I was probably just getting further wrapped up in them. But it was when I turned my attention from my sin to my Savior that I started to be changed. When instead of focusing on all the things in my life that were wrong I instead began to simply keep God's Word by meditating upon it a miraculous thing happened the wrong things in my life began to change not by me focusing on the things but rather by me simply dwelling upon the Word of God.

Jesus Christ is the living Word and as we meditate on the written Word we are communing and fellow-shipping with the living Word Jesus Christ. What does it mean to meditate on God's Word? A few aspects of meditating on the Word are repeating the verse over and over, emphasizing different words of the verse, picturing the verse and personalizing the verse. As we meditate on the Word it comes in and changes us from the inside out. Change happens in my life not by me striving to change myself but rather by me realizing my total inability to do anything in my own strength and casting myself in total dependence on Jesus Christ who is my life and by His strength as I meditate on His Word, His Word brings change in my life.

Let me close with this verse that has been a huge encouragement to me. In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. After a list of important commands like pray with out ceasing, give thanks in everything, quench not the Spirit we find this verse: "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Praise God that He does not just call us to this life He also does it through us. The only way we are faithful is because the ever faithful one lives in us! I know that this has been a rather lengthy response but I believe these truths are some of the most important we can ever consider. I encourage all who read this to meditate on these truths and may God open every one of our eyes to the glorious reality that it is no longer us who lives but Christ who lives in us!"

- Gabriel
 
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