Thursday, October 9, 2008

Devotional 091008

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. We are living in a world that is under satanic domain. None of us is immune from evil temptations. In Christ, we know we are free from the bondage of sins, but our body is still prone to sins. If we do not pursue a closer walk with Christ each day, we are hopeless in terms of resisting the temptations around us. Apostle Paul reminded us in Romans 6:16-22, “Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot atone for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I can not make right what is wrong, pure what is impure, holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God. Do I have faith in what Jesus Christ has done? He has made a perfect Atonement for me, am I in the habit of constantly realizing it? The great need is not to do things, but to believe things. The Redemption of Christ is not an experience, it is the great act of God, which He has performed through Christ, and I have to build my faith upon it. If I construct my faith on my experience, I produce that most unscriptural type, an isolated life, my eyes fixed on my own whiteness or emptiness. Beware of the piety that has no pre-supposition in the Atonement of the Lord. It is of no use for anything but a sequestered or detached life; it is useless to God and a nuisance to man. Measure every type of experience by our Lord Himself. We cannot do anything pleasing to God unless we deliberately build on the pre-supposition of the Atonement.
The Atonement of Jesus has to work out in practical, unobtrusive ways in my life. Every time I obey, absolute Deity is on my side, so that the grace of God and natural obedience coincide. Obedience means that I have banked everything on the Atonement, and my obedience is met immediately by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.
Beware of the piety that denies the natural life, it is a fraud. Continually bring yourself to the bar of the Atonement - where is the discernment of the Atonement in this thing, and in that piety?
Spirituality or spiritual disciplines are so popular nowadays but they don’t necessarily build upon the atonement of Christ. It could be Eastern religion or mysticism. Many universities in America would introduce religious study on Buddhism or Hinduism but not Christianity. Many people are interested in Tibetan Buddhism, as though it is the alternative approach to spirituality. Yes, it is a kind of religion or spirituality, but it is not the kind of spirituality or spiritual discipline we believe in. Our spiritual discipline must be built upon the foundation of the atonement of Christ, because without the atonement of Christ no spiritual discipline can deliver us from the bondage of sins. I pray that our Holy Spirit will help you discern your pursuit of spirituality and your desire for piety.
Love in Christ,

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