Dear brothers and sisters,
Good afternoon. I just came back from Bay Area Pastors Prayer meeting. It was good to pray along with so many pastors and leaders from different Christian agencies. It definitely helps to foster the unity of Chinese Christian churches in the Bay Area. Please read my devotional reading from Utmost for the Highest for today and my reflections.
If Jesus Christ is to regenerate me, what is the problem He is up against? I have a heredity I had no say in; I am not holy, nor likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is to tell me I must be holy, His teaching plants despair. But if Jesus Christ is a Regenerator, One Who can put into me His own heredity of holiness, then I begin to see what He is driving at when He says that I have to be holy. Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the hereditary disposition that was in Himself, and all the standards He gives are based on that disposition: His teaching is for the life He puts in. The moral transaction on my part is agreement with God's verdict on sin in the Cross of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament teaching about regeneration is that when a man is struck by a sense of need, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit, and his personal spirit will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God, "until Christ be formed in you." The moral miracle of Redemption is that God can put into me a new disposition whereby I can live a totally new life. When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jesus says - "Blessed are you." But I have to get there. God cannot put into me, a responsible moral being, the disposition that was in Jesus Christ unless I am conscious I need it.
Just as the disposition of sin entered into the human race by one man, so the Holy Spirit entered the human race by another Man; and Redemption means that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin and through Jesus Christ can receive an unblemished heredity - the Holy Spirit.
We cannot depend on our own strength to become holy, just like we cannot depend on our own strength to earn salvation. If we are saved by grace, then we become holy by grace – a spiritual gift from above. This new life of Christ in us is like a DNA we received from Jesus who lives within us. Paul said in the book of Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (2:20). We are a new creation in Christ. And this new creation carries in us a new seed of holiness just as the one Christ possessed. We allow Christ to live in and through us each day, His holiness will naturally surface in our lives.
May the Life of Christ continue to flow through you, so that people can recognize His presence and His love in you!
Love you in Christ,