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THE SANCTIFICATION OF SOUL, LIFE IN CHRIST

PART ONE

“…the life which I now live … I live by the faith of the Son of God…” Gal 2:20

 

Having now examined what effects the original sin has had upon man’s condition, what it means to die, and also the provision that God has made for that sin, we may now gain some insight into what it means to live in Christ. To have our sins paid for and our hearts cleansed from guilt is indeed a glorious revelation. To have the power of the old man of sin broken, his life laid in the grave, and now to have rest in Christ, is indeed a great comfort for believers. However, we must remember that man still has one other problem—he is dead, having no life of his own. Everything that we knew as life is now gone—dead and buried; hence the necessity to be identified with Christ in His resurrection also; and to have the power of that resurrection applied to our lifeless existence. It might be a comfort to a lost sinner for the grave to be the end of everything, (even though we know from Scripture that is not the case); but for a child of God, who is part of the new creation, we want new life, both in its quality and in its eternality.

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 Pet 4:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
2
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Rom 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him:

We have already looked at the immediate effect of the resurrection upon our spirit—the Spirit of Christ comes into our heart, and joins with our dead spirit to create in us new life. As a result, we are born again into the family of God as His adopted children in Christ. We have been wed to Christ in this spiritual union, and will live forever as one with Him and as part of His spiritual body—the Church. The Spirit of Life, which we now have in Christ, begins to flow in us, showing us the things of Christ, teaching us about our new life, and revealing the Word of God to us that we may grow as believers. Through this spiritual union we begin to bear the fruits of the Spirit, and we also begin to produce fruit for the glory of God. Our Heavenly Father, through the workings of the indwelling Spirit, now begins to bring into the obedience of Christ the soul of man, and to subdue the desires of the sinful flesh. Whereas in Adam we were created a soul-centered man; then in our fallen state we became a flesh-centered man; now in Christ we have became a Spirit-centered creature.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive
: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born again.

Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant,
but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

1 Cor 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

1 Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law.

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

2 Pet 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

1 Cor 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Again, we have already looked at the resurrection of Christ from a physical standpoint. We have seen how He was raised from the dead with a new glorified body and how that we also await a new body like unto His. It will no longer be a body limited to this natural earthly existence, but it will have powers that will equip it for the eternal new creation as well. We have seen how the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, raised Christ to new life; and how that our Heavenly Father, through the Spirit of Christ living within us, will do the same for us. This final aspect of our salvation is what we hope for as believers—to be set free from this body of sin; to be made holy in every sense like Christ; and to have a body that will never again be subject to sin or death. Instead of this body being flesh with the blood of Adam as its life, it will be flesh with the Spirit of Christ as its life. As we have been part of the Adamic race and the human family through one blood, so now we will be a part of the family of God and united to other believers in Christ by one Spirit.

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

1 Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

It is now to the resurrection of the soul that we turn our attention. We have seen that our spirits have been reborn and our bodies will be changed by the miraculous working of God, without any direct involvement on our part. Not so with the resurrection of our souls; for this is a process that we intimately experience, and are involved with from the time of our initial salvation until the time when, after standing before the Judgment seat of Christ, the bride will “hath made herself ready.” It is for the salvation of our souls that God now brings to bear the power of the resurrection in an experiential way. We have seen how the death and burial of Christ brought the end of the old man, and how we experience that death and burial in our souls on a daily basis. In like manner we will also know the transforming power of Christ’s resurrection upon our souls, as we are brought into this new life in our day to day experience. Now again, in ourselves, we are without life; all that we are apart from Christ is dead. Our old man is crucified to God, and he has been, and still is being crucified to ourselves. As we have stated before, a dead man can do nothing; if he is to experience life, he is totally dependant upon an outside force to bring him to life. In like manner, nothing that we do, none of our works which we perform in the flesh, can cause this life to spring forth.

2 Cor 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready

2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Cor 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament;
not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Many there are that try to imitate what they believe the Christ-life to be. They may even appear to be spiritual to others, but they are full self-deceit and hypocrisy. Some try to mimic the actions of Jesus; some even try to imitate what they think He looked like. Many there are that dress in religious garb, and walk about in a vain show of piety, trying to somehow emulate what they think it means to be a Christian. Many there are that are baptized, join churches, give tithes, try to keep the Ten Commandments, teach and preach, become missionaries; all in an effort to show forth what they think to be the Christian life.

Matt 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus warned the disciples that there would come into the church many false followers of Christ, pretending to know Him, and putting on a show of devotedness that would impress others. Many there were in the days of the early church that joined themselves to the disciples, pretending to be one of them, imitating their actions, and trying to emulate them by doing the same works. However, all of those false professors, and those today that are trying to be a Christian by what they do, lack one basic thing—they do not have the life of God in them. They do not bear any spiritual fruit that is the evidence of a child of God because they are not attached to the vine—Christ. They do not have the love of God in them because the Spirit of God is not in them. No matter what a person may say or pretend to be, “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Matt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

2 Pet 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb,
The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Jude 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Phil 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing.

John 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

Howbeit, we are not saying that everyone that is trying to imitate the Christ-life is not sincere. Many are so devoted to what they believe that they spend their entire lives seeking to serve God, and some even give up their lives in martyrdom. They have truly been blinded by Satan, and are deceived, even as Saul—who became Paul the Apostle—before he met Christ. Human works are also the sad trap that genuine Christians fall into, in their zeal and effort to please God and be like Christ. They may know that Jesus saved them, but they have not a clue about what it really means to live in Christ; and so by their own efforts they try to work at being a Christian. Many believers, like the children of Israel, are being kept alive with manna from heaven. They may have tasted the Living Bread, but they too ask, ‘What is it?’

2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

1 Tim 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Exo 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

The inquiring believer may now ask, ‘How then does one come to have real spiritual life in Christ?’  The answer may seem to be, for some, too simplistic; but Paul, in writing to the Corinthian church, feared that their minds had been corrupted from “the simplicity” of Christ. The answer then is not complicated, for even a child can understand it, and “wayfaring men, though fools,” can see the path. There are many teachers and preachers however, who in their own ignorance of the truth, have made the way to this life complicated. They have sent many a new believer down a path that leads to only bitterness and frustration; because they will not find any real life down these false ways. It is a sad thing, that many a true saint of God never comes to the place where they can even see the Promised Land, much less enter into it.

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Matt 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Isa 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Neither must entering into this life be a long process, or the result of long difficult trials—although that is the sad course for most children of God. Many a new believer is given a clear understanding of what the Christian life is, and how we attain it. Some believers—like Joshua and Caleb of ancient Israel, who were ready to enter the Promised Land—even at a very early stage of the Christian life, are eager to enter their spiritual inheritance, while others wander all their lives in the wilderness of the flesh. Israel was only forty days journey from the land of Canaan, if they had traveled the coast line from Egypt. God however, in His wisdom, lead them on a path that took two years before they were sufficiently prepared, and given the opportunity to enter the Promised Land. Yet even after this length of time, and all that God had showed them, they would not go in because of their unbelief. Israel then had to wander another forty years in the wilderness until the first generation had died off. Even Joshua and Caleb were made to wander with the unbelievers, but were the only ones of this first generation to enter into the Land.

Deu 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
30 The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.
34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
35
Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

Why, we may ask, did it take Israel so long to enter Canaan? Was it because God would not show them the way to enter in? Resoundingly, the answer is no. The Scripture is very plain, that it was because of their unbelief that they would not enter in. It was because the Word of promise that God gave to them was not mixed with faith on their part. They did not lay hold of the promise that He would give them the land. God is not stingy or slack about revealing His truth, but we are faithless and slow of heart to believe it. The fact of the matter is—we must be forced to believe it, or given no other choice but to believe it. Our fleshly nature, our carnal mind, the old man of sin, does not want to die, or be set aside for a new life in Christ. So the battle between the flesh and the Spirit must be fought, and it is, for most believers, a long and difficult war.

Heb 4: 1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus
(Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Prov 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.
3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Isa 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live
; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Matt 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Having said all of this, how does a true child of God come to know the source of spiritual life, and how to walk in that life? There are two verses that will lead us to that answer; but I might say, that in over thirty years of being a Christian, and in attending many churches of various beliefs, that I have never heard not even one study or one sermon on either of them, in spite the fact that they are foundational to understanding the Christian life. They were both written by the Apostle Paul in his letters to two different churches, the one at Galatia and the other at Colossi. Both of these churches had been instructed in the fundamental truths of the Gospel, and in knowing and understanding the meaning of the life which we have in Christ. However, both of these churches were being led away from the truth that is in Christ, and into distortions of the simplicity of that truth. Both of these churches had been drawn away by errors that still plague believers today. Paul, in writing to them, sought to return them to the simple Gospel message.

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Paul wrote to the church at Galatia because they were being tempted to return to the works of the law, in addition to their faith in Christ, as a means of attaining a completeness of the Christian experience. They were being taught that Christ is not all that you need to satisfy God, or to have a satisfying relationship with God—that there are other things you must do in addition to what Christ has done for you. This error abounds, in various degrees, in almost every church that one may find today. Without fail, something has been added to the truth of Christ, in the form of some human work that must be performed, in addition to believing. Paul therefore, in an effort to bring them back to the truth, wrote this epistle from which we get one of our key verses.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another;
but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ;
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Gal 4:8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Gal 4:19
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Paul wrote to the church at Colossi because they also were being drawn away from the simplicity of Christ, by the teachings of philosophy and other vain deceits. They were being taught the higher criticism of the gospel message—meaning that the simple message of Christ was only for the simple minded; and that there was much more to the truth than just the simple plain gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. They were being lured by others to believe that they must elevate themselves to a higher plane of thought, in order to know the real truth of Christ, and to experience true spiritual life. Some had even been taught to abandon their belief in Christ’s substitutionary work, as being unnecessary to experience God. They were being told that Christ was only an example for us, to find God for ourselves; and that was His only purpose in coming to this world. They were tempted by various philosophies, such as scientism and spiritism, as a means of finding God. Others were being taught to find God through Asceticism—the denial of all fleshly desires and comforts, including celibacy, fastings, self-mutilation, and withdrawing from human society. We find these same errors abounding in all forms of so-called Christian churches today. They name the name of Christ, but they are far removed from the source of any life that is in Him alone. It was for the purpose of warning against such falsehoods that Paul wrote to this church, and from which we find our other key verse.

Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Col 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 

Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

2 Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

 

 

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