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Real Good Works And Real Holiness Are Free Gifts From God.


 
 

Don't be deceived, the Bible tells us.  Whoever does righteousness is righteous.  And, through the Holy Spirit, we can do righteousness. 

Yes, if we fail to yield to the Holy Spirit, we can repent and be forgiven, but we have missed an opportunity to yield to the Spirit of God and be transfigured to the likeness of Christ.  If we fail in this way, then we have missed an opportunity to become.  We are called to become.  God has called us to become a member in particular in the Body of Christ.  No part of your flesh or my flesh can ever be part of the Body of Christ.  The Body of Christ is built of living stones.  The flesh is dead.  You are alive to Christ.  Christ in you is alive.  He is alive.  As you yield, you are transfigured.  You begin to become what you were created to become in Christ.  The righteousness that God does through you becomes the holiness of God in you.  The holiness of God redeems you from slavery to sin.  You are changed.  

We actually have been set free from sin, but God does not, as a result, force us to do His will.  We are set free, but we can fail to use the free gift of righteousness.   If we are foolish and reject God's free gift of righteousness, then there is a descent into darkness.  It is possible to walk from a measure of holiness and redemption (freedom from sin) into a depth of painful ungodliness and slavery to sin.  The question is found throughout the Old and New Testament: Who will you listen to?  Will you honor God or the ungodly fleshly nature?  
 
Though we all make many mistakes, God has given us an upward call.  Our limitations are those we impose upon our selves by not believing what God has so clearly taught in the Bible.  Consider the following quote:  

What then? Are there no limitations to the measure of power which the saints may appropriate? Yes, indeed; but they are the limitations that they themselves erect in unbelief. With God all things are possible; we know that is true. But Jesus adds, "All things are possible to him that believeth." When a certain man brought his lunatic son to Christ, and the son wallowed on the ground in torment, the father said to the Lord in anguish of soul, "If thou canst do anything, have compassion onus, and help us." But Jesus turned the whole responsibility back upon the father, and said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mk. 9:22,23). The if-thou-canst is a condition which must be directed at your faith and mine; it is not a question as to God's ability or His willingness to do the things of which we speak. But the glory of it all is this: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And therefore if we, in this the greatest hour of Church history, will but hear the Word of God--that is, give it a place in our heart and life, then faith will spring up, overcoming faith, faith that will enable us to take possession of our heritage in Christ Jesus.  
 
The extent to which we might reach out in the Spirit, and the limitations of our heritage, are very clearly taught in the Word. God said to Joshua, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given you, as I said to Moses" (Josh. 1:3). It is not a case of "How much will God give," for He has already given us "All things,"--even accounting to us a heritage with Christ "in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). Henceforth the question remains, "How much can I appropriate?" God says, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given you..." And lest there are some fearful saints, who think the measure of our heritage must be confined within certain limits, then God tells us exactly what those limitations are:  
 
"...And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places..."(Eph. 1:19,20). There is the measure of the power that is available to the saints! Not the power that Moses exercised in Egypt, or at the Red Sea; not the power that Elijah had when he locked the heavens for three and a half years, and then opened them again; or when he called fire down from heaven; or opened the Jordan river that he might pass over; not the power that Elisha exercised when he caused the iron to swim, the waters to be healed, the hungry to be fed, the dead to be raised; not the power that David had over wild beasts, to slay the lion and the bear single-handed; and not even the power that Christ exercised in His earthly ministry when He healed the sick, cast out devils, walked on the sea, called the dead back--even from corruption. But even the "working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places..." And still we could go on--for Paul continues to enlarge upon the immensity of this power which Christ has, and which is ours: power and authority over all principalities and powers, both in this world and the next, power to put all things "under his feet," even His Church, for He is the Head, and we are the Body.  
 
O the immensity of these words! And what is more, Christ is going to remain right where He is at God's right hand until there shall arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer over all God's enemies. "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps. 110:1). And yet the majority of Christians are looking for a rapture any moment, when Christ is supposed to catch away a miserable, defeated, disease-ridden Church. God says Christ is going to stay right where He is until all His enemies are under His feet. And His enemies include the "last enemy," which is Death. There must arise a group of overcomers who shall conquer and become absolutely victorious over all the opposing forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil--before this dispensation draws to a close.  
 
The Feast of Tabernacles by George Warnock   

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