Further Observations on the Christian Life
Twenty years in Christ. I am a twenty year old Christian in the Lord. In the eyes of the world, I am a failure. I could have made it big; I could have become rich and famous; I could have enjoyed greater power and influence. But nothing of the world can satisfy or gratify. My life has an inner satisfaction, a peace, a meaning, a purpose - that the world can never ever supply. Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ!
In a perishing world, a world that is clearly doomed, what
is the point of being rich, powerful, famous or great? It is vanity of
vanities; it is a curse; it is frustration and despair.
Everything is in Christ. Have you found Him? Have you experienced a new birth in Christ? (John 3.3, 5, 7; 2 Cor 5.17)
No, the Christian life is not a convenient or comfortable life. In fact, it is a life of varied and peculiar troubles. But one thing I say: It is the true life! It is the life that triumphs. We go through all kinds of tests and trials, and often we stumble, but God is always at hand to carry us through. There are times when we lose faith, but in truth we can never fail - because our salvation rests upon the bedrock of His faithfulness.
I find these very shallow people (especially in America) who claim to be evangelical, but whose hearts are as deceitful and as unchanged as ever. They spout the gospel like parrots, but like parrots they know little of what they speak of. It's really sad to know that this guy who claims to be born again doesn't know anything about the born again experience! 2 Cor 5.17. These evangelical people have merely accepted a formula, or gone through some kind of Finney-ian or Billy Graham-ian 'walking upto the altar' stuff. They think that salvation is theirs for the asking, as if God is a 'divine waiter' waiting to cater to their self-gratification.
Missionary Mike Mislan: Roland, Many celebrities, musicians, artists, actors, church members, politicians, activists, prisoners, athletes, pastors, ministers, missionaries, praise and worship leaders, professionals, performers and more will all claim to have had a "born again" experience. But we know that being "born again" is not a feeling, commitment, overwhelming emotion, or any religious experience. It is an observable change of behavior that is from a new nature caused by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit that comes by submitting to the Gospel of Christ. Sadly, so FEW are really "born again."
Roland: I agree, Mike. It's sad that so many Christians do not seem to understand that the born again experience involves a radical change or transformation from an old nature, old life, old man to a new nature, new life, new man...in short, to a new creation in Christ. 2 Cor 5:17.
I don't think throwing a few Bible verses at people is going to help. You must experience the new life in Christ; you must really and truly be born again. It is an awesome experience - like coming out of darkness into a marvellous light. You are convinced that Christ has come to live in you. So many people preach without the experience, without the conviction and without Christ!
is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus', Rom 8:1. We are
delivered from condemnation, curse, death, the penalty of the law, and from
hell-fire. This applies to those who 'walk according to the Spirit, and not
according to the flesh', Rom 8.1b, 4b, 5b. Only a truly born again person knows
what it is to be born of the Spirit, walk according to the Spirit, and to be
controlled by the Spirit.
Alas, that there are so many Christians who have no idea what the Bible says about being born again and walking according to the Spirit. The key is the Holy Spirit. If any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his! (Rom 8.9b)
We need to recognize that we were born again by the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus coming into us. We need to realize that we live by that life - by the power of resurrection, His resurrection life! Accordingly, we are brought into situations of utter helplessness, even death, so that the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus may be manifested in us.
Paul says, 'From now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.' I fail to understand this fascination for the physical appearance of Christ and for images of Christ. We no longer know Christ according to the flesh. We know Him in the Spirit - through the Spirit of Christ who dwells in us.
In the resurrection of the Lord Jesus we are delivered from the curse - that is, from the death which works vanity - and we have been brought into the place where we can go right through to the Divine end, with the full realization that vanity no longer rests upon us. We are no longer held up; no longer to come to frustration and a dead-end. No, we can go right on! ~TAS (That is the victorious grace of God!)
We have to learn how to live by the power of Christ's resurrection, so that the death around us is not able so to impinge upon us as to bring us into its grip. Resurrection union with the Lord Jesus means that we are not involved in the death that is all around us. We can move in scenes of death and not be touched by death. This is a very important lesson to learn...~TAS
Resurrection always means that we are outside of the world. After His resurrection the Lord Jesus never again appeared to the world. He never manifested Himself personally to the world after His resurrection. The resurrection means that He had passed, in that sense, out from the world and stood apart, and His power over the world was His 'apartness' from it. ~TAS
You may have to go to a place where there is not much spiritual wealth on the outside, not much upon which to feed. Remember you have Christ, the whole Land, lying before you. You may have to go into scenes where there is anything but rest, spiritual rest; where all is fret, care, drive, strain. Remember that you are in the Land; you are in Christ; you have Him as your Rest...
You may have
to go into the conflict, into the battle, into the tremendous activities of the
enemy to overthrow you. Remember you are in Christ, Who is Victory - complete,
final victory. That remains true, whatever the enemy may say about it....
Christ is all that we need for a life which is glorifying to Him. It is what Christ is, what we have in the new creation. ~TAS
The whole Land, the Promised Land, is Christ Himself; He is the Land of Milk & Honey.
Christ has been taken right out of this old creation and set at God's right hand in the heavenlies. His being there, and our being in spiritual union with Him, means that for all spiritual purposes and resources, we also are in the heavenlies in Christ. Let us ask the Lord to give us a real, spiritual, quick, living apprehension of this great truth concerning our Lord Jesus... the great realm of the new creation into which we are brought, and let us apply it, practise it, put it into operation from day to day. ~TAS
© Pratonix/Roland N Oliver
- Observations on the Christian Life
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