Called To Be Saints (1)
by Wole Oladapo
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PATHWAY TO SAINTHOOD
“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours (1 Cor 1:2).”
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:2).
We are called with a high and holy calling in Christ Jesus, to become saints of God (Romans 1:7; 1Corinthians 1:2) to whom the faith is delivered (Jude 3). The message of the New Testament is addressed to the saints of God. But today saintly living, which is the heart of the faith as delivered to us by the Lord Himself, has turned a myth in the congregation of the professed believers. Being in the world which lies under the power of the wicked one, we have become so beaten by sin and sight walking that we could not see the pathway the Lord Himself made for us in His Word to tread out of the region of fears (of the unknown, punishment of sin, and death; the triune fears which make our churches filled to capacity today!) into the confidence of faith in Christ Jesus.
We dwell in the midst of many uncertainties; unspoken belief that victory over sin new life in Christ Jesus offers according to the gospel is not experienced until the expiration of this age. Many in the secrecy of their hearts accused the Lord that bought them of sin. Some are even bold enough to speak it out. Having attempted to gain dominion over sin through the arm of flesh which is doomed to fail to no avail, they got offended and created God in their own sinful, fallen image. Every thing we see and hear today gives the impression that man is thralled to sin and doomed to hell. "Who then can be saved?" is the question on the lips of every one awaiting the day of the Lord. What then is the secret of a saintly living in this evil world?
THE WAY REVEALED
The Holy Spirit through the mouth of Asaph unveiled what the pathway to sainthood is. It is not by living by a set of principles or traditions as we see it done today. The only way to sainthood is through covenant. We hear the Lord declare this in the book of Psalms, chapter 50 verse 5; "Gather my saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice". God always works through covenants. We have the testimony of Noah after the flood. Abraham was called out by covenant sealed by blood. Isaac was born by covenant and he lived by the same. Jacob was chosen to be heir of the covenants given to the fathers from the womb. David's throne was established upon covenant. These and many more are evidences that God does all things through covenants. And in them all we see that God has ever been faithful to His covenants and does fulfill them to the least of the letters since time began. If He was faithful to every bit of His covenants with His chosen ones then, sure He will likewise be faithful to that given to us now through the better covenant in the blood of Christ Jesus, for He changes not.
The term of the covenant of redemption the Lord entered with us is that the redeemed become the possession of the Redeemer. "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine," He declared (Song of Solomon 6:3). When we become His, He makes us like unto Himself and gives us the grace sufficient to walk in victory as He did when He was down here in the flesh. We simply become His when we cut this covenant of redemption with Him. He shows us the way to the place of covenant with Him in His Word. As many as will be perfect, let us enter by the way He has shown us in His Word.
COVENANT BY SACRIFICE
God has made the only way to come into covenant with Him known to us. The covenant of God is accessed by sacrifice. This sacrifice is not that of animals in which the Lord says in Hebrews, "I have no pleasure" (Hebrews 10), neither is it our sacrificial duty; great exploits for the Lord as we do call it today. The Lord has said "He delights not in the strength of the horse: He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man" (Psalm 147:10). The only sacrifice which carries us into covenant with God is the sacrifice of ourselves upon the altar of our faith; the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. No other way!
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service(Romans 12:1)."
Holy Spirit through Apostle Paul says we should present ourselves "a living sacrifice” which is the only sacrifice to God "acceptable" and to us "a reasonable service". Any other sacrifice other than that of our "selves" is to God unacceptable and to us unreasonable. As we act in obedience to the word and place our "selves" as sacrifice unto God upon the altar of our faith, we part with our own life and become dead to the world and the world to us (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 6:14). There we receive a new life, the life of Christ by faith, which quickens our mortal bodies and makes us alive to God. As we enter through the cross in the likeness of His death, we become qualified to be made alive with Him in the likeness of His life. "For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Romans 6:5).
The nature of the cross accounts for why sin continues to reign in our world today. The road of the cross ahead of which the victory lies is an offence to natural mind. There is no appearance of beauty in it that it should be desired (Isaiah 53). "But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto Him: neither can He know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1Cor 2:14). All a natural eye sees in the cross is shame and curse. It can by no mean see beyond the gory sight of the cross into the realm of glory into which the road of the cross is emptied. The glory of God can only be seen through the eye of faith--- only a glorified eye can behold the glorified Lord in the realm of glory! That is why we see men today searching the scriptures day and night and coming out with diverse novelties rather than to come to Christ the Lord and be saved. They think by searching the scriptures they will be saved, having forgotten that by searching shall no man find God and that our salvation is not in the scriptures, but in the person about whom the scriptures were written, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:39-40).
Many people would have believed in Christ, had it been that they are allowed to give the condition for their faith. But we are like Abraham, out of Haran into the promise land. We know not where we are going, and are totally void of what lies ahead in the way. All we know is Him who says; "...to a land that I will show you". If we are to arrive at the place He has promised, we must go by the word of Him before whom every tomorrow is clearly displayed as if it has already been, whose understanding is beyond searching out ( Romans 4:17; 11:33).
WHAT BELONGS TO GOD IN OUR CAMP
Our Lord's reply when He was being tempted on payment of tribute is this: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things which are God's (Luke 20:25)." Jesus here established the truth that must be the foundation of our sacrifice to God. Whatever we give to God must be God's very own. We do make mistake in determining what belongs to God. That is why the Holy Spirit gives us the definition of what belongs to the Father out of all that we have. “Oh, that must be tithe!” You said. But you are wrong. The Holy Spirit through Paul says "our body and our spirit... are God's (1Corinthians 6:20)" This is what God demands from us: the sacrifice of our "selves" which are God's. Nothing more, nothing less. But we often attempt to impress God by heaping what belongs to Caesar to God in sacrifices, forgetting that the image and superscription of Caesar is boldly inscribed on it (Luke 20:24)!
Whatever will be acceptable to God as an instrument of worship must bear a bold image and the superscription of the living God. Otherwise, it is never His! We must always walk in the light of the revealed truth of the Word of God whenever we present anything to God in worship that no amount of faith filled confession, prayers, and supplications can make the offering of Cain acceptable to God. It has neither the image nor the superscription of the living God in it. We must know that there is no substitute for the will of God in the whole creation. God desires His own sacrifice from us and not the one devised by human standard. We must give God what is God's and only what is God's.
Reading through the Old Testament, we will discover that it is God who determines what His people offer to Him in sacrifice. We must make sure that we receive the revelation of what to present to God in sacrifice not from flesh and blood, but from God Himself. Many revelations we celebrate today are from flesh and blood, and not from God. We must be careful because flesh and blood is also capable of giving revelation.
We see this truth hidden in the story of Cain and his brother Abel. There was no system of law to guide them in what to bring as sacrifice to God. Cain presented what he thought best for God according to the judgement of his heart, but God rejected his offering. The bible does not say that Cain presented what is not good to God like the Israelites who presented blind animals in sacrifice to God(Malachi 1:8). Perhaps, he presented what he judged to be best. His brother Abel on the other hand presented his own offering and it was accepted by the Lord. Is God partial? Never! We see that when Abel wanted to present his own offering, he did not go by the judgement of his fleshy heart. Abel saw into the mind of God the picture of the Lamb of God in the midst of the flock given for the salvation of the race of man from the foundation of the world (Gen 4); “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8).
Our ways are not God's ways, neither are our thoughts His. The best of our ways is as far as heaven is from earth to the way of God. Our thoughts can never coincide with His thoughts. All the ways of our hearts end up in death. We must turn to God, and let Him who searches what the mind of the Spirit is declare what will be acceptable to Him in sacrifice.
The answer of our Lord to the question "who then can be saved?" beams light on the way out of the city of sin to the country of the saints. There is no saving power on the side of man as far as the salvation of human soul is concerned. Christ plainly declared for man it is impossible. But the good news to us is that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. This God accomplishes in us on the basis of leaving all things for His sakes.
THE PLACE OF OUR SACRIFICE
We must also know that what we offer in sacrifice is as important as where we offer it. God specifically warned the Israelites not to offer their offering anywhere they see, but in the place where the Lord will choose. "Take heed to yourself that you offer not your burnt offerings in every place that you see: But in the place where the LORD shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I commanded you"(Deuteronomy 12:13-14). Our sacrifice must be placed where the Lord has placed His name, and the place in the New Testament is on the altar of our faith; the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the altar that sanctifies the offering, and not otherwise. It is the cross that sanctifies the offering and determines the acceptability of our offering. "Whatever touches the altar shall be holy"(Exodus 29:37).
We must know this also that not only placing our sacrifice in the place where the Lord has chosen matters, there must we do also all that the Lord has commanded us. The place of the cross of Christ becomes our abiding place. The priest in the Old Covenant who ministered at the altar partakes of the altar. They lived by the holy things upon the altar. We the royal priests of the New Testament also must live by what is on the altar of our faith; the Lord Jesus Christ. We feed on Him who is the bread of life by partaking of the flesh and of the blood of the Son of man which are food and drink indeed. There we live not by manna, which the bodies of those who ate fell in the wilderness. We live by the very Word of God, which becomes flesh and dwells in our midst.
God shows much concern about what His children feed on. He warns us to be careful about what we eat. The early church faced this problem. God Himself sent an angel with a message concerning this matter in the church of Thyatira. There was a prophetess who was allowed in the church, who taught the people of God to eat things sacrificed to idols. God promised the woman judgement, after she had failed to repent within the period of grace. The Philippian church also had those who taught the saints of God to mix law with grace, contrary to the commandment of God that the land should not be planted with mixed seed. That is why He gave Israel dietary law to ensure that they defiled not themselves by eating unclean things. Here God gives us the revelation of spiritual thing through physical thing. What goes in through the mouth defiles no man, our Lord says. The Israelites were commanded to refrain from eating the animals that do not part hoofs, and those ones that do not chew cord. While it is very easy to avoid these animals, there are some which if we are not careful, we would have finished eating them before we notice anything wrong with them.
We are allowed to eat only animals that part the hoofs and chew cord. But there are some animals that part hoofs, but chew no cord. And some chew cord, but do not part hoofs. The animals that part hoofs, but chew no cord represent those professed believers who resemble the Lord in every outward appearance, but feed on things God forbids. Such are those who establish their own doctrines, and live not by the doctrines of Christ as laid down for us in the Word of God to follow. Apostle Paul describes such people in these words; “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof"(II Timothy 3:5).
The ones that chew cord, but do not part hoofs represent those professed believers who appear to hold fast to the word as given, but the practicality of it is not in them. We cannot see any resemblance of the Lord in them. They are those Apostle Paul describes in these words: “They profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate"(Titus 1:16). Such people take liberty to mean license for doing whatever they approve, even when such is against the Word of God. They are quick to justify their action by saying that we are saved by grace alone, forgetting that there is no grace to continue in sin for the saints of God, but that which is able to help their weaknesses, so that they fall not. My strength supplied through grace is made perfect in weakness, the Lord says, not in sin (II Corinthians 12:9).
We must not be deceived by their food induced confession. Jesus was not deceived by the confession of the crowd after they had eaten the miraculously multiplied bread. After they had had their fill, they opened their mouth and confessed; “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world (John 6:14)”. When Jesus invited them into the true fellowship in His flesh and in His blood, they became offended, and displayed their true nature when they all left Him never to return again.
We are warned not to have fellowship with such people. We are asked to turn away from them, even if they are called brethren. Our holiness abides as we respond to the call to come out from among them, and be separate unto God. When we are separate from them, then the Lord will receive us. We must be careful that we be not carried away by their profession or religious make up. This will be impossible, except we walk by discernment of the Holy Spirit. Peter out of fear joined in in that stuff and Barnabas was carried away by the hypocrisy of the judaizers. They become snares unto us, if we have fellowship with them.
Having done all things the Lord requires of us here, we attain the confidence of faith to declare; “God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Galatians 6:14). We will no longer see any glory in the flesh, and in the things the world esteemed to be glorious. Our glory will flow from the cross, as it alone becomes the object of our glory.
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10).
Those who drink at that well where Jesus met with the Samaritan woman will never believe their can be any other water that is better than the well dug by their fathers. Notice that Isaac, the promised seed, dug the well. He has the sign of the covenant in his flesh; he received the covenant by the correct formula. The well represents the denominations we see all around us. Many of them were established by men who are truly born of God; men who sincerely kept the covenant of God all their lives. But the fact that Isaac gave the well does not make its water a life giving one. The fact that he drank from it does not make it a replacement for the water of life God alone gives. Isaac had long died; the well was still standing till the time of Jesus Christ.
The founders of those denominations have died, but the names are still here with us. The well has not run dry. Whoever goes there will still find water. But the problem with it is that the water of the well can never satisfy a thirsty soul, no matter the amount taken. They will drink and drink, yet, they will be thirsty again and again. That is why spiritual leanness abounds today. The water here is a symbol of the Word of God. It does not matter whether they read the Bible or something else, if it is not spoken by the Lord; it is not the Word of God.
The location of the well is worth considering. The well of Jacob is located at the foot of the Mount Gerizim, where the people of God on their way to the promised land saw the coming down of God upon His chosen people. Such people who locate their altar of sacrifice here have missed the vital truth that God only stopped there to reveal Himself to His people on the way to the place where He has put is name. Like the well, in what become denominations today God in the past had revealed His power, but does not mean that God has come to build up such places as an alternative place of worship. Those who place their sacrifice here in the words of Jesus worship the God they do not know. Although, such churches have towering ancestral heritage like the well of Isaac, they cannot replace the place where men ought to worship God; in Spirit and in Truth in Christ Jesus. The greatest snare of the devil in drinking from such well is that the well is never dry; and this blinds their eyes that they may not be able to discern Him who is standing before them; the source of the true living water(John 4:10).
You need to read the words of those we called the founding fathers of such denominational churches. They themselves condemned causing division in the Body of Christ naming a church after them. Just like the words of Jesus to the Jews; “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust” (John 5:48), these people themselves will accuse their followers to the Father when the day of reckoning comes.
We must be mindful of where we place our sacrifice. The Holy Spirit throughout the Book of Timothy warns us to check our doctrine and be sure that we receive it from God. We have tendency to fall into the error of following our fellow men in the name of God rather than God Himself, who has removed the middle wall of separation and given us the grace to come boldly before the throne of His grace ( Ephesians 2:14; Hebrews 4:16). To such He will say on that great day; "Depart from Me, I know you not, you workers of iniquity". The Lord has no delight in the sacrifice of fools. Mind where you place your sacrifice, lest you suffer loss.
KNOWING THE GOD WE WORSHIP
Many people have unfortunately given their lives in sacrifice to doctrines and churches of men sincerely and not to Christ. Many of such people will get to the presence of God the judge of all, when there will be no more room for correction, before they know that the cause they have lived and died for is a wrong one. Such people are like the Samarians who all their lives have been worshiping an unknown God with all confidence that they were worshiping the Lord God of their father Jacob. The woman Jesus met at the well was very bold to declare; “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship"(John 4:20). How shocking and unbelievable it will be to discover that what one has served all one's life is a false god!
The mountain the woman referred to is Mount Gerizim. This is the mountain upon which the Lord commanded the children of Israel to pronounce the blessings alongside with mount Ebal upon which the curses were pronounced. "And it shall come to pass, when the Lord your God has brought you into the land where you go to possess it, that you shall put the blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and the curse upon Mount Ebal" (Deuteronomy 11:29). The importance of Mount Gerizim cannot be forgotten in the history of the children of Israel. What can make them believe that the God who stood upon this mountain to bless His chosen ones is no more on the mountain? Even God declares that "the hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; a high hill as the hill of Bashan" (Psalm 68:15). Going by the experience of physical manifestation which man who is prone to walk by sight loves, the Mount Gerizim has a lot to offer in appealing to human sight and senses, just like every other hill. Mount Zion in Jerusalem where God has chosen to dwell does not burn with fire like Mount Sinai. There is nothing to feel or touch. No sound of trumpet, voice of words. No blackness, and darkness, and tempest. (Hebrews 12:18-25). Those who have climbed the high hills will not understand why Mount Zion in Jerusalem should be the place of worship. They do not understand the doctrine of the election of God which does not lean on any thing except His own will. We are told in the Word that God does all things after the counsel of His own will. We hear Him declares "Why leap you, you high hills? This is the hill which God desires to dwell in; the Lord will dwell in it forever"(Psalm 68:16).
The children of Israel often fell into the error of worshipping a god that they do not know. An instance of this is when some of them began to manufacture instruments of music like David. God sent the prophet to reveal their folly to them that they may be able to copy David perfectly in making instruments of music, if they do not have the ordinance of David, they worship a false god (Amos 6:5). Going by what we see others do will never carry us into the presence of the Holy God. Those people may sing and dance from sunrise till sunset with the sweetest tune ever heard. They may mention hundreds of the names, titles and appellations of God in their songs. All the wordings may even be captured from the Word of God. As long as they are not standing upon the ordinances of God, their service is not to the living God, but to the god of their own invention. This is the danger within; those people will be happy that they worship the God of David their father. They may even be giving David due honour as the founder of their mode of worship. But what David did and was well accepted to God, the same they did, but against His good pleasure.
Jesus said that He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him. If we are truly saints of God with the sign of His covenant in our flesh, we will need nobody to describe to us how our God looks like. An evidence of belonging to Him is knowing who He is; being able to recognize Him, even when He comes to us covered with thick cloud. God has declared this concerning the New Covenant in which we are now from the time of old. He says no one will turn to His neighbour and say "Know the Lord! Know the Lord", for they shall all know the Lord. God has promised that from the least to the greatest of His people shall know Him. This will come into fulfillment when He brings to pass the promise of pouring His Spirit upon all flesh. This way of knowing Him He opened on the day of Pentecost, when He sent the Holy Spirit, and established the kingdom in our midst with power.
Our God has promised that the whole earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. Christ Jesus came into the earth, full of grace and truth. As we approach Him, we see the fullness of the glory that made the angels in heaven to join the one who announced His birth to the shepherd in the field. We see the glory as of the only begotten of the Father in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. This makes us His body, even seeing this glory revealed. For He says in His parting prayer for His own; "The glory which you gave Me I have given them"(John 17:22). If you have not seen the glory revealed by His Spirit, you are none of His. What makes a gathering unto the Lord is the presence of the glory of God upon it.
The reason why the things of the world still appeal to you is that you have not seen the glory. What do you think made the apostle and the disciples of then left everything to follow Jesus? What do you think made Abraham to leave his country, family, and friends to go to a land that he never knew; the land which his father set out to go and died along the way? Jesus declared that Abraham saw His day, and he rejoiced. This glorious day Abraham saw on mount Moriah, when by faith he set to offer Isaac his son as sacrifice to God. Apostle Paul saw the exceedingly great glory of God and became blind for three days. Moses declared how he felt when he came in contact with the presence of His glory," I exceedingly fear and quake". Isaiah saw this glory in the temple and cried "Woe is me!" We cannot leave every thing we have in sacrifice to God, except we see the glory.
We do pretend as if the world has no glory. Jesus even confirmed the glory of this world. God confirmed the glory of the world when He created it. He described it as very good. How dare we say the earth God formed with His own hand by wisdom is void of glory? Satan displayed it before Jesus in temptation. It took the Word of God for Jesus to defeat the Tempter. That is why any one that will live saintly in this fallen age must be Word made. Except we are Word made, the battle is as good as lost from the very beginning. This world is a mount of temptation, where the world itself and all its glory beckon us away from God. Whoever climbs this mount without the Word of God is sure to fall headlong. Not even Jesus did without the Word. When we stand on the Word of God, and look into the world, we see no glory by the reason of the glory that excels. As glorious as this world is, its glory will come to nothing before our eyes of faith as we stand on the Word of God which reveals the glory of the Father into our hearts through Jesus Christ the Son whom we have come to know as a real living Spirit person in our hearts. Standing on the Word, we are victory assured. The Bible proffers no other way to victory over temptation than to be Word armed every time. Then, we will be able to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ as we are taught to do.
We too are on the mount of temptation today where we are to choose whether to obey God or to obey man, of which "self" is the chief. Many have waited for God and are weary of waiting. We do not see God coming through for us. We could not see the blessings God promised His saints in His Word in our life. Those who have become weary of God have considered Him too precious to be thrown into the dust bin, but too powerless to prove His Word true with them. Instead of just throwing Him away, they offer Him for sale on the altar of religion. To them it is not a sin, but using what you have to get what you want.
Either we believe it or not, the absence of these promises in our lives is perhaps an indication that we are not saints, or we are, but not God's! The promises of God are wrapped in His covenant, and the totality of God's promises is brought into fulfillment in the abundant grace He daily extends to our way. When we enter into covenant with God, we automatically enter into His promises as we live by the term of the covenant. This grace we receive enables us to know the things of God which are freely given, and preserves us for the day in which we are going to enter into the fullness of the inheritance of the saints in light. All these will be when we appear before Him in Zion, having been clothed with our glorious house, where all the saints of old are waiting to be glorified together with us. But something that is sure is that if we do not see the glory now, we will not be able to enter into the fullness of glory when it will be revealed. It is glory that carries us into glory. We go from grace to grace and from glory to glory.
God gives us the revelation of how easy it is to receive a wrong salvation in the giving of circumcision of the flesh as the seal of the covenant made with Abraham. On that day God gave the circumcision, Abraham, the one who has the promise circumcised three hundred and eighteen members of his house, Ishmael his son by the slave woman, and himself on that day. But when God want to choose the heir of the covenant, he found no one among all these (Genesis 17:26-27). We hear God say to Abraham, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called"(Genesis 21:12).
Why did God have to raise Isaac, and not one of these people to be the heir of the covenant? Is God partial? When God was giving the circumcision, He has told Abraham that he who is eight days should be circumcised. All those who received the circumcision before Isaac were all grown up people. Only Isaac received the correct circumcision. All those ones received circumcision by a wrong formula, although from the hand of the right person! They might have been circumcised with the same knife. They shed blood the same way from the cut. They equally felt the same pain in the flesh as Isaac did, or even worse as a result of age. They bore the scar in their flesh for the rest of their lives. Despite all these, they have no part in the covenant!
There are many people like that today who are walking with full confidence that they belong to the household of faith. They suffered with the people of God for the cause of the gospel. The ministry of Judas Iscariot paints a vivid picture of such people. Like him, they began with Christ from the very beginning. They left the comfort of their homes to follow the Son of man who have no place to lay His head. They witnessed all the miracles from the beginning to the end. They found a place among those who are sent to spread the gospel around, and came back with the testimony; even demons obeyed us in your name. They also rejoiced together with others when told to rejoice because their names were written in heaven. They have their feet washed by the hand of the Lord himself. They resemble Christ in appearance so much that it is almost impossible to tell who the Master is from among them. They were together afflicted with hunger and had nothing to eat, except to pluck the heads of grains on the field, for which the Pharisees (religious leaders) accused them of defilement. They did not leave when other disciples left Him because they considered His word too hard to bear (John 6:60, 66). They are fed by the pure Word of God from the mouth of Christ the living Word Himself. They partook of the body and the blood of the Son of man, the communion of His death. Despite all these, the Lord said referring to them, "all washed, but not all cleansed"(John 13:10). The truth about such people is that they do not believe from the very beginning. He knew that they will deny betray Him from the very beginning.
If we have received the correct circumcision, the sign of the covenant will be in our flesh. As it is forbidden for an uncircumcised in the flesh to enter into the presence of God in the Old Covenant, so it is in the New Covenant. The sign of the circumcision of our heart must be clearly seen in our flesh. Our physical life will be the reflection of our regenerated inner man. We cannot be walking around in all manner of lawless deeds like devil, and be claiming we are saved by grace. “They appear before God in Zion". The people of God whose names are written in His book are all appear before their God on the throne of His holiness. Had they remained sinners after their salvation, how would they have appeared before the throne of His holiness without being consumed by the light of the glory of His countenance? Prophet Habakkuk writes that God is of a purer eye than to behold iniquity.
I must emphasis here again that there is no grace for continuing in the practice of sin for Christians, the saints of God. The grace for sin carried us into the place of humbling ourselves to receive salvation by the foolish way of the cross. When we come to Christ, we enter into another grace entirely different from the one we come from. We enter into the grace for weakness. The grace of God is now made available to overcome our weaknesses, and to walk in the perfection of faith in Christ Jesus. The debt we owed the flesh is completely paid by the work of the cross. What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, and we find the fullness of grace to do in Christ Jesus our Lord. We become His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to walk in good works. The power of the Holy Spirit enters into our weakness, and it becomes strength. The people of the world will testify to His being alive in us by calling us "little christs", because we look like our Lord in every way. Such salvation that leaves a sinner in the pool of his sin is foreign to the scriptures. We become like what we worship!
We must examine ourselves now that there is chance to retrace our steps to where we started the journey before we appear before God in judgement. We must examine our foundation and ensure that it stands on the solid Rock which is Christ. If the foundation is destroyed, the righteousness of the righteous perishes. When we have lived long amidst the saints, there is tendency to get confused about our own identity and assume we are one. This is one of the devices of the Devil with which he will lead many people effortlessly to hell. It will be a waste of life, after you have suffered all these to be thrown into the lake of fire in the end. As it is extremely dangerous to receive a wrong circumcision in the flesh, so it is in the spirit. We must get our salvation correctly, lest we suffer loss.
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
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