Christ as Our Forbearance
“If we live Christ as our forbearance, it will not be possible for us to be anxious. Anxiety is an impossibility for those who have Christ as their forbearance. Do you know why we are anxious and why we worry? We are anxious and worried because we do not live Christ. The words live Christ may merely be a doctrinal term, a way of speaking, not our actual living in a practical way. But when we live Christ day by day, anxiety has no ground within us.”
The Word of the Cross
“For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Written nearly 2,000 years ago, these words in the Bible address the attitude of certain Greeks in Corinth who prided themselves on their philosophy. They ardently pursued wisdom in an attempt to understand the universe and mankind. Yet, although their philosophy had not answered the questions concerning the problems of human nature or the meaning of mankind’s existence, these wisdom seekers rejected the word concerning Jesus Christ and His crucifixion, dismissing it as foolishness.
Grace and Reality
John 1:17—“For the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.”
Note 1 on law, grace, and reality says: “The law makes demands on man according to what God is; grace supplies man with what God is to meet what God demands. The law, at most, was only a testimony of what God is (Exo. 25:21), but reality is the realization of what God is. No man can partake of God through the law, but grace enables man to enjoy God. Reality is God realized by man, and grace is God enjoyed by man.”
Cross-reference “a” on grace directs us to this verse:
What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden—the Consequences of Adam and Eve’s Choice
In a previous post, we saw that God warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to protect them. That tree represented Satan, the enemy of God and the source of death. Sadly, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This was serious enough, but by eating the fruit of that tree they were also corrupted with Satan’s evil nature.
In this post, we’ll see the consequences of their action and what God did, and is doing today, to recover the humanity He created for His purpose.
God’s Satisfaction and Rest
“After God has what He desires, He rests. What then brought rest to God? What was it that gave Him such satisfaction? During the six days of creation there were light, air, grass, herbs, and trees; there were the sun, the moon, and the stars; there were fish, birds, cattle, creeping things, and beasts. But in all these God did not find rest. Finally there was man, and God rested from all His work.”
What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden?
Most of us are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. (If you’d like a refresher, you can read it here.) The disobedience of Adam and Eve is usually what gets our attention in this story, and this makes sense. Disobeying God is a serious matter.
But have you ever wondered what was so bad about eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? How could doing that lead to the fall of all mankind? And when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of that tree, was He testing them, just to see whether they would obey Him?
Eternal Life in Christ Jesus Our Lord
Romans 6:23—“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Note 3 on eternal life says: “Eternal life is the very life of the Triune God Himself. This life has been imparted into us on the basis of our having been justified by God, and it is now spreading throughout our being through sanctification and transformation. This will result in our being conformed to the Lord’s image and our being brought into the Lord’s glory, that we may be made suitable to have a part in the manifestation of His glory (Col. 3:4).”
Cross-reference “b” on eternal life leads us to these verses:
How to Get Life from Reading the Bible
In a previous post, we discussed how important it is to know that the essence of the Bible is the Spirit. Since only the Spirit can give life, for us to get life from reading the Bible we need to contact the Spirit in the Word. By receiving life, we’ll be spiritually nourished, and by that nourishment, we’ll grow in Christ. So being able to receive life from the Bible is crucial to our Christian life.
Turning Our Heart to the Lord
“When our heart is turned to the Lord, the veil is gone. So many people say, ‘Oh, why don’t I have guidance? Why don’t I know the Lord’s will?’ But the problem is, where is their heart and in what direction is their heart? Their heart must be turned and tuned to the Lord. When I was young, I used to pray over 2 Corinthians 3:16 nearly every day, ‘Lord, cause me to turn my heart to Thee.’ Oh, it works! Just try it. Before you read the Word in the morning, first of all, turn your heart to the Lord. The veil will be gone and there will be light. The veil which is between you and the Lord will be taken away by turning your heart to Him, and you will see the light.”
What Is Christian Growth?
How do we grow as Christians? Is it by accumulating more Bible knowledge, or accomplishing more Christian works? Perhaps it’s by developing our Christ-like virtues. These may be our concepts about what it means to grow as a Christian, but Christian growth according to the Bible is not a matter of knowledge or self-effort. It’s entirely a matter of the growth of life.