Monday, April 22, 2013

Search and Destroy

After we have received Christ into our hearts and have been forgiven of all sin, there yet remains a process of “putting aside all that remains of wickedness” (James 1:21). For my entire adult life, or so it seems, I have been engaged in getting rid of these ‘remains.’

Having just finished my second week of chemo-therapy—the purpose of which is to annihilate any cancer cells remaining after the surgical removal of my pancreatic tumor—the spiritual analogy is shouting at me. At salvation the sin-centered heart is removed. But afterward, the Holy Spirit uses the chemically-dynamic Word to search and destroy all that remains of the former self.

And even as my chemo therapy is voluntary, so is its spiritual counterpart of “putting aside [putting to death] all that remains of the sinful, earthly things [still] lurking within us” (Col. 3:5). But thank God that while chemo offers no guarantee of success, He does: “After you have suffered a little while, He will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).


  1. Regarding receiving Christ and the forgiveness of sins that is effective when believing in Him for our salvation, I always think about the other side of the cross, which I think is equally important, that Christ, not only died for our sins but that the sin nature that drove us to sin was crucified with Him. If we do not put our faith in that consummated fact we will go one step forward and one backwards in our walk with God. I think faith in HIs death both for our sins and our old self is key to be able to walk and grow in grace, and understanding our collaboration with the Holy Spirit in our santification.
    As Watchman Nee puts it: "What is the normal Christian life? We do well at the outset to ponder this question. The object of these studies is to show that it is something very different from the life of the average Christian. Indeed, a consideration of the written Word of God -of the Sermon on the Mount, for example- should lead us to ask whether such a life has ever, in fact, been lived upon the earth, save only by the Son of God Himself. But in that last saving clause lies immediately the answer to our question.
    The Apostle Paul gives us his own definition of the Christian life in Galatians 2:20. "It is no longer I, but Christ." Here he is not stating something special or peculiar -a high level of Christianity. He is, we believe, presenting God's normal [state] for a Christian, which can be summarized in the words: I live no longer, but Christ lives his life in me.
    God makes it quite clear in his Word that he has only one answer to every human need -his Son, Jesus Christ. In all his dealings with us, he works by taking us out of the way and substituting Christ in our place. The Son of God died instead of us for our forgiveness: he lives instead of us for our deliverance. So we can speak of two substitutions -a Substitute on the Cross, who secures our forgiveness, and a Substitute within, who secures our victory. It will help us greatly, and save us from much confusion, if we keep constantly before us this fact, that God will answer all our questions in one way and one way only: namely, by showing us more of his Son." Amen.

  2. How very Christocentric you are. But very few are willing to follow Christ in trial and suffering. They want the blessing. They want prosperity instead of being poor in spirit. Thank you for your good words today. Keep living The Life!!