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 Re: When is one free from the law?

Compton, I don't want to miss the opportunity to comment on this sentence from an earlier post (p3, I think).

[b]Rather then just admit that churches ordain unsaved men, and raises unsaved lay leaders[/b] we decided to call this New Birth experience “Entire Sanctification”, implying to young worldlings in the Church that there is also a partial or incomplete surrender to God.

I thought this was a brave statement.... a situation over which young converts or 'almost Christians' have no control. It ties in with the disappointment expressed by Diane.

You said 'I was one of them' - and no doubt many of us can say 'amen - so was I' but, had we not met the Lord, or been drawn by the Father to understand more of this great Covenant - even though we may not have understood the language and the full global scope of its meaning - to say nothing of the spiritual reality which will see the visible creation melt away, one day?

Furthermore, I am convinced, that [b]the closer we come to Christ's nature in ourselves[/b]...the less distracted we become by questions of blessing and curses of the Law.

Might I suggest that by this (emboldened), you refer not to receiving Christ, or to receiving the Holy Spirit, (or the Father) but, to a recognition of work which God has by now completed, by which one [i]recognises oneself, as changing into His likeness[/i] - being changed from glory to glory as GB mentioned earlier? You are not implying that Christ's [i]nature[/i] arrives slowly, (the incorruptible seed), but rather, that its outworking (growth) eventually shows itself unmistakably.....?

I do not wish to be devil's advocate here, but I need to comment, after so many apparent battles on SI about whether victory over sin is possible. Isn't that what being free from the law is about? It's about knowing one is being transformed by the outworking of His victorious life, both in power to mortify the flesh, and in the transformation of the mind.

Hebrews 8
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall [u]not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord[/u]: [b]for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest[/b].

Recently, while trying to break into John's gospel, I prayed more radically for revelation than ever before, because the words are familiar, and I knew I needed to understand them better. Now, in 1 John, the same, and I'm totally wowed (I feel I should apologise for not coming up with a better word :-?) by what I'm seeing. In the past, at the back of my mind, has been the thought that I am the last person in the world to 'see' certain truth which the Lord has revealed. This time, I wonder if anyone else has seen what I see? It is interesting to note this difference, one from a mindset of failure, the other from a mindset of victory. I feel it is my faith and His faith, which are working together to produce these changes. I think this is [i]freedom from the law[/i].

 2006/5/30 12:21

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re: The Pressure's Off by L. Crabb

Compton wrote:

those excellent L. Crabb quotes were from The Pressure's Off.

What a great title! This title alone is surely worth the book price. It should be inviting for the countless who feel like they live in a pressure cooker! - for those who feel the heavy weight of countless laws (ways to improve their lives) bearing down on them.

Here is a book review I found on the net:

Larry Crabb describes it, “you have decided that what you most want out of life is within your reach, and you are doing whatever you believe it takes to get it.” But in the New Way of life, “you have realized that what you most want is beyond your reach, and you are trusting God for the satisfaction you seek. You want Him. Nothing less, not even His blessings, will do.”

The Old Way–the way most Christians define life and pursue fulfillment–is fundamentally wrong and harmful. It leaves us tired, in bondage, and feeling distant from God. But the New Way brings true freedom and refreshment as we tap into the power to draw closer to God in a personal way.

“We can’t always make life work. But we can always draw near to God. There is a different way to approach our problems. There is a NEW WAY to live.” —Larry Crabb
There is nothing more important than learning to discern if we are indeed walking in faith or law – eternal difference. We cling to the law as our sense of security, so convinced that it is shocking to find out we are deceived.

I praise God for those authors and preachers who desire to see God’s people find his freedom. From what I read of Crabb, he transforms doctrine from theoretical ideals into real-life application for our contemporary generation.

I pray that as people grow tired of all their self-efforts, they will welcome this kind of teaching as springs of water on the dry ground.



 2006/5/30 19:48Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re: Can we ever be totally free from law?

Dorcas wrote:

after so many apparent battles on SI about whether victory over sin is possible.

Dorcas, I feel that those kinds of discussions may get messy partly because of a limited understanding of sin. In view of comments on this thread we’d have to broaden it to include some very subtle sins: fleshly attempts to define the parameters of certain sins and then fleshly attempts to eradicate these sins – in other words, rely on law.

Just maybe the underlying reason for this is so that we can have a controllable religion – like building our own Babel Tower. However, we inevitably end up with confused dialogue. We dispute over the def'n of right from wrong, good from evil. We can’t understand each other. And so our project fizzles. (thankfully)

If I return to the medical analogy – it’s like all the experts getting together to study every disease they discover, categorize them, define them, and find remedies. If, instead they would seek Christ and encourage others to, there wouldn’t be most of these diseases we see in our society. So too with studying sin and discovering methods (laws) of eradicating it. There is no victory. It is better to seek Christ and then we wouldn't have so many struggles with sin.

When we are healthy we don’t think about health. Only when we are sick do we try to define health. After all, we need to know what good health looks like so that we realize something is wrong. That's the function of law.

I suspect that we would not be preoccupied with sin and laws if we were spiritually healthy - which is, by Biblical definition, the condition of being FREE from all this stuff, free in the Spirit, fully trusting in Christ.

I now ask: Will we ever be fully and permanently free from the law, experientially, that is?

I am not convinced. After all, throughout life we are constantly faced with new challenges, new temptations, and deeper testings. Just when we thought we had victory, we find ourselves weak in faith. At those low points, we instinctively reach for anything that preserves our fragile ego – including the security of law, those guiding principles that make us feel more secure in ourselves. Yet, our desperate attempt to stay afloat may be worse than the sin we are trying to escape.

Nevertheless, through the trials and failures, the Spirit helps to grow stronger in faith, and we eagerly abandon more and more of our old reliances - as we realize how utterly futile they are.

So, Dorcas, even a discussion about having victory over sin, including being totally free from law has its own risks, as Compton pointed out at the beginning. It may ever-so-subtly divert our eyes off of Christ and on to law - and self. ... and you could end up with battles.



 2006/5/31 8:57Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

I now ask: Will we ever be fully and permanently free from the law, experientially, that is?

I am not convinced.

I am... Proved it perfectly a couple of replies back (Added an edit as well). What I mean to say is, I am convinced that [i]in my flesh dwells no good thing[/i]. A bit of play on words here, but I agree Diane, seems we are right full circle back to Paul's [i]wretched man[/i].

A strange bit but, have you ever read things backwards, meaning from the bottom up, basically backtracking? It is interesting sometimes to notice those things again from a different perspective.

Rom 7:14 For we know that the [u]law is spiritual[/u]: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Going forward again;

Rom 7:21 I find then [u]a law[/u], that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

These 'laws' ...
the law [i]of God[/i]
law in my members
the law of my mind
the law of sin ... which is in my members

Paul is frank enough to just come out and admit it:

[i]but I am carnal[/i]

It seems it is a great leap to come to:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

And the 'answer':

Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Right there it seems there is a disconnect of the mind and the unfinished business is:

[i]So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.[/i]

It seems also that there is a duty on our part here that comes up frequently throughout the epistles and elsewhere to [i]deal with[/i] the flesh, to deny it, to put it under, to submit it to the [i] the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus[/i]

The former example of stupidity and very much to my embarrassment and want of removing the entirety of the last post here is the example of the flesh trumping and tripping over that which I know better. I should have been praying in all honesty. The sheer folly of making the same mistake over and over again. I know better than to write early in the morning without really seeking the Lord in solitude of the prayer closet. I got off on some tangent and fully was convinced it had the Lords backing in that rather subtle, subconscious way, something on the order of "This needs to be said and the Lord agrees with me." Though I had never really bothered to [i]ask[/i]. Not that it was some great sin, but it was a dead work, it was out of place and it wasn't until coming back to it later in the day that I just recoiled at it and ... "What in the world was I thinking?" Not to blow this all out of proportion but to just bring back all this to the underlying sentiment that gets lost somewhere that I think Diane hits precisely and will repeat it again:

Will we ever be fully and permanently free from the law, experientially, that is?

That sentiment seems to be "eradication" and I do believe it is highly deceptive, reality in God is constantly throwing the corrective wrench in the whole matter.

It is easy to forget that we do not forget. Our memories are still fully intact even if they are somewhat muddy. There is a real devil, an accuser who is masterful at pulling these past forgiven sins back up again, back to the forefront of the mind. Worse than that we are fully capable of mining these things on our own, 'who' is doing what on any given occasion ... I will borrow Krispy's great line from elsewhere; "You might as well wrap your head with duct tape" trying to figure it all out, your brain might explode. Surely there are times when it is overt, in the heat of prayer some nefarious thought comes barging in ... Think this lends itself to the whole realm of believers harassment and so called 'possession', a whole other topic but briefly the atmosphere of Eph 6:12 [i]For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.[/i] has me wondering aloud the mystery of it all ... the battle field is [i]out there[/i] in the spiritual realm seemingly more so than [i]in here[/i]. Not sure if that makes any sense, maybe it is to say just that the flesh has enough of it's own inherent problems, it's own particular 'evil' to contend with.

Thoughts are going in fifteen different directions here but just one more towards all this,

1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Can still recall when this used to practically have me reaching for the duct tape trying to understand it.

"Cannot sin" ?

Coupling that and attempting to reconcile it with:

1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

But the answer is there and I believe it is also the answer to the descriptive attempt of "sinless perfection" as it is coined:

1Jo 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:

That is truly walking in the spirit. If we are abiding, even if momentarily, fully ...

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Christ cannot sin and if we abideth...
Reminded of an old Charles Stanley message where he somewhat upbraided the congregation (with a great deal of charity) with the exhortation of "Did you go without sinning for an hour today? Maybe even the whole day?" The idea was that it is just as easy to forget that we do forget the fact that we can and do go without sinning and hopefully it is the greatest proportion of the time. More so that we do keep very short accounts with the Lord in that continual fellowship that is ours with Him.

It's early again, prayed well this morning, will see what further embarrassment all this rambling might bring later on today.


Mike Balog

 2006/5/31 10:28Profile

 Re: When is one free from the law?

Hi Mike,

Great post!

I just want to share two things on phrases you've quoted from John's first epistle.

"Cannot sin" ?

Scroggins offered this in a different thread, and, by separating the 'can' and 'not' it makes all the difference: from what we would think is an absolute 'cannot' to more of a possibility - CAN not sin. (cannot sin=can notsin)

I feel if I say more to that, it will not be clearer, so I'll let it sink in with the help of the Holy Spirit. It blessed my socks off!

I, too have been reading in 1 John, and needing to pray for fresh revelation.... maybe I've never understood most of it before, actually. On this verse,

Coupling that and attempting to reconcile it with:

1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

this time, I saw that it is only BECAUSE the truth is in us, that we can see our sin. That's why the self-deception of denying it is both futile and dangerous.

This thought - that the truth IS in us - ties in here too, with

1 John 2:21
I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, [u]but because you [b]know[/b] it[/u], and that [u]no lie is [b]of the truth[/b][/u].

That means that when 'the truth' [u]in us[/u] reveals sin, that truth is [i]true[/i], and it's [i]not[/i] incompatible with recognising and acknowledging the sin.... 1 John 2:1 + 2 follow.

Did that make sense?

 2006/5/31 11:10

Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490


I now ask: Will we ever be fully and permanently free from the law, experientially, that is?

That's a great question. The only way I can see it is that their must be a death to the self life.

That's the purpose of sanctification. It's that the old nature die out totally. Until that work is done in our hearts, we'll go from victory to defeat to victory and so on.

1Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
4So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5For when we were controlled by the sinful nature,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

This work of sanctification is not done through our flesh but through the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

This great work of sanctification will cost us everything but it's a work that only Jesus can do. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and [b]he[/b] will do it.

Ed Pugh

 2006/5/31 13:38Profile

Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4807


Sister Dorcas and Brother GB,

I agree with what you have written...basically, our faith is the product (fruit) of the Holy Spirit.

The law of the Spirit might be defined as God's grace poured out on man. The grace that God dispenses to fallen man can be found in many sections of Scripture. This one sections draws a picture of this grace and God's intended purpose for dispensing this grace.

Prov. 2:1 My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
4 If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
10 When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,

The precepts found in this Scripture defines God's work that is freely given to all men.

14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The Holy Scriptures are able to make one wise for salvation.

Now the law of faith consists of our growing in this understanding that comes from the illumination that the Holy Spirit brings to the word of God in our daily walk. As He directs and counsel us, we begin to live the word of God. We begin to recognize how God makes us wise for salvation. As these real life experiences add up, glory upon glory, we grow wisdom that is of God. The wisdom of God consists, and is totally encompassed in the image of Christ that is revealed to us as we walk with Him.

How does this wisdom and understanding bring liberty into our lives?

His burden is light...

In Christ

Jeff Marshalek

 2006/5/31 13:43Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619


That's the purpose of sanctification. It's that the old nature die out totally. Until that work is done in our hearts, we'll go from victory to defeat to victory and so on.

I don't find this in Romans 6, 7, and 8. The thrust of these scriptures shows us that we died in Christ to sin, the flesh, and the law. And that only through the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus do we enter into and enjoy the reality of it.

It is Christ who died to sin and the flesh (Romans 6) and Christ who died to the law (Romans 7) and as those who have been baptised into Him, His history has become our history.

As those who have believed into Christ and baptised by one Spirit into Him, we have partaken of His death to sin, His death to the flesh as a ruling master, and His death to the law with it's requirements.

And by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus we enjoy the reality of this in our experience as Romans 8 lays out.

Being dead in Christ to sin and the flesh does not eradicat sin from our flesh, but because of our union with Him, the flesh no longer is our ruling master. In Him we have His death and resurrection and through faith in HIm the Spirit applies this reality and enables us to experience freedon from bondage to sin, the flesh, and to the law as on outward requirement. And by the indwelling Spirit we experience His all victorious overcomming Life and "reign in Life through the one."

Grace does not ereadicate sin from us or clense our flesh. Rather grace imparts into us and makes real to us our union with Christ and through Him we experience all He is and all He has acomplished.

Our flesh is not dead. It is very much alive. But in Christ we have died to it. It no longer has authority over us. It's power has been destroyed in Christ and we are free. Our flesh was not crucified in Christ. Our old man was crucified with Christ. The Man of Old, the man Adam who came under the dominion of the flesh. But our old man has been crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be rendered powerless (it's authority destroyed)

Again, our flesh is not crucified with Christ, but our old man. That is who we were as slaves to sin and the flesh. And in christ we have died to it's rule and now in Christ we are free from it's law of sin and death.

As those alive from the dead we are to present ourselves to God and our members as instruments of rightousness to God. Christ has broken the authority of the flesh and the law and sin, and through Him we are able to live in victory over these.

But this is conditional upon our daily communion, strenghtening by the Spirit, and our enjoyment of Christ. If we cease to pray and to commune and to feed on Christ daily, we lose contact with the Lord who indwells our spirit and we will find the flesh and sin to be quite formadibe masters. It is only by fellowship with Christ through the Spirit that we are able to experience His wonderful Life.


 2006/6/1 8:40Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re: No turning back

It's early again, prayed well this morning, will see what further embarrassment all this rambling might bring later on today.

Mike, do you ever wonder if the Biblical writers ever felt that way?

What I like about the apostle Paul is that he was so real. He was honest about himself and so he could relate to our nitty-gritty, earthy struggles. He admitted that he was still attached to this mortal vessel with remnants of the old nature. Like the psalmists, he didn’t dwell merely in theological ideals. The Bibilcal writers often just poured their thoughts into words – and now it has become holy writ! Amazing.

I think we would do better if we could have the courage to be honest about ourselves rather than hide behind tidy spiritual formulas or obsessions about sins (neither brings us closer to Christ)

And so I guess my original question is really a call for personal honesty. Where am I at in my own faith walk? In order to do that I need some kind of markers. I guess the challenge for me is to find the right markers and throw away the wrong ones (old ones).
And for that I need divine enlightenment.
How does this wisdom and understanding bring liberty into our lives?

I think we have to accept the fact that learning to walk in our God-given freedom is a very personal – and even lonely journey. We can’t expect our churches, our families, or anyone to join us. In fact, we will always sense the pull towards the old way, because the entire world operates that way.

And so we must learn to recognize temptation and learn to resist it. The weaker we are in faith, the easier we will fall for the temptations. The more we lean on man (including ourselves) the more easily we will fall. We will find what we are looking for. To the extent that we are in bondage to law we will look for law to make us righteous.
Do we seek self-righteousess or Christ?

His burden is light...

What a good marker! If we are feeling bogged down by the endless sense of unattainable demands on us, we aught to be seeing red flags. Even a sense of pride for our achievements will eventually derail us, as we realize we can’t keep up to our own standards.

We need to see our struggles through the eyes of faith. Surely we can we trust our Lord to see through us, and see us through - and lovingly steer us back on course.

I have decided to follow Jesus… (freedom)
The cross before me… (Christ’s life)
The world (with its old way of law) behind me..
Though no one join me..

No turning back
No turning back



 2006/6/1 9:45Profile

Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490


Brother GB,

I don't profess to know it all and must admit that this death to self has not occurred but the Lord God of heaven has brought me to this wonderful place where he's going to finish the work. It's His work, so there's no room for boasting. All of the victories in my walk with Jesus have been his victories. There is no victory over sin apart from Jesus.

I know that many have debated whether sin is entirely eradicated or not and I'm not interested in a debate. I saw in my own heart that my pride rose up against what you said and I must repent. I don't profess to know everything and I ask that you would forgive me of this pride.

I'm tired of the intellectual debates. They never change the heart but that's a work of the Spirit. Oh it's a work of the blood of Jesus to change a man's heart and how precious that is.

My dear brother Joe sent this to me yesterday and although it's a long, it's on point with this thread. Blessings to you GB.

New Testament Salvation

John (the Baptist) came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins… And he preached, saying “There comes One after me who is mightier than I… I indeed baptized you with water {for the remission of sins}, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:4, 7-8)

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His {“zoe”} life. (Rom. 5:10)

God was able to forgive people for their sins prior to the New Testament dispensation. Beginning with Adam, God began reconciling fallen man with Himself by looking forward to the shed blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 13:8) But He could not fill human beings with His life—the eternal life that saves people from their sin nature—until the Son had actually paid the penalty for sin and rose again into a glorified state.

He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. (Eph. 4:10)

While it is a wonderful thing to be reconciled to God through Christ’s shed blood, it is “much more” wonderful to be a partaker with Him in His overcoming life. He has come to enable His followers to reign over the fallen nature received from Adam. “For if by the one man’s offense death {spiritual death and sin} reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in {“zoe”} life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17) How shall we escape if we neglect this “much more” of salvation? (Heb. 2:3)

The Messiah came specifically “to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies {everything that binds us to sin}, might serve Him without fear {of the carnal nature}, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:74-75) He did not come to save us in our sins, but rather from our sins. “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21)

Our heavenly Father began promising, in the Old Testament dispensation, to send a Messiah to provide this greater work of salvation. When Jesus came into the world, He began preparing disciples to receive this long-awaited “Promise of the Father.” And then, just prior to His ascension into a glorified state, He said, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Once He was glorified, He could begin filling each of His fully yielded disciples with His eternal “zoe” life.

The Old Testament saints were expected to live for God and His purposes. But they could not become holy in nature like God is holy. This initial work of bringing people under the restraint of His laws is what prepares them to receive the much more glorious work of entering into His eternal “zoe” life. Jesus has only promised to manifest His life within those who obey His teaching. (John 14:21)

Adam’s choice to follow Satan’s self-directed and self-exalting form of life caused God to put up a barrier that prevented man from coming into His heavenly Presence. Before this barrier could be removed, the Son, as the Second or Last Adam, had to overcome sin in the flesh and reestablish how God had originally intended for man to walk. His death, to pay the penalty for sin, is what removed the barrier and has made it possible to come back into God’s heavenly Presence. But one must choose to follow Jesus and walk as He did before they can come through the rent veil and begin sharing with God in His “zoe” life of holy love.

The only way to find Christ’s eternal life is by losing the old “psuche” life. (Matt. 16:24-25) It is in this sense that the temple of the body needs to be prepared according to God’s specifications and fully consecrated to the Lord before it can be filled with His glory.

The saints of old were able to memorize the Scriptures and submit to God’s word. But this way of conforming to certain laws does not make anyone like Him in His nature of “true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24) This greater work of salvation was beyond their power. They had a fallen nature that prevented them from walking as God had originally planned for His human children. We can therefore find Him promising to send a Savior to change their inward nature so they would not profane His name among the nations.

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant… I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts {by the Spirit}… No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they all shall know Me {by sharing in the same “zoe” life}, from the least of them to the greatest of them… (Jer 31:31-34)

I will show the holiness of my great name, which you have profaned among the nations… Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes… And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws… I will save you from all your uncleanness… (Ezk. 36:23, 27-29 NIV)

Under this new covenant, each individual believer would have an opportunity to “know” the life of God within their inner being. In contrast to the Old Testament way of trying to memorize Scriptures, which never truly put the nature of the command within the heart, the Lord God Himself would reveal His life of holy love within the inner being of His submissive children so they could do by nature what the law required.

This Promise of the Father was not received by any of the Old Testament saints while living in this world. They died in the faith, not having received the Promise. They too had to wait for Christ to be glorified. Only then was He in a position to “fill” each individual who had chosen to respond to Him in faith with His life of perfect love.

And all these {the great saints of the Old Testament}, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise {the long awaited Promise of the Father}, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect {in the divine life of holy love} apart from us {in this age of fulfillment}. (Heb. 11:39-40)

Every Christian is to live through the life of the Son now that He is glorified. In contrast to living by law {by trying to conform to the code of written commandments using human effort}, which could not make anyone perfect in holy love, the Hebrew writer speaks of this new way. He says, “there arises another Priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life…for the law made nothing perfect {in holy love}; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” (Heb. 7:15-16, 19)

Those who press forward in an obedient faith will be “filled” with Christ’s Spirit. He will manifest His divine life within them so they may “Know the Lord.” This is what makes it possible to “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.” (Eph. 3:19) In other words, instead of trying to rely on what we can learn with our mind alone, which the Old Testament saints could do, we are to come to an experiential understanding of God’s heavenly life of love. It is only by becoming “one spirit with Him” that we can truly walk as Jesus did.

Once the Son—the Living Word—has made Himself known within our inner being, it is no longer necessary to depend on others to teach us how to live in righteousness. His indwelling Presence reveals true righteousness and holiness within our heart. We begin sharing with Him in His divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:2-4) “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” (Jer. 31:34)

Everyone within the Lord’s church, regardless of their position in the body, can come to know Christ in the power of His endless life. By choosing to live through Him and walk by His Spirit alone, we can depend on the Spirit to reveal within us everything we need to manifest His “zoe” life and godliness in this world. (2 Pet. 1:3)

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him… Love has been perfected among us in this…because as He is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:9, 17)

But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things…and just as it {the anointing} has taught you, you will abide in Him {live through Christ}. (1 John 2:27)

Not every church member enters into this New Covenant level of salvation. After trusting in Christ’s shed blood for the forgiveness of their sins and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, many of them end up trying to make themselves right. They are still trying to live by law through their own efforts. While law does have a limited glory in that it works well to help restrain the outbreak of sin, it cannot make God’s children like Him in holy love. The law does not change their nature. In other words, we cannot “know God” by simply trying to conform ourselves to His teachings.

The Galatian Christians had entered into this same error. They started out right by receiving the Spirit through faith. However, they had turned back to the old way of living by law in an attempt to make themselves right. Because they were being deceived into living through a self-originated form of life, they were actually separating themselves from the righteousness that comes from God by faith. Christ could not be formed in them until they had lost this self-originated form of life. (Gal. 2:20)

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. (Gal. 4:19)

You have become estranged from Christ {you are separating yourselves from His Spirit}, you who attempt to be justified by law {trying to make yourself right}; you have fallen from grace. For we {as Christians in this age of fulfillment} eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. (Gal. 5:4-5)

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! {The law is designed to constrain sin and turn people to Christ for a complete deliverance from their sin nature.} For if there had been a law given which could have given life {the heavenly life that comes from God by faith}, truly righteousness would have been by the law. (Gal. 3:21)

God does require His called-out children to submit to His teachings. After receiving the Spirit we are expected to yield to all truth. But our hope is not in making ourselves right. We are expected to make every effort to respond to truth in the time of testing as a means for preparing the temple to be filled with God’s glory. But in the end, once the consecration is complete, it is looking to God in faith that will enable the temple to be filled with God’s glory.

There remains therefore a rest {of faith} for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works… Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest… (Heb. 4:9-10)

Admittedly, there have been people deceived by the devil because they tried to rest from their own works before they had properly prepared their body to be filled with God’s life of true righteousness and holiness. For example, there were people in the past who were classified as “Quietists.” Some were real Christians and some were totally deceived, as is the case even among holiness people today. The problem with many of the Quietists is that they attempted to enter into the rest of faith without ever coming under the law and acknowledging that God requires every righteous requirement of the law to be fulfilled. They ended up living in gross sin.

On the other extreme, we must not remain under law. The way of law will never make anyone perfect in love. And without perfect love, it is impossible to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. Our inability to truly conform to the law is what prepares us to pay the full price for the heavenly Pearl—Christ’s Kingdom-life. (Matt. 13:45-46) “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ…” (Gal. 3:23-24)

After we have responded to Christ’s teachings, which will separate us from the ways of the world, we will be prepared to look to God in faith to fill the temple of our body with His glory. Only then can we truly expect to fulfill all the righteous requirements of the law.

For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them…” Therefore “Come out from them {the ways of the world} and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you…” Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 6:16-7:1)

He who has My commandments and keeps them {in the time of testing}, it is he who loves Me…and I will love him and manifest Myself {the Kingdom-life} to him. (John 14:21)

For the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17)

Put on the new man {the Christ-life} which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:24)

There is a need to keep coming back to the fact that God does not permit the self-originated works of the flesh to enter into His eternal kingdom. He will never permit anyone to glory in what they have done – in His Presence. That is why we must deny ourselves and follow Christ through the cross before we can find His heavenly life. And, as Paul learned, we will eventually discover that we can only find the true righteousness that comes from God by faith after we have chosen to count everything, including our most effect form of righteousness, as loss.

If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so…concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless… Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things {everything from the self-originated form of life}, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection… (Phil. 3:8-10)

True Christianity is quite simple in contrast to the religion of the Pharisees. Those who live by law naturally multiply their rules in an attempt to maintain certain behavior. They try to regulate righteousness through their manuals and denominational standards rather than leading people into a Spirit-directed way of life. If they would focus their attention on leading people into the fullness of Christ’s Spirit, His anointing would reveal within them the true righteousness that comes from God by faith. The anointing would teach them to live through His life.

Christians will inevitably go astray in various matters until they have truly died to self-will. Jesus said there was no unrighteousness in Him because He did not seek His own will. Choosing not to do anything out from Himself, He could be led by the Spirit of God in all matters. It kept Him in perfect harmony with His Father.

We too can be perfected in love and become one with each other by walking in the Spirit as Jesus did. He is now prepared to share with us the same glory He received from the Father. Only in this way can we all become “perfect in one.” (John 17:22-23)

The Word of God is constantly making statements that exceed what the human mind can comprehend. But that should not bother the children of faith. While “no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him…God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.” (1 Cor. 2:9-10) With this in mind, it may be helpful to look more closely at how God changes our very nature when He fills our heart with His life of love. It will reveal how love is able to meet all the righteous requirements of the law. First Corinthians chapter thirteen describes this love that surpasses knowledge. Not only does it provide the positive traits of the divine nature, it also eliminates the negative traits of the carnal nature.

“Love suffers long”—it removes all impatience.
“Love is kind”—it leaves no room for unkindness.
“Love does not envy”—all jealousy and resentment is banished.
“Love does not parade itself”—boasting and self-assertion disappear.
“Is not puffed up”—the prideful desire for honor finds no place in the heart.
“Does not behave rudely”—disrespect and foolishness is eliminated.
“Does not seek its own”—all selfish sin dies when self dies.
“Is not provoked”—self-centered anger and fleshly wrath will not be seen.
“Thinks no evil”—brooding over wrongs and uncharitable feelings are gone.
“Bears all things”—it does away with a complaining spirit.
“Believes all things”—there is no mistrust within the heart to destroy fellowship.
“Hopes all things”—despair, anxiety and despondency vanish.

God’s life of love “never fails.” When “that which is perfect” fills the heart, we have everything we need for life and godliness. (2 Pet. 1:3) Even those good things we once depended upon for our spiritual support and understanding become less important and begin to fade away. “But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” (1 Cor. 13:8)

This lesson was given to a group of Christians who had many spiritual gifts. Unfortunately, they did not have God’s life of holy love filling their souls. And their focus on these lesser gifts kept them blinded to this greater truth about becoming vessels of God’s life of love. After instructing them to desire the best gifts, Paul then went into the greater truth of chapter thirteen. “And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:31)

How did Paul know that the Corinthians were not yet spiritual? For one, He was unable to speak to them about the deeper truths they needed to understand. They could not hear what he was saying.

The language of carnal Christians and the language of spiritual Christians are like two different languages. In effect, carnal Christians still think and act like “mere men.” They therefore speak in the language of this world. They have not yet learned the language of the heavenly world.

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able {to hear the deeper things of God}; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Cor. 3:1-3)

Here is where we need to see the importance of receiving the “much more” of Christ’s New Testament salvation. Quite early in His ministry we hear Jesus saying to His disciples, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) Even though they were still carnal and did not understand this heavenly language, He wanted them to realize that New Testament salvation takes people beyond the realm of human nature.

Jesus is the one who gave this command. It must not be ignored. Our Lord and Savior would never give a command that is beyond the realm of possibility. He definitely instructs us to possess some form of “perfection”—a perfection that somehow resembles the Father. And instead of simply rejecting His Word in unbelief, let us remember: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) By living through the Son, we can become like our heavenly Father, in love, in this world.

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them…that the love with which You loved Me {perfect love} may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:22-23, 26)

Love has been perfected among us in this…because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)

The glory of God is revealed through His image of holy love. We were created in a way that permits Him to reveal His Glory through our mortal bodies. We are therefore expected, in this age of fulfillment, to reveal the same glorious life of holy love that Jesus revealed in bodily form.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels {weak human bodies}, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us…that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Cor. 4:7, 10)

Peter, speaking by the Holy Spirit, gives a similar command: “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ ” (1 Pet. 1:15-16) Since God is holy, and He created us in a way that permits every believer to share with Him in His “zoe” life, we can become holy as He is holy by choosing to live through the Son. In effect, we must learn to live through Him if we hope to avoid living in rebellion against these clearly stated commands.

God expects us to be like Him in holy love. And our heavenly Father would never give these commands if He had not made a provision to enable us to do what He requires. As previously quoted, this was His promise: “Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes… And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws… I will save you from all your uncleanness…” God’s divine Presence within our inner being is what enables us to do by nature what He requires.

The path into this heavenly life always begins with a complete submission to all revealed truth. The Lord examines our heart in the time of testing to determine if we are willing to yield to everything He commands. While we will inevitably fall short of this heavenly standard while passing through the wilderness testing period, it will prepare us to pay the full price for the heavenly Pearl. When we have reached the point of choosing to “sell all” from the old self-originated form of life, Christ will manifest His eternal Kingdom-life within our inner being.

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. {Our likeness to Him in holy love reveals the source of our life.} He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:5-6)

It will also be necessary to use much caution in how we interpret what it means to be “perfect” like our heavenly Father is perfect. We know that our infinite God is perfect in everything. And we are finite beings with very limited knowledge and capacity. Each one of us will also have individual infirmities until we have received our glorified bodies. He therefore does not expect us to be as perfect in all things as He is. Such “perfection” is not intended for human beings.

But Jesus stills say, “Therefore you shall be perfect.” That word “therefore” refers to something that was said before this command was given. What does it mean? We will find that it refers to loving others with the same kind of holy love that God displays toward a sinful world.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (Matt. 5:44-45)

We are to become sons of our Father in heaven by becoming vessels that He is able to use to display His life of holy love in this world. This command naturally takes away all hope of making ourselves “right.” It is a very high calling that leaves us without any choice but to learn how to live through Christ. As the anointing teaches us, we must abide in Him. It will entail walking in a way that permits Him to keep the vessel of our body filled with His “zoe” life from heaven.

For this reason I bow {in prayer, and I pray}…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts {with His life of holy love} through faith; that you {may}…know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:14-19)

God’s life of love surpasses what can be grasped by the human mind. It is a supernatural love that needs to be revealed within our inner being by Christ Himself. It cannot be developed through our human thought processes. Even when it comes to having a life of holy love, God does not want anyone following the devil in His self-originated form of life. The life must be received by faith through a work of God’s grace.

God’s life of love is far above human love. The people of this world are capable of loving others. Even people who reject Christ can be found loving their families and friends. But God requires us to love even those who treat us poorly. And He wants us to do it naturally—not with a forced love that comes from human effort under law.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) “As I have loved you” is the standard. To conform to the New Testament standard requires a new form of life and a new nature that naturally lays itself down for the good of others, regardless of how they treat us. And since we do not have the ability to naturally display this kind of love in our own strength, we will need to have the Living Word—Jesus Christ—residing within our heart.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. (1 John 3:16)

Are you willing to share with Christ in His heavenly life of love and walk as He walked? Remember, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” (Mark 15:31) You cannot live for yourself and live for the good of others at the same time. And He has only promised to manifest His reigning life within your heart after you have chosen to deny, and die, to your “psuche” life. (Matt. 16:24-25; John 14:21)

There is only one Christian life. And that life needs to be received from the Son. God “chose us in Him {to live through the Son} before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Eph. 1:4) The life we must possess is to be found in Him. And it is the work of the Church to lead everyone into this same heavenly form of life before they depart from this world.

{This is} the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints {in the New Testament dispensation}. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory {the hope of revealing His image of holy love}. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present ever man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Col. 1:26-28)

This “love of God” that is “in Christ” is what truly sets us free from sin. Christ Himself cleanses us from all unrighteousness by showing Himself holy through us. “But now having been set free from sin, and having becomes slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:22)

Now, whatever we may think about these words from Scripture—whatever our past failures—however impossible it all seems—we cannot deny that the Bible offers a salvation that enables Christians, in this age of fulfillment, to walk as Jesus did in holy love. And if we reject the requirement and the provision, we are effectively rejecting Christ, regardless of what we may profess with our mouth. May we all choose to die to the old “psuche” life and begin living through Christ’s eternal “zoe” life. This is the essence of New Testament salvation.

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savior. (Eph. 5:1-2 KJV)

Ed Pugh

 2006/6/1 10:24Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
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