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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : ADDRESS TO SEEKERS OF FULL SALVATION - Daniel Steele

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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2850
Phoenix, Arizona USA



We would now address those who are sincerely and earnestly seeking perfect love, but who fail to understand the exhortation to a full surrender to Christ, and to have no will of their own. We are so created that we must regard our own welfare. Self-love is implanted in our natures. If it could be destroyed, there would be nothing to which God or man could appeal. Neither threatening nor promise would move such a soul. More-over, self-love has the approval of Christ in his epitome of the moral law. He makes it the measure of our love to our neighbor. "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

But selfishness differs from self-love in this, that self is exalted into the supreme law of action. The well-being of others and the will of God are not regarded. This is the self that is to be crucified. Says St. Paul, "I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me," (Gal. 2:20, as punctuated by Alford.) The former ego of selfishness has met with a violent death having been nailed to the cross, and Christ has taken the supreme place in the soul. The very fact that the death was violent implies that it was instantaneous- a very sharply defined transition in St. Paul's consciousness. There is some one last rallying point of selfishness, a last ditch, in which the evil ego trenches itself. It may be some very trifling thing that is to be exempted from the dominion of Christ--some preference, some indulgence, some humiliating duty, some association to be broken, some adornment to be discarded. "Reign, Jesus, over all but this," is the real language of that unyielding heart. This trifle, held fast, has been the bar which has kept thousands out of that harmony with the Divine will which precedes the fullness of the Spirit.

But when this last intrenchment of self-will has been surrendered to Christ, he is not long in taking possession. The fullness, as well as the immediateness, depends on the faith of the soul in the Divine promise. For there is a difference between the subjugation of the rebel and his reconstruction in loyal citizenship between the death of sin and the fullness of Christian life. But the great distinctive and godlike feature of man is his free will. The memorable event, the pivotal point on which destiny, heaven or hell, hinges, is the hour of intense spiritual illumination, when sin is deliberately chosen-the soul saying, "Evil, be thou my good"--or voluntarily rejected. Submission to Christ is an act of faith. It could not be possible without confidence in his veracity and goodness. Hence justification and emergence into the "higher life" frequently take place when the only preceding act which impressed itself on the memory was not an act of faith but of surrender, which is grounded on trust as its indispensable condition.

Some writers on advanced Christian experience magnify the will, and say to inquirers, "Yield, bow, submit to the law of Christ;" while the evangelist of the Wesleyan Type says, "Believe, believe Christ's every word." Both are right. Perfect trust cannot exist without perfect consecration. Nor can we make over all our interests into Christ's hands without the utmost confidence in his word. Hence crucifixion with Christ implies perfect faith in him, not only when he is riding in triumph into Jerusalem amid the huzzas of enthusiastic men and the hosannas of willing children, but when the fickle multitude are crying, "Crucify him." From the beginning Jesus intimated that discipleship must be grounded on an acceptance of himself, stripped of all the attractions of riches or honour. To know him after the flesh, is to know him from some selfish and worldly motive; it is to fail to know him in that way which insures eternal life.

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-from [i]Love Enthroned[/i] by Daniel Steele

Ron Halverson

 2007/1/3 12:09Profile

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