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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Abiding In Christ - The only true way to experience genuine HOLINESS

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beloved-vern
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 Abiding In Christ - The only true way to experience genuine HOLINESS

John 15:4-8, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Hudson Taylor was a very successful missionary in China but after many years of faithful ministry he still had problems with sin and experienced defeat and failure. Here is part of the letter he wrote his Sister.

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My mind has been greatly exercised for six or eight months past, feeling the need personally and for our Mission of more holiness, life, power in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living nearer to God. I prayed, agonized, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for meditation - but all without avail. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me.

Then came the question, "Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end -- constant conflict and, instead of victory, too often defeat?" How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, "to them gave He power to become the sons of God " (i.e. God-like) when it was not so in my own experience? Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin; and no wonder, for faith and even hope were getting very low. I hated myself; I hated my sin; and yet I gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God: His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, "Abba, Father": but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless. I thought that holiness, practical holiness, was to be gradually attained by a diligent use of the means of grace.

I felt that there was nothing I so much desired in this world, nothing I so much needed. But so far from in any measure attaining it, the more I pursued and strove after it, the more it eluded my grasp; till hope itself almost died out, and I began to think that, perhaps to make heaven the sweeter, God would not give it down here. I do not think I was striving to attain it in my own strength. I knew I was powerless. I told the Lord so, and asked Him to give me help and strength; and sometimes I almost believed He would keep and uphold me. But on looking back in the evening, alas! there was but sin and failure to confess and mourn before God.

I knew that if only I could abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not. I would begin the day with prayer, determined not to take my eye off Him for a moment, but pressure of duties, sometimes very trying, and constant interruptions apt to be so searing, caused me to forget Him. Then one's nerves get so fretted in this climate that temptations to irritability, hard thoughts and sometimes unkind words are all the more difficult to control. Each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power. To will was indeed "present with me," but how to perform I found not.

When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter sent to by McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed to me the truth of our Oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before.

As I read, I saw it all! "If we believe not, he abideth faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that he had said, "I will never leave thee."

"Ah, there IS rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has not HE promised to abide with me - never to leave me, never to fail me? And, dearie, HE never will!"

My dear Sister -- We had a very happy day here yesterday. I was so happy! A letter from Mr. McCarthy on this subject has been blessed to several of us. He and Miss Faulding also seem so happy! He says: "I feel as though the first glimmer of the dawn of a glorious day had risen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust."

The part specially helpful to me is: "How then to have our faith increased? Only by thinking of all that Jesus is, and all He is for us: His life, His death, His work, He Himself as revealed to us in the Word, to be the subject of our constant thoughts. Not a striving to have faith, or to increase our faith, but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need."

Here, I feel, is the secret: not asking how I am to get sap out of the vine into myself, but remembering that Jesus is the Vine -- the root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit, all indeed. Aye, and far more too! He is the soil and sunshine, air and rain -- more than we can ask, think, or desire. Let us not then want to get anything out of Him, but rejoice in being ourselves in Him -- one with Him, and, consequently, with all His fullness. Not seeking for faith to bring holiness, but rejoicing in the fact of perfect holiness in Christ, let us realize that -- inseparably one with Him -- this holiness is ours, and accepting the fact, find it so indeed.

"I have not got to make myself a branch," - "The Lord Jesus tells me I am a branch and I am part of Him, and I have just to believe it and act upon it. If I go to the bank in Shanghai, having an account, and ask for fifty dollars, the clerk cannot refuse it to my outstretched hand and say that it belongs to Mr. Taylor. What belongs to Mr. Taylor my hand may take. It is a member of my body. And I am a member of Christ, and may take all I need of His fullness. I have seen it long enough in the Bible, but I believe it now as a living reality."

Simple as it was, the new point of view changed everything.
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Here is a portion of what Mr. [John] McCarthy wrote Hudson.

"The Lord Jesus received is holiness begun; the Lord Jesus cherished is holiness advancing; the Lord Jesus counted upon as never absent would be holiness complete.

"This (grace of faith) is the chain which binds the soul to Christ, and makes the Savior and the sinner one. ... A channel is now formed by which Christ's fullness plenteously flows down. The barren branch becomes a portion of the fruitful stem. ... One life reigns throughout the whole.

"Believer, you mourn your shortcomings; you find the hated monster, sin, still striving for the mastery. Evil is present when you would do good. Help is laid up for you in Christ. Seek clearer interest in Him. They who most deeply feel that they have died in Christ, and paid in Him sin's penalties, ascend to highest heights of godly life. He is most holy who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work. It is defective faith which clogs the feet, and causes many a fall."

"This last sentence I think I now fully endorse. To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; trusting Him to subdue all inward corruption; resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the conscious joy of a complete salvation, a salvation 'from all sin' (this is His Word); willing that His will should truly be supreme -- this is not new, and yet 'tis new to me. I feel as though the first dawning of a glorious day had risen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust. I seem to have got to the edge only, but of a sea which is boundless; to have sipped only, but of that which fully satisfies. Christ literally all seems to me now the power, the only power for service; the only ground for unchanging joy. May He lead us into the realization of His unfathomable fullness."

"How then to have our faith increased? Only by thinking of all that Jesus is, and all He is for us: His life, His death, His work, He Himself as revealed to us in the Word, to be the subject of our constant thoughts. Not a striving to have faith, or to increase our faith, but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and for eternity. It does not appear to me as anything new, only formerly misapprehended."

Here is Law's quote:

"The grace of faith springs up: This is the chain, which binds the soul to Christ, and makes the Savior and the sinner one. A channel is now formed by which Christ's fullness plenteously flows down. The barren branch becomes a portion of the fruitful stem. Christ's vital juices permeate the whole. The limbs receive close union with the head, and one life reigns throughout the total frame.

Reader, would you be holy? The way is only one. All other roads lead down to deeper mire. Christ must come in. All is dark death, except where Jesus lives. All is pure life and loveliness, where Jesus reigns. Draw near and nearer to the Gospel-page. There gaze on Christ, till the soul's features melt into His likeness. the Gospel heard, and read, and loved, are the bright wings on which the Spirit flies. The Spirit's presence brings the Savior near. The Savior welcomed, is all Holiness begun. The Savior cherished, is all Holiness advancing. The Savior never absent, is Holiness complete. Holiness complete, is heaven's full blaze.

Believer, this subject has a warning voice. You mourn short-comings. You find the hated monster sin still striving for the rule. Evil is present, when you would do good. Help is laid up for you in Christ. Seek clearer interest in Him. Faith sows the seeds. Assurance brings in golden sheaves. They, who most deeply feel, that they have died in Christ and paid in Him sin's penalties, ascend to highest heights of godly life. He is most holy, who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work. It is defective faith, which clogs the feet, and causes many a fall."]

 2021/3/5 10:34Profile





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