28 – Word Spirit Connection
- True Real Life in the Living Word
- “And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, this man blasphemes. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men” (Matt. 9:2-8).
- Isaiah 8:16: Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
- John 17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
- 2Thessalonians 2:13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
- Ephesians 5:26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
- The leaven hidden in the flour works invisibly to bring the whole mass under its leavening process; so the leaven of truth works secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted. A new standard of character is set up–the life of Christ. The mind is changed; the faculties are roused to action in new lines. Man is not endowed with new faculties, but the faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience is awakened. We are endowed with traits of character that enable us to do service for God. Conversion Does Not Create New Faculties. The Spirit of God does not create new faculties in the converted man but works a decided change in the employment of those faculties. When mind and heart and soul are changed, man is not given a new conscience, but his will is submitted to a conscience renewed, a conscience whose dormant sensibilities are aroused by the working of the Holy Spirit. The gospel of Christ becomes personality in those who believe, and makes them living epistles, known and read of all men. In this way the leaven of godliness passes into the multitude. The heavenly intelligences are able to discern the true elements of greatness in character; for only goodness is esteemed as efficiency with God
- This is the power in the words of Christ and this is the power of justification. The same power to create, recreates both body, soul and mind. There is life in the words of God. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). The word received in faith brings the Spirit and the life of God to the soul. So when the penitent soul hears the words, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee,” and receives those words as living words of the living God, he is a different man, because a new life has begun in him. It is the power of God’s forgiveness, and that alone, that keeps him from sin. If he continues in sin after receiving pardon, it is because he has not grasped the fullness of the blessing that was given him in the forgiveness of his sins. Not accepting the power to walk in newness of life is same as defeating God, his son, the convicting spirit and the heavenly holy angels. Indeed this is a great feet that we venger into, defeating Calvary.
- In the case before us, the man received new life. His palsied condition was simply the wasting away of the natural life. He was partially dead. The words of Christ gave him fresh life. But this new life that was given to his body, and which enabled him to walk was but an illustration, both to him and to the scribes, of the unseen life of God, which he had received in the words, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” and which had made him a new creature in Christ. Did the man just go home and said now am well physically? No. for if it were the body alone that was being worked on, nothing like sin could have been mentioned. The man came into contact with restorer of spiritual life. Faith beaming in him he sprang on his feet and his conscience was set free. There is power in the word, virtue flows through them and imparts newness in the soul. Are we ready to tap into this river!
- This is the beginning of the Christian life. It is receiving the life of God by faith. How is it continued? —Just as it is begun. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6). For “the just shall live by faith.” The secret of living the Christian life is simply that of holding fast the life which, received at the beginning, forgives the sin. God forgives sin by taking it away. He justifies the ungodly by making him godly. He reconciles the rebel sinner to Himself by taking away his rebellion, and making him a loyal and law-abiding subject.
- The same power that was put forth to create the worlds is put forth for the sanctification of those who yield themselves to the will of God. Surely this thought, when fully grasped, must bring joy and comfort in God to the earnest soul. To put the matter in few words, it may be stated thus: The eternal power and Godhead of the Lord are revealed in creation. Rom. 1:20. It is the ability to create that measures the power of God. But the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Rom. 1:16. Therefore the Gospel simply reveals to us the power which was used to bring the worlds into existence, now exerted for the salvation of men. It is the same power in each case. In the light of this great truth, there is no room for the controversy about redemption being greater than creation, because redemption is creation. See 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24. The power of redemption is the power of creation; the power of God unto salvation is the power which can take human nothingness and make of it that which shall be throughout eternal ages to the praise of the glory of the grace of God.
- The only way that any man in the world can eat the flesh of Christ is to read and believe His word with all His heart. In that way he will receive Christ indeed, and thus it is that “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,” for Christ is righteousness. And in this, the only way, any man in the world may eat the flesh of Christ, without the services of a priest or bishop. No one can do more than take the simple statements of the Scriptures and meditate on them until the force of the fact begins to dawn on his mind. The fact that Christ is in the real word, that the life of the word is the life of Christ, is a most stupendous one. It is the mystery of the Gospel. When we receive it as a fact, and appropriate it, then we shall know for ourselves the meaning of the words that man shall live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Herein the soul is nourished and his laws are written on our heart and we receive spiritual life.
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” This text, rightly understood, solves the problem of Christian living. That there is a power in the word of God, far above that of any other book, cannot be doubted. The Bible is not another novel to be read as a set-piece for an earthly exam. Prayerfully it must be approached and every pre-conceived ideas relinquished in order to work upon the heart. The Lord through the prophet Jeremiah rebukes the false prophets, who speak their own words instead of the words of God, and says: “What is the chaff to the wheat?” “Is not my word like as a fire? Saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” Jer. 23:28, 29. And the same prophet thus relates his experience when he was reproached because of the word of the Lord: “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Jer. 20:9. The word hidden in the heart protects against sin. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps. 119:11. And of the righteous we read that the reason why none of his steps slide, is that “the law of his God is in his heart.” Ps. 37:31. David also says: “Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” Ps. 17:4. Jesus, also, in his memorable prayer for his disciples, said, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” John 17:17.
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