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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 7


So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. Gal. 3:9, 10.

When we say that we are saved by faith alone without works, we mean without our own works. However, faith makes the works of Christ and of the Holy Spirit possible in us. That is why God requires only faith on our part. Not because works will not follow, but because Christ works in us "both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

In other words, there are works produced by the natural man, which God says are "filthy rags." They are our own righteousness. There are also works produced by Christ in us that belong to His righteousness and not ours. Faith, therefore, stands in contrast to any supposed independent good works of our own. The cause of our salvation is not something that God sees in us. Our faith does not give God anything from within us whereby He now approves of us. Faith makes possible Christ in us, who lives a godly life in us, the "faith which worketh by love" (Gal. 5:6). Faith brings works of righteousness from Christ, not from ourselves. That is why faith alone pleases God. We are now centered in Christ, restored to God. This makes all the difference in the world so far as our relationship to God is concerned. Faith makes God the ruling center of our lives, not self. We no longer own ourselves.

Living by faith in Christ our center is a matter of first importance. It is a personal matter. Dependence upon a power outside of ourselves is an individual experience. We may partake in some general call to stand up for Christ, to join a revival movement. At the same time we may be aware that we have not personally allowed Christ to possess our life.

Will the last revival of true godliness be ushered in by some General Conference session and action? The coming of Christ and the Holy Spirit cannot be organized. Our great need is for individual Christians who have discovered the reality of the transforming power of Christ's righteousness. This is what constitutes the backbone of the church. One Christian who has Christ at the center of his life, who has Christ's righteousness in his life fully, led by the Holy Spirit, can transform the home, the community, and the church.

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