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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 13


For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil. 2:13.

For ten years or more Paul had labored in Philippi to win people to Christ. He was now a prisoner in Rome. The believers at Philippi regarded Paul with tender affection and deeply sympathized with him in his trials. Desirous of knowing his condition, they sent one of their brethren, Epaphroditus, to Rome. Paul sent him back with this Epistle to the Philippian believers. It is full of confidence in God's continuing power to keep and to transform them unto the day of Jesus Christ. This continuing work of Christ in the life involves sanctification, obedience, increasing love for one another, and the working out of the fruits of the Spirit.

There are many works performed in the universe and in the world, in heaven and on earth. But this is not the work of which Paul speaks. He says that the work must be performed in you. It is within your heart and life that Christ continues to perform His work. He is satisfied with nothing less. He must take possession of your inmost heart and life.

The Scriptures speak of two works: one was performed without us, independent of our response. The other must be performed within us. The first is the work of redemption, which was wrought by Jesus Christ when He reconciled us to God on the cross. It is the work of Christ's perfect righteousness to meet our lack of it.

But we cannot profit by it so long as the work within us has not taken place. Unless the work of Christ has made us acknowledge our need of His righteousness, led us to forsake sin and to be born again to a new life, the essential work of Christ is wanting. It has not been performed in us. It is vain for us to be perfectly knowledgeable as to the gospel, to be able to reason with ease respecting all the religious ideas involved. It is vain for us to say with our lips, "Lord, Lord," unless the redemptive work of Christ is being done in our hearts. Unless we daily present our bodies and lives a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, all the rest is nothing but show and lip service. "The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (1 Cor. 4:20).

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