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|Christian Obedience||JULY 11|
ABIDING IN THE TRUE VINE
I am the true vine .... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself . . . ; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:13.
In our world there is an almost irresistible urge to water down the truth, the genuine thing. Truth has become wrapped up in niches, phrases, words, cautious statements. It is that error that leads us to believe that we are in the truth by virtue of our sound thinking and arguing for it, rather than upon the spiritual renovation of our lives by the indwelling of the genuine person of Jesus Christ.
The inner transformation of our lives will not be realized by some final consistency in our logic, however important that might be. Being a genuine Christian is beyond the power of merely smart discussion of the subject. The use of a brilliant mind in the search for truth does not guarantee that a man is a Christian or ever will be one.
Valuable as all our discussions about the truth are, we only become genuine Christians when we take our stand within God's saving action in Christ. The consciousness of personal commitment to and personal union with Christ is the unique and distinctive feature of the Christian religion. The reality of salvation is in our relation to a living Person rather than in the adoption of opinions and conclusions of men. We are involved in truth only insofar as we are united with Christ as the branch is to the vine, as the arm is united to the body.
Both an intellectual understanding of truth and our involvement in it are necessary. If we know truth only as information, we have only a partial and restricted view. We are not actually living the truth. The problem for some people is not that they do not believe in God intellectually, but they do not find Him real. Maybe all we have is logic.
Do you believe that nature with her mountains, seas, lakes, forests, and flowers is beautiful? Of course—it is all there to see. But do you get a personal thrill when your heart is captivated by all this beauty? Do you believe in a Christian home? Do you find that Christian marriage is most satisfying and fulfilling? Whatever you are involved with becomes morally and spiritually decisive and controlling. Real friendship does not come at the end of an argument; neither does God.
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