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|Christian Obedience||JULY 18|
"THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE"
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. . . . That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom. 8:2-4.
The Holy Spirit takes the law of God seriously. So must we. The Christian can obey God's will only as he is led by the Spirit. If he demand of a cold law as such can only drive men to despair. Men do not have it within themselves to obey God's commandments. Jesus never credited man with the power to keep His law. Spiritually man in himself is bankrupt. He cannot change himself.
This is why the Christian lives by faith. Faith means entire dependence on God. By faith the believer lets the Holy Spirit have His way. The Spirit keeps the believer in a right relationship to God. The gift of the Spirit is not another law. He is a personal presence, the power by which the Christian fulfills the righteousness of the law.
Can Jesus be that real to us through the Holy Spirit? That is what Christ promised. The Holy Spirit is to be our teacher, our guide, our intercessor, our life, and our spiritual power. He makes real a permanent fellowship and a constant walk with God. There can be no substitute for Christ's presence by the Spirit. That alone makes a man a Christian. That alone deals effectively with the temptations of the devil.
The Christian should refrain from all expressions of religion or interpretations of the Bible that imperil the eternal sacredness of the moral code of the Ten Commandments and the will of God. We do not mean by this to disparage the gift of God or deny salvation by grace alone. What is insisted upon is that a life with God by the Spirit does not deny, dilute, or reject the requirements of God's Word. The Bible knows nothing of faith in Christ that falls short of the moral integrity and good works of a life that is right with God. Obedience is the evidence that one is right with God. It is not the means of making oneself right. The works of faith carry no merit with God. The Holy Spirit ignores no part of man. He directs the whole of man: his mind, his conduct, his basic desires. He fills the life with the noblest ideals. His presence brings the life into full harmony with God.
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