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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Faithful to Christ OCTOBER 22


This is the Spirit that we have received from God, and not the spirit of the world. 1 Cor. 2:12, N.E.B.

God's Holy Spirit is given to us that we may know, receive, and appreciate the things of God. The spiritual nature of the Christian gives us a position from which we are able to discern and choose that which belongs to God. We know the mind of Christ and we have that mind ourselves. This is to be the spiritual life of the Christian.

But there are perils along the way. We should be aware of signs of spiritual decline, of those things that cause our spirituality to wane. An early sign is a relaxed conscience. Whatever impairs the sensitiveness of our conscience, we should call into question. You may hear it said sometimes, "I am not as particular as I once was in matters of morality and conduct." Some people claim to enjoy more freedom from the particulars of religion. They claim freedom from all legalism and a rigidity that insists on a perfectionistic approach.

A spiritually mature Christian undoubtedly enjoys a larger freedom in spiritual things. But the relaxation of conscience is another matter. Any departure from the law of God is a sign of spiritual decay. The maturing Christian becomes more sensitive to sin. The great men of the Christian faith have had a conscience sensitive to sin in any form, coupled with a high courage to live up to their convictions.

It is not always easy to maintain a clear conscience. Sin impairs and sears both conscience and the sense of our responsibility to God and to His Word.

The world grows upon us with its interests, friendships, pleasures. So much of it tends to choke off the spiritual life. Those whose desires increase toward the world with its degrading practices will ultimately deny the faith. Let us hold positive convictions and a clear conscience before God.

Someone has observed that "of all the dust thrown in men's eyes none is more blinding than gold dust." One can say that about many things the world has to offer: fame, riches, pleasure, success. But Christ offers to us, free, all that is beautiful and noble. We truly live only when Christ's life flows into ours, when we become heirs of the inexhaustible riches of heaven.

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