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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Keeping Spirituality Alive SEPTEMBER 19


Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? I am not myself the source of the words I speak to you: it is the Father who dwells in me doing his own work. John 14:10, N.E.B.

Christ is making no claims for Himself, even though He had every reason to do so. He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30). He could rightly have proclaimed Himself God and King, deserving of all the recognition and worship of men. But He "made Himself of no reputation." He says, in effect, "I am only God's servant, God's agent mediating the things of God and the character of God. It is not I, but my Father in Me, that accounts for everything about Me. He is the living fountain out of which I do all My miracles."

Jesus was free from all self-esteem. He had a divine guidance greater than His own. He depended entirely on God. His life gave place to no ego trips or expressions.

We all have to start where the publican started. Self will destroy us unless we do. All we need is Christ and His righteousness, which will give us freedom from our self-centeredness. It is possible to try to hide our self-esteem under such things as fasting, tithing, doing missionary work, with a lot of self-effort in religious living. But before Christ the secret knowledge of ourselves comes out.

The redeeming love and grace of God, by which we are saved, will not permit us to claim a superiority that alienates Christians in other churches and drives them from the truth. We are to obey the law of God in a way that is distinctly Christlike, while at the same time we are not to exclude from our friendship those who may not know the truth as we claim to do. We may condemn the flagrant sins of men but allow ourselves the more subtle sins of the spirit—pride, selfishness, the proud forms of ego, which work the most harm in other lives.

The remarkable thing about the Christian faith is that we are not supposed to cut much of a figure on our own. We are on the center stage in the great controversy, and the universe is watching us, but we are witnesses, not to ourselves, but to God's plan to save us by Christ's righteousness alone.

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