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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wholly Sanctified # 16

This is Paul's meaning when he declares that "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10). And so, in Romans 8, he declares: "Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (verse 34). And then comes the shout, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35).

The blood of Christ secures our preservation. For John declares, "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from every sin" (1 John 1:7).

The old ordinance of the red heifer, in Number 19, is a beautiful type of Christ's cleansing power. The ashes were preserved and mixed with water, and used as a water of separation, sprinkled upon the unclean, and separating from defilement which had been contracted after the cleansing. It did not refer to the original cleansing, but to the taint that came from the touch of the dead.

We, though wholly separated from evil and dedicated to God, constantly come into contact with evil, and incur defilement from the elements that surround us on every hand. We need constantly, like the washing of the disciples' feet or the bathing every morning of the flower cup in the crystal dewdrop, a fresh application of His blood.

If you ask what the blood means, the answer, perhaps, is a double one. It is the fresh application of His atoning sacrifice by faith and it is an appropriation of His life to our beings, for the blood is the life. The blood of Jesus is His risen and divine life imparted to us by the in breathing of of the Holy Spirit and the absorbing power of a living faith. His pure life filling us expels all evil, and continually renews and refreshes our entire being, keeping us ever clean and pure, even as the fresh oil in the lamp maintains the flame, or as the running stream washes and keeps the pebble that lies at the sandy bottom pure.

The abiding presence of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are God's chief sources of preservation for His trusting people.  It is He who keeps and He keeps from within. "And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws" (Ezekiel 36:27); "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit" (John 15:5); "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning" (1 John 3:6); "The Lord watches over you" (Psalm 121:5); "The Lord will keep you from all harm" (Psalm 121:7). Another verse that clearly talks of this abiding presence is First John 3:9; "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God". The presence of Jesus comes between us and every temptation, and meets the adversary with vigilant discernment, rejection and victory.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 17)

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