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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Called Unto Holiness # 12

Likeness to Christ

The Spirit of Holiness Who Counteracts

As the Spirit of life, He counteracts all the work of the flesh within. While the Christian is no longer in the flesh, the flesh is still in him and remains there through life. The flesh will do everything it can possibly do to regain possession, control, and use of the life. But that wonderful Spirit of life is within to counteract all the working of the flesh, and, when we let the Holy Spirit have absolute control, He can keep the flesh from have dominion and power over us.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Gal. 5:17).

The Spirit of life works progressively to counteract the flesh by taking control and by crowning Christ Lord of all in life and work.

The Spirit of Glory Who Conforms

As the Spirit of glory, He conforms us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. As He frees us from the earthly, He fashions us into the heavenly.

"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit" (2 Co. 3:18).

What a picture in promise of our progressive sanctification! Today like Christ, but tomorrow we may be still more like Christ; every day may see some new touch of glory added to the life, and some new bit of likeness to Him may be revealed to those with whom we live and work. The Spirit of glory works progressively to conform us to the image of Christ from glory to glory so that we may grow up into Him in all things.

And what is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier?

Realized Holiness of Life

We become the Christian who bears the much fruit!

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance [self-control]" (Galatians 5:22-23).

A wonderful cluster of fruit that cannot be broken! Nine marvelous, heavenly, spiritual graces that reveal to us the perfection of the moral character of Jesus Christ. And they are to be in us as the work of this divine Spirit in beautiful symmetry and in ever-growing evidence of the life of Christ within.

But how often we see a life that has one of these characteristics in a marvelous way but sadly lacks in another, and the testimony of the life is marred thereby. At a meeting once in China, a Chinese doctor was translating for me. She was the largest Chinese woman I ever saw and her heart of love was as big as her body. But in the midst of the message which had brought conviction to her own soul, she stopped me and confessed to the nurses, who worked under her supervision, the sin of so often losing her temper. She had love but not self-control.

Sometimes you will see a Christian who truly bears great trial and affliction with long-suffering, but she has a face as long as her long suffering. There is long-suffering but no joy.

Then again you will meet someone who is the soul of goodness, but here face is a mass of wrinkles, made by fretting and worry. There is goodness but no peace.

A while ago, after speaking at a meeting, a woman come up and introduced herself. She immediately began talking about herself. Within two minutes she made this astounding statement: "I hope you will not think me boastful, but everything I do is a success." Well, I did not want to misjudge her, but it did sound a bit boastful. She continued the conversation about herself and soon had made this same remark again. She was woman of faith, quite orthodox, in fact, but seemed lacking in meekness. The only memory I have of that Christian woman is that boastful remark. It set me thinking. What do people think of the last remark they heard me make? What memories do I leave behind me/ It is a solemn thought. Have we drawn attention to ourselves, or have we fixed the thought of others upon our glorified Lord? Is there there anything in you or in me that is worth the slightest thing? Should not our Lord have all the glory in everything?

Are we the much fruit-bearing Christians? Do we manifest His love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control in every-increasing beauty and symmetry?

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 13 - "Fullness of Christ")

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