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THE NEW LIFE

Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ

By Andrew Murray


We have revised this classic 1885 book, The New Life, Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ, by Andrew Murray and made it available in this electronic edition so that Rev. Murray's words can live on to bless many generations to come. This book is intended for new Christians, but works wonders as a refresher course for existing Christians as well.

The book covers in detail many of the basic foundational truths of the Christian faith.

[Adam Woeger, Editor]





Preface

In intercourse with young converts, I have very frequently longed for a suitable book in which the most important truths that they have need of for the New Life should be briefly and simply set forth. I could not find anything that entirely corresponded to what I desired. During the services in which, since Whitsuntide 1884, I have been permitted to take part, and in which I have been enabled to speak with so many who professed to have found the Lord, and who were, nevertheless, still very weak in knowledge and faith, this want was felt by me still more keenly. In the course of my journey, I felt myself pressed to take the pen in hand. Under a vivid impression of the infirmities and the perverted thoughts concerning the New Life, with which, as was manifest to me from conversations I had with them, almost all young Christians have to wrestle, I wished, in some words of instruction and encouragement, to let them see what a glorious life of power and joy is prepared for them in their Lord Jesus, and how simple the way is to enjoy all this blessing.

I have confined myself in these reflections to some of the most important topics. The first is the Word of God as the glorious and sure guide, even for the simplest souls that will only surrender themselves to it. Then, as the chief element in the word, there is the Son, the gift of the Father, to do all for us. Thereupon follows what the Scriptures teach concerning Sin, as the only thing that we have to bring to Jesus, as that which we must give to Him, and from which He will set us free. Further, there is Faith, the great word in which is expressed our inability to bring or to do anything, and that teaches us that all our salvation must be received every day of our life as a gift from above. With the Holy Spirit also must the young Christian make acquaintance, as the Person through whom the word and Jesus, with all His work, and faith in Him, can become power and truth. Then there is the Holy Life of obedience and of fruitfulness, in which the Spirit teaches us to walk. It is to these six leading thoughts of the New Life that I have confined myself, with the ceaseless prayer that God may use what I have written to make His young children understand what a glorious and mighty life it is that they have received from their Father.

It was often very unwillingly that I took leave of the young converts who had to go back to lonely places, where they could have little counsel or help, and seldom mingle in the preaching of the word. It is my sure and confident expectation that what the Lord has given me to write shall prove a blessing to many of these young confessors.

[I have, in some instances, attached the names of the places where the different portions of this manual were written; in others, the names of the towns where the substance of them was spoken, as a remembrance to the friends with whom I had intercourse.] While writing this book I have had a second wish abiding with me. I have thought what I could possibly do to secure that my little book should not draw away attention from the word of God, but rather help to make the word more precious. I resolved to furnish the work with marginal references, so that, on every point that was treated of, the reader might be stirred up still to listen to the Word itself, to GOD HIMSELF.

I am hopeful that this arrangement will yield a double benefit. Many a one does not know, and had nobody to teach him, how to examine the Scriptures properly. This book may help him in his loneliness. If he will only meditate on one and another point, and then look up the texts that are quoted, he will get into the way of consulting God's word itself on that which he wishes to understand. But it may just as readily be of service in prayer meetings or social gatherings for the study of the word. Let each one read the portion fixed on at home and review those texts that seem to him the most important. Let the president of the meeting read the portion aloud once. Let him then request that each one who pleases should announce one and another text on that point which has struck him most.

We have found in my congregation that the benefit of such meetings for bringing and reading aloud texts on a point previously announced, is very great. This practice leads to the searching of God's word, as even preaching does not. It stirs up the members of the congregation, especially the young people, to independent dealing with the word. It leads to a more living fellowship amongst the members of Christ's body, and helps also their upbuilding in love. It prepares the way for a social recognition of the word as the living communication of the thoughts of God, which with Divine power shall work in us what is pleasing to God. I am persuaded that there is many a believing man and woman that asks what they can accomplish for the Lord, who along this pathway could become the channels of great blessing. Let them once a week bring together some of their neighbours or friends (sometimes two or three household live on one farm) to hear read out texts for which all have been previously searching: the Lord shall certainly give His blessing there.

With respect to the use of this book in retirement, I would fain request one thing more. I hope that no one will think it strange. Let every portion be read over at least three times.

The great bane of all our converse with Divine things is superficiality. When we read anything and understand it somewhat, we think that this is enough. No: we must give time, that it may make an impression and wield its own influence upon us. Read every portion the first time with consideration, to understand the good that is in it, and then see if you receive benefit from the thoughts that are there expressed. Read it the second time to see if it is really in accordance with God's word: take some, if not all, of the texts that are adduced on each point, and ponder them in order to come under the full force of what God has said on the point. Let your God, through His word, teach you what you must think and believe concerning Him and His will. Read it then the third time to find out the corresponding places, not in the Bible, but in your own life, in order to know if your life has been in harmony with the New Life, and to direct your life for the future entirely according to God's word. I am fully persuaded that the time and pains spent on such converse with the word of God under the teaching of this or some book that helps you in dealing with it, will be rewarded tenfold.

I conclude with a cordial brotherly greeting to all with whom I have been permitted to mingle during the past year, in speaking about the precious Saviour and His glorious salvation: also to all in other congregations, who in this last season have learned to know the beloved Lord Jesus as their Redeemer. With a heart full of peace and love, I think of you all, and I pray that the Lord may confirm His work in you. I have not become weary of crying to you: the blessedness and the power of the New Life that is in you are greater than you know, are wonderfully great: only learn to know aright and trust in Jesus, the gift of God and the Scriptures, the word of God. Only give Him time to hold converse with you and to work in you, and your heart shall overflow with the blessedness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do more than exceedingly above all that we can ask or think, to Him be glory in the Church to all eternity.

ANDREW MURRAY,
Wellington, 12th August 1885

















    CONTENTS

    Translator's Note

    Chapter 1 - THE NEW LIFE

    Chapter 2 - THE MILK OF THE WORD

    Chapter 3 - GOD'S WORD IN OUR HEART

    Chapter 4 - FAITH

    Chapter 5 - THE POWER OF GOD'S WORD

    Chapter 6 - GOD'S GIFT OF HIS SON

    Chapter 7 - JESUS' SURRENDER OF HIMSELF

    Chapter 8 - CHILDREN OF GOD

    Chapter 9 - OUR SURRENDER TO JESUS

    Chapter 10 - SAVIOUR FROM SIN

    Chapter 11 - THE CONFESSION OF SIN

    Chapter 12 - THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS

    Chapter 13 - THE CLEANSING OF SIN

    Chapter 14 - HOLINESS

    Chapter 15 - RIGHTEOUSNESS

    Chapter 16 - LOVE

    Chapter 17 - HUMILITY

    Chapter 18 - STUMBLINGS

    Chapter 19 - JESUS THE KEEPER

    Chapter 20 - POWER AND WEAKNESS

    Chapter 21 - THE LIFE OF FEELING

    Chapter 22 - THE HOLY GHOST

    Chapter 23 - THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT

    Chapter 24 - GRIEVING THE SPIRIT

    Chapter 25 - FLESH AND SPIRIT

    Chapter 26 - THE LIFE OF FAITH

    Chapter 27 - THE MIGHT OF SATAN

    Chapter 28 - THE CONFLICT OF THE CHRISTIAN

    Chapter 29 - BE A BLESSING

    Chapter 30 - PERSONAL WORK

    Chapter 31 - MISSIONARY WORK

    Chapter 32 - LIGHT AND JOYFULNESS

    Chapter 33 - CHASTISEMENT

    Chapter 34 - PRAYER

    Chapter 35 - THE PRAYER MEETING

    Chapter 36 - THE FEAR OF THE LORD

    Chapter 37 - UNDIVIDED CONSECRATION

    Chapter 38 - ASSURANCE OF FAITH

    Chapter 39 - CONFORMITY TO JESUS

    Chapter 40 - CONFORMITY TO THE WORLD

    Chapter 41 - THE LORD'S DAY

    Chapter 42 - HOLY BAPTISM

    Chapter 43 - THE LORD'S SUPPER

    Chapter 44 - OBEDIENCE

    Chapter 45 - THE WILL OF GOD

    Chapter 46 - SELF-DENIAL

    Chapter 47 - DISCRETION

    Chapter 48 - MONEY

    Chapter 49 - THE FREEDOM OF THE CHRISTIAN

    Chapter 50 - GROWTH

    Chapter 51 - SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES

    Chapter 52 - THE LORD THE PERFECTER
















Translator's Note

A glance at the pages of this little work will show that it is more elementary than the other writings of its honoured author. The reason is that it is specially designed for young disciples who have but recently chosen the better part, and consequently need nothing so much as just to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word. Every minister of a congregation in which young people have been brought to the Lord, will remember the keen feeling of anxiety that swept over his heart as he contemplated their entrance on the duties and responsibilities of a public Christian confession. The supreme question at such a time is: How shall these young converts be built up in the knowledge of the truth? How shall they be best taught the real nature of the new life they have received, the dangers by which it is beset, and the directions in which its energy may safely go forth?

The desire to give a fitting answer to these questions has given rise to many excellent manuals. In connection with every time of revival, especially, new books for this circle of readers always make their appearance. As Mr. Murray indicates in the Preface, it was in the midst of such a happy period that the following chapters were written. The volume came under my notice whilst I was recently traveling in Holland. A brief inspection showed me that it was one of the most simple, comprehensive, and suggestive of its class.

It is now translated into English from the latest Dutch edition, that the many thousands who have profited by Mr. Murray's other admirable works may have a suitable book to give or recommend to tho se who are setting their faces towards an earnest and fruitful Christian life.

That it will be very helpful to this end I cannot doubt: especially if the directions the author himself has given are faithfully adhered to. It will be noticed that the chapters are comparatively short; but every one of them has a considerable number of Biblical references. Let no reader be content to read what is written here without turning up and examining the texts marked This practice, if persistently carried out, cannot fail to yield much recompense. There are just as many chapters in the book as Sabbaths in the year.

What an additional blessing it would bring, if the members of a family who have had access to the book during the week, were to hear a chapter read aloud every Sabbath evening, and were encouraged to quote the texts in each that my have struck them most.

I have only to add that the volume is now translated and issued with Mr. Murray's cordial sanction. It has been to me a very pleasant task to put it into an English dress for my younger brethren throughout the country. Beyond this point, of course, my responsibility does not go. Should the book prove useful in guiding the feet of those who have come to the Lord yet further into the way of peace and holiness, it will be, both for author and translator, the answer to many a fervent prayer.

J.P.L.

Abbroath, September 1891

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Chapter I

THE NEW LIFE

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." -- John 3:16
"For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is our life." -- Col. 3:3,4
"We declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. God gave unto us eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath the life." - 1 John 1:2,11,12

How glorious, then, is the blessing which every one receives that believes in the Lord Jesus. Not only does there come a change in his disposition and manner of life; he also receives from God out of heaven an entirely new life. He is born anew, born of God: he has passed from death into life. (John 1:12-13; 3:5,7; 5:24; 1 John 3:14; 5:1)

This new life is nothing less than Eternal Life. (John 3:15-16,36; 6:40,51; 6:25-26; Romans 6:11,23; 8:2; 1 John 5:12,13) This does not mean, as many suppose, that our life shall now no more die, but shall endure into eternity. No: eternity life is nothing else than the very life of God, the life that He has had in Himself from eternity, and that has been visibly revealed in Christ. This life is now the portion of every child of God. (1 John 1:3; 3:1, 5:11)

This life is a life of inconceivable power. Whenever God gives life to a young plant or animal, that life has in itself the power of growth, whereby the plant or animal as of itself becomes large. Life is power. In the new life, that is, in your heart, there is the power of eternity. (John 5:10,28; Heb. 7:16,29; 6:25,26; 2 Cor 7:9; 8:4; Col. 3:3-4; Phil. 4:13)

More certain than the healthful growth of any tree or animal is the growth and increase of the child of God, who in reality surrenders himself to the working of the new life.

What hinders this power and the reception of the new spiritual life is chiefly two things.

The one is ignorance of its nature, its laws and workings. Man, even the Christian, has of himself not the least conception of the new life that comes from God: it surpasses all his thoughts. His own perverted thoughts of the way to serve and to please God, namely, by what he does and is, are so deeply rooted in him, that, although he thinks that he understands and receives God's word, he yet thinks humanly and carnally on Divine things. (Jos. 3:4; Isa. 4:8,9; Matt. 16:23) Not only must God give salvation and life; He must also give the Spirit to make us know what He gives. Not only must He point out the land of Canaan, and the way thither; we must also, like the blind, be led every day by Himself. The young Christian must try to cherish a deep conviction of his ignorance concerning the new life, and of his inability to form right thoughts about it. This will bring him to the meekness and to the childlike spirit of docility, to which the Lord shall make His secret known. (Ps. 25:5,8-9; 143:8; Isa. 42:16; 64:4; Matt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 1:18- 19; 2:7,10,12; Heb. 11:8)

There is a second hindrance in the way of faith. In the life of every plant and every animal and every child there lies sufficient power by which it can become big. In the new life, God has made the most glorious provision of a sufficient power whereby His child can grow and become all that he must be. Christ Himself is his life and his power of life. (Ps. 18:2; 27:1; 38:3; 34:8; John 14:19; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3,4) Yet, because this mighty life is not visible or cannot be felt, but works in the midst of human weakness, the young Christian often becomes of doubtful mind. He then fails to believe that he shall grow with Divine power and certainty. He does not understand that the believing life is a life of faith whereby he reckons on the life that is in Christ for him, although he neither sees, feels, nor experiences anything. (Hab. 2:4; Matt. 6:27; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38)

Let every one then that has received this new life, cultivate this great conviction: it is eternal life that works in me: it works with Divine power: I can and shall become what God will have me be: Christ Himself is my life: I have to receive Him every day as my life given by God to me, and He shall be my life in full power.

O my Father, who hast given me Thy Son that I may have life in Him, I thank Thee for the glorious new life that is now in me. I pray Thee, teach me to know aright this new life. I will acknowledge my ignorance and the perverted thoughts which are in me, concerning Thy service. I will believe in the heavenly power of the new life that is in me: I will believe that my Lord Jesus, who Himself is my life, will by His Spirit teach me to know how I can walk in that life. Amen.

Try now to apprehend and appropriate the following lessons in your heart; --

    1. It is eternal life, the very life of God, that you have now received through faith.

    2. This new life is in Christ, and the Holy Spirit is in you to bring over to you all that is in Christ. Christ lives in you through the Holy Spirit.

    3. This life is a life of wonderful power. However weak you may feel, you must believe in the Divine power of the life that is in you.

    4. This life has need of time to grow in you and to take possession of you. Give it time: it shall surely increase.

    5. Forget not that all the laws and rules of this new life are in conflict with all human thoughts of the way to please God. Be very much in dread of your thoughts, and let Christ, who is your life and also your wisdom, teach you all things.

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Chapter 2

THE MILK OF THE WORD

"As new-born babes, long for the spiritual milk that is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation" -- 1 Peter 2:2

Beloved young Christians, hear what your Father has to say in this word. You have just recently given yourselves to the Lord, and have believed that He has received you. You have thus received the new life from God. you are now as new-born infants: He would teach you in this word what is necessary that you may grow and wax strong.

The first point is: you must know that you are God's children. Hear how distinctly Peter says this to those just converted: (1 Pet. 1:23; 2:2,10,25) 'You have been born again,' 'you are new-born infants,' 'you are now converted,' 'you are now the people of God.' A Christian, however young and weak he is, must know that he is God's child. Then only can he have the courage to believe that he shall make progress, and the boldness to use the food of the children provided in the word. All Scripture teaches us that we must know and can know that we are children of God. (Rom 8:16; 1 Cor. 3:1,16; Gal. 4:6,7; 1 John 3:2,14,24; 4:13, 5:10,13) The assurance of faith is indispensable to a healthy powerful growth in the Lord. (Eph. 5:8; Col. 2:6; 1 Pet. 1:14,19)

The second point which this word teaches you is: you are still very weak, weak as newbon children. The joy and the love which a young convert sometimes experiences do indeed make him think that he is very strong. He runs the risk of exalting himself, and of trusting in what he experiences. He must nevertheless learn much of how he must become strong in his Lord Jesus. Endeavour to feel deeply that you are still young and weak. (1 Cor. 3:1,13; Heb. 5:13,14) Out of this sense of weakness comes the humility which has nothing (Matt. 5:3; Rom 12:3,10; Eph. 4:2; Phil. 2:3,4; Col. 3: 12) in itself, and therefore expects all from its Lord. (Matt. 8:8,15,27,28)

The third lesson is: the young Christian must not remain weak; he must grow and increase in grace; he must make progress and become strong. God lays it upon us as a command. His word gives us concerning this point the most glorious promises. It lies in the nature of the thing: a child of God must and can make progress. The new life is a life that is healthy and strong: when a disciple surrenders himself to it, the growth certainly comes. (Judg. 5:31; Ps. 84:8, 92:13,14; Prov. 4:18; Isa. 40:31; Eph. 4:14; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Pet. 3:18)

The fourth and principal lesson, the lesson which young disciples of Christ have most need of is: it is through the milk of the word that God's new-born infants can grow. The new life from the Spirit of God can be sustained only by the word from the mouth of God. Your life, my young brother, will largely depend on whether you learn to deal wisely and well with God's word, or whether you learn to use the word from the beginning as your milk. (Ps. 19:8,11; 119:97,100; Isa. 55: 2,3; 1 Cor. 12:11)

See what a charming parable the Lord has given us here in the mother's milk. Out of her own life does the mother yield food and life to her child. The feeding of the child is the work of the tenderest love, in which the child is pressed to the breast, and is held in the closest fellowship with the mother. And the milk is just what the weak child requires, food gentle and yet strong.

Even so is there in the word of God the very life and power of God. (John 6:63; 1 Thess.

2:13; Heb. 4:12) His tender love will through the word receive us into the gentlest and most intimate fellowship with Himself. (John 10:4) His love will give us out of the word what is, like warm soft milk, just fitted for our weakness. Let no one suppose that the word is too high or too hard for him. For the disciple who receives the word, and trustfully relies on Jesus to teach him by the Spirit, the word of God shall practically prove to be gentle sweet milk for new-born infants. (Ps 119:18; John 14:26; Eph. 1:17- 18)

Dear young Christian, would you continue standing, would you become strong, would you always live for the Lord? Then hear this day the voice of your Father: 'As new-born babes, long for the spiritual milk that is without guile.' Receive this word into your heart and hold it fast as the voice of your Father: on your use of the word of God will your spiritual life depend. Let the word of God be precious to you above everything. (Ps 19:14,47,48,111,127)

Above all, forget not this: the word is the milk; the sucking or drinking on the part of the little child is the inner, living, blessed fellowship with the mother's love. Through the Holy Spirit your use of the milk of the word can become warm, living fellowship with the Living Love of your God. O long then very eagerly for the milk. Do not take the word as something that is hard and troublesome to understand: in that way you lose all delight in it. Receive it with trust in the love of the living God. With a tender motherly love will the Spirit of God teach and help you in your weakness. Believe always that the Spirit will make the word in you life and joy, a blessed fellowship with your God.

Precious Saviour, Thou hast taught me to believe Thy word, and Thou hast made me by that faith a child of God. Through that word, as the milk of the new-born babes, wilt Thou also feed me. Lord, for this milk shall I be very eager: every day will I long after it.

Teach me, through the Holy Spirit and the word, to walk and hold converse every day in living fellowship with the love of the Father. Teach me always to believe that the Spirit has been given me with the word. Amen.

    1. What texts do you consider the best for proving that the Scriptures teach us that we must know we are children of God?

    2. What are the three points in which the sucking child is to us a type of the young child in Christ in his dealing with the word?

    3. What must a young Christian do when he has little blessing in the reading of God's word? He must set himself through faith in fellowship with Jesus Himself: he must reckon that Jesus will teach him through the Spirit and so trustfully continue in the reading.

    4. One verse chosen to meet our needs, read ten times and then laid up in the heart, is better than ten verses read once. Only so much of the word as I actually receive and inwardly appropriate for myself, is food for my soul.

    5. Choose out for yourselves what you consider one of the most glorious promises about making progress and becoming strong; learn it by heart, and repeat it continually as the language of your positive expectation.

    6. Have you learned well to understand what the great means for growth in grace is?

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Chapter 3

GOD'S WORD IN OUR HEART

"Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul.' -- Deut. 11:18
"Son of man, all My words that I shall speak unto thee, receive in heart.' -- Ezek. 3:10
"Thy word have I laid up in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.' - Ps. 119:11

Long for the milk, that ye may grow thereby. This charming word taught every young Christian that, if he would grow, he must receive the word as milk, as the living participation of the life and the love of God. On this account is it of so great importance to know well how we must deal with the word. The Lo rd says that we must receive it and lay it in our heart. (Deut. 30:14; Ps. 1:2; 119:34,36; Is. 51:7; John 5:38; 8:31; 15:7; Rom.10:8-9; Col. 3:16) The word must possess and fill the heart. What does that mean?

The heart is the temple of God. In the temple there was an outer court and an inner sanctuary. So also is it in the heart. The gate of the court is the understanding; what I do not understand cannot enter into the heart. Through the outer gate of the understanding, the word comes into the court. (Ps. 119:34; Mat.. 13:19; Acts 8:30) There it is kept by memory and reflection. (Ps. 119:15,16) Still it is not yet properly in the heart. From the court there is an entrance into the innermost sanctuary; the entrance of the door is faith.

What I believe, that I receive into my heart. (John 5:38; Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:10,17) Here it then becomes held fast in love and in the surrender of the will. Where this takes place, there the heart becomes the sanctuary of God. His law is there, as in the ark, and the soul cries out: 'The law is within my heart.' (Ex. 25:16; Ps. 37:31; 40:9; Col. 3:16)

Young Christian, God has asked your heart, your love, your whole self. You have given yourself to Him. He has received you, and would have you and your heart entirely for Himself. He will make that heart full of His word. What is in the heart one holds dear, because one thinks continually on that which gives joy. God would have the word in the heart. Where His word is, there is He Himself and His might. He considers Himself bound to fulfil His word; when you have the word, you have God Himself to work in you. (Gen. 21:1; Josh. 23:14) He wills that you should receive and lay up His words in your heart: then will He greatly bless you. (Deut. 11:10; 28:1,2; Ps. 1:2,3; 119;14,45,98,165; John 27:6,8,17)

How I wish that I could bring all young Christians to receive simply that word of their Father, 'Lay up My words in your heart,' and to give their whole heart to become full of God's word. Resolve then to do this. Take pains to understand what you read. When you understand it, take then always one or another word to keep in remembrance and ponder.

Learn words of God by heart; repeat them to yourself in the course of the day. The word is seed; the seed must have time, must be kept in the ground: so must the word be carried in the heart. Give the best powers of your heart, your love, your desire, the willing and joyful activity of your will, to God's word. 'Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.' Let the heart be a temple, not for the world and its thoughts, but for God and His thoughts. (Ps. 119:69; John 15:3,7; 17:6,8,17) He that, every day, faithfully opens his heart to God's voice to hear what God says, and keeps and carries about that word, shall see how faithfully God also shall open His heart to our voice, to hear what we say to Him in prayer.

Dear Christian, pray read yet once again the words at the head of this section. Receive them as God's word to you -- the word of the Father who has received you as a child, of Jesus who has made you God's child. God asks of you, as His child, that you give your heart to become filled with His word. Will you do this? What say you? The Lord Jesus would complete His holy work in yo u with power along this way. (John 14:21,23; 1 John 2:14,24; Rev. 3:8,10) Let your answer be distinct and continuous: 'I have hid Thy word in my heart;' 'How love I thy law: it is my mediation all the day.' Even if it appears difficult for you to understand the word, read it only the more. The Father has promised to make it a blessing in your heart. But you must first take it into your heart. Believe then that God will by the Holy Spirit make it living and powerful in you.

O my Father, who hast said to me: 'My son, give Me thine heart,' I have given Thee mine heart. Now that Thou chargest me to lay up and to keep Thy word in that heart, I answer: 'I keep Thy commands with my whole heart.' Father, teach me every day so to receive Thy word in my heart that it can exercise there its blessed influence. Strengthen me in the deep conviction that even though I do not actually apprehend its meaning and power, I can still reckon on Thee to make the word living and powerful in me. Amen.

1. What is the difference between the reading of the word to increase knowledge and the receiving of it in faith?

2. The word is as a seed. Seed requires time ere it springs up. During this time it must be kept silently and constantly in the earth. I must not only read God's word, but ponder it and reflect upon it: then shall it work in me. The word must be in me the whole day, must abide in me, must dwell in me.

3. What are the reasons that the word of God sometimes has so little power in those that read it and really long for blessing? One of the principal reasons is surely that they do not give the seed time to grow, that they do not keep it and reflect upon it, in the believing assurance that the word itself shall have its working.

4. What is the token of His disciples that Jesus mentions first in the high-priestly prayer? (John 17)

5. What are the blessings of a heart filled with the word of God?

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Chapter 4

FAITH

"Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord.' -- Luke 1:45
"I believe God, that it shall be even so as it hath been spoken unto me.' -- Acts 27:25
"Abraham waxed strong through faith, being fully assured that what He had promised, he was able also to perform.' -- Rom. 4:21

God has asked you to take and lay up His words in your heart. Faith is the proper avenue whereby the word is taken and received into the innermost depths of the heart. Let the young Christian then take pains always to understand better what faith is: he will thereby gain an insight into the reasons why such great things are bound up with faith. He will yield his perfect assent to the view that full salvation is made every day dependent on faith. (1 Chron. 22:20; Mk. 9:23; Heb. 11:33,35; 1 John 5:4,5)

Let me now ask my reader to read over once again the three texts which stand above, and to find out what is the principal thought that they teach about faith. Pray, read nothing actually beyond them, but read first these words of God, and ask yourself what they teach you about faith.

They make us see that faith always attaches itself to what God has said or promised.

When an honourable man says anything, he also does it: on the back of the saying follows the doing. So also is it with God: when He would do anything, He says so first through His word. When the man of God becomes possessed with this conviction and established in it, God always does for him what He has said. With God, speaking and doing always go together: the deed follows the word: 'Shall He say it and not do it?' (Gen.21:1; 32:12; Num. 14:17,18,20; 23:19; Josh. 21:45; 23:14; 2 San. 7:25,29; 1 Chron. 8:15,24; Ps. 119:49) When I have a word of God in which He promises to do something, I can always remain sure that He will do it. I have simply to take and hold fast the word, and there with wait upon God: God will take care that He fulfils His word to me. Before I ever feel or experience anything, I hold fast the promise, and I know by faith that God will make it good to me. (Luke 1:38,45; John 3:33; 4:50; 11:40; 20:29; Heb. 11:11,18)

What, now, is faith? Nothing other than the certitude that what God says is true. When God says that something subsists or is, then does faith rejoice, although it sees nothing of it. (Rom. 1:17; 4:5; 5:1; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 1:19; 3:17) When God says that He has given me something, that something in heaven is mine, I know by faith with entire certitude that it is mine. (John 3:16,17,36; 1 John 5:12,13) When God says that something shall come to pass, or that He will do something for me, this is for faith just as good as if I had seen it. (Rom. 8:38; Phil. 3:21; 1 Thess 5:24; 1 Pet. 1:4,5) Things that are, but that I have not seen, and things that are not yet, but shall come, are for faith entirely sure. 'Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen.' (Heb. 11:1) Faith always asks only for what God has said, and then relies on His faithfulness and power to fulfil His word.

Let us now review again the words of Scripture. Of Mary we read: 'Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord.' All things that have been spoken in the word shall be fulfilled for me: so I believe them.

Of Abraham it is reported that he was fully assured that that which had been promised, God was also able to fulfil. This is assurance of faith: to be assured that God will do what He has promised.

Exactly thus is it in the word of Paul: 'I believe God that it shall be even so as it hath been spoken unto me.' It stood fixed with him that God would do what He had spoken.

Young disciples in Christ, the new, the eternal life that is in you is a life of faith. And do you not see how simple and how blessed that life of faith is? I go every day to the word and hear there what God has said that He has done and will do. (Gal. 2:20; 3:2,5; 5:5,6; Heb. 10:35; 1 Pet. 1:2) I take time to lodge in my heart the word in which God says that, and I hold it fast, entirely assured that what God has promised, He is able to perform.

And then in a childlike spirit I await the fulfilment of all the glorious promises of His word. And my soul experiences: Blessed is she that believed; for the things that have been spoken to her from the Lord shall be fulfilled. God promises -- I believe -- God fulfils: that is the secret of the new life.

O my Father, Thy child thanks Thee for this blessed life of faith in which we have to walk. I can do nothing, but Thou canst do all. All that Thou canst do hast Thou spoken in Thy word. And every word that I take and trustfully bring to Thee, Thou fulfillest. Father, in this life of faith, so simple, so glorious, will I walk with Thee. Amen.

    1. The Christian must read and search the Scriptures to increase his knowledge. For this purpose he daily reads one or more principal portions. But he reads the Scriptures also to strengthen his faith. And to this end he must take one or two verses to make them the subject of special reflection, and to appropriate them trustfully for himself.

    2. Pray, do not suffer yourselves to be led astray by those who speak as if faith were something great and unintelligible. Faith is nothing other than the certitude that God speaks truth. Take some promises of God and say to Him: I know for certain that this promise is truth, and that Thou wilt fulfil it. He will do it.

    3. Never mourn over unbelief as if it were only a weakness which you cannot help. As God's child, however weak you may be, you have the power to believe, for the spirit of God is in you. You have only to keep in mind this: no one apprehends anything before that he has the power to believe; he must simply begin and continue with saying to the Lord that he is sure that His word is truth. He must hold fast the promise and rely upon God for the fulfilment.

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Chapter 5

THE POWER OF GOD'S WORD

'Faith cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.' -- Rom. 10:17 'Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.' -- James 1:21
'We also thank God without ceasing, that, when ye received from us the word of the message, even the word of God, ye accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also worketh in you that believe.' -- 1 Thess. 2:13
'For the word of God is living and active.' -- Heb. 4:12

The new life of a child of God depends so much on the right use of God's word, that I shall once again speak of it with my young brothers and sisters in the Lord.

It is a great thing when the Christian discerns that he can receive and accomplish all only through faith. He has only to believe; God will look to the fulfilling of what is promised.

He has every morning to trust in Jesus, and the new life as given in Jesus and working in himself; Jesus will see to it that the new life works in him.

But now he runs the risk of another error. He thinks that the faith that does such great things must be something great, and that he must have a great power in order to exercise such a great faith. (Luke 17:5-6; Rom. 10:6-8) And, because he does not feel this power, he thinks that he cannot believe as he ought. This error may prove a loss to him his life long.

Come and hear, then, how perverted this thought is. You must not bring this mighty faith to get the word fulfilled, but the word comes and brings you this faith which you must have. "The word is living and powerful." The word works faith in you. The Scripture says, "Faith is by the word." (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 4:12)

Think on what we have said of the heart as a temple, and of its two divisions. There is the outer court, with the understanding as its gate or entrance. There is the innermost sanctuary, with the faith of the heart as its entrance. There is a natural faith -- the historic faith -- which every man has; with this must I first receive the word into my keeping and consideration. I must say to myself, "The word of God is certainly true. I can make a stand upon it." Thus I bring the word into the outer court, and from within the heart desire reaches out to it, seeking to receive it into the heart. The word now exercises its divine power of life; it begins to grow and shoot out roots. As a seed which I place in the earth sends forth roots and presses still deeper into the soil, the word presses inwardly into the holy place. The word thus works true saving faith. (1 Thess. 2:13; Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:23)

Young Christian, pray understand this. The word is living and powerful; through the word you are born again. The word works faith in you; through the word comes faith.

Receive the word simply with the thought that it will work in you. Keep yourselves occupied with the word, and give it time. The word has a divine life in itself; carry it in your inmost parts, and it will work life in you. It will work in you a faith strong and able for anything.

O be resolved then, pray, never to say, I cannot believe. You can believe. You have the Spirit of God in you. Even the natural man can say, This word of God is certainly true or certainly not true. And when he with a desire of the soul says, "It is true; I will believe it," the living Spirit, through whom the word is living and powerful, works this living faith.

Besides, the Spirit is not only in the word, but also in you. Although you do not feel as if you were believing, know for certain you can believe. (Deut. 32:46,47; Josh. 1:7,9) Begin actually to receive the word; it will work a mighty faith in you. Rely upon it, that when you have to do with God's word, you have to do with a word that can be surely trusted that it of itself works faith in you.

And not only the promises, but also the commands have this living power. When I first receive a command from God, it is as if I felt no power to accomplish it. But if I then simply receive the word as God's word, which works in those that believe, -- if I trust in the word to have its working, and in the living God which gives it its operation, -- that commandment will work in me the desire and the power for obedience. When I weigh and hold fast the command, it works the desire and the will to obey; it urges me strongly towards the conviction that I can certainly do what my Father says. The word works both faith and obedience of faith. I must believe that through the Spirit I have the power to do what God wills, for in the word the power of God works in me. The word, as the command of the living God who loves me, is my power. (Rom. 1:3; 16:6; Gal. 6:6; 1 Thess. 1:3; Jas. 1:21)

Therefore, young disciples in Christ, learn to receive God's word trustfully. Although you do not at first understand it, continue to meditate upon it. It has a living power in it; it will glorify itself. Although you feel no power to believe or to obey, the word is living and powerful. Take it, and hold it fast; it will accomplish its work with divine power. The word rouses and strengthens for faith and obedience.

Lord God, I begin to conceive how Thou art in Thy word with Thy life and Thy power, and how that word itself works faith and obedience in the heart that receives and keeps it.

Lord, teach me to carry Thy every word as a living seed in my heart, in the assurance that it shall work in me all Thy good pleasure. Amen

    1. Forget not that it is one and the same to believe in the word, or in the person that speaks the word, or in the thing which is promised in the word. The very same faith that receives the promises receives also the Father who promises, and the Son with the salvation which is given in the promises. Pray see to it that you never separate the word and the living God from each other.

    2. See to it also that you apprehend thoroughly the distinction betwixt the reception of the word "as the word of man" and "as the word of God, which works in you that believe." 3. I think that you now know what is necessary to become strong in faith. Exercise as much faith as you have. Take a promise of God. Say to yourself that it is certainly true. Go to God and say to Him that you rely on Him for the fulfilment. Ponder the promise, and cleave to it in converse with God. Rely upon Him to do for you what He says. He will surely do it.

    4. The Spirit and the word always go together. I can be sure concerning all of which the word says that I must do it, that I also can do it through the Spirit. I must receive the word and also the command in the confidence that it is the living word of the living God which also works in us who believe.

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Chapter 6

GOD'S GIFT OF HIS SON

'For God so loved the world, that He have His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.' -- John 3:16
'Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.' -- 2 Cor. 9:15

Thus dear did God hold the world. How dear? That He gave His only-begotten Son for every one in the world who will trust in Him. And how did He give? He gave Him, in His birth as man, in order to be for ever one with us. He gave Him, in His death on the cross as Surety, in order to take our sin and curse upon Himself. He gave Him on the throne of heaven, in order to arrange for our welfare, as our Representative and Intercessor over all the powers of heaven. He gave Him in the outpouring of the Spirit, in order to dwell in us, to be entirely and altogether our own. (John 1:14,16; 14:23; Rom. 5:8; 8:32,34; Eph. 1:22; 3:17; Col. 2:9-10; Heb. 7:24,26; 1 John 4:9-10) Yes; that is the love of God, that He gave His Son to us, for us, in us.

Nothing less than His Son Himself. This is the love of God; not that He gives us something, but that He gives us some one -- a living person -- not one or another blessing, but Him in whom is all life and blessing -- Jesus Himself. Not simply forgiveness, or revival, or sanctification, or glory does He give us; but Jesus, His own Son. The Lord Jesus is the beloved, the equal, the bosom- friend, the eternal blessedness of the Father. And it is the will of the Father that we should have Jesus as ours, even as He has Him. (Matt. 11:27; John 17:23,25; Rom. 8:38-39; Heb. 2:11) For this end He gave Him to us. The whole of salvation consists in this: to have, to possess, to enjoy Jesus.

God has given His Son, given Him wholly to become ours. (Ps. 73:25; 142:6; John 20:28; Heb. 3:14)

What have we, then, to do? To take Him, to receive and to appropriate to ourselves the gift, to enjoy Jesus as our own. This is eternal life. 'He that hath the Son hath life.' (John 1:12; 2 Cor. 3:13,5; Col. 2:6; 1 John 5:12)

How I do wish, then, that all young Christians may understand this. The one great work of God's love for us is, He gives us His Son. In Him we have all. Hence the one great work of our heart must be to receive this Jesus who has been given to us, to consider Him and use Him as ours. I must begin every day anew with the thought, I have Jesus to do all for me. (John 15:5; Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:3; 2:10; Phil. 4:13; 2 Tim. 1:12) In all weakness or darkness or danger, in the case of every desire or need, let your first thought always be, I have Jesus to make everything right for me, for God has given Him to me.

Whether your need be forgiveness or consolation or confirmation, whether you have fallen, or are tempted to fall, into danger, whether you know not what the will of God is in one or another matter, or know that you have not the courage and the strength to do this will, let this always be your first thought, the Father has given me Jesus to care for me.

For this purpose, reckon upon this gift of God every day as yours. It has been presented to you in the word. Appropriate the Son in faith on the word. Take Him anew every day.

Through faith you have the Son. (John 1:12; 1 John 5:9,13) The love of God has given the Son. Take Him, and hold Him fast in the love of your heart. (1 John 4:4,19) It is to bring life, eternal life, to you that God has given Jesus. Take Him up into your life; let heart and tongue and whole walk be under the might and guidance of Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:15; Phil 3:8) Young Christian, so weak and so sinful, listen, pray, to that word. God has given you Jesus. He is yours. Taking is nothing else but the fruit of faith. The gift is for me. He will do all for you.

O my Lord Jesus, today anew, and every day, I take Thee. In all Thy fulness, in all Thy relations, without ceasing, I take Thee for myself. Thee, who art my Wisdom, my Light, my Leader, I take as my Prophet. Thee, who dost perfectly reconcile me, and bring me near to God, who dost purify and sanctify me and pray for me, I take as my Priest. Thee, who dost guide and keep and bless me, I take as my King. Thou, Lord, art All, and Thou art wholly mine. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Amen.

    1. Ponder much the word Give. God gives in a wonderful way: from the heart, completely for nothing, to the unworthy. And He gives effectually. What He gives He will really make entirely our possession, and inwardly appropriate for us. Believe this, and you shall have the certitude that Jesus will, to the full, come into your possession, with all that He brings.

    2. Ponder much also that other word Take. To take Jesus, and to hold Him fast and use Him when received, is our great work. And that taking is nothing but trusting. He is mine with all that He has. Take Jesus -- the full Jesus -- every day as yours. This is the secret of the life of faith.

    3. Then weigh well also the word Have. 'He that hath the Son hath light.' What I have is mine, for my use and service. I can dispose of it, and can have the full enjoyment of it. 'He that hath the Son hath life.' 4. Mark especially that what God gives, and what you take, and what you now have, is nothing less than the living Son of God. Do you receive this?

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Chapter 7

JESUS' SURRENDER OF HIMSELF

'Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for it; that He might sanctify it; that He might present the Church to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle; but that it should be holy and without blemish.' -- Eph. 5:24-47

So great and wonderful was the work that Jesus had to do for the sinner, that nothing less was necessary than that He should give Himself to do that work. So great and wonderful was the love of Jesus towards us, that He actually gave Himself for us and to us. So great and wonderful is the surrender of Jesus, that all that same thing for which He gave Himself can actually and completely come to pass in us. For Jesus, the Holy, the Almighty, has taken it upon Himself to do it: He gave Himself for us. (Gal. 1:4; 2:20; Eph. 5:2,25; 1 Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14) And now the one thing that is necessary is that we should rightly understand and firmly believe this His surrender for us.

To what end, then, was it that He gave Himself for the Church? Hear what God says. In order that He might sanctify it, in order that it might be without blemish. (Eph. 1:4; 5:27; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 2:10; 3:13; 5:23,24) This is the aim of Jesus. This His aim He will reach in the soul according as the soul falls in with it so as to make this also its highest portion, and then relies upon Jesus' surrender of Himself to do it.

Hear still a word of God: 'Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works.' (Titus 2:14) Yes: it is to prepare for Himself a pure people, a people of His own, a zealous people, that Jesus gives Himself. When I receive Him, when I believe that He gave Himself to do this for me, I shall certainly experience it. I shall be purified through Him, shall be held fast as His possession, and be filled with zeal and joy to work for Him.

And mark, further, how the operation of this surrender of Himself will especially be that He shall then have us entirely for Himself: 'that He might present us to Himself.' 'that He might purify us to Himself, a people of His own.' The more I understand and contemplate Jesus' surrender of Himself for me, the more do I give myself again to Him. The surrender is a mutual one: the love comes from both sides. His giving of Himself makes such an impression on my heart, that my heart with the self-same love and joy becomes entirely His. Through giving Himself to me, He of Himself takes possession of me; He becomes mine and I His. I know that I have Jesus wholly for me, and that He has me wholly for Him. (Ex. 19:4,5; Deut. 26:17,18; Isa. 41:9,10; 1 Cor. 6:19,20; 1 Pet. 2:10)

And how come I then to the full enjoyment of this blessed life? 'I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.' (John 6:29,35; 7:38; 10:10,38; Gal. 2:20) Through faith I reflect upon and contemplate His surrender to me as sure and glorious. Through faith I appropriate it. Through faith I trust in Jesus to confirm this surrender, to communicate Himself to me and reveal Himself within me.

Through faith I await with certainty the full experience of salvation which arises from having Jesus as mine, to do all, all for me. Through faith, I live in this Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me. and I say, 'No longer do I live, but Christ liveth in me.' Christian, pray believe it with your whole heart: Jesus gives Himself for you: He is wholly yours: He will do all for you. (Matt. 8:10; 9:2,22; Mark 11:24; Luke 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42; Rom. 4:16,21; 5:2; 11:20; Gal. 3:25,26; Eph. 1:19; 3:17)

O my Lord Jesus, what wonderful grace is this, that Thou gavest Thyself for me. In Thee is eternal life. Thou Thyself art the life and Thou givest Thyself to be in my life all that I need. Thou purifiest me and sanctifiest me, and makest me zealous in good works. Thou takest me wholly for Thyself, and givest Thyself wholly for me. Yes, my Lord, in all thou art my life. O make me rightly understand this. Amen.

    1. It was in His great love that the Father gave the Son. It was out of love that Jesus gave Himself. (Rom. 3:15; Eph. 5:26) The taking, the having of Jesus, is the entrance to a life in the love of God: this is the highest life. (John 14:21,23,; 17:23,26; Eph. 3:17,18)

    Through faith we must press into love, and dwell there. (1 John 4:16-18)

    2. Do you think that you have now learned all the lesson, to begin every day with the childlike trust: I take Jesus this day to be my life, and to do all for me.

    3. Understand that to take and to have Jesus, presupposes a personal dealing with Himself. To have pleasure in Him, to hold converse gladly with Him, to rejoice in Him as my friend and in His love -- to this leads the faith that truly takes Him.

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Chapter 8

CHILDREN OF GOD

'As many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name.' -- John 1:12

What is given must be received, otherwise it does not profit. If the first great deed of God's love is the gift of His Son, the first work of man must be to receive this Son. And if all the blessings of God's love come to us only in the ever-new, ever- living Son of the Father, all these blessings enter into us from day to day through the always-new, alwayscontinuing reception of the Son.

What is necessary for this reception, you, beloved young Christians, know, for you have already received the Lord Jesus. But all that this reception involves must become clearer and stronger, the unceasing living action of your faith. (2 Cor. 10:15; 1 Thess. 1:8; 3:10; 2 Thess. 1:3) Herein especially consists the increase of faith. Your first receiving of Jesus rested on the certitude which the word gave you, that He was for you. Through the word must your soul be still further filled with the assurance that all that is in Him is literally and really for you, given by the Father in Him to be your life.

The impulse to your first receiving was found in your want and necessity. Through the Spirit you become still poorer in spirit, and you see everything every moment: this leads to a ceaseless, ever-active taking of Him as your all. (Matt 5:3; 2 Cor. 3:10,13,16; 6:10; Eph. 4:14,15; Col. 2:6)

Your first receiving consisted in nothing but the appropriation by faith of what you could not yet see or feel. That same faith must be continually exercised in saying: all that I see in Jesus is for me: I take it as mine, although I do not yet experience it. The love of God is a communicating, a ceaseless outstreaming of His light of life over the soul, a very powerful and veritable giving of Jesus: our life is nothing but a continuous blessed apprehensio n and reception of Him. (John 1:16; Col. 2:9,10; 3:3)

And this is the way to live as children of God: as many as receive Him, to them gives He the power to become children of God. This holds true, not only of conversion and regeneration, but of every day of my life. If to walk in all things as a child of God, and to exhibit the image of my Father, is indispensable, I must take Jesus the only-begotten Son: it is He that makes me a child of God. To have Jesus Himself, to have the heart and life full of Him, is the way to live as a child of God. I go to the word and learn there all the characteristics of a child of God; (Matt 5:9,16,44,45; Rom. 8:14; Eph. 1:4,5; 5:1,2; Phil.2:15; Heb. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:14,17; 1 John 3:1,10; 5:1,3) and after each one of them I write: this Jesus shall work in me: I have him to make me to be a child of God.

Beloved young Christian, learn, I beseech you, to understand the simplicity and the glory of being a true Christian. It is to receive Jesus, to receive Him in all His fulness, to receive Him in all the glorious relations in which the Father gives Him to you. Take Him as your Prophet, as your Wisdom, your Light, your Guide. Take Him as your Priest, who renews you, purifies you, sanctifies you, brings you near to God, takes you and forms you wholly for His service. Take Him as your King who governs you, protects you and blesses you. Take him as your Head, your Exemplar, your Brother, your Life, your All.

The giving of God is a divine, an ever-progressive and effectual communication to your soul. Let your taking be the childlike, cheerful, continuous opening of mouth and heart for what God gives, the full Jesus and all His grace. To every prayer the answer of God is: Jesus, all is in Him, all in Him is for you. Let your response always be: Jesus, in Him I have all. You are, you live in all things as, 'children of God, through faith in Jesus Christ.' O my Father, open the eyes of my heart to understand what it is to be a child of God: to live always as a child through always believing in Jesus, Thine only Son. O let every breath of my soul be, faith in Jesus, a confidence in Him, a resting in Him, a surrender to Him, to work all in me.

If by the grace of God you now know that you have received Jesus and are God's child, you must now take pains to make His salvation known. There is many a one who longs to know and cannot find out how he can become a child of God.

Endeavour to make two things plain to him. First, that the new birth is something so high and holy that he can do nothing in it. He must receive eternal life from God through the Spirit: he must be born from above. This Jesus teaches. (John 3:1-8). Then make plain to him how low God has descended to us with this new life, and how near He brings it to us.

In Jesus there is life for every one who believes in Him. This Jesus teaches (John 3:14- 18). And this Jesus and the life are in the word. Tell the sinner that, when he takes the word, he then has Jesus, and life in the word. (Rom. 10:8). O do, pray, take pains to tell forth the glad tidings that we become children of God only through faith in Jesus.

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Chapter 9

OUR SURRENDER TO JESUS

'They gave their own selves to the Lord.' -- Cor. 8:5

In the surrender of Jesus for me, I have the chief element of what He has done and always does for me. In my surrender to Him I have the chief element of what He would have me to do. For young Christians who have given themselves to Jesus, it is a matter of great moment always to hold fast, to confirm and renew this surrender. This is the special life of faith, to say anew every day: I have given myself to Him, to follow Him and to serve Him; (Matt. 4:22; 10:24,25,37,38; Luke 18:22; John 12:25,26; 2 Cor. 5:15) He has taken me: I am His, and entirely at His service. (Matt. 28:20)

Young Christian, hold firm your surrender, and make it always firmer. When there recurs a stumbling or a sin after you have surrendered yourself, think not the surrender was not sincere. No; the surrender to Jesus does not make us perfect at once. You have sinned, because you were not thoroughly or firmly enough in His arms. Adhere to this, although it be with shame: Lord, Thou knowest it, I have given myself to Thee: I am Thine. (John 21:17; Gal. 6:1; 1 Thess. 5:24; 2 Tim. 2:13; 1 John 5:16) Confirm this surrender anew.

Say to Him that you now begin to see better how complete the surrender to Him must be, and renew every day the voluntary, entire, and undivided offering up of yourselves to Him. (Luke 28:28; Phil. 3:7,8)

The longer we continue Christians, the deeper will be our insight into that word: surrender to Jesus. We shall always see more clearly that we do not yet fully understand or contemplate it. The surrender must become, especially, more undivided and trustful.

The language which Ahab once used must be ours: 'According to thy saying, my lord, O king, I am thine, and all that I have' (1 Kings 20:4). This is the language of undivided dedication: I am thine, and all that I have. Keep nothing back. Keep back no single sin that you do not confess and leave off. Without conversion there can be no surrender. (Matt. 7:21,27; John 3:20,21; 2 Tim. 2:19,21) Keep back no single power. Let your head with all its thinking, your mouth with all its speaking, your heart with all its feeling, your hand with all its working -- let your time, your name, your influence, your property, let all be laid upon the altar. (Rom. 6:13,22; 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:15; Heb. 8:15; 1 Pet. 2:5) Jesus has a right to all: He demands the whole. Give yourself, with all that you have, to be guided and used and kept, sanctified and blessed. 'According to Thy word, my Lord, O King, I am Thine, and all that I have.'

That is the language of trustful dedication. It is on the word of the Lord, which calls upon you to surrender yourself, that you have done this. That word is your warrant that He will take and guide and keep you. As surely as you give yourself, does He take you; and what He takes He can keep. Only, we must not take it again out of His hand. Let it remain fixed with you that your surrender is in the highest degree pleasing to Him: be certain of it, your offering is a sweet-smelling savour. Not on what you are, or what you experience or discover in yourselves, do you say this, but on His word. According to His word, you are able to take a stand on this: what you give, that He takes; and what He takes, that He keeps. (John 10:28; 2 Thess. 3:3; 2 Tim. 1:12) Therefore every day anew, let this be the childlike joyful activity of your life of faith: you surrender yourselves without ceasing to Jesus, and you are safe in the certitude that He in His love takes and holds you fast, and that His answer to your giving is the renewed and always deeper surrender of Himself to you.

According to Thy word, my Lord and King, I am Thine, and all that I have. Every day, this day, will I confirm it, that I am not mine own, but am my Lord's. Fervently do I beseech Thee to take full possession of Thy property, so that no one may doubt whose I am. Amen.

    1. Ponder now once again the words giving and taking and having. What I give to Jesus, He take with a divine taking. And what He takes, he has and thereafter cares for. Now it is absolutely no longer mine. I must not take thought for it; I may not dispose of it. O pray, let your faith find expression in adoration: Jesus takes me: Jesus has me.

    2. Should there overtake you a time of doubting or darkness whereby your assurance that the Lord has received you has come to be lost, suffer not yourself thereby to be dispirited.

    Come simply as a sinner, confess your sins: believe in His promises that He will by no means cast out those that come to Him and begin simply on the ground of the promises to say: I know that He has received me.

    3. Forget not what the chief element in surrender is: it is a surrender to Jesus and to His love. Fix your eye, not upon your activity in surrender, but upon Jesus, who calls you, who takes you, who can do all for you. This it is that makes faith strong.

    4. Faith is always a surrender. Faith is the eye for seeing the invisible. When I look at something, I surrender myself to the impression which it makes upon me. Faith is the ear that hearkens to the voice of God. When I believe a message, I surrender myself to the influence, cheering or saddening, which the tidings exercises upon me. When I believe in Jesus, I surrender myself to Him, in reflection, in desire, in expectation, in order that He may be in me and do that for which He has been given to me by God.

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Chapter 10

SAVIOUR FROM SIN

'Thou shalt call His name Jesus; for it is He that shall save His people from their sins.' -- Matt. 1:21
'Ye know that He was manifested to take away sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not.' -- 1 John 3:5,6

It is sin that is the cause of our misery. It is sin that provoked God, and brought His curse upon man. He hates sin with a perfect hatred, and will do everything to root it out. (Deut.27:26; Isa. 59:1,2; Jer. 44:4; Rom. 1:18) It is to take away sin that God gave His Son, that Jesus gave Himself. (Gal. 2:4; Eph. 5:25,27; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 John 3:8) It belongs to God to set us free, not only from punishment and curse, from disquietude and terror, but from sin itself. (Jer. 27:9; 1 Pet. 1:2,15,16; 2:14; 1 John 3:8) You know that He was manifested that He might take away our sins. Let us receive the thought deep into our hearts: it is for God to take away our sins from us. The better we apprehend this, the more blessed shall our life be.

All do not receive this. They seek chiefly to be freed from the consequences of sin, from fear and darkness, and the punishment that sin brings. (Gen. 27:34; Isa. 58:5,6; John 6:26; Jas. 4:3) Just on this account they do not come to the true rest of salvation. They do not understand that to save is to free from sin. Let us hold it fast. Jesus saves through taking away sin. Then we shall learn two things.

The first is to come to Jesus with every sin. (Ps. 32:5; Luke 7:38; 19:7,8,10; John 8:11; 34:36) the sin that still attacks and overmasters you, after that you have given yourself over to the Lord, must not make you lose heart. There must also be no endeavour merely in your own strength to take away and overcome sin. Bring every sin to Jesus. He has been ordained by God to take away sin. He has already brought it to nought upon the cross, and broken its power. (Heb. 9:26) It is His work, it is His desire to set you free from it. O learn then always to come to Jesus with every sin. Sin is your deadly foe: if you confess it to Jesus, and surrender it to Him, you shall certainly overcome it. (Rom.7:4,9; 8:2; 2 Cor. 7:9; 2 Thess 2:3)

Learn to believe this firmly: this is the second point. Understand that Jesus, Jesus Himself, is the Saviour from sin. It is not you that must overcome sin with the help of Jesus, but Jesus Himself: Jesus in you. (Deut. 8:17,18; Ps. 44:4,8; John 16:33; 1 John 5:4,5) If you would thus become free from sin, if you would enjoy full salvation, let it be the one endeavour of your life to stand always in full fellowship with Jesus. Wait not till you enter into temptation ere you have recourse to Jesus. But let your life beforehand be always through Jesus. Let His nearness be your one desire; Jesus saves from sin; to have Jesus is salvation from sin (1 Cor. 15:10; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13; Col 3:3-5) O that we could indeed rightly understand this! Jesus will not merely save from sin as a work that He will from time to time do in us, but He will give it as a blessing through Himself to us and in us. (Ex. 29:43; John 15:4,5; Rom. 8:10; Eph. 3:17,18) When Jesus fills me, when Jesus is all for me, sin has no hold on me: 'He that abideth in Him sinneth not.' Yes: sin is driven out and kept out only through the presence of Jesus. It is Jesus, Jesus Himself, that, through His giving Himself to me and His living in me, is salvation from sin.

Precious Lord, let Thy light stream over me, and let it become still clearer to my soul, that Thou, Thou Thyself, art my salvation. To have Thee, Thee, with me, in me -- this keeps sin out. Teach me to bring every sin to Thee; let every sin drive me into a closer alliance with Thee. Then shall Thy Jesus-name become truly my salvation from sin. Amen.

    1. See of what moment it is that the Christian should always grow in the knowledge of sin. The sin that I do not know, I cannot bring to Jesus. The sin that I do not bring to Him is not taken out of me.

    2. To know sin better there are required: The constant prayer, 'Examine me:' make known to me my transgression and my sin (Job 13:23; Ps. 139:23,24); A tender conscience that is willing to be convinced of sin through the Spirit, as He also uses the conscience for this end; The very humble surrender to the word, to think concerning sin only as God thinks.

    3. The deeper knowledge of sin will be found in these results: That we shall see to be sin things which previously we did not regard in this light; That we shall perceive more the exceedingly sinful, the detestable character of sin (Rom.7:13); That with the overcoming of external sins we become all the more encouraged over the deep sinfulness of our nature, of the enmity of our flesh against God. Then we give up all hope of being or of doing anything good, and we are turned wholly to live in faith through the Spirit.

    4. O let us thank God very heartily that Jesus is a Saviour from sin. The power that sin has had over us, Jesus now has. The place that sin has taken in the heart, Jesus will now take. 'The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.'

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Chapter 11

THE CONFESSION OF SIN

'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' -- 1 John 1:9

The one thing that God hates, that grieves Him, that He is provoked by, and that He will destroy, is sin. The one thing that makes man unhappy, is sin. (Gen. 6:5,6; Isa. 13:24; Ezek. 33:6; Rev. 6:16,17) The one thing for which Jesus had to give His blood was sin. In all the intercourse betwixt the sinner and God, this is thus the first thing that the sinner must bring to his God -- sin. (Judg. 10:10,15,16; 2 Chron. 27:14; Ezra 9:6; Neh. 2:33; 9:2,33; Jer. 3:21,25; Dan. 9:4,5,20)

When you came to Jesus at first, you perceived this in some measure. But you should learn to understand this lesson more deeply. The one counsel concerning sin is, to bring it daily to the only One who can take it away -- God Himself. You should learn that one of the greatest privileges of a child of God is -- the confession of sin. It is only the holiness of God that can consume sin; through confession I must hand over my sin to God, lay it down in God, get quit of it to God, cast it into the fiery oven of God's holy love which burns against sin like a fire. God, yes, God Himself, and He alone, takes away sin. (Lev.4:21; Num. 5:7; 2 Sam. 12:13: Ps. 32:5, 38:19; 51:5,19)

This the Christian does not always understand. He has an inborn tendency to desire to cover sin, or to make it less, or to root it out only when he purposes drawing near to God.

He thinks to cover sin with his repentance and self-blame, with scorn of the temptation that came to him, or otherwise with what he has done or still hopes to do. (Gen. 3:12; Ex.32:22,24; Isa. 1:11,15; Luke 13:26) Young Christian, if you would enjoy the gladness of a complete forgiveness and a divine cleansing of sin, see to it that you use aright the confession of sin. In the true confession of sin you have one of the most blessed privileges of a child of God, one of the deepest roots of a powerful spiritual life.

For this end, let your confession be a definite one. (Num 12:11, 21:7; 2 Sam. 24;10,17; Isa. 59:12,13; Luke 23:41; Acts 1:18,19; 22:19,20; 1 Tim. 1:13,15) The continued indeterminate confession of sin does more harm than good. It is much better to say to God that you have nothing to confess, than to confess you know not what. Begin with one sin. Let it come to a complete harmony betwixt God and you concerning this one sin. Let it be fixed with you that this sin is through confession placed in God's hands. you shall experience that in such confession there are both power and blessing.

Let the confession be an upright one. (Prov. 28:13; Lev. 26:40,41; Jer. 31:18,19) By it deliver up the sinful deed to be laid aside. By it deliver up the sinful feeling with a view to trusting in God. Confession implies renunciation, the putting off of sin. Give up sin to God, to forgive it to you, and to cleanse you from it. Do not confess, if you are not prepared, if you do not heartily desire to be freed from it. Confession has value only as it is a giving up of sin to God.

Let the confession be trustful (2 Sam. 12:13; Ps. 32:5; Isa. 4:7) Reckon firmly upon God actually to forgive you, and also to cleanse you from sin. Continue in confession, in casting the sin of which you desire to be rid into the fire of God's holiness until your soul has the firm confidence that God takes it on His own account to forgive and to cleanse away. It is this faith that really overcomes the world and sin: the faith that God in Jesus really emancipates from sin. (1 John 5:5; 2:12)

Brother, do you understand it now? What must you do with sin, with every sin? To bring it in confession to God, to give it to God; God alone takes away sin.

Lord God, what thanks shall I express for this unspeakable blessing, that I may come to Thee with sin. It is known to Thee, Lord, how sin before Thy holiness causes terror and flight. It is known to Thee how it is our deepest thought, first to have sin covered, and then to come to Thee with our desire and endeavour for good. Lord, teach me to come to Thee with sin, every sin, and in confession to lay it down before Thee and give it up to Thee. Amen.

    1. What is the distinction betwixt the covering of sin by God and by man? How does man do it? How does God do it?

    2. What are the great hindrances in the way of the confession of sin?

    3. Must I immediately confess an oath or a lie or a wrong word, or wait until my feeling has first cooled and become rightly disposed? O pray, confess it immediately; come in full sinfulness to God, without first desiring to make it less! 4. Is it also necessary or good to confess before man? It is indispensable, if our sin has been against man. And, besides, it is often good; it is often easier to acknowledge before God than before man that I have done something (Jas. 5:16).

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Chapter 12

THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS

'Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.' -- Ps. 32:1
'Bless the Lord, O my soul .... who forgiveth all thine iniquities.' -- Ps. 103;2,3

In connection with surrender to the Lord, it was said that the first great blessing of the grace of God was this -- the free, complete, everlasting forgiveness of all your sins. For the young Christian it is of great moment that he should stand fast in this forgiveness of his sins, and always carry the certitude of it about with him. To this end, he must especially consider the following truths.

The forgiveness of our sin is a complete forgiveness. (Ps. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; 55:7; Micah 7:18,19; Heb. 10:16-18) God does not forgive by halves. Even with man, we reckon a half forgiveness no true forgiveness. The love of God is so great, and the atonement in the blood of Jesus so complete and powerful, that God always forgives completely. Take time with God's word to come under the full impression that your guilt has been blotted out wholly and altogether. God thinks absolutely no more of your sins. 'I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.' (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12; 10:17)

The forgiveness of our sin restores us entirely again to the love of God. (Hos. 14:5; Luke 15:22; Acts 26:18; Rom. 5:1,5) Not only does God not impute sin any more, -- that is but one half, -- but He reckons to us the righteousness of Jesus also, so that for His sake we are as dear to God as He is. Not only is wrath turned away from us, but the fulness of love now rests upon us. 'I will love them freely, for Mine anger is turned away from him.' Forgiveness is access to all the love of God. On this account, forgiveness is also introduction to all the other blessings of redemption.

Live in the full assurance of forgiveness, and let the Spirit fill your heart with the certitude and the blessedness of it, and you shall have great confidence in expecting all from God. Learn from the word of God, through the Spirit, to know God aright, and to trust Him as the ever- forgiving God. That is His name and His glory. To one to whom much, yea, all is forgiven, He will also give much. He will give all. (Ps. 103:3; Isa.12:1,3; Rom. 5:10; 8:32; Eph. 1:7; 3:5) Let it therefore be every day your joyful thanksgiving. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, who forgiveth all mine iniquities.' Then forgiveness becomes the power of a new life: 'He who is forgiven much, loves much.' The forgiveness of sins, received anew in living faith every day, is a bond that binds anew to Jesus and His service. (John 13:14,15; Rom. 7:1; 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph. 5:25,26; Tit.2:14; 1 Pet. 1:17,18)

Then the forgiveness of former sins always gives courage to go immediately anew with every new sin and trustfully to take forgiveness. (Ex. 34:6,7; Matt. 28:21; Luke 1:77,78)

Look, however, to one thing: the certitude of forgiveness must not be a matter of memory or understanding, but the fruit of life -- living converse with the forgiving Father, with Jesus in whom we have forgiveness. (Eph. 2:13,18; Phil. 3:9; Col. 1:21,22) It is not enough to know that I once received forgiveness: my life in the love of God, my living intercourse with Jesus by faith -- this makes the forgiveness of sin again always new and powerful -- the joy and the life of my soul.

Lord God, this is the wonder of Thy grace, that Thou art a forgiving God. Teach me every day to know in this anew the glory of Thy love. Let the Holy Spirit every day seal forgiveness to me as a blessing, everlasting, ever-fresh, living, and powerful. And let my life be as a song of thanksgiving. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, who forgiveth all thine iniquities.' Amen.

    1. At bottom, forgiveness is one with justification. Forgiveness is the word that looks more to the relation of God as Father. Justification looks more to His acquittal as Judge.

    Forgiveness is a word that is more easily understood by the young Christian. But he must also endeavour to understand the word justification, and to obtain part in all that the Scripture teaches about it.

    2. About justification we must understand --

    3. Let the certitude of your part in justification, in the full forgiveness of your sins, and in full restoration to the love of God, be every day your confidence in drawing near to God.

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Chapter 13

THE CLEANSING OF SIN

'If we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' -- 1 John 1:7,9

The same God that forgives sin also cleanses from it. Not less than forgiveness is cleansing a promise of God, and therefore a matter of faith. As it is indispensable, as it is impossible for man, so is cleansing as well as forgiveness certain to be obtained from God.

And what now is this cleansing? The word comes from the Old Testament. While forgiveness was a sentence of acquittal passed on the sinner, cleansing was something that happened to him and in him. Forgiveness came to him through the word: in the case of cleansing, something was done to him that he could experience. (Lev. 8:13; 14:7,8; Num. 19:12, 31:23,24; 2 Sam. 22:21,25; 2 Chron. 5:10; Neh. 13:30; 28:21,25; Ps. 21:4; Mal. 3:3) Consequently with us also cleansing is the inner revelation of the power of God whereby we are liberated from unrighteousness, from the pollution and the working of sin. Through cleansing we obtain the blessing of a pure heart; a heart in which the Spirit can complete His operations with a view to sanctifying us, and revealing God within us. (Ps 51:12; 73:1; Matt. 5:8; 1 Tim 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Pet. 1:22) Cleansing is through the blood. Forgiveness and cleansing are both through the blood.

The blood breaks the power that sin has in heaven to condemn us. The blood thereby also breaks the power of sin in the heart to hold us captive. The blood has a ceaseless operation in heaven from moment to moment. The blood has likewise a ceaseless operation in our heart, to purify, to keep pure the heart into which sin always seeks to penetrate from the flesh. The blood cleanses the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. The marvelous power that the blood has in heaven, it has also in the heart. (John 13:10,11; Heb. 9:14; 10:22; 1 John 1:7)

Cleansing is also through the word, for the word testifies of the blood and of the power of God. (John 14:3) Hence also cleansing is through faith. It is a divine and effectual cleansing, but it must also be received in faith ere it can be experienced and felt. I believe that I am cleansed with a divine cleansing, even while I still perceive sin in the flesh; through faith in this blessing, cleansing itself shall be my daily experience.

Cleansing is ascribed sometimes to God or the Lord Jesus; sometimes to man. (Ps. 51:3; Ezek. 30:25; John 13:2; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Tim. 5:22; 2 Tim 2:21; Jas. 4:8; 1 John 3:3) That is because God cleanses us by making us active in our own cleansing. Through the blood the lust that leads to sin is mortified, the certitude of power against it is awakened, and the desire and the will are thus made alive. Happy is he that understands this. He is protected against useless endeavours after self-purification in his own strength, for he knows God alone can do it. He is protected against discouragement, for he knows God will certainly do it.

What we have now accordingly to lay the chief stress upon is found in two things, the desire and the reception of cleansing. The desire must be strong for a real purification.

Forgiveness must be only the gateway or beginning of a holy life. I have several times remarked that the secret of progress in the service of God is a strong yearning to become free from every sin, a hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Ps. 19:13; Matt. 5:6) Blessed are such as thus yearn. They shall understand and receive the promise of a cleansing through God.

They learn also what it is to do this in faith. Through faith they know that an unseen, spiritual, heavenly, but very real cleansing through the blood is wrought in them by God Himself.

Beloved child of God, you remember how we have seen that it was to cleanse us that Jesus gave Himself. (Eph. 5:26; Tit. 2:14) Let Him, let God the Lord, cleanse you.

Having these promises of a divine cleansing, cleanse yourselves. Believe that every sin, when it is forgiven you, is also cleansed away. It shall be to you according to your faith.

Let your faith in God, in the word, in the blood, in your Jesus increase continually: 'God is faithful and righteous to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' Lord Go, I thank Thee for these promises. Thou givest not only forgiveness, but also cleansing. As surely as forgiveness comes first, does cleansing follow for every one that desires it and believes. Lord, let Thy word penetrate my heart, and let a divine cleansing from every sin that is forgiven me be the stable expectation of my soul. Beloved Saviour, let the glorious, ceaseless cleansing of Thy blood through Thy Spirit in me be made known to me and shared by me every moment. Amen.

    1. What is the connection between cleansing by God and cleansing by man himself?

    2. What, according to 1 John 1:9, are the two things that must precede cleansing?

    3. Is cleansing, as well as forgiveness, the work of God in us? If this is the case, of what inexpressible importance is it to trust God for it. To believe that God gives me a divine cleansing in the blood when He forgives me, is the way to become partaker of it.

    4. What, according to Scripture, are the evidence of a pure heart?

    5. What are 'clean hands'? (Ps. 24)

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Chapter 14

HOLINESS

'Like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living: because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.' -- 1 Pet. 1:15,16
'But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us from God, sanctification.' -- 1 Cor. 1:30
'God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.' -- 2 Thess. 2:13

Not only salvation, but holiness -- salvation in holiness: for this end has God chosen and called us. Not only safe in Christ, but holy in Christ, must the goal of the young Christian be. Safety and salvation are in the long run found only in holiness. The Christian who thinks that his salvation consists merely in safety and not in holiness, will find himself deceived. Young Christian, listen to the word of God: Be holy.

And wherefore must I be holy? Because He who called you is holy, and summons you to fellowship and conformity with Himself. How should any one be saved in God, when he has not the same disposition as God? (Ex. 19:6; Lev. 11:44; 19:2; 20:6,7)

God's holiness is His highest glory. In His holiness His righteousness and love are united.

His holiness is the flaming fire of His zeal against all that is sin, whereby He keeps Himself free from sin, and in love makes others also free from it. It is as the Holy One of Israel tha t He is the Redeemer, and that He dwells in the midst of His people. (Ex. 25:11; Isa. 2:6; 12:14; 43:15; 49:7; 57:15; Hos. 11:9) Redemption is given to bring us to Himself and to the fellowship of His holiness. We cannot possibly have part in the love and salvation of God if we are not holy as He is holy. (Isa. 10:18; Heb. 12:14) Young Christians, be holy.

And what is this holiness that I must have? Answer: Of God are ye in Christ, who of God is made unto you sanctification. Christ is your sanctification; the life of Christ in you is your holiness. (1 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 5:27) In Christ you are sanctified; you are holy. In Christ you must still be sanctified; the glory of Christ must penetrate your whole life.

Holiness is more than purity. In Scripture we see that cleansing precedes holiness. (2 Cor.7:1; Eph. 5:26,27; 2 Tim. 2:21) Cleansing is the taking away of that which is wrong; liberation from sin. Holiness is the filling with that which is good, divine, with the disposition of Jesus. Conformity to Him -- this is holiness: separation from the spirit of the world; the being filled with the presence of the Holy God -- this is holiness. The tabernacle was holy because God dwelt there; we are holy, as God's temple, after we have the indwelling of God. Christ's life in us is our holiness. (Ex. 29:43,45; 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:16,17; 6:19)

And how do we become holy? By the sanctification of the Spirit. The Spirit of God is named the Holy Spirit, because He makes us holy. He reveals and glorifies Christ in us.

Through Him Christ dwells in us, and His holy power works in us. Through this Holy Spirit the workings of the flesh are mortified, and God works in us both the will and the accomplishment. (Rom. 1:4; 8:2,13; 1 Pet. 1:2)

And what is now the work that we have to do to receive this holiness of Christ through the Holy Spirit? 'God chose you to salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.' (2 Thess. 2:13) The holiness of Christ becomes ours through faith. There must naturally first be the desire to become holy. We must cleanse ourselves from all pollutions of flesh and spirit by confessing them, giving them up to God, and having them cleansed away in the blood. Then, first, can we perfect holiness. (2 Cor. 7:1). Then, in belief of the truth that Christ Himself is our sanctification, we have to take and receive from Him what is prepared in His fulness for us. (John 1:14,16; 1 Cor. 2:9,10) We must be deeply convinced that Christ is wholly and alone our sanctification as He is our justification, and that He will actually and powerfully work in us that which is wellpleasing to God. In this faith we must know that we have sufficient power for holiness, and that our work is to receive this power from Him by faith every day. (Gal. 2:21; Eph.2:10; Phil. 2:13; 4:13) He gives His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, in us; the Spirit communicates the holy life of Jesus to us.

Young Christian, the Three-One God is the Thrice-Holy. (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8; 15:3,4) And this Three-One God is the God that sanctifies you: the Father, by giving Jesus to you, and confirming you in Jesus; the Son, by Himself becoming your sanctification and giving you the Spirit; the Spirit, by revealing the Son in you, preparing you as a temple for the indwelling of God, and making the Son dwell in you. O, be holy, for God is holy.

Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, what thanks shall I render to Thess for the gift of Thy Son as my sanctification, and that I am sanctified in Him. And what thanks for the Spirit of sanctification to dwell in me, and transplant the holiness of Jesus into me. Lord, give me to understand this aright, and to long for the experience of it. Amen.

    1. What is the distinction betwixt forgiveness and cleansing, and betwixt cleansing and holiness?

    2. What made the temple a sanctuary? The indwelling of God. What makes us holy?

    Nothing less than this: the indwelling of God in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Obedience and purity are the way to holiness; holiness itself is something higher.

    3. In Isa. 52:17, there is a description of the man who will become holy. It is he who, in poverty of spirit, acknowledges that, even when he is living as a righteous man, he has nothing, and looks to God to come and dwell in Him.

    4. No one is holy but the Lord. You have as much of holiness as you have of God in you.

    5. The word 'holy' is one of the deepest words in the Bible, the deepest mystery of the Godhead. Do you desire to understand something of it, and to obtain part in it? Then take these two thoughts, 'I am holy.' 'Be ye holy,' and carry them in your heart as a seed of God that has life.

    6. What is the connection betwixt the perseverance of the saints and perseverance in holiness?

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Chapter 15

RIGHTEOUSNESS

'He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?' -- Micah 6:8
'Present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness. Even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification.' -- Rom. 6:13,18,19

The word of Micah teaches us that the fruit of the salvation of God is seen chiefly in three things. The new life must be characterized, in my relation to God and His will, by righteousness and doing right; in my relation to my neighbour, by love and beneficence; in relation to myself, by humility and lowliness. For the present, we meditate on righteousness.

Scripture teaches us that no man is righteous before God, or has any righteousness that can stand before God; (Ps. 14:3; 143:2; Rom. 3:10,20) that man receives the rightness or righteousness of Christ for nothing; and that by this righteousness, which is received in faith, he is then justified before God, (Rom. 3:22,24: 10:3,10; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9) he is right with God. This righteous sentence of God is something effectual, whereby the life of righteousness is implanted in man, and he learns to live as a righteous man, and to do righteousness. (Rom. 5:17,18; 6:13,18,19; 8:3; Tit. 1:8; 2:12; 1 John 2:29; 3:9,10) Being right with God is followed by doing right. 'The righteous shall live by faith' a righteous life.

It is to be feared that this is not always understood. One thinks sometimes more of justification than of righteousness in life and walk. To understand the will and the thoughts of God here, let us trace what Scripture teaches us on this point. We shall be persuaded that the man who is clothed with a divine righteousness before God must also walk before God and man in a divine righteousness.

Consider how, in the word, the servants of God are praised as righteous; (Gen. 6:9; 7:1; Matt. 1:19; Luke 1:6; 2:25; 2 Pet. 2:7) how the favour and blessing of God are pronounced upon the righteous; (Ps. 1:6; 5:13, 14:5; 34:16,20; 37:17,39; 92:13; 97:11; 144:8) how the righteous are called to confidence, to joy. (Ps. 32:11; 33:1; 58:11; 64:11; 68:4; 97:12) See this especially in the Book of Psalms. See how in Proverbs, although you should take but one chapter only, all blessing is pronounced upon the righteous. (Prov. 10:3,6,7,11,16,20,21,24,25,28,30,31,32 See how everywhere men are divided into two classes, the righteous and the godless. (Eccles 3:17; Isa. 3:10; Ezek. 3:18,20; 18:21,23; 33:12; Mal. 3:18; Matt. 5:45; 12:49; 25:46) See how, in the New Testament, the Lord Jesus demands this righteousness; (Matt. 5:6,20; 6:33) how Paul, who announces most the doctrine of justification by faith alone, insists that this is the aim of justification, to form righteous men, who do right. Rom. 3:31; 6:13,22; 7:4,6; 8:4; 2 Cor. 9:9,10; Phil 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:11) See how John names righteousness along with love as the two indispensable marks of the children of God. (1 John 2:4,11,29; 3:10; 5:2) When you put all these facts together, it must be very evident to you that a true Christian is a man who does righteousness in all things, even as God is righteous.

And what this righteousness is, Scripture will also teach you. It is a life in accordance with the commands of God, in all their breadth and height. The righteous man does what is right in the eyes of the Lord. (Ps. 119:166,168; Luke 1:6,75; 1 Thess. 2:10) He takes not the rules of human action; he asks not what man considers lawful. As a man who stands right with God, who walks uprightly with God, he dreads above all things even the least unrighteousness. He is afraid, above all, of being partial to himself, of doing any wrong to his neighbour for the sake of his own advantage. In great and little things alike, he takes the Scriptures as his measure and line. As the ally of God, he knows that the way of righteousness is the way of blessing, and life, and joy.

Consider, further, the promises of blessing and joy which God has for the righteous, and then live as one who, in friendship with God, and clothed with the righteousness of His Son through faith, has no alternative but to do righteousness.

O Lord, who hast said, 'There is no God else beside Me: a just God and a Saviour,' Thou art my God. It is as a righteous God that Thou are my Saviour, and hast redeemed me in Thy Son. As a righteous God Thou makest me also righteous, and sayest to me that the righteous shall live by faith. O Lord, let the new life in me be the life of faith, the life of a righteous man. Amen.

    1. Observe the connection between the doing of righteousness and sanctification in Rom.6:19,22; 'Present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification.' 'Having become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification.' The doing of righteousness, righteousness in conduct and action, is the way to holiness. Obedience is the way to become filled with the Holy Ghost. And the indwelling of God through the Spirit -- this is holiness.

    2. 'Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. It was when the Lord Jesus had spoken that word that He was baptized with the Spirit. Let us set aside every temptation not to walk in full obedience towards God, even as He did, and we too shall be filled with the Spirit. 'Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.' 3. Take pains to set before yourselves the image of a man who so walks that the name of 'righteous; is involuntarily given to him. Think of his uprightness, his conscientious care to cause no one to suffer the least injury, his holy fear and carefulness to transgress none of the commands of the Lord -- righteous, and walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless; and then say to the Lord that you should so live.

    4. You understand now the great word, 'The righteous shall live by faith.' By faith the godless is justified, and becomes a righteous man; by faith he lives as a righteous man.

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Chapter 16