Sunday, September 07, 2008

155. We Already Have All We Need

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  1. Hey - okay, I got a little lost on this one... I get that salvation is a GIFT....and that that puts us right with God - but certainly I don't feel holy even though I am saved. I sin every day... far from Holy - only Jesus is Holy.... so I long to be more like Jesus and long to be holy...

    Also - on the vine and the branches verse you mentioned... we do need to abide in the vine... but it also says in there that every vine that doesn't bear fruit will be cut off. Doesn't that seem like we have some work to do? Not that we are working for our salvation, but that we need to work to grow in the faith that has been given to us?

    I dunno - just some thoughts..> I got confused!

  2. Hi Joel and Mike,
    My wife and I really enjoy your pod casts (as well as your blogger postings Joel.) And we really got alot out of this particular pod cast, however, I, which is fairly typical of my thinking having been soaked so long in a more legalistic teaching, was stopped a bit short by the verse Mike gave showing that we are Holy, not attaining Holy. Don't get me wrong, I agree with that, but, its the other part about being destroyed by God for defiling this temple that makes my legalistic, do good or burn, obey or have your name removed lights go on. Can you help us understand and be more gentle with ourselves concerning this verse and others like it?

    1 Corinthians 3:17
    17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

  3. Sk,

    Great questions and thoughts. I think a lot of people can relate.

    One thing that we try to emphasize in our programs is who God has already made us to be. One of the things the scriptures say about us is that we are holy. There are other verses that exhort us to live holy lives, because we are already holy.

    It's a fact that the people who God has made holy (Christians), still sin. That doesn't mean that we're not still holy, because the holiness that is needed is a gift of God's grace. It's not something we lose when we sin. We were made holy through faith, by the blood of Jesus, and nothing can make us more holy or less holy!

    Indeed sometimes we don't "feel" holy, but that doesn't change the truth that we are holy. In fact, I know I speak for both Mike and I when I say that knowing our true identity is the key to walking in victory in the Christian life. If we go by our feelings, then we'll pretty much experience a life of always feeling sinful and unholy. But if we go by the truth of God's word, which says we are holy, righteous, blameless, etc, and we get ourselves rooted and established in that truth, then we'll see ourselves living more and more as who we truly are in Christ, and we'll ask less and less for Him to make us that way (since we'll realize we already are that way, because He has made us that way by His grace).

    I love John 15, where Jesus talks about the Vine and the branches. Taken along with various other scriptures about bearing fruit and the "work" that Christians do, we see that the work is not really "our" work. It's the work of God in us. "We are His workmanship" (Eph 2:10). "It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." (Phil 1:6). Even the "fruit of the Spirit" is the fruit of... the Spirit! (Not the fruit of our labors).

    Abiding in Christ must not be made into a work. It's a gift we have - a gift of resting in Him by faith, as "branches," and allowing the Life of the Vine to flow into us and produce His fruit.

    I believe that those who don't abide in Him are those who don't believe. They have not "entered into His rest."