Jeremiah 6:16 – “Thus says the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (True rest and healing is to be found in ‘the old paths’ and ‘the good way,’ that is, the Gospel as taught in the Bible. ‘Stand you in the ways,’ refers to the ardent seeking of the Ways of God.)”
Back To The Basics
The term “back to the basics” is a phrase utilized by many groups of people. It describes the need to go back and rediscover truths and practices that produced great results. In most cases, the people that need to return to the basics have somehow left the very thing or things that once made them great. They have diverted down a side path, usually unintentionally, and have failed to maintain basic principles that once made their endeavors fruitful. What used to be normal practice and thought for them has somehow become obsolete. To recover their past victories and vitality there is a need to openly and honestly evaluate where one has been and where one is going.
It is my heartfelt belief that the Church of Jesus Christ has left the very “basics” that make Christianity great. We have deterred down the wandering path of religious practice and have left behind the truths and practices that change our lives, strengthen our faith, cultivate our dependence upon God, and enable us to live a victorious Christian life. For the most part I feel we have lost our way and need to, with a great sense of urgency and desperation, return to the Scriptures to locate and retrieve what we have lost. At the same time we must cast aside all hope and means in anything other than God’s Prescribed Order, as described in His Word, to find once again the vital benefits of relationship with God. In Jeremiah 6:16 the Lord through the Prophet Jeremiah said, “. . . Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls.” It’s time for the church to return to the basics, the old paths, the Ways of the Lord. Only then will we find His “rest” for our souls.
The Path Of Sanctification By Faith
A Christian is sure to encounter the term “Sanctification” almost immediately following his or her Salvation. The term “Sanctification” or “sanctify” simply defined indicates that something is holy, separated unto God for a special and distinct purpose. There are two main arenas of “Sanctification.” One is “instantaneous Sanctification,” while the other is “progressive Sanctification.” Both are a reality and need to be both understood and embraced. “Instant Sanctification” is the reality that at the moment of Conversion, God sets aside the newly “Born-Again” Believer as a “peculiar” People, dedicated to God and the things of God. He looks at the new Believer as His Own, made clean and pure by the Blood of Jesus. That person is viewed as sanctified. They are made holy by Faith in Christ. They are set aside, set apart for God. They are instantly sanctified. “Progressive Sanctification,” on the other hand, deals with the growth of the Believer. When thought of properly, the need to grow in Grace and the knowledge of the Lord is a process that begins at Conversion and will only end at death or the Rapture of the Church, whichever comes first. I am sanctified. I am being sanctified!
How To Do “The What To Do!”
A good Pastor friend of mine, Curtis Hutchinson of Atlanta, Texas once said this, “All my Christian life preachers told me what I was supposed to do! However, no one ever told me the truth about how to do ‘the what to do!’” Like most in Christendom, Pastor Hutchinson struggled with growth. Like all of us who are truly Saved, we desired to be pleasing to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But, the ability to do what we were supposed to do wasn’t always there. Oh, we could do well for a while. We could grow for a season. But, it seemed that just about the time I took two steps forward and seemed to find victory over an area of my life that I would then find myself taking three steps backward. If this is your problem today I can almost guarantee that the key to understanding the problem to your growth is found in how you approach the “progressive Sanctification” process. God’s Way is always the Way of Faith and Grace. Let me explain!
The Supply Of The Spirit
Our Christian growth can only take place when the Holy Spirit is given the latitude, and the opportunity, to work in us. Christianity is not you or I working, but rather, it is God working in us (Phil. 2:13). We do not earn the supply of the Spirit by performing religious activities. If that were true, then our growth would only occur when God “owed” us something. God does not work on the principle of debt. He owes us nothing at all, ever! Instead, He freely bestows His Grace upon those who believe properly! In other words, ours is the responsibility of Faith. When we believe the right thing, God’s Spirit Moves in us and upon us. This is what it means to “grow in Grace!” We must ever be expanding or enlarging our dependence upon the Lord. Therefore, in order to be changed I dare not trust in my action, my consecration, my labor for the Lord, or any one of a dozen other religious or Spiritual activities. It matters not how Biblical and right these activities are. It is not wrong to be Spiritually active, to pray, to read, to attend Church, etc. It is wrong to have the mind-set that says that God pays me with power to grow based upon my works. God supplies the flow of the Spirit only when our Faith is in His Son and His completed Work at Calvary. “If we through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, then we shall live,” Romans 8:13 says. “Progressive Sanctification” is accomplished in
the same way that “instant Sanctification” is. In Colossians 2:6 Paul says, “As you have received Christ Jesus, so walk you in Him.” Our Faith is to be in the Saviour. We rely upon the supply of the Spirit to conform us into the Image of God’s Son. There is no other way to be changed. Our Victory comes by Faith. So, be a Believer that believes properly and is progressively, eternally, and consistently changed!