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The Moral Argument for God’s Existence.

  An atheist might say you can be good without believing in God. However the question isn’t can you be good without believing in God but can you be good without God? Here’s the problem if there’s no God. What basis remains for objective good or bad, right or wrong? If God does not exist objective moral values do not exist. Here’s why. Without some objective reference point we    really have no way of saying something is up or down. Gods nature however provides an objective reference point for moral values. It’s the standard which all action and thoughts are measured. However, if there is no God then there is no objective reference point. All we are left with is one persons view point as opposed to some other persons view point. This makes morality subjective not objective.  It’s like a preference for vanilla ice cream. The preference is in the subject not the object. Therefore it doesn’t apply to other people. In the same way subjective morality applies only to the subject. It’s not va

What Does It Mean To Be An Heir?

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.                                - Galatians 3:29 (NIV)

In order to be a citizen in God’s kingdom you must be ready to receive. Who was Abrahams seed? Isaac. If you are familiar with the story of Isaac in the Old Testament you know that he was an heir of Abrahams estate. In the same way, Isaac shows us that we are people who receive just as he did. We are heirs.  Heirs of the promises. If you are an heir, then there is an inheritance. If we are a follower of Jesus Christ we enter that inheritance. We receive this inheritance.

Abraham’s first child was Ishmael. He was born in slavery. His mother, Hagar, was a slave thereby making Ishmael a person born a slave. Slavery was his inheritance. However, Isaac, Abrahams second born was born a free person because his mother was a free person. In the New Testament Sarah is a symbol of grace; Hagar represents the Law. Grace means that redemption and citizenship into God’s kingdom is a free gift of God. Meaning, we can doing nothing on our part to earn these things. Jesus did it all.

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he makes it clear that all people depend on grace for their salvation.  In Galatians, he shows that the believer depends equally on this same grace for successfully living the Christian life. We never did anything. We never gave God anything for our salvation. There is nothing on our part that opens the door that allows us to enter into the citizenry of God’s kingdom.  Then after we are welcomed into the family of God grace still conveys us.  Not even making faith something that we do but completely relying on His grace and continuing to receive. Jesus has prepared for us everything. It’s all about Jesus.

Jesus’ work has two sides. First, you and I are in Christ. Second Christ is in you and me. The product of our relationship with Christ is governed by these two statements of what God has done. Jesus himself said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.”

By our position in Christ we reap benefit from the facts of His history. His life, death, resurrection and His ascension to God’s right hand. When we enter in to the New Covenant all his work becomes ours, all that he has already done and is covered by the statement “it is finished”. The fact that Christ is in us we participate in His life. All his power, all that He can do now, all that he is today, becomes ours. Both these aspects of our relationship with Him are included in our inheritance. If we enter into all our inheritance and we must see them both. If we only know that we are in Christ we are passive and weak. If we only know that Christ is in us, life is uphill and something is missing. Neither is sufficient alone. Both are gifts already given to us to provide for our life, our future, our standing before God, our practical holiness. God begins everything, by giving us a new position so that we have a new start. He does this by placing us in Christ. If I find myself at the bottom of a horrible pit, then I continue there was no way of getting out of it, until God lifts me out and puts me on a rock. That is what He has done for us in Christ. By placing us in Him He has settled all our past, just as by placing the life of Christ within us He has given us all we need for the present and for the entire future.  The two sides are necessary to deliver us out of our agonized striving to attain, and into that place of rest were all is from God.

We need that new start in Jesus. Before we become citizens of God’s kingdom we are sinners in God’s sight and we need deliverance and a new standing before God. We can never attain it on our own.

I belong to the race of Adam, and I have only Adam in me. Not only is my conduct bad but I am bad. People themselves are wrong and not merely in their actions.

 As young Christians, we take a long time to learn this. Only after frustrating experiences does it dawn on us that it is no mere question of dropped produce but of the faultiness of the bag. If we find one thing after another dropping out of our pockets, eventually we give up putting them back in there. We feel around instead to see if the pocket has a hole in it. It is the unfailing recurrence of our sins of hasty speech, quick-temper, eager self-seeking and so on, that even when we know God’s forgiveness, we are exposed to the fact that the trouble is within ourselves.

The apostle Paul makes this clear in the first section of Romans where he shows us how peoples conduct is wrong and the cure for this is God’s forgiveness through the life, which is His shed blood, of Christ. Then in the second section, through chapter 8, he shows us how the people themselves are wrong and how it must be dealt with. What is the remedy? There is one thing only: we must die.
God didn’t say, “The soul who sins is the one that must be cleansed.”  It says “The soul who sins is the one who will die.”  Paul says, “because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:7) There is no other remedy. In the sight of God we must die.

However where would our redemption be if we were to end their? That’s why we need the resurrection to new life and a new start. We must not only die in God’s eyes, we must rise again.  This then leads to a new position.  I must not only live by must live for God. Since He is in heaven we must ascend to that place.  Therefore, there must be a death, a resurrection and ascension before the trouble we’ve inherited from Adam is reversed. Before Eden can be restored.

What makes this possible? How can I die, be raised and ascend to where God is? The simple answer is that we cannot. People may seek this kind of death, but they can never achieve it. They may seek resurrection but all they get is a grave. They may seek heaven but remain earthbound. They ability to escape from the inheritance of Adam and from sin reign is an insurmountable problem.

There is only one solution and this is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 1:30 “you are in Christ Jesus”. This is an important affirmation for the Christian.  It is God’s work that has placed me in Christ Jesus.  There is nothing that I could have done or could ever do.  You see everything for my redemption comes from the fact that God has done it.

Here’s an illustration. I have a bus ticket. I put it into the pages of a book. I put the book into the fire and burned it. What happens to the ticket? Or a throw the book into the river. what about the ticket? Maybe I put the book into a box and mail it somewhere. Where’s the ticket? You can answer each question with absolute assurance; and yet it is the fact that, once it was in the book, I did nothing more with the ticket. I did not send the ticket somewhere.  I sent the book.  Because the ticket is in the book, where the book goes the ticket must go. It has a part in everything that happens to the book. When I tell you what has happened to the book, you do not have to stop and think what happened to the item that is included in the book.  

We have been placed in Christ. When Christ was put to death, we died in him, because we are in him.  (Romans 6:6) Plus the work of God did not stop there, because Jesus rose and ascended to the Father’s right hand. Since this happened and because we are in Christ we also are made alive with him, raised and seated with him in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 2:5-6) We have a new standing in the presence of God and it is not something we have earned but something which we receive because we are in Christ. These facts, which are historically true of Him, become real in our experience.
It is important to realize that Scripture makes our death, resurrection and ascension a historic reality in Christ. The fact that our sinful human nature was crucified with him is something we know. (Romans 6:6) Meaning the sinful part of our human nature has been rendered powerless if we chose to take advantage of the power God has given us. This power is the Holy Spirit. Unless we have a reason to count ourselves not to be ‘in Christ’, we cannot say that these facts are untrue. They follow logically from what God has done in the initial step of our redemption.

We cannot emphasize this enough as the first element in our inheritance in Jesus.  Our death in Christ Jesus, and the freedom from sin which goes with that death, are not just a doctrine but an inheritance. They are not things that I have to do but gifts that I have received. However hard I try, I will only prove to myself that by striving will not work. However, if I see that God has worked and that my sinful human nature, which has been such a problem, was crucified long ago, rendered impotent, then I will know what it is to walk in newness of life.

There are an abundant of people within the Christian community that have a sense they are missing something in their walk. Sin is defeating them. There is something wrong. We seek God in prayer and scripture. Looking for a light in this darkness. Clarity comes when we realize that nowhere did God ever say, “You must be,” but always, “You have been.” However, because of constantly failing this doesn’t seem possible, unless we’re dishonest with ourselves. We then think only dishonest people could make those statements.

However, it’s not about what we think but what the scripture say. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “you are in Christ Jesus,” and this is God’s work not ours. Therefore, if Jesus died and God put me in Him then I must have died also.

The trouble with us today is that we think crucifixion with Christ is an experience we have work for. It is not. It is something God has done, and we have only to receive His work. The whole difference lies here: Is the crossed a doctrine to be grasped and then applied?  Or is it a revelation which God flashes upon our heart? It is quite possible to know and preach the doctrine of the cross without seeing the wonderful fact.

Everything God has done, He has done first of all to Christ, and only then to us because we are in Christ. God does nothing directly to us. Apart from and outside of Christ, God has no work of grace. God has not only given us Jesus, he has given us Christ experience; not only what He can do but what he has already done. From his death, onward, all that He has is ours. Our inheritance. This is the divine provision that Isaac illustrates.

 We can’t stop there. We have seen the fact of Christ, all that He has already done in the past which we now have in Him has settled our own past because we are in Christ. On the other hand, Jesus is in us, not for the past but for today and the future. His life is given to us so that His life is our power. You in him, have received His finished work. He in us gives us his power.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to  your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.  Romans 8:11 (NIV)

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us (which is synonymous with ‘Christ in you’)the power to resist the pull of our sinful human nature when temptations come our way. It is Satan who uses temptations to revive our sinful human natures impulses, in those areas of weakness that each of us have.

Remember the woman plagued with the lifelong bleeding condition. The world made her condition worse. It was only her small bit of faith in Jesus that moved her to take action and reach out and just touch a piece of his clothes. With this small act power went out from Jesus and she was healed.
In the same way, that power is also available to us, to heal our broken human nature. By putting our faith in Jesus and setting out to embrace him, abide in him and He in us, He will heal you. It will be with that same power that raised him from the dead. The resurrection power will bring life to our souls so that we can chose NOT to give into our sinful human nature when temptations come our way. We have power to resist the devil when he uses the things that tempt us to sin.

Paul says, ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’  It is Jesus Christ that only satisfies God’s heart. This is the life that brings God satisfaction in the life of a believer and there is no substitute. ‘I no longer but Christ living in me’, this means Jesus instead of me.  When Paul uses, these words is not claiming to have achieved something his readers have not yet reached. He is defining the Christian life. The Christian life is the Christ centered life.  Jesus in me has become my life and is living my life instead of me. It is not that I trust him as a separate sufficient act but God gives Him to be my life.

This new life can be described as a law. Not in the Old Testament sense of the word but as an illustration. A law that determines what that life is like an expression. It is not just that life a is present in me, if that was it, I would then have to hold tightly on to it. There is the law of the Spirit of life and that law looks after itself.

When we put a book on a table we do not always need to take great car to place down on the tables surface. We can let it go, just as we can drop a piece of paper into a waste paper basket. The law of gravity is working, and it ensures that the book will fall into place. Without the law of gravity, we would have to be more careful, or if might go up instead of down. But the law takes care of it and we do not have to take care of the law.  In the same way, we do not need to look after the law of life in Christ Jesus the law will look after us.

Often we find something in the Christian life difficult, and so we turn to God for help. We start trying t use the life instead of letting the life use us. We need to let go and the law will operate, and the life itself will work.  We then begin to pray, ‘I cannot do it, however, Your life in me can and will. I am putting my trust in you.’ There is a law and the law must always work; we have only to rest in it. Like Isaac, we have everything done for us by the father.

Then we can trust what Paul says in 1 Cor.1:30b, ‘who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.’ This means that my righteousness and yours is not a quality or a virtue. It is not a thing at all but a living Person that dwells in the soul of every true believer. My holiness is not a condition of life but the person of Jesus Christ. My redemption is not a hope but Christ in me, the hope of glory.  We need to internalize this, Christ in me and Christ in you, this is all we need.

The daily life of the Christian is summed up in the word ‘receive’. Every challenging thing that God demands of me tolerant, meekness, humility, goodness, holiness, joy, is not something I am, or something I do, or some virtue I acquire or earn or reach as in a goal. It is Christ in me. Each is a indicator of Him. Therefore, let him be revealed naturally and spontaneously, and that is enough.
He ‘has become for us’.  It does not say that he does these things. He is these things. Christ in us meets every demand of God, and every demand of the circumstances around us.

It is not in us to be humble, nor will we find it helps to trust in the power of Christ to make us humble. Christ is humble naturally, it is his very nature and his humility has become our humility, for Christ is our all. Even faith and trust and obedience, if we regard them as virtues to which we attain, will prove ineffective. It is not that I trust his Word therefore I can be tolerant. It is that Jesus is tolerant. Praise God Christ is in me. Once again, this is Isaac, natural, simple, spontaneous, trusting implicitly and without question, because the Father has made absolutely sufficient provision. He was an heir of all Abraham had. He did nothing. So, it is with those in Christ. We are heir of all God has, we did nothing for it. 

by Watchman Nee
edited by John Maier


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