By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the favor of God; by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God. All experience, as well as scripture, show this salvation to be both instantaneous and gradual. It begins the moment we are justified, in the holy, humble, gentle, patient love of God and man.
It gradually increases from that moment, as a grain of mustard-seed, which, at first, is the least of all seed, but afterwards puts forth large branches, and becomes a great tree; ’til, in another instant, the heart is cleansed from all sin, and filled with pure love to God and man. But even that love increases more and more, until we “grow up in all things into Him that is our Head,” until we attain “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (works, 7, 507)
This is what I believe and have experienced. To experience this redemptive life one needs to hear it’s possible and available. To hear it, someone needs to be preaching it or sharing it. For someone to be sharing it, they must have had the experience themselves. To have had these miraculous transformational experiences, one must have been in an environment where encountering God’s power was present.
The question is: What creates an environment where the manifest, tangible presence of God is present? I believe it is made possible when people actually set themselves to one pursuit. This pursuit is Jesus. We love Him, we long for Him, we need Him, and we corporately ask Him to come into our midst by His Spirit. I believe with all of my heart He comes only in response to our heart's cry for His presence.
I believe His presence is the most assumed thing we as Christians think will automatically happen. But if the the things that are only possible in His presence are not happening, are we assuming wrong? If healing, salvation, deliverance and cleansing aren’t happening, is His manifest presence among us? If love for one another isn’t present, is He among us?
I believe much of the controversial debate in the church today would not be taking place if we were gathering in the manifest presence of Christ on a regular basis. I believe that no amount of talk will ever solve our problems and deal with the critical issues we face in our day. Only the powerful presence of Christ in our midst can change our lives.
We must become desperate again for His baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire on our lives, individually and corporately. This must become the main pursuit if we want God results in our churches again. If we get desperate and hungry enough to cry out and long for His manifest presence, He will come. When He comes, supernatural transformations will take place. The results and repercussions will be staggering.
Men and women will start proclaiming with power and authority that salvation is a present possibility and probability. People will start being justified and sanctified, and all kinds of folks will start growing up into the likeness of Jesus Christ and manifesting love wherever they go.
The choice is before us. Do we continue to do church the same way assuming that Jesus is among us, or do we repent and start devoting our lives to one pursuit? To give our lives for one thing. To get God's Glory down . To live and pray for one thing: ”on earth as it is in heaven.”
These are my thoughts this morning from my room in Ironton, Ohio. I hope that it encourages you to love and good deeds
In His service,