True Humility Binds Us Together

I think that Jesus was really onto something when He washed the disciple’s feet. At the time they were a mess; disillusioned with Him and His insisting on going to the cross to die and they were still vying for kingdom positions at His right hand and His left out of pride. Nothing He could say got their attention or made them look beyond their temporal states with Him and each other. So what does He do? He gets up from that last meal he was to have with them, strips Himself of His clothes in front of them, wraps Himself with a servant’s towel and starts washing their feet.

Needless to say they were humbled. From all that confusion and strife they became focused on the humility of Christ. He was the abject Servant and Divine pattern right up to the moment He was to be betrayed by one of His own and crucified. He drove the lesson home by taking on Himself the form a servant and went on to lay His life down for them.

Finally, that night He said to them, “You call me Teacher and Lord: and you say rightly; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them” (John 13:13-17 KJ2000). Herein is our healing and happiness, my brothers and sisters. Always seek a way to wash one another’s feet as “dirt” rises up within your fellowship with one another. If a body’s feet are clean, then the whole body remains clean.

What Covenant Are We Of?

To the learned Pharisees and scribes Jesus said, “And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life” (John 5:38-40 KJ2000). We can have all knowledge and wisdom, but without His love in us as our motivating force it profits us nothing. The question is will we come to Him as a child or will we be as so many proud scholars that are blind because they say they see? The gospel is so simple that even a child can receive Christ “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” But men with carnal minds have made it complicated that they might secure for themselves a position among the saints of God. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Oh how we love to accumulate knowledge.

How did the early church ever have faith in Christ without their own personal Bibles and all these scholastic resources and Bible teachers we depend on today? They had no seminaries or Bible schools, no Sunday school classes, and no Vacation Bible schools, study guides, concordances, or daily devotionals to read, yet they had a faith in Christ that turned the world upside down. Jesus gave us the answer to this question in a promise He made before He died, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:13-14 KJ2000). So did you read this and say, “Yes, but Jesus was talking to the apostles when He said this and they were special”? Well, Apostle John was so convinced of the need of the Spirit abiding in each saint as their Teacher and Leader that he wrote to the early church and said, “The anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1 John 2:27).

Even the prophets of old knew that the New Covenant would have this as a foundation to its existence. Jeremiah wrote,

 Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; my covenant which they broke, although I was a husband unto them, says the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

In the Old Covenant the people of Israel new of the Law as a kind of straight jacket that they had to preform in or suffer the consequences often by being stoned to death. They still broke it because they did not have a heart change with the needed motivating force placed within them. But that is not the way the New Covenant is. It is NOT according to the covenant God made with the Children of Israel when they came out of Egypt and the Law was given them by Moses… which covenant they did not keep. Even Peter described the Law as “a yoke upon the neck… which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (See Acts 15:10). So what was God’s solution to the inadequacies of mankind? Ezekiel wrote:

 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 KJ2000)

It is having a new heart put by God in us and His wonderful Spirit placed in us that enables us to do the Father’s will. But what is that will? The writer of Hebrews spoke of a new priesthood in this New Covenant and a new law to go with it, “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Hebrews 7:11-12 KJ2000). Jesus spoke of this new law saying, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:34-35 KJ2000).

Are we free to do whatever we will now that Christ has set us free? Not if we are still living by the dictates of our flesh instead of by the Spirit of God. Paul went on to say,

Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 KJ2000)

Love is the summation of the whole law and as we walk in Jesus’ New Covenant commandment of love, which fills our new hearts, we are fulfilling all that God requires of us.

The O. T. covenant was broken and replace by a New Covenant based on Jesus not Moses, “For finding fault with them, he says, Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers… For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he says, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and grows old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:8-13 KJ2000)

The Old Covenant was filled with commands and things for the Children of Israel to do (and not do). It was a covenant based on works. But oh how different the New Covenant is as Hebrew ch. 8 points out. Here the prophet specifies a NEW Covenant that is based on what God is doing in and for us, not on what we have to do for God. It is based on a big DONE as far as man is concerned. There is not a single “thou shalt” or”thou shalt not” in that list, but everyone of the attributes listed start out with God saying, “I will…” When Jesus hung on the cross He cried out, “It is FINISHED!” At that moment all the just requirements of the Old Law were fulfilled as well as the prophesies about the Sacrificial Lamb of God. We and our sins were crucified with Him AND we also rose again with Him and now sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus in the newness of our New Covenant lives. In that position the only works we can do are those done while resting in Him and these were ordained from the foundation of the world that we should walk in them. All other works not done from this position of resting in the Vine as His branches are dead works and are of no account in God’s kingdom. Speaking of the dead self-righteous works of the Jews Jesus said, “Every tree that my father has not planted will be rooted up.” First Father grafts us in and then we rest and abide in His Son, the Vine. Our fruit comes naturally after that because it is HIS fruit that we bear.

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” (1 John 3:22-24 KJ2000).

This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJ2000).

As for the law, anyone who has read Jeremiah, Acts, Galatians, Romans, Timothy or Hebrews knows that the law is there to show us we can’t keep it and to point us to the righteousness that is ours by faith in Christ alone and HIS power to keep us.. The old Adam and his sin nature in us has been crucified and the life we now live we live by the life and faith of Jesus Christ who lives in us. Paul wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

Paul warned us about those who teach the law saying, “Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talk; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor the things they affirm.” (1 Timothy 1:5-7 KJ2000)

For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him. (Romans 10:4 AMP)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words… You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:1-6 NIV)

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” If Christians deny this they need to return to law keeping and forget the imputed righteousness of Christ. If you keep the law of the tithe or Sabbath Day observances or even circumcision to be righteous you are bound by the law to keep the whole law. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10 KJV).

If we are truly born again, God has taken out of us that heart of stone and put in us a heart of flesh. He has put His Spirit in us. He has put HIS laws in our minds and in our hearts. We are talking about a NEW creation in Christ! THAT is what the NEW Covenant is all about.
“They that are in Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Galatians_5:24). Of the flesh Paul teaches us (Romans 7:18), “In me, that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing.” And again in (Romans 8:7), “The mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.” Of this flesh it is written, “Our old man was crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6).

If we are truly born anew in Christ we are new creatures in Him and He is our righteousness and it is by His grace that we live in Him, move in Him and have our being in Him not in flesh of fallen Adam or the law.

It Is So Simple!

Hudson Taylor wrote,

“When my agony of soul was at its height a sentence in a letter was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before . . . ‘But how do you get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.’ As I read I saw it all! ‘If we believe not, He abideth faithful.’ I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how the joy flowed!) that He had said, ‘I will never leave you.’ ‘Ah, there is rest!’ I thought. I’ll strive in vain to rest in Him. I’ll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me–never to leave me, never to fail me? And, He never will!”

It was John chapter 15 that God used to open his eyes where Jesus said. “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides IN me, and I IN him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

It is so simple, yet so hard if we are not abiding and resting IN Him. THIS is the key or as Paul put it, “IN Him we live and move and have our being… for we are His offspring.” It is all about resting IN Jesus, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30 KJ2000)

First we believe INTO Jesus then we continue to abide there IN Him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in [Grk.  eis – into] him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on [Grk.eis – into] him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in [ eis – into] the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18 KJ2000)

I just finished a search in the N. T. for all the verses that speak of us abiding IN Jesus as our life and all that is ours as we do and it filled up eight pages of small type!

Do you want to hear from Jesus? Abide IN Him…
“God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us IN his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2 ASV)

Do you lack love for a brother? Abide IN Him…
“He that loves his brother abides IN the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.” (1 John 2:9-10 KJ2000)

Do you want to do God’s will for your life, abide IN Christ!
“For we are his workmanship, created IN Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 KJ2000)

Do want to walk upright before the Father? We can only do so as we abide IN Christ…
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places IN Christ: According as he has chosen us IN him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Ephesians 1:3-4 KJ2000)

Do you want to see unity in the church? It starts with you as you abide IN Him,
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one IN Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 KJ2000)

Are you tired of that old nature in you that keeps pulling you down. Again, the answer is found by abiding IN Jesus…

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 KJ2000)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJ2000)

Everything we need and all that the Father has for us is found IN Him as we abide in the Son. The Father grafts us INTO Him, our Vine, when we believe with saving faith and even that faith is given us by Him! Jesus was the Veil that was torn upon the cross so that we could be grafted INTO Him and then abide there for eternity. Then while we abide in Him the Father prunes us that we might bring forth more fruit unto Him. Our part is to abide in Him. We rest in the finished work of Christ and then He makes the spiritual fruit come forth. What shall we say if we neglect so great a salvation? Abiding and resting in Him is the key. HE is our Life!

Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJ2000 – emphasis added)  

“If You Have Seen Me, You Have Seen the Father”


The goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been “many sons and daughters unto the glory of God.” As Jesus glorified His Father with His obedience and His life, so are we called to glorify Him with our obedience and the life of His Spirit in us. Jesus could say to Philip, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” When His transforming work is complete in us and we have been fully graphed into the Vine (Jesus Christ – see John chapter 15) and pruned by the Father, we can also say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Vine.”

How does this happen? First God had to send His Son to both live and die for us on this earth. In His life He demonstrated what a Life fully dedicated to the Father and His kingdom looks like. In His death He demonstrated the end cost of such obedience. The Father also did something else. He allowed Jesus to suffer thousands of wounds and made a place in Him as the True Vine of the Father for us to be graphed into the Son.

A master gardener or vine dresser knows how to graft a vine or a tree to make sure it brings forth the fruit he desires. First a root stock must be planted that will support the branches that are to be grafted in. Once it gets rooted and starts growing the vine dresser wounds the stock and then cuts off a bud from another vine and inserts it into that good root stock. The same is true of fruit trees and the work of an orchardist. It is there that the new bud takes hold and gets its life from the new source.

The same is true in Christ. God, the Vine Dresser, cuts us off from our old life source we once knew in Adam and grafts us into His Son. We are inserted and bound into that wound in the Son that we might get our whole life from Him and no longer from that old Adam nature we were born into. That is not all. As we grow in Him we are also pruned. God knows just how to shape us and cut off the dead wood that we might bring forth more fruit in the Vine. The Son of God becomes our whole identity. He is our whole life, light and supply for everything we need as we abide and grow up in Him. It is IN the Son that we now “live and move and have our being” and the desired fruit of the Father’s vineyard becomes automatic because we abide in the Son. if you have seen the in-grafted sons and daughters of the Father you have seen the Son. THIS IS the witness of the Father to the world! You might ask, “But isn’t all this cutting, severing and pruning painful? Yes, it is, but it is worth it to be one with the Father and the Son.

Just before He died Jesus prayed, “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.” (John 17:21-23 KJ2000). Our prayer should be, “Father, make me one with your Son. Do whatever it takes to make this happen. Don’t listen to my screams and whining as you cut me off from this world and prune me and shapen me into what you desire. Don’t let me fall short of your glory. Amen!”

Are You Out of Your Mind?

As a Christian, have you ever felt like you were losing your mind? Have you felt so far detached from this world and its values that you thought you were losing it? Have you been through so much rejection on this earth that you felt like you were about to mentally check out for good? Well, I have been there. And you know what? That is exactly what God is doing to us as we seek Him and His kingdom… unplugging us from being worldly minded any longer.

In Romans Paul wrote, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Actually, the Greek word translated “renewing” is not done justice. This translation comes closer… “And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 DRB). If we are to be truly converted from being the old creatures we were in Adam, we must be made into a new creation IN Christ who is our life. The word translated “transformed” in the above verse is the Greek word metamorpho from which we get the word “metamorphosis.” A caterpillar has a mind to crawl around on a bush and eat its leaves. But once metamorphosis takes place it has the mind of a butterfly to sore in the sky and suck nectar from the flowers. Its old earth bound mind had to be completely changed to be compatible with its new creature life.

So it is for our new lives in Christ as well. We are no longer of the first Adam, earth bound and focused on the lower elements of life in this world system, but we are a new creation with a new mind fit for living in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. For our complete transformation to happen we need a new mind to live in HIS kingdom subject to the Father and not to the god of this world system. We who are Christ’s are literally out of our minds and totally into HIS. Paul wrote, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 KJ2000). To live in Christ and do His will we must have HIS mind, not our own. We literally have to be out of our minds!

What is the sign that we are living by the mind of Christ? Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant…” (Philippians 2:5-7 KJ2000). To be worldly minded is to have a mind that seeks to rise above all men and exalt ourselves over them. To have the mind of Christ is to seek the lowest places of service and not to make a reputation for ourselves, but rather we live for the reputation of the lowly servant Christ. To our fellow man we seem to be week and out of our minds and are often disdained because we have the smell of death about us for the old Adam must die for us to have the mind of Christ. Paul wrote to the carnal Christians in Corinth, “For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be in our right mind, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constrains us…” (2 Corinthians 5:13-14 KJ2000). We in our right minds, the mind of Christ, serve one another because of His great love that abides in our hearts. Unselfish love for others is another sign that we have the mind of Christ abiding in us as the Father’s transformed creatures in the Son.

Paul wrote, “If so be that you have heard him [Christ], and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off concerning the former way of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:21-24 KJ2000). Metamorphosis! We put off that old life as a lowly earthbound worm and by the power of God we put on our new heavenly life in Christ and receive the Truth which is found in Him in our renewed mind of the Spirit as God’s Spirit-born beings, walking in His righteousness and holiness. It all hinges on our receiving a new mind, the mind of Christ and putting off the old “ that you no longer walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds.”

Each of us having the mind of Christ is also where our unity comes from. Paul wrote, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affections and mercies, Fulfill you my joy, that you be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2 KJ2000). Our consolation and comfort in love with its affections and mercies all come from our fellowship in the Spirit as we have the same mind… the mind of Christ. Without the mind of Christ in each of us we will never know unity in His love. Most Christians today think that they can keep their own minds, but as long as they all believe the same things they will have unity. Sorry, but it doesn’t work. To believe the same doctrines with your old minds will not make us loving selfless servants in Christ’s love toward one another. To have Christ’s mind is to have His heart as well, filled with the only thing that binds us together… the love of God.

 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as would be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Philippians 3:13-15 KJ2000)