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)
Hi Michael. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted. I’ve always appreciated your insights and determination in continuing to press into Him. It’s truly a marvel that so many people are striving in their own efforts to carry out what they believe to be God’s will these days. Little do they see how “natural” one’s following Jesus is provided they are resting in Him continually. Just imagine doing away with everything man has done and simply be left alone with Jesus. Nope they say, to boring, too easy, too simple. They won’t do anything they can’t take credit for in some manner. Sad.
Abide in Him. Just got to love the beauty in these simple words. And so they are, and so are we in Him.
Yes, 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 where he quotes Jeremiah 31:31-33. Here the prophet specifies a NEW Covenant was being made to replace the old and this one would be 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 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 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 the Vine. Our fruit comes naturally after that because it is HIS fruit that we bear.
Thanks for writing.
Thank you for this important reminder. Christendom has added so much to this wonderful truth of abiding in Christ, in Who He is, what He has done, is doing, and will do. It has added so much that sometimes I don’t even want to say that I am a “Christian”, because of the image that is conjured up by that label: Bible carrying, church going, rule keeping do-gooder. So, so much better to be a Christ follower, one who is in “The Way”.
Just this morning I read this, from T.A. Sparks:
“What, in the thought of God do Christians exist for? What does the Church exist for? There is only one answer. The existence and the function is to be an expression of Christ. There is nothing less and nothing more than that. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and all between! Let that be the starting point; let that be the governing rule and reality in all matters of life and work, and see at once the nature and vocation of the Church. This vast, incomprehensible heavenly system, of which Christ is the personal embodiment, touches every detail of life, personally and collectively. But remember only the Holy Spirit sees and knows how it is so; hence, as at the beginning, there has to be an utter submission to and direction by the Lordship of the Holy Spirit. What the bloodstream is to the human body, the Divine Life is to and in “the Church which is His body.” What the nerve system is in the physical realm, the Holy Spirit is in the spiritual. Understand all the workings of those two systems in the natural, and you begin to see how God has written His great heavenly principles, first in the person of His Son, and then in His corporate Body.
As an individual believer is the result of a begetting, a conception, a formation, a birth and a likeness, so, in the New Testament, is a true local church. It is a reproduction of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Man cannot make, form, produce or “establish” this. Neither can anyone “join” or “enroll,” or make himself or herself a member of this organism. First it is an embryo, and then a “formation” after Christ. So, all talk about “forming New Testament churches” is nonsense. The beginning is in a seeing of Christ.”
(By T. Austin-Sparks from: According to Christ – 1)
We really are in Him, and He in us. How do we abide? By believing it.
Hi Michael, I am sure you tried to simplifies it a bit…and I am sure you know also that the new covenant made with His people is based on the ten commandments of the OT.
Of course, it is a covenant of grace, not of work, but it does not release His people from following His will and way, laid out in the “reformed” ten commandments.
For once the Sabbath got “reformed” to, that Jesus became our rest, and not a day.
Resting IN Him.
The nine others of the ten commandments got detailed, like as it is already a sin when looking at another woman in lust. [ in connection with adultery].
I just wanted to bring this up as a reminder. Some modern “christians” following the teaching of; Jesus fulfilled the ‘law’… which is right, and go on to “we are forgiven, past, present and future… which, in principle, is right too….but they go so far as to believe they can now break every commandment of Jesus wilfully [sinning]
and being still forgiven [without repentance?]
I hope, I do not get misunderstood in what I try to express here ?
Michael Clark says:
July 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm
Yes, 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 where he quotes Jeremiah 31:31-33. Here the prophet specifies a NEW Covenant was being made to replace the old and this one would be 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!”
Gaby, See “What Covenant Are We Of” that I just posted for clarification on your point.
It is so good to read these words. However I do struggle with the thought that Hudson Taylor expressed when he said we get faith, not by striving after faith, but by resting in the faithful One. I do long to rest in that Faithful Lord Jesus and know that He is faithful to support, comfort and abide with us forever. Yet I still am carrying bodily sickness and seem to have no faith for its removal. I know He said “If he shall say to this mountain be removed and be cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart,… he shall have whatsoever he saith”, It would seem that I don’t have that kind of faith because my mountain is not moved into the sea. Can this kind of faith come by resting in the Faithful One?
I know that sickness is a hard row to hoe. I have had arthritis and arthritic pain in my body since I was 26, 42 years, now. Yet, I also am learning that pain is not our enemy in all cases. C.S. Lewis said that pain is God’s megaphone to a deaf world. I know one thing, it sure does make you focus and pray. Paul also had suffering and weakness to deal with in His own life, but he finally came to the point that He saw God in it all and said he would rather glory in his weaknesses, trials and sufferings, because when he was weak, Christ was made perfect within him. I know that God prepares me to go out and visit with His saints by making me weak and stripping my mind of anything that I might think that needs to be said and I see where Paul also said that when he came to the church at Corinth he came the same way, that their faith would not rest in the strengths of a man, but rather in the power of God. Sister, if you have prayed for a healing and your ailment remains, then ask God that He would show you these truths personally so that you might glory in his gift to you.
The further I walk this journey into the fullness of His kingdom the more I see that rest and faith are the same thing. Along with them comes perfect peace and patience… love and Joy… kindness and meekness and even self-control. That is the nature of resting in our Father’s arms. Yes, it is a labor to enter into His rest and it doesn’t come easy. It seems that we have to expend ourselves of all our attempts at self effort before we just GIVE UP!
So, cast all your cares upon Him for HE cares for you more than you will ever know and has your best in mind according to His eternal view point. When we finally give up our struggle is when He finally acts.
Love you in the Son,