It’s important to be aware that the only means by which the human race can “escape” the enslavement of Satan, sins and the law of sin and death is Jesus Christ, God’s Son Acts 4:12, Romans 8:2.
The word “escape” is synonymous with “saved or a believer”—that is, a mortal who’s engaged to God. It’s the highest honour we mortals can get and it happens instantaneously by believing in the once for all time sacrifice of Christ Romans 10:9, 1 Peter 3:18. God is not married to any mortal. Paul, the apostle affirmed this truth when He said, I betrothed you to one Husband 2 Corinthians 11:2. In God, there’s coming a due season when believers will put on immortal body and then will come the everlasting marriage Revelation 19: 6-8. This truth brings us to the controversial doctrine of “once saved, always saved or eternal security” which is sadly gaining extensive traction among Christians.
The doctrine has roots in rigid predestination and new age thoughts. For this reason, it’s worth stating that the birth, crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ manifested the reality of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world as the Book of life. Whoever believe in or accepts His sacrifice willingly receives Salvation (Is Saved). It has to be willingly because God is not a dictator although He’s sovereign.
How can totally depraved human ever be willing? This mystery is resolved because before Adam and Eve (Our first parents) fell, God had sacrificed His Lamb (Son) from the foundation of the earth (Verse 8 of Revelation 13KJV). Notice that the phrase: “From the foundation of the earth” is in relation to when the Lamb was slain and not when God determined for some people to be Heaven bound and others to damnation.
God foreknew Satan will use predestination to lie against Him therefore, God’s inspired word to His prophets and apostles as written in the scriptures is, whoever—whoever—whoever accepts Salvation is sealed (given) “not locked” — with the Holy Spirit as a deposit … Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:22. This is the new birth wherein believers stand by faith.
In a nutshell, the doctrine of “once saved, always saved” states that, ‘once a person has actually received the gift of Salvation, thereafter, no matter how he or she stray after Satan (Verse 11 & 15 of 1 Timothy 5ESV) and keeps practising sin for which Christ died and rose to sanctify believers unto obedience 1 Peter 1: 2, John 8:12, his/her salvation is secured eternally’. Some of its proponents put a proviso, ‘No one who is actually saved can afterwards go back to practising sin’. This doctrine misconstrue the phrase of verse 8 of Ephesians 2 which says, “our Salvation is the gift of God …” to mean that God gives humankinda gift named salvation because of Christ by grace through faith. This is far from the truth!
The truth is, Christ is the gift God gives to humankind as Salvation by grace through faith. In other words, Christ is the Salvation those who believe receive into their hearts and not some imaginary gift apart from Himself. That’s why He’s our Righteousness 1 Corinthians 1:30. Receiving Christ into our hearts by grace through faith is our Salvation (Regeneration, Engagement and Courtship); of which its culmination is marriage (Salvation to the utmost) Hebrews 7:25, 1 Peter 1:9, 13. Notice that intercession is still being made for the engaged people (Bride) to be saved to the utmost. That’s why Christianity is a lively relationship with the living Triune God. Because it’s a relationship and can be walked away from, believers are admonished to remain or abide (don’t disengage or stop beholding Christ’s face) as His purpose and mission to have us as His wife is being accomplished John 15:4, 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Worthy of note is this: Having difficulties in a Courtship, and walking away from the relationship are two different kettle of fish. Walk away, and there’ll be no marriage! Persevere and love will conquer all!
This picture is illustrative of how believers’ safety is only in their abiding in Christ. To come out of the safety of the car is to expose oneself to the roaring lion—it’s suicidal, no doubt! For this reason, we must abide in Him as the Holy Spirit is driving 1 Peter 5:8, Romans 8:14. Our Salvation journey is more about us being led by the Holy Spirit than we making efforts. The pilgrim journey gets sweeter everyday if and only if we accept to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Christ, our salvation and righteousness makes all whom He indwells to desire His sinless perfect life Philippians 2:13. This doesn’t mean we’ve reached “sinless perfect living” hence the need for repentant lifestyle by reason of use. Nonetheless, the desire to live daily in and as Christ by His motivation differentiates those who’re being saved to the utmost from those who choose to crucify Him the second time, the self-righteous and the wicked Hebrews 6:6.
As a people betrothed to Christ, we’re encouraged to walk in the Holy Spirit—growing from glory to glory in righteousness (Christ) Galatians 5:25, Philippians 3:9-10, 1-8. Living daily from the position and enablement of the Holy Spirit is a new way of life to all believers who, hitherto, wallowed in and were accustomed to disobedience and unfaithfulness since we were dead and had “unrevived minds”. As a result, we need renewing (Pruning) as branches in the Vine John 15:5. Although we’re believers, we can stop the almighty God pruning us by us not presenting/submitting ourselves or abiding in His Son Romans 12:1-2. How can any doctrine that deny this truth be right!?
Some may ask, “What happens to a person who gets engaged to Christ and falls dead the next minute”? Well, the question answers its self—the person was still engaged before departing to await his/her immortal body with which to enter the marriage supper in due time. Unfortunately, the concept of “once saved, always saved” says, “Christ is bound to marry those who disengaged Him while they were clothed with their mortal bodies”. This hypothesis goes against both spiritual and natural principles.
By deliberately or unintentionally misinterpreting the truth in 1 Peter 2:24, the “once saved, always saved” precept subtly saps Christians of the grace to live (submit) to God and resist Satan’s temptations especially in the area(s) of besetting sin(s) that war against our souls 1 Peter 2:11. War against our souls—meaning, wooing us to disengage Christ, court another and live to our flesh Romans 8:12, 2 Corinthians 11:3.
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus emphasised that believers’ willing submission is pivotal because God’s imputed righteousness (Christ), does not enslave anyone engaged to Him rather; all who come to Him become bond servants (followers) of righteousness willingly because of His love towards them. Paul’s point in Romans 16:7 and Philemon 1:9 is not that Christ imprisoned them but a reference that the wicked ruling people unjustly imprisoned him and others because they were faithful to their engagement to Christ, their Lord.
Christ brings His sheep into His Kingdom (Himself) full of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Notice the Holy Spirit doesn’t bring righteousness, peace and joy to anyone instead, all who are in Him enjoy these virtues. They give themselves as slaves to something they enjoy and not enslaved by something they don’t desire. That’s why the law of the spirit of life in Christ produces righteous lifestyle only in believers who thirst and hunger for righteousness Matthew 5:6, Romans 8:13b.
Emphasis! God’s imputed righteousness in believers is Christ’s nature and He doesn’t force Himself out of a believer. As a result, a person who has Christ (saved or redeemed) can decide to stop following or abiding in Him, choose to grieve the Holy Spirit and even blaspheme Him. This is the reason we Christians can still disobey the Holy Spirit to forgive one another and continue murdering one another with hatred 1 John 3:15. No believer who hate and refuse to forgive any other person on earth will be married to Christ (saved to the utmost!) Matthew 6:15.
Scriptures outline factors that make it possible for a Christian to fall away and live unperturbed as an unfaithful fiancée. In the main, it’s looking away from Christ, neglecting the voice of the Holy Spirit and not resisting Satan James 4:7. With this in mind, we’re exhorted and admonished, “Abide in me & I in you. … John 15:4” and don’t grieve the Holy Spirit Ephesians 4:30, James 4:7. Why? The Spirit’s work/fruit is cultivated only in Christ and exhibited via the abiding branches (People of the Way), the Church. While our human kind deeds can attract God’s attention, it’s not the basis upon which God puts His Spirit in us. Christ is the basis and it’s the reason God had to send Peter to philanthropic “Cornelius”. The Cornelius’ of this world need Christ to be saved and saved to the utmost.
When a person receive Salvation, he or she becomes a branch that has all it needs (All of God’s resources) because of the Vine and must abide and bear fruit. Any branch that refuses to abide (stay on bearing fruit) in the Vine is cut off. Those that abide are pruned to continue to bear more fruit John 15:2.
Christ is not only the Righteousness of believers—He is our High Priest, Evangelist, Apostle, Prophet, Shepherd and our God. As our High Priest, He understands our weaknesses having tasted all we can ever experience in our pilgrimage especially the weakness of attempting to look away from Grace and suppose we’re still on the journey. Jesus always looked to or abided in His Father and we’re instructed to look to or abide in Christ Jesus (our road map, destination or destiny). He’s always in front of us and this being the case, our “every weight and besetting sin(s)” is/are always behind us. Against this background, we must set aside (overcome)by not looking back or away from Christ. No one can be looking at Christ and sinning at the same time Hebrews 12:1-2, Philippians 3:13, Luke 9:62. You may have noticed how mere religious environments makes us pious. How much more will we be truly godly by looking to or beholding Christ’s face!
As His disciples, we can fall for any sin we imagine or consider more attractive than the Lamb because it’s with our imagination we look to or look away from things James 1:14. Hence, God inspires us to set our imagination on the perfect sinless blood of His Lamb. It’s the centre of His attraction. From His Blood, we have life and draw life. We live above any sin we don’t relish more than Christ, our bridegroom Colossians 2: 6, 2 Peter 1:3-11. However, the fact we can choose to sin, walk away or refuse to abide in Christ highlights the error of “once saved, ever saved”, and nullifies the prideful doctrine of “sinless perfection”. While a static vehicle will not reach its destiny, a moving vehicle eventually will Hosea 6:3, Philippians 3:12, 1 John 3:3.
As God’s beloved children and bride of Christ, He knows when our love is fading away from Him—when our touch of Him grows cold as if someone else controls our very soul. Although He’s patient with us, it doesn’t mean He’s not hurt seeing us flirting with the Anti-Christ. We may still call on His name and be churchy but it doesn’t stop Him knowing we’ve lost our first love for Him—He feels the emptiness inside of us Matthew 24:12, Revelation 2:5. This is why we’re lovingly and extensively exhorted and admonished in the inerrant scripture (Bible) to keep our imagination on the stature of Christ and we’ll not fulfil the sinful instincts fighting to destroy our souls Philippians 4:8-9.
It’s only when we look away from Christ that sinful instincts prevail over us. Therefore, if we get miserable, guilt ridden, depressed, confused, lose our joy and get offended with Christ because we were overtaken or fell into sin, we need to meditate on the thought below:
Was the dominion we had over the sin that has now overtaken us our own righteousness or was it the one we received as a gift by faith in Christ while we looked to Him? If it is the latter, then, we need to get up quickly! —Repent! And Stop enjoying corruption and rottenness. Pig’s pen is not meant for sheep! Get back to His blood and fix your eyes there. If our hearts (eyes) is not divided but single—centred on Christ, His temple on earth (our whole being – Spirit, soul and body) will be full of His light Luke 11:34.
But, if we choose to remain in the miry clay it’s because we’re enjoying sin and not wanting to abide in Him as a branch or fiancée. If we stay there—taken in by sin’s deceitfulness and our hearts harden, it goes fromfalling into sin—to living, practising or walking in sin (Darkness) Hebrews 3:13. In which case, we may be lured into grabbing the ramshackle doctrine of “once saved, always saved”.
Rightly, as stated by J D. Walt, “The need to convince oneself of their eternal security is itself the greatest sign of eternal insecurity” therefore, He continued “Our greatest need isn’t for a doctrine of eternal security but the graciously granted gift of Divine assurance which comes from the Holy Spirit”. We don’t convince ourselves rather, the Holy Spirit does in each believer’s heart Romans 8:16.
Our journey in and with Christ is one way and onward ever with the good luxury and privilege to run to the throne of grace when we’re becoming short-sighted and weary. The Christian soldier’s onward march is in and towards the God of love, mercy, grace and holiness. He is a consuming fire that burns away sins from all who run to Him for mercy, forgiveness and overcoming grace.
Our engagement to Christ is glorious and described as the hope of glory Colossians 1: 27. So, when comes the glory? At the consummation which is the marriage! Those who have this hope in them purify themselves (Are faithful in courtship) as He was and is 1 John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:14-15. Amen!
Therefore, the decision to abide in Christ or not is our choice. God has done and given Christ’s bride everything she needs to live godly, faithfully, justly, mercifully and humbly in this present life and to finish well (Abide to the end) 2 Timothy 4:7. The Lord’s greatest desire is to see us finish well—keep the faith. I trust and pray that you and I will finish well by His grace that’s working in us and with us. Amen!
There are monstrous problems in our communities and they’re affecting everyone dwelling on the earth. We can’t pretend to be unconcerned. However, it’s worse to pretend we have them under control— pretending in this way can cause us to be engrossed with solving earth’s problems to the neglect of worshipping and praising the Almighty God. That’s why the heart of God’s true people (His Church) not “our church”, is sighing and crying for the Lord’s fullness. It’s a call for Him to finish His blueprint for humankind.
God is responding as the Bread of Heaven is now touching His people’s soul more than ever and persuading those who’re not yet engaged to Christ Jesus to do so quickly. For these reasons, hearts no more want to “linger in Judea’s plain but desire to flee to the mountain top”. Therefore, the objective content in the saint’s prayers in this hour is captured in the song:
Hear us o Lord, Hear our souls deep sighing
Hear us o Lord for our hearts yearn for You
As the thirsty pants for the water brook
So our hungry souls pant after You
(You’ve awoken us from sleep and being awake, we clearly see) “the wild geese fleeing—flying away from the winter’s night like the lilies striving just to reach the light”. This is inspiring us to hear the “bridegroom’s call from our innermost being” and our sincere response is:
Lord, take us to Your mountain top as you have desired to have us as Your wife (Save us to the utmost).
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new. But all things are of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17,18 ASV)
The all-inclusive rule of the new creation is that “all things are of (out from) God.” Concerning this fact the Apostle Paul uses the word “but” – “But all things are of God” – as though he would anticipate, intercept, or arrest an impulse to rush away and attempt life or service upon an old creation basis, or with old creation resource. The great question then is: What does it mean that all things in this new creation are out from God? What kind of a life will such a life be? To answer that question adequately would be a very comprehensive task and the most revolutionary thing conceivable.
To begin with, we should have to be settled regarding the difference between the old and the new creations, and then as to how far-reaching that difference is. In addition, we should need to see that God has put these two creations asunder, utterly and forever, and however gracious and forbearing He may be with us in our ignorance and slowness of apprehension, He never accepts the overlapping or intertwining of the two. Then there would be the further need of an inward, intelligent judgment and power by which we are made aware of the Divine veto upon the one and energy toward the other….
It is not what is done for God that will last, but what is done by God. The measure of spiritual value is determined by the measure in which God promotes it, not the measure of human activities according to human judgments and energies in the name of God.
In the Old Testament, King Saul epitomised the system and rule that failed woefully, and its adoption in our time is still failing. It was bound to fail. Why? It originated from God’s people’s desire to pursue their own purpose and mission and not God’s perfect will to be King over them 1 Samuel 8:1-10, 11-17, 18-22, 2 Corinthians 11:20.
Within God’s “acceptable will”, Saul became King over God’s people. But, God is always progressing His people towards His ultimate plan for them so, in time, the root of Jesse — David, became King according to God’s “good will”. However, David’s Kingship was a run-up to God’s “perfect will” in the Person of His Son — Christ Jesus, the true and final King of the Church (God’s people).
1 Chronicle 12, chronicled the events of David’s crowning which is a pointer to the events that will also precede the crowning of Christ as King in the Church. Hence, since the birth of the Church, from the four corners of the earth, God’s army (Often nicknamed disgruntled fellows) have been coming out of the twelve tribes of “Israel” to crown Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings. The era of types/shadows or “acceptable and good will” of God has to give way for His “perfect will” to fill all in all Ephesians 1:22-23.
The root of Jesse, the true King and a High priest forever after the order of Melchizedek has taken centre stage. All previous kingship, high priests, system and law are obsolete and no scheme of man can keep them going Hebrews 7. The functioning of the evangelists, apostles, prophets, teachers, shepherds and every other spiritual gifts is meant to invite the unsaved to seek salvation in Jesus Christ and to focus the church to walk with Christ as her leader, head and King in all things through faith. These gifts are for the fulfilment of God’s “perfect will” and not to reinstate and sustain “type and shadows” that has passed away like Moses’s glory 1 Timothy 4:16.
Now, more than ever before, God’s army is eager to grow in the stature of her true King, not through mixed reign but His alone via the law of the Spirit of life. Hence, “trendy Christianity” can no longer stop them from knowing that picking up the cross daily is imperative Philippians 3:18. The narrow way of the cross is the only way to be glorified with Christ Romans 8:16-17.
What does it mean for us to pick up the cross daily? Based on what we have heard, seen and touched in accordance with the Bible and the Spirit’s witness, it means to daily crown Christ as King over our lives by the leading of the Holy Spirit Romans 8:14 . The Holy Spirit prompts, helps and comforts us individually and collectively to hold on to the cross in our pilgrimage Luke 9:23. He accomplishes this in and with us through:
Light as well as darkness
Momentary afflictions and victories
The Holy Spirit is at work in you and me as God’s temple and when we gather together because the all-wise God seeks a mighty army not a feeble one. He will have the Church be as the seasoned troop of Zebulun and full of understanding as Issachar with singleness of purpose.
That the Church as His Son’s bride may be tested, faithful, truly loving Him and committed under every situation. In this way, all things work together for the good of the Church Romans 8:28. Despite all oppositions, the church’s experience of growth in Christ will keep her overwhelmingly joyful Philippians 4:4, Romans 12:12. There’s nothing that compares to it. It’s mentally, physically and spiritually refreshing 1 Timothy 4:8. It’s a priceless lifestyle!
With respect to this Church Christ is building, tried and true, the gates of hell can’t stop her from crowning Him as her King and has no chance of victory over her Matthew 16:18, Hebrews 12:27. Herein is our boasting — that we know the Lord (we’re a part of His one body) and a living sacrifice. As a living sacrifice, we’re thankful and appreciative of Christ’s love, mercy and grace in and through us 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. The sovereign authority of Christ in and amongst those His blood has purchased unto God is unstoppable.
As the coming of Christ Jesus, the final King of the Church draws nearer, necessity is laid upon all of us who have put Him on (born again Galatians 3:27) to crown Him King (put on Christ) over our daily lives Romans 13:11, 12, 13-14. It’s for this purpose the church is now under tremendous pressure on every side to act with understanding as the five wise virgins Matthew 25:4. The Lord is coming in the midst of the night and the Church will be ready to meet Him with shouts of rejoicing.
The bible’s profound declaration is, “God is Love”. Everything God does emanates from Love. Though Adam and Eve’s sin caused us the human race to step out of living, moving and having our essence in God or Love, Love was active to save mankind 1 John 1:29.
It’s only as we receive or know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that we return to living, moving and having our being in Love or God Ephesians 3:19, 1 John 4:16.
Although Love is latent, He produces actions. Love propelled the plan of redemption because He loved (Wanted Himself) in us. He is not seeking for us to fill-up His lack because He alone is self-sufficient. He is pure and loves mankind sincerely as His children by creation. He is inviting all mankind to return to Him through the sacrificial death and resurrection of His Lamb. Why? Because He loves us John 3:16.
All who accept His invitation (Christ Jesus) are blessed with “eternal life or Love” which has overthrown the “spirit of this age” and are no longer of the world though in the world John 17:14. As a result, while journeying through this world, Love is working in and with Christ’s disciples to possess their being, live and move in Love. The life of Love is curing and protecting those in Christ from the diseases of pride of life, lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh.
God’s love has been shed in the hearts of all His people (the body of Christ or the Church) because it’s only through Christ’s love that we come into the fullness of God — into heaven’s love, peace and wisdom different from that of the world Romans 5:5, John 14:27, James 3:17.
Having been born-again of the Spirit, the community of God’s people are called not to mimic actions of love but to live the life of love (Christ’s divine nature) through God’s great and precious promises 2 Peter 1:4. What are the “great and precious promises”? “I will live my life in my people AND walk amongst them 2 Corinthians 6:16, Matthew 18:20. Those in religion mimicking actions of love end up loving some people and hating others. But those led by the Spirit to living the life of love hates no one. This is the awesomeness of God’s grace at work in those who have relationship with Christ.
God’s life of love is lived through us only as we let Him guide us to understand Love. Whilst it’s possible for all humans to mimic actions of love, wisdom and have worldly peace, only those whom Love dwells in and with can live the life of peace, wisdom and love which is the fruit of the Spirit (Actions motivated by Love) Galatians 5:22. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes had the doctrine of Love, acted lovingly towards some people but never lived the life of love Matthew 23:1-2 3, 4 and 5. Even Hitler had people he acted lovingly towards. Anything short of God living through us can mean anything but the life of love.
The bible never refers to action(s) as love rather, it’s the Spirit behind the action(s) which accord to God’s word that is referred to as Love. Paul the Apostle clarified this delicate divide when he said, ‘giving away all of our possession and submitting to die in the place of another person can be done yet not in or by Love’ 1 Corinthians 13: 3, 1-2. This is why Paul distinctly referred to the work of the Thessalonian church as “labour of love” 1 Thessalonians 1:3. Not all labour or action is of or done by love.
Many of Jesus’s labours or actions don’t pass our human estimation of what love and politeness is because He lived the life of love led by the Spirit to please His Father first and foremost. Maybe you’re thinking, this is precarious. Yes, it is! However, Romans 8:14 and 1 Corinthians 2:15 explains it well. It’s the true life of love.
As said earlier, although Love is latent, the Spirit makes Love or God manifest in actions. For this reason, Peter exhorted the Church thus, ‘Above all, let Love grow earnestly or deeply in you —towards everyone because Love covers or forgives a multitude of sins’ 1 John 3:23. Notice Peter’s exhortation syncs with the second greatest command of God to His people both in the Old and New Testament Matthew 22:39. The command to love others or one another deeply is given only to those who have God or Christ since no one can love another in the sense God desires without Him or Christ. So, the fulfilment of this command is predicated on the first command to love (Have) God with all of our being (spirit, soul and body) Matthew 22:38, 1 John 4:19, 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
How can we truly love one another earnestly?
When we let Love or Christ fill our soul and motivate us, our love for one another deepens. Then, our “thinking” (covert) and “actions” (overt) towards everyone and especially “people of the household of faith” becomes as Christ (As He is so are we in this world) Galatians 6:10, Matthew 10:42.
It’s important to reiterate that action(s) is/are not what is referred to as love rather, it’s the Person that motivates our action(s). Hence, the life of love is a lifestyle of loving our brothers and forgiving 1 John 4:20-21,Matthew 7:12.
How does Love forgive or cover a multitude of sins?
James the Apostle explained it when he said, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins”. If we’re motivated by Love to reach out to those who don’t have Christ or derailing brothers, love will save them from death by forgiving (covering) their sins. The action of reaching out is not the love. The reaching out can be of self and not love. This is why verse 1 of Galatians 6 said, “you who are spiritual” meaning, you are motivated by love — let meekness govern your reaching out as exhibited in Paul’s speech, “for love’s sake” Philemon 1:8-9.
Christ needs to grow deeply in us because none of us by ourselves can love and forgive sins in the sense God desires without Love being deeply rooted in us. It’s Love that covers or forgives (not overlooks) a multitude of sins. Only Love can forgive sins.
To forgive others so that we can be forgiven is not exactly God’s ideal of forgiveness. This type of forgiveness is self-motivated, cheap, ineffective, full of guile, null and void. Oh! Don’t worry I forgive, I forgive you! Really?! Where is the healing and reconciliation!? Forgiving is something only God can do through us and it has immediate healing and a reconciling effect both on the person forgiveness is flowing out from and the recipient of the forgiveness Matthew 6:15.
The Church (People of grace or power) are admonished, “confess your sins (faults) one to another… ” So that forgiveness, healing and reconciliation flow freely through us for one another to the praise of God James 5:16, 1 John 5:17.
The uniqueness of the church’s purpose and mission is pivoted on and driven by Love. So, we know, the start and end of our Christian life is Love. Every temptation we Christians face is a temptation to step out of love. Therefore, Jesus’ strongest admonition to His sheep is, “abide in me and I in you”. Outside of Love all of our good deeds can be anything but far from love.
God’s heart towards mankind is love (Christ). Those who reject the life of love sentence themselves to the wrath of the second death because, the day of judgement is a day of the revelation of perfected love 1 John 4:17, Romans 8:19. The Church’s purpose is to live the life of love with His many sided wisdom in pursuing her mission of pointing the world to Christ.
Living the life of Love is beautiful with implications summarized thus: Christ by the Holy Spirit will live through us to please His Father just as He did during His earthly ministry and not to please everyone and be loved by everyone. The whole essence of living the life of love is for God’s glory which enhances our well-being now and forever.
This meditation is taken from “The Hyssop that Springeth Out of the Wall” by George H Warnock
We can understand how a man gifted with wisdom would write about great and lofty things; but God would show us that men of wisdom are concerned also about little things. It reminds us of Paul’s admonition: “Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate,” (Romans 12:16).
Much reference is made in Scripture to both the Cedar and the Hyssop; but whereas the Cedar speaks of stature and honour and glory, the Hyssop always relates to sacrifice… and therefore to humility, weakness and contrition of heart. Other than this I knew nothing about the plant itself. But after having been impressed to minister on the “hyssop” relative to its weakness and sacrificial character, I felt to put it in writing; and I have since looked up a number of reference books concerning it.
I found it grows in dry places, out in the full sun. It is particularly suited to a rockery, and this may be inferred in the statement that it “springeth out of the wall”–perhaps a terraced rock wall. It is low-growing, up to about 2 feet. It is native to Egypt. It has strong wiry stems, with bunches of flowers and leaves. Produces small bluish-purple flowers, and has a sweet fragrance. It is a bitter herb, belonging to the mint family, and was once used for medicinal purposes. It seemed to grow plentifully in Egypt, for on the Passover night it was readily obtainable to every Israelitish family, who would use it for the sprinkling of the blood. It was used for various sacrificial purposes in the Levitical order, and therefore must have grown extensively in the wilderness also. It is always associated with “sacrifice”… so that even at Calvary, when the supreme Sacrifice was being offered, mention is again made of the lowly “hyssop.”
Solomon, a great and Wise man, was impressed to write about the weak, insignificant “hyssop.” Great men are always small enough to take note of little things.
They are concerned about the weak. Jesus stood still at the cry of a blind beggar. True greatness reveals itself in areas of meekness, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.
The world considers a meek man to be a weak man. But God considers the meek to be strong. They shall inherit the earth; because in their meekness and weakness, their confidence is not in themselves but in Another.
The weak must assume an attitude of defensiveness; but the strong are prepared to let the Truth defend itself. So when the weak assume positions of power and authority, as is often the case, they must use that power and authority to bolster their own inadequacy. The meek are strong, because they are prepared to commit their cause into the hands of God who judgeth righteously.
As I ministered about the hyssop I could not help but think of our own little fellowship. It seems so fragile. What is it that keeps us gathering together week after week? Just a handful of us… but we will travel 30, 50, 70 or a 100 miles a week just to gather with a handful of people in someone’s home. But when you come to know God’s ways a little, what does it matter whether there be 20 or 30 people, or 1,000? God can use 20 as well as 2,000… 1 as well as 10,000. It doesn’t really matter, as long as we are faithful; and as long as God is directing us in this way. But how strange this may sound to those who have not known God’s ways?
How long will we continue to gather in this manner? We certainly do not know; for we have no plans to fulfill of our own. And we are reminded that the precious “hyssop” having served its purpose was thrown away! Precious as it is in the eyes of the Lord, it was made for sacrifice.
And every sacrifice that delights the heart of God requires it. God has therefore put it within the reach of all. It grows there at our feet, lightly esteemed by most… but prepared of the Lord for sacrifice… a certain kind of sacrifice: the sacrifice of a broken spirit and a contrite heart. It is not something beyond our reach.
The elders of Israel had no problem finding it… apparently it was right outside their doors, and when the blood had to be sprinkled on the doorposts, the hyssop was readily obtained. When the last Passover Lamb was offered, hyssop was there too, and readily obtainable. When Jesus cried “I thirst,” a soldier bunched some hyssop together and lifted it to Jesus’ mouth with a sponge full of sour wine. He must use hyssop to fulfill the Scriptures, and God had provided it even on Mount Calvary! Then it was discarded… it had served its purpose.
But what waste? And to what purpose is this waste?
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24, 25).