Thursday, September 29, 2011

A "Test" That Reveals Great Good News

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
We know that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (cf. John 3:16). But do you really and trulybelieve that Good News?

Or do you deep in your heart actually resist the goodness of the News and tend to believe the Bad News of a distorted "works gospel"? Do you unconsciously miss the joy of salvation "in Christ"?

Well, here's a test that you can take on yourself. It's in Paul's Letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, vss. 16, 17: "I say then, Walk in the [Holy] Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth [that means, strives] against the [Holy] Spirit, and the Spirit [strives] against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so thatye cannot do the things that ye would" (KJV).

Here's the question: What are those "things that you cannot do"?
Good things? Or bad things? Think.

I have asked many congregations, and the usual answer is, "Good things." People think of Romans 7:15: "What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I."

But they forget: here in Galatians Paul is saying, Go for a walk with the Holy Spirit and let Him hold you by the hand (cf. Isa. 41:10-13; yes, He has promised to hold your hand!), and this is the reason why you "cannot do the [evil] things that ye would."

Those "things that ye cannot do" are not the good things! They are the bad things that your sinful nature is always trying to prompt you to do; once upon a time they were the easiest things you could do; but now that you walk with the Holy Spirit and He is holding you by your hand, you cannot do the evil things you once loved to "do."

This "test" reveals that the true Gospel is great Good News. "The love [agape] of Christ constraineth us" (2 Cor. 5:14). The Lord does not force you, but His love (agape) motivates you; you discover that now your heart is changed so that what you once loved (that leads to death) you now hate, and what you once couldn't stand, you now love!

If you will believe John 3:16!

Again we do what the distraught father did when he cried out, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief" (Mark 9:24). And we can never perish while we pray that prayer.

--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 18, 2007.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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