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Page 302


 

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

- Romans 7: 18-25

 





Spiritual growth in sanctification takes place both in a downward and upward direction - it grows roots downward to bring forth fruits upward. What does this mean, and why is this dual growth necessary?

In regeneration, God delivers the elect from the dominion and ruling power of sin. He is no longer a slave to sin and Satan as he was formerly. Yet the remnants of sin remain alive in him, and he must battle against these continually.

In this spiritual struggle against sin, God's children painfully experience the deep, remaining sinful corruption in their hearts and their incapabilities to overcome sin in their own strength. This experience directs them away from trusting in themselves - in their spiritual strength and holiness - to seeking refuge in Jesus Christ in whom infinite strength and perfect holiness are to be found.

Do you personally know something of this soul struggle in your life's experience?

The believer's help, strength, and stability -also in sanctification - are to be found only in Jesus Christ, in faith and communion with Him. Christ has earned His people's sanctification and to Him the sanctifying Holy Spirit has been given. We are totally dependent upon Christ: outwardly - upon His merits, and inwardly - upon His applying Spirit. If believers lose sight of Christ, their faith will waver and their growth in sanctification will be hindered.

    When Jesus walked upon the water to reach His disciples in their boat, Peter also walked on the water to meet Jesus. But something happened which caused him to sink. Read this from:

    Matthew 14:28-31

    And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.

    And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

    But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

    And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?


    As long as Peter's eyes were focussed upon Christ, he walked on the water by faith, but when he removed Christ from his vision and looked at the wind and waves, he began to sink.

    How does this same lesson apply to the believer's growing or "sinking" life of faith and sanctification?


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