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The Daily Word of Righteousness
God's Unfolding Plan, #13
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (II Corinthians 5:15)
To be a Christian, to come under the new covenant, we must take up our cross of self-denial and follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
To be a Christian, to come under the new covenant, we must live no longer for our own pleasures and ambitions but for Christ. Christ, having died in our place, owns us. We are His bondslaves.
Therefore, the tradition that Christ came down from Heaven primarily to forgive us in our sins and to bring us back to Heaven to live in beautiful mansions is but a faint and distorted glimmer of the spiritual realities. Divine grace is stupendously more than the forgiveness of sins. Divine grace is the wisdom and power of God in Christ that delivers people from the guilt, power, and effects of sin, forms the moral nature of Christ in them, and then brings them into total, restful union with the Godhead.
We have seen, therefore, that the grace of God given under the new covenant greatly exceeds in glory the provisions given by the Lord to men under any former set of relationships. We have observed also that the accompanying requirements greatly exceed the former. Truly, much has been given to us. Truly, much is being required of us.
It is a mystery how devout scholars, after studying the Scriptures, ever came to the conclusion that new-covenant grace primarily is an unconditional forgiveness of those who make a profession of belief in Christ and then live careless, lustful, self-centered lives.
If the grace given and the participation expected are so total, so utter, so demanding on God and men, are the opportunities for blessing and glory correspondingly great? Yes, they are.
What rewards and opportunities are available to the participant in the new covenant? The second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation set forth the consequences of overcoming the world, Satan, and our lusts and self-will; of living a victorious Christian life.
By living a victorious Christian life we mean the believer avails himself by faith of the fullness of the Divine grace being offered, and that he gives himself to Christ according to the requirements of the new covenant. Through the grace of the Lord Jesus he overcomes all that is of sin and self-will. When he stumbles and falls he rises again, in the Lord, and continues in the warfare according to the ability God gives. This is what it means to be a true Christian, a true saint, a true member of the Body of Christ, of the Wife of the Lamb, of the new Jerusalem.
We have described in other writings the rewards to the overcomer. The receiving of these rewards is not restricted to the time after we die physically. The rewards of the second and third chapters of Revelation are increments of life, of power, of authority, of Divine Substance being added to us as we conquer and that aid us in gaining still further victories.
To be continued.