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Love Union

Is pride, even unknowingly, delaying our growth in Christ’s image (Eph 4:15)? If so, it’s only because we may not be as open as we should to the Spirit’s teaching (1Co 2:13). Of course pride for all believers, in some degree or another—regardless of how humble—is always effecting us in what we do. We’re tainted but not painted. That is, we, in protest, sin (as a captive against his will - Ro 7:23); but we no longer desire to walk after it because we “are not in the flesh (i.e. sin nature), but in the Spirit” (Ro 8:9).

Love Union

All too few realize the import of being an actual member of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him” (1Co 12:18). He has set each of us in the Body; but it is only as you realize it that you become an effective witness for Christ.

All His members are to derive from Him, as He is the “True Vine.” We are of Christ—a part of Him. Affecting thought! The distinction between the Gospel and the Church is that the Gospel sets you free from the man under judgment; and the Church is His Body, of which each is a member. You are united in life to the One who delivered you from the death of judgment; you are a wholly new creation.

God built a woman of the bone of a man. Eve was of the same nature as Adam. You are united to the Lord, the last Adam, the moment you are spiritually born into Him. “For we are members of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Eph 5:30). Do you know the reality of that eternal union? The profound blessedness of glory will be that there is unbroken fellowship between the Lord Jesus and us.

Abraham’s steward, in seeking a bride for Isaac, was sworn that she should be of kindred birth. It is the work not of the Spirit to conduct each of us to the Lord Jesus where He is (i.e. in our walk—NC). Then there is the sense of union and oneness. It was Stephen who first had the realization of union, but he did not know the doctrine of it (nobody did until God used Paul to reveal the Body of Christ—NC). He was conducted by the Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus in glory before he left this earth.

Believers are marked by what they know of the Word, by the Spirit (1Co 2:13). A man who knows forgiveness is occupied with the Savior. The mark of the one realizing his union with the risen Lord Jesus is Ephesians 3:14—“for this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Lord Jesus’s interests are his. His individuality is merged; he is altogether occupied with the Lord Jesus—you know you are one with Him before the throne of the Father.

Many a one knows the doctrine that he is united to Christ who does not know in his soul what union with Him is (equally important is fellowship, for there can be union without fellowship, until maturity is established; which, according to Philippians 2:13 eventuates with all reborn—NC). One must first have the desire to join Him There. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:2, 3). True love must be in the presence of its Lover!

What do you call love? Is it when one seeks to please you in everything, anticipating your wants and wishes? God’s love has one thought about me—to make me suited to Himself. There is a way of testing love; love takes an interest in me; it is not what one gives me—that might be benevolence—but what I find very rare is one taking a divine interest in me (different from only a natural interest God—NC). Are you looking for the affection of Christians? You will not get it, because you are going the wrong way for it if you are seeking to make yourself an object of consideration.

I often say to parents, Seek the interest of that child, and you are sure to win his heart. If you take an interest in a person, you are sure to pray for that person (that is the proof of it); it is easy to do what you could for him, but the point is, you take a loving interest in him.

The Lord Jesus’ love has but one thought or purpose about me—that I should be like Him, suitable to Him, morally conformed to His image as I grow (Eph 4:15). He would like me to be with Him and suitable to Him, “that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2Co 4:11).

—J B Stoney

Miles J Stanford’s “None but the Hungry Heart” online devotional for May 20:

“When the Spirit of Christ has the hungry heart prepared, there will be surrender. No struggle; no questions. “We reason when we ought to repose; we doubt when we ought to depend. Confidence in our Father’s love is the true corrective in all things.” “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him” (2 Tim. 1:12). -Miles J Stanford

“If a believer surrenders or lays aside anything without an adequate divine motive, he will either secretly hanker after it, and probably long to return to it, or he will take credit to himself for having given it up, and will thus reveal self-righteousness and spiritual pride. -C.A.C.