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Total Dependence

Total Dependence

The first difficulty in spiritually educating a believer is to get him to accept his position in the Lord Jesus—from mere knowledge of forgiveness upward. But after that position has been seen, if it be regarded merely as a title of nobility, there will not be practical power in keeping with the great title. The man is ennobled, but he has no property* to support his rank. This is too often the case with saints in the present day. They can talk of their position in Christ, as some in another day could say, “We have Abraham for our father.” Our title and nobility are indisputable, but the poverty is so great that it seems to be an appendage of nobility.

There are many poor nobles now; and there is some question as to their right to be ennobled; the patent of the title is perfectly genuine; but the reason why there is not power or property to support the rank, is, that these ennobled ones are not dependent ones. If I have been lifted by the grace of another to a high position, I am dependent on that one for everything. I may assert that I am entitled to it, because I have been elevated through the grace of the Lord; but my support depends on and flows only from the same source and grace that elevated me.

The fact is, the greater my elevation, if I have a true sense of the grace and goodness of Him who elevated me, the more do I depend on Him who has done it; and thus, if the dependence increases, the higher the position, and the more abundant will be the power to sustain it. Title to position, without dependence, is poverty. A person of high title in poverty is a very sad spectacle. I am not only through grace a king, but I am, because a son, privileged to draw everything from Him who is my “life” (Col 3:4) and “my portion” (Psa 16:5; 73:26; 119:57; 142:5; Lam 3:24).

Dependence always ensures property. You will find some Christians who have a little property because they are dependent, but can yet be ignorant of their title, and thus have no consciousness of their high rank. I don’t defend that. If they knew the grace of God, they would know that they are ennobled.

There is a general acceptance of our divine rank now among saints. The knowledge of high position is very attractive, when the conscience does not feel that there is any exaction from the knowledge of it*. Alas, many a well-to-do commoner who daily drew his income from his Lord, has lost his means since he found out he was a nobleman, because he has held it in theory and not in dependence.

The church of Ephesus (Rev 2) was of a high rank, and had large property, but she gave up dependence, and with all her titles, she became poor indeed. If saints are dependent of God, they support their rank in Christ; but if not, however assured of their nobility, they can do nothing noble. They are destitute of divine resources*.

Among men, nothing is more pathetic than a great noble able to do nothing in any way worthy of his high position. Thus it is too often now-a-days with Christians well taught in deeper truth, who in their lives set
forth nothing of the heavenly glory; and all because they are holding title without dependence. The Lord give us to be daily more dependent on Him, drawing supplies from Him, so that everything worthy of our rank may be maintained and manifested. I should rather prove that I was a noble by my ways and acts (Jam 2:18—NC), than be acknowledged as one by title, and yet be found deficient in true spiritual nobility.

- J B Stoney

Poster’s Notes:
* “property”; godly attribute or characteristic (Logic definition; 7 a)

* “exaction from the knowledge of it”; more responsibility incurred because of knowing of it.

* “divine resources”; godly attributes, i.e. 2 Peter 1:5-7.
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