Christ—The Method and the Motive -- By: Miles Taber
GJ 3:1 (Wtr 62) p. 19
Christ—The Method and the Motive
Pastor, Grace Brethren Church
[This article is a condensation of two messages delivered at Grace Theological Seminary as part of the Louis S. Bauman Memorial lectures, February l and 2, 1961. PARTS I and II appeared in the Spring, 1961, GRACE JOURNAL.]
Part III: Christ—The Method
In a previous article we attempted to demonstrate the central place of the Person of Christ in all of God’s dealing with man. “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” sums up God’s message to man. No other message will meet man’s need.
Similarly, when we seek for a messenger who is able to bear that message effectively to a sinner’s heart, we soon learn that only Christ is adequate. No other messenger can reveal God to man.
In this present article we shall attempt to show the central place of Christ in two other areas—Christian living and Christian service. Christ is the method for Christian living, and Christ is the motive for Christian service.
Christian people generally have been led to understand that forgiveness of their sins is obtained by receiving Christ. If they have been well taught they know something about the doctrine of justification. They realize that these blessings are theirs on account of their relationship to Christ. “In Christ” they are declared to be righteous.
But unfortunately many Christians who know that they are justified by virtue of their relationship to Christ then strive to live for Christ and to serve Christ while being more or less detached from Him. They do not see that God’s method for holy living and God’s motive for fruitful service are centered in Christ just as much as was the first phase of their salvation.
When God provided forgiveness through Christ He also provided power to overcome sin through Christ. God’s remedy for guilt is Christ’s death for me. God’s remedy for the practice of sin is Christ’s death in me. see the power of Christ’s death revealed in His resurrection. I experience the power of Christ’s death when He lives His resurrection life in me. Christian living is Christ living in me. It is not in any sense my effort to live like Him. That effort is always unsuccessful. It must be Christ Himself living His victorious life in and through me. Thus it should be evident that God’s method for holy living is entirely a matter of permitting Christ to live His life in the believer.
The reader should be able to see the great gulf that exists between human ethics and victorious Christian living. The one is based on human effort, the other on God’s provision. The one is man attempting to be like Christ;...
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