The Power that Enables Us to Choose the Will of God

What is the power that enables us as Christians to make the best choice—to choose the perfect will of God? In my previous post, I spoke of “making the best choice.” But as I considered, I realized that I had never mentioned the power for such choosing. That is, even if we know God’s will, we may lack the power to choose it.

The Pattern of the Lord’s Choosing

The man Jesus, as our pattern, continually made the best choice. He always chose the Father’s will, spoke the Father’s word, and sought the Father’s glory.

As a twelve year old boy in Jerusalem, He chose to be in the things of His Father. Yet, He also chose to return to Nazareth and to be subject to Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:41-51). What was the power for such choosing?

Before beginning His ministry, He also humbled Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist (Matt. 3:13-17). What was the power that enabled Him to humble Himself?

To prepare for His death, the Lord Jesus chose to go up to Jerusalem, to not exult in the glory of those who said “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” What enabled Him to refuse the glory of men and choose to be “a grain of wheat falling into the ground to die” (John 12:12-28)?

In the garden of Gethsemane the Lord made the ultimate choice. He chose the Father’s will, the cross of Calvary, in order that He might die for us (Matt. 26:36-46). What was it that empowered Him as a man to give up His soul unto death for us?

How could the Lord Jesus make such selfless choices? If we are to follow His pattern, we must also learn His secret, His power of choosing.

The Power of the Lord’s Choosing

In Volume 17 of his Collected WorksWatchman Nee unveiled this secret, this power of choosing by referring to Isaiah 7:14-15. Most people know verse 14 which says,

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin will conceive and will bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel.”

Most of us would recognize that this verse refers to the birth of Jesus Christ, the son born to the virgin. But few of us have appreciated that verse 15 speaks of the Lord’s obedient human living by saying,

“He will eat curds [or butter] and honey until he knows how to refuse evil and choose good.”

Butter is the richest part of the milk and signifies God’s rich grace. Honey is the sweetest thing and refers to God’s sweet love. By continually contacting God to enjoy His rich grace and His sweet love, the Lord Jesus chose “the good”—the will of His Father.

Eating Heavenly Butter and Honey to Make the Best Choice Continue reading

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The Difference Between Sin and Sins—Two Problems with Two Solutions

Have you ever done something you knew was a sin, confessed it, and quickly found yourself doing it again? I know I have.

What’s the solution to this problem? It begins with seeing the difference between “sin” and “sins” and then applying the proper remedy to each.

“Sin” and “sins” in the Scriptures

Concerning sins, 1 Corinthians 15:3 says , “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.”  Later, 1 John 1:7 says, “…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.” These two verses speak of our sinful acts and their remedy.

In contrast, Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we may no longer serve sin as slaves.” In this verse we see “sin” as a powerful master that enslaves us and makes our body, the “body of sin.”  But we can also see a wonderful remedy.

Sadly, a lack of understanding concerning the difference between these two—sin and sins—has been a source of real frustration to many seeking Christians.

So what are we missing?

The underlying problem involves a lack of spiritual sight. But there definitely is hope. The apostle Paul both diagnosed and treated the problem in Romans 1-8.

First, we need to see the fundamental difference between “sin” and “sins.” Continue reading

How to Cultivate a Personal, Affectionate Relationship with the Lord Jesus

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! / For your love is better than wine. Draw me; we will run after you…” S. S. 1:2, 4a 

Are you satisfied with your love relationship with the Lord? I know that I’m not.  So this post isn’t the wise words of an experienced teacher, but the inquiry of a humble learner seeking to advance with others into a more personal, affectionate relationship with the Lord Jesus. Along with the lover in the Song of Songs, my prayer to the Lord is “Draw me; we will run after you…”  That’s how I consider “Holding to Truth in Love”—a community of Christ’s loving seekers “running after” our lovely Lord Jesus together.

May the lover’s cry become our daily prayer to the Lord, “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth. Draw me. We will run after You.”  Only His attracting love can bring us into such a personal and affectionate relationship.

“I love my Lord, but with no love of mine”  Continue reading

The Two Lines in the Bible Issuing In Two Principles of Living

The Two Trees in the Garden Representing
Two Sources for Man to Choose

“And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 2:9)

“But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17)

In the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we can find the seeds of the divine truth which develop throughout the entire Bible. There we can see that God placed man in a very pleasant garden, with all manner of trees for his enjoyment. Among the many trees of the garden, there were only two mentioned by name—the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9). However, the latter can be considered the tree of death, for the issue of eating that second tree was actually death (v. 17). Hence, there was a great choice before man as to which tree he would partake of.

Each tree represents a source for man to live by. Life, signified by the tree of life, is of the source of God who is life (John 1:4; 14:6; 1 John 5:12). Death, signified by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is of the source of Satan, him who has the might of death (Heb. 2:14). Such a choice, that is between life or death, is one that we all must continually make.

The Two Sources Becoming Two Lines and
Consummating in Two Destinations

These two trees, as seeds, develop throughout the entire Bible and are eventually harvested in the book of Revelation consummating in either the city of life, the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1-2) or the lake of fire, the second death (20:14). The development of these two seeds forms two lines throughout the Bible, portraying two choices before man today. Hence we must frankly say that every human being is living on one of these two lines which will issue in one of these two destinations.

Due to the fall of man in Genesis 3, all of mankind became subject to death for in Adam all die. But praise God that through the redemption of Christ a new and living way has been opened to all men to return to God’s original intention and enjoy Christ as the eternal life (1 John 5:12), who is the reality of the tree of life (John 15:1; 14:6). How thankful I am that one day I was led to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and life. Now Christ is my life (Col. 3:4). Continue reading