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The Most Crucial Test In Your Life

"Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?" Galatians 4:16 The Scripture goes on to speak of those who are under the law versus those who live by faith. But a careful reading of this chapter will bring out something very crucial, one of the most essential principles necessary to follow Christ. Bear with me in this. vs 28-29: "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now." Abraham had two sons, Ishmael who would go on to be the father of the Arabs, and Isaac who would go on to be the father of the Jews. God told Abraham that the covenant he was making with him would be conferred through his son Isaac, and then through Isaac's son Jacob - and this enraged Ishmael. Ishmael hated Isaac and has persecuted him from the very beginning until this very day. Every single day we see news reports on "The Arab-Israeli conflict." This is where the trouble originated. What is the point? The point is that when God declares a thing, many people will consider it unfair or unjust, and God uses this very kind of thing to separate believers from unbelievers. The believer first of all and most importantly believes in the integrity of God, and does not need to understand a thing before receiving it. The unbeliever will look at something God said, examine it in the eyes of his own understanding, and decide whether it is true enough, or fair enough to accept it. Here's another example: One day Jesus said something so astounding that it effectively separated the believer from the unbeliever. He said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you... ...He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." John 6:53, 56 Well ...that was pretty hard to take. Imagine the images that must have risen in their minds upon hearing something like this. vs 61: "When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples complained about this, he said to them, “Does this offend you?" Well it DID offend many and some just couldn't bear it. Many left him at this point. vs 66: "From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more." What about the twelve, those closest to him? Well, Jesus offered them to leave if they wanted to: vs 67: "Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”" Notice two things: 1. He was going to make no effort to stop them if they wanted to leave. 2. He did not try to explain the saying to them at this point, because only those who have absolute trust in his integrity will be able to stay with him. There would be many things they would not understand, so the test was essential to separate to himself only those who had absolute faith in him whether they understood or not. Peter made the right choice: vs 68 and 69: "But Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, (the Messiah) the Son of the living God.'" Then Jesus clarified to them what he meant: vs 63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING. The WORDS that I speak to you are spirit, and they are LIFE." It is the WORD of God that we are to consume. "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was GOD." John 1:1 vs 14: "And the WORD BECAME FLESH and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Jesus is the WORD of God and we abide in him by receiving, eating, his Words. If anyone wants to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, he has to first prepare his heart to put absolute and complete trust in the integrity of God and in the integrity of his WORD. There will be many things he will not understand and he has to have the mindset that when that happens he will not let it be an "offense" to him, but will rest on the faith that "you have the WORDS of eternal life ...whether I understand them now or not." This says it all: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9 You can't explain the ways of life to a dog. Neither can God, a far higher being, explain all to a fallen human being. Someday we'll understand all. But for now we must walk by faith


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