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ConqueredbyLove
Jan 13th 2009, 06:41 PM
How to Grow in Grace

Rewritten and expounded upon by 1stcorinth420 - 4/28/08
Based on a paragraph by Charles G. Finney
From Lectures on Revival

Please remember that every step of progress in your Christian walk must be made by faith, and not by works, or any effort of our own. The mistakes that most have made upon this subject is truly amazing. The custom, or practice, has been almost universal. To represent growth in grace as consisting in the formation of habits of obedience... to God. Now, it is quite surprising that so many have fallen into this mistake. The fact is that every step of progress in the Christian life is taken by a fresh and fuller appropriation (taking exclusive possession) of Christ by faith, or in other words, a fuller baptism (encounter, submersion, overshadowing) of the Holy Spirit. As our weaknesses (faults or defects), infirmities (weaknesses of mind, will or character), besetting sins (constantly present, dominating or attacking), and necessities (growth needs or requirements, deficiencies) are revealed to us, by the circumstance (or occurrence) of temptations through which we must pass and fall prey to, we discover that our only efficient (producer of desired) help is found in Christ, and we grow only as we surrender ourselves out of those exposed weaknesses and failures, and then step by step more fully appropriate Him, in one relation or another, and more fully “put Him on,” (Romans 13:4).

John G. Lake once wrote, “The life of the Christian, without the indwelling power of the Spirit in the heart, is weariness to the flesh. It is an obedience to commandments and an endeavor to walk according to a pattern that you have no power to follow. However, the Christian life that is lived by the impulse of the Spirit of Christ within your soul becomes a joy, a power, and a glory.”

“I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:27).

As we are more and more emptied of self dependence, as we more and more renounce all expectation of forming holy habits by any practice of obedience, reliance or effort of our own, and as by faith we secure deeper and deeper baptisms of the Holy Ghost, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ more and more thoroughly, by just so much the faster do we grow in the favor of God. Nothing can be more erroneous (mistaken or in error), dangerous and exhausting than the commonly received idea of growing in grace by the formation of holy habits. By acts of faith alone we appropriate Christ, and we are sanctified the same as we are justified, by faith. If you grow in grace, you must do it through faith. You must pray in faith for the Holy Spirit. You must appropriate and put on Christ through the person of the Holy Spirit. At every forward step in your Christian progress, you must have a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit, sought for, hungered after, and received through faith. It was Jesus Himself Who said, “…how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). Obedience then becomes an inward desire and a joy, no longer a struggle to maintain out the futile effort of our own flesh which is an unacceptable offering in the sight of God. Efforts that align themselves with the garden toils originally offered up by Cain… and rejected by God.

Jesus Christ came, and died, that we might receive “…the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4), which is the Spirit of the living God Himself. It is His indwelling alone that enables us to live the victorious life. “If you live in obedience to your earthly nature, you will inevitably die; but if, by the power of the Spirit, you put an end to the evil habits of the body, you will live. For all those who are led, or guided by the Spirit of God, are sons of God.” (Romans 8:13, 14)

If we could do any of what is required of us as followers of Christ on our own, if the New Covenant is all about adhering to a new set of rules according to the power of our own will and the vanity of our own flesh, then Jesus came… and died in vain.

“Oh foolish Galatians. Who has bewitched you that you might not know or understand the truth…are you so foolish having begun in the Spirit and now think that you are being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1a, 3).

We cannot modify our own behavior and expect Him to approve of it. We must resign from our own efforts, and surrender our lives in constant offering to Him, Who promises to continue to fill us with Himself.
“…so that there may come times (plural, meaning more than one occasion) of refreshing from the presence of the Lord”
(Acts 3:19).

The Bible dictate is simple,
“And so I say to you--ask, and your request shall be granted: search, and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened to you (all of this speaks of desperate persistence). For he that asks receives, he that searches finds, and to him that knocks the door shall be opened. What father among you, if his son asks him for a fish, will give him a snake instead, or, if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you, then, naturally wicked though you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him!" (Luke 11:9-13).

"I am now standing at the door and I am knocking. If any one listens to My voice and opens the door, I will go in to be with him (I will manifest Myself to him according to John 14:21) and will feast with him (have intimate fellowship with him), and he shall feast with Me."
(Revelation 3:20).

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery (extreme indulgence in sensuality); but ever be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit. Speaking out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, and at all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”
(Ephesians 5:18-20).

MercyChild
Jan 14th 2009, 11:18 AM
Thank you so much for sharing this awesome inforamtion. Surely something I can always come back to, to be a reminder!:hug::hug:

ConqueredbyLove
Jan 17th 2009, 05:41 AM
When Jesus started His public ministry He began with these words:



The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised
Luke 4: 18


He has not changed! He still delivers captives from their prisons of addictions. Is any believer excluded from what Jesus came to do? Absolutely not!!!

And that includes you, and that includes me. But after years of struggle and failure it can become quite easy to fall into despair and unbelief.

But keep seeking Him! Not an it, not a program but seek Him! He will not fail you! Seek Him in prayer, seek Him in the Word! ~I will not fail thee~ He says in Joshua. And what He said to Joshua, He says to us...~I will not fail thee!~

As it says in Romans:



What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?



Romans 8: 31-32


He will deliver from habitual sin! Never give up hope but keep seeking Him and keep asking Him! Hold Him to His promises and wrestle with Him, if needed like Jacob did.

He cannot exclude any of His beloved children from the victorious life! ~Fight the good fight of faith~! Don't fight the addiction, fight the fight of faith.

Never give up! Never lose hope! You will get the victory!



Take heart, all who are struggling with battles that have already been won; awake, all who have fallen asleep from loads too heavy to bear; see, all who have been blinded by the flames of disappointment; hear all who have been deafened by the roar of defeat; arise, all who have become lame from wounds unjustly earned; get up, yes, get up all who have been felled by the broken sword of satan's lies; for joy, joy unspeakable is in our midst.


~ Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh!

parsonsmom
Apr 12th 2012, 08:43 PM
Greetings Grand Master, this is a wonderful post.
Very infomative. Parsonsmom

jecelpabor
Apr 18th 2012, 10:32 AM
I, too, was ensnared by a certain type of habitual sin. No, actually there were more. Habitual sin is sly and subtle that you wouldn't think it's bad, since most habitual sins are done in secret or are often easy on the eyes of the people around you. But when these sins catch up with you, you'll know that these sins are real, and they are as vile as any other sin. I once felt very dirty inside, spiritually dead. But then God saved me and made me clean. The process was difficult, but that difficulty only reminded me that I was on the right track. Thank you for posting this, ConqueredbyLove. God bless you and us all! :pp

Youssarian
Apr 24th 2012, 03:12 AM
This is something I need to work on. I'm so inclined to say "I need to do A, B, and C to overcome this sin." When really what I need to do is say, "God I can't do this for the life of me. I give this to you. You're the only one who can fix this mess I'm in."

glad4mercy
Apr 25th 2012, 02:58 PM
Thank you for sharing this.

"stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone."
The arm of flesh will fail you, you dare not trust your own..."



Blessings