To begin with, this chapter identifies the simple reality that a person must be born again (John 3) in order to become a child of God. As a result, we start walking with God as a baby/child. The Bible clearly states that “spiritual things are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14) and as we grow both without and with Christ our discernment expands.
This chapter could be entitled The Abiding Presence of Jesus, because that is the primary focus. Once again Ellen over emphasizes the importance of keeping our entire focus on Jesus and not on self. By beholding Him, we will be changed!
Here are some quotes that really jumped off the page for me:
The child cannot, by any anxiety or power of its own, add to its stature. No more can you, by anxiety or effort of yourself, secure spiritual growth.
In the matchless gift of his Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace, as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live, and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.
Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. But every such effort must fail. Jesus says, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness,–all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with him, daily, hourly,–by abiding in him,–that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the author but the finisher of our faith. It is Christ first and last and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way.
So you are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell on self, but look to Christ.
This next quote is so important as we are growing up into Christ. The closer we get to Him, the more we will recognize the plans and strategies that Satan uses. Here she makes it plan how Satan functions in our live and tell me if this is not true!
It is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour, and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections,–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ, he hopes to gain the victory.
When Christ took human nature upon him, he bound humanity to himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man himself.
When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed. Christ’s spirit, his love, softens the heart, subdues the soul, and raises the thoughts and desires toward God and heaven.
Jesus prayed for us, and he asked that we might be one with him, even as he is one with the Father. What a union is this! The Saviour had said of himself, “The Son can do nothing of himself;” “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” Then if Christ is dwelling in our hearts, he will work in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”* We shall work as he worked; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving him and abiding in him, we shall “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
May we never forget that it is ALL ABOUT JESUS. Growing up into Christ is all about learning to trust Jesus with everything. He will never force us to worship Him and obey Him, but by simply surrendering to Him, He will live out His life in us! What a wonderous gift and opportunity we have to experience the very presence of God living in us! May we not take it for granted.
READ THIS CHAPTER!
Blessings from da bedroom,