The life to which we are called is one from heaven, in Christ, by the Spirit. It does not have its origin, or essence, in anything of this earth. It was Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, who said, “Any fruit born while not abiding in Christ, is fruit of the flesh, and is nothing.” The Apostle Paul declares: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15) Paul writes that the great issue in life is not the external (circumcision or not) but a new creation. The reason for this is found in Romans 3:10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing…” (John 6:63)
In all of these declarations we discover that the Christian life to which we are called in NOT of this world, of the flesh, or of ourselves. It is not a life we can live by trying and we cannot fabricate it. The ONLY life which pleases God is that which is received from heaven, from Christ by the Spirit.
Roy Hession in “The Calvary Road” wrote, “The picture that has made things simple and clear to so many of us is that of a human heart as a cup, which we hold out to Jesus, longing that He might fill it with the Water of Life. As He passes by, He looks into our cup and if it is clean, He fills to overflowing with the Water of Life. And as Jesus is always passing by, the cup can be always running over.” Any vessel, or heart, that is not willing to yield to the purposes of God, will NEVER be in a position to receive what God desires to give.
How can my heart be made clean to receive the Water of Life? I must surrender everything to God. I must recognize His authority over my life and yield myself completely to Him. Jesus will only fill a cup that is clean. Jesus Himself provided a way for my heart to be cleansed from sin. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from ALL sin.” (I John 1:7,9) Jesus will not put the purity of His life, His Spirit, in an unclean vessel. Hession wrote, “If we will allow Him to show us what is in our cups and then give it to Him, He will cleanse them in the precious blood that still flows for sin.”
Just as we receive forgiveness of sin so must we receive the fullness of His Spirit, BY FAITH. In the Old Testament, as well as in the New, we find this phrase, “The just shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38)
The principle here is the principle of receiving. The cup of the heart emptied of self, cleansed from sin, is held up to receive from Jesus the Water of Life, His life. This is the principle of the new creation, the new creature.
Potentially, we have all received of His fullness, for we are complete in Christ. “For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him…” (Colossians 2:9,10) We know that this will one day be realized in all of its glory in heaven but we are called to live in the reality of it now, as we walk this earth.
“France will never accept a religion without sacrifice. The fire had to be burning in us day and night. When I went to France I said to Christ, ‘I in You, and You in me! and many a time in confronting a laughing, scoffing crowd, single-handed, I have said, ‘You and I are enough for them. I won’t fail You and You won’t fail me.’ It would be sacrilege, it would be desecration, it would be wrong, unfair, unjust, if Divine power were given on any other terms than absolute self abandonment. Christ loved us passionately, and loves to be loved passionately. He gives Himself to those who love Him passionately. And the world has yet to see what can be done on these lines.”
“I am an empty vessel—not one thought,
Or look of love, I ever to Thee brought,
Yet I may come, and come again to Thee,
With this, the empty sinner’s plea,
Thou lovest me.”