Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Sorry for the length, but, boy, this felt "good"! :)
I was reading a little bit today about John Wycliffe (in Fox's Book of Martyrs) who produced the first English translation of the Bible. When I read what he said here, I thought about your message this week on "being good" without having the mind of Christ.
"The reformer declares that God's goodness is the first cause only why He *confers any good on man."
* to bestow from or as if from a position of superiority
It made me think of 1st John 4:19, "We love him, because He first loved us." If we are good, it is because He was First, and was good first and we received from Him! If one's goodness or one's "being good" does not come from God, then one can only say that they are good. But saying it does not make it so, no matter how much one boasts. The spirit of Xty makes no one good. That is just another deceitful lie of Satan. Good can only come from God.
If "good" is not bestowed on one from the hand of God, then he just is not truly good. It really is simple. Nothing else but God's goodness makes us good.
It helps me to understand more fully the mind of Christ and what Jesus said: "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God (Mk. 10:18).
God is the original "Good" and trying to be good without God bestowing it upon you can only be an appearance. It is Satan, once again, trying to copy what he cannot have or ever be again. "I will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:14).
In December 2001, the Lord spoke this in a meeting. You can just as easily substitute the word "good" for the word, "Love":
"My Love is not like anything of this earth. It must come through me. It is a Gift from my Father."
God is making it plainer every day that everything good that we are, or have, or ever will be comes from Him. He is the original Everything! This whole world is full of imitations of God. Imitation love, imitation good, imitation hope, and on and on. But nothing God offers is like "anything of this earth" because it comes from a place far beyond. Satan loves for God's children to be confused as to the pure and holy nature of God's goodness. But the Spirit of God knows. He knows who is truly good, knows who has God's pure love, and knows who worships Him, pure and undefiled.
God help your people! Awaken hearts to YOUR good, to YOUR hope, to YOUR love, to YOU. Help us all, God, not to be confused as to what is real. As to what is You.
How blessed we are to have God's very good Life in us and all that goes with it! If you haven't received what you have from God, through His Son Jesus (and the holy Ghost), you haven't received from the Original, the true-you just have the copy.
There are seven pillars in Ephesians 4, and six of those seven pillars come from the Original "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Praise our VERY Good God!
Excellent, Sister Sandy! Your letter stirs up an old memory of Brother Mark Wallace's testimony, in which he said that it was wrong to think that the Son of God "created everything except himself", as we are wont to say. The Son of God, after all, did not create love, or joy, or peace, or any of the other fruits of the Spirit. Rather, he himself was created by the Father with those things.
The Father is the only source of every good, even the good that was in Christ Jesus himself. We should be very humbly thankful that God, through His holy Spirit, and for the sake of His beloved Son, is willing to pass that goodness on to us.