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Richard Bennett :: Chapter 10 What Next?

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Your Quest for God — Chapter 10

What Next?

There is nothing—no circumstance, no trouble, no testing—that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and gone past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes to His and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret—for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. That is the victory of faith!

—Alan Redpath

Salvation is absolutely free! There is nothing anybody can do to earn it. The Lord Jesus does it all.

As you sincerely prayed the suggested prayer (or something similar), your faith in Christ has made you a true child of God.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12 NASB).

Most likely you will now be asking the question, “What next?”

Just before Jesus left His disciples on His mission to conquer death and then to return to Heaven, He said: Abide in Me, and I in you (John 15:4 NASB). In those words, the Lord Jesus explained the essence of Christian living. From God’s point of view, the believer abides in His Son—there to be kept and protected until safely arriving in Heaven. However, from a human perspective, because the risen Lord also abides in true believers, their family, friends and fellow workers will be introduced to a quality of life that can only be explained in terms of the indwelling Christ.

Imagine, if you will, a metal poker in a fire. When you look at it, you could say “the poker is in the fire,” but if you look more closely you would observe that the poker itself is red-hot and then it would be quite right for you also to say “the fire is in the poker!” Or, likewise, imagine a cup as it is plunged into a bucket of water. The cup is in the water, but the water is also in the cup!

When you were born again, the Holy Spirit actually baptized (immersed) you into the body of Christ.

Now the Bible assures you that: your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3 NASB). Yes, because you have been born again, you are now in Christ. Marvelous! Also, when you were born again, the indwelling life of the risen Christ was made a personal and glorious reality by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, you can rejoice that it is Christ in you, the hope of glory…(Colossians 1:27 NASB). And yes, because you have been born again, the risen Christ now lives in you. Wonderful!

Now let us further consider what the Bible actually says about the liberating impact of this twin truth—I am in Christ and Christ is in me.

I am in Christ

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…(1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB).

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus have been baptised into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4 NASB).

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3 NASB).

Several years ago I knew a little boy who had leukemia. At that time he was only seven, and he had to go to the doctor every three months for a spinal injection. On one visit the doctor asked Daryl why he did not cry like other boys and girls when the needle penetrated his spine. “Doesn’t it hurt?” the doctor asked. “Oh yes, it hurts,” replied Daryl, “but, doctor, you don’t understand; the needle has to go through the hand of Jesus before it touches me.” It is wonderful to know that because you are now in Christ, He is adequate to handle everything that tests and touches your life! That’s faith!

Just as you received the Lord Jesus by faith, so it is the same principle of faith that enables you to appropriate the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ to meet every demand of life. In other words, your initial act of faith opened the door for you to adopt a continual attitude of faith. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him (Colossians 2:6 NASB).

Though you have been born again, God does not expect you to just mimic the life of Jesus. Millions of Christians have been totally frustrated as they have tried to do this and always without success. But God tells us of His wonderful provision for our Christian lives. We have already died in Christ. And being dead in Christ, we are dead to all the demands and condemnation of the law. Therefore, as in the past so now and in the future, we are dead to any hope that self-effort will meet the law’s demands. Yes, we are dead to every vestige of confidence in ourselves to live the spiritual life. But, praise God, we are gloriously alive to all the protecting and enabling sufficiency of the risen Lord Jesus Christ!

The problem arises when we try to handle the temptations and pressures of life by ourselves. The new believer will find that all by himself he is just as incapable of living the Christian life after his new birth as he was before. Warning us about this tendency, the Lord Jesus Christ clearly said: …for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NASB).

In fact, addressing the foolishness of self-effort, the Apostle Paul actually had blunt words to say to believers in the region of Galatia. To correct their turning away from God’s principle of living by faith and faith only, Paul asked a rhetorical question which was designed to lead to a self-evident answer:

This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3 NASB).

Of course they began their new life in Christ even as you did by an act of faith. And it is only by that same dependent faith that they can hope to: reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17 NASB).

In Galatia, the vitality of dependent faith had sadly been replaced by the barrenness of legalistic self-effort. But, thank God, if you continue to live in dependence upon your new-found Lord, that sad state of affairs which existed in Galatia need never be your experience.

Christ Lives in Me

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me… … (Galatians 2:20 NASB).

And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you (Romans 8:10-11 NASB).

To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27 NASB).

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…(Ephesians 3:17 NASB).

You may express your dependent faith upon Christ’s indwelling life by saying: “Thank You, Lord Jesus; You are everything that I am not. I give You permission to be what You are both in me and through me.” The astonishing reality of your Christian life is that God has transferred the responsibility for your success to somebody else— the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus is the only one who is adequate to meet the temptations and opportunities of life you will surely face. It is possible for you to be a ‘theologian’ without Christ, it is possible for you to be a ‘preacher’ without Christ, it is possible for you to be a ‘missionary’ without Christ; but it is impossible for you to be a Christian if Christ does not live in your heart.

Jesus is the only Person who can truly live the Christian life. Now, by His Spirit He has miraculously taken up His residence in your heart. Now He can do through you and for you what you could never do for yourself. He who is pure is your purity in a world of immorality; He who is Victor is your victory in a world of temptation; He who is love is your love in a world of self-seeking. Indeed, He who is the resurrection and the life is now your very own Christian Life.

As you humbly make your life available to the Lord Jesus, who came to seek and to save that which is lost (Luke 19:10 NASB), you now can also trust Him to seek and to save lost souls through you! Life becomes truly exciting when believers discover they are a channel of His life to other people.

Remember—though Jesus has returned to Heaven—He has certainly not removed Himself from you. When leaving His disciples on earth, He told them:

After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:19-20 NASB).

Now you may ask, “How can all the resources that God has given me in Christ become real and practical in my life?” That’s a good question. It recognizes the wide chasm between a faith that is mental and a faith that is experiential. The question also implies your deep desire for a faith that functions. The simple answer is that the triumphant life of Christ is released through the believer in response to thanksgiving. True faith always says, “Thank You.”

For instance, the very best way you can express your saving faith in Christ is to thank Him that your sins have been forgiven. Now, you can also thank Him for the fact that He will become to you exactly what you need at the time you need it. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him [God] (Hebrews 11:6 NASB). As you desire to please Him, live your life of faith with constant thankfulness to the Lord Jesus for His sufficiency in all things.

When Peter wrote to Christians who because of their loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ were suffering persecution, he exhorted: Sanctify [set apart; magnify; give full reign to] Christ as Lord in your hearts…(1 Peter 3:15 NASB). Therein lies God’s open secret of how to cope when facing persecution for your faith. Be sure that Jesus is Lord of your life.

You may remember that one of the names of God in the Old Testament is Adonai. Adonai means Lord in the sense of His being my Master. It is this concept of Lord God as my Master that Peter used when he admonished believers by saying: sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.

As the Lord Jesus is master of your life you will enjoy His constant fellowship. Only then will you be truly free to trust Him with the daily demands and opportunities of your life. As the hymn writer, George Matheson, wrote:

  Make me a captive, Lord,
    And then I shall be free;
  Force me to render up my sword,
    And I shall conqueror be.

Contrary to the popular idea of freedom, real freedom is not found in my having the right to do what I want. Rather it is found in my having the power to do what I ought! Remember the words of the Apostle Paul who said: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

During the revival in Northern Ireland back in 1859, thousands of people came to Christ. Those converts expressed their own personal and serious commitment to Christ by signing a ‘Commitment of Faith.’ At that time, so many people had such a life-changing experience of the Risen Lord that the moral atmosphere of the country was literally transformed.

Although there is nothing meritorious in signing such a document, perhaps at this time it would be helpful for you too, to confirm your own response to God by signing this document on the following pages.

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-21 KJV).

Now to help you make your own Commitment of Faith.

Scriptures are recorded on the following pages.

My Commitment of Faith

I take God the Father to be my God

You turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God.—(1 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB)

I take Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior

He (Jesus) is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance…and forgiveness of sins.—(Acts 5:31 NASB)

I take the Holy Spirit to Fill me with the Love of God

Because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. —(Romans 5:5 NASB)

I take the Word of God to be my Rule

All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.—(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB)

I take the People of God to be my People

Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.—(Ruth 1:16 NASB)

I dedicate myself wholly to the Lord

For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.—(Romans 14:7-8 NASB)

And I do this Deliberately

Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.—(Joshua 24:15 NASB)

And Sincerely

In holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world.—(2 Corinthians 1:12 NASB)

And Freely

Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power…—(Psalm 110:3 NASB)

And For Ever

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,or nakedness, or peril, or sword?—(Romans 8:35 NASB)



Now you are encouraged to read the author’s sequel to this book:

Food for Faith

Just as a person could be fascinated with recipes in a cookbook and yet die of starvation, so one can be fascinated with biblical ‘recipes’ for successful living and still remain spiritually malnourished! Food for Faith is a biblical manual written to help you digest the Word of God from your hand—to your head—to your heart.

Chapter 9 How Can I Become a Part of God’s Family? ← Prior Section
Forward and Preface Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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