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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us “From Glory to Glory.”

Welcome back, my friends. I appreciate very much your staying by to continue. Again we ran out of time, and I need to finish up that very important study on imputation making legally possible and always leading to impartation. That’s a key concept… that we have to understand in order to stay out of this ditch. But before we proceed with that study, what must we do? We must pause to pray. Pray for me as you pray for yourself, please.

My Father in heaven, it is so important for us to rightly divide the Word of Truth. It is so important for us to have a balanced understanding that will keep us on the straight and narrow. We are oh, so prone to loose our balance and to slip off into one ditch or the other. But thank you so much that as by the power of the Holy Spirit we come to understand the truth, we are not only brought out of our ditches, but we are kept on the straight and narrow. I pray that by the Spirit of Truth, You would help me to proclaim the Truth and only the Truth. And by the same Spirit that enables me to proclaim it, enable each one to understand it. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, amen.

Imputation, my dear friends, makes legally possible and always leads to impartation. When our sins were imputed to Christ on the cross, what was imparted to Him? We just said that imputation makes legally possible and always leads to impartation. If our sins were imputed to Christ, then something must have been imparted to Him. What was imparted to Jesus on the cross? Our death. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Did Christ die our death on the cross? Yes. Why did He die our death? Because our sins were imputed to Him. And on the basis of what was imputed to Him, our death was, what? Imparted to Him. Did He actually receive in His person our death? Did it become a part of His experience? Yes. Did He actually die? Yes.

Now follow this: If He had not actually died, if our death had not been imparted to Him, could we have known with assurance that our sins were actually imputed to Him? No, we would have had no reason, follow this, we would have had no legitimate reason to believe that our sins were imputed to Him if our death had not been imparted to Him. Does that make sense to you? You see, we know that our sins were actually imputed to Him, and God actually counted Him to be a sinner thereby, because our death was then, what? Imparted to Him. Now is that significant? Oh, yes it is. Why? Because of the other half of the transaction.

Now bless your hearts, antinomians, listen closely. When Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, that makes legally possible, and inevitably leads to, the impartation of something to us. What is it? Christ’s life. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Because Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us, now that makes legally possible and leads to the impartation of Christ’s life to us. We live His life because His righteousness is imputed to us. But which is cause and which is effect? This is a crucial point; don’t miss it. Don’t miss it. Am I justified because I live His life? Or do I live His life because I’m justified? Come on now, which is it? Good for you; it is the latter. Is that important? Is that significant? Oh, you better believe it is, my dear friends. You see, the moment we begin to think that we are justified because we live His life, what ditch do we slither into? The ditch of legalism.

But the moment that we think that we can be justified without living His life, what ditch do we slither into? The ditch of cheap grace, antinomianism. Are you with me on this? You see, my dear friends, it’s closely related to the basic fundamental truth that faith without works is what? …is dead. {Jas 2:17} If I really believe that I am accounted righteous by faith in the blood of Christ, that same faith will receive the second of that twofold provision, the water… the water of life. And that will be imparted to me, and I will live His life. Amen? I will live His life. But I am not justified because I live His life. I live His life because I’m justified.

Now, if you have any question on that, come over here. Was Christ condemned because He died my death? Or did He die my death because He was condemned? Which is cause and which is effect? Not as much courage on this one; let me ask it again. Was Christ condemned because He died my death? Or did He die my death because He was condemned? The latter: He died my death because He was condemned. Now my friends, if you think that we’re unnecessarily splitting hairs, please, I beg of you to think again. As I implied earlier, we are dealing with the heart and core of the issue that launched the whole great reformation. You see, Roman Catholicism teaches that God makes us Holy, and then on the basis of what He makes us, He justifies us. It’s called, theologically, “infused grace.” It’s called what? “Infused grace.” It teaches that God makes us holy by the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and then on the basis of what He has done in us, He justifies us. You see, there are many who accuse Roman Catholicism of teaching righteousness by works, our own efforts to keep the law, but they don’t teach that. They teach that it is what the Holy Spirit does in us that makes us righteous, infused grace. But my dear friends, please understand that it is not what the Holy Spirit does in us that justifies us. Is it what the Holy Spirit does in us that sanctifies us. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} The sanctified life is not what justifies us. Christ’s life and death in our behalf, credited to our account, is what justifies us. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} The sanctified life is the consequence of justification, not the cause of justification. Are we all together on this?

The moment we begin to think of the sanctified life as the cause of justification is the moment we get into legalism. And that’s why Roman Catholicism has all of these things you can do for merit. And you can, by virtue of what’s happening in your life, you can earn your acceptance, you can earn time out of purgatory, etc, etc. But what lays the ax to the root of the whole system is the simple truth that he who is righteous by faith shall live. {Rom 1:17} By what? By faith shall live. And “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” {Heb 11:1} Can we see our works? Can we? Yes, we can see our works; sure we can. And my dear friends, if you think that you’re justified on the basis of anything you can see, you’re being justified by works not by faith. What is it that justifies us? It is what Jesus Christ has done for us, which is credited to our account. It’s not what we see in ourselves. It’s what we see only by the eye of faith in Jesus. Are we clear on this?

What goes on in us, is it important? Is it essential? Yes. Must we be sanctified? Yes. Without a fitness, a moral suitability, we’re never going to be allowed into heaven. But my dear friends, our fitness is not meritorious. It doesn’t earn eternal life, it simply gets us ready to enjoy it! Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} I repeat that: Your moral fitness, my moral fitness has nothing to do with earning eternal life. But you better believe it has everything to do with getting ready to enjoy it. Who alone has earned eternal life? Jesus Christ, by His life and by His death.

But I have a question for you. Will the natural man, whose carnal mind is enmity against God, will he have a moral fitness for heaven? Will he be a happy camper there? Let me make a statement that I want you… if you don’t remember anything else from this seminar, if you don’t remember anything else from all of these meetings, please remember this: God will not take anyone to heaven who wouldn’t be happy there. Did you hear what we just said? Please remember it; I’ll repeat it. God will not take anyone to heaven, who wouldn’t be happy there. Would the natural man be happy in heaven? The natural man hates God. And what’s heaven all about? It’s living in the presence of God. {Gen 3:8; Ps 68:2; Lk 1:19} Is the natural man going to be happy living in the presence of God? He’s going to be exceedingly miserable. What is it that gives joy and happiness to the citizens of heaven? It is knowing, willing, and doing God’s good pleasure. Does the natural man find any joy in such? No. “The carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” {Rom 8:7}

Do you realize that inspiration tells us that the unconverted, natural man, heaven to him would be a place of torture? {GC 542.2} Heaven would be hell to an unconverted person. It would be hell. And this is precisely why, my dear friends, God cannot take anyone to heaven who isn’t holy. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Because, as we said earlier, happiness is the by-product of holiness. Are you following this? Happiness is what? The by-product of holiness. So many people spend their whole life looking for happiness, and they never find it. Why? Because if you look for it, you won’t find it. If you are seeking happiness, you won’t find it. You see, if you’re seeking to make yourself happy, that’s basically selfish. And the selfish person is never happy. Are you hearing me? God made us to find our happiness in giving of ourselves to others. Does that make sense to you? That’s what brings happiness; it’s holiness, it’s living wholly for God and for others, not for yourself. That’s what holiness is: It’s living for God and for others. That’s living in harmony with the law. That’s living in harmony with the principle of self-sacrificing, self-denying love. And if you are ever going to be happy, if I’m going to be happy, we need to learn to be holy. And it is precisely holiness that is our essential fitness for heaven. That’s the moral suitability that we must have if we are going to be happy campers there. Are you with me? The sanctified life then, is the process by which God prepares us to be happy campers in heaven. It’s the means by which God teaches us to be holy, so that we will be happy in heaven. Because everything there is holy.

And by the way, when is it that we’ve got to learn to be happy with holiness? It’s here and now, my dear friends. It’s here and now, during probationary life. Sanctification, absolutely essential, there’s no way we’re ever going to get into heaven without being sanctified, but it’s got nothing to do with earning eternal life; it’s not meritorious. But it’s essential if we’re going to be happy there. You see, that’s what you dear folk need to understand… got to understand that.

Oh friends, if we ever by God’s grace find ourselves in heaven… If we ever by God’s grace find ourselves in heaven, will we have done anything to deserve it? If you have any question on that, or any hesitancy on that, you need to ask yourself, did Christ do anything to deserve death? Listen to this remarkable statement… two of them. Desire of Ages, page 25: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins in which He had,” what? “no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness in which we had,” what? “no share. He suffered the death, which was ours, that we might receive the life, which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed. ‘” {Isa 53:5} And then listen to this one: Signs of the Times, June 27, 1900, “‘He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’ {2 Cor 5:21} ‘On Him the iniquities of us all were laid.’ {Isa 53:6} He lives to be our Advocate. He did nothing worthy of death, yet He died. And if we hear the glad words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; …enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,’ {Mat 25:21} we shall have done nothing worthy of life.” Come on, I need to hear an “amen” out there; will you admit it? “Jesus, the sinless, died having done nothing deserving of death. The sinner is saved without having done anything worthy of salvation. He is wholly without merit. But, clothed with the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness, he is accepted by God.” Praise God; amen? That my friends, is the gospel; that’s the gospel! And if you grasp that and hang onto that, you will most assuredly stay out of both ditches… both ditches. Please, oh I pray that that’s clear.

Now, what I want to do is to move on to take a look at how it is that we are sanctified. The title of the lesson is: “Sanctify With the,” what? “Washing of Water” “Sanctify with,” what? “the Washing of Water.” {Eph 5:26} We looked first at the blood and then in this last study, we have sought to inseparably unite the blood and the water, justification and sanctification, title and fitness, imputed righteousness, imparted righteousness, to make sure that though we distinguish them we never, what? Separate them. And now I want to focus on the water and what it does… what it symbolizes. Perhaps you’ve already guessed what it symbolizes, or concluded.

Selected Messages, Volume 1, page 215: “The only begotten Son of God has died that we might live. The Lord has accepted this sacrifice in our behalf, as our substitute and surety, on the condition that we,” what? “receive Christ,” pause. The provision is available universally, but it is applied individually. Are you with me? There is some confusion amongst us as a people on this very issue, by the way, so I need to reiterate that. The provision for eternal life, for justification, is universally available. It’s for whosoever will, but my dear friends, it is individually applied, because we have to come to the cross and receive personally Jesus Christ as our Savior. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} “The Lord has accepted this sacrifice in our behalf as our substitute and surety, on the condition that we receive Christ and believe on Him. The sinner must come in faith to Christ and take hold of His merits, lay his sins upon the Sin Bearer and receive His pardon.” And by the way, this is all illustrated in the sanctuary and its services, isn’t it? Reading on: “It was for this cause that Christ came into world. Thus the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the repentant believing sinner. He becomes a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King, an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ.”

Now, on what basis do we become a member of the royal family? …a child of the heavenly King? By personally receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior. And to receive Christ, my dear friends, is to receive His Spirit. To be in Christ is what we must be to be justified, to have Christ in us, is what we must have to be sanctified. But as we said before, the same faith that puts you in Christ will bring Christ in you. We will receive Him by receiving His what? Spirit. Please notice, as members of the royal family, what is it that we receive? Galatians 4:6: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!'” The Spirit of His Son comes where? Into our hearts, it becomes a part of us; it is imparted. Amen? {Amen} And it is this Spirit that changes our moral state. Are we all together?

Ephesians 1:13-14: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” You see, what is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. My dear friends, we have a right to eternal life, but if you and I are ever going to actually inherit that, if we are actually going to experience eternal life, we have to be prepared to do so; we have to be made holy. And what is it that is the guarantee that we can be made holy and prepared? …can be made holy and prepared. It is the Holy Spirit, precisely… it is the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, which is the gift of the heavenly Father, we are made holy.

Now this gift is something that we must personally receive, and we must personally ask for. Luke 11:13: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who,” what? “ask Him.” Please understand something very important here: All the way through the plan of salvation, God never does anything in violation of our free will. Are you with me on this point? This a vital concept. That is why, at every step, we must “ask and it shall be,” what? “given.” {Mat 7:7} Does the Father long to give us the Spirit? Yes, more than we, as parents, long to give good gifts to our children. But can the Father give it to us if we don’t ask for it? No, why? Because it would be in violation of our free will, and He doesn’t go there, He doesn’t do that. This is why though it is freely available, we must what? Ask for it… ask for it. The whole economy of heaven works on this simple principle, “Ask and it shall be given.”

And again, by His Spirit, which we are to receive more and more fully every day of our lives, Christ indwells us more and more, what? Fully. We grow in the infilling of the Spirit. We grow in our partaking of the nature of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 57:15, from the King James version, I prefer it there: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isn’t that precious? Isn’t that good news? God not only dwells in heaven, but He dwells where? In our hearts… He dwells in our hearts. And it is His indwelling presence in the person of the Spirit of Christ that transforms us, my dear friends, by the renewing our what? …our minds. And we are changed by the Spirit, back to our key text, from what? Glory to glory. This is why Paul says in Colossians 1:27, It is “Christ in you, the hope of,” what? “glory.” Do you see how this all fits together? Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Now, I want to just draw back and summarize by sharing with you this remarkable statement from the pen of inspiration. Youth’s Instructor, December 6, 1894: This sums up what we’ve been saying, but it says it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so you can put full confidence in it; it’s authoritative. Quote: “Christ has paid a dear price for the mansions which He has gone to prepare for those who shall inhabit those mansions.” Excuse me: “Those who shall inhabit those mansions must be fitted for the society of heaven by the righteousness of Christ, and by the work of the Holy Spirit. The preparation for heaven must be made” when friends? “in probationary time, …” When is that? That’s right now, and I’m here to tell you, dear friends, there isn’t much left of it – please know that. “The preparation for heaven must be made in probationary time, and there must now be submission to the work of the Spirit of God on the heart, in order that the soul may be brought into communion with heaven, and…” listen closely, “…may be educated to enjoy the realities of the eternal world.” What’s the whole purpose of sanctification? …the work of the Holy Spirit in us? It’s to get us ready to enjoy heaven. It’s to give us that moral fitness. It’s to help us find our happiness in holiness. Reading on: “The righteousness of Christ, which will be imputed to the believing soul, will be the title by which his entrance into heaven will be assured. Through the influence of the Spirit of God, the believer is transformed in character; …” You see now we’re talking about fitness. “his taste is refined, his judgment is sanctified, and he becomes complete in Christ. The love that was manifested toward him in the death of Christ, awakens a response of thankful love, and in answer to sincere prayer, the believer is brought from grace to grace, from glory to glory, until by beholding Christ, he is changed into the same image.” Do you see how that brings it all together, what we’ve been studying? Oh, I appreciate that statement; I had to share that with you.

Now, this fitness for heaven, what is it? Essentially, what is it? In one word it is holiness, my friends. It is, what? It is holiness. Hebrews 12:14: “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” Is holiness optional if we’re going to be able to enter into the pearly gates and see God? Is it optional? No, my friends, it is absolutely essential. This is precisely why you and I need just as badly the water as we need the blood. Are you with me? The blood gives us a title, the water gives us a what? A fitness. The blood accounts us righteous, the water makes us holy. Now this holiness that we must have, where must we have it? Where must we be holy? Well, where are we? We’re between the right and the left ear. We’ve already talked about that. “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” {Pr 23:7} Are you following this? So where must we be holy if we’re going to be truly holy? In the mind. We must come to have the mind of Christ. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Oh my dear friends, please don’t lose sight of the spiritual nature of holiness. And when I say “spiritual,” I’m talking about what happens between the right and the left ear. What happens in the mind, in the heart, that’s where we must learn to be holy. As Christ says in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the” what? “pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Without holiness no man shall see God. But where have you got to be holy, where have you got to be pure? In heart… pure in heart. I like to put that verse this way: Happy are the holy for they are heaven-bound; happy are the holy for they are heaven-bound. Now, is this holiness something that we can be casual about, my dear friends, in these closing hours of earth’s history? Can we afford to be casual about the pursuit of holiness? Please know that we can’t. Review and Herald, May 30, 1882, listen: “It is a great, a solemn work to obtain a moral fitness for the society of the pure and the blest. God’s Word presents the standard to which we are to conform our life and character. We may choose to follow some other standard, which is more in harmony with our own hearts, but we can never thus gain the divine approval. Only by conforming to the Word of God, can we hope to come to ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ But we must do this or we shall never enter Heaven.”

My dear friends, please understand the absolute necessity of a moral fitness, if we’re ever going to enter heaven. And how do we gain this moral fitness? this cleansing called holiness or sanctification? How do we gain it? “By the washing of,” what? “water.” {Eph 5:26} By the washing of water, we are sanctified by the washing of water. Okay, we’ve finally come to the water. What does it symbolize? Have you figured that out yet? What does the water symbolize? It symbolizes the Holy Spirit. What does the water symbolize? The Holy Spirit.

John chapter 7:37, listen: “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let Him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow” what? “rivers of living water.'” And what did He immediately… What does the Scripture immediately tell us He was talking about? Verse 39: “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit.” Okay my dear friends, the water then that flowed from the pierced side of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross, what does it symbolize? The Holy Spirit. Now some of you might be thinking, “Well, wait a minute, I thought that the Holy Spirit was symbolized by oil.” Yes, by fire, and by wind… but in this case it is water that symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Specifically, explicitly it’s identified as a symbol for the Holy Spirit.

Now, with this understanding, let’s look at some of the washing passages of Scripture. Titus 3:5-7: “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit, …” You see the water, the Holy Spirit, is what washes us, renews us, regenerates us. Verse 6: “…whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Please notice Paul’s language here; it’s very significant. Are we washed with the Holy Spirit, sanctified, so that we can thereby be justified? No; what’s the language? “…that having been justified by His grace.” You see, it’s by faith in the blood that we are justified. But having been justified by His grace, what do we need to do? We need to be prepared to be heirs, according to the hope of eternal life. You see the blood gives us the hope of eternal life, the water gives us the fitness to actually experience it. Are we all together on this?

Here’s another “washing” verse. Ephesians 5:25 and following: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might” what? “sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Please notice, what does the water represent? What does the water symbolize? The Holy Spirit. But what does the Holy Spirit use in this cleansing process? …this sanctifying process? What does the Holy Spirit use? The Word. Oh, please take careful note: “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” You see my friends, the Holy Spirit always uses the Word of God to sanctify us. I want to repeat that: The Holy Spirit, what? Always uses the Word of God to sanctify us. In fact I like to put in this way: The Spirit doesn’t work without the Word, and the Word doesn’t work without the Holy Spirit. Only the two together are a sanctifying power in any believer’s life.

And let me just give you a little warning here. Satan counterfeits everything. In fact, before it’s all over, he will even personate who? Jesus Christ… …he will be a counterfeit Messiah. But who is he presently counterfeiting in Christendom? The Holy Spirit… the Holy Spirit. Oh, there are so many churches in Christendom that are all excited about what the “Holy Spirit” is doing in their midst. Some exciting supernatural things are happening. In fact, my dear friends, it will get increasingly exciting and supernatural. Before it’s all over the enemy will work “signs and wonders… …to deceive, if possible,” whom? “the very elect.” {Mat 24:24} And we will not be able to trust our senses to determine whether or not it’s the Holy Spirit. How will we know whether it’s the genuine or the counterfeit? How will we know? If it is the genuine, hear me, those who are under its influence will most assuredly be diligently studying the Word of God and seeking to understand, to know and to will the good pleasure of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To know, to will and to do the good pleasure, of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That is always what the Holy Spirit leads those who are under His influence to do.

I remember so well, it was several years ago, but I can remember it as if was yesterday. I was talking to a young man and he was so excited about what the “Holy Spirit” was doing in his life, and in his church where he was fellowshipping. And I said to him, “Brother that’s wonderful. You must, you must all really be getting into the Word and studying and learning so much.” And he looked surprised at me and he said, “Man, what are you talking about? I don’t need the Word; I’ve got the Holy Spirit to tell me what to do.” Bright red flag, my dear friends; that I assure you was the counterfeit. Please be warned; please tuck that away. The Holy Spirit always uses the Word to sanctify us.

And what is the purpose of this cleansing, this washing, this sanctifying? Look at verse 27 and please watch out for your key word here. “That He might present it to Himself a” what? “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Oh my dear friends, what is the work of the Holy Spirit? To change us from what? Glory to glory. That we might become a what? A glorious church. And what do you suppose a glorious church is? Come on now, use your key. It’s a church that reflects the character of Jesus Christ. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} That’s a glorious church. And with my whole heart I long for this church to be a glorious church. I long for this church to shine bright with the reflected light of the lovely character of Jesus Christ.

It’s when this church becomes a glorious church that this church will be an effective witness for the King, and a fit citizen for the Kingdom. You see, this is the work of the Holy Spirit, my dear friends, to not only help us get ready, hear me, not only help us get ready to go to heaven when Jesus comes, but help us help others get ready in the meantime. And we won’t be able to do that unless we have the character likeness of Jesus Christ. The very same thing that gets us ready to go to heaven, makes us effective soul winners, praise God… and that’s a Christ-like character. That’s a Christ-like character.

John 17:17: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth” Is that a contradiction? Scripture says we’re sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and it says we are sanctified by the truth. No, that’s not a contradiction. Remember the Holy Spirit and the Truth, the Word, always work together. Manuscript Release Volume 4, page 345: “Truth, precious truth, is sanctifying in its influence. The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in character, and the grace of Christ brought into active exercise in good works. Thus the character is transformed more and more perfectly after the image of Christ, in righteousness and true holiness.” More and more perfectly. Oh, that’s what I long for, my friends… Are you with me? …to be changed from glory to glory. More and more fully into the infinitely glorious likeness of our Savior, Redeemer.

Desire of Ages, page 671: “It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” Wow! God has given us His Spirit to help us to overcome how many? All inherited and cultivated tendencies. And what else? To impress. What Greek word do you here there? “To impress.” Remember our word study? “CARACTER” That’s what the work of the Holy Spirit is: To impress upon us the character of Jesus Christ.

Thus we have Paul’s prayer, my friend. Ephesians, chapter 3:16 and following: “…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” Pause; where is it that this change goes on? Where is it? Is it out here in the realm of our behavior? No, it’s where? It’s in the inner man. Now when the change takes place in the inner man, will it be evidenced out here? Yes, yes absolutely. But what goes on out here, if it springs from a converted intellect, a transformed heart, is a genuine expression of love, rather than just hypocrisy, amen? God help us be changed from the inside out.

Do you know what most of us are trying to do? Change ourselves from the outside in. And I don’t know about you, but I have discovered that that doesn’t work. Are you with me? For so many years, my dear friends, this man was trying to become a Christian through behavior modification. And it is an exercise in futility, not to mention a miserable experience. There’s no joy in it. It’s a grit your teeth and make yourself comply with the letter of the law. The only thing that you can succeed in becoming by that approach is a white-washed tomb. But that’s what’s scary. You can be beautiful on the outside, and you can fool yourself and you can fool others. But you can’t fool who? God. Because He doesn’t see as man sees. Man looks at the outward appearance, but He looks where? At the heart. {1 Sam 16:7} God help us learn to be changed from the inside out. God help us experience that change through the power of the Holy Spirit. To “be transformed by the renewing of our” what? “minds.” {Rom 12:2}

You see, we’re trying to be Christians by behavior modification. God wants us to be Christians by mind transformation. He wants to change us at the core of our being. To what end? Verse 17: “That Christ might dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Oh brother, sister, what a marvelous destiny. What a marvelous privilege is ours when we come to the cross, and receive the blood and the water. The blood that makes us heirs of the Kingdom, and the water that comes in and prepares us to inherit it… …change us from the inside out. Verse 20: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works” where? “in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Oh, my brother, my sister, I praise God for the blood and for the water, amen? I praise God for the all-sufficient, twofold provision of grace that was provided at such infinite cost to us.

And I want to exhort you, to encourage you, to plead with you to come, to come to the foot of the cross and receive that twofold provision of grace. God forbid that He at such infinite cost should make it available in vain for anyone in this room. God forbid, my friends. Please, would you let the love of Christ draw you? “I, if I be lifted up, will…” what? “will draw all unto Me.” {Jn 12:32} Do you see your need for the blood and the water? …to be justified and sanctified? Seeing your need then, will you receive those provisions that alone can meet that need? Will you come to the cross? If that’s your desire, would you stand with me for closing prayer?

Father in heaven, I thank You so much for the blood and the water. I thank You that in that twofold provision, we have everything we need. And I pray that each one of us, responding to the infinite love that’s revealed in Christ and Him crucified, would come right now to the foot of the cross and receive that twofold provision.

Brothers, sisters with your heads bowed and your eyes closed, in the privacy of the prayer audience that you enjoy with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I want to encourage you to come. Come to the cross and in prayer to your Lord and Savior, to your Heavenly Father, ask, ask for that twofold provision. It’s freely available to whosoever will come and receive it but it must be personally received. You must personally ask for it. By receiving Jesus, you receive all that He has to give you. I know that some of you have already asked for and received these provisions of grace, as I have, but even if you have done so before, will you recognize, as I must, that we need to come anew every day to the cross? …and receive that twofold provision? And it’s only as we do and depend exclusively upon it, that we will be able to stay on the straight and narrow path, and out of both ditches. So recognizing this, would you, whether you’ve done so before or not, would each of you in the privacy of the prayer audience that you enjoy with Christ, would you ask for that all-sufficient, twofold provision that the Heavenly Father, who longs to give it to you, might be able to do so right now? Would you please ask Him? Talk to Him about that right now, please.

Father in heaven, I thank You so much that You delight in giving us all that we need, and I thank You that You have found joy tonight in being asked to give the blood and the water; and I pray that You would pour out that all-sufficient provision upon each heart and mind that has requested it. And may we experience more fully than ever before its sufficiency, not only to give us a title to heaven, but to help us gain that fitness for heaven, so that when Jesus comes, we will be ready to live with Him and to enjoy living with Him forever. And please Lord, help us to receive the blood and the water, not only to get ourselves to heaven, but to help us become effective soul winners that we might bring others, through the power of the Holy Spirit, into a saving relationship with You, as well. May this be our experience, is our prayer in Jesus’ name, amen. God bless you, my friends. Thank you so much.


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