If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. Isaiah 1:19.
The character of the Christian is shown by his daily life. Said Christ, “Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit” (Matthew 7:17). Our Saviour compares Himself to a vine, of which His followers are the branches. He plainly declares that all who would be His disciples must bring forth fruit; and then He shows how they may become fruitful branches. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” (John 15:4).
The apostle Paul describes the fruit which the Christian is to bear. He says that it “is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). And again, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22, 23). These precious graces are but the principles of God's law carried out in the life.
The law of God is the only true standard of moral perfection. That law was practically exemplified in the life of Christ. He says of Himself, “I have kept my Father's commandments” (John 15:10). Nothing short of this obedience will meet the requirements of God's Word. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). We cannot plead that we are unable to do this, for we have the assurance, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9). As we look into the divine mirror, the law of God, we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and our own lost condition as transgressors. But by repentance and faith we are justified before God, and through divine grace enabled to render obedience to His commandments.
Those who have genuine love for God will manifest an earnest desire to know His will and to do it.... The child who loves his parents will show that love by willing obedience; but the selfish, ungrateful child seeks to do as little as possible for his parents, while he at the same time desires to enjoy all the privileges granted to the obedient and faithful.
The same difference is seen among those who profess to be children of God. Many who know that they are the objects of His love and care, and who desire to receive His blessing, take no delight in doing His will. They regard God's claims upon them as an unpleasant restraint, His commandments as a grievous yoke. But he who is truly seeking for holiness of heart and life delights in the law of God, and mourns only that he falls so far short of meeting its requirements.—The Sanctified Life, 80, 81.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 96
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