Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Living On an Old Testimony?

When we live on our first “testimony” and never get to regeneration, or stop at the point of first regeneration, then we are stagnant in Christ, not alive in Him. We are feeding on a past testimony and not on Jesus’ salvation and Lordship.

We need to make forward progress in holiness. We do this by finding closure in God's Word, which teaches us to have a contrite heart before God (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:2), repent to God (Matthew 4:17, 11:20; Acts 2:38, 13:24, 19:4, 20:21), accept forgiveness from God (1 John 1:9; Matthew 6:14; Colossians 3:13); forgive others as God would have us do (Matthew 6:14; Luke 23:34; Colossians 3:13) and then not look back (Luke 9:62; 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Philippians 3:12-14; Colossians 3:1-3). 

As great as what Christ has done for us in the past is, living on a single testimony curtails the eradication of other sin and stymies progress toward Christian maturity.

The Bible never recommends stopping at initial acceptance of Jesus. In fact, I would posit that the reason some people settle for an initial testimony that grows old over the years is because they haven’t incorporated all of Romans 10 and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, together, at the same time.  

Jesus Christ in His fullness does indeed give us that one great, initial salvation testimony. But as both Savior and Lord He then calls us to constant incremental death to ourselves so that His new life in us can flourish, making His mercies new every morning, not just once and not just in the past. When we are intent upon the holiness Christ will work out in us today, we can cease sucking on the pacifier of a previous testimony.

copyright Barb Harwood

     “All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:15-16

     “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:13-14

     “His divine power has given us everything we need for a Godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
     For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
     Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:3-11 (italics and bold mine)

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