Sinners are cleansed by the Word of the cross, and sanctified to be members of the Body of Christ that they may bear fruit (1 Cor. 1:18).
Luke 5 verse 1-4, “And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught (of fish).”
Here Jesus Christ brought God’s Word to the gathered people listening to Him. He brought this Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was like a fire that burned away the sins, and renewed man, and changed him (inwardly) according to His will. When the basic principles of the Word have also been established in us, then He will also say to us that which He said to Simon: “Launch out into the deep, and cast out your nets for the catch.” For we, after we have received the basic principles of Christianity in our heart and in our thoughts, must obey the following command: “Launch out into the deep”, “Give also the depths of your own heart over to the Son of the living God”. He wants to cleanse of all carnal and spiritual pollution also the depths of our inner being. He wants us to come to the prayer: “Search my inner being, Lord, that by You all darkness in me be truly removed, and I be purified of all carnal and spiritual defilement(s)!” A hunger, a thirst must arise in your and my inner being to be completely delivered from all that is not from and of Him. This with the purpose to, in priestly service, “cast out our nets” to “catch” people in His Name.
Luke 5 verse 5-11, “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both their ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is brought to (the people of) the world, and it builds a pure and spiritual body out of sinners, a new humanity, of which each person has an active part in the whole. Each member of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ shares in the work in the divine Kingdom, great and small, from apostle to the smallest helping hand; all help with the calling, after the inner working of the Spirit of God and His gifts, to come to the fulfillment of what God wants; of that which He intends. A (large) army of witnesses must be created (here: be prepared).
Do not all members of our natural body work together for the maintenance and perfecting of this body; unto the finest muscular tissues, no matter how simple each part’s function? In the same way each person in the Body of Jesus has his own work. But all and all things work – and work together – to perfect the Body of Jesus by the power and wisdom Christ gave us. Each one must come to active co-operation under the mighty leadership of God’s Holy Spirit, namely to witness. In our profound joy we can’t help witnessing. The verb says: What the heart thinks, the mouth speaks. Is it not the most natural thing for an apple tree to bring forth apples, and a cherry tree cherries? In the same way, by the inner working of the Spirit, this testimony life will grow naturally in a healthy Christian life, and we will bring forth fruit, and help to form the Body by the power of Jesus Christ, by the inner working of the Spirit, and by the gifts He gives. So we “catch” people and lead them into the Kingdom of God; each one after the calling and after the measure of the gift of Christ.
Beloved, let us have an active part in this Kingdom of God. Let us be prepared to lose (the power of) the old and sinful in our heart and life by the power of the Word of the living God and the blood of the Lamb. By this Word let Jesus Christ truly come alive in us. Let His Kingdom in us be formed by the justifying power of no one less than Himself! When we discover something within us which is not entirely according to His will, let us then hand it over to Jesus Christ that He may completely purify and sanctify us, and baptize us with His Holy Spirit, and fill us to all His fullness.
In the preceding part we viewed the Body of Christ as a whole; namely the Body consisting of many members, each with his own calling and work; now we will have a close look at such a member; at the justification of his soul, his body, and his spirit.
The justification of the soul
Our God is a Fire, Who can purify all who are willing of all carnal and spiritual defilements on the basis of our faith in the shed blood of the Lamb. Our sun too is a fire. If the atmosphere (i.e. the layer of air which surrounds our earth to a height of some 1,000 km) wherein we live, would not have been there, the sun would be deadly. The same way God’s justice is deadly for man without the grace of the blood of Jesus which was shed for us on Calvary. But because of this grace of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary God’s justice now is for life. Beloved, we are sinners, from head to toe. God sees natural man as someone with abscesses which have not even been washed (Isaiah 1:6). We do not have to excuse ourselves, or blame e roots in the depths of our subconscious. We must all be justified, by the Holy Spirit we must all be set free and cleansed from our sins and our self-centered life. We are all the same, essentially equal, soaked in the same nature of spiritual death, which has its be freed and cleansed of our sins and our old self-centered-life by the Savior.
We do not have to be ashamed before Him for He “tastes our heart and our kidneys”. He knows us even unto our deepest fibers, and therefore we do not have to hide anything from Him. He asks us to come to Him just as we are that He may justify us. And this justifying is by faith in Him, by the yielding of all of our being to Him, that He may come in our inner being, and may become to us Salvation and Sanctification, and – by our faith in the shed blood of the Lamb, which wrought an eternal salvation for us – victory over all power of sin.
By E. van den Worm
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