“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding ]in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6,7 NKJV).
New creatures in Christ would agree that salvation is the key to a good marriage, yet even though Anabel and I were both dedicated, hard-working Christians our marriage was an unhappy one which would have doubtless ended in divorce today.
The data now show that those who claim to be born again have as high a divorce rate as those who do not make such a claim. Barna Research Project Manager, Meg Flammang is quoted as saying, “We would love to be able to report that Christians are living very distinct lives and impacting the community, but in the area of divorce rates [Christians and non-Christians] continue to be the same.” This being the case, something is terribly wrong because God’s Word teaches that we march to a different drummer than the world does. Folks, how can these data be? I believe it’s because these dear folks failed to understand and seize these truths:
- they were crucified in Christ
- their old spirit identity (unholy sinner-man/woman) died in Christ
- they became saints (holy ones) at their new birth in Christ
- they are no longer a spirit descendant of Adam, but of Christ
- they are empowered by NEW life; their old life died in Christ
- this new life is the Holy Spirit of Christ, the Personification of God in them to express His life through them to do His will
- they are no longer to live to satisfy their needs
- it’s God’s job to satisfy their [ultimate] needs
- they are to “offer themselves as living sacrifices to Christ” to express His life through them; in this manner they are to serve one another.
CAUTION! Your emotions will not agree with these truths. Feelings can’t even think; they have no intelligence!
Secure believers obviously know how to trust Jesus Christ for salvation and stand on that faith foundation. They are saved; they know it; they testify to it. Secondly, they plan to die while still trusting in Jesus to keep His promise to them that they will live with Him in heaven for all eternity. they do not trust in the power of self, but in Christ alone for both of these glorious grace-truths. They believe God tells the truth.
But, what about the huge time gap that lies between their salvation and death? How do they live each day? What is their M.O., their method of living?
Like lost folks, they typically trust in the empowerment of self, their own personality, to sustain them through this time gap “with God’s help.” That’s a huge mistake, and largely responsible for costing them their marriage and family!
God’s grace-plan for us is not to “help” us live any more than it was His grace-plan to “help” us get saved or to “help” us enter heaven. He does every smidgeon of both of these gifts through Christ for us, by grace, through faith. This way, He gets all the glory (credit).
But, here is additional fantastic news! He longs to do the entire time-gap thing for us as well! Yes! He longs to live through us. Ask Him. He died to be able to liberate you!
Now let me pose a question: If two new creatures in Christ, a woman and a man married to one another, agree to trust Christ to express His life through them to serve one another, will they have a successful marriage? As they say, “Yes! That’s a no-brainer!”
“Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others]” (Col. 3:14 Amplified Bible).
Used by permission, from www.Lifetime.org
For Dr. Bill Gillham’s grace-oriented book on marriage, see He Said, She Said.
Opening and concluding Scriptures added – JBW
Immeasurably More is a collection of daily devotions by pastor Ray Stedman. “Immeasurably More captures well the theme that runs through these selections and all of Stedman’s messages. Ray called it the New Covenant, by which he meant that believers are totally dependent on the power of the indwelling Christ to live the Christian life.” https://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/immeasurably-more