“And none can strive lawfully till that love fulfils the law be in their hearts” (“The Fountain of Life” William Huntington)
“That Christ may 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”. (Eph 3:17-19)
The Apostle Paul desires that we may be able to comprehend the vastness of the love of Christ, the love that fulfilled the law, the love that is written in our hearts, the love that is the Gospel and the love that wills us to strive after Him, to not grow weary of well doing and to press on. The Christian’s striving is only ever done because of His love for us; the striving never brings us merit. We love Him but only because He first loved us.
Many have done their striving unlawfully, in the flesh, seeking merit. The Pharisees fasted often, made many and long prayers and honored God with their lips but Jesus told them in Matthew 23:14 that they would receive the greater damnation. Solomon tells us that the ‘race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong”, the flesh profits us nothing, so the race that we run, the striving is in the spiritual strength of Christ. Paul tells us to run the race to obtain an incorruptible crown, the crown of eternal life and righteousness. (1 Co 9:24-25)
“I press (follow after) toward the mark (goal) for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phi 3:14)
We press on and follow Christ, keeping Him ever in view, knowing that by faith we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. (Romans 8:37). He is our guide as we run; Him being our forerunner (Heb 6:20), He is the captain of our salvation (Heb 2:10). We press on; we keep running toward that incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that is reserved in heaven for us (1 Pe 1:4).
Do we see that our calling is a high calling in Christ and that it truly doesn’t speak to the flesh but to the new man in Christ, the spiritual man? Do we see that we can run the race, we can fight the fight of faith and strive to the goal because the great truth is that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Romans 9:16). It is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure and so we have confidence from the principal of love that we have the right to strive lawfully. Let us run the race together and encourage one another by pointing to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Amen?
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Eph 6:10