The Tabernacle, it’s Spiritual Significance Part 12

Believers, Christians, Disciples, Who?

There are many who profess to be believers, but what actually constitutes a believer?

“We must take the Scriptural proposition and say that a believer, from God's standpoint, is not one who
merely believes with the mind, but as the Scriptures say, "
With the heart man believeth unto
Salvation
." It is a heart matter, not merely a mental matter.

When referring to the heart we are not speaking of feelings, these are unreliable and change with the
wind, one day you feel saved and the next you feel lost, this is not belief with one’s heart this is belief
based on emotions
.

The Scriptures also say to us, you remember, that devils believe and tremble. Believing merely that the
Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, merely believing he is the Son of God, merely believing he died for
human sins, merely believing he arose from the dead to be the justifier of those who believe would not
constitute us believers in the Scriptural sense.
To believe with the heart is what our Lord Jesus
referred to when he said to the disciples, "If you believe, if you will be my disciples, if you will
come in with me, deny yourselves, take up your cross and follow me."
Those who thus take up
their cross and become followers of Christ are the believers
, those are the ones to whom he is
precious; those are the ones that are precious to him. We are to make this clear-cut, and I think perhaps
sometimes in talking to some of our neighbors and friends we have not gotten the matter as clear-cut as
we might have done.

Not long ago I was speaking to a lady and she said, "
I believe in Christ."

I said, "
Have you ever given your heart to him?"

That is to say, “Have you surrendered yourself completely to him, in full consecration?
   
"
No."
   
"
Well," I said, "why then do you call yourself a believer?"

"
Oh," she said, "I believe Jesus died, and I believe he gave the ransom price, too."

"
Well," I said, "That amounts to nothing. You have not become a believer in the Scriptural sense
of the word
."

"
Then have I not come into divine care and providence at all?"

"
Not at all, not any more than the heathen (the non-believer) has, the fact that you have lived where
you have, in Christian lands and have had the opportunity to come to the knowledge of the truth
(specifically with regards to following in the Masters footsteps and consecration) did not make you any
better than the heathen, but rather worse, Why? Because you have had the opportunity, you have had
the knowledge available to you, knowledge which the heathen never had, and yet you felled to take
advantage of it, thus your responsibility in God's sight is far greater than his
."

"
Yes," she said, "But I believe."

"
But you do not believe in the Scriptural way. Suppose I should tell you over in a certain place were a
million dollars, and it would be yours if you would go there immediately, and before anyone else got there:
you would go there quickly,
if you believed. If you did not go it would be because you truly did not
believe. Now God has offered us something with which a million dollars is of no comparison in value at all,
not even worthy of mentioned. This great gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord is that we might
become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord, and is way beyond comparisons with a
million dollars.
Whoever, therefore, says he believes and yet neglects to take the proper steps
whereby he may get his share of that great blessing
(which our Lord referred to as the “pearl of
great prize
) belies his own testimony. In that case he does not really believe that there is such a
prize, that there is such an opportunity, and that there is such a proposition on God's part." (
1911 Bible
Students Convention Report, Page 123
)

A Christian is one who purports to be is Christ-like, a follower of Christ’s example, a disciple.

The terms of discipleship are very definite and rigid. To be a disciple of Christ one must entirely
surrender his will to God, and then take up his cross and follow Jesus, henceforth to have no
will of his own, but to strive day by day to copy Christ
. (Matt 16:24)

The pastor began his discourse with the statement that there is only one way by which to get rid of one’s
sins belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. But mere intellectual belief, he declared, does not accomplish this
result. The Bible says that devils believe and tremble. They are not justified by their believing. Neither are
we justified by merely believing.
We must do something more. The believer who acts on his belief
and who shows that he really means what he says
will make a full consecration of himself to
God
.

As the Apostle James stated, “
… faith by itself, if it does not have works (actions), is dead. But
someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works
.”

Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (I will prove
my faith by more than just empty professions of belief, but by taking action, by heeding the Lord’s
counsel to take up my cross and follow in His footsteps, beginning with making a full consecration of
myself
). You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

(
When he proved his faith by heeding the Lord’s Word) Do you see that faith was working together
with his works, and by works faith was made
perfect (complete)?

This is similar to how justification works in our tabernacle picture you have tentative justification, that
justification which is
probationary, and you have vitalized justification, that justification, which has
become
actual or reckon actual. Justification by faith remains in a tentative state until a certain
prescribed action is taken to make it perfect or complete. In this case it is a full consecration of one’s self
to God.

You see then that a man is justified by works and not by faith only (not by belief alone, but
likewise by his actions, his heeding the Word of God
).” James 2:17-22, 24

From the standpoint of the scriptures a believer is a disciple, a follower, a pupil.

The pastor went on to demonstrate that the school of Christ is not open to everybody. The whole world
of mankind is not in the school of Christ,
nor is every professing Christian, with some taking more
lessons and others fewer. There is one definite way of entering this school and becoming a pupil of the
great Master Teacher. Hear the terms in His own words, “
If any man will come after me (become my
disciple, my pupil
), let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.”

Only those who present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God through the
merit of the Redeemer imputed to them and received by faith, are enrolled in the school of
Christ
. In other words, only the members of the church which is the body of Christ are in His school,
being taught of God through His word.

To be a disciple of Christ is to be a follower, a pupil one who walks as He walked. The proposition
is self-denial, self-effacement. It means giving one’s self wholly to God, as in our text, “
Present your
bodies a living sacrifice, wholly, acceptable to God, your reasonable service
.” (Rom 12:1) No one
need go far to make this consecration. Each, at his own bedside, can give his little all to God, through
Christ.

HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN

It should not require long to count how much more we shall receive than we give. We give a condemned
and dying existence; we give mental, moral and physical imperfections
we have no more except as our
Savior, by imputing His merit, makes our sacrifice of value in God’s sight
. But in exchange we
receive riches of grace in the present life peace, joy, blessing of heart, which the world can neither give
nor take away and in the life to come, “
glory, honor, and immortality,” joint-heirship with our Savior in
the Heavenly Kingdom which shall dominate the world for the thousand years, for its blessing and uplift.

Really,
after counting the cost, there is a danger that we would feel so ashamed of the littleness of our
offering that we would fear to come to the Lord with it. We gain courage to present our bodies only by
knowledge of the Lord’s Word, and a realization of the mercy and favor which has prompted His kind
invitation for an exchange of something of little value for great things of inestimable value.
But unless
we take this very step and definitely and positively enter into a contract with the Lord, we have
neither part nor lot with Him
. We are still of the world (natural men no matter our professions of faith,
no matter
), how much we may try to pattern our lives after decent models and to avoid the grouser and
the finer sins. The covenant with the Lord (
Psa 50:5) is the beginning, and to each covenanter comes
grace to help in every time of need;” as Jesus said, “Without Me ye can do nothing.”

But, says one, surely this is not the only way of coming into God’s family! Yea, we answer, it is the only
way. “
There is none other Name given under Heaven or amongst men whereby we must be
saved
” from our condition of condemnation, and be brought back into the family of God. Jesus Himself
makes the distinctive terms that we must become His full disciples in order to have this blessed privilege
of discipleship.
The process by which we become disciples requires far more than simply
confessing our belief in the Lord Jesus
. (1H695)

God has established the rules: Matt 16:24 (NEB) If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, (1)
he must leave self behind;
(2) he must take up his cross and come with me. This text places the
emphasis on what one must
do, not simply on what one must say or believe! Leaving self
behind is equivalent to selling all that one has and giving it away
.

Discipleship

Are you a disciple? Do you really want to be one? Do you want to be one even if it is hard, even if it
means you have to do more than say the right words? If you do, you must see discipleship as a lifelong
process:
1 Cor 9:24, 25 (NIV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets
the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict
training. They do it to get a crown of laurel that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last
forever.

Luke 18:28–30 "Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I
say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the
kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to
come life everlasting."

May you all “
run in such a way as to gain the prize” so that in the world to come you might receive life
everlasting.”


                                        
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