How to Empty the Ocean with a Teaspoon – by Des Ford

Jun 12, 2015 2302

Ocean2The Apostle Paul says, in Romans 3:28, “We believe that a man is justified by faith regardless of his success in keeping the law” (NEB). But what does that mean? Isn’t that dangerous? No, it means this. That God, in order to be just and the justifier, had to honor His law. It could not be neglected, pared down to our puny efforts. He exacted the full price of the violation of that infinite law by making an Infinite Sacrifice. So He was just, He upheld the law, but He did it in such a way as to break the heart of whoever observes what God has done.

And when God looks at a broken heart, He counts it, for Christ’s sake, a perfect heart. And the rebel lays down his guns, puts away his swords, and having seen Jesus on the cross, he can never again be in love with sin. Now he longs to have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in him, and so God gives His Holy Spirit, because God always gives His gifts with two hands. God justifies no man whom He does not sanctify.

But the point is this: Trying to keep God’s commandments before we receive the Holy Spirit would be like trying to empty the Atlantic Ocean with a teaspoon. The book of Ezekiel promised, “I’ll put my Spirit within you and cause you to keep My statutes and My laws.” That’s the sort of God I need. There’s no one weaker than I am. And the only God that will do me is the God who can put His Spirit within me and cause me to keep His commandments and statutes, and that’s what happens.

When you and I have our hearts broken with the revelation that God loves us, wasters though we be, worm Jacobs though we be – when we have our hearts broken – God sends the Spirit to mend the heart. And when He lives within us, He changes our loves, and He changes our hates. He doesn’t get it all done in 30 seconds. He begins His changes at the very heart of things, whereby we learn how to give God His place, and where our will is set on the side of the law of God, though our achievement falls indeed short.

So, I do want to stress that God justifies no man whom He doesn’t sanctify. The moment He declares us righteous, the moment He justifies the ungodly, that moment He gives His Holy Spirit and we are born again. And we now love the right and hate the evil, as a principle of action. I do not mean that every feeling of the soul is come in harmony. Oh no, that will be the work of a lifetime. But I mean as regards a settled decision and purpose, and purpose means power. It is our desire now to honor the God who has loved us so.

At the end of that chapter, Paul says: “Do we then make void the law by faith? God forbid!” By no means – we uphold the law. The cross of Christ upholds the law more than if every son and daughter of Adam had kept it perfectly since the Fall.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from “Perfect in a Moment”

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