Get the Facts

The “weakness and unprofitableness” (Heb 7:18) of the principles of the Law are apparent when the power of God in grace is before us. The Law says in effect, “This do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:28)—it requires human obedience* as a condition to obtaining life; but the Gospel of God brings in life through divine righteousness already magnified by what has been done by the Savior, who died for us.

The Law appeals to man, as man in relationship with God truly, but none the less to man as responsible in himself to do good. Grace*, on the other hand, flows from God in His mercy to man as he is in his sinfulness (Rom 5:8). The Law commands man to do that which, while in his helpless state, he can never do. The grace of God bestows on man, when helpless, a new life in Christ Jesus. The Law commands man to reach up to blessings; grace brings blessing down to man where he is.

Hence the force of these words, “Moses My servant is dead” (indicating how spiritual blessings are all of grace), must be kept before the heart if we would rise and follow our Joshua, i.e., Jesus, the Lord risen from the dead, and thus lay hold of our heavenly blessings. All that man is in himself and of his own strength must be out of sight when the heavenly places are in view.

Let us enquire at this point, where, as a matter of faith, are we? Where does our faith apprehend we stand as viewed by our Father? No man can have faith for another; therefore, the question is a searching one. Scripture says, “Made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). We should seek for grace to see ourselves as new creations, by faith, as and where our Father actually sees us in His Son. He does not see His people in the flesh (Rom 8:9), nor as under the Law (Rom 6:14), but in the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 1:6; Col 3:3) at His own right hand.

Nothing so braces up the spirit as faith in the Father’s facts. “How am I to get the blessing?” is the question often raised by God’s dear people. The reply is, “Get into God’s truth about the blessing.” When, through grace, a man believes God’s Word respecting the death of the Lord Jesus for sinners, he is secure from the judgment of this world, he is delivered from the wrath to come He is secure in Him risen from the dead—from the hand of the enemy—Satan. Further, he is seated in the Lord Jesus in the “heavenly places” (Eph 2:6), and is graced by the Father in all the beauty of His Beloved One.

We speak of the truths themselves, not of the experiential realization of them. We realize what we believe. Realization is not a stepping-stone to faith. Faith is the foundation of practical realization. Experiential acquaintance with the truth is not the truth itself, thank God! And the truth of God, not our realization of it, is our confidence and rest. Therefore, as our souls, by the ministry of the indwelling Spirit of God, enter into the truths of our Father respecting our blessing, we begin to experientially enter into the blessing we seek. Attainment follows faith in the truth. We obtain by faith, not to faith.

- H F Witherby

Poster’s notes may or may not be of the author’s conclusion and are intended to promote understanding and correspondence in the “Word of Truth”:

* “requires human obedience”: in the prior dispensation God required obedience from man which derived from His encouragement to do so (Deu 30:19); in this dispensation God requires obedience from man which is derived from “God which worketh in you” (Phil 2:13). Therefore, instead of expecting requirement from self to provide sustainment, expectation of requirement for sustainment is from God.

* “Grace”: the prior dispensation brought God’s grace by the Law of Moses; the present dispensation brings God’s grace by “the Spirit of Grace” (Zec 12:10; Heb 10:29)—in Christ (Rom 8:9; 1Pet 1:11).