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"THE MYSTERY" -- To His Saints, Obedience is Better than Sacrifice (I Sam. 15:22)

"THE MYSTERY" -- To His Saints Obedience is Better than Sacrifice (I Sam. 15:22)

"Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed...work out your own salvation (deliverance) with fear and trembling: For God is the one energizing in you both to will and to energize His goodwill" (Phil. 2:12, 13).

To the "right-divider" of the Mystery, there is a need "for the perfecting (complete adjustment) of the saints..." (Eph. 4:12) concerning the progressive energizing of the Holy Spirit. The words, "complete adjustment," translated "perfecting" is a translation of the Greek word, "katartismon," meaning "to mend," "to adjust,""perfect a change," and the like. Not only so, but qualified teachers (the gift of God) are also instruments of Divine use in this perfecting (Eph. 4:11).

Obedience (as opposed to disobedience, I Sam. 15:23) in all or every dispensation is always better than sacrifice. Even so, obedience in the present dispensation of "the Mystery," as an adjunct to the Dispensation of Grace (Eph. 3:1-3), is even more so.

For example: In the Pentecostal Dispensation (the Acts Period), the Apostle Paul lived a very sacrificial life. Not only so, but his personal sacrifices (I Cor. 4:10-13; 9:1-27; 10:23-31, etc.), not to mention his faithfulness in keeping, without hypocrisy, the holy feast days, his vows and other legal matters as a Jew, would be counted as gain before -- and rightly so, in Paul's thinking at that time. However, when Israel (nationally) and her hopes and promises were placed in abeyance at Acts 28:28, those things he had counted as gain, were now loss, and counted as dung (Phil. 3:7, 8, 13).

Why? Because in a dispensation of grace,such things as merit, sacrifice, etc., cannot be counted gain. Otherwise, grace cannot be grace in a dispensational sense. Hence now, more than ever, Faith-Obedience is everything! (Works follow faith, Eph. 2:8-10. The Spirit of Christ is the essence of faith.) See our paper, "The Faith," - God's Gift.

Faith-Obedience is the substance, the real thing, for the initiate in "The Mystery" stewardship because Christ is all and in all (Co. 3:11). Any attempt to add or take away from "Christ is all," is, in reality, a denial. This is why we may honestly, with boldness, proclaim our completeness in Christ (Col. 2:10).

Assuming you understand and believe those things, there should be a desire, a passion, an energy to get to know Him (the Christ) in order to work out your own salvation (deliverance) concerning any and all circumstances (Phil. 2:12, 13, and 16). Selah - think of that!

Lastly, when you know you have responded in Faith-Obedience, and nothing seems to happen, this is the time for rejoicing (Phil. 4:4-7) in the Spirit! Think of that. Selah!

C.E.McLain 11/12/87.