Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grafted into Holiness

Just read this amazing illustration of holiness... a little lengthy... but so worth it!

"...let us think of the grafting of a tree, that instructive symbol of our union to Jesus. The illustration is suggested by the Savior's words, "Make the tree good, and his fruit good."

I can graft a tree so that only a single branch bears good fruit, while many of the natural branches remain, and bear their old fruit- a type of believer in whom a small part of the life is sanctified, but in whom, from ignorance or other reasons, the carnal life still in many respects has full dominion.

I can graft a tree so that every branch is cut off, and the whole tree becomes renewed to bear good fruit; and yet, unless I watch over the tendency of the stems to give sprouts, they may again rise and grow strong, and, robbing the new graft of the strength it needs, make it weak. Such are Christians who, when apparently powerfully converted, forsake all to follow Christ, and yet after a time, through unwatchfulness, allow old habits to regain their power, and whose Christian life and fruit are but feeble.

But if I want a tree wholly made good, I take it when young, and, cutting the stem clean off on the ground, I graft it just where it emerges from the soil. I watch over every bud which the old nature could possibly put forth, until the flow of sap from the old roots into the new stem is so complete, that the old life has, as it were, been entirely conquered and covered by the new. Here I have a tree entirely renewed- emblem of the Christian who has learned in entire consecration to surrender everything for Christ, and in whole-hearted faith wholly to abide in Him.

If, in the last case, the old tree were a reasonable being that could co-operate with the Gardener, what would his language be to it? Would it not be this: "Yield now yourself entirely to this new nature with which I have invested you; repress every tendency of the old nature to give buds or sprouts; let all your sap and all your life powers rise up into this graft from yonder beautiful tree, which I have put on you; so shall you bring forth sweet and much fruit." And the language of the tree to the Gardener would be, "When You graft me, O spare not a single branch; let everything of the old self, even the smallest bud, be destroyed, that I may no longer live in my own, but in that other life that was cut off and brought and put upon me, that I might be wholly new and good... I have only to abide in that which I have received. He cares for the immediate repression and removal of every bud which the old nature would put forth..." -Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ

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