LESSON: EPHESIANS 4:11-16
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4‒5
Christ is set before us in this Gospel (Matthew 9:18‒26) as an inexhaustible fountain at all times running over with pure goodness and grace. And for such goodness and kindness He takes nothing at all. The godly who recognize such goodness and grace thank Him for it and praise and love Him. The others may even load Him with mockery. That is how they repay His goodness and grace.
A man cannot be called a Christian simply because he does much; he is a Christian because he receives from Christ and draws on Him, and suffers Christ to bestow His blessings upon him. When anyone has ceased receiving from Christ, he is no longer a Christian, so that the term Christian has relevance only in receiving and not in giving and doing.
A Christian is one who has received nothing from anyone else but Christ. If you have regard for what you are doing, you have already lost the Christian name. It is true, of course, that one must do good works, helping others with counsel and gifts. But no one can be called a Christian from such works. Thereby no one becomes a Christian.
SL.XI.1837,6 PRAYER: Lord Jesus, give us ever of Your fullness and thus equip us as Your children to always bring forth much fruit, for Your name’s sake. Amen.