Pastor's Pondering


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The Deeper Life

by Duane Mabee on July 14, 2022

There were a number of ministry priorities that coalesced in the founding of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.  One was a deep desire to reach those others considered undesirable with the Gospel of salvation.  The Alliance also formed around a passion for world missions.  A third core, however, was the concept of the deeper life, sometimes referred to as the higher life or the exchanged life.  The Alliance teaching on the deeper life grew out of the Wesleyan Holiness movement and mirrored some of the Keswick movement, though it distinguished itself from both.


The deeper life emphasizes that God’s will for every believer is to be saved and conformed to the image of Christ.  Scripture calls every believer to holiness and fruitfulness in daily practice through being united with Christ.  1 Peter 1:16 says that we are to “Be holy because I (God) am holy.”  In Matthew 5:48, Jesus told us to “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (ESV).   Just being saved isn’t God’s goal for us.  God saved us to be conformed to the image of Christ, (Rom. 8:29).  There is more for us than just being saved.


The deeper life, however, also recognized that the believer is incapable in his or her own strength to overcome sin, to act righteously in every circumstance, and to serve God effectively.  The ability to progress in holiness only comes through a total surrender to the will of Christ combined with being united with Christ in such a way that the life of Christ Himself controls us and is lived out through us.  In Gal 2:20, Paul expresses it this way, I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me, (ESV).  It is Christ living in you, expressing Himself through you, that results in your being wholly sanctified. 


A. B. Simpson expressed it this way, being sanctified means possessing the thoughts of Christ, the desires of Christ, the will of Christ, the faith of Christ, the purity of Christ, the love of Christ, the unselfishness of Christ, the single aim of Christ, the zeal of Christ and the works of Christ manifest in our mortal flesh so that we shall say, “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”


We will begin exploring the concepts of the deeper life in a sermon series starting this Sunday.