"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.John 15:19(NASB)
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. (1 Peter 2:9)
ou are a holy nation,a nation separated from this world unto God. New birth means that, oh, that that was made clear to all right there at the beginning how utter this thing is. The Lord Jesus left people in no doubt about this; a cleavage utter and absolute. He would take risks with people, you would probably say: "Oh, why put them off, why run the risk of offending them, why discourage them saying 'except, except, except' all the time?" Ah, He was taking all the risks necessary about this because the reality, the awful reality of this: you CANNOT, you cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven while you cling to this kingdom inimical to God, in any way.... How much the New Testament has to say about this, a walk in holiness that is separate unto God in heart, in spirit, in life, from this world. And if we knew it, a very large degree of our education, our spiritual education and our discipline in the Christian life under the hand of the HOLY Spirit, has to do with those things in us which are mixed up....
The Lord calls for distinctiveness of life and testimony, real distinctiveness of life and testimony. Is our life, dear friends, is your life and my life in this world in our connections and associations and so on, quite distinct, no mistaking to what realm we belong, to Whom we belong? No mistaking it? Or are we mixed in, compromising, keeping on good terms with this world and its people under the devil hand? If so, we stand to lose terribly.... Is there something quite distinctive about our lives that says that man, that woman, that young man, that young woman is utter for God, there no doubt about it, you see it all the time, they are utter for God; they are not playing at things, there no compromise with them. Now this sounds hard, but it necessary. Do you see what involved? Dear friends, the secret of power is holiness! It is. The secret of power is holiness. If our lives are powerless it may be due to this lack somewhere, somehow, of this utterness for God, this separation unto God, of some kind of compromise somehow, somewhere, with the prince of this world who robbing us of our spiritual power and vitality on his own ground. The secret of power is holiness; whatever you forget, remember that!
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” § I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
There is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. § There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. § Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
The life-giving power of the Spirit. . . has set us free from the power of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2, Wms.).
The Holy Spirit ministers to our mind via the Word, and He conditions our heart via our daily experiences.
"A believer may know that he is positionally free, and yet have to mourn the fact that his experience is that of a wretched captive. The freedom is so entirely in Christ Jesus, and the maintenance of our living union with Him is so distinctly and entirely the work of divine power, that it is only as we see that the Spirit dwells within us for this very purpose, and know how to accept and yield to His working it, that we can really stand in the liberty with which Christ has made us free." -A.M.
"There is no strength or power in ourselves against the law of sin which is in our members. The Father has left us as much dependent upon the Lord Jesus' work for our deliverance from the power of sin as for our forgiveness! It is wholly because we died with Him on the Cross, both to sin and to the whole legal principle, that sin's power for those in the Lord Jesus, is broken." -W.R.N.
"Have we not often sought, by earnest thought, to enter more deeply into the significance of the Cross? Have we not, as we got a glimpse of some aspect of its glory, gone from book to book to discover what it really means? Have not some given up hope that words like I have been crucified with Christ,' the world is crucified to me,' baptized into His death,' dead unto sin and alive unto God in Christ Jesus' should have become truly intelligible and helpful? Is not the reason of all this that we want to grasp the hidden wisdom of the Father with our mind alone, forgetting that the Holy Spirit intends to work it into the heart and inner life also?" -A.M.
"The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable. . . free from doubts and insincerity" (James 3:17, Wms.).
Is God for Jews only? Is He not also for Gentiles? Yes, for Gentiles too.
It is crucial to recognise the book of Acts is a historical account of the early church. It outlines the founding of the church; the spread of the gospel; the main characters. It lists the different congregation and individuals who were touched with gospel truth. It shows how the early focus of church evangelism was exclusively to the Jews. It brings Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul - the apostle to the Gentiles, into the arena.
Acts demonstrates a balance between the influence and interests of Peter and Paul. Peter is seen as the apostle to the circumcised (Jews) – Paul the apostle to the Gentiles. It scripts the geographical spread of the gospel – to the Jew first and then to Gentiles. It exposes discontent between Hebraic Jews and Grecian Jews – and how it was resolved. It details some doctrinal controversies that challenged the leaders of the early church. It lists the principal participants and the authoritative conclusions of the early church councils, which authenticated the apostle Paul as God’s chosen vessel to the Gentiles.
Acts is first and foremost a historical account of the root and spread of Christianity. Acts is the transitional bridge between the dispensation of Israel and the church age. Acts is an overlapping bridge-of-time during which evangelistic responsibility is being passed from the old dispensation of Israel to the Church – in the age of grace.
Acts is a unique period of progressive revelation from God to His people, which dictates the need for a shift from pre-cross doctrine to post-resurrection teaching. Without Acts, the doctrinal authority of Paul’s epistles would be severely challenged. Without Acts – Christianity would have morphed into an unorthodox sect of Judaism. But throughout Acts – the doctrinal development of Scripture can quickly be traced.
Jesus came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel who were waiting for their Messiah. He came unto His own land to setread more
You are worried and bothered about many things."
Therefore – let us strip off every weight that slows us down.”
Scripture is the unique authority in prophecy, in science – in living and in dying. Scripture is the only directive that we should adopt to live our lives. Scripture is the one plum-line that we should use to develop doctrine – but beware lest the study of scripture diverts you from the Subject of scripture.
Jesus said to those that rejected Him, "You search the Scriptures: because you believe they give you eternal life, but the Scriptures point to Me!"– John 5:39 All scripture points to the Lord Jesus Christ – science, prophecy, life, and death must all have Christ as the one, unique focal point. Scripture tells us how to live – how to die – how to overcome – how to be faithful – how to be faithful. Adopt any other strategy, or mix in your opinions and you develop a different doctrine.
Martha was bothered and worried and troubled about by many things, but in her bothering and in her busyness she missed the vital presence of God. We are all like Martha – bothered, worried, and troubled about by many things, and like her, all our botherings become hindrances in our relationship with Jesus.
But scripture tells us how to live our lives victoriously and wisely. We are first and foremost to lay aside every hindrance to discipleship. We are to put away everything that diverts us away from our life-calling, and the life into which we are all called is to know God and to know Christ. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent. John 17:3
This does not mean we are only to lay aside things we are not bothered about. It means that we are to lay aside the things in our lives that do bother us! We are to examine our lives and recognise theread more