But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth.2 Corinthians 1:23(NASB)
Let our lives lovingly express truth in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him. (Ephesians 4:15 AMP)
Any system of religion that just puts on from the outside, and covers over the inner life by mere rite and ritual is false, it is not true. The work of God is to reconstitute human nature. And that, of course, involves two things. On the one side, it involves a breaking down. And if you know anything about God's dealings with lives who come into His hands, there is undoubtedly a large place for that – a progressive breaking down; a getting to the root of things, and undeceiving us. If we have any illusions about ourselves, they will all be gone when God has done with us. If we are governed by any kind of falsehood about ourselves, and our position, and our work, when God has done with us, that will all be gone. He is going to break us down until we see ourselves stark, as an unclean thing, with all our righteousnesses as filthy rags. So He will break us down, and He does.
But there is the other side, of course, all the time, for God is not only, and always negative; there is the constructing, bringing up to the place where anything that is false, anything that is not absolutely transparent and true, straight and clear, is hateful to us. More and more our inner man revolts against our own falsehood. Any exaggerations come back on us at once with conviction of wrong; any false statement hits us hard, and we know that we have not spoken the truth. It is a tremendous thing to get into the hands of the Holy Spirit, until, like God, the one thing that we hate is anything that is false. "I hate", said David, "every false way." We must come there. But we must be lovers of the truth. And this is going to pursue us everywhere; it will pursue us into our own life within ourselves, that we are not deceiving ourselves at all. Before God we know exactly what God thinks about us, and we know where we stand in the light.... And the nearer we come to the Lord, the more meticulous the Holy Spirit is over this matter of truth; the closer are His dealings with us. It is very true, you see, "perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord" – perfecting. The nearer we get to the end, the more stringent will be the Lord's dealings with anything false in our lives. It is a time matter, but God is very faithful – He is very faithful; He does not let things pass. Do we want Him to be faithful? Well, it is not comfortable to say, "Yes," but it is good that He should be faithful with every inconsistency, every contradiction, every falsehood, in the inward parts.
Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it … Love is as strong as death. § Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
[He] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed. § In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
You were washed … you were sanctified … you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. § You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. § I beseech you … , brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Azmaveth the son of Adiel was over the king’s treasuries; and Jehonathan … was over the storehouses … Ezri … was over those who did the work of the field for tilling the ground … Shimei … was over the vineyards … All these were the officials over King David’s property.
God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues … One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.
Alive unto God in Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Rom. 6:11)
Until the believer's faith is firmly established in the fact of his position in the risen Lord Jesus, he will not be able to rest in Him during the process of his position becoming his condition. One must be sure of the Source before he can trust for the growth.
"The standing of the believer is settled, perfect, eternal. His state is imperfect and fluctuating. He is partaker of the new life which cannot sin; but he bears about within him the old man which can do nothing else but sin. Now his standing is in the new and not in the old. He is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). He is not under law, but under grace. This is his perfect and unalterable position; his sins are gone before God; his person is accepted by God - all complete in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"His practical condition can never touch his position. It can very seriously affect his fellowship, his worship, his testimony, his usefulness, his spiritual enjoyment, the glory of the Lord Jesus as involved in his practical career. These are great consequences in the estimation of every sensitive conscience and well-regulated mind; but the position of the true believer remains intact and unalterable. The feeblest member of the family of God has this place of security, and is perfect in Christ. To deny this is to remove the true basis of self-judgment and practical growth." -C.H.M.
"We are spiritually both in the wilderness and in Canaan; we are partakers on earth of the heavenly calling, and we are seated in Christ in the heavenly places. The enjoyment of the favors of the Father to us, in the heavenly places in Christ, enhances the sense of His favors to us in the wilderness." -H.F.W.
"We are identified in union with Him who stands as really for us in the glory of the heavens as once for us He hung upon the Cross."
"For to me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21).
“This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29
"Why could not we cast him out?" The answer lies in a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. This kind can come forth by nothing but by concentration and redoubled concentration on Him. We can ever remain powerless, as were the disciples, by trying to do God's work not in concentration on His power, but by ideas drawn from our own temperament. We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him.
You are brought face to face with a difficult case and nothing happens externally, and yet you know that emancipation will be given because you are concentrated on Jesus Christ. This is your line of service - to see that there is nothing between Jesus and yourself. Is there? If there is, you must get through it, not by ignoring it in irritation, or by mounting up, but by facing it and getting through it into the presence of Jesus Christ, then that very thing, and all you have been through in connection with it, will glorify Jesus Christ in a way you will never know till you see Him face to face.
We must be able to mount up with wings as eagles; but we must also know how to come down. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and the living down. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," said Paul, and the things he referred to were mostly humiliating things. It is in our power to refuse to be humiliated and to say - "No, thank you, I much prefer to be on the mountain top with God." Can I face things as they actually are in the light of the reality of Jesus Christ, or do things as they are efface altogether my faith in Him, and put me into a panic?
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
As children of God we were given a new life in Christ – a baby life that needs to grow. Our life should be a fruitful, victorious life that matures into a spiritual believer – a life submitted to the Spirit, so it may be conformed into the image and likeness of Jesus. But we still have a sin nature that seeks to gain supremacy over our new Christ-life. We were freed from its power over us, at the cross, but it remains our deadly enemy. And for the rest of our life on earth a tug of war exists between these two rivals.
The more we feed one of these two bitterly opposing natures, the more it grows and develops – and the stronger it becomes the greater its capacity for good or for evil. The new life in Christ, we received at salvation, is the very life of Jesus Christ, that was breathed into us by God’s Spirit, so we could grow in grace and spiritually mature.
The old sin nature we received from Adam is at enmity with God and kept us in bondage and condemnation, but it was crucified with Christ, and its power was severed at the cross – freeing us forever from the bondage of sin and death.This new life in Christ is His sinless life – which was imparted into our very beings. The old sin nature is our terrible Adamic heritage – which keeps us in bondage to sin. Unsaved men can only function under the power of the old sin nature, and whatever they do, whether good or ill, is worthy of nothing more than God’s utter condemnation.
The new life in Christ should be nurtured, while the old sin nature must be subdued, and though all Christians are positionally sanctified, (setread more
The one new man in Christ is not a sterile organisation but a living organism. It is an organism; a living structure; a life-force with a purpose – it is the Church. The Church is the worldwide body of believers in Christ- and He is the Head. The one new man is a corporate, spiritual entity, who are entrusted with Christ’s work. Jesus said of those that make up this one new man: “and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” John 14:12
God often uses the natural life as a guiding principle for the spiritual life, He takes foundational truths from the physical and applies them to the spiritual,. The first creation in Adam contains principles that apply to the new-creation in Christ. The first man became a living being but Christ became a life-giving Spirit. 1Corinthians 15:45
Christ came into this world for a purpose. He came as a pattern for humanity. He came to reclaim the dominion and ruler-ship of the world from Satan. He came to reestablish the sovereignty of this world, back under humanities rule. Jesus came as the Head of a new creation of man – and was the ‘firstborn’ of many sons. He came to bring many sons to glory. Hebrews 2:10
But there is always a cost of bringing forth of life – and the price for life is death. The way to increase is to decrease – reproduction is sacrificial – life means death, and the Lord Himself summarised that guiding principle in John’s gospel.. for unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone …. but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24
Unless life propagates more life it remains barren – and a sterile soul has little purpose. The law of increase is sacrifice – the law of living is dying – the law of life is death. Jesus said I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly. John 10:10read more