Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow.James 4:9(HCSB)
Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know Me and understand that I am the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23,24 NLT)
Why does not the Lord do this and that, which we think He ought to? It is simply this soul-craving to have proof and demonstration; and this is why, if there is anything built up in Christian work which is obvious, big, impressive, where there is a great thing being organized and a great movement on foot and all is in the realm of something that can be seen, crowds of Christians flock after it; or if there are manifestations, things that seem to be clear proofs, the crowds will be found there. The enemy can carry away multitudes by imitatimg works of the Holy Ghost in the realm of demonstrations and proofs. We are so impressionable, we must possess; and that is exactly the same principle as that which governed the rulers. They were not prepared for the principle of the Cross to be applied in this way - an utter self-emptying, being brought to an end of everything but the Lord Himself....
What was the one thing the prophets were always talking about? It was about knowing the Lord. The thing that was lacking amongst the Lord's people in the days of the prophets was the knowledge of the Lord. There were plenty of people who were prepared to have the Lord for what He could do for them, but as for the Lord Himself... ah, that was another matter. What is the Lord after with you and with me? Is He first of all wanting us to do things? The idea of what is of God today is chiefly associated with the things which are being done for Him, the work we are engaged in, and so on - that is, with what is objective and outward. But the Lord is not first of all concerned about how much we do. He is far more concerned that, whether we do little or much, every bit of it should come out of a knowledge of Himself. Any amount can be done for the Lord in Christian work and activities, just as you do other work, but it may not proceed from your own deep knowledge of God. The Lord is concerned above all else that we should know Him.
I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice. Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. § In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old.
They did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them. § So You lead Your people, to make Yourself a glorious name. § Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face. § Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. § The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. Christ … loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. § To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. § Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. § Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
But now we are delivered from the law" (Rom. 7:6a).
The Christian life is not regulated by Moses and the Law, but lived by "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Not rules, but nature.
"God gave His people Israel, a nation living in the world, the law; one of its purposes being to act as a curb or restraint, a kind of bit and bridle on their rebellious flesh. It had to be checked on the one hand; it had to be pushed on the other, so to speak. Thus it was that the law dealt with man's flesh. But to go back to the law now is just the denial of Christianity.
"Some good men who in grievous error would impose the law as a rule of life for the believer mean very well by it (for they strive to be pious); but the whole principle is false. The law, instead of being a rule of life, is necessarily a rule of death to one who has a sin nature. Far from being a delivering power, it can only condemn such; far from being a means of holiness, it is, in fact, and according to Paul, the strength of sin' (1 Cor. 15:56)." -W.K.
"In man the law and the flesh always go together. The Cross was the end of both in the sight of God. The flesh was judged and condemned there; it was treated as a dead thing before God - dead and buried. And the law which deals with the flesh we are dead to.
"We have passed out of both: we are not in the flesh, and are no longer under the law. The flesh being that in us with which the law grapples, and the flesh being now by faith reckoned a dead thing, there is no more for the law to lay hold of. We pass out of its province into another country and atmosphere - 'hid with Christ in God' (Col. 3:3)."
"That we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter" (Rom. 7:6b).
“Take now thy son .” Genesis 22:2
God's command is - Take now, not presently. It is extraordinary how we debate! We know a thing is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it at once. To climb to the height God shows can never be done presently, it must be done now. The sacrifice is going through in will before it is performed actually.
"And Abraham rose up early in the morning and went unto the place of which God had told him" (Gen. 22:3). The wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not confer with flesh and blood. Beware when you want to confer with flesh and blood, i.e., your own sympathies, your own insight, anything that is not based on your personal relationship to God. These are the things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.
Abraham did not choose the sacrifice. Always guard against self-chosen service for God; self-sacrifice may be a disease. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him. If the providential order of God for you is a hard time of difficulty, go through with it, but never choose the scene of your martyrdom. God chose the crucible for Abraham, and Abraham made no demur; he went steadily through. If you are not living in touch with Him, it is easy to pass a crude verdict on God. You must go through the crucible before you have any right to pronounce a verdict, because in the crucible you learn to know God better. God is working for His highest ends until His purpose and man's purpose become one.
I assure you: unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself – but if it dies, it produces a large crop.
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin
I am sure all true believers in Christ want to come into vital relationship with God. I am sure all born-again Christians long to know the fullness of Christ’s life within. I am sure many in the church of Christ long to be effective in their service to Him, but fullness of life and service in the inner man is birthed from Christ’s imputed life.. and for believers to live in newness of life in Christ – He first must die on the cross. First his self-life must remain crucified on the cross of Christ – until He lives in me.
Being made in the image of God means we are made up of spirit, soul and body. The inner spirit of man is the part of our being that communes with God. The old sin nature of the old life in Adam must die, so that Christ’s new life can live. I assure you: unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself – but if it dies, it produces a large crop.
The church of Christ is not an organisation but an organism… a living thing and the church of Christ is made up of many members… who are all in Christ, – and like all living things the church is not an end in itself but points to a larger end.
The church is a vessel that is used by God for His deeper, wider and eternal purposes. The church is a channel thru whom God currently works – to achieve His will. The church is a living body that is in functional relationship with Jesusread more
Have you considered the demands made in scripture and tried to fulfil them yourself? If you have you’ll know that scriptural requirements are impossible and unattainable. Scriptural demands placed on a believer are grievous, unbelievable and disheartening.
However hard we try to measure up to Scriptural standards we end up saying: Oh, wretched man that I am! what a miserable person I am.. who will deliver me from this body of death? Romans 7:24
And Paul wasn’t the first, nor will he be the last to despair at Scripture’s impossibilities.
Why should God erect such unattainable standards from His blood-bought children? No normal or abnormal human being could possibly accomplish His requirements. Why? In heavens name, why does God demand such unachievable standards? Why, when they only tantalise and torture the one that desires to do God’ will? Why does God cause such great torment to the soul and struggle of the conscience? For God knows that the requirements of Scripture outstrip man’s best capabilities.
Christ’s demands are indeed impossible and far exceed man’s natural abilities. His standards are beyond the reach of flesh and we discover our efforts to be hopeless. He has set an unreachable goal in achieving the righteous requirements of Christ – we desperately try to imitate Christ’s perfect life but tumble flat on our faces.
The ideal that Scripture places before our eyes, seems to tantalise and tease. It is a seeming ideal life that is so often generously laid before the believer!! A life of quiet and calm; a life of hope and fulfilment : a life of peace and rejoicing.. a life of unbroken fellowship with the Lord : a life of love and joy and hope.. a life nestling in the bosom of the Father : a life where darkness has melted away – a life where sorrows of the night have softened into joy of an eternal morning. What do you think of the demands that scripture places forever before your eyes?
Such a model etches a ruderead more