But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.Galatians 3:22(NASB)
All of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT)
What are the promises for? The promises were never intended to be a matter of personal pleasure, either in the case of Israel or in our case.... As the Lord's children we are often found in situations of personal embarrassment, personal difficulty, personal suffering, in a place where things for us are hard. At such times we are apt to take hold of some portion of the Word of God, and take that to the Lord and claim it for our deliverance. That may sometimes be all right, and yet if the motive should ever be definitely a pure personal one, we can take it for granted that the promise will have no fulfillment. How many have found that that is how it works. In a certain situation, by reason of some difficulty, trial, suffering, some adversity, you have gone to the Lord, taking His Word and pleading it before Him for a change of the situation, a deliverance, the bringing to pass or the removal of something, and you have found that you were up against a stone wall. If you have discovered that you were knocking yourself to pieces, and you come to a standstill; you could get no further. It seems that the heaven was closed, that there was no way through, no answering voice, no sense of a listening ear; and with deep heart exercises about the matter you have been tempted to doubt the promise, question the faithfulness of God, raise questions as to the truth of His Word. But in the final issue the Lord has shown you that something needed to be done in you.
You were reaching after some object that you wanted, which you thought was necessary and very important, but somewhere there was a secret personal interest, personal concern—unconscious perhaps, but in God's sight very real—which was making it impossible for you to accept that situation. You have come to see at length that your seeking of the Lord was not altogether because of the Divine interests bound up with the situation, but, at bottom, because of the way in which it affected yourself. The Lord had to bring a crisis in your experience, where you were perfectly willing to accept that trial in the will of God; that if so be the Lord wished it then you gave your full consent, and said: "Well, Lord, if this is Your will for me I accept it wholly and fully. All that I ask is to know that it is Your will, and, given that, then I accept it from my heart." In such experiences we learn that the promises are not for us as things for our personal interest, but wholly and utterly for the glory of Christ, to bring about a greater measure of the fullness of Christ in us. Thus, once more, through an ordeal, we have come to the place where it is "no longer I, but Christ." That is God's required ground for the fulfilment of His promises.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. § Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. § Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it?
Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool.” Will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,” says the Lord of hosts … “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts.
I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea … And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
He (the Father) hath chosen us in Him (the Son) before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4).
By His grace and mercy, our will becomes the Father's will when we choose the Saviour. May it ever continue!
"As the master musician knows exactly how the symphonic rendition will sound before its notes vibrate upon the air, anticipating with accuracy every tone, cadence, and change of tempo, so God knows precisely what will occur and keeps it under control, though enacted by independent moral agencies. It is because God knows what the reactions of such free agencies' will be under any given set of circumstances, that He encompasses the inner circle of freedom' with His outer circle of sovereignty." -K.G.
"The will of man is guided by what he knows and what he desires. The divine method of reaching the will is by graciously increasing man's knowledge and by stimulating his desires, while on the divine side of this method there remains not the shadow of possible failure. The end is as certain as any eternal reality in God. On the human side, man is conscious of doing only what he actually does: he chooses as an act of his own volition to receive the grace God offers in Christ Jesus. By persuasion and enlightenment God realizes His purpose to the point of infinite completeness; yet no human will has ever been coerced, nor will one ever be." -L.S.C.
"God's elective purposes are carried out in such an incomprehensible way through the internal and external influences of infinite love and wisdom that man is at no time conscious of any external compulsion, but only of choices and decisions in the exercise of his own free will. Knowledge of what God has accomplished by His own free will comes later by the channel of the Word." -K.G.
"Being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will " (Eph. 1:11).
“And when He is come, He will convict the world of sin… .” John 16:8
Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin; we know the experience of being disturbed because of having done wrong things; but conviction of sin by the Holy Ghost blots out every relationship on earth and leaves one relationship only - "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned!" When a man is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every power of his conscience that God dare not forgive him; if God did forgive him, the man would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the rending of His heart in the Death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the Divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. When we have been convicted of sin we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary, and nothing less; the love of God is spelt on the Cross and nowhere else. The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the Cross of my Lord. There, His conscience is satisfied.
Forgiveness means not merely that I am saved from hell and made right for heaven (no man would accept forgiveness on such a level); forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a recreated relationship, into identification with God in Christ. The miracle of Redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One, by putting into me a new disposition, the disposition of Jesus Christ.
What a contrast there is between King David and King Saul. Both were chosen by God to be king of Israel – to rule over His chosen people. Both had the spirit of God on their lives – and both did some mighty acts of valour. Both kings did some pretty awful things as well – but there was a huge difference…. Both saw mountainous problems thundering upon them… but what a contrast. What a difference there was between both men – in their perception of the Lord. What a different attitude they both adopted – towards God and towards themselves.
Saul was impetuous and self-centred – seeking to manipulate God for his own ends. Saul knew what God said through Samuel – but repeatedly argued against His word. Saul was told to behave in a certain way – he was instructed to wait God’s time.. but he arrogantly refused and looking at his circumstances, Saul disobeyed – Saul disobeyed God’s Word. 1 Samuel 15:24
When looking at his depleted army, Saul would not trust God’s word of deliverance. Saul tried to sort out his problem his way.. Saul could not wait for God’s timing. Saul was also a man who repeatedly blamed everyone else for his problems – he even accused God of not being there for him and put the blame onto God. Saul didn’t recognise his own responsibilities nor his own personal failures.
Saul didn’t have a teachable spirit, and so his life became one of deepening failure. Bottom line…. Saul didn’t trust God – resulting in his disqualification as God’s king.
Saul’s human reasoning discounted God’s word – so he did things his own way. Saul saw a crisis looming up… and placed his confidence in himself and not in God. He didn’t think God would work in the various ‘life-threatening’ situations he faced – and Saul did this repeatedly – and seemed not to understand that God is in control.
No matter what enemies loomed in his ever-darkening world – Saul did not trust God. Three timesread more
Some people like to play ‘pick and mix’ with the words of Scripture. A teaching or doctrine that tallies with experience or understanding is accepted, but one that is hard to comprehend or just plain illogical is often simply shelved. If the truth is not believed then the truth is dismissed.
Jesus claimed to be the Bread of Life – and all who eat of Him will live.. but this truth was a difficult statement for many of His followers to accept and from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? John 6:66. In our fuller illumination by the Spirit of Truth, we understand the words of Christ, but to His disciples, this teaching of Jesus was shocking, disgusting, horrifying.. and so many left Him, because they could not accept the truth of His word.
Throughout Christendom, there are many good men that ‘clip’ and ‘cut’ the Word. Frequently it’s a bias, learned in a doctrinal institution or a church denomination. Sometimes it’s a prejudice that has been adopted through a twisted system of belief. Often it’s a distortion developed in early life, through the actions or attitudes of others. Of-times it is the result of not rightly dividing the Word of Truth – for example:- mingling together God’s dealings with the Church and Israel.
Does this affect the eternal security of the true believer – No. Does it affect their standing in Christ or their position in Him – No. Does it alter the love and acceptance that the Father has for them – No. But ignoring a vital truth can affect an individual’s spiritual development. Distorting Scriptural truth erects a false doctrine, which has serious consequences.
Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, but what exactly does this mean? Well, it means that Jesus Himself is the Way and the Truth and the Life! Pretty basic analysis, you say – even Iread more