The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.Luke 2:40(NASB)
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
(1 Peter 5:10 ESV)
Something has got to be done in us as well as for us. We want to proceed on the line of having things done for us, heaven intervening for us, our difficulties removed for us, having a straight path made for us. Heaven may be ready to come in, the Lord may be prepared to work for us, but it is not sufficient for Him - and it would not prove good enough for us - if that were all.
The very principle of spiritual growth and maturity demands that He keeps the objective and the subjective balanced; that is, that something is done in us as well as for us. It is the principle of the Cross again. He died for us - that is the objective. We died in Him - that is the subjective. Here are two sides in spiritual experience. He keeps the balance of things. We have to have this balance wrought in us, and to be delivered from this tendency of allowing our problems to obscure the Lord, this inveterate habit of ours of viewing the position merely objectively instead of saying, "What does the Lord want to teach us about this? What does He want to do in us in this matter? There is something He is after in us." He has something to do in us before He can do it for us. How often we have found that when we have come to a new position with the Lord, when the thing has been done in us, then there has been outward movement. So the mention of the subjective exercise suggests that we have to take this matter to our own hearts as something which requires a change in us.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. § I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. § Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? § The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! § A mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; they did not remember the multitude of Your mercies … Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.
He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises… I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
Now are ye light in the Lord" (Eph. 5:8a).
It takes us a long time to realize that all is darkness outside the Light of heaven and earth.
"The moment we begin to rest our peace on anything in ourselves, we lose it. And this is why so many saints have not settled peace. How can you have settled peace? Only by having it in the Father's way. By not resting on anything, even the Spirit's work within, but on what the Lord Jesus has done entirely outside you.
"Then you will know peace - conscious unworthiness, but yet peace. In the Lord Jesus alone, the Father finds that in which He rests; and so it is with His saints. The more you see the extent and nature of the evil that is within, as well as that without and around, the more you will find that what the Lord Jesus is and did, is the only ground at all on which you can rest."
"When the eye is turned away from the Lord Jesus, darkness must set in. It is only as the eye is single that the body is full of light. And what is a single eye but having Him for our Object? It is thus that light divine pours in upon us, until every chamber of our moral being becomes lighted up, and we become light for others. In this way the believer is kept happily free from obscurity, perplexity, and anxiety. He finds all his springs in the Lord Jesus."
"It is having the Lord Jesus as our Object which alone gives us the power of truth. When we have anything of our own as an object, so far we slip aside, for the Lord Jesus alone is the full truth. It is only in proportion as we are filled with Him, and have Him to the exclusion of our own evil, that we ourselves walk in the truth. Let us have our hearts fixed on any one thing or person save the One who is our life, and evil results." -W.K.
"Walk as children of light" (Eph. 5:8b).
“In whom we have … the forgiveness of sins.” Ephesians 1:7
Beware of the pleasant view of the Fatherhood of God - God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That sentiment has no place whatever in the New Testament. The only ground on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ; to put forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive sin and reinstate us in His favour is through the Cross of Christ, and in no other way. Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony of Calvary. It is possible to take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification with the simplicity of faith, and to forget at what enormous cost to God it was all made ours.
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God. Never accept a view of the Fatherhood of God if it blots out the Atonement. The revelation of God is that He cannot forgive; He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God by the Atonement. God's forgiveness is only natural in the supernatural domain.
Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is slight. Sanctification is simply the marvellous expression of the forgiveness of sins in a human life, but the thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven sin. Paul never got away from this. When once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vice, constrained by the love of God.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. So now you are united with the One who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.
As a believer’s trust in God truth grows – more is opened up to his understanding. It is not new revelation – but illumination of God’s final word, by His holy Spirit. The first, vital thing for any believer is to know Christ – as the wonderful sin offering. Jesus took our place – and the punishment we deserved was poured out upon Him.
We rejoice that Christ has died for our sins.. was buried and raised from death. We rejoice to know that “in Christ” our sins are buried in God’s sea of forgetfulness. This understanding grows into wonderment – that Jesus became my substitute. All the punishment that I deserved as a sinner – was transferred onto Him. He suffered and died, was buried and rose again the third day… for me.
The knowledge that ALL my sins were forgiven forever – was a most glorious truth – a cleansing that flooded my soul like a sweet refreshing fountain of crystal water.. but part of growing in the faith dictates that faith must be tested.
Growing pains inevitable occur in all believers, when our faith in Christ is tried, Sometimes stunted growth is the result of a lack of good teaching. Sometimes spiritual growth is resisted because of carnal desires. Often it’s because scripture is little known, little taught or little understood.
Forgiveness of sins is a fairly simple and acceptable concept – substitution. But sin, as a ruling power in our lives, requires identification. And unless this is taught and understood – a disciple’s growth can be stunted, and worse still – believers try to do the work in their life that only God can do.
Substitution truths are generally wonderfully understood – Heread more
The glory of Solomon’s Temple was proclaimed by his great dedication prayer. It was a time of rejoicing and repentance, when the glory of God filled the Temple.. yet a few hundred years later we read how Ezekiel saw the Shekinah Glory depart. It was a time of deep travail and excruciating sorrow for this prophet of God. But this sorrowful man proclaimed, in minute detail of a new and glorious House, and Jeremiah cried to Israel:- proclaim these words toward the north, and say: Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘ I will not cause My anger to fall on you for I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘ I will not remain angry forever. Jer.3:12
The writings of John were also scripted to point to a time of departing glory. The first flush of faith had been replaced with a people that left their first love.. a time when power, purity and peace were all but lost and truth was being defiled. John’s gospel is a wonderful record of the wonderful life of his wonderful Jesus.. and much can be learned through his inspired penmanship.
John wrote when the church’s original form, power and spirituality burned feebly… but He wrote at a time when zeal had withered; truth was twisted; faith was failing. He lived through the times of Paul’s repeated warnings the churches: Don’t you know that you’re the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1Cor.3:16. And Peter endorsed Paul’s writings on the heavenly nature of the body of Christ, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of Scriptures 2Peter 3:16
But John is given the astonishing and final Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ: which God gave Jesus, to show His servants— things which must shortly take place. Rev.1:1 And while the remaining apostles resided in heaven – following a martyr’s death, John began to reinstate the glorious, unique and heavenly position of the Church.. a Church that inread more