but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.1 Peter 4:13(NASB)
If anyone wants to follow in My footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind Me. (Luke 9:23 Phillips)
The Cross is applied according to every man's make-up. What would be the Cross to me would never be the Cross to you, and the Cross may mean something different for every one of us. But it is universal. That is the point — central and universal. It touches us all perhaps in a different way, and it raises questions and issues for each one of us peculiarly. That is our challenge of the Cross, and then it is a matter of whether we, in what we are, will come and allow the Cross to deal with us. It is no use saying, "What shall this man do?" the Lord will at once answer, "What is that to thee? Follow thou Me." There is a personal, individual, and shall I say, private application of the Cross to every one of us, and our spiritual growth depends entirely upon the Cross doing its work in us, and our response to it personally.
So, you see, it is very necessary that we should recognize that this cannot be taken as a kind of a general thing. It has to become peculiar to each one of us. Oh, beloved, do believe that this is not just teaching, or doctrine. It is of very great importance. But I would beg you not to accept it merely because I am saying it and emphasizing it, nor even because I tell you that so far as some of us are concerned, it is a proven thing. I would ask you for one thing only, namely, not to close your heart to it, not to say, "That is a teaching!" but just to ask the Lord, "Is this right?" taking an attitude simply and honestly before the Lord, even should you feel it is not true, and so leaving room for the possibility that the prejudice may, after all, spring from yourself, from something in your constitution or in your upbringing. Will you go to the Lord with this and say, "Lord I do not see, it is difficult for me to believe it; but, if it is true, then, Lord, I am open to the truth, and I want You to take me definitely in hand on the ground of the truth." There is not one of us, I am sure, who wants to stand in the presence of the Lord later on, and for the Lord to say, "My child, I would have led you into something very much fuller if only you had given Me the chance." Will you take a very honest and open-hearted attitude toward the Lord in the matter?
Not everyone who says … , “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. § Pursue … holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. § Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.
By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” … Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. § Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
We know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens … So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord … We are … well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Feed the flock of God which is among you. . . being examples to the flock" (1 Pet. 5:2, 3).
It is one thing to teach, but quite another to cultivate, nurture, and bring to maturity. "There are ten thousand tutors," but "not many fathers." Not many who are willing to know the conformity to death which brings the travail for souls, in fellowship with Him who travailed on the Cross for us.
"We must not expect to win healthy souls or lead them on into spiritual maturity without long travail. If it becomes Him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings, who are we that we should expect easily to bring many sons to glory? My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,' that is what we must expect. And when this travail comes we must go through with it, not try to escape it." -C.A.C.
"Probably friendship is second only to prayer in its importance in soul-winning. With sincerity to offer one's friendship to another is an almost certain way to gain an opportunity to speak an effective word for the Lord. But can one introduce two people to each other if one is a friend of only one? How can we introduce someone to the Lord Jesus if we know only Him, but not the poor lost sinner?
"The life with the most favorable beginning will come to maturity the soonest. Let us aim at well-born souls. Let us seek to do more careful sowing, so as to send babes in Christ into the world handicapped as little as possible at the beginning. Moreover, let us remember that our own level oft-times determines the level of those we lead to the Saviour."
"Nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Tim. 4:6).
“Being justified freely by His grace…” Romans 3:24
The Gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the revelation which it brings is not palatable. There is a certain pride in man that will give and give, but to come and accept is another thing. I will give my life to martyrdom, I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
We have to realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God; we must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest blessing spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute; until we get there Our Lord is powerless. He can do nothing for us if we think we are sufficient of ourselves, we have to enter into His Kingdom through the door of destitution. As long as we are rich, possessed of anything in the way of pride or independence, God cannot do anything for us. It is only when we get hungry spiritually that we receive the Holy Spirit. The gift of the essential nature of God is made effectual in us by the Holy Spirit, He imparts to us the quickening life of Jesus, which puts "the beyond" within, and immediately "the beyond" has come within, it rises up to "the above," and we are lifted up into the domain where Jesus lives. (John 3:5.)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
In writing this verse Paul is stating what should be true in the life of all believers. This should not be seen as an unattainable hope, but as the norm of all Christians. This is not something to strive for but something that we should accept in essence, but the life that is lived by most believers is not the life that God wants us to live. The Christian life should be a crucified life – until it is no longer I – but Christ.
To have Christ living in me and I in Him – is what the Christian life is all about – it is a mirror of the life that flows between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father “Just as You are in Me and I am in You” – were the words that fell from His lips. We are to be in the same union with Christ as Jesus is with His heavenly Father.
Many see this as heady heights of Christianity – reserved for the very few, yet in fact, this is the normal life that the Spirit desires that all believers attain. This is the standard Christian life, that Paul outlines in so many of his epistles. It is not the high level of Christianity – but the only level that we should all reach.
Christ went to the cross not only to die for our sins – but to die unto SIN. His blood not only to paid the price FOR sin but it also broke the power OF sin in us. Many do not appreciate that Christ’s cross dealt with more than forgiven sins. The shed blood of Christ also gave us victory over the power of sin in our life,
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Adam surrendered his earthy dominion to Satan, a spiritual entity – a rebellious angel. From the fall, Satan.. that crooked serpent called the devil, has dominated this realm. God is using the rebellion of Satan and the fall of Adam to teach man a vital lesson. God is teaching man that only submission to Himself brings joy and peace and hope. God rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men. Daniel 4:17
Daniel gives insight into the way that this satanic, spiritual kingdom functions. Know the enemy’s strategies and his ways and you have the means to resist him – and Paul’s epistles outline the weapons and battle plan for a believer today: for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God (not man), to the pulling down of strongholds 2Corinthians 10:4. How important to understand the spiritual sphere and physical realm.
The first man, Adam, surrendered his earthy dominion to Satan’s spiritual forces. Satan is the provincial ruler over all nations, with one exception – Israel. Israel:- and the angelic ‘Prince’ assigned to Israel is the archangel Michael. Israel:- the adopted, firstborn son of God – the old creation in Adam and in Jacob. Israel:- God’s chosen nation – the wife of Jehovah and His earthly inheritance. Israel:- soon to be brought back into fellowship with her God and her Husband. Israel:- currently blinded, but soon to look on Him Whom they have pierced.
God chose Israel as His chosen nation through whom His truth would be manifested. No wonder Israel is the nation hated above all – down through the centuries. No wonder Israel has becomeread more