For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.Philippians 2:21(NASB)
If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts share its suffering. (1 Corinthians 12:26 GW)
But that is not on the earth. I may be going through a very great deal of suffering without you knowing anything about it so far as the natural life is concerned, you are not affected by it, but beloved, there is a realm where if one member spiritually suffers the whole Body is involved in that suffering, which shows this Body is a heavenly thing and its relationships are not natural, they are spiritual, and that the unifying factor of the Holy Spirit operates apart from the natural consciousness.... You see what is involved, you see what a motive we have in our relationships for keeping them on a high level. If there comes between those in these relationships, these strains, these cross-purposes, these cross-currents, this being offended and upset, this breach of true love, our attitude must be, not just that this is a miserable unhappy thing, and the sooner we make it up the better; our attitude must be, this thing out in the realm of spiritual intelligences is working against the glory of Christ, this is working against Him as the Head because all these relationships are joined so vitally to the Head; this is working against the Holy Spirit as the unifying power of the whole Body, this is doing damage, and therefore, inasmuch as we are so minutely related to all the members by the Holy Spirit, what one does must somehow, all beyond our realization or consciousness, touch Christ, touch the Holy Spirit, and therefore, all other members. It is doing that. That is the revelation here, that is the nature of the Body. You see why we should see to these relationships and lift them up out of the earthlies. I think that is something to think more about.
Relativity is the law of the Body of Christ. Relativity is holding fast the Head; and let us beware of trying to maintain the Body in its oneness along the horizontal line. You cannot do it. It is a hopeless thing, and we shall always be running round and making apologies. On the horizontal we cannot do it, but if we hold fast the Head, we shall find our gravitation is together. We cannot give Christ His place fully and absolutely and be at cross-purposes with another believer. Christ must have His place so that we do everything unto Him, all for Him, all for His sake.
I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. § The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. § We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. § Your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free … Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin … Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage … For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” § Having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. § For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. § I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.
That you may be filled with a clear knowledge of His will accompanied by thorough wisdom and discernment in spiritual things" (Col. 1:9, Wey.).
Service does not come first; neither does life! The proper sequence for the believer is death to the old, from which emerges newness of life and fruitful service.
“It is a sad thing when service interferes with soul-prosperity. It is possible to be so engrossed with service that one’s meditations are colored by it, one’s prayers are full of it, and the Word of God becomes simply a quarry out of which material for sermons can be dug up. This is a serious loss to the soul and many are thereby hindered from making spiritual progress.
“Very often new believers who have not even peace with God are encouraged to take up service, and they become so occupied with what they are doing that they are not at leisure to learn or to take their place in the favor of the Father. Hence, so long as the service prospers, and they get on pretty well with it, they are happy. The service is their life! But when there is no success, and the whole thing seems to be a failure, their joy collapses. They have to discover how little they have really got, and in many cases to find that they are perfect strangers to the liberty and joy of acceptance.” -C.A.C.
“There must be a profound and genuine experience of Divine things; a cultivation of the highest possibilities of godliness if the witness is to be really effective and fruitful. There must be a man behind the message-a saint behind the service. There must be the nameless effectiveness that comes from true fellowship with the Father.” - A.T.P.
“So that your lives may be worthy of the Lord and perfectly pleasing to Him while you manifest the results of right action of every sort and grow into a fuller knowledge of God” (Col 1:10, Wey.).
“Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.” Galatians 4:22
Paul is not dealing with sin in this chapter of Galatians, but with the relation of the natural to the spiritual. The natural must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice, otherwise a tremendous divorce will be produced in the actual life. Why should God ordain the natural to be sacrificed? God did not. It is not God's order, but His permissive will. God's order was that the natural should be transformed into the spiritual by obedience; it is sin that made it necessary for the natural to be sacrificed.
Abraham had to offer up Ishmael before he offered up Isaac. Some of us are trying to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God before we have sacrificed the natural. The only way in which we can offer a spiritual sacrifice to God is by presenting our bodies a living sacrifice. Sanctification means more than deliverance from sin, it means the deliberate commitment of myself whom God has saved to God, and that I do not care what it costs.
If we do not sacrifice the natural to the spiritual, the natural life will mock at the life of the Son of God in us and produce a continual swither. This is always the result of an undisciplined spiritual nature. We go wrong because we stubbornly refuse to discipline ourselves, physically, morally or mentally. "I wasn't disciplined when I was a child." You must discipline yourself now. If you do not, you will ruin the whole of your personal life for God.
God is not with our natural life while we pamper it; but when we put it out in the desert and resolutely keep it under, then God will be with it; and He will open up wells and oases, and fulfill all His promises for the natural.
From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
The body of Christ is to reach its full stature - even the fullness of Christ Jesus. His saints are being perfected... fitted together, and doing the work of ministering – ministering to one another.. encouraging each other, and speaking the truth in love.
The body of Christ is being built up until we all come into the unity of the saints. The Church is silently growing until we come to the knowledge of the Son of God. We are all being fitly framed together - conformed into the image of the Lord Jesus. And when He appears we shall see Him as He is and be made fully like unto Him.
The Church of Christ is viewed by the Father as a living organism – a single unit. We are united together under the headship of the Lord – each in vital union with Christ. And united also on the horizontal plain – each member in union with the others. The fullness of the stature of Him anticipates a 'oneness' of each member with Christ. The fullness of the stature of Christ requires unity of spirit with fellow believers.
There is unity and communion that the Godhead enjoys eternally – Father, Son, and Spirit. And the Lord Jesus prayed that His body would have the same oneness and fellowship, 'that they all may all be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me'. John 17:21
But there can be neither oneness nor fellowship when the body remains in disunity, for unless the body is built up in love, even a zeal for the truth is of little worth, 'for even if I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, but do notread more
The short simple phrase 'In Christ[ has become the essence of the book of Ephesians. These two little words 'In Christ' have an enormous weight of meaning. God has given the believer an immeasurable wealth of riches in the Lord Jesus. God has blessed believers with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies – 'In Christ'. All I am and have and will be eternally is deposited in Christ, for me – and for you. All Christ’s church is, and has, and hopes for, and will be is eternally secured in Him.
The Christian walk, slowly and progressively unfolds who we are – in Christ. We come to understand our Position, and where Christ is – so are we. We come to understand our Possessions, and what Christ has – so have we. We come to understand our Privileges, and what Christ is – so too are we. Throughout our life, it’s a gradual unveiling of the riches of His grace to all – in Him.
This tiny preposition proclaims immense significance when linked with Jesus Christ – 'IN' Christ Jesus,; 'IN' the Lord Jesus; 'IN' Him; 'IN' Whom. This insignificant word has everlasting consequences in our relationship with Christ.. for we are identified with all He has and is and has done – and are established in Him. To meditate on this truth for a lifetime would scarcely probe its eternal significance.
Time and again Paul reminds us of the truth that we are IN Him and OF Him. He reminds us that it is Christ in Whom and of Whom and by Whom are all things, and we’re identified with Him – positioned in Him, in eternal union with Him. In Christ, we have everything yet without Christ we have and are nothing.
When God looks at us, He does not see us but He sees the Lord Jesus IN us. When God sees us, He filters all we are through the righteousness of His Son. Before we were 'IN' Christ, we were 'IN' Adam –read more