For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.Philippians 2:21(NASB)
Truly, I tell you with certainty, unless a person is born from above he cannot see. (John 3:3 ISV)
This is something very searching for us as to our being children of God, being the spiritual children of the travail of Christ. This is not something that is extra to the Christian life, or for those who advance to certain heights and degrees. Right from our new birth, you and I, every one of us, ought to have a faculty of spiritual understanding and perception and knowledge that is possessed by no other person outside this Kingdom! We could spend much time in pointing out the tragedies that have come into Christianity because of failure to recognize or live up to this. I would go so far as to say that the largest proportion of all the trouble between Christians is due to either a lack of, or a failure to live on, the basis of spiritual understanding, spiritual discernment, spiritual perception, spiritual knowledge. There is any amount of natural knowledge in the Christian world: Bible knowledge, prophetic knowledge, and what not. But spiritual knowledge is a rare commodity; and yet it is supposed to be a constituent of our new birth from above, a faculty that we ought to have.
Now, if you are thinking: hen woe is me I don know much about that!the Lord is simply saying to you: ook here, this is yours by rights. It is not some extra thing to which you attain by struggle and effort, or by years of laborious Christian living, or by some specific act, some terrific upheaval in your spiritual life. It is a birth thing, it is a birth right: you have a right to this!But it may be that, after all, you do know in this way, although you do not know that you know! You have a new sense, a new faculty, a new omethingin you, that causes you to know in some measure at least what is of the Lord and what is not, what is spiritual and what is not. But oh for the increase of that! It is the development of that, the increase of that, which is the apprenticeship in the school of Christ. We learn by mistakes, we learn by blunders, but the thing that we are learning is not something objective. We are learning inwardly that such and such is not the way of Life and we should do well to avoid it; and that such and such IS the way of Life, and that is the way for us to go. We learn it inwardly. It is a new kind of knowledge.
I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. § A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. § Christ … loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. § It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man … that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Oh, wretched man that I am!" (Rom. 7:24).
The result of, and penalty for, reliance upon the flesh, is Romans Seven. The result of, and reward for, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, is Romans Eight.
"Self-disappointment is a very different thing from self-judgment. Indeed, if there were true self-judgment there would never have to be self-disappointment. If in honesty and sobriety of heart I have judged that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing,' I shall certainly not expect anything from myself, and it has been well said that where there is no expectation there can be no disappointment.
"But I feel sure that many young believers, and I dare say some old ones too, are very familiar with the wretched and depressing experience of self-disappointment. They have made many fresh starts; they have often been stirred up, and have made up their minds to be more for Christ; they have thought, I shall do better now; I am more earnest about it than I was before'; but it has all ended in disappointment.
"They have no idea that they are trying to improve themselves; they would repudiate such a thought; they suppose that they know better than to look for good in themselves. And yet their disappointment is the plain proof that, in spite of all their knowledge of Scripture, they have expected to make themselves different, for they are disappointed because they have not succeeded in doing so." -C.A.C.
"The soul that turns back upon itself to learn God's judgment about it, and what His dealings with it are likely to be, is not leaning upon what the Father is - is not standing in grace. Neither our joy nor our peace is dependent upon what we are to Him, but on what He is to us - and this is grace." -J.N.D.
"My soul wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Ps. 62:5).
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God … praying always … ” Ephesians 6:13,18
You have to wrestle against the things that prevent you from getting to God, and you wrestle in prayer for other souls; but never say that you wrestle with God in prayer, it is scripturally untrue. If you do wrestle with God, you will be crippled all the rest of your life. If, when God comes in some way you do not want, you take hold of Him as Jacob did and wrestle with Him, you compel Him to put you out of joint. Don't be a hirpler in God's ways, but be one who wrestles before God with things, becoming more than conqueror through Him. Wrestling before God tells in His Kingdom. If you ask me to pray for you and I am not complete in Christ, I may pray but it avails nothing; but if I am complete in Christ my prayer prevails all the time. Prayer is only effective when there is completeness - "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God."
Always distinguish between God's order and His permissive will, i.e., His providential purpose towards us. God's order is unchangeable; His permissive will is that with which we must wrestle before Him. It is our reaction to the permissive will of God that enables us to get at His order. "All things work together for good to them that love God" - to those who remain true to God's order, to His calling in Christ Jesus. God's permissive will is the means whereby His sons and daughters are to be manifested. We are not to be like jelly-fish saying, "It's the Lord's will." We have not to put up a fight before God, not to wrestle with God, but to wrestle before God with things. Beware of squatting lazily before God in stead of putting up a glorious fight so that you may lay hold of His strength.
Since ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
There are two important truths that all Christian need to learn and understand. The first is our POSITION in Christ and the second is our CONDITION.
Our POSITION is the glorious, and unchangeable union we have with the Lord Jesus. This is a spiritual position that has a greater reality than the world in which we live. We are in Christ and we are effectively already seated with Him in heavenly places. We are placed in this eternally, perfect position the moment we believed in Christ, We were baptised into the body of Christ; positioned in Christ – in union with Christ.
We can never improve on this position for we are perfect – and we can never lose it. We can never remove ourselves from this position – for the Spirit set His seal on us – and then He came to permanently indwell our body. What a privileged position! Those baptised into this position by the Spirit at rebirth are seen as perfect as Christ! Believers in Christ are forgiven their sins, and clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Christians are made sons of God, given eternal life, and are seen by God as perfect. This is our position in Christ and God sees us as perfect, through Christ’s own perfection – but our position is not the same as our condition.
Our CONDITION relates to our current situation as we journey through our life. Our condition as we travel through life may seem to conflict with our position in Him. Our eternally, exalted position in-Christ may seem to contradict our condition. The things that we are facing – my belie our positive, prefect heavenly position. Our position is instantaneous but our condition takes time to join our position.
As children of God, the experiences of life we face can be very difficult and painful. The life-circumstances we face oftenread more
He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of His being, and He holds everything together by His powerful word.
The Lord Jesus is the Messiah of God – God’s anointed; His appointed; His chosen. He was ordained of God and all things in heaven and earth are placed under His feet. The Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation and focus of all that God has ordained. The Lord Jesus Christ is the centre and circumference of all that God has purposed, and God has fixed Christ Jesus as the horizon of our view – the sphere of our being.
He encompasses all that God has ordered and ordained within His entire creation. He is over and above all things. He underpins all things. He holds all things together.. and He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of His being.
Christ stretches back into the far reaches of eternity past, before the world began. Christ reaches forward into the distant ages that are to abide in God’s forever-future. He extends out into the farthest expanse of the unknown and unexplainable universe. He reaches into throne-room of heaven, yet bends down to touch all things on earth. He delves into the deepest; most intimate and secret areas of our very beings. The Lord Jesus is indeed God’s chosen – His anointed; His appointed; His Son.
He is unique and exclusive for none are like Him, and none can compare with Him. He is distinct and inclusive for God decrees that all things are for Him and in Him. All was created BY Him; all was created FOR Him and all was created IN Him. For by Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether they are kings, lords, rulers, or powers. All things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16 – and by Him all things are upheld, by the power of His mighty arm.
I wonder what impact this fact hasread more