So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.Acts 9:31(NASB)
It pleased God... to reveal His Son in me. (Galatians 1:15,16)
It is always futile and dangerous to advise people to leave one thing until they have a revelation of the fuller, and only such a revelation will accomplish the true emancipation.... It may not be applicable to many of us, but the principle is what I want you to recognize. You may not need to be emancipated from anything like Judaism or legalism, but the principle is this, that for all increase, progress, enlargement, growth, and maturity, it is essential that there should be in the heart a continuous unveiling of Jesus Christ, and you and I will never get to the end of that unveiling. It is possible for some of us to say with truth that this year we have seen more of the meaning of the Lord Jesus than in all the previous years of our lives. Can you say that?
It is the most blessed and most wonderful thing to be able to recognize that there is a growing revelation of Jesus Christ within; you see more and more of what He means from God’s standpoint, and as that is so, there comes this increase of the Lord Jesus... the fruit of the Spirit – love. An increase of the revelation of Jesus Christ in the heart is an increase of the love of the Lord Jesus, the fruit of the Spirit. You are conscious that your heart is coming more and more under the constraint of His love and that unloveliness is becoming subordinate to His love. There is more joy in the Lord Jesus today than ever, because you are seeing more of what He is. It is practical. That is spiritual growth: “It pleased God... to reveal His Son in me....” It is so important that there should be this continual, living unveiling of Christ in the heart if we are to reach God’s full end.
This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.
Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. § Faith working through love. § He who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. § We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. § [He] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other … Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good plea- sure of His goodness and the work of faith with power. § It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all.” § Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.
The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
I have been crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20).
The difference between stultifying carnality and growing spirituality is the believer's realization that he the sinner, as well as his sin, were taken down into death. Seeing one's identification in the Lord Jesus' death, burial, resurrection and ascension is the necessary foundation for spiritual growth to maturity.
"How often do we find believers plunged into the very depths of distress and darkness as to their spiritual condition and prospects! So many do not as yet see the application of the death of the Lord Jesus to their old man. They do not realize the glorious truth that in that death they were delivered from this present evil world, from the dominion of sin and the law, and from the power of the enemy.
"All believers see that the Blood of the Lord Jesus screens them from the judgment of God; but most do not as yet see that they are dead unto sin' in the Lord Jesus; that their old man was crucified with Christ'; that not only have their sins been put upon Him at the Cross, but they themselves, as sinful children of Adam, have been personally identified with Him in His death unto sin; that God pronounces them dead and risen with Him. But if this foundational truth is not apprehended by faith, there is no bright, happy, emancipating sense of full and everlasting salvation." -C.H.M.
"We are to hold by faith the position which the Father has given us in the risen Lord Jesus, and abide therein, occupied with the interests of our Father and not our own. Taking thought of ourselves is a divergence from the place of faith."
"We enter the heavens in order to be qualified for earth; we do not begin on earth, to reach the heavens. Our simplest earthly responsibilities require us to be conversant with the things above.'"
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
“No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him.” John 6:44
When God draws me, the issue of my will comes in at once - will I react on the revelation which God gives - will I come to Him? Discussion on spiritual matters is an impertinence. Never discuss with anyone when God speaks. Belief is not an intellectual act; belief is a moral act whereby I deliberately commit myself. Will I dump myself down absolutely on God and transact on what He says? If I will, I shall find I am based on Reality that is as sure as God's throne.
In preaching the gospel, always push an issue of will. Belief must be the will to believe. There must be a surrender of the will, not a surrender to persuasive power, a deliberate launching forth on God and on what He says until I am no longer confident in what I have done, I am confident only in God. The hindrance is that I will not trust God, but only my mental understanding. As far as feelings go, I must stake all blindly. I must will to believe, and this can never be done without a violent effort on my part to disassociate myself from my old ways of looking at things, and by putting myself right over on to Him.
Every man is made to reach out beyond his grasp. It is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is a personal one, not an intellectual one. I am introduced into the relationship by the miracle of God and my own will to believe, then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transaction.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Most of Paul’s epistles address a variety of issues – infiltrating the early church. They addressed false teaching; doctrinal issues; legality; worldliness – another gospel. In Colossae it was gnosticism. In Corinth it was carnality. In Galatia it was legalism. The issue identified in each letter is as pertinent today as it was in the days of Paul – and the way to avoid any false doctrine is to know the biblical truth of scripture.
The church at Galatia was being pulled back into legalism and the law by Judaizers, and Paul addressed this issue to all who had been bewitched by this bad doctrine. Legalism is a destructive enemy of the Christian life – in opposition to God’s grace. Legalism puts you back under the law and is an enemy of the crucified life in Christ. Legalism makes you comply with manmade rules and regulations that cannot be met. Legalism is the antithesis of grace – placing you back under bondage and slavery.
The voice of legalism is accusational and critical and tramples the gospel of grace. The icy finger of legalism charges believers with failure to abide by unattainable rules. It adds to God’s grace by charging us with its own brand of legalistic justification. Legalism is a false gospel, placing untaught believers back under condemnation – yet there is no condemnation in Christ. We are not under law but under grace. Law, legalism, rules and regulations are enemies of grace and need to be identified. Law is adding something – ANYTHING to salvation, for we are saved by grace alone.
Legalism is a chameleon that appears in many shapes and sizes – colours and hues – it imposes man-made requirements on the finished work of Christ. It uses personal failure toread more
The one who says that he abides in Him must live the same way He Himself lived.
1 John 2:6
There is nothing more simple than a life that has Christ at the centre. There is nothing more beautiful than a life that has Jesus as its focus. There is nothing more purposeful than a life that concentrates on Christ. There is nothing more needful than a life that simply rests in Christ Jesus. A life with Him as central – is a life that’s simple, beautiful, purposeful and needful.
When Christ is central all the stresses and strains of life are shared with Him. When Christ is central all the beauty of His perfection is reflected in His servant. When Christ is central all divine resources are ours to use for His praise and glory. When Christ is central our selfishness will be exchanged for God’s purposeful plan.
The simple, beautiful, purposeful portrait of Christ is God’s pattern for humanity, but fallen man in his own selfish cocoon fails miserably to copy His perfect standard – for fallen man in His own foolish pride tries to live the Christ-life in his own strength. To be like Christ in His humanity is no ideal but a reachable goal for all believers.. but it is not achieved by changing our nature but by exchanging our self-life for His.
And the more we gaze on His beauty and grace – the more our lives reflect Him. The more we concentrate on Christ – the more meaningful our lives become. The more we rest in His love – the more we discover His grace is sufficient. When Christ is central – life becomes simple, beautiful, purposeful and fruitful.
A life with Christ as central is a life that abides in Him; rests in Him – trusts Him. The fruit of a life that looks to Christ in all things – is one that walks as He walked.. and Christ walked in spirit and truth by obediently listening to the Father’s voice – Christread more