The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.Genesis 2:8(NASB)
God, who said, et light shine out of darkness,made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV)
The principle of the New Covenant is a first-hand individual revelation of Christ as the knowledge of God in terms of glory in the heart of the believer. Every individual believer only comes into true Christianity by a revelation of Christ in his or her heart, so that the knowledge of Christ is all their own, and as real as when God commanded light to shine in darkness. But that is not all. That shining must be progressive. Christ is far too vast to be seen in more than minute degrees at any one time. The bulk of the New Testament is taken up with getting Christians to see what an immense realm it is into which they have come, and how they must go on... Christianity can only be kept living and fresh and full of impact as Christians are living in an ever-growing apprehension of Christ as the Holy Spirit reveals Him in the heart.
This apprehension may only come as necessity is laid upon us by reason of suffering and trial. Capacity will increase by the stretching of suffering (see Hebrews 12, and read "child-training" for "chastening"). There is no succession in Christianity other than that of the revelation of Christ to the heart by the Holy Spirit. It is not a system to be perpetuated, but a Life to be possessed. The value of the Scriptures is that they contain depths and fullnesses which have never yet been fathomed; and when we speak of "revelation" we do not mean anything extra to them, but of that which is in them, but only known by the inward "writing" and "shining" of the Holy Spirit.... A thing can be in the Bible, and we can have read it a thousand times, but until the Holy Spirit makes it Life to us it will be unfruitful. Hence, there is a place and need for an inward revelation of the Word of God, and this is the only true succession. Nothing can be preserved alive through generations save as every one entering its realm does so on the basis of such a personal, inward, living, and growing revelation of the truth, so that the origin and beginning is constantly repeated in experience.
Here we have no continuing city. § You have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. § There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.
We who are in this tent groan, being burdened. § God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. § Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them … For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. § [He] made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless. § And you … He has made alive … , having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. § Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9a).
Whereas most feel that personal weakness is the great hindrance to a sound Christian life, the real tragedy is the astonishing strength of the old man. The Cross for our cursed strength; the Lord Jesus for our blessed weakness.
"Let no one imagine that he can be effectively used in the Lord's service, or even make progress in the Christian life, without some measure of real entrance into the valuable principle: When I am weak, then am I strong' (2 Cor. 12:10). It is absolutely essential in forming the character of the true servant of the Lord Jesus. Where it is not known and felt, there is sure to be unsubduedness, unbrokenness, and self-occupation in some form or other. On the other hand, where one has been brought into this principle, there will always be a measure of brokenness, softness, and tenderness of spirit; and not only so, but also largeness of heart, and that lovely tendency to rise above those petty, selfish considerations, which so sadly hinder the work of God.
"All of His servants in the Word stand before us as vivid illustrations of the value and necessity of broken material. All had to be broken in order to be made whole - to be emptied in order to be filled - to learn that, of themselves, they could do nothing, in order to be ready, in the Lord Jesus' strength, for anything and everything." -C.H.M.
"Our Father's spiritual goal for his own is neither continuous straitness nor continuous poverty. For these are never the end; they are only the means to His end. Straitness is the pathway to expansion; poverty is the pathway to abundance."
"Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Cor. 12:9b).
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
From one point of view, salvation is so simple that a little child can understand. From another perspective salvation is deeply profound and taxes comprehension. Paul summed up the bottom-line truth of salvation in a few simple words in Acts: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved". Acts 16:31
All it takes to be saved eternally is to believe on the Lord Jesus – period. Yet for centuries, some of the cleverest minds have wrestled to define its meaning. In one sense, we need only to understand the basic gospel to trust in Jesus as Saviour. In another, the more familiar we become with it, the richer we become spiritually – the more we understand the riches of salvation, the greater our awe and wonder.
The word ‘salvation’ is one all-embracing word that unites a variety of concepts; redemption; rebirth; justification; security; sanctification; growth; maturity; foreknowledge; election; predestination; righteousness; glorification; grace; reconciliation; new-life-in-Christ; new creation; adoption; saved by grace; born-from-above; baptised into Christ; accepted-in Him; citizens of heaven - and more.
The single jewel of Salvation has many faces – each a gemstone in its own right. It is a multi-hued rainbow, with each individual strand tinting and enhancing the rest. Individually, each aspect of salvation embraces its own particular message of truth. Together they sing a symphony of salvation, in praise of the riches of God’s grace.
Each aspect of salvation has its own particular brand of glory and magnificence, and each needs to be studied and understood for the riches and truth it contains. Yet together they combine to demonstrate the enormity of God’s grace towards us.
Each facet opens up one aspect of God’s grace.. unveiling its own particular beauty. Each reveals its own detail of truth.. which compliments and enhances the whole. Together each component of salvation starts to unfold the fullness ofread more
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Obedience, righteousness, and maturing in the faith are inextricably linked together. All are the foundation on which to build a close and personal relationship with God. Instruction from Christ and words of wisdom from Paul unite these three sisters of grace. It is as we abide in Christ and walk in the spirit that we are kept from disobedience.
A life that is submitted to the leading of the Spirit of God walks in spirit and truth. A believer that abides in Christ is a life that maintains fellowship with the Father. A Christian that is obedient to the Word of God is one that is maturing in the faith. Only as we walk in obedience, do we maintain abiding fellowship with the Father. Only as we obey Christ’s command to abide in Me, do we bear fruit to God’s glory.
Though incarnate deity and perfect man, Christ needed to learn obedience. It was necessary for our Great High Priest to learn obedience and be made perfect. Christ was perfected so He could be the Author of eternal salvation to all believers, "for after He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation. for all who obey Him". Hebrews 5:9
Christ learned obedience and now the Spirit of Christ is our teacher. But we need to look to the motive for Christ’s obedience, which we should emulate. We need to understand the reason why obedience to His Father’s will was Christ’s joy.
Love was the motivating factor behind the Lord’s obedience to the Father. Love was the reason that the Lord Jesus followed the path of obedience. Love to do the Father’s will; love for the church, which is His body. It is a deep, personal, eternal, relational love that excites true obedience in man – for God is love and the greatest of all is love.read more