And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.1 Corinthians 3:1(NASB)
You have NOT come to the mountain that may be touched... BUT you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. (Hebrews 12:18,22)
em>But we are come,and do you mean to say that the em>butis less real than the em>not Do you mean to say that this that we are come to is abstract, while that was concrete? Oh, no, I am sure that this is even more real, after its own kind, in its own realm; and, dear friends, that is the point upon which we must focus everything: the reality of what we are come to. When you go on and break this all up into its details, if you are in your own senses, senses of mind and soul, you are just completely baffled. It seems so idealistic or imaginary, so ethereal, so unreal. See, to the natural, the spiritual is unreal. To the natural man, the man of soul, what is essentially and intrinsically spiritual is unreal. Their reaction is h, let us be practical, let us come down to earth, let us get out of the clouds and get our feet solidly on the terra firma, let us get down to things that are more real.That is the reaction of the natural man to the spiritual. But to the spiritual man, spiritual things are far more real than the tangible. And this that we are come to, to say the very least, is as real as what they came to at Sinai, even though after a different order.
Now I want you to note the tense of the verb, because it is very important to get the tense: em>we are come to Mount Zion.Not we are coming, not we are going, not we shall then arrive at Zion. No, em>we are, we are come.I know you will go on singing, e Are Marching Upward To Zion.We know what you mean, but we are not marching upward to Zion. The Word says: em>But ye are come to Zion,present tense. We are supposed to be at Zion now. Have you got that? There is here, of course, a contrast between Sinai and Zion, but it is not only contrast here, but note, in keeping with what I have just said, it is more than contrast, it is consummation!
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. § A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. § No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. § I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us.
In the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early.
I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find … For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. § The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. § Our sufficiency is from God. § My grace is sufficient for you.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee" (Ps. 55:22).
Our Father's living waters flow both in summer and winter (Zech. 14:8). He provides the barrenness of winter in order to cut us off from every other supply, and teach us to draw from His ever-flowing water of life.
"The Father passes us through all the seasons here; and the winter, the most trying one, is the most helpful, if we are really cast on Him in it. Then the real measure of our dependence on Him is ascertained, and also the extent of our resources in Him; and we make acquisitions in Him which we never make at any other time. All our growth and fruit depends on our winters, or rather on how we pass through them.
"The more we can rest in Him the more we are independent of everything outside of Him - at such a time, the more vigor we really possess; and the better we get over the winter, be it ever so severe. If I am independent of the winter, it is evident that I have mastered it, and not it me; and if I have done so, through the strength of the Lord Jesus, I am relieved though in no human way. Peter is delivered from prison in a superhuman way; but first he, though enduring a very trying winter, could lay him down and sleep - take his rest, because the Lord sustained him." -J.B.S.
"It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus' company, that we can be tranquil about everything. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, I will fear no evil; my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.' In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent upon him." -J.B.S.
"I laid down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me" (Ps. 3:5).
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.
In the physical, there are 3 dimensions of measurement – length breadth, and height, but in his computation of Christ’s love Paul’s measure reaches into the unexplored. Paul in his enthusiasm for the Lord Jesus cites four-length breadth, height, and depth. He desires that we know, understand, and appropriate each element of the love of God.
Christ became a permanent resident in our heart the instant we trusted Him as Saviour. His indwelling Spirit took up His habitation on the basis of faith in God’s Son, but the Spirit of God has an ongoing work throughout the rest of our life… by faith.
We are saved by grace through faith but we are also to grow by grace through faith. The Spirit resides in the heart of all believers but as we grow, He dwells in our hearts. When Christ dwells in our heart, there is a special, mutual intimacy that develops, and as Christ dwells in our heart a deeper communion is manifested. And like initial salvation that is also through faith, Christian growth is also by faith – for every aspect of Salvation is God’s gift of grace, through faith.
The breadth of God's grace reaches to embrace all who are saved by grace through faith. The breadth of His grace encompasses all the redeemed of Christ - the saints of God – Jew and Gentile; young and old; male and female; all people, climes, and tongue. For He, Himself, is our peace, Who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one newread more
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:8: Above all things have fervent love among yourselves. Above all things, for love will cover a multitude of sins. And John goes further with his profound statement: God is Love. Paul identified Love as the “Summum Bonum” of all graces. “The Supreme Good.” Yes, love is the greatest thing of all.
Pointing to love as the “Supreme Good'” is no prejudice on his part. Love was not Paul’s strong point in his early years. He was the angry young man of Acts chapter 7, who consented to Stephen’s murder. Paul’s whole ministry was surrounded by contentions and hard talking. He had to contend with distresses, beatings, accusations, and back-bitings. He was no stranger to hero-worship nor was he free from jealousies. He was a hard-working individual, and yet one that received much criticism. Paul was ready to offer both correction and encouragement and Paul was able to be identified with soldiers and athletes alike. But an observant student can detect a maturing tenderness as Paul gets older – a graciousness that grew and ripened and mellowed with his advancing years, for it was Paul that wrote that love is the “Supreme Good. – for the greatest of all is love. 1Cor.13:13
Love is greater than faith. Paul identified faith as the essential key to unlock our hearts to God’s love.. but the end goal is greater than the means of achieving it. Love is greater than prophecy and knowledge which will one day pass. He identified prophecy as a mere signpost to point us to incarnate love.. because the final destination is greater than the signposts along the way. Love is greater than charity and all good works, for charitable works or ‘helps‘ are only one face of a pure cut diamond.. because the whole is greater than the part. Love is greater than speaking in the languages of men or of angels. for the language of praise is the channel used to glorifyread more