to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,Hebrews 12:23(NASB)
If we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. (Romans 6:5 KJV)
May I remind you that the nature of this planting is just that with which we are so familiar. “Planted together in the likeness of His death.” That is the word of the Apostle, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” The enemy is the instrument so often, of planting us more deeply into the death of Christ. His assaults, his attacks, his accusations, everything – yes. The Lord is not the source of evil, but the Lord allows it. So often our hearts cry out: “Why did the Lord ever allow that in our lives?” That thing which has meant such a deep, dark passage. Why did the Lord allow it? He could have prevented it. Well, we were planted by it into the death of the Lord Jesus. We were brought more than ever to an end of ourselves. Yes, and therefore, to know the Lord in a larger measure than we have ever known Him, and to be brought to a place where it will not be so easy for the Devil to shake us next time.
That is the sovereign way of God in deeper death experiences. “Planted together in the likeness of His death.” Have you been planted there initially? Have you been planted in Christ crucified? Or are you one of those attachments to something? Are you planted? And when a deeper planting comes, remember it is the roots being driven downwards, and the issue is going to be most surely endurance, stability, and ability to stand; but, oh, there is going to be greater fruitfulness.
You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. § Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.
He made us accepted in the Beloved.
As living stones … built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
When the tempter came to [ Jesus], he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” … The devil … showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory … Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan!”
In that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation.
For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21).
The Lord Jesus was in our place of death and judgment; we are in His place of life and glory.
Romans Seven describes the experience of the believer who has been shown by the law principle the terrible consequences of his position in Adam. Romans Eight describes the experience of the believer who knows what it is to be "in Christ," and who is being made free experientially from "the law of sin and death" by "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."
"It is of immense importance for every Christian to know that our old man' has been fully judged and ended before God. Not changed or forgiven but utterly condemned in the death of the Lord Jesus. God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh' (Rom. 8:3). Where sin brought us, love brought the Lord Jesus - even to death; and His death is the end before God of all that we were as children of Adam - men in the flesh.
"On the other hand, we have life in One who is risen from the dead. We did belong to the race of which Adam was head; but the death of Christ is, in God's reckoning, the termination of our history in Adam. A new Head has been provided for us, and we have been transferred by divine grace from Adam to Christ." -C.A.C.
"He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves; but unto Him" (2 Cor. 5:15).
“Wherefore we labour that . . we may be accepted of Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9
"Wherefore we labour…." It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one's self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be "accepted of Him." It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of labouring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.
Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being "approved unto God" may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says - "Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under." (1 Cor. 9:27.)
I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble?
Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and He longs that we trust Him. But what is faith, and what is trust? In our own lives we all have those people that we trust; and those that we don’t. Trust in a person is won or lost as we build up a knowledge of that individual. The ability to trust is within the capacity of us all.. for as babes in arms, we all trusted. And a little child was exemplified by the Lord as one whose trust we should emulate.
Humility and trust, identified in a little child, blend into what we should all be. But even one experience of disloyalty or worse can shatter the ability to trust..as protective barriers are erected and defensive strategies established– so that there is no possibility that 'another' will let us down. Sadly, in this fallen world trust is a rare commodity, as those we once trusted fail us. And throughout life, from the cradle to the grave – some people just let us down. And Satan feeds this lack of trust into myriads of strongholds imprisoning the heart.
One travesty of this is that mistrust across the board, becomes the norm in life, as a myriad of strongholds begins to be erected in our lives, as a protective shield. Strongholds of suspicion; Strongholds of doubt; Strongholds of mistrust; Strongholds of confusion; Strongholds of fear and strongholds of unforgiveness. Strongholds that develop wrong attitudes; wrong patterns of thinking; wrong beliefs or behaviours. Strongholds producing fear; depression; distrust, independence and often denial. Strongholds that result in self-condemnation, guilt, worry and a life of defeat. And the Israelites’ life of bondage in Egypt reflects this ever-present prison today.
Though designed to 'protect' our heart from being hurt again by fellow men, strongholds are the crafty tool that the enemy uses to crush our trust in God. Such 'protection'f chokes the heart into a defeated, overcome, and depressed life. Failures of friends and family, morph into anread more
The world is passing away along with its desires.. but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Our little time on this 'hanging globe' is but for a moment. Life is brief – very, very brief. Today is the day to make your life count. Generations have come and generations have gone as this brief mortal round eventually reaches its terminus – and things, so important, have been snuffed out like a candle. People long gone have fretted and feared and planned and hoped – just as today people fret and fear and plan and hope.
A few have left an indelible mark in the pages of history – some for good and others for ill. Names may be remembered – people will be forgotten as the grass of the field, but today is the day to make your life count. Moses told the Israelites: today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord. Exodus 32:29
Life is like a cloud of steam. Life is swifter than a bird in flight. Man is like the grass of the field or the flower that blossoms on the hillside... in the morning it flourishes and is renewed. In the evening it fades and withers. Psalm 90:6 But Today is the accepted hour. Today is the day of Salvation. Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord. So there is every reason that man should walk humbly before the Lord – and to refrain from boastful claims and elevated self-importance. They wash the other's feet. They serve at table, because He walked that way before.
Caesar is gone – Queen Victoria is passed away – Columbus is no more – as are so many others. Stripped of human glory; destitute of fame and fortune; bereft of state and symbol – awaiting the final day, to stand or fall in the presence of God their Judge. How we need toread more