And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength),Isaiah 49:5(NASB)
How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Galatians 3:3 NLT)
“Loose Him, and Let Him Go” You know all that the Letter to the Galatians is about, and you know the two prominent words – Liberty – "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 4:1 – A.V.) – and sonship. Not servanthood, nor slavery, but sonship; the liberty of sons. They are the two great words of that Letter, but what are the grave bands - the grave-clothes there in Galatia? They are the grave bands of tradition, of legalism, and all such things. You know, dear friends, it is very easy to get tied up with these grave clothes!
The persistent peril through the ages of Christianity is to so crystallize itself into something set, something fixed. You have some light, some revelation, something of the immensity of truth, just a fragment of it, and it is not long before you begin to form that into a set system and make it the limit, saying that this is what people must do, must believe, they must come within this horizon, and they must behave like this. It becomes a system again: 'You must... you must not!', and there is no difference between that and the Old Testament 'Thou shalt... thou shalt not!' Christianity has fallen into that peril, and is continually doing it, circumscribing the great revelation, making Christ smaller than He is, crystallizing truth into something fixed and set: 'This is how...' and the meaning of it: 'This is the ultimate.' Now you notice that when the Spirit did come, as we have the record in the Book of the Acts, the one thing that these old Jewish disciples experienced was a marvelous emancipation from that bondage of Judaism; and how the Holy Spirit was working all along against any fixed barriers!
The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. § Christ … suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. § The way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
No one comes to the Father except through Me. § Through Him we … have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. § [Have] boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh. § We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
For if I preach the gospel … willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge. § They called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said … , “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” § The love of Christ compels us.
“I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground.”. . . “You wicked and lazy servant. . . . You ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.”
Go . . . to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
We need not submit to the law, nor do we need to struggle against it. It is now a matter of our standing on heavenly ground in our risen Lord, free from the influence and demands of the entire principle of law. In Christ Jesus we are motivated by a higher law, the law of the Spirit of life' (Rom. 8:2).
"There is no way of deliverance from the law and its bondage, into that liberty for which Christ set us free except to believe, and to keep reckoning, that we died to the law with Him, and are now risen, and joined to Another, the Risen One - even as Romans 7:4 asserts: Ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.'" -W.R.N.
"In man the law and the flesh always go together. The Cross was the end for both in the sight of God. The flesh was judged and condemned there; it was treated as a dead thing before God - dead and buried; and the law which deals with the flesh we are dead to. We have passed out of both; we are not in the flesh (Rom. 8:9), and we are not under the law (Gal. 2:19). -W.K.
"But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you - directs and controls you" (Rom. 8:9, Amp.).
“For Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he turned not after Absalom.” 1 Kings 2:28
Joab stood the big test, he remained absolutely loyal and true to David and did not turn after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom, but yet towards the end of his life he turned after the craven Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one man has gone back is exactly where any one may go back (see 1 Cor. 10:13). You have gone through the big crisis, now be alert over the least things; take into calculation the "retired sphere of the leasts."
We are apt to say - "It is not in the least likely that having been through the supreme crisis, I shall now turn to the things of the world." Do not forecast where the temptation will come, it is the least likely thing that is the peril. In the aftermath of a great spiritual transaction the "retired sphere of the leasts" begins to tell; it is not dominant, but remember it is there, and if you are not warned, it will trip you up. If you have remained true to God under great and intense trials, now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be morbidly introspective, looking forward with dread, but keep alert; keep your memory bright before God. Unguarded strength is double weakness because that is where the "retired sphere of the leasts" saps. The Bible characters fell on their strong points, never on their weak ones.
"Kept by the power of God" - that is the only safety.
Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
1 Peter 2:2
For indeed we have had the good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith, in those who heard.
Only believers can grow spiritually, for unbelievers are dead in trespasses and sins. Although we are commanded to grow there are certain hindrances. Trying to do good works in our own strength and living under legalism, (under law) rather than being led by the Spirit, prevents spiritual growth, and sadly this blocks our fellowship with the Father. Indeed, such hindrances to spiritual growth are rooted in unbelief.
We need to apply the biblical criteria for growth, which has nothing to do with self-effort. Growth is not dependent on how long we’ve been saved, nor is it connected with a religious lifestyle or good works, carried out in the flesh. Spiritual growth is not a matter of how much we pray or witness.. and a lifetime of learning scripture, will not cause us to mature in the faith, unless it is carried by grace, through faith..
You won’t grow because you sing in the choir, teach Sunday school or attend a seminary. Growth is only by grace and not by what we do. No believer will mature without knowledge of the Word, but biblical knowledge alone is not enough. The Word must be mixed with a right response to God, and a right response to God is trusting His Word – trusting it by faith.
The book of Hebrews used Israel as an example for our learning. Israel had a knowledge of God’s word but did not respond rightly to Him. They responded in unbelief, which caused them to remain spiritually immature, and rebellious. Christians likewise are reminded that spiritual maturity comes by faith, and not by what we do.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:11
The Bible is the only book that God has given to man. Scripture is the sole authority on which our faith is founded and the singular guide to instruct us in our practical living. For the one who has placed their trust in Jesus for salvation, and rested their eternal destiny on His finished work at Calvary, the Bible is the divine authority, upon which our lives should be founded.
For those who have trusted Jesus as Saviour, Scripture is singularly sufficient for all we need to live as God requires. It is the only sufficient tool we need as we address all the important issues of life, in a manner well-pleasing to Him: emotional issues; relational issues; family issues; social issues and spiritual issues.
We live in a fallen world that is at enmity with God, and hostile to the truth of His Word and the gospel of Christ. Religious rituals and deceptive doctrines have flooded the Church and an empty trust in our own good works, has flooded Christendom. But for those who have broken free from the bondage of man-made rules, and trust in Christ’s finished work alone, discover the Bible to be their sole Source of divine authority and the singular sufficiency for every aspect of their Christian life.
The moment we trusted Christ as our Saviour our destiny changed from hell to heaven. Our situation changed from walking in darkness to living i light. Our position changed from being in Adam to being in Christ and our identity changed from being a child of wrath to a child of God. Instead of experiencing eternal death and separation from God we are given eternal life, which can never be lost, left, forfeited or removed – and it is all by His grace and power, and for His greater glory.
It is always wise to remember we live in a fallen world, knowingread more