not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;1 Thessalonians 4:5(NASB)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
What is abiding? Abiding in Christ, as we have often said, is the opposite of abiding in ourselves. To abide in ourselves is simply to try to do this living, and this working for the Lord, of ourselves; asking the Lord to help us to do it, instead of recognizing that a Life wholly pleasing to God has been lived and that faith appropriates that accomplishment in Christ. Abiding in Christ is simply doing everything, meeting everything as out from Christ. It is a sure ground. There is no need for question and reasoning: "Can it be done? Can I do it?" Or, "I am not sure about it." It is done. The Lord Jesus has met everything that you or I will meet, and in all things has done what is needful. That is available to faith, and faith says, "Well, in myself the thing would be absurd, and to attempt the thing would be ridiculous; as to myself it would be folly to contemplate it. But it can be done, because it is done; I can meet this demand, and I can stand up to that one; I can go through with this, and I can do that –for 'I can do all things ("all" is a big word) I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.'" It is what Christ is as our secret source of strength, of sustenance, of nourishment.
This is a school, and we learn this lesson in a progressive way. He learned, and we learn, though in our case there is a difference to be noted. We are learning to draw upon the fullness which He consummated, working out from a fullness as we press on to the goal. We are learning how to come back to a fullness, He moved on towards a fullness. The Cross for Him was the end, for us it is the beginning. We have to learn how to come back to His fullness and we learn progressively, step by step, like little children, first of all learning to walk and to talk. Like them we are confronted with things which we have never done or even attempted before, things which are all new and strange; a new world, sometimes a very terrible world. The contemplation of taking his first step to a little child is a most terrifying proposition. You and I are brought into this realm of faith, wherein the simplest thing at the beginning, the taking of the first step, is sometimes fraught with horror for us. But there are arms stretched out, and those arms now represent for us the accomplishment of what is required of us, the thing is done. The strength is there, available for the matter in hand, a strength which has been proved. Recognizing those arms and trusting, taking the step, we learn to walk by Christ, to live by Christ; and the next time we shall be able to go a bit further. Each time capacity is being enlarged and we are coming to a fuller measure of maturity.
The God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. § If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. § Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. § Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering.” § The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love. § The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. § This is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully … But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God … Christ … suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps …; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.
Be angry, and do not sin.
If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances?" (Col. 2:20, R.V.).
When it comes to spiritual growth and walk, any help from ourselves is a hindrance to us. The source is wrong. On the death side, we are to receive deliverance from sin's power through the Spirit from the Cross; on the life side, we are to receive growth through the Spirit from the Lord Jesus. It is a matter of receiving, not contributing. We are branches, not vines.
"The old elementary legal rudiments of a legal age are for those living in the world' (having an earthly temple and worship). Believers are seated in the heavenlies in Christ, and are spiritual people with a sanctuary in Heaven. Touch not, taste not, handle not; such commandments of men have no value. They perish with the using.
Voluntary humility, neglecting of the body, fasting, etc., have a show of wisdom. They gratify religious pride and self-righteousness, they puff up the fleshly mind,' but they are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.' The flesh is not subdued by fasting, nor pride by whipping, nor worldliness by neglect of the body. These are of no avail' though men glory in them. Only the Holy Spirit brings one into liberty - and that via the Cross. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death' (Rom. 8:2)." -G.G.
"Stand fast, then, in the freedom which Christ has given us, and turn not back again to entangle yourselves in the yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1, Cony.).
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
Our Father allows the believer to struggle with self, not for victory, but for defeat. Then the “wretched man” learns to rest in the Victor
“Once you have begun the Christian walk, and know the blessedness of it, you are not trying to correct yourself, for you know that all has been removed from the eye of God; and you insist on the fact that self has been to the Cross, and that Christ is your life. The old man was crucified, and you cannot reform him; all attempts of amiable people to reform him are only denying the fact that he has been dealt with in judgment. The responsible (law) man is not before God now. It is now the day of grace. Everyone who receives His grace is set free from the dominion of the old man. The appeal to the believer now is not to do, but to look.” -J.B.S.
“The believer is never told to ‘overcome sin,’ but to reckon, on the ground of his death with Christ, that he has died to it. On the basis of death, he is told not to ‘let’ sin reign in his life. It is to be dealt with by an attitude of death, not by ‘overcoming.’ The believer therefore is not to be spending his whole life in getting victory over sin, but understanding his position as having died unto sin.”
“[We] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).
“Love suffereth long, and is kind …” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is not premeditated, it is spontaneous, i.e., it bursts up in extraordinary ways. There is nothing of mathematical certainty in Paul's category of love. We cannot say - "Now I am going to think no evil; I am going to believe all things." The characteristic of love is spontaneity. We do not set the statements of Jesus in front of us as a standard; but when The Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard with out knowing it, and on looking back we are amazed at the disinterestedness of a particular emotion, which is the evidence that the spontaneity of real love was there. In everything to do with the life of God in us, its nature is only discerned when it is past.
The springs of love are in God, not in us. It is absurd to look for the love of God in our hearts naturally, it is only there when it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
If we try to prove to God how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we do not love Him. The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love, it comes naturally. In looking back we cannot tell why we did certain things, we did them according to the spontaneous nature of His love in us. The life of God manifests itself in this spontaneous way because the springs of love are in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5.)
Beloved, you have been called unto liberty..
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage
Paul was deeply concerned that false teachers were leading Christians back from the glorious freedom of the gospel of grace to the shackled bondage of the law. Our liberty in Christ, that comes by grace through faith, dominates the pages of Galatians as point-by-point Paul warns of the serious consequences of legalism – of deserting the liberty of the gospel of grace for the shackles of a works-based ‘gospel’.
The perfect Law of Moses was nothing more than a tutor teaching us that sinful man could never reach the perfect standard required by a thrice-holy God. It demonstrates the futility of trying to achieve the perfection required by the Law, which would end in despair, were it not for the truth of the glorious gospel of grace, whereby Christ met all the demands of the Law on behalf of all who believed on His sacrificial death and His glorious resurrection. The purpose of the Law is to lead us to Christ, but grace takes us from being children to mature sons.
Galatians tells us we no longer require to be ‘child-minded’. It tells us we are of age because now we are under grace; now we are not under law; now we have unconditional union with Christ – now we are called “sons”. Being under law keeps us as little children but grace takes us from being little children to maturing sons. Under law we are children but under grace we are sons. Under law our rights are limited but under grace, our position is one of having reached the age of majority. Under grace, we have received unconditional union with Christ and we are called “sons”. Christ has done all for our initial salvation by the “grace-promise-faith” way. As sons and He does all for our ongoing salvation by the same “grace-promise-faith” way.read more
I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season. There shall be showers of blessing.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
Where are you? Where are you today? Are you looking back into the past, with regrets of what could have been – or might have been? Are you looking forward into the future, with dreams of what you hope will be – or what you long to be? Both past and future have their place.. but where are you today? Where are you now? Fretting over closed doors is foolishness and can rob you of today’s calling. Hankering for some future daydream is imprudent – as you can miss His best.
Learn the lesson the Lord has to teach you, in your past joys and foolish mistakes, and don’t be tempted to crave some pot of gold, at the end of some future rainbow – and all memories of the past and hope for the future will be beautified for your benefit. View past and future through His healing, health-giving tempering lens – and you will find strength for your soul and contentment in your heart. Don’t plan the way ahead yourself.. He will unfold every step you take. He has told us, I will guide you with My eye – and you will hear a voice saying “This is the way..” Isa.30:21.
He provides you ample manna for your needs today.. and it is enough. He opens the cloudy skies, providing sufficient for you to take today’s step. He instructs the ravens to fly to you with enough sustenance for one day's strength. He showers drops of dew on your brow to nourish and refresh – one day at a time. So where are you? Where are you today?
Today He calls you to be His manna and His dew. Today He desires youread more