The last enemy that will be abolished is death.1 Corinthians 15:26(NASB)
Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)
Does it not strike you as significant, and very impressive, that when the veil was rent Israel was set aside? Israel had been called in to maintain a testimony in types. Christ had come and fulfilled all the types, and being the center of all the types, the veil, all that kept God shut off from men, was now dealt with, and the way was open. There was no need for types now. So the custodian of the types departs with the types. This is not the dispensation of the types: this is the dispensation of the reality, the dispensation of a heavenly union with a risen Lord, and of all that that means. Our danger is of bringing back types. The types have gone and that is the whole message of this letter to the Hebrews. Christ is everything. The outward order of the Old Testament is set aside, and now all that obtains is Christ Himself. He is the Priest; you no longer have priests on earth in the Old Testament sense. He is the Sacrifice; there is no need for any other sacrifices. He is the Tabernacle; He is the Temple; He is the Church.
What is the Church? It is Christ in living union with His own, that whereever two or three are gathered together in His name there He is in the midst. That is the Church. You do not build special buildings and call them "the Church." You do not have special organisations, religious institutions, which you call "the Church." Believers in living union with the risen Lord constitute the Church. This is the reality, not the figure. That is to say, His flesh, human limitation, is done away. Now in union with Christ risen all human limitations are transcended. This is one of the wonders of Christ risen as a living reality. We are brought into a realm of capacities which are more than human capacities, where, because of Christ in us, we can do what we never could do naturally. Our relationships are new relationships; they are with heaven. Our resources are new resources: they are in heaven. That is why the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians and said that God hath chosen the weak things, the foolish things. The things which are despised, and the things which are not, that He by them might bring to naught the wise, the mighty, the things which are. Why did God appoint it so? Because it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit; and to show that there are powers, energies, abilities for His own which transcend all the greatest powers and abilities of the world.
Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.
O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire. § According to your faith let it be to you. § Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
They drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us.” … He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” § I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. § My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” § Who has performed and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? “I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.”
Sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.
The God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. § He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. § Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?§ The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.
It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
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" (Rom. 7:23).
Self is the believer's indwelling enemy; its degrading bondage is his deepest heartache. However, the reign of self is overthrown by its own enmity, since it creates the needs that cause us to hunger for and appropriate Christ's life and liberty.
"A sense of spiritual poverty is necessary to spiritual growth. This awareness of failure becomes acute to the believer during those days when he is attempting to attain holiness of heart through self-effort. Knowing what he ought to be and do, he proceeds to try to reach those goals. He purposes, resolves, promises, struggles, weeps, and fails again. His testimony, with Paul, is, The things that I want to do, I do not do, and the things that I do not want to do, I do' (Rom. 7:15).
"What a delightful day it is for him when he realizes that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing' (Rom. 7:18). Only then does he, in his failure, cry out, Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Rom. 7:24, 25) comes back the reply. He begins to recognize that God expects only failure from the flesh, never success, but that in Christ' is his sanctification, his growth. Thus it is that freedom comes through bondage, life through death." -W.W.
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).
“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, tarry ye here, and watch with Me.” Matthew 26:36,38
We can never fathom the agony in Gethsemane, but at least we need not misunderstand it. It is the agony of God and Man in one, face to face with sin. We know nothing about Gethsemane in personal experience. Gethsemane and Calvary stand for something unique; they are the gateway into Life for us.
It was not the death on the cross that Jesus feared in Gethsemane; He stated most emphatically that He came on purpose to die. In Gethsemane He feared lest He might not get through as Son of Man. He would get through as Son of God - Satan could not touch Him there; but Satan's onslaught was that He would get through as an isolated Figure only; and that would mean that He could be no Saviour. Read the record of the agony in the light of the temptation: "Then the devil leaveth Him for a season." In Gethsemane Satan came back and was again overthrown. Satan's final onslaught against our Lord as Son of Man is in Gethsemane.
The agony in Gethsemane is the agony of the Son of God in fulfilling His destiny as the Saviour of the world. The veil is drawn aside to reveal all it cost Him to make it possible for us to become sons of God. His agony is the basis of the simplicity of our salvation. The Cross of Christ is a triumph for the Son of Man. It was not only a sign that Our Lord had triumphed, but that He had triumphed to save the human race. Every human being can get through into the presence of God now because of what the Son of Man went through.
There must be long and deep period of preparation, in the man and woman of God.. if that life is to shed abroad the attributes of the Lord Jesus in thought word and deed.. if that life is to work in entire submission to the leading and guiding of the Spirit – if the Spirit is to expose the infinite contrast between the ‘self-life‘ and the ‘Christ-life‘. You think I am labouring this point? well it needs to be laboured, for that is the teaching of Scripture to the Church. This is what Paul laboured for – so that Christ’s life may be established in the believer. Preparation certainly does have relevance to this brief breath of life here and now, but the work of God’s Spirit is to prepare us for the future ages to come. This is the reason that almost without exception time is needed for preparation.
“Rest” in the justifying faith of the new-birth, is a past and done deal. “Rest” in the sanctifying faith of the growing saint is an ongoing process. And one maturing saint observes that – It is highly possible for a man, after having found justifying rest in Christ, to enter upon a state of deep need as regards sanctifying rest. We think we shall not go far wrong if we say this has been the experience of almost every believer that has ever lived. Ironically, the condition of the old sin nature dictates that this will be the case. So much of a believers’ searching for the peace of God sinks into the pit of despair!
This is the score:- we are to be conformed into the image of Christ because that’s God’s will! We are born with an old sin nature, which is an enmity With God. Once that man becomes a believer he has two natures: 1) a gross, mature, arrogant sin nature and 2) a new little ‘baby’ nature in Christ. God “not never no-how” will change thatread more
In Matthew 15 we read these words… He answered her not a word. While in Zephaniah 3:17 we are told: He will be silent in His love. Most prophets of the Lord have been through times of spiritual drought, when the Lord withheld His presence or stilled His voice. And sometimes deep darkness can shade His presence in our lives too. Many a salty saints of God have experienced times of silence.. times when the Lord seems to have turned His face away – often for months or even years at a time. And through the silence you cry out in anguish to receive His near presence.. and yet He answers not a word, and He remains silent and still. Sometimes despite our deep anguish His withdrawal is most eloquent. Sometimes His quietude hides His dear approval and His deep purposes.
I once heard a beautiful “story” of three women in prayer.. not a true story of course, but a story with a lovely thought behind it:- Each women knelt in worshipful prayer before the throne of grace.. and Jesus drew near to them. As He approached the first of the three.. He lovingly bent over her with great tenderness and grace. His eyes were full of tender love for her. His smile expressed His radiant pleasure in her. He spoke to her with a voice of sweetest music and purest gentleness. He kissed her bowed head and spoke sweet words of love. Leaving the first woman the Lord moved to the second. He placed His hand on her head, giving a precious look of loving approval.. and His eyes shining out His delight and loving approval of her devotion. He then passed the third woman in prayer – with hardly a sidewards glance.
The one observing the proceedings wondered greatly:- Why so different an approach with these three women in prayer? How dearly He must love the first.. she must indeed engender most favour. And the approval of the second was clearly evident.. but,read more