For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;2 Corinthians 2:15(NASB)
I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the One who is the stairway between heaven and earth. (John 1:51 NLT)
We have seen Christ as the true spiritual fulfillment of Jacob's ladder, which was set up on the earth, and the top of which reached into heaven. Of this the Lord later said to Nathanael: "Hereafter thou shalt see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Now if the Lord Jesus is the same, in effect, as the ladder of Jacob, then He is both in heaven and on earth. He is on earth, and He is at the same time in heaven. In Him heaven and earth are united, brought together, and whilst He is here on this earth for purposes of expression and action, He is also in heaven. The point is that His Life, and all His resources, were drawn from above. He was in touch with inexhaustible resources, and resources which could never die, because they were not of this earth, and could never be subject to the touch of corruption which is characteristic of everything on this earth....
So then, to gather that up in one word, it means that for our lives and for our service, our ministry, our heavenly vocation, there are, in union with Christ, resources at our disposal which are heavenly, inexhaustible, and incorruptible. This is the great secret of strength. We have seen something of what those resources are, and of how they operate; of their value for spirit, soul, and body; mind, heart, and will. Not on our own charges are we commissioned of the Lord, but He Who commissions places His own resources behind His commissioned and His commission.
The Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. § He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. § Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross, and take away all your alloy. § I will refine them and try them.
You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined … We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and … put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. § As Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life … Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin … Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts … But present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us" (Rom. 5:5).
Acknowledging our insufficiency and appropriating His all-sufficiency are the basic building blocks for our growth in the "not I but Christ" life.
"There is no child of God that has set his face to go through with Him, who has not grieved over the weakness of his love for the Lord Jesus. Our hearts have mourned, and we have suffered when we have realized our selfishness and mixed motives; the weak, unstable love we have for Him.
"Truly none of us can rejoice in our love for Him. But when we begin to apprehend His great, eternal love for us, our hearts are filled with joy. And we praise Him for His love, His longsuffering and patience; and we magnify His Name for that love which never fails."
"When we slip out of communion with God, how wretched we are, and how we contribute to the unhappiness of others! Whereas in communion with our Father there is power to enable us to resist the devil, to enjoy the Lord and to promote the true blessing of His own. May we have our Lord Jesus very simply and constantly before our hearts."
"Nothing but an intelligent and growing acquaintance with the Lord Jesus can satisfy the renewed heart. The very mercy that delivers a soul becomes a hindrance unless the Lord Himself be the one Object."
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God" (2 Cor. 3:5).
“Master, where dwellest Thou? . . Come and see.” John 1:39
"They abode with Him that day." That is about all some of us ever do, then we wake up to actualities, self-interest arises and the abiding is passed. There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.
"Thou art Simon, thou shalt be called Cephas." God writes the new name on those places only in our lives where He has erased the pride and self-sufficiency and self-interest. Some of us have the new name in spots only, like spiritual measles. In sections we look all right. When we have our best spiritual mood on, you would think we were very high-toned saints; but don't look at us when we are not in that mood. The disciple is one who has the new name written all over him; self-interest and pride and self-sufficiency have been completely erased.
Pride is the deification of self, and this to-day in some of us is not of the order of the Pharisee, but of the publican. To say "Oh, I'm no saint," is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means that you defy God to make you a saint, "I am much too weak and hopeless, I am outside the reach of the Atonement." Humility before men may be unconscious blasphemy before God. Why are you not a saint? It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe God can make you one. It would be all right, you say, if God saved you and took you straight to heaven. That is just what He will do! "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him." Make no conditions, let Jesus be everything, and He will take you home with Him not only for a day, but for ever.
Once upon eternity, there was God. Before time was created and the stars were formed, God alone existed, and God had a plan to save those who would believe on the name of His Son – and God purposed that man would be saved by faith and that man would live by faith. And He set out His plans and purpose in His Word.. and He purposed that without faith it would be impossible for His children to please Him – and He set out His plans and purpose in the Word God.
The book of Hebrews was written to believers, showing the importance of living by faith: My righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:39-11:1 tells us much about this ongoing, life-long sanctifying faith. It is a continuous dialogue on the ongoing, lifelong sanctifying faith.
In Heb.11:38 we are told that the justified man shall live by faith, which pleases God. In this verse, we are told that redeemed man can draw back but this displeases God. In Heb.11:39 we read that believers should not displease God by drawing back. We read that ongoing, life-long sanctification results in the ‘saving of the soul’. The redeemed man is to live out his Christian life by faith, which leads to the saving of the soul.
Just and righteous living is connected with a life of faith. Unjust and unrighteous living is disconnected from a life of faith. These verses are telling us how a Christian is to live: for the just shall live by faith. Now faith, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb.11:1
And through faith, we understand that justifying faith is simply believing God – trusting in His saving grace. Redeeming faith is simply believing that Christ diedread more
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abel learned the glorious truth.. that God could only be approached by a blood sacrifice. Only innocent blood can be placed between sin’s consequences and a holy God. Each divinely convicted sinner knows death and judgment are sin’s inevitable reward. Nothing but the spilt blood of Another can alter that destiny and can accomplish life. Thus it is with every poor, helpless, self-condemned, conscience-smitten sinner. Christ alone is his substitute, his ransom, his most excellent sacrifice – his all in all. But presumptuous, religious man, has for 6000 years, denied this eternal truth. By vows and resolutions and the sweat of his brow, he seeks to appease God himself. But nothing but the perfect sacrifice of God’s Son reunites a guilty sinner with a glorious God.
It is never a question of feeling. It is only a question of faith.. faith as an accomplished fact – faith wrought in the soul of a sinner by the work and power of the Holy Spirit. Faith is not the fancies and fleeting feeling of the heart. Faith is not the assent of the human intellect. Feelings, sentimentality and reason – emanate from a man-centred source – self. This reduces faith to the human level rather than God’s wonderful work and wisdom. Why was blood required in sacrifice, and the offering of fat of such significance?
Blood and fat, in type set forth the life and the inherent excellency of the Lord. Physical life is in the blood. Spiritual life is only found in the blood of Christ. Jesus said: I am come that they might have life…. John 10:10. And Able learned this unique and only sufficientread more