And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.1 Corinthians 3:1(NASB)
From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)
The word "flesh" as used here is comprehensive and general. Not knowing Him after the flesh, and not knowing one another after the flesh means really what we should think if we were to say we do not know one another naturally, in the natural realm. Whatever that might be, that is all-embracing. We know one another as we know Christ, spiritually. The context here sets forth that our relationship with Christ in the new creation is purely a spiritual thing, and therefore our relationships with one another as being in Christ are spiritual relationships. The whole new creation is a spiritual matter, because it is Christ.
That leads us to this specific point, which goes right to the heart of things. In this realm the thing which dominates is the measure of Christ. Everything here is determined and governed by the measure of Christ. Christ fills this whole realm; Christ dominates this whole realm in a spiritual way; from this realm of the new creation everything which is not Christ is excluded: all things are out from God. We might say that God's world is Christ, so far as we are concerned. The entire sphere of God for us is Christ. For us as believers there is nothing else whatever in relation to God, but Christ. Nothing is accepted by Him, but Christ. Nothing is blessed by Him, but Christ. Nothing is used by Him, but Christ. Nothing is seen or considered by Him, but Christ. Here, filling God's entire realm so far as we are concerned, is Christ, only Christ.
The fellowship of His sufferings. § Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. § For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. § If children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. § Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap … Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin … Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind … Your Father knows that you need these things.
Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into various trials" (James 1:2).
You can be sure that you are in the will of God when He keeps you dependent upon Himself, walking in the Holy Spirit, and abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Often all we think of is, having our need met; but how little a thing is that with God! It would cost Him nothing, we may say, to meet the need of a lifetime in a moment; and a lesser love than His would supply it at once, and get rid of the constant burden.
"But that is not His way. To supply the need is a small thing; but to supply it in such a way as to make us feel in each seasonable supply the Father's heart never withdrawn from us, the Father's heart ever employed about us - that is what He means. Give us our daily bread': is it not much more than to ask, Give us now, that we may not have to come again?'"
"The God-given experience of the Spirit's working many a time passes away, and leaves the soul apparently dull and dead. This is only until the double lesson has been fully learnt: (1) that a living faith can rejoice in the Living God, even when feeling and experience appear to contradict the promise (Rom. 8:28, 29); and (2) that the divine life only predominates as the life of the flesh is held in the place of death, inoperative (Rom. 6:11a). The life of the Lord Jesus is revealed as His death works in us (2 Cor. 4:11, 12), and as in weakness and nothingness we look to him (2 Cor. 3:18)." -A.M.
"Knowing this, that the testing of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3).
Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people.
Is this not a beautiful picture of the God of creation visiting His creatures. Is this not a stunning image of the Lord of love reclaiming His precious ones. Just think of the magnitude of this – the Almighty thus caring and thus loving. This is not a solitary visit from a distant Deity, but a daily and hourly occurrence.
We have glorious reminders of the visits He made in the past to His own. Down through the pages of Scripture, He demonstrated His love for His beloved ones. To Adam and Eve, He presented His lambskin covering, as they cowered in the bushes. To Abraham He secured the ram in the thicket, to meet the sacrificial requirements. To Jacob, He touched his joint in the morning mist, and made him prince with God. To Moses He declared Himself to be the great ‘ I Am‘ in the blazing desert bush. To Gideon, He poured gushing cascades of dewdrops upon his upturned fleece. To Manoah and his barren wife, He received their thank offering in a flame of fire.
To Mary He secretly overshadowed Her virginity, crossing the threshold of her womb. And Zacharias, full of the Holy Ghost, reminded us in His marvellous song of praise:- "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us, in the house of His servant David – as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who’ve been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us”… Luke 1:68-79
Of course, the most sublime visit He ever made was in the person of the Lord Jesus. That long and special visitation was the most marvellous of all, resulting in waterfalls of blessings being poured out over mankind. His love and care andread more
JESUS – just give me Jesus. I wonder, do you know Him? Do you know Jesus? More and more I see how important the words of Jesus are:- for we need to have faith as a little child.. faith that believes God’s Word without reservation – faith that trusts unreservedly and needs no other proof. My little granddaughter knows not to be afraid, because Jesus is alive. She has learned from her cradle that Jesus is coming one day in the clouds for her. At her tender age, she has learned to trust in a way that even I would wish to trust.
Well, He magnified the broken Law of the Most High. He fulfilled its righteous requirements. He demonstrated a life lived perfectly according to His statutes, and according to His precepts. He fulfilled all righteousness, as described by the former prophets. The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake. He magnifies the law, and makes it honourable. And the Life of Jesus – thus lived was the life laid down in sacrifice. The life of Jesus became thus acceptable as the sin offering. The life of Jesus became the burnt offering – a sweet savor to the Lord - casting out upon the sea of humanity gifts: “Oh that men would praise the name of the Lord: for His name alone is exalted: His glory is above the earth and heaven”. Psalm 107:8
Oh, to know Him better. To draw closer and closer to His sweet person. To become increasingly and more intimately acquainted with Him. To rest more deeply in His gentle Love. To abide more faithfully in His glorious Presence. To relax more intimately in His gracious Person. To sit more devotedly at His precious Feet. To receive from Him the gifts of salvation – the gift of hope, the gift of love, the gift of joy.
Pouring into the hearts of those that love Him - His own sweet spirit of gentleness and grace. This same Lord Jesus Christ – has soughtread more