For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.Proverbs 23:21(NASB)
Whenever two or three of you come together in My name, I am there with you. (Matthew 18:20 CEV)
We must be completely clear as to what it is that God is particularly concerned with at this time in the world's history, and, therefore, what it is that we who are the Lord's children are called unto. The thing that God is doing in this dispensation is the formation of a spiritual and heavenly Israel. In doing that He is repeating the laws of the old Israel in a spiritual way. He is following along the lines of His ways with the old Israel, but now on a heavenly and not an earthly basis, because, while God's methods may change, His principles are changeless. He has left the earthly basis of the Old Testament and has moved on to a heavenly basis in the New Testament. He has moved from the temporal to the spiritual, and the spiritual is far greater than the temporal...
And that leads us to that wonderful revelation which we have in the New Testament - the revelation of Christ and all His members being made one Temple for God. Christ is our Temple, and in Him we find all that a temple was ever intended to be. Oh, how people have gone astray over this! We go to many places that are called "churches" and the word is applied to the building. When people pray in those places they usually say something like this: "We have come into Thy house today. We are in this house of God." They are really talking about a building. But we don't need a building to give God a temple! "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). People gathered into Jesus Christ constitute the Temple of God. It is not a special building, but people who are in Christ Jesus. This is what God is doing in this dispensation.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. § What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? § By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. § For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things. § All things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no one living is righteous.
The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret … Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And inYour book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? § In Him we live and move and have our being. § As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; for He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again.
If God be for us, who can be against us"? (Rom. 8:31)
Faith in the facts alone gives the rest of reliance.
"Is there an accuser, a judge, or an executioner, still after us? The accuser may go away rebuked by this, that God has justified us; the judge may go away rebuked by this, that the Lord Jesus has died - has already suffered the judgment, and His work has been accepted to the full in heaven itself; the executioner may go away rebuked by this, that all the malice of earth and hell together shall never drag us away from the firm embrace of our God. And if there be now neither accuser to charge, nor judge to condemn, nor executioner to slay, the court is cleared!" -J.G.B.
"It is a blessed thing to be shown our enemies and told with Gideon, that Jehovah has delivered them into our hands (Josh. 8:7). Our old man has been crucified (Rom. 6:6), the world overcome,' and its prince judged' (John 16:33, 11). If we are walking by faith, as risen with the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan, the world, and the flesh are under our feet." -J.N.D.
"Not a hair of the child of God can fall without God's permission. Satan is but the unintentional instrument to accomplish God's will; he can do no more than he is allowed to do. If trials come as a host against us, we know that the Almighty is between us and them. They will but work out for us His own purpose of love."
"What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Rom. 8:35, 37).
And now abide these three – faith – hope – love.
I remember you always for these three things: your work of FAITH, your labour of LOVE, your patience of HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father .
God loved you so much, that He sent His Son into the world, to be the object of your faith – for you to believe on Him. This was not God’s response to the fall although it embraces that element. God was not startled or taken by surprise by what happened in Eden. God was not forced to take a ‘quick-fix’ avoidance strategy because of man’s sin. This was planned in eternity past. He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. This was God’s purpose, before time began: the Lamb of God was slain:- from the foundation of the world. Rev.13:8
God had you in His heart and thoughts before the earth and time were created – you specifically. You have been the object of His love from eternity past, and you are accepted, spotless, and without blemish, in the Son. And you will continue as His blessed beloved through time into eternity future. Why? Because He knew your heart would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew you would be one that would place your trust in His beloved Son, and so He chose you in Christ before the world was created. And He waited 6000 to hear you cry Abba, Father. And every jot and tittle of scripture has been written for a purpose: that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through His name.
Faith – Trust – Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ has two important elements: 1) a past, and saving faith in Him, so that you might be saved and live. 2) a present and sanctifying faith, as you are being conformedread more
Perseverance on the part of the saint is the prime requisite of the overcomer. Patient endurance under life’s tremendous testing trials is the saint’s chief objective. And believers in Philadelphia were commended for their patient endurance: because you have kept My command to persevere… to patiently endure.
They are promised they will not be overwhelmed by the onslaught from Satan. Satan, that slippery serpent, that overcome Job’s wife in her trials and Demas in his. Satan, that evil fallen angel, who overcame all but two of the wilderness wanderers. Satan, that demonic devil, whose aim is to shipwreck the perseverance of all God’s children.
Perseverance on the part of the saint is the prime requisite for the overcomer, and overcoming is the fruitful consequence of the perseverance of the saints of God. For fruitful works (works of righteousness), emanate from the one who perseveres. But the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan seeks his downfall, and the church epistles are saturated with the need for the saint’s perseverance.
Patient endurance under life’s tremendous trials and testing is the saints chief object, and overcoming is the beneficial product of a believer who patiently-endures – and works of righteousness are the clean, bright, shining clothes of the bride.
Satan can never destroy a saints eternal security, but is set to disqualify his rewards. Peter and James and John and Paul all tell, in urgent tones, the importance of endurance. The Scriptures are flooded with examples of saints, taken to the hope’s extremity. Men and maids, exhausted by the Satan’s onslaught, who remained faithful to God. Guys and gals, pursued by the enemy’s assaults, who sadly yielded under pressure – nations and individuals, at the limits of endurance, who witnessed His deliverance.
And the church composed of a small faithful remnant of good, faithful servants is told by her Lord to hold fast.. to hold fast to the end: hold fast that no one take their reward. Trial and temptations, however dreadful and distressing areread more