For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.1 Peter 2:20(NASB)
May I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world's interest in me has also died. (Galatians 6:14 NLT)
You can have Christian law just as much as you can have Mosaic law; you can be in bondage in Christianity just as much as men were in Judaism. Christianity can be made into an imposed system just as much as Mosaic law was, and there are many Christians today who live under the fear of the "Thou shalt" and the "Thou shalt not" of a legalistic conception of the Christian life. You can take the Bible as God's standard for your life and try to fulfill it and yet still be burdened with a sense of constant failure. It is God's standard, and it is a very exhaustive one which leaves no part of the practical life untouched, but those who make the effort to try to live up to it only end in disillusion. No, it is not just a matter of a Book but of a Person, the Person who did live up to that standard, absolutely fulfilling every least demand with the most perfect success, so satisfying God to the full. By His death He has delivered us from the bondage of legal demands. This same Person now lives in us by His Holy Spirit, seeking to work out that perfect will of God not on the basis of some binding instructions from without but as a living force within. We have the law written in our hearts. To be in Christ is a matter of Life and not of legalism.
Christ, and Christ crucified, is the power of God to bring deliverance from sin, from the flesh, from the law and from the world. "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14). Paul was not glorying that he could enjoy so much of the world and yet have a clear conscience, but was enthusiastic about having been delivered from the world. For believers the only possible way of staying in this world is to know that they no longer belong to it.
Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted. § Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; “for Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation.” § The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. § My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. § We … rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. § I will joy in the God of my salvation.
I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He fore- knew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son … Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Death working in me works life in you" (2 Cor. 4:12, Cony.).
At first the heart hunger for maturity in the Lord Jesus is personal, subjective - and necessarily so. Later, when the path to maturity is known and entered upon, this hunger is projected to His Body, and becomes sacrificially objective.
"The great lack in servants is not having a sufficiently self-less walk, because you cannot lead anyone beyond where you have been led yourself. Moses was himself many years in the wilderness before he led the people. I cannot ask anyone to leave anything that I have not left myself. It is not the man who sees defects, but the man who removes them who is being used of God."
"Will you choose the path of death that others may have life? Will you choose to fill up the afflictions of Christ for His Bride's sake'? But what does it mean? It means living, weeping, suffering, loving with infinite patience, infinite tenderness, unwearying love for every member of the Body of Christ. It means the whole being bound up, not in your own progress, but in the progress of the Body of Christ. It means sinking all the personal element into the service of God, wanting neither credit, nor notice, nor recognition. It means an utter dropping of yourself, and a handing over of yourself to God to be poured out for His Body's sake, the Church."
"The unwearied care of our Father for us, His patient grace, His gentleness, His leading us on from the world nearer, in spirit, to Himself, indicate what should be the character of our love's activity towards one another. Our joy in the Father's presence, as He Himself and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, are made manifest to our hearts, gives us the character of the joy of true fellowship one with another." -H.F.W.
"I, Paul. . . rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church" (Col. 1:23, 24).
In the beginning God…
The first statement God made in His revelation to man is …..in the beginning, God.. yet for many generations questions have been raised on the existence of God. Is there a God..? How can we know..? Can it be proved..? What is the evidence..? But God IS – for God revealed Himself. God unveiled Himself in His Word - through His names, His character and His truth – and we are to believe what God has said.
God does not seek to prove that He exists. He plainly states, I AM that I AM, and God simply says, I AM the first and I AM the last; apart from Me there is no God. No scientific experiment can prove His existence, but we see general revelation in the world around us, for the heavens declare the glory of God. And we also have direct, specific, and detailed revelation in the Scriptures – the inerrant Word of God. He simply states I AM that I AM. I Am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of Egypt. I AM the LORD your God, Who teaches you what is best for you and Who directs you in the way. I AM the LORD your God, and there is no other.
It was Plato that said – if we had a word from God, that is what we would hang on to, but since we don’t – we have to hang on to the best opinions of man! But the best opinions of man are foolishness to God. Oh! the foolishness of proud man!! for Scripture tells us that we do have a Word from God… to hang on to. But how few really read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest God’s Word? How few really trust His Word? How few truly seek to know God, and all that He has revealed about Himself directly through His Word?
David’s simple statement says it all… it is better to trust in the Lordread more
Do you often ask for God’s help? “Help ME do this God” and “help ME do that Lord” or “Help ME change myself…” “Help ME stop being like this Father,” and “help ME start being like that?” Think! God is never going to change the old YOU – the old self-life!
When God saved you, He did not plan to help you live YOUR life. God purposed that HE would live Christ’s life in you!! Immaturity sees the Lord Jesus as helper in MY Christian life. Maturity knows the Lord as the very LIFE itself, within my new man.
J.E. Conant wisely wrote the following:- “Christian living is not our living with Christ’s help, it is Christ living His life in us. Therefore, that portion of our lives that is not His living is not Christian living; and that portion of our service that is not His doing is not service; for all such life and service have but a human and natural source, but Christian life and service have a supernatural and spiritual source.” That supernatural, spiritual source – is the Spirit of Christ in you. As Paul wrote ‘For me to live is Christ.’ It is not God helping the old man to live. God will not help your old man, your old ‘self’ to live!!! “God works (in your new man) both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil.2:13
William R. Newell puts it this way:- “Satan’s great device is to drive earnest souls back to beseeching God for what God says has already been done! You are a new creation in Christ – so the old self must be done away with. The old self must remain on the cross – while the new self is Christ in you. God did not help the sinner to be born again... He gave him a new life in Christ. And God won’t help the old you. He’ll conform the new “You-Life” into “Christ-life”. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily andread more