'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'Revelation 2:7(NASB)
God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (1 Corinthians 1:9 NIV)
This is an age of cheapness. Get it as cheaply and as quickly as you can, with just as little cost and tiresomeness. "Get it quickly: get it easily." That thought governs the whole world system. Everything is now aligned to getting it done easily and getting it done quickly. It is that way in your kitchen, your scurrying, your household affairs, and in every other realm. What is true in the secular has now become very largely true in the spiritual. The standards have been terribly lowered. Bigness has substituted greatness. Greatness, the true meaning of the word, is no longer considered. Oh, how we hear, "Big, oh yes, the bigger, then assuredly that is the most successful," but this is absolutely contrary to the Bible, to all gospel. It is like that. Ease and easiness, lightness, glamorousness, excitement, emotion: this is the order of our day. This hurrying that we are speaking of comes so largely into Christianity: and the result is that we have quite a poor type of Christian....
I am very glad that there is a manifest outreach, especially on the part of young people, for reality. They are tired and sick of unreality. That is a very good thing indeed if only they find reality and do not go in for the substitutes that are today being retailed so lavishly, the substitutes which seem to be real and are an illusion.... While we are going to be joyful in the Lord, sometimes there is a large gap between being happy and joyful. "Happy" depends upon "hap": "Joy" goes on whatever "happens." There is a need of a recovery or reappraisal of the true nature of that into which we have come when we have come into Christ.... Paul opens a window and just gives us a glimpse in that letter to the Philippians when he says, "...Who, existing in the form of God." A long way back before anything else was this One to Whom we have come; and in the terms of fellowship, we are "called into the fellowship" of this One.... We have not come into some very small, light, frivolous thing. However we may joyfully sing our choruses and so on, but remember, this is no cheap thing. This is no small thing. This is no easy thing. This is a thing which embraces the universe, and we are called into that fellowship. I pray that you may have a new glimpse of the wonder of the One Whom you love and Whom you call, Savior AND LORD.
Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
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. § Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. § Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. § [Be] filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.
Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. § Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Jesus … , that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
[Jesus] said … , “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” § The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:7)
When our Lord takes us down into an area of processing and trial it seems as though He deliberately takes away our understanding, and we often react as though we had never gone through anything before. One of His reasons for this is that we may receive the full effect and benefit of the child-training.
"We should give our consent to our Father when He seeks to lead us through devastating processes. And we need have no fear, for He knows how to apportion our suffering. He exactly matches the suffering to our condition. He measures all things with unfailing accuracy and selects the particular trial suited to our particular need.
"He invariably chooses the lot of each with this in view - an increase of the divine content in our lives. If He chastens us, it is always for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.' And all things work together for good to them that are called according to his purpose.' What good? What purpose? This, that we may be conformed to the image of his Son.'"
"Let suffering come from any cause in the universe, if we give it over entirely into the hand of our Father, and sink ourselves into His blessed will, with the desire for Him to work His purpose in us, He will make every pain, every tear, every particle of our suffering work in us a death to sin and to the old man, and to all things on earth which will be for our highest development and for His glory." -G.W.
"If we lay claim to the blessing of our Father, we must not fear what may lie in the path of blessing. It is ever through suffering to glory, through the Cross to the Crown." -O.S.
"In every circumstance of life be thankful; for this is God's will in Christ Jesus respecting you" (1 Thess. 5:18, Wey.).
“Ye must be born again.” John 3:7
The answer to the question "How can a man he born when he is old?" is - When he is old enough to die - to die right out to his "rag rights," to his virtues, to his religion, to everything, and to receive into himself the life which never was there before. The new life manifests itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness.
"As many as received Him." (John 1:12.) Is my knowledge of Jesus born of internal spiritual perception, or is it only what I have learned by listening to others? Have I something in my life that connects me with the Lord Jesus as my personal Saviour? All spiritual history must have a personal knowledge for its bedrock. To be born again means that I see Jesus.
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3.) Do I seek for signs of the Kingdom, or do I perceive God's rule? The new birth gives a new power of vision whereby I begin to discern God's rule. His rule was there all the time, but true to His nature; now that I have received His nature I can see His rule.
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." (1 John 3:9.) Do I seek to stop sinning or have I stopped sinning? To be born of God means that I have the supernatural power of God to stop sinning. In the Bible it is never - Should a Christian sin? The Bible puts it emphatically - A Christian must not sin. The effective working of the new birth life in us is that we do not commit sin, not merely that we have the power not to sin, but that we have stopped sinning. 1 John 3:9 does not mean that we cannot sin; it means that if we obey the life of God in us, we need not sin.
Though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.
In Romans 6, like many others passages, Paul tells us HOW IT IS.
He gives us the facts of how GOD deals with MAN – and as believers we can choose to respond positively to the Word of God, or we can choose to ignore His Word.
God will not compromise His Word just so that our reason can be satisfied, and if God has stated in Scripture that this is how it is, then we have no option but to listen to what God tells us in Scripture and put it into action.
Human logic dictates that God deals with us in the same way that we deal with other people – but this is incorrect thinking and is not what Scripture teaches us.
God sets out in His Word – the basis of HOW HE deals with US.
God sets out in His Word – the basis of HOW WE must respond to Him.
In Romans 6, like many others passages, Paul just tells us HOW IT IS… and what is required of us is simply to know the truth, trust His Word, and apply His Word.
The general principle is this:
1. KNOW God’s Word - Gain knowledge – Develop a deep desire to know Him
2. BELIEVE God’s Word - Trust Him implicitly – Believe the truth of His Word
3. LIVE God’s Word - Apply His Word in all you are and say and think and do
These simple instructions conflict with the function of man’s old sin nature – and these simple instructions are diametrically opposed from man’s human wisdom.
For the Sin Nature (the Flesh) – is in conflict against the Spirit,
And Man’s Wisdom (man’s Reason) – is foolishness to God.
Too often we approach God’s Word based on our human rationalisation, and we assume that God will deal with us in the same way thatread more
Therefore, let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying AGAIN a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…
A believer’s acceptance by God starts and ends at rebirth and we are complete in Him. However, the believer’s life does not start and end at rebirth – that is only the beginning. We all need to know the foundational truths of how to draw close to God; how to live in the spirit; how to walk in the spirit; how to pray in the spirit – how to grow in the spirit.
We try many paths to draw closer to Him, but end up disappointed in our progress. We all find ourselves in life’s cul-de-sacs, having to retrace our spiritual steps. We often live in the flesh; walk in the flesh; pray in the flesh and 'grow' in the flesh! It is only through a process of constantly failing to draw close to God by self-effort, that we eventually discover that it is not something that we can do ourselves.
God never leaves us floundering, but He does wait until we come to an end of ‘self’. He waits until we realise there is nothing we can do to help to make us spiritually mature. It is only a heart that is prepared by the Spirit of God that will move into true maturity. Many believers are encouraged to consecrate and re-consecrate their self-life. Many are motivated to do all they can do for Him because of what He did for them.
As our substitute, Jesus went to the cross alone. As our substitute, Jesus paid the price for our sins alone. As our substitute, Jesus suffered the penalty for our sins alone. As our substitute, we are accepted by God in the Beloved - alone. As our substitute, we are forgiven because He alone died in our stead. As our substitute, we are forgiven from the penalty of sin through Him – alone. As our substitute, weread more