and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;Ephesians 3:9(NASB)
Strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of the Spirit in the binding power of peace. (Ephesians 4:3 AMP)
Oneness in Christ as a Body fitly framed together is what is portrayed. How is this perfect unity reached? By all that is individual and personal being left, by the Lord being the focal center, and by our giving diligence to maintain the unity in that way; keeping all personal things out, and keeping Christ and His interests always in view.... This is not visionary, imaginative, or merely idealistic, it is very practical. You and I will discover that there are working elements of divisiveness, things creeping in amongst us to set us apart. The enemy is always seeking to do that, and the things that rise up to get in between the Lord's people and put up a barrier are countless; a sense of strain and of distance, for example, of discord and of unrelatedness. Sometimes they are more of an abstract character; that is, you can never lay your hand upon them and explain them, and say what they are; it is just a sense of something. Sometimes it is more positive, a distinct and definite misunderstanding, a misinterpretation of something said or done, something laid hold of; and of course, it is always exaggerated by the enemy.
How is that kind of thing to be dealt with in order to keep the unity of the Spirit? Rightly, adequately on this basis alone, by our saying: "This is not to the Lord's interests; this can never be of value to the Lord; this can never be to His glory and satisfaction; this can only mean injury to the Lord." What I may feel in the matter is not the vital consideration. I may even be the wronged party, but am I going to feel wronged and hurt? Am I going to stand on my dignity? Am I going to shut myself up and go away, because I have been wronged? That is how nature would have it, but I must take this attitude: "The Lord stands to lose, the Lord's Name stands to suffer, the Lord's interests are involved in this; I must get on top of this; I must get the better of this; I must shake this thing off and not allow it to affect my attitude, my conduct, my feelings toward this brother or sister!" There must be the putting aside of that which we feel, and even of our rights for the Lord's sake, and a getting on top of this enemy effort to injure the Lord's testimony. That is giving diligence to keep the unity.... Life is by unity, and unity can only adequately be found in Christ being in His place as the One for whom we let go everything that is personal. We might not do it for the sake of anyone else. We might never do it for the sake of the person in view. We do it for His sake, and the enemy is defeated.
My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. § O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. § The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. § Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. § My blood is drink indeed.
Eat, O friends! Drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved ones!
The incorruptible beauty. § Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. § He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. § Sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. § The incorruptible God.
If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. § The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. § Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature" (Gal. 6:15).
It required nothing less than the Cross to liberate us from the law.
"The law is not our rule of life' for the simple reason that it was the Israelite's. The Christian not being a Jew, the law is not for him. Holy, just and good' it is, but the Christian's rule of life is in Christ. . . a new creature' (Gal. 6:15). The believer's place and rule is to walk as a pilgrim and stranger' upon the earth. The law has nothing of this. Had it been fulfilled, it would have made earth morally a paradise; and will, when written upon Israel's heart in millennial days. But strangership on earth and a heavenly walk, it never taught." -F.W.G.
"The Christian is on larger, higher, firmer ground than that on which Israel after the flesh stood. The law is good if a man use it lawfully; and its lawful application is expressly not to form, guide, and govern the walk of the righteous, but to deal with the lawless and disobedient, ungodly and sinful, unholy and profane, and, in short, with whatever is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:9, 10)." -F.W.G.
"Any aspect of life or conduct which is undertaken in dependence on the energy and ability of the flesh is, to that extent, purely legal in character, whether it be the whole revealed will of God, the actual written commandments, or the exhortations of grace. Dependence on the arm of flesh is consistent with pure law; dependence on the power of God is demanded under pure grace." -L.S.C.
"Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1).
Surrender is not the surrender of the external life, but of the will; when that is done, all is done. There are very few crises in life; the great crisis is the surrender of the will. God never crushes a man's will into surrender, He never beseeches him, He waits until the man yields up his will to Him. That battle never needs to be re-fought.
Surrender for Deliverance. "Come unto Me and I will give you rest." It is after we have begun to experience what salvation means that we surrender our wills to Jesus for rest. Whatever is perplexing heart or mind is a call to the will - "Come unto Me." It is a voluntary coming.
Surrender for Devotion. "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself." The surrender here is of my self to Jesus, my self with His rest at the heart of it. "If you would be My disciple, give up your right to yourself to Me." Then the remainder of the life is nothing but the manifestation of this surrender. When once the surrender has taken place we never need "suppose" anything. We do not need to care what our circumstances are, Jesus is amply sufficient.
Surrender for Death. John 21:18-19. ". . . another shall gird thee." Have you learned what it means to be bound for death? Beware of a surrender which you make to God in an ecstasy; you are apt to take it back again. It is a question of being united with Jesus in His death until nothing ever appeals to you that did not appeal to Him.
After surrender - what? The whole of the life after surrender is an aspiration for unbroken communion with God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory – glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The perfect Law was engraved on stone but is unable to beat with a heart of pure love. The faultless Law cannot empathise with our weakness or understand our difficulties. The letter of the Law may be perfect, but is insufficient to reveal the Father’s love. The ministration of law came through Moses, but fullness of grace came via Jesus.
The elements of the Law placed men under bondage, for the letter of the law kills, but the personification of grace gives abundant life – a life that’s enriched by grace. The glory of the Law shone in the glowing face of Moses – but that brilliance faded. The glory of God’s grace is the glory of the only Son Who is begotten of the Father.
The ministration of grace can never fail, for Jesus Christ is infinite, and He is perfect. He is perfect in His Being and Work; His Word and His Ways. His grace can never fail. The glory of Christ is beautifully seen in the essential attributes of the living God. His glory is interwoven with His handiwork; His skill; His wisdom and His kindness.
The glory of God’s grace is a lantern that illumines the whole of Christ’s character. His Grace becomes a platform, upon which every perfection of Deity stands, and the fullness of the glory God’s grace, is reflected in the face of Jesus Christ. It was grace in its fullness that caused the Godhead to look down the corridors of time and purpose an eternal plan that would redeem a sinful race of humanity from sin.
It was the fullness of grace that conceived of the plan of salvation that purposed that He’d plead the hopeless cause of unregenerate man and undertake to pay its price. It was the person of Christ Who demonstrated the fullnessread more
For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
When Christ is not a Christian’s fullness, that one is filled with self, not Christ. When Christ is not all in all to the body of Christ, it becomes an empty vessel. When the Lord Jesus is not preeminent in our lives, we fail in our ministry. Individually and collectively we lose our testimony when Christ is not our focus. He must be all to those who are called by His name. He must be all in all to me.
If a lighted lamp is not trimmed and cleaned daily.. it flickers and is extinguished. If the oil of the Spirit is not replenished day by day.. we become dry and unprofitable. If the nourishment of His Word is not partaken of consistently.. we lose our strength. If we do not arm ourselves daily for the spiritual battle we will be overcome, for it is the one who overcomes that the Lord seeks to sup with Him and honour. So what is this state of being overcome? – and each of them asked... ”Is it I Lord?” John 2:19
It is the tragedy of spiritual weakness and decline, through neglect or rebellion. It is a blindness to the command of his Lord – an indifference to His Word. It is a return to a worldly wisdom – a deaf ear to the warning promptings of the Spirit. It is hearkening to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life. It is a deliberate move or a careless attitude away from trust in Him to faith in self.
The enemy of the soul deliberately seeks to shipwreck God’s purposed plan: “For of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage". 2Peter 2:19 And the seven-fold warning of the Spirit is this :- "to him that overcometh.." So how must I overcome the world, the flesh and the satanic forces of evil? Isread more