Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,Acts 4:8(NASB)
What do you have that God hasn given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?(1 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)
There are still a lot of people in this world who think that there is something in man that can contribute to the glory of God and that Christianity is only the bringing up out of man of something that is for the glory of God. That is a long, long-standing fallacy and lie. It is not true. Call it what you like; it goes by various names, such as "the inner light" or "the vital spark." The Word of God all the way through is coming down tremendously on this thing. I start at zero, and zero for me means that I can contribute nothing. Everything has to come from God. The very fact that the gift of God is eternal Life means that you have not got it until it is given to you. You are blind until God gives you the faculty of sight. You are dead until God gives you Life. You are a hopeless cripple until God does something for you and in you which you can never do. Unless God does this thing, unless this act takes place, well, there you lie. Spiritually, that is how you are. You can contribute nothing....
This is one of the great lessons that you and I have to learn in the School of Christ, that God begins for His glory at zero, and God will take pains through the Holy Spirit to make us to know that it is zero; that is, to bring us consciously to zero, and make us realize it is all with Him.... Have we got settled on this? We take so long to learn these basic elementary lessons. We do still cling to some sort of idea that we can produce something, and all our miserable days are simply the result of still hoping that we can in some way provide the Lord with something. Not being able to find it, but breaking down all the time, we get miserable, perfectly miserable. It takes us so long to come to the place where we do fully and finally settle this matter, that if we lived as long as ever man lived on this earth, we shall not be able to contribute one iota which can be acceptable to God, and which He can take and use for our salvation, for our sanctification, for our glorification, not a bit. All that He can use is His Son, and the measure of our ultimate glory will be the measure of Christ in us, just that.
He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. § It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. § I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. § We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. § How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. § Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” … For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. § “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” … This He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.
“Try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” § If you … being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! § Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” § You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness" (Heb. 5:13).
The Reformation, for all of its rise from Rome, to this day has never really gotten off the ground.
"Almost all the theology of the various creeds of Christendom' dates back to the Reformation, which went triumphantly to the end of Romans Five, and, so far as theological development or presentation of the truth was concerned, stopped there. Therefore, you must not regard yourself as bound to accept all that legal doctrine of sanctification, which has been and still is predominantly, the sine qua non of orthodox belief." -W.R.N.
"The contrast is painful in the extreme between the uniform language of the New Testament about Christians as thus called to worship in liberty and joy and nearness to the Father, and that of liturgies ancient and modern; and this because the results of redemption soon became merged and hidden in Jewish forms, and the law was recalled to the place of the Holy Spirit, and man in the flesh intruded wholesale into realms which belong only to those solemnly accredited as God's Church, the Body of Christ." -W.K.
"The liturgies of ritualism merely fall back upon the feelings of man, with a slight tincture of Gospel and a large infusion of law. There may be sublime language and glowing ideas, chiefly borrowed from the Old Testament; but in substance they are utterly beneath spiritual or even intelligent Christian use." -W.K.
"The only thing that God ever acknowledged in religion and ritualism was Jewish. It all had to do with the flesh. That is repudiated in the Cross; all is crucified: your life is now hid with Christ in God' (Col. 3:3)."
"But solid food belongeth to them that are of full age" (Heb. 5:14).
Dear friends, we are God’s children now (justification), and what we will be (glorification) has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself now – (sanctification) just as He is pure.
1 John 3:3
There is only one salvation, which is a gracious gift of God, and is accessed by faith alone. But salvation is ike a beautiful flower that buds; blossoms and then gives fruits. It’s a single concept with differing forms: 1) justification; 2) sanctification; 3) glorification. These three sparkling gems unite into the unique gift of God’s grace – SALVATION.
Salvation is triangular, as it has three distinct tenses – a past, a present, and a future -and many passages show a clear distinction between these three grammatical forms, but Salvation also has its roots in the Creator – for it is eternal and it is indivisible.
Salvation is ONE and yet salvation is THREE – for we were saved at a single point in time:- (justified) We are being saved through the passage of time:- (sanctification) and at a point in time, known only to God, we will be finally fully saved:- (glorified). There are not 3 salvations, but ONE gift of grace that is accessed by faith, in Christ, God’s ONE gift of salvation has THREE elements – 1) justification, 2) sanctification, and 3)glorification.
It is vital that believers understand the simplicity and the complexities of salvation, for a misunderstanding of salvation can cause misinterpretation of the Word of God. It is therefore essential to distinguish between these three stages of salvation. We need to know the meanings of justification, sanctification, and glorification.
There are many passages that distinguish between these three tenses of salvation, In 2 Timothy 1:9 we discover God saved us – a past event, that took place at a pointread more
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
The Lord knows those who are His.
2 Timothy 2:19
God will bring us to the brink of despair in ourselves, to attain His fullness in us. To achieve this a sentence of death must be planted at the core of our old life. It is despair of MY life and no hope in MY-self that God is waiting to discern in me, When we discover we can do nothing of ourselves, His Life starts to be formed in us.
God wants to achieve His full purpose in the life of every believer – but some refuse. God wants to bring out His supreme purpose in His own – but few hear His voice. God wants His life wrought in us – executed through Christ’s cross and resurrection.. and the Lord knows those who are His. He knows those who will respond to His call.
But God will not share His glory with another. He will wait until all opponents are gone. He knows we’ll never be effective in His work, while the natural life seeks supremacy. All our inborn assets, however fine and splendid, are alien to the New Life in Christ. All our natural resources and inbuilt indemnities are strongholds resisting His will.
Yesterday I walked along the canal bank and reflected on the ‘wisdom’ of Solomon. No-one has been more amazingly equipped with wisdom than this young king… yet his life which started so wonderfully became a bitter example of self-indulgence.
Wisdom poured out of His mouth and He astonished kingdoms with his sagacity, Yet he demonstrated much folly until recognising his foolishness and his vanity. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity – all in this self-life is vain, foolish, stupid folly, except to love God and to serve Him forever.
It is vanity to seek after riches and money – for the wealth of this world is perishing. It is vanity to hunt out worldly honour and acclaim –read more