even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),Ephesians 2:5(NASB)
The Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and guard you from evil" (2 Thess. 3:3, R.V.).
When once we see and accept His purpose for our lives to the extent that it becomes our will also, the details of His process cease to matter. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job. 13:15). “
The one purpose our Father has in view, in all His ways, is to conform us to the image of His Son. This may explain our perplexities as to the past; it will govern our behaviour in the present; it is to be our guide in the future. The chief concern of our Lord is not to instruct us about a multitude of details, not to explain to us the reason for the trials which we are called to pass through. He is working out everything to serve His one supreme aim in manifesting the character of His Son in His saints.” -H.F.
“The God-given experiences of the Spirit’s working within many a time passes away, and leaves the believer apparently dull and dead. This is only until the double lesson has been fully learned: (1) that a living faith can rejoice in the Living God, even when all feeling and experience appear to contradict the truth (Rom. 8:28, 29); and (2) that the Divine life only predominates as the life of the old man is held in the place of death, inoperative (Rom. 6:11a). The life of the Lord Jesus is revealed as His death works in us (2 Cor. 4:11, 12), and as in weakness and nothingness we look to Him (2 Cor. 3:18).” -A.M.
“While our Father is dealing with someone in discipline, when He is applying the Cross in a life, be careful how you sympathize with him. You may be taking sides with him against God. By such sympathy, you may, indeed, draw him away from the work of the Cross.” “
For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11)
I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you.... Ephesians 3:1
The measure of approximation to the fullness of the revelation has always been accompanied by a relative cost. Every instrument of the testimony has been laid under suspicion and reproach in a measure commensurate with the degree of value to the Lord, and this has meant that, humanly, they were limited to that extent. Many have withdrawn, fallen away, held aloof, doubted, feared, and questioned. But as Paul could say "My tribulations for you, which are your glory" (Eph. 3:13), or "The prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you Gentiles" (Eph. 3:1), so the measure of limitation in the Lord is the measure of enrichment in His people. The fuller the revelation, the fewer those who apprehend, or the greater the number of those who stand aloof. Revelation only comes through suffering and limitation, and to have it experimentally means sharing the cost in some way. But this is God's way of securing for Himself a spiritual seed plot....
All this may apply to individual lives in relation to the Lord's testimony. There may often be a chafing against limitation, confinement, and a restless hankering after what we would call something wider or less restricted. If the Lord has willed us to the place where we are, our acceptance of it in faith may prove that it becomes a far bigger thing than any human reckoning can judge. I wonder if Paul had any idea that his prison meant his continuous expansion of value to the Lord Jesus through nineteen hundred years? What applies to individuals also applies to corporate bodies, assemblies, or companies of the Lord's people scattered in the earth but one in their fellowship in relation to the Lord's full testimony. May the Lord be graciously pleased to cause the merely human aspect of prison walls to fall away, and give the realization that, far from being limited by men and circumstances, it is imprisonment in the Lord, and this means that all ages and all realms are entered through that prison.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary … He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. § Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. § You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. § Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest … “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. § Rest in the Lord. § He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works.
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace. § We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Jesus did not say - "he that believeth in Me shall realize the blessing of the fulness of God," but - "he that believeth in Me out of him shall escape everything he receives." Our Lord's teaching is always anti -self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.
When Mary of Bethany broke the box of precious ointment and poured it on Jesus' head, it was an act for which no one else saw any occasion; the disciples said it was a waste. But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said that wherever His gospel was preached "this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Our Lord is carried beyond Himself with joy when He sees any of us doing what Mary did, not being set on this or that economy, but being abandoned to Him. God spilt the life of His Son that the world might be saved; are we prepared to spill out our lives for Him?
"He that believeth in Me out of him shall flow rivers of living water" - hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. It is time now to break the life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to spill the thing out. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?
Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:47
Christ Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father and the unique Son of Man. His deity equipped the Son of God to be good enough to pay the ransom price for the sin of world – but only His humanity qualified the Son of Man to become our kinsman-Redeemer, so that He could pour out His life-blood at Calvary, as the one and only perfect human Sacrifice for sin – the Sin Offering. Not only was He the perfect sacrifice that went to the cross as an obedient Son in submission to His Father – but He willingly walked the way of the cross for the depth of love He had for His Father. He walked the way of the cross in willing, humble obedience. He suffered and died as a sweet smelling savour to the Lord. His life was a living sacrifice that was pleasing to the Father – and so He was raised up to become our perfect High Priest, Who ever lives to make intercession for us all.
It was the humanity of Christ that equipped Him to become our Saviour. The first man, Adam, who had been made in the image and likeness of God was the physical head of the human race – the progenitor of humanity – the original ancestor of all mankind, through whom have sprung all the nations upon earth. The sin in the garden of Eden was Adam’s responsibility for he was the man, created in the image and likeness of God, to be His son and to become the governor of the whole earth. It was through his disobedience to the Father that the entire race of man fell – and inherent sin was the shocking outcome that was to separate his sinful race forever, fromread more
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God”.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Reconciliation of sinners to God is a theme that traverses the pages of the Bible. Reconciliation is a reuniting of sinful man back into a tender relationship with God. It was conceived in heaven; applied in Eden – the prophets’ cry and God’s desire. Reconciliation is a burden that weighed heavily on the heart of Paul the apostle. Reconciliation is a responsibility that has been entrusted to the Body of Christ.
We are to be God’s voice of warning to a lost world that is dead in their sins. We are to be ambassadors of the Lord, entrusted with a ministry of reconciliation. The Lord has sent us forth to speak of the consequences of separation from God. We are empowered to warn but we have no authorisation to enforce or mediate. The responsibility of reconciliation between God and man is through Christ alone. Our duty is to blow the warning trumpet – but leave the rest in God’s own hand.
As ministers of the King of kings we represent Him in the courts of the world. As advocates of our God we are to proclaim His desires to those to whom we are sent. The Creator of the universe is using you and me as His ministers of reconciliation.
During His earthly sojourn Jesus Himself was the heavenly messenger sent from God.. declaring God’s will to a lost and dying race – obediently becoming the means of reconciliation between man and God. Christ became one Mediator between man and God by His perfect life-sacrifice.. and the Church, which is His body is entrusted with this holy office. The Church are to be His witnesses proclaiming this sacred message.
God made peace with us by grace, thru faith in the one perfect sacrifice for sin, and we are entrusted with a holy office – entreating the world to receive salvation. God lovedread more