Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1(NASB)
I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. (John 1:51 NLT)
No thought that God has ever expressed dies. There is no lapse of any thought that God has expressed. God expressed His thoughts in the very conception and constitution of the Israel of old. They were in all that was said about Israel and in all that was revealed as to God's purpose in Israel. God expressed His thoughts concerning Israel in a multitude of ways. That Israel failed to answer to the thoughts of God. His thoughts concerning Israel were never fully realized because of their rebellion. So that Israel was passed by, but God's thoughts were not put aside. All those same thoughts are taken up in a new Israel.
Jesus Himself becomes the inclusive new Israel. You remember that when He referred to Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, He said to Nathanael: "Ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51). So Jesus is the new Israel in person. All the communications of God and Heaven to man are by way of Jesus, the new Israel. All God's thoughts in the past ages are taken up in the Lord Jesus in the first place. All that was ever intended by God concerning Israel and was lost by them, is carried on in the Lord Jesus, and then transferred by Him to His companions and the companions of the heavenly calling – the new Israel, which is spiritual. This opens up a very big realm for you.
Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. § We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. § You have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven … 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. § Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts.
Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. § The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son … because He is the Son of Man. § The Son of God … has eyes like a flame of fire.
They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?” § These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes § There is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. § Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).
We must be truth-centered if we are to be Christ-centered.
"With an increase of knowledge and apprehension of the truth, there is a constant sense that we are not practically up to what we have received; and hence the measure of our strength is not the enjoyment of a truth, but the extent to which we maintain what we believe in spite of every obstacle. It is the way in which we surmount the difficulties in our path, and not the enjoyment of the truth, which defines our position." -J.B.S.
"We will not learn truth aright excepting in the deepening knowledge of the Lord Jesus. It is the lack of this which is the cause of weakness among us: bare doctrine is not connected with Him. When the flower is separated from that which is its source, its sustenance and support, it is henceforth doomed to decay. We have that which is lovely and full of blessing in the Lord Jesus; but if we are to know it as such, to prove its truth, to enjoy it practically, it must be in taking these things as connected with Him." -W.K.
"The Lord Jesus Himself, and not even truth about Him, must be filling our hearts if we are to grow. This is no unnecessary admonition in a day when knowledge of the most sacred truths may be intellectually attained by so small an effort. It is a happy and necessary thing to understand the Word of God, but, with that Word treasured, the aim of the believer's affections should be, That I may know Him.' Desires after the Lord Jesus, desires to live with Him in heaven now, and to manifest Him on earth, make the growing believer separate from the world, and separate him unto the glorified Lord." -H.F.W.
"That I may know Him" (Phil 3:10).
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Matthew 5:41
The summing up of Our Lord's teaching is that the relationship which He demands is an impossible one unless He has done a supernatural work in us. Jesus Christ demands that there be not the slightest trace of resentment even suppressed in the heart of a disciple when he meets with tyranny and injustice. No enthusiasm will ever stand the strain that Jesus Christ will put upon His worker, only one thing will, and that is a personal relationship to Himself which has gone through the mill of His spring-cleaning until there is only one purpose left - I am here for God to send me where He will. Every other thing may get fogged, but this relationship to Jesus Christ must never be.
The Sermon on the Mount is not an ideal, it is a statement of what will happen in me when Jesus Christ has altered my disposition and put in a disposition like His own. Jesus Christ is the only One Who can fulfil the Sermon on the Mount.
If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must he made disciples supernaturally; as long as we have the dead set purpose of being disciples we may be sure we are not. Jesus said, "I have chosen you." That is the way the grace of God begins. It is a constraint we cannot get away from; we can disobey it, but we cannot generate it. The drawing is done by the supernatural grace of God, and we never can trace where His work begins. Our Lord's making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are easy to us naturally; He only asks us to do the things we are perfectly fitted to do by His grace, and the cross will come along that line always.
Oh wretched man that I am Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thanks be to God, Who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Law of God is perfect and restores life. His testimonies are steadfast and sure. His Law makes foolish people wise and the one who delights in Him is blessed indeed. No one could argue that God’s Law was anything but good – yet it is insufficient. The Law tells sinners what to do, but it can do nothing at all to help them fulfil it – instead its accusing finger points at everyman, for none are righteous – not even one.
The Law may be perfect and man may desire to obey the perfect Law of God, but it is insufficient to save a guilty sinner – and we discover it to be a ministration of death – for it tells us God’s standard for man – but then shows us that we can only fail. The Law may be good and spiritual and the born-again life in Christ may desire to keep God’s commandments – but the old sin nature is carnal and in bondage to sin. This is why Paul failed when he tried to keep the Law in the strength of his old fallen nature, which caused him to cry out:- Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of sin – and free me from this life that is dominated by death.
However hard man tries it is impossible for him to keep the requirements of the Law. One only has to be born as a son of Adam to be condemned to death – eternal death. Natural man / unsaved man is dead in his sins and born under condemnation. No wonder the disciples asked Jesus in astonishment – Who then can be saved? No wonder Paul warned the Galatians of the Law’s restrictive nature, when he said: before faith in Christ was available to us, we wereread more
God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
How important it is that we realise the truth of the full gospel of God. If I asked 10 people to profess the Gospel.. I would receive 10 different answers. Each is likely to be correct up to a point and yet each one is likely to miss out some vital, important, glorious, eternal element.
God is one and yet God is three persons.. yet God is multifaceted in His beauty. The gospel is one, yet its truths are like so many cut faces on a sparkling gemstone. John 3:16 is a most loved and precious passage to all believers, and this verse is likely to be the most inclusive proclamation on the Gospel.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.. was the gospel reality to the Philippian jailer, and John the Baptist and Jesus both proclaimed the gospel of the coming Kingdom. I am the Resurrection and the Life.. was the great gospel the two sisters discovered – while Paul proclaimed ‘my gospel’ – which is the gospel of the grace and glory of Christ
Each wonderful truth is a constituent part of a multi-dimensional gospel, yet the full gospel in all its splendour has deeper depths than this and fuller truths – a gospel that we are likely to spend an eternity considering its astonishing wonders.
Austin Sparks’ proclamation of the gospel is so simple and yet so profound:- It is that the Son of God, Who is Son of Man, has come, and His coming, has expressed to the world (before times eternal...) the divine type of what God intended..His race to be – what His creation should be….that is God, contracted to the span of human life; God manifest in the flesh; combining His Own essential nature with another kind of creation called ‘man’. And in that combination producing out of Himself a type – a kind – aread more