To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,Ephesians 3:8(NASB)
Get a revelation of that to your heart by the Holy Spirit, and see its emancipating power and its sustaining power. And that is for present revelation to the heart. That is the thing which the Lord has been seeking to reveal to our hearts more and more for a long time. The point is this, that, inasmuch as that is the side of vision presented, you and I have to seek the Lord for spiritual capacity to see it. And that leads us to that other fragment in the same letter, from which we have just quoted: "That He would grant unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your hearts being enlightened...." The eyes of your hearts being enlightened! That is the other side of vision.
Will you pray this for yourself? Will you pray this for all God's people? When the Lord's people get a new spiritual Holy Ghost revelation of the Sovereign Headship of Christ, and begin to hold fast the Head, they let go of everything that is local, and personal, and different, and scattered on the earth. That is the place to which to come for unity. We cannot be at variance with one another as the Lord's children if Christ is absolute Sovereign Head in our lives. When the Lord Jesus gets the complete mastery as Head in our lives, then all independence of action, and life, and all self-will, self-direction, self-seeking, self-glory and self-vindication will go. These are the things which set us apart from one another.
You pass from Isaiah, and as you do so you remember that you have the results of such a vision seen in this man Isaiah. Such a vision immediately has the effect of humiliating him to the dust. Oh, yes, we lose all our pride, all our importance when once we see the Lord in glory. "Woe is me...." That is humiliation! Then, after humiliation, there is consecration: "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." And, after humiliation and consecration, there comes vocation: "...who will go for Us?" "Then I said, Here am I; send me."
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. § Abhor what is evil. § Abstain from every form of evil. § [Look] carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. § Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. § Such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. § In Him there is no sin.
I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
My brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil … Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. § Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The law is not of faith" (Gal. 3:12).
The law will break you; grace will make you.
"Nothing can be more sure than the steps of one guided by the Spirit of God and the Word of God, and yet nothing more complicated than to have to walk in separation' from all that exists around. It is indeed difficult to have to wind one's way through things so perplexing and so complex as the religious systems of our own day. We have to avoid on one hand organizations formed in imitation of things past (Israel-law), and on the other systems more characterized by anticipation of future things (Kingdom-law). We have to allow that such things were once given by God, and that they will yet again be introduced by Him; while invariably contending that they are positively opposed to His present working by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven." -J.L.H.
"With many Christians, it may be almost thought that the Lord Jesus was but the introduction to Moses. That His death procured the payment of sin's debt, so that the debt being paid, the believer might be in a position to keep the law, and that, accordingly, the law, and not the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,' might be the believer's rule of life." -H.F.W.
"The walk of the believer should ever be the natural result of realized privilege, and not the constrained result of legal vows and resolutions - the proper fruit of a position known and enjoyed by faith, and not the result of one's own efforts to reach a position by works of law.' All true believers are a part of the Bride of Christ; hence, they owe Him those affections which become that relation. The relationship is not obtained because of the affections, but the affections flow out of the relationship." -C.H.M.
"For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2:19).
“Nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord.” 2 Samuel 23:16
What has been like water from the well of Bethlehem to you recently - love, friendship, spiritual blessing? Then at the peril of your soul, you take it to satisfy yourself. If you do, you cannot pour it out before the Lord. You can never sanctify to God that with which you long to satisfy yourself. If you satisfy yourself with a blessing from God, it will corrupt you; you must sacrifice it, pour it out, do with it what common sense says is an absurd waste.
How am I to pour out unto the Lord natural love or spiritual blessing? In one way only - in the determination of my mind. There are certain acts of other people which one could never accept if one did not know God, because it is not within human power to repay them. But immediately I say - This is too great and worthy for me, it is not meant for a human being at all, I must pour it out unto the Lord, then these things pour out in rivers of living water all around. Until I do pour these things out before the Lord, they endanger those I love as well as myself because they will turn to lust. We can be lustful in things which are not sordid and vile. Love has to get to its transfiguration point of being poured out unto the Lord.
If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when God gave you a blessing you clutched it for yourself; whereas if you had poured it out unto the Lord, you would have been the sweetest person out of heaven. If you are always taking blessings to yourself and never learn to pour out anything unto the Lord, other people do not get their horizon enlarged through you.
Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
For we do not have a high priest Who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are – yet without sin.
The eternal Son of God became humanities Son of Man so that Adam’s fallen race could become the adoptive Sons of God. The hypostatic union, combining the undiminished attributes of the Godhead with the perfect human nature of the Son of Man – became Jesus… Son of God and Son of Man, so that as our kinsman-Redeemer He would save His people from their sins.
Christ had to be fully human in the same way that we are human – yet without sin, in order to become our kinsman-Redeemer. But His humanity fitted Him for so much more. Before His cross His incomparable, innocent life prepared the Lord Jesus to be our perfect Sacrifice – our kinsman-Redeemer – so that we could be saved from our sins. But following His resurrection, He was fully equipped to become our perfect High Priest.
The Lord Jesus had lived His whole life in the world of men. His miraculous conception, His humble birth in Bethlehem – His simple life in the little town of Nazareth where He laboured as the Carpenter, all prepared our Lord Jesus for His work on the Cross and equipped Him to become God’s sacrifice for our sin.
He lived His whole life in spirit and truth – doing only those things that He heard from the Father and in humble submission to the Spirit of God. He humbled Himself and learned obedience by the things that He suffered and He became obedient to death – even death on the Cross. The Lord Jesus lived His life and died His death in humble obedience – learning to say,read more
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
How like silly, straying sheep we are wandering from the safety of the shepherd. Though this is an accusation from Isaiah, it needs to be the confession of us all. Each of us pursuing dangerous paths and pleasures away from God’s protection – each going our own way, pursuing our own path – as sheep without a shepherd.
These accusations to Israel can be equally applied to the church of today, for all we like sheep have gone astray, in one way or another. And how often scripture compares God’s people with stupid, straying sheep.. heading for destruction; unaware of danger; estranged from the Lord.. solitary, unprotected and exposed to the dangers of this world – selfish sinners, separated from God, in desperate need of a Saviour. What a graphic description of fallen man; what a sad statement of humanity.
But sin has consequences and sinners have a debt to pay – and death is its due. Nothing but the shed blood of an Innocent can pay the required price for sin, and no-one is good enough, save the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Nothing but divine grace could intercept this death blow to fallen humanity.
It was against our Creator that we sinned and it was from God that we wandered, and He it was that outlined the only payment for sin that would utterly satisfy – a sinless days-man; a pure redeemer; a perfect man who was willing to die. But there was no one good enough to pay the price of sin, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God – for there is none good, not even one- for God alone is good.
And so God sent His Son into the world to reconcile man back to Himself. God Himself took on human flesh to become humanities perfect kinsman-redeemer:read more