Category Archives: Christian Living

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? (Part 1)

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

 IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? (Part 1)

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7)“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.

In our last post we saw what the dictionary describes a “messiah” to be; that being a “saviour or liberator” : somebody regarded as or claiming to be a saviour or liberator of a country, people, or the world.

We saw that to be a “Saviour” is: To rescue somebody or something from harm or danger: To conserve something or avoid wasting something or using something unnecessarily; protect or keep back, set aside something for later: To collect items for later: to collect anything usually in order to do something with them later: To spare somebody from something or from a situation or activity: To preserve or treat something carefully or stop using it in order to keep it from being used up or worn out: To redeem or free somebody from the consequences of sin. (John 1:28-29; John 15:12-13; Romans 5:8). And

To be a “Liberator” is: To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from political or military control or from severe physical (also spiritual) constraint: To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from traditional socially (also spiritual) imposed constraints such as those arising from stereotyping by race, sex, economic status, age etc. ( Isaiah 53:12; Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:6-10)

We also observed that for Jesus to be man’s “saviour or liberator” we needed to have some answers to the following questions:

a) IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?
b) IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?
c) IS JESUS EXISTING AS GOD ?

In this post we will be looking at the first of the qualifications of Jesus to be the “saviour or liberator” of man that being:

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?

To save or liberate mankind He (Jesus) has to be at least greater in strength than man and the power that holds man in bondage, (bondage to the gods of our age, ages past and ages to come if He tarries) and, at least be equal to the power that created man in the first place. So many in our world today, even some professing “Christians” still inhabit doubts about the claim by Jesus and His disciples in the early Church and modern day disciples that He (Jesus) fits this bill of “Saviour or Liberator”.

Jesus during His ministry here on earth made statements to this effect, statements that pointed to Him as God thus greater than man, Some of these are:

“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).

“Believest thou not that I am IN THE FATHER, and the FATHER IN ME.? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:10-11).

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as THOU, FATHER, ART IN ME, and I IN THEE, that they also may be ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as WE ARE ONE” (John 17:20-22).

These claims have been refuted in ages past, is vehemently in so our age and that will be the case until the end comes. C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”

There really is no half way in-between; either believe he is the Son of God or not.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-4)

 

“The Word” – LogosThe dictionary tells us that “The Word” means:

Divine reason: in Christian theology, the divine rational principle as epitomized by Jesus Christ

Christian holy scriptures: in Christianity, the Bible or Scriptures, considered as revealing divine truth

Dictionary definitions for “Logos” (Greek, “word,””reason,””ratio”):
Jesus Christ as divine wisdom: Jesus Christ, so named in St John’s Gospel, as the word of God, the personification of the wisdom of God, and divine wisdom as the means for human salvation
Word of God: the divine wisdom of the word of God

The reason why Apostle John used the phrase “The Word” to illustrate his point in this Gospel is the fact that God declares His eternal divine wisdom, intensions and purpose through His Word.

Right from the beginning of creation of the earth where the first utterance was – “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3); the psalmist said of this act of God -“For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalms 33:9):

God’s Word is sometimes spoken of metaphorically – “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psa. 107:20) ( see also Psa. 147:15, 18):

God’s Word is active, dynamic, achieving its intended results “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (Isa. 50:10-11):

His Wisdom God is personified in His Word, Wisdom tells us of His work in creation – “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.” (Proverb:8:22): The Angel of the Lord  is sometimes spoken of as God, sometimes as distinct – “And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.” (Judges 2:1):

His Name is sometimes spoken of metaphorically – “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” (Ex. 23:20-22).

The Word is the definition, explanation and expression of God; it is God defined, explained and expressed. The Word is not separate from God; this is not a situation or condition where the “Word is the Word” and “God is God” meaning that the are separate from each other . Rather, the two are one, as can be seen in John1:1, after the statement “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God“ the phrase that follows is “and the Word was God”.

In one of our previous posts, He alone is God; And He is God alone. Parts 1 & 2: In which we looked at the attributes of God, we saw that God is Love – God’s love for us is just as and backed up by His attribute of being immutable (and His other numerous attributes) and cannot be wholly comprehended by man except through His Son Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. If God’s love cannot be comprehended by man except through Jesus then there is a capacity in Jesus that is greater than man. A.W. Tozer in “I talk back to the devil” in describing to us, the connection between God’s love and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, gives a pointer to this capacity in Jesus that is greater than man when he said:

“Brethren, it is well for us to remember that as human beings we can never know all of the Godhead. If we were capable of knowing all of the Godhead perfectly, we would be equal to the Godhead. For illustration, we know that we cannot pour an entire quart of water into a vessel which has a capacity of less than a quart. So you could never pour all of the Godhead into the experience of any being who is less than God Himself.

A similar kind of illustration was used long ago by ancient fathers in the church as they argued for the trinity of the Godhead. They pointed out that God the eternal Father is an infinite God, and He is love. The very nature of love is to give itself but the Father could not give His love fully to anyone not fully equal to Himself. Thus we have the revelation of the Son Who is equal to the Father and of the eternal Father pouring out His love into the son, who could contain it, because the Son is equal with the Father. Further, these ancient wise men reasoned, if the Father were to pour out His love into the Son, a medium of communication equal to both the Father and the Son would be required, and this was the Holy Ghost. So we have their concept of the Trinity –the ancient Father in the fullness of His love pouring Himself through the Holy Ghost who is in being equal to Him, into the Son who is in being equal to the Spirit and the Father”

We can see that the “Word is God” implies that God in His person is not made up of or having only one part or element, He is triune. Not God the Son only but a Triune God. There might be a man named John. And John might be with the man named Kennedy, and John might also be Kennedy because John is the son of Kennedy, and Kennedy is the family name. Yet they are two separate persons.

“The same was in the beginning with God“.

“In the beginning”, that is, from eternity past, the Word was with God. Contrary to what is supposed by some, it is not that Christ was not with God and was not God from eternity past, and that at a certain time Christ became God and was with God. Jesus Christ’ deity is eternal and absolute. From eternity past to eternity future. He is with God and He is God.

Speaking of Melchizedek, who Abraham met and who blessed (Genesis 14:17-24), Apostle Paul gives another clue to the immortality and eternal existence of Jesus Christ when he described Melchizedek as:

“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually“.(Hebrews 7:3).

“but made like unto the Son of God;” If Melchizedek who is “but made like unto the Son of God;” is “Without father, without mother, without descent,” (human father and mother are inferred here) Being eternal, The Son of God has no genealogy (John 1:1). But as the Son of man Christ does have a genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38).

Genealogy

A study of history of families and the line of descent from their ancestors. It shows a pedigree or line of descent that can be traced directly from an ancestor or earlier form, especially that of a specific person or family: it can be in the shape of a chart or table that shows the line of descent from an ancestor or earlier form, especially that of a specific person or family.

“having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;” – Then Jesus Christ being a point of reference for Melchizedek’s immortality ( to elevate a  person certain to die eventually to the state of divinity or bestow eternal life on him/her) and eternal existence; must have existed and will exist eternally.

In our next post we shall be looking at the second part of this first of three questions asked to see if Jesus is the “Saviour” and “liberator” of mankind – IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? Meanwhile:

Prayer:

Our Father, you know the many idols in this our ever increasingly self centred world that loom before us each day – the gods of pleasure, selfishness, self-centredness, We pray that You deliver us from these gods, these false gods that will rob us of our faith, of our love for humanity. Make us fall more truly in love with the Lord Jesus who alone is the only true God, who has come to give us an understanding of ourselves and the world around us, and has come to teach us righteousness and how to love with a heart that is self-giving instead of self-serving. These things we ask, Lord, in this 21st century hour, knowing that we are exposed to the same dangers that they were in the first century, and so desperately needing your power. We ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

 

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7)“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. John1:1.

I will first of all thank our Father in Heaven and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for restoring unto me, the unction to carry on with this work. We will in this post have a look at the first in our classifications of who Jesus Christ is with regards to His Nature, His Pre-Existence and how He fits into the eternal purpose of the Master Planner.

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

In looking at the nature of Christ, we will be looking later on at what our society in this 21st century is saying about Him and obviously, but firstly in the past from when he lived here on earth. One of the joys of reading through the Gospels  is the theatrics (comical in a sense) they present, most especially when Jesus Christ is perceived to be blasphemous whenever He makes statements that point to His nature and His pre-existence; one would not be wrong to guess that some of the Pharisees and Sadducees of His time actually left their house to the synagogues with stones in their pockets with the strong anticipation that there would surely be an opportunity for them to use the stones when (to them) Jesus “blasphemes” by claiming that He is God.

There were concerted efforts by the authorities of His days and even more astonishingly, the religious leaders of His people to quash His significance; some of these instances were before He died on the cross (example in John chapter 9) and just after He died when the fruits of His death at the cross of Calvary began to be manifested in His disciples:

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it”. Act 4:5-14

The religious leaders, in their hypocrisy decided that the trend must be stopped:

“But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done”. Act 4:15-21

Jesus Christ, during His life here on earth had to constantly tell and remind the people who He was despite all the signs and wonders that He did at the time. One would have taught that while He did all the miracles and preached the powerful word of God all over the provinces around His home town, His own people would have realised who He was but they seemed to have more doubt about Him than the outsiders:

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief”. (Matt. 13:54-58)

“And they were offended in him” how did they become offended in Him? Matthew Henry commented:

Another thing they upbraided him with, was, the meanness of his relations; “He is the son of Mary; his brethren and sisters are here with us; we know his family and kindred;” and therefore, though they were astonished at his doctrine (v. 2), yet they were offended at his person (v. 3), were prejudiced against him, and looked upon him with contempt; and for that reason would not receive his doctrine, though ever so well recommended. May we think that if they had not known his pedigree, but he had dropped among them from the clouds, without father, without mother, and without descent, they would have entertained him with any more respect? Truly, no; for in Judea, where this was not know, that was made an objection against him (Jn. 9:29); As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. Obstinate unbelief will never want excuses.

Mark describes how He felt about the same incidence

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching”. Mark 6:5-6

Insomuch that they were astonished, and said, “Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?” Though astonished, they doubted His source; they doubted His source because they did not realise what the prophets had foretold them with regards to what the life of the coming Messiah would be like. If the ordinary people were not learned enough to realise this, the religious leaders definitely did as they must have seen it in the following passages of the Torah (old testament of the bible):

Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; Genesis 17:19; Numbers 24:17; Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Ezekiel 37:24; Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 72:9; 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:3; Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; ;Malachi 4:5-6; Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 9:1-2; Psalm 78:2-4; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Psalm 69:9; Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 42:2-3; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 61:1-2; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:14; Jeremiah 6:16; Isaiah 53:3; Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 118:22; Psalm 110:4; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1; Psalm 8:2; Isaiah 53:1; Zechariah 13:7; Psalm 41:9; Psalm 55:12-13; Zechariah 13:6; Zechariah 11:12; Zechariah 11:13; Psalm 35:11; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 53:5; Psalm 35:19; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 53:12; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 22:16; Psalm 22:7-8;Psalm 69:9;Psalm 109:25; Psalm 69:21; Psalm 109:4; Isaiah 53:12; Psalm 22:17-18; Psalm 22:1; Psalm 31:5; Psalm 38:11; Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10; Amos 8:9; Isaiah 53:9; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15; Psalm 118:17l; Isaiah 44:3l Joel 2:28; Isaiah 55:3-4; Jeremiah 31:31; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 65:1
Please see Prophecies of Jesus Christ as Messiah for A comprehensive write-up on these prophecies and their fulfilment.One would have thought that the public debate in Israel during the days of Jesus Christ on earth (may be their “Question Time” as we have it here in England) would have been focused on most of these verses of the Torah that touched on the prophecies about the coming messiah; as there was so much agitation for the messiah that would save them from Roman oppression. While they waited in anticipation for this “emperor-like” fellow to show up, they must have neglected the faithfulness of the God of their Father Abraham, in bringing to pass some of these prophecies while Jesus was among them. If they had marked the fulfilment of each prophecy as it came to pass, they would have been led to thank and praise God for being true to His word, hence this colossal unbelief (that marvelled even Jesus Christ Himself) wouldn’t have set in.

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them”

One could be led to think that these few sick folks that got healed could have believed but still have some doubts, because the passage tells us that unbelief was the cause of Him not doing mighty works in their midst. Not to forget that this was as I said earlier, a time that the Jews were going through oppression from the Romans and were eagerly anticipating the arrival of this ‘messiah’. These religious leaders, in instigating the people against Him, instead of actually pointing the people to what the Torah says about the coming messiah and leaving the people to make their own judgements with regards to who He really is; have a share in the blame for the people’s unbelief . As unbelief is a sin, they should have heeded Jesus’ warning:

“AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [[a]lowly in rank or influence]”. Luke 17:1-2 (Amp)

I want now, to go on to take a look at some of these pointers as to what the nature of the expected Messiah is and how Jesus is the Messiah. And to do this we will try to see if He fit into what a messiah should be.

The dictionary describes a “messiah” as “saviour or liberator” : somebody regarded as or claiming to be a saviour or liberator of a country, people, or the world.

“Saviour” (John 1:28-29; John 15:12-13; Romans 5:8).

To rescue somebody or something from harm or danger.

To conserve something or avoid wasting something or using something unnecessarily; protect or keep back, set aside something for later.

To collect items for later: to collect anything usually in order to do something with them later.

To spare somebody from something or from a situation or activity.

To preserve or treat something carefully or stop using it in order to keep it from being used up or worn out.

To redeem or free somebody from the consequences of sin.

“Liberator” ( Isaiah 53:12; Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:6-10)

To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from political or military control or from severe physical (also spiritual) constraint.

To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from traditional socially (also spiritual) imposed constraints such as those arising from stereotyping by race, sex, economic status, age etc.

So for Jesus to be the “saviour or liberator” of man we need to have some answers to the following questions:

a) IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?
b) IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?
c) IS JESUS EXISTING AS GOD ?

In our next post we be looking to see the answer to the question – IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?

Prayer:

We remember, Lord Jesus, how many times you said to your disciples, “O ye of little faith.” We hear these words again in our own hearts, Lord. Grant to us that we may have the courage to believe and to step out upon what we believe. Stir us up, Lord. Grant to us this ability to act on what we know. In Thy name, Amen.

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

The Knowledge of Christ, and of the Power of His Resurrection (ii)

Foresight of The Master Planner

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

Jesus The Same Today – From Humanity Back To Divinity – Man Brought Into God (A)

PLAN A2, BACK ON TRACKTransformation; The proving of Faith and The Glory of God

 

Back on Track – That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)

Jesus The Same, Yesterday, And Today, And Forever (Hebrews 13:8)

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:3-4)

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.(Ephesians 2:5-7)

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21)

We will start this PLAN A2, BACK ON TRACKTransformation; The proving of Faith and The Glory of God with a look at this sermon by J.C. philpot

The Knowledge of Christ, and of the Power of His Resurrection

J.C. Philpot: Preached at Zoar Chapel, Great Alie Street, London, on Thursday Evening, July 13, 1843

PART 2: The knowledge of the power of his resurrection. – “That I might known him.”

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10)

But the apostle in the text not only desired to know Christ, but also to know “the power of his resurrection.” What does he mean by the “power of Christ’s resurrection?” In order to understand what is meant by the power, we must look a little at the nature of Christ’s resurrection.

The reason why the Scriptures speak so much of Christ’s resurrection is, because it was, so to speak, the stamp which God put upon his work upon the cross.

The visible proof that God gave that Jesus was the Son of God, was, that he raised him up from the dead. As the apostle says,

“Declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead,” (Rom. 1:4).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the grand point which the apostles enforced in their preaching; and it makes the most prominent feature in every sermon recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the seal of his being the promised Messiah, the Christ of God.

It was the Father’s visible and undeniable testimony that he had finished the work which had been given him to do; and that being raised up by the power of God, the authority and approbation of God himself was undeniably stamped upon all that he meritoriously did and suffered.

But again. The resurrection of Christ is not merely the authoritative stamp which God set upon his work, but sets forth also the regeneration of the soul, according to those words,

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ.”

The Scriptures of the New Testament very much connect together the resurrection of Jesus with the regeneration of his people.

The Church had an eternal union with the Son of God as her Covenant Head.

She was therefore mystically crucified, buried, and raised up with Christ. The same power which raised up Christ from the dead works in her heart (Eph. 1:19-20); so, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, she is to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4); and being “risen with Christ she seeks the things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God,” (Col. 3:1). Had the Church not risen with Christ she could not have been regenerated in due time by him.

But the members virtually rising with their glorious Head, each in due season receives life out of him, as it says,

“Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise,” (Isa. 26:19).

Thus Christ’s resurrection is the cause of the soul’s regeneration; and regeneration is the inward proof of Christ’s resurrection, and of an interest in it.

“Because I live, ye shall live also.”

“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear,” (Acts 2:38).
1. As the resurrection, then, of Christ was the grand, visible stamp of God’s approbation of his finished work, the decisive witness which the Father gave that he was his only-begotten Son, the promised Messiah, the Christ of God;

to know the “power of his resurrection,” is to know the power of God’s approbation of the finished work of Jesus, and to have the stamp which God puts upon his dying love and atoning blood experimentally sealed upon the conscience.

So that, in knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection, the soul not only knows that the work of redemption is finished, that the Son of God has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, that he has “finished the transgression, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness” (Dan. 9:24); but in knowing the approbation of God to be put upon the finished work of Christ, it is experimentally brought to feel that its sin is entirely put away, and its iniquity for ever abolished.
2. But Christ’s resurrection, I observed, is also connected with the regeneration of his people. If Christ had not risen from the dead, all his people would have eternally perished; as the Apostle says, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished,” (1 Cor. 15:17, 18).

But when Jesus rose from the dead all his elect spiritually and mystically arose with him, and thus his risen life at the right hand of the Father becomes their quickening life, for “the last Adam is a quickening Spirit;” and “those who have been planted in the likeness of his death are also planted in the likeness of his resurrection.”

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection is to know the power of his risen and endless life in the soul, and to feel the quickening energy and efficacy of his Spirit creating vital faith in the heart.

Thus, when sunk in carnality, darkness, and death, the soul longs to feel a sweet and blessed revival, it desires to know the power of Christ’s resurrection. By virtue alone of his risen life can it arise out of that miserable state of barrenness and carnality into which it is so often sunk; and did not he forever live who is our life, long ago would it have sunk to rise no more. His “visitation alone preserves our spirit;” and when the soul pleads “Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee?” it breathes forth in that petition its desire to know the power of Christ’s resurrection.

3. But Christ in rising from the dead rose triumphant over sin. He sank into the grave overwhelmed, as it were, with sin; for according to covenant engagement, God the Father, in making his soul a sacrifice for sin, caused to meet upon him the iniquities of all his redeemed; and in bearing their iniquities he poured out his soul unto death. But when Jesus rose from the dead all the sins of his church were left in the sepulcher.

The reproach of Israel was rolled away with the stone that was rolled from the tomb where the Lord lay; and he rose as a justified person, as the apostle says, “justified in the Spirit,” (1 Tim. 3:16); and therefore the Lord said in prophecy, “He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?”

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection is to be delivered from the guilt, filth, and power of sin in the conscience.

Thus the knowledge of the pardon of sin is intimately and experimentally connected with the power of Christ’s resurrection.

God the Father has connected together the justification of the Head and the members, for “Christ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” In desiring, then, to know the power of Christ’s resurrection, the soul desires to feel and know that “by him it is justified from all things from which it could not be justified by the law of Moses.” As therefore when Jesus rose from the tomb, the sentence of justification was openly and visibly pronounced upon him,

so when his resurrection is felt in the soul, a sentence of justification is passed in the conscience; and to know this is to know “the power of his resurrection.”

4. But when Jesus rose from the dead, it was not to tarry here below. His words to his sorrowing disciples were, “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you,” (John 16:7). And again, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Thus he rose from the dead that he might ascend to his Father and their Father, to his God and their God; and that his risen life might be their spiritual life. According to those words, “When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory,” (Col. 3:4). And therefore the Apostle says,

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me, (Gal. 2:20).

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection, is to know experimentally the power of that life which Christ now lives at the right hand of God for us; that he may be “our life,” working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, and leading our souls up to himself that we may receive out of his fulness grace, mercy, and truth.

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection in this sense, is to know the communications of that grace which raises us up out of that deadness and carnality which so often seizes hold of us; and, by virtue of the inflowing of the life of Christ, to be experimentally lifted up and brought out of that pit of worldliness, carelessness, and sensuality into which we so often sink, and beneath the mud and mire of which we feel as if suffocated.

By the power of his resurrection we are kept from being altogether swallowed up and buried in the pool of our corruptions; by the power of his resurrection we are enabled to cry and sigh for deliverance; and by the power of his resurrection alone do we ever obtain it.

Jonah, the type of Christ, came out of the whale’s belly by the power of Christ’s resurrection; and never would he have issued from that dark and doleful dungeon, had not his great Anti-type already, in the mind of him “who calleth those things which be not as though they were,” risen from the dead.

5. Again. Does Death, the King of Terrors, ever alarm and terrify us? And is our mind sometimes perplexed how we shall be able to face this solemn messenger, who comes to summon us into the presence of God? To know the power of Christ’s resurrection is to know a deliverance from this King of Terrors; for Jesus has passed through his territories, and disarmed him of his sting: he has perfumed the grave for all his saints by lying in it.

Nay more; he has “abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel.” As the Apostle says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,” (Heb. 2:14-15).

Thus “as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For, as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all (that is, of the election of grace) be made alive.” When, then, by a blessed reception of Christ’s resurrection into the soul, the fear of death is taken away, this is to know the power of Christ’s resurrection.

6. Again. Do we backslide? Does the soul depart from its first love?

Is the heart overcharged with the cares of this life?

Have carnality, carelessness, lukewarmness, and worldliness laid hold of the mind?

To know the power of Christ’s resurrection is to know a spiritual deliverance out of this God-dishonoring state. Every touch of God’s spirit in the conscience, every look of mercy or of reproof, every going forth of the heart in secret prayer, every promise made sweet to the soul, every breathing of spiritual affection, every emotion of filial fear, every act of living faith, every sensation of godly sorrow—

in a word, every recovery out of darkness and death, springs out of Jesus’ risen life, and is therefore a knowledge of the power of his resurrection.

When we do not look to him, nor live upon him, how we faint and sink in the way. How the hands hang down, how the knees totter, how the feet limp, how the lips stammer, how the heart becomes weak as water; and how all our religion seems to have left us, and we can scarcely find a grain of godliness remaining.

Thus the strength of Christ is made perfect in weakness, and the power of a risen Jesus is as much felt in raising up the soul now as it will one day be experienced in raising up the body.

If any of you, then, are brought to that spot where the Apostle was when he breathed forth these desires, it is because you have been led experimentally and vitally into these two things

to know yourselves, and to know the Lord; to know sin, and salvation; the malady, and the remedy; your wretched, lost, and ruined state by nature, and what Christ has done for everyone who cometh unto God by him.

Those, then, whom the Holy Ghost thus teaches, and whom he brings to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, do not learn these vital truths merely in the letter of the word, but they have an inward experience of their reality and power.

But there is this peculiarity in the scholars of Christ’s school, that they never can make themselves masters of their lesson.

Unlike other pupils, they never “finish schooling;” and, after all the instruction bestowed upon them, die with their lesson but a quarter learn t. As Paul says, “We see through a glass darkly.”

Every ray of light serves but to manifest more our own darkness, and every fresh teaching convinces us more of our own ignorance.

What we have only makes us long for more; and thus all the saints can join heart and hand with the apostle, in desiring to know Jesus and his power of resurrection. And this will run through every state and stage of experience. Is the soul doubting and fearing? There will be an experimental longing to feel an interest in the blood of Jesus; and these earnest desires will vent themselves in prayer and supplication for the manifestation of mercy, peace, and pardon.

Does the conscience feel guilt, and lie as it were bleeding under the wounds made by sin?

The longing desire of the soul will be to know Jesus, in the spiritual manifestations of himself, to take this guilt away.

Does it feel darkness covering it like a pitchy cloud?

Its longing desire and panting cry will be to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, that by the shining in of the beams of the glorious Sun of Righteousness, it may see light in his light.

Do temptations assault the mind?

The soul desires to know him who was in all points tempted like as we are, and to feel the power of his resurrection by which he rose triumphant over them all. And just in proportion as he and the power of his resurrection are experimentally known, will the soul have a testimony, sealed with his own divine power.

A few sound Scriptural sentiments or a mere tissue of doctrines in the head will never satisfy one taught of God.

He must have an experimental enjoyment of their savor and power in his conscience; he cannot live comfortably, nor die happily without it; he must have the Spirit’s own witness in his heart, and the Lord’s own presence in his soul.

Thus, while some are wise in the letter, and are perfectly satisfied with a mere doctrinal knowledge of the truth, he feels deeply and daily his wretched ignorance when not sensibly blest with divine teaching, and wants to be taught of God;

while some are gathering together, with a wonderful deal of pains, heaps of bricks and slime to build up their Babel of confusion, he is seeking after the blessed revelations of Christ in his heart as the hope of glory;

whilst others are resting their salvation upon the bare letter of the Bible, he hangs all his hope upon the finished work of Christ as experimentally made known in his heart; and

while others are doing their works to be seen of men, and living upon the breath of the creature, he, in the stillness of his chamber, and in the depths of a broken heart, is looking wholly and solely unto the Lord.

How a living man can go on continually in a profession of religion for days, months, and years, contented with a sound creed and a few dreamy hopes, without any dissatisfaction with himself, or without repeated sighs, groans, and pantings after the Lord Jesus that he would make known in his soul the secrets of his dying love, and manifest himself unto him as he does not manifest himself unto the world, is a mystery which I cannot understand. It is a secret which I do not know, nor do I wish to know.

Sooner than be such a professor as that, I would make no profession at all; rather than be such a self-deceived, hardened wretch, with a name to live whilst dead, I would be a mere moral man, and make no pretensions to spiritual religion whatever.

I am very sure Paul would have not owned such, for he was quite decided “to know not the speech of them which were puffed up, but the power.” And what a contrast does he afford in his experience, as mentioned in the text, with such notional professors.

Though he had been in the third heavens, and had seen and heard there things which it was neither lawful nor possible for a man to utter, yet he does not come forth like a mighty giant towering aloft, and looking down with pride and contempt upon the dwarfs at his feet; but he drops down into nothingness, and says,

“Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given;”

“who am not worthy to be called an Apostle;”

“the chief of sinners;”

“though I be nothing;”

“that I may know him,”

as if as yet he knew nothing as it was to be known. And why was this, but because his eyes had been spiritually opened to see the unsearchable riches of the Lord of life and glory; and one view of them had filled him with a deep sense of his own ignorance.

But what a contrast does his experience form with the state of those who are wise in the letter of truth, but despise and ridicule all experience and the work of God in the heart. And what a contrast does his childlike teachability and his humble lying at the foot of the cross, present to the dead confidence and hardened presumption of many modern professors!

I wonder how many in this congregation are in the same spot with the Apostle Paul! How many as they lie on their midnight couch are panting after a knowledge of Jesus by his own special manifestations of himself! How many find the world, and the spirit of it, embittered to them, so that they can find neither rest nor happiness in it, and therefore seek it all at the foot of the cross? How many, driven out of every false refuge and lying hope, are anchoring their eternal all on the love and blood of the Lamb! Now all God’s people are brought to this point in their experience sooner or later.

They are all brought to know their own sinfulness, ignorance, and helplessness. And when their eyes are thus anointed with eye-salve to discover their own wretchedness, the same unction from the Holy One reveals to them what Christ has done to save them from it. They learn by this sacred teaching their own iniquity, and his atoning blood; their misery, and the bliss and blessedness which is secured up in him. And when these two extremes meet in the quickened soul, it is brought in one and the same moment, while it debases itself, to exalt the Lord of life and glory. And while it thus sinks down in the depth of creature wretchedness, it learns to glory in the Lord Jesus alone, as its “all in all,” and “as God over all, blessed for evermore.” Amen.

 O Lord, we pray that You will continually bring us to know  our sinfulness, ignorance, and helplessness; that our eyes may be anointed with eye-salve to discover our own wretchedness, We pray that You will also let the Holy Spirit continually reveal to us what You have done to save us from it. open the eye of our heart to see our own iniquity, and Your atoning blood; our misery, and the bliss and blessedness which is secured up in You. Amen

The Knowledge of Christ, and of the Power of His Resurrection (i & ii)

Foresight of The Master Planner

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

Jesus The Same Today – From Humanity Back To Divinity – Man Brought Into God (A)

PLAN A2, BACK ON TRACKTransformation; The proving of Faith and The Glory of God

 

Back on Track – That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)

Jesus The Same, Yesterday, And Today, And Forever (Hebrews 13:8)

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:3-4)

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved); And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.(Ephesians 2:5-7)

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21)

We will start this PLAN A2, BACK ON TRACKTransformation; The proving of Faith and The Glory of God with a look at this sermon by J.C. philpot

The Knowledge of Christ, and of the Power of His Resurrection

J.C. Philpot: Preached at Zoar Chapel, Great Alie Street, London, on Thursday Evening, July 13, 1843

PART 1: The knowledge of Christ, Jesus – “That I might known him.”

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10)

When God created man in his own image, after his own likeness, and placed him in the garden of Eden, he gave him this one prohibition,

“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” (Gen. 2:16, 17).

God thus prohibited Adam from seeking the knowledge of good and evil: he was to be fully satisfied with knowing his Creator, and not to grasp at any other knowledge than that which was contained in God himself. When Satan, then, tempted the woman, it was by holding out some advantage as the fruit of disobedience. His words were,

“God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,” (Gen. 3:5).

Elevation into God-ship and into knowledge, as yet unattained to, was the bait that the arch-deceiver laid before her, the peculiar temptation that he presented to her mind. And the Holy Ghost has revealed how that temptation worked:

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat,” (v. 6).

Now there were three things that worked with, and constituted the chief force of this temptation.

First, that “the tree was good for food.”

Secondly, that “it was pleasant to the eyes.” And

Thirdly, “that it was to be desired to make one wise.”

To this temptation she listened; and as it entered into her mind, it bred these three desires working powerfully together—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the lust of knowledge. Under their united power she fell, and by so doing disobeyed the solemn prohibition of God. And then, by drawing the man, in whom as their covenant-head all his posterity stood, into the committal of the same sin with herself, she involved the whole human race in one common gulf of misery and ruin.

And alas! this “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” has been in the heart of man ever since, striking its deep root downward, and bringing forth its bitter fruit upward: for the thirst which our first parents had after knowledge, at any price and at any cost, is still continually alive in their posterity, craving the same gratification. I can speak experimentally on this point; for I think few persons have had from childhood a greater thirst after human knowledge than myself. Nay, even since the Lord has quickened my soul, though fully convinced of its emptiness and worthlessness, I have felt the strongest temptations to indulge eagerly in the pursuit of it; and one of the greatest exercises of my mind, and what has often brought guilt upon my conscience, has been an inordinate thirst after the various branches of human knowledge, it being so suitable to my natural disposition, as well as fostered by the whole course of my education. But it is a seduction which draws away the soul from spiritual things, fosters the native infidelity of the heart, and leads it to seek its happiness in external things, instead of that which is to be found in the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ whom he has sent.

But this was the first and strongest temptation. And I doubt not that the Apostle Paul was similarly exercised; for if he had not naturally had a great thirst after human knowledge, he would not have sat as he did at the feet of Gamaliel, who was a man so deeply skilled in all the various branches of learning then pursued. But when he had once powerfully felt the hand of God in his soul, he was brought to see that all his attainments in human knowledge were mere vanity and emptiness. He deeply felt the utter nothingness of human learning to speak pardon and peace; and, by the mighty work of the Holy Ghost on his heart, he was brought to part with every creature attainment, and all human wisdom, for the knowledge of that one grand Object, which is the only one really worth knowing,

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

The Apostle was in this sweet and blessed frame of mind, counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord, when, under divine inspiration, he wrote this chapter. But it may be as well, before we enter into the experimental meaning of the words of the text, to trace out the work of grace which God was carrying on in his soul, and which brought him into that spiritual state of mind, so as to “count all things but dung that he might win Christ.”

He had told us, that those only were the true circumcision who

“worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

It was this last expression which led him to enter into his own experience, for he says,

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh.”

And then he tells us whence he might derive his fleshly confidence.

“If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more.”

He then goes on to enumerate certain particulars, which in those days the pharisaical Jews chiefly rested in as ensuring them the favour of God, such as,

“Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”

Well might he, then, on these grounds, as a blind, ignorant Pharisee, have had a feeling of confidence in the flesh; and till the day of his death would he have rested here, if God had not mercifully opened his eyes to see his own guilt and misery; and thus cut from under his feet the ground whereon he rested. He therefore goes on to say,

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Thus God, by a secret and powerful work in his conscience, not only cast down all his fleshly confidence, stripped him entirely of his natural religion, (See Holy Spirit & Salvation of Man) showed him the emptiness of every hope in which he had so fondly trusted, and by sending his holy law into his conscience, slaughtered him outright (Rom. 7:9); but also, he manifested to his understanding, and revealed in his soul a precious Saviour, and thus drew forth all the affections of his heart, fixing them wholly and solely upon Jesus.

He then saw by the eye of faith such loveliness and preciousness in Christ, that every other object of desire or affection faded away; and those aims and pursuits which once seemed his richest gain, he could now rejoice in and pursue no longer; they utterly sank in his esteem; vanity and emptiness were stamped upon them; and he counted them as absolute loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.

Before, then, anyone can experimentally enter into these words, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,” he must experimentally pass through something of the same process as the Apostle; everything must be taken away from him in which he once fondly trusted, every false hope must be demolished, and all creature good felt to be vanity and emptiness. These things must be wrought experimentally by a divine power in his soul; and their effect will be to bring him down into the dust and ashes of self-abasement. And when the sinner is brought thus to sink down before God into all the felt ruin of the creature, it is the work of the blessed Spirit to take of the things of Christ, and reveal them to his heart and conscience, and so fill him with love to the Lord of life and glory. Then everything else, as well as every other object of hope or desire, will sink in his esteem as dross and dung in comparison with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord.

We will now look, then, with the Lord’s blessing, at the two main features in the text.

I.—The knowledge of Christ.
II.—The knowledge of the power of his resurrection.

Part 1:  “That I might known him.”

But did not the apostle know him? Whoever possessed a tongue to speak forth greater or more blessed things concerning the riches of Christ’s glorious Person, atoning blood, justifying righteousness, and finished salvation, than the great apostle of the Gentiles?

Were these things with him mere doctrines and theories, and had he not in his soul an experimental acquaintance with the Lord Jesus?

Had he not received the secret communications of Christ’s dying love into his heart?

Yes, surely. It was the very manifestation of these heavenly realities which brought him to desire more of them, and more intensely and ardently to seek them.

The opening up of the treasures of Christ’s love and blood in his soul brought him to pant more earnestly after the enjoyment of them. He saw such unsearchable riches in Christ that he found he knew so little of what was to be known, felt so little of what was to be felt, and lived so low, and so much beneath the enjoyments which were to be had in Christ, that in comparison he seemed to know nothing at all. He looked at his present experience and saw how faint and feeble it comparatively was; and this made him vent forth his longing desires to know more of Jesus.

In order, therefore, to have the same desires after the knowledge of Christ which the apostle had, there must be the same teachings by the blessed Spirit in our heart which were given to him. For unless the same experimental knowledge of Christ is imparted in a measure to us, Jesus will be to us but as “a root out of a dry ground;” there will be “no form nor comeliness” in him, nor any “beauty that we should desire him.”

When, therefore, Paul said, “That I may know him,” he was brought to that point where God brings all his people, to feel thoroughly convinced in their consciences that no man has any spiritual knowledge of Jesus except by the special revelation of the Spirit; as he himself declares, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost.”

So when the Lord asked his disciples saying,

“Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” and they answered,

“Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias; or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Then Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

But what did the Lord Jesus then say?

Did he compliment Peter on the exercise of his reasoning powers? No;

but answered,

“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven,” (Matt. 16:13-17).

The same solemn testimony the Lord bore in those remarkable words,

“No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him,” (Matt. 11:27).

Nature in the exercise of all her faculties, and with all her reasoning powers, never knew anything experimentally of Christ.

The flesh may know him doctrinally, in the letter of the word, but it never knew him in spirit and in power, nor by experimental revelation, special teaching, and divine demonstration of the Holy Ghost in the heart.

Before, then, any person can say feelingly, “That I may know him,”

he must be brought to this point—that he never can know Christ by any creature ability, or by any exercise of the human intellect; that he never can receive such knowledge from man, whether it be from his own or from any other person’s instruction.

In order therefore that he may feel his utter inability to bring this knowledge into his heart, he must lie under the burden of this truth,

“No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

Thus these two things are absolutely necessary to be wrought with power into a man’s experience, before he can enter into the spiritual meaning of the text; first,

a deep sense in his heart and conscience of the utter inability of the creature spiritually and experimentally to know a precious Christ; and secondly, that

it is the work and office of the Holy Ghost inwardly to reveal the Person, blood, righteousness, grace, and love of Jesus.

And thus, the deeper the soul sinks in the knowledge of its ignorance, the higher it will rise in the knowledge of the Person and work of Christ; and the more the eye is anointed with eye-salve to perceive the ruin and misery of the creature, the more the soul will be brought to see that the glorious mysteries of salvation can only be realized by the special manifestations of the Holy Comforter, whose office it is to lead the child of God into all truth.

The desire, then, of the apostle was to know Christ, and to have an experimental acquaintance with everything belonging to and springing out of Christ.

1. He therefore desired to know the glory of his Person in the union of the Godhead with the manhood, in his complex character of Immanuel, “God with us.” This is a mystery which nature has never fathomed, and which human reason never can comprehend.

The more we look at it in the light of carnal reason, the more we are lost in utter amazement at this mystery; and after being, perhaps, tossed for a season to and fro with doubt and infidelity, and fully convinced that we are utterly unable to extricate our souls by sense and reason from the labyrinth in which they are lost, we are brought at last to this point, to receive the truth as a little child.

For it becomes sealed in our conscience, that the kingdom of heaven is not to be entered into by climbing up into gospel mysteries by the ladder of human reason; but, as a little child receives the first rudiments of human knowledge, not by doubting, but simply on the authority of its teacher, so must the soul receive the great mysteries of truth from the mouth of God with unction and power.

And thus the eye being anointed with eye-salve to see the union of God and man in one glorious Person, and the conscience being divinely wrought upon to feel what God speaks, the soul is no more left to reason about it, or to puzzle and perplex itself with the mystery, “How can it be?” but is made to sink down into the posture of a little child, and to receive with meekness a truth which is so sweet and suitable to its lost and ruined condition.

There can be no earnest desire to know Christ, nor any holy panting after a spiritual revelation of him, while the heart is pursuing worldly objects; nor can there be any ardent seeking after a sight by faith of his glorious Person, while the mind is only speculatively informed, or, as in the case of too many, the judgment merely enlightened, without any divine savor or spiritual affection in the soul. But he who is spiritually taught is at times not only panting with holy longing and intense desires to know Jesus as Immanuel, but also that this blessed God-Man would come down in his heavenly power, in all his sweetness and suitability, and take up his abode in his soul, conforming it to his own image and likeness.

2. But again. In desiring to “know him,” the soul desires to know everything connected with him, and which springs out of him. It desires, for instance, to know the virtue of his atoning blood, which is derived solely from the union of the manhood with the Godhead in one glorious Person; for if Christ had not been God as well as man, there would have been no virtue in the bloodshed upon the cross to atone for sin. But when the soul is brought to enter into the glorious mystery of an incarnate God, and the heart is drawn out to this Lord of life and glory as the centre and the object of its love and worship, then it is taught to feel the preciousness, and set a due value on the effects of Christ’s atoning blood, and know it to be, as the Apostle says, “the blood of God.”

“Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood,” (Acts 20:28).

As long as a man lies dead in nature’s darkness, he does not know, neither has he any desire to know anything of this fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. He has never groaned under, nor felt the burden of sin; he has not smarted under the bite of that adder whose sting is unto death, and which causes a living conscience to bleed at well nigh every pore. In order therefore that he may be taught to set a right value upon the nature and efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, a man must be made spiritually to feel the greatness of his iniquity.

Men talk of the blood of Jesus Christ as though any one could understand the glory of that mystery;

but the blood of Jesus Christ is only to be known experimentally by the application of it to the guilty conscience.

It is not for the whole-hearted, for those who are settled on their lees, and are at ease in Zion, who never groaned under the burden of sin, to know the balm of Jesus’ blood. The blood of the Lamb is not applied to any but to the sin-sick, broken, and contrite heart. And whenever the spirit is broken, and taught to feel the burden of sin, sooner or later it is brought experimentally to taste the preciousness of the blood of sprinkling.

And while the heart is thus opened by the Holy Ghost to feel its power, there will arise panting desires after a deeper acquaintance with its atoning efficacy and its cleansing power to purge the conscience from all its sin, guilt, and filth. Nor will these desires and this experience suffice for once only in a man’s life. For whatever he may have known of its efficacy and power, whenever any discovery is made of new sin, or any fresh breaking out of old, he will be sure to need a fresh application of the balmy blood of Immanuel to his conscience, as that which alone can cleanse and wash it away.

3. But again. In desiring “to know” Jesus, the soul that is anointed by the Holy Ghost to see Christ’s glorious Person and finished work, is also panting, as the Spirit is pleased to work upon it, to know, in personal experience and by divine manifestation, Christ’s justifying righteousness. What is Christ’s justifying righteousness to a Pharisee? to one dead in sin, or buried in the world? Until we are brought by the Holy Ghost to feel the guilt of sin in the conscience, and to know that we are utterly ruined and undone in ourselves, and stand naked and filthy before God, we cannot hunger nor thirst after the appropriation of that glorious robe of imputed righteousness which Christ wrought out and brought in, and which the Holy Ghost puts upon all those that believe in his name.

4. Again. The soul that desires to “know him” thirsts also after a blessed revelation of his dying love.

When the eye is spiritually opened to see the glory of Christ’s Person, it follows him as a suffering Mediator to Calvary, there to view him as a crucified Jesus, as the Lamb of God bearing our sins in his own body on the tree.

And as the child of God looks by faith to the bleeding Lamb, he desires to have a spiritual revelation and manifestation of the mystery of the cross to his heart, and by this dying love entering into his soul, he may “be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,” (Eph. 3:18-19).

The dying love of Christ spiritually felt and realized can alone wean the soul from the world, and make the things of time and sense to appear in their true light, as stamped with vanity and vexation of spirit.

The dying love of Christ, also, revealed to the soul, is the only thing that can make us love Jesus, and cleave to him with full purpose of heart; and nothing but this can make us willing to leave the world, and part with the things of time and sense that so we may “ever be with the Lord.”

5. But in desiring to know Jesus by the teaching and revelation of the Holy Ghost, the soul that is born of God longs after a manifestation of him in all his covenant characters and relations.

Is he spiritually held up before the eyes of the understanding as the great High Priest over the house of God?

As such is he spiritually longed after to be known, that the power of his priestly intercession may be felt and realized?

Is he set forth in the Scriptures as the Church’s Bridegroom and Husband?

As such does the heaven-taught soul desire to realize his presence, and cry with the Bride (Song 1:2), “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for thy love is better than wine.

Is he the Church’s Lord?

As such does she desire to bow at his feet, and say, “Other lords beside thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name,” (Isa. 26:13).

Is he the Church’s ever-living and ever-loving head?

Out of his ever-flowing and overflowing fulness does she long to receive, and grace for grace.

Is he her Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator, Brother born for Adversity, yea, Friend who sticketh closer than any earthly brother?

As the Lord Jesus in those different covenant characters and endearing relationships is presented to the eyes of the spiritual understanding, faith flows out towards, hope anchors in, and love clasps firm hold of him as thus revealed; and thus ardent desires and fervent longings are kindled in the soul to know him experimentally in all these relations, and inwardly realize their sweetness and power.

Every character that Jesus sustains has some reference to the felt and urgent wants of his people; and thus as they are from time to time brought into those circumstances of need and distress to which he in these various characters is suited, their desires flow forth toward him, that he would thus graciously manifest himself unto them.

And thus, whatever treasures of grace and truth dwell in him, “in whom it hath pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell,” as each are spiritually and successively made known to the soul, it desires inwardly and experimentally to realize them. Nor does it want the gifts severed from the Giver, or the love from the Lover; but as the enamored bride desires to possess the husband as the centre of her affections, so does the soul taught of God desire inwardly to possess Jesus as the centre of her spirit’s worship and heart’s affections.

O Lord, whatever it takes; imprint in the inner recesses of our heart that YOU and YOU ONLY!! ARE THE BOSS

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PART 2: The knowledge of the power of his resurrection. – “That I might known him.”

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” (Philippians 3:10)

But the apostle in the text not only desired to know Christ, but also to know “the power of his resurrection.” What does he mean by the “power of Christ’s resurrection?” In order to understand what is meant by the power, we must look a little at the nature of Christ’s resurrection.

The reason why the Scriptures speak so much of Christ’s resurrection is, because it was, so to speak, the stamp which God put upon his work upon the cross.

The visible proof that God gave that Jesus was the Son of God, was, that he raised him up from the dead. As the apostle says,

“Declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead,” (Rom. 1:4).

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the grand point which the apostles enforced in their preaching; and it makes the most prominent feature in every sermon recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the seal of his being the promised Messiah, the Christ of God.

It was the Father’s visible and undeniable testimony that he had finished the work which had been given him to do; and that being raised up by the power of God, the authority and approbation of God himself was undeniably stamped upon all that he meritoriously did and suffered.

But again. The resurrection of Christ is not merely the authoritative stamp which God set upon his work, but sets forth also the regeneration of the soul, according to those words,

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ.”

The Scriptures of the New Testament very much connect together the resurrection of Jesus with the regeneration of his people.

The Church had an eternal union with the Son of God as her Covenant Head.

She was therefore mystically crucified, buried, and raised up with Christ. The same power which raised up Christ from the dead works in her heart (Eph. 1:19-20); so, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, she is to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4); and being “risen with Christ she seeks the things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God,” (Col. 3:1). Had the Church not risen with Christ she could not have been regenerated in due time by him.

But the members virtually rising with their glorious Head, each in due season receives life out of him, as it says,

“Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise,” (Isa. 26:19).

Thus Christ’s resurrection is the cause of the soul’s regeneration; and regeneration is the inward proof of Christ’s resurrection, and of an interest in it.

“Because I live, ye shall live also.”

“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear,” (Acts 2:38).
1. As the resurrection, then, of Christ was the grand, visible stamp of God’s approbation of his finished work, the decisive witness which the Father gave that he was his only-begotten Son, the promised Messiah, the Christ of God;

to know the “power of his resurrection,” is to know the power of God’s approbation of the finished work of Jesus, and to have the stamp which God puts upon his dying love and atoning blood experimentally sealed upon the conscience.

So that, in knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection, the soul not only knows that the work of redemption is finished, that the Son of God has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, that he has “finished the transgression, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness” (Dan. 9:24); but in knowing the approbation of God to be put upon the finished work of Christ, it is experimentally brought to feel that its sin is entirely put away, and its iniquity for ever abolished.
2. But Christ’s resurrection, I observed, is also connected with the regeneration of his people. If Christ had not risen from the dead, all his people would have eternally perished; as the Apostle says, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished,” (1 Cor. 15:17, 18).

But when Jesus rose from the dead all his elect spiritually and mystically arose with him, and thus his risen life at the right hand of the Father becomes their quickening life, for “the last Adam is a quickening Spirit;” and “those who have been planted in the likeness of his death are also planted in the likeness of his resurrection.”

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection is to know the power of his risen and endless life in the soul, and to feel the quickening energy and efficacy of his Spirit creating vital faith in the heart.

Thus, when sunk in carnality, darkness, and death, the soul longs to feel a sweet and blessed revival, it desires to know the power of Christ’s resurrection. By virtue alone of his risen life can it arise out of that miserable state of barrenness and carnality into which it is so often sunk; and did not he forever live who is our life, long ago would it have sunk to rise no more. His “visitation alone preserves our spirit;” and when the soul pleads “Wilt thou not revive us again that thy people may rejoice in thee?” it breathes forth in that petition its desire to know the power of Christ’s resurrection.

3. But Christ in rising from the dead rose triumphant over sin. He sank into the grave overwhelmed, as it were, with sin; for according to covenant engagement, God the Father, in making his soul a sacrifice for sin, caused to meet upon him the iniquities of all his redeemed; and in bearing their iniquities he poured out his soul unto death. But when Jesus rose from the dead all the sins of his church were left in the sepulcher.

The reproach of Israel was rolled away with the stone that was rolled from the tomb where the Lord lay; and he rose as a justified person, as the apostle says, “justified in the Spirit,” (1 Tim. 3:16); and therefore the Lord said in prophecy, “He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me?”

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection is to be delivered from the guilt, filth, and power of sin in the conscience.

Thus the knowledge of the pardon of sin is intimately and experimentally connected with the power of Christ’s resurrection.

God the Father has connected together the justification of the Head and the members, for “Christ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” In desiring, then, to know the power of Christ’s resurrection, the soul desires to feel and know that “by him it is justified from all things from which it could not be justified by the law of Moses.” As therefore when Jesus rose from the tomb, the sentence of justification was openly and visibly pronounced upon him,

so when his resurrection is felt in the soul, a sentence of justification is passed in the conscience; and to know this is to know “the power of his resurrection.”

4. But when Jesus rose from the dead, it was not to tarry here below. His words to his sorrowing disciples were, “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you,” (John 16:7). And again, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Thus he rose from the dead that he might ascend to his Father and their Father, to his God and their God; and that his risen life might be their spiritual life. According to those words, “When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory,” (Col. 3:4). And therefore the Apostle says,

“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me, (Gal. 2:20).

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection, is to know experimentally the power of that life which Christ now lives at the right hand of God for us; that he may be “our life,” working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, and leading our souls up to himself that we may receive out of his fulness grace, mercy, and truth.

To know, then, the power of Christ’s resurrection in this sense, is to know the communications of that grace which raises us up out of that deadness and carnality which so often seizes hold of us; and, by virtue of the inflowing of the life of Christ, to be experimentally lifted up and brought out of that pit of worldliness, carelessness, and sensuality into which we so often sink, and beneath the mud and mire of which we feel as if suffocated.

By the power of his resurrection we are kept from being altogether swallowed up and buried in the pool of our corruptions; by the power of his resurrection we are enabled to cry and sigh for deliverance; and by the power of his resurrection alone do we ever obtain it.

Jonah, the type of Christ, came out of the whale’s belly by the power of Christ’s resurrection; and never would he have issued from that dark and doleful dungeon, had not his great Anti-type already, in the mind of him “who calleth those things which be not as though they were,” risen from the dead.

5. Again. Does Death, the King of Terrors, ever alarm and terrify us? And is our mind sometimes perplexed how we shall be able to face this solemn messenger, who comes to summon us into the presence of God? To know the power of Christ’s resurrection is to know a deliverance from this King of Terrors; for Jesus has passed through his territories, and disarmed him of his sting: he has perfumed the grave for all his saints by lying in it.

Nay more; he has “abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel.” As the Apostle says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,” (Heb. 2:14-15).

Thus “as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For, as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all (that is, of the election of grace) be made alive.” When, then, by a blessed reception of Christ’s resurrection into the soul, the fear of death is taken away, this is to know the power of Christ’s resurrection.

6. Again. Do we backslide? Does the soul depart from its first love?

Is the heart overcharged with the cares of this life?

Have carnality, carelessness, lukewarmness, and worldliness laid hold of the mind?

To know the power of Christ’s resurrection is to know a spiritual deliverance out of this God-dishonoring state. Every touch of God’s spirit in the conscience, every look of mercy or of reproof, every going forth of the heart in secret prayer, every promise made sweet to the soul, every breathing of spiritual affection, every emotion of filial fear, every act of living faith, every sensation of godly sorrow—

in a word, every recovery out of darkness and death, springs out of Jesus’ risen life, and is therefore a knowledge of the power of his resurrection.

When we do not look to him, nor live upon him, how we faint and sink in the way. How the hands hang down, how the knees totter, how the feet limp, how the lips stammer, how the heart becomes weak as water; and how all our religion seems to have left us, and we can scarcely find a grain of godliness remaining.

Thus the strength of Christ is made perfect in weakness, and the power of a risen Jesus is as much felt in raising up the soul now as it will one day be experienced in raising up the body.

If any of you, then, are brought to that spot where the Apostle was when he breathed forth these desires, it is because you have been led experimentally and vitally into these two things

to know yourselves, and to know the Lord; to know sin, and salvation; the malady, and the remedy; your wretched, lost, and ruined state by nature, and what Christ has done for everyone who cometh unto God by him.

Those, then, whom the Holy Ghost thus teaches, and whom he brings to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, do not learn these vital truths merely in the letter of the word, but they have an inward experience of their reality and power.

But there is this peculiarity in the scholars of Christ’s school, that they never can make themselves masters of their lesson.

Unlike other pupils, they never “finish schooling;” and, after all the instruction bestowed upon them, die with their lesson but a quarter learn t. As Paul says, “We see through a glass darkly.”

Every ray of light serves but to manifest more our own darkness, and every fresh teaching convinces us more of our own ignorance.

What we have only makes us long for more; and thus all the saints can join heart and hand with the apostle, in desiring to know Jesus and his power of resurrection. And this will run through every state and stage of experience. Is the soul doubting and fearing? There will be an experimental longing to feel an interest in the blood of Jesus; and these earnest desires will vent themselves in prayer and supplication for the manifestation of mercy, peace, and pardon.

Does the conscience feel guilt, and lie as it were bleeding under the wounds made by sin?

The longing desire of the soul will be to know Jesus, in the spiritual manifestations of himself, to take this guilt away.

Does it feel darkness covering it like a pitchy cloud?

Its longing desire and panting cry will be to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, that by the shining in of the beams of the glorious Sun of Righteousness, it may see light in his light.

Do temptations assault the mind?

The soul desires to know him who was in all points tempted like as we are, and to feel the power of his resurrection by which he rose triumphant over them all. And just in proportion as he and the power of his resurrection are experimentally known, will the soul have a testimony, sealed with his own divine power.

A few sound Scriptural sentiments or a mere tissue of doctrines in the head will never satisfy one taught of God.

He must have an experimental enjoyment of their savor and power in his conscience; he cannot live comfortably, nor die happily without it; he must have the Spirit’s own witness in his heart, and the Lord’s own presence in his soul.

Thus, while some are wise in the letter, and are perfectly satisfied with a mere doctrinal knowledge of the truth, he feels deeply and daily his wretched ignorance when not sensibly blest with divine teaching, and wants to be taught of God;

while some are gathering together, with a wonderful deal of pains, heaps of bricks and slime to build up their Babel of confusion, he is seeking after the blessed revelations of Christ in his heart as the hope of glory;

whilst others are resting their salvation upon the bare letter of the Bible, he hangs all his hope upon the finished work of Christ as experimentally made known in his heart; and

while others are doing their works to be seen of men, and living upon the breath of the creature, he, in the stillness of his chamber, and in the depths of a broken heart, is looking wholly and solely unto the Lord.

How a living man can go on continually in a profession of religion for days, months, and years, contented with a sound creed and a few dreamy hopes, without any dissatisfaction with himself, or without repeated sighs, groans, and pantings after the Lord Jesus that he would make known in his soul the secrets of his dying love, and manifest himself unto him as he does not manifest himself unto the world, is a mystery which I cannot understand. It is a secret which I do not know, nor do I wish to know.

Sooner than be such a professor as that, I would make no profession at all; rather than be such a self-deceived, hardened wretch, with a name to live whilst dead, I would be a mere moral man, and make no pretensions to spiritual religion whatever.

I am very sure Paul would have not owned such, for he was quite decided “to know not the speech of them which were puffed up, but the power.” And what a contrast does he afford in his experience, as mentioned in the text, with such notional professors.

Though he had been in the third heavens, and had seen and heard there things which it was neither lawful nor possible for a man to utter, yet he does not come forth like a mighty giant towering aloft, and looking down with pride and contempt upon the dwarfs at his feet; but he drops down into nothingness, and says,

“Unto me who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given;”

“who am not worthy to be called an Apostle;”

“the chief of sinners;”

“though I be nothing;”

“that I may know him,”

as if as yet he knew nothing as it was to be known. And why was this, but because his eyes had been spiritually opened to see the unsearchable riches of the Lord of life and glory; and one view of them had filled him with a deep sense of his own ignorance.

But what a contrast does his experience form with the state of those who are wise in the letter of truth, but despise and ridicule all experience and the work of God in the heart. And what a contrast does his childlike teachability and his humble lying at the foot of the cross, present to the dead confidence and hardened presumption of many modern professors!

I wonder how many in this congregation are in the same spot with the Apostle Paul! How many as they lie on their midnight couch are panting after a knowledge of Jesus by his own special manifestations of himself! How many find the world, and the spirit of it, embittered to them, so that they can find neither rest nor happiness in it, and therefore seek it all at the foot of the cross? How many, driven out of every false refuge and lying hope, are anchoring their eternal all on the love and blood of the Lamb! Now all God’s people are brought to this point in their experience sooner or later.

They are all brought to know their own sinfulness, ignorance, and helplessness. And when their eyes are thus anointed with eye-salve to discover their own wretchedness, the same unction from the Holy One reveals to them what Christ has done to save them from it. They learn by this sacred teaching their own iniquity, and his atoning blood; their misery, and the bliss and blessedness which is secured up in him. And when these two extremes meet in the quickened soul, it is brought in one and the same moment, while it debases itself, to exalt the Lord of life and glory. And while it thus sinks down in the depth of creature wretchedness, it learns to glory in the Lord Jesus alone, as its “all in all,” and “as God over all, blessed for evermore.” Amen.

 O Lord, we pray that You will continually bring us to know  our sinfulness, ignorance, and helplessness; that our eyes may be anointed with eye-salve to discover our own wretchedness, We pray that You will also let the Holy Spirit continually reveal to us what You have done to save us from it. open the eye of our heart to see our own iniquity, and Your atoning blood; our misery, and the bliss and blessedness which is secured up in You. Amen

 

Why I Left the Only God I’d Ever Known

Just a two minute prayer is not the beginning and end of it;

YOU HAVE TO KNOW AND BE ABLE TO DEFEND WHAT YOU HAVE BELIEVED

ALL PRESENTATIONS Gospel ofChrist Jesus

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST JESUS

campus3.1

Repeat after me.

I am a sinner. (I am a sinner).

Forgive me of my sins. (Forgive me of my sins).

I believe Jesus is the Son of God. (I believe Jesus is the Son of God).

Please come into my heart. (Please come into my heart).

Welcome to the Kingdom! You’re in!

That was it? Age 6. I was in?

No. I was fooled. For years I was fooled. I tried to read my bible; I failed. I tried to pray at night; I fell asleep. I tried to honor my parents; I turned my back on them.

I was evil. Broken. And still SEPARATED from my Father.

I have come to understand that word (separated) a little more now. It’s not something I climbed over when I prayed THE prayer. It’s not something I rinsed off my skin when I got baptized two years later. And it’s definitely…

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Called to God’s Kingdom – Part 1

 Foresight of The Master Planner

Called to God’s Kingdom – Part 1 

ALL HAVE SINNED

 “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory”. (1Thes. 2:12)

Why Redemption? Why PLAN A1

PLAN AThe Glory of God – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 – The Gospel of Christ – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

PLAN A2 – Back on Track – That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)

In the last section we looked at the original eternal purpose which could be summarised in the words of Watchman Nee: “The glory of God” (Romans 3:23); and “The glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). In our analogy of this eternal purpose, we have looked at PLAN A as described in Ephesians 1:3-6; we will now, in this post take a look at the consequences of Adam’s original sin that brought about, if I may say “a temporary deviation” on this plan A as stated in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.

Now, I had a very valid question asked about the last post with regards to the use of the phrases Plan A or Plan A1. I will quickly address this question phrased as: “What Plan A1? It was always plan A from the get go!”

Yes the questioner is right. It was always Plan A from the beginning and so it will be for eternity.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”. Rom. 8:29,30

I have used the term plan to indicate the different stage of this journey of “the children of God” having the image of the “first begotten Son”– it is not in any way aimed to imply that God changed His mind along the way or anything to that effect. Looking at the title we have given to this early part of Romans

1 – FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER,

I will like to confirm as in our last post, the omniscience of this great God of ours. Now the dictionary gives us the meaning of the three key words in this phrase as

Master:

A person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something. • Eminently skilled in. • Carrying on one’s trade independently, rather than a worker employed by another.

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5).

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof “ (Psalms 19:1-6).

The heavens declare His Glory and the firmament exhibit His mastery. Imagine the mastery He displays daily with the workings within the firmament; the sun and the moon know the exact time for each one to appear and withdraw itself at any point on earth; they are never late nor too early or call in sick for work except on an occasions when the Lord wants to show his omnipotence .

“Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day” (Joshua 10:12-13).

When He spoke in the beginning and man came to being He meant exactly what He said –

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26-28).

Yes! He spoke and it was done NOT that “it can” or “it could” or even “it shall be done” BUT “it was done”. All provisions made for all eventualities. “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast”. (Psalms 33:8-9)

Foresight:

  • Care or provision for the future; provident care; prudence.
  • The act or power of foreseeing; prevision; prescience.
  •  An act of looking forward.
  • Knowledge or insight gained by or as by looking forward; a view of the future.
  • Surveying – a sight or reading taken on a forward point.

When God brought Adam into the Garden of Eden, and put before him the “tree of life” of which he (Adam) was permitted to eat from; and “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” of which he (Adam) was not permitted to eat from. God being omniscient would have known that Adam in his human nature had the propensity to eat of the restricted tree. It is possible to have created Adam with the full capacity to obey God’s instruction to the letter; but then there is no true obedience without the freedom to disobey. So our God in His infinite foresight (encompassing all that the definition of the word can be), had already made a provision for Adam’s possible choice and the consequences that may follow –

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world “ (Rev. 13:8).

“Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

Plan: 

  • A scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc: developed in advance: battle plans.
  • A design or scheme of arrangement: an elaborate plan for seating guests.
  • A specific project or definite purpose: plans for the future.
  • To arrange a method or scheme beforehand for (any work, enterprise, or proceeding).

God’s perception of Adam’s propensity to disobey, as I said earlier, made it necessary to provide for corrections so that the ultimate plan, PLAN A, the eternal purpose is achieved –

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Isa. 46:9,10).

This He did through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour –

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (Heb. 1:1-5)

So that through Him the temporary deviation caused by Adam’s disobedience can be rectified; and the original plan of having many sons through the “only begotten Son” Who has now become the “first begotten Son” can be achieved –

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Just like Peter said of Jesus, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, have been taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed (Acts 2:23) –

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified” (Rom. 8:29,30).

This contingency plan He had already made before He put Adam in the Garden of Eden –

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:3-4).

So the use of the phrases PLAN A or B only illustrates the provision that the Lord had made form the very beginning.

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1Thes. 2:12)

God’s Kingdom is the domain, the realm where due to His attributes as we touched on in the last post, He exerts or exercises His power so that He may manifest, express or display His glory.

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Eph. 3:912).

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave us a hint on the importance of why we need to “walk worthy” of God in other to dwell in this domain or realm; when He urged us to vehemently seek the Father to help us fight against the one thing that can render us unfit for this realm – sin.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matt. 6:13).

If God has deliberately in His own infinite wisdom and mercy (1 Cor. 2:7-9), made us who He foreknew and had pre-destined and called to believe in (John 3:16) and be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ; And even from the beginning had also made provisions for any eventualities by justifying us through the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8); just so that we can be partakers of this mystery of exercising or exerting His glory (Rom. 8:29-30):

Then the word OBEDIENCE shows it’s prevalence again. Sin is the bane of this call to walk with God; just as obedience is what keeps us on track. Imagine taking a dog that will not obey you for a walk in the park or even more so a dog competition or horse race with a dog or horse who will not obey your instructions. C.H. Spurgeon said:

“You are God’s creature, and yet you have rendered to Him no obedience! You would not keep a horse or a dog that did not do you some service, or follow at your whistle”.

Sin, brought about by disobedience is the cause of deviation from the eternal purpose. This original sin by Adam caused the deviation from PLAN A as described in Ephesians 1:3-6. Adams choice to eat of the forbidden “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, when sin came in it found expression in an act of disobedience to God.

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”. (Romans 5:19)

So the first man’s disobedience to God’s instructions brought about a change in the rules of the game if I may use that terminology –

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:23) In our next post we will continue our look at The travails of Adam and the solution provided by the second Adam, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Meanwhile we pray:

Lord Jesus, never let me shut You out – Amen.

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 2

Foresight of The Master Planner

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 2

 PLAN A, THE ORIGINAL PLANThe Glory of God

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Eph.1:3-6)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

 We are still looking at the Eternal Purpose as mentioned by Apostle Paul in these early verses of Romans 1 (Vs. 1-7). In this post we will conclude on why He “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” because He alone is God; And He is God alone. We will also conclude PLAN A of the eternal purpose – The Glory of God (Eph. 1:3-6)

To remind us the eternal Purpose is:

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:4)

Watchman Nee, in The Normal Christian Life said:

“To man sin leads to condemnation and hell; To God sin leads to forfeit of Glory”

God wants us to walk before Him blameless and His attributes puts Him in a position to adequately check how blameless we are and when we are found wanting, He is equally more that equipped for the task of putting us back on track. What a Master Planner He is; to have seen from the foundation, the very beginning that man (in the first Adam) could make a mess of things and jeopardise the original plan of the Eternal Purpose and made a PLAN A1. The next set of attributes are:

God is Omnipotent –

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6).

He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills. God’s nature limits His will and as such He cannot do anything that is contrary to His being God, such as sin or ignore sin –

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Psalms 89:14).

There is nothing He cannot do except that which is contrary to His nature. There is no power that can confront Him or His children that is beyond Him: With His power he conquered sin and death. That’s why King David concluded –

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalms 62:11-12).

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

This is the reason why we can have cast iron believe in His promises and when the enemy comes with his trials, we are able like Job to focus our attention on Him and not our own power to overcome and say:

“I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2).

God is Omnipresent –

As with His infinity He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once –

“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:23,24).

What a relief this is – to know that The One who watches over us can be anywhere our adversaries are at any point in time –

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

His presence everywhere means He is there even when man sins and no one is present and there is nowhere we can hide to sin that He is not present. The Psalmist observed –

“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalm 139:8).

God is Omniscient –

Like God’s omnipresence, His Omniscience means that because He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, nothing can escape His knowledge –

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5):

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

Just as He knows everything that can be known of all creatures great and small, even the number of hair on everyone’s head –

“Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

He knows our intensions and motives for all our actions. No surprise man keep trying to build a database that is as big as God’s (man’s struggle to “DO IT WITHOUT GOD”), but then –

“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men” (Psalm 33:13).

God is Love –

God’s love for us is just as and backed up by His attribute of being immutable – it cannot be wholly comprehended by man except through His Son Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. A.W. Tozer in “I talk back to the devil” tells us of the connection between God’s love and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when he said:

“Brethren, it is well for us to remember that as human beings we can never know all of the Godhead. If we were capable of knowing all of the Godhead perfectly, we would be equal to the Godhead. For illustration, we know that we cannot pour an entire quart of water into a vessel which has a capacity of less than a quart. So you could never pour all of the Godhead into the experience of any being who is less than God Himself.

A similar kind of illustration was used long ago by ancient fathers in the church as they argued for the trinity of the Godhead. They pointed out that God the eternal Father is an infinite God, and He is love. The very nature of love is to give itself but the Father could not give His love fully to anyone not fully equal to Himself. Thus we have the revelation of the Son Who is equal to the Father and of the eternal Father pouring out His love into the son, who could contain it, because the Son is equal with the Father. Further, these ancient wise men reasoned, if the Father were to pour out His love into the Son, a medium of communication equal to both the Father and the Son would be required, and this was the Holy Ghost. So we have their concept of the Trinity –the ancient Father in the fullness of His love pouring Himself through the Holy Ghost who is in being equal to Him, into the Son who is in being equal to the Spirit and the Father”

God is love and that’s why the greatest power that man can possess is love –

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).

But then real love (God’s agape Love) in the world we live in today would make anyone look naive and stupid; real love as described by Apostle Paul –

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (in I Tim. 1:5).

The goal of our command is love; that comes from a PURE HEART, GOOD CONSCIENCE AND SINCERE FAITH.

If you look at these 3 components of love:

Pure heart – Hold no evil whatsoever against anyone.

Good Conscience – knowledge shows what is right or wrong, but it is the conscience that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it.

Sincere Faith – no matter how bad it looks in reality, I have this hope that it shall be well – “substance of things hoped for; evidence of things not seen”.

To have these 3 qualities in the world we live in today qualifies you as being excellently naive. But then it is these three qualities that equip any living being with LOVE, that is the greatest power on earth. Jesus warned us when describing the end of the ages:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12.).

It is also said that

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1John 4:18).

I have come to see the act of walking in love as one that can be compared to tightrope walking. Walk it through without falling, everyone applauds; but when the reality of learning to walk in love as in training for a tightrope walk show, you will sometimes fall off the rope at different points along the journey, and people will naturally jeer – it is a lowly point to be in, a point where one is vulnerable, a point where the ungodly sees a chance to take advantage, a point where you realise that

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

But as the saying goes “practice makes perfect” – Until we are able and have perfected the act of walking that tight rope (walking in God’s Agape Love) without falling off along the way; we just have to keep moving on; practicing how to walk in this wonderful attribute of our creator putting into consideration the advise of His Son Jesus Christ when He said

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).

I Tosin, personally would rather be misunderstood to be naive than lack the power of God. SO WHEN WE REALISE THAT:

God is Holy This is the pure loving nature of God separate from evil.

God is Life – He is the essence of the breathe of life

God is Spirit – It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit

God is Infinite – He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.

God is Immutable – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’

God is Omnipotent – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills. God is Omniscient – He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge

God is Omnipresent – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at onc

God is Love – God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change.

THEN WE CAN SEE WHY:

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:28-31).

What are you going through at this point in your life?

Do you feel God cannot see your troubles? Or even if He sees them, He has decided to turn a blind eye?

Or even worse still He is powerless to do anything about them?

We all go through this but the solution is to always wait on Him. When we put our focus on who our God really is, the grace to trust Him is bestowed upon us;

“Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

Then we can be rest assured that when we wait upon Him, we can never, I repeat “never” be disappointed. Ray C. Stedman asks about Isa. 40:28-31 in “WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD?”:

How many thousands through the centuries have taken those promises literally and found that to “wait upon the Lord” does this very thing. It all hinges on that one word, wait. Wait! The hardest word to learn in the language for some, especially young people. Wait. Let God work. The Hebrew word has a note of expectation about it: expect God to work, wait in expectation that God will move. It takes time, you cannot have it overnight, but they that wait upon the Lord shall find their own strength renewed. They shall find their spirit mounting up like the eagle in its flight, their souls able to run the gamut of emotions. They shall never be weary. And they shall walk (in body) and not faint.

What a wonderful God we serve.

Now that we have briefly touched The Glory of God, and some of the attributes that qualify Him to possess and pass on this glory, we will go on to look at PLAN A1 – The Gospel of Christ –

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself” (Eph. 1:7-9)

If PLAN A implies that we are Called to God’s Kingdom

“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (1Thes. 2:12);

Why Redemption? Why PLAN A1. This we will look at in our next post.

Until then Heavenly Father, for you have said in Your word:

“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not” (Isa. 30:15); “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass” (Psalms 37:7);

we pray that You will please multiply your glorious riches in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ unto us and fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that we may be able to seek that stillness of soul that will empower us to wait on You; so that we may have the confidence to say

“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalms 62:1-2).

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 1

 Foresight of The Master Planner

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 1

 PLAN A, THE ORIGINAL PLANThe Glory of God

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Eph.1:3-6)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

As we see before our very eyes, the warnings as given by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ about the end of the ages (Matthew 24) being played out; I will today like to say a word or two about some of the difficulties that confronts a person who finds him/her self in the situation Jesus warned us about when He said:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Some many people today still go to Church even more than twice a week or so but deep down inside they are beginning to ask the questions – is these all real? Am I getting anything from this? How do we deal with this situation? There is only one way to deal with the situation and that is to arm ourselves with the true knowledge of who our God really is. Ray Stedman observed in The Olivet Discourse of Jesus 1963:

“How then shall we characterize these events He (Jesus) outlines which are to occur in the intervening time before the end of the age is reached? They are of enormous importance to us for we live in this time before the end. If, as we have seen, the dominant note of this discourse is to warn against the allure of the false, the glamour of the phony, and to indicate the ease by which the uninformed may be led astray, then it is immediately evident that in these intervening events He is listing the perils of the age. These are the threats to faith, the powerful forces by which men and women, observing the events of their day, may be misled into confusion and error. These perils to faith are forces, deceptive in their character, which will mislead men throughout the whole course of this intervening time. They make it difficult to believe, they act powerfully upon men’s minds to turn them from the unseen spiritual kingdom to depend only upon the things of sense and time. Each peril, when once introduced, runs on to the end of the age.”

These perils only have one and only one pre cursor, ‘Man trying to do it his way APART FROM GOD’ Just like Adam and Eve did. Looking at the whole situation even as a Christian could make a person ask if God is seeing all what is going on, and if he does, what is He doing about it? Or even, what can He do about it? Is He still in control? Who or what holds the earth together in the first place? Who is in control of the earth?

These questions (when asked by a Christian) could be concluded to be a sign of weariness or worst still unbelief: But the basic truth containing fundamental answers to these questions, are to be found in a sound understanding of who our God is. You know as a child you would think your dad is well able to have a fight with everyone else’s dad and win – until the day you meet someone whose dad is probably a heavy weight boxing champion; then even as a child, you start to think rationally.

This knowledge of our God which reveals His overall omniscience and absolute sovereignty in all aspects of His creation puts us on the right track– like the Prophet Isaiah asks:

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isa.40:28)

“Fainteth not, neither is weary” How can He be? If he is Spirit, life, infinite, immutable, the truth, love, eternal, holy, immortal, invisible, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.

I will pick up on a few of these attributes to show why He “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength”.

God is Holy-

This is the pure loving nature of God separate from evil. This is our goal, to pursue this great attribute of God –

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16–25).

For “this then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).

“Wherefore we labour that . . we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

“We Labour – against the instigations; then followed by the accusations of the enemy of our soul; we labour in this 21st century, where the enemy daily perfects his devices to make us walk in the opposite direction to the holiness and righteousness of God; but our loving Father, instead of unleashing His wrath, the manifestation of His holy, moral character against sin upon us at a time when we fall short (unlike man’s unholy anger, it is neither impersonal nor acts on impulse); gives us the opportunity to consider our ways and confidently take hold of His word and confess that:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

Then we can face our accuser and exclaim:

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8).

Oswald Chambers captures this better –

“Wherefore we labour . . . .” It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one’s self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be “accepted of Him.” It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of labouring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master. Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being “approved unto God” may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says –

“Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under.” (1 Cor. 9:27.)

I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble? ”

We pray Holy Spirit, that You will continually knock on the door of our heart and prod our conscience to remind us of the need to daily compare what we are in private to what we are in public.

God is Spirit –

It is impossible to see Him with human eyes – His sending of His only begotten Son demonstrates His existence and desire to be sought by His creatures.

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24)

God is Life –

He is the essence of the breathe of life; it is a gift from Him that is (if lived in fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ) is not interrupted by physical death but attains perfection and full reality in eternal fellowship with Him the giver. God is unlike idols; He is the creator; He created His worshipers and not created by His worshipers –

“But our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.” (Psalm 115:3-9)

God is Infinite –

He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things. It is said of His Son Jesus –

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col. 1:15-17):

“The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:2-3).

King David observed –

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded.” (I Kings 8:27).

That’s why –

“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24):

If this is the case –

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

God is Immutable –

Change takes place by moving from one point or state to another – it has a beginning and end; God cannot change because He is the ‘Alpha & Omega’ (the Beginning and the End); He exists from eternity to eternity.

“But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:27):

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. (James 1:17)

Have you listened to Him say:

“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” Malachi 3:6.

Because:

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17-18).

In the next post we will find out why “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength”.

We pray Holy Spirit, that You will continually knock on the door of our heart and prod our conscience to remind us of the need to daily compare what we are in private to what we are in public

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

 

Journey From Mere Dust To Divinity

Foresight of The Master Planner

JOURNEY FROM MERE DUST TO DIVINITY 

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto The Gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:1-4)

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

THE ORIGINAL PLAN – The Glory of God Eph.1:3-6

Christ In You, The Hope Of Glory – Journey From Mere Dust To Divinity

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Col.1:26-27.

I remember when I was a child and I used to have this fascination about the hidden secret, or cryptic truth that makes a human being function. I used to stare continuously at people to try and ascertain what made them speak, see, hear, breathe. Although these are simple biological processes to someone who has a bit of knowledge of biology; to me as a child it was something that needed to be discovered. So knowing then that God was the creator of every human being I tried to analyse, I would raise up my index finger when my analysis hit the boundaries of the knowledge I was equipped with as a child. I raised the index finger to confirm that, there is only one Almighty GOD, and he is the only supreme being and the creator of the world (Being brought up in a Muslim family and this I believe was a Muslim thing). I have since then asked untold number of questions and had untold mysteries concerning This Almighty God that now as an adult (due to so much curiousity as a child) I have gotten used to not using my right index finger for anything other than what is directly connected to God. (Please if there are any religious folks reading this post; this is not a doctrine – just a personal thing).

There is nothing in this world that man knows everything about; the dictionary describes mystery as anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown: the mysteries of nature. Or, as any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation. Ray Stedman explains it thus:

God understands us so thoroughly that he has hidden mystery in everything in life. We do not know anything fully. There is always an element we don’t understand. Even terms we commonly use, such as love and joy and life itself, are basically mysterious to us. We know they are absolutely essential to our existence, but we don’t know what they are. We struggle constantly trying to understand what are the great realities they represent.

This is true in every area of our lives. Even physicists tell us that, hidden away in every physical manifestation of the world and universe around us, is mystery. The quantum theory, upon which much of modern physics is based, and which has unleashed the whole realm of nuclear fission, has at its heart, say the physicists, a principle of indeterminism, a hidden principle. It states that we never can discover fully the truth about anything; there is an element of hidden information about every subject we go into.

We are ever confronted with mystery. It is mystery which makes life entrancing, fascinating. And God understands this. It is why the Scriptures say, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search it out,” {cf, Prov 25:2 RSV}. God knows that we all want to be kings, that we are made to reign. And the glory of kings is to discover that which has been hidden.

Apostle Paul got some of these hidden information this time concerning our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:32) and made it known to the Church:

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ): Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Eph.3:3-5

That this mysteries, this many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects, through the church, might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph.3:9-11

We as Christians have to vigorously seek to know and in turn pass on these mysteries {1 Cor 4:1 RSV}; Ray Stedman continues:

The “mysteries” are the sacred secrets that God knows about life, which men desperately need to know. Think of this! This is what Paul says we Christians are — beginning with apostles, and including everyone who names the name of Christ — we are servants of Christ, and stewards, responsible servants, given the responsibility of dispensing the mysteries of God, of helping people understand these great secrets which explain life and make it possible to solve the difficulties and problems of our human affairs. To us is committed this responsibility. This is how Paul sees himself — as a steward of the mysteries of God.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles Now as Apostle Paul goes on to tell us in verse 32 of Romans 3 –

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

Sin is supposed to qualify us for the wrath of God; but He has instead of wrath prepared us unto glory. Watchman Nee explains:

“In Romans 3:23 we read: “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”. God’s purpose for man was glory, but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgment it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God in His omniscience, have total and absolute control concerning His purposes. From the beginning to the very end

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. Rom. 9:21-23

Ray Stedman explains:

What Paul is saying in all this is that God may have purposes and objectives that we do not see. And doesn’t he have the right to do it? And what if one of those objectives is not only to display his power and his wrath by allowing and permitting man to oppose him and to resist him, but also to display his amazing patience and longsuffering this way? Did you ever think about that? Did you ever think of how, for centuries and centuries, God has put up with the snarling, nasty, blasphemous, accusing remarks of men, and has done nothing to them? He has listened to all the cheap, shoddy, vulgar things that men say about him, and allowed them to treat him with hostility and anger and never does a thing but patiently endure it and put up with it. Paul says, “What if God does all that. What if it takes that kind of a display of the wrath of God and the patience of God to bring those of us whom he chooses to himself?” Something has to appear to us that makes us understand God. We are not being forced to come to him, we are drawn to him. Therefore we have to respond, and something must make us respond. Is it not the wrath of God and the patience of God that draws us on?

It is relatively easy to teach or listen to these mysteries of God but they don’t easily bear fruit. Apostle Paul prayed that –

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”. Eph.1:18.

Ray Stedman observed in Turned On By Prayer:

It isn’t enough simply to teach truth. It isn’t enough to spread doctrine. It isn’t enough to have a Bible class in which you are getting the students to learn certain facts from the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul, and the other great leaders of the early church, understood man much better than that. You never get the whole man until the heart is moved, until the eyes of the heart are enlightened, until truth is moved from the head down to the heart, and thus it has gripped the emotions. Then the will is properly motivated. Then the person begins to grow tremendously.

So what an encouragement this is to a ministry of prayer! Pray for one another. Pray for the class that you teach. Pray for your children — that the truth they are learning, both at home and at Sunday school, will become vivid to them. How many times have we allowed them merely to learn factual matters, and have never prayed about it, and then wondered why the truth doesn’t seem to affect them very much. Pray for your father and mother — that the truth they are learning may change their hearts so that they will be easier to get along with. Pray for your husband, pray for your wife — that this enlightenment of the heart may come. See how Paul understands this and how he stresses it with us. He says, “For this reason …” there is no use teaching you this truth unless I also pray for you, unless prayer changes your life so that you are ‘turned on,’ so that your hearts come alive with the truth of God.” And, if we do the same, we will understand that God has designed truth to make its appeal to the whole of our humanity, the whole being, the whole man, and we will become whole in Christ.

It is these prayers that we pray for one another concerning the mysteries of God especially that strengthens us internally –

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man Eph.3:16.

It is this prayers that also bring in the comfort that is the fruit of unity –

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. Col. 2:2-3.

Christ in you, the hope of glory Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for this revelation of the way we are made. Thank you for the wisdom of the Apostle Paul, who knew that you can’t simply pour out so many facts, write them down in a letter, and expect to have people grasp them and live by them. There must be the bending of the knee, the opening of the heart, the imploring of the Spirit, the bathing of the truth, the Word, in prayer, so that it becomes vital, living, attractive, compelling. Lord, help us to pray for each other. We need this truth greatly today, and we pray that you will drive it home to us with clarity and with power, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen

MAN’S OBLIGATIONS AS REGARDS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.

Foresight of The Master Planner

MAN’S OBLIGATIONS AS REGARDS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto The Gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:1-4)

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

MAN’S OBLIGATIONS AS REGARDS THE ETERNAL PURPOSE.

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1Thes. 2:12)

For this eternal purpose of (The glory of God being passed unto His children) to come to pass; there needs to be some obligations that should be fulfilled by all parties – that is God and man just as in any contract; the duties of the parties involved must be clearly understood. The principal task of man is obtaining the obedience of Faith as specified later on in chapter 16 of Romans.

Now to Him Who is able to strengthen you in the faith which is in accordance with my Gospel and the preaching of (concerning) Jesus Christ (the Messiah), according to the revelation (the unveiling) of the mystery of the plan of redemption which was kept in silence and secret for long ages, But is now disclosed and through the prophetic Scriptures is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, [to win them] to obedience to the faith (Rom.16:25-26 amp)

Charles Spurgeon observed-

“Obedience—what a blessing it would be if we were all trained to it by the Holy Spirit! How fully should we be restored if we were perfect in it! If all the world would obey the Lord, what a heaven on earth there would be! Perfect obedience to God would mean love among men, justice to all classes, and peace in every land. Our will brings envy, malice, war; but the Lord’s will would bring us love, joy, rest, bliss. Obedience—let us pray for it for ourselves and others!”

Man, right from the very first one, Adam have struggled with this command ‘obey’; just as Lucifer did from the beginning as his ‘Hercules hill’ pride will always lead to disobedience. Satan knew the root of his own fall and used the same to deceive Eve. What would have been the case if Adam had adequately instructed Eve on the instructions God gave Him about the tree in the Garden of Eden?

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

In other words,

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

“He that is down need fear no fall,

He that is low no pride;

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his Guide.”

Eve like any man today in the 21st century; being furnished with this information would have been equipped to align her thought life to obey God as “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Charles Spurgeon further observed that:

“Faith is the fountain, the foundation, and the fosterer of obedience. Men obey not God till they believe him. We preach faith in order that men may be brought to obedience. To disbelieve is to disobey. One of the first signs of practical obedience is found in the obedience of the mind, the understanding, and the heart; and this is expressed in believing the teaching of Christ, trusting to his work, and resting in his salvation. Faith is the morning star of obedience. If we would work the work of God, we must believe on Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.”

Disobedience by man stems from and is always in line with wanting to do it “apart from God”. In describing Eve’s experience in SOUL AND SPIRIT, Jessie Penn-Lewis said:

“The gilded bait held out to Eve in the temptation was ” Ye shall be as God ” (Genesis 3: 5). This was God’s very purpose for the sinless pair before they fell. It seems that the word ” likeness ” in Genesis 1:26 signifies to ” become like “, indicating that the wonderful potentialities breathed into Adam constituting the image of God, were meant to be developed in a process which would ” end in man being like his Creator “* in dominion and rule over all things. How tragic, then, that God Who alone could rightly develop and guide the use of these powers, should be shut outside the wonderful being He had created, and more terrible still that the very potentialities inherent in Him should now lie open to the hand of His enemy.”

She goes on to say:

“We cannot now trace through the centuries all that has followed in this particular aspect of the Fall. We see references in the Scriptures again and again which indicate that the Arch-Enemy of God and man knew how to use the resources he had gained, and how “sorcerers” and “magicians” with abnormal powers were to be found linked with the powers of evil. It was reserved for the ” Time of the End ” in which we live, for Satan’s objective in Eden, to be brought to its full manifestation. His purpose is to obtain the rule of the whole inhabited earth, and we are told that for a brief period he will be allowed to obtain his desire through a super-man he will endow with abnormal powers. Therefore the words are strikingly true of the present hour that “THE ` FORCES ‘ OF PSUCHE ARE MASSING AGAINST THE ‘FORCES’ OF SPIRIT”. For it is through the fallen soul powers of men that the whole world will be prepared, and made ready to accept the rule of the Anti-Christ. It means that for a time God will be ruled out of the universe. The potentialities given to sinless man in Eden, which when developed would have made him `like God’ in power of rule and dominion, will be brought out into activity in such a degree that man in his fallen condition, will believe he is ” like God ” and exercise these powers under the control and instigation of the devil. Spiritists already boldly say that” Man possesses all the attributes hitherto ascribed to Deity . . . “, and Dr. Gratton Guinness wrote years ago that the apostasy would “take the perverted form” of “the fallen life of Adam”, assuming what “belongs only to partakers of the Divine Nature”.

This throws light upon the present time in a remarkable way. How rapid has been the spread of the Apostasy from the faith of the Gospel, among the leaders of the professing Christian Church-the result of the use of the fallen “soul-powers” under the unsuspected instigation of the enemy. In other directions the great theme is” Psychology “, with ” discoveries ” of ” psychic ” forces undreamt of by mortal man, so filling the minds of men that they are indeed like ” children blown round by every shifting current of teaching “, led ” cunningly toward the snares of misleading error ” (Ephesians 4:14, Conybeare), little thinking that they are helping to fulfil a great world-wide scheme of the devil.”

The story of the great plot of Satan the Master Strategist, to capture men of science, men of business and men of religion, must be left to another paper. Suffice it to say that the scheme was to lead men to ” discoveries ” of ” natural phenomena ” under the name of ” Psychic Science “. A list of some of these ” discoveries ” is given by a writer* on Prophecy to which many more recent ones could be added. How they counterfeit in the soul realm the wondrous life of God in the spirit, cannot but strike those who know anything of the latter, and it is in this present development, and increase of the use of the powers of the soul, that peril lies for the children of God who are really ” spiritual “, and ignorant of these latent powers in the human frame.

The Churches ordained task as stated in Romans 16:25-26; is the obtaining of the faith among all the gentiles. This is to be done by faith that is nurtured and harvested not by the patronizing, casual, quick-fading faith that is characterised in our modern day witness. But one that is can be described by the Lord’s job spec for Apostle Paul in (Acts 9:15-16):

“But the Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel; For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:14-16)

Andrew Murray describes the core of Apostle Paul’s job spec as follows:

“Faith is regarded as an act of obedience, of commitment to the gospel of Christ. Hence the implications of this expression ‘obedience of faith’ are far-reaching. For the faith which the apostleship was intended to promote was not an evanescent [quickly fading] act of emotion but the commitment of wholehearted devotion to Christ and to the truth of his gospel. It is to such faith that all nations are called.”

So man’s principal obligation to the eternal purpose of God is simply “ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO THE TRUTH” as given and presented in the word of God. This advice Apostle Pauls gave to Thessalonians:

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (1Thes. 2:12).

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP – Are You Prepared?

HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP

Are You Prepared?

 

It has been a very fulfilling weekend; Although my own Christmas is not just on 25th of December (the pagan date) but everyday; everyday I remember what a favoured person I am to have God come down in my nature just to save me from my debt of sin, as Charles Wesley rightly puts it in “And can it be that I should gain” (first 3 stanzas)

And can it be that I should gain An interest in the Saviour’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain—For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

 

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies: Who can explore His strange design?

In vain the firstborn seraph triesTo sound the depths of love divine.

’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,Let angel minds inquire no more.

’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore; Let angel minds inquire no more.

 

He left His Father’s throne above So free, so infinite His grace—

Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race:

’Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me!

’Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me!

What a Master Planner He is to have seen from the foundation, the very beginning that I (in the first Adam) could make a mess of things and jeopardise the original plan of the Eternal Purpose and made a PLAN A1 . We will come to this later. Now still on the original eternal purpose the plan A which is: PLAN A – The Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Eph. 1:3-6)

I was privileged to listen to a series of messages from a retreat conducted by Pastor W.F. Kumuyi at the weekend and was blessed by them all; but one message that I really think should be played continually in the ears of every man and more importantly Christians is the one titled ‘HEAVENLY CITIZENSHIP’. (Click here for video or follow this link)

Here is an outline of the message:

 INTRODUCTION

The ultimate goal: God having Children that will live with Him forever.

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. (Heb. 2:10-11)

Greatest glory here on earth is not enough.

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Heb. 11:10).

SOME OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE WHO MADE IT INTO THE FAITH HALL OF FAME

They knew God has prepared a city that will only accommodate those who are prepared and that this world is just a temporary home: Even more glorious and everlasting is Heaven

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Heb. 11:13-16).

SECURING THIS HOPE CALLS FOR UNCOMPROMISING PURSUIT OF PURITY

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (1John 3:1-6).

PASSION AND PURSUIT OF THE HEAVENLY CITY

What is my No. 1 desire? What is the flavour of your prayer?

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. (Psalms 27:4).

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1Cor. 15:19).

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:36- 38).

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith. (Phil. 1:21-25).

That I may know Him

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:10-14).

Keeping self under control like an athlete

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Cor. 9:24-27).

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Heb. 13:12-14)

PROMISE AND PREPARATION FOR THE HEAVENLY COUNTRY

Where He is; we will be also

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. (1Pet. 1:3-4).

Heavenly preparation – What are you willing to do to make it?

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pet. 1:14-16).

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1Pet. 1:22-25).

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (John17:24).

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. (Luke 13:23-30).

LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. (Psalms 15:1-5).

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalms 24:3-5).

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matth 5:3-11).

PURITY AND PERSEVEARANCE OF HEAVENLY CITIZENS

Pursuit of purity borne by hope

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1John 3:1-9).

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1John 5:18).

Give diligence to make your calling and election sure

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (2 Pet. 1:3-12).

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. (Heb.12:14-16).

 

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE

Foresight of The Master Planner

GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto The Gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. (Romans 1:1-4)

PLAN AThe Glory of GodBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

PLAN A1 (Re-Route)The Gospel of Christ“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Eph.1:7-9)

PLAN A2 (Re-Route)Back on Track“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (Eph.1:10-12)  

God’s Purpose in Creation

In days like ours, when we are daily bombarded with news of announcement of different and ever new plans by our governments as to how to better run the nations; plans that are never made to see the light of day talk less of being implemented before they are being replaced by yet another plan. There is a Master Planner who is before any government and will outlast any government; whose plan has existed before creation began and whose Son’s government will outlast all governments. He had all eventualities factored in right from the beginning with back up plans for whatever went wrong (The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev.13:8b).

When witnessing, I have often been asked the question – Why do God have to judge us for sins we commit, when He could have in the first instance created us in a way that we cannot commit sin? In a sense – Is he just a tyrant who sits up there and uses us as pawns on His computer game? In reality, what such enquirer wants to know really is: what is God’s purpose in creation and what is His purpose in redemption? The answer to this firstly is, “The glory of God” (Romans 3:23): And Secondly, “The glory of the children of God” (Romans 8: 21). He created Adam (the original man) without sin but the ability to sin was in him. Watchman Nee puts it this way:

 “In Romans 3:23 we read:

“All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”.

God’s purpose for man was glory, glory, glory,  but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgment it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God’s purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory.The Lord Jesus was the only begotten Son, and as the only begotten He had no brothers. But the Father sent the Son in order that the only begotten might also be the first begotten, and the beloved Son have many brethren. There you have the whole story of the Incarnation and the Cross; and there you have at the last the purpose of God fulfilled in His “bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10)”.

To understand the purpose of God in creation, we need see what provision he has made for us to do this. H. Grattan Guinness in The Approaching End of the Age captures this well:

 “GOD’S REVELATION OF HIMSELF TO MAN HAS BEEN A PROGRESSIVE ONE.- TRUTH IN GENERAL HAS BEEN REVEALED PROGRESSIVELY. PROPHECY, THE DIVINE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, CONSISTS OF A SERIES OF PROGRESSIVE REVELATIONS.- PRACTICAL RESULTS OF THE COMPREHENSION AND APPLICATION OF THIS PRINCIPLE. GOD has been pleased to make three great revelations of Himself to man: his Works; his Word; and his Son, and these revelations have been progressive in character. Nature, the Law, the Gospel; a silent material universe, an inspired Book, a living God-man; these are the three great steps that have led from the death and darkness of sin to that knowledge of the true God which is eternal life. A fourth revelation of God, fuller and more perfect than any, is yet to come. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, who is the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, who “declared Him” when He came the first time in grace and humiliation, will declare Him yet more fully when He comes a second time in righteousness and in glory. Then the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Each of these revelations is in itself progressive. The earth and all that is therein, attained perfection by six distinct stages, during the six days of creation. The angels followed with adoring wonder the fresh unfoldings of Divine wisdom, goodness, and power, presented in the gradual formation of this great globe, and in its myriad mysteries of vegetable and animal life, though to human eyes nature was presented perfect and complete. But human eyes could see at first the surface of things alone; every advance in true science, enabling men to penetrate more deeply into the hidden wisdom of the work of God, has been a progressive revelation. And we have only begun, even now, to understand the glory of God, manifested in the universe. To us, more than to our ancestors, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth showeth his handiwork; and to our children they will do so even more.”

God has done this because as the Psalmist says:

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” (Psalm 89:14)

So Apostle Paul buttresses this when He says in this verses of Romans 1:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20)

Romans 1:18-20 contains tree important concepts, which together explain why the wrath of God against men and women is justified:

  1. The first is wrath itself. It is being revealed from heaven against the ungodly:
  2. The second is suppression of the truth about God by human beings:
  3. The third is God’s prior revelation of Himself to those very people who suppress the truth about Him.

These three concepts really need to be seen in reverse order – revelation, suppression, and then wrath. They teach God has given a revelation of Himself in nature sufficient to lead any right thinking man or woman to seek Him out and worship Him, but that, instead of doing this, people suppress this revelation. They deny it so that they can justify their immorality, if they are able to make themselves believe that there is no God who sees all things; then they do not have to follow where the acceptance of His existence will lead them.. It is because of this intentional and immoral suppression of the truth about God by human beings that the wrath of God comes upon them.

Sometime ago it was reported that a cabal of climate scientist who invented the so called “global warming” deception have be doctoring their figures to convince us that ocean temperature was rising at an alarming rate such that an apocalypse is just at the doorstep. This people have been carrying out their research with such impunity that they have refused to disclose the data that justifies their claims. How did we get to this point? How have they been able to string the people along up to this point? This point of the road that leads to Roman 1:25

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)

You see, The whole rational behind this is the ploy of the enemies of God to make man “WORSHIP THE CREATURE RATHER THAN THE CREATOR”. They have in the last few decades been working on convincing us the creator does not exist; it’s now time to move to phase 2 – WORSHIPPING THE CREATURE.

“Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north” (Ezekiel 21:4)

The prophet, Ezekiel here views the mere outward aspect of the indiscriminate universality of a national calamity. But really the same pestilence to the “righteous” would prove a blessing as a wholesome discipline, which to the “wicked” would be an unmitigated punishment. The godly are sealed with a mark, not for outward exemption from the common calamity, but as marked for the secret interpositions of providence, overruling even evil to their good. Although the message here is not just the salvation of the godly but the universality of the judgment that is to be brought into place.

“The righteous” – All righteousness will be tested either (as described in the dictionary) righteousness characterized by uprightness or morality – a righteous observance of the law: or morally right or justifiable – righteous indignation: or acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous – a righteous and godly person: As politically incorrect as it might sound, only the righteousness of God which he imparts unto us through His Son Jesus Christ will count as we see in Romans 5:

But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favour) has surpassed it and increased the more and super-abounded, So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favour) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 (amplified Bible version)

We will come back to this question of wrath of God later on in our study

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Holy Spirit & The Salvation of Man Part 1

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 6a

The Gospel of Christ – God By The Holy Spirit:Confirms Man As A Sinner

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

We will in this post look at some parts of the work of the Holy Spirit in the eternal Purpose of God as we continue with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In previous posts we have looked at God’s good will, His original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately being, PLAN A – The Glory of God – We saw that it is safe to say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

In our last post we looked at Justification : Before that, Redemption as part of God’s Regeneration of man. We saw justification as the “Act of God” by which (according to His promise) He approves us, based on His own standard of righteousness. This He can legally do without compromising His divine righteousness because of the finished redemptive work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. We saw that justification can only be obtained through the grace of God and not by our works.

Before we move on to Faith & Believe I’ll like to stop briefly to have a look at the work of the Holy Spirit in this eternal purpose of God especially the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man. We will be looking at this from the perspective of the specific activities of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man.

Salvation
What Is Salvation?
                                                                             

God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:
Confirms Man As A Sinner
Then
Removes His Sins and Their Consequences & Gives Him Grace For Righteousness

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 Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)

I this first part, The Holy Spirit & Restoration of Man Part 1 we will have a look at

God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:                                                                  

Confirms Man As A Sinner

It looks at:
Introduction – The Holy Spirit
Regeneration of Man
The Holy Spirit & Regeneration of Man
Salvation
The Components of Man (Body, Soul & Spirit)
Heart of Man
The Holy Spirit & Salvation
The unregenerate Man
The law

Introduction – The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) is a real person – the third person of the Holy Trinity: Father (God), Son (Jesus Christ) and The Holy Spirit. He is equal in every way as The Father and Jesus Christ, with the same attributes as they have. The Holy Spirit is our helper in all things, as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ promised to His disciples:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)

THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

These are of the same components as that of man, these components being, will, intellect and emotions (as we shall see later),

Will
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (I Corinthians 12:11)

Intellect
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

Emotions
Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)

FUNCTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He teaches us all things.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ….. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:16,26)

He is our indwelling Spirit of God.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16)

He exalts Jesus Christ in us, and as all truth is in Jesus, we are impacted with the Truth.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-14)

He strengthens us in our innermost being.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

SPECIFIC ACTIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He guides us in truth.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13)

He gives us victory over flesh (domination over our soul by that part of us which is at odds with God).
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

He speaks to us.
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ―Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. (Acts 13:2)

Then the Spirit said to Philip, ―Go near and overtake this chariot. (Acts 8:29)

He leads us.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

He convicts us sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (John 16:7-8)

Helps us in our weaknesses and prays for us.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)

He sanctifies us
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (II Thessalonians 2:13)

ATTRIBUTES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

He exists from Eternity to eternity
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)

He is Omnipotent. (being the Spirit of God, He has all power over all things at all times and in all ways).
And the angel answered and said to her, ―The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

He is Omnipresent. (being the Spirit of God, He is present everywhere at all times)
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Psalm 139:7)

He is omniscient (being the Spirit of God, He has complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding and perceives all things)
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (I Corinthians 2:10-11)

He is The Spirit of holiness.
And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4)

THE NATURE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

It is possible to blaspheme against The Holy Spirit.
Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. (Matt. 12:31)

It is possible to resist The Holy Spirit (in unbelief).
You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. (Acts 7:51)

It is possible to insult The Holy Spirit.
Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29)

It is possible to Lie to The Holy Spirit.
But Peter said, ―Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? (Acts 5:3)

It is possible to Grieve The Holy Spirit.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph. 4:30)

It is possible to Quench The Holy Spirit.
Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thess. 5:19)

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE REGENERATION OF MAN

Regeneration is broadly made up of three parts; Propitiation (by God); Salvation (by Christ): and Repentance (by man) ALL CARRIED OUT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. At any point in time, a man can either be regenerate or unregenerate: But all men are born unregenerate:

Jesus answered and said to him, ―Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus said to Him, ―How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother‘s womb and be born?‖ Jesus answered, ―Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you,  “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:3-8)

Every man from birth is in spiritual darkness until God through the Holy Spirit, shines light into his heart. This spiritual darkness in man is borne out of a lack of intuition and a communion with God; and until God shines light into a man‟s heart by the work of the Holy Spirit, this darkness remains. It could be outer or but definitely inner:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Outer Darkness in Man

This is darkness that may exist due to the fact that there is nothing to enlighten man about God and godly spirituality.

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.(Matthew 4:16)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ―How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:15)

But then there is no excuse because:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun ……… The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:1-4, 8)

But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ―Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world. (Romans 10:18)

Inner Darkness in Man

Inward darkness is one that is borne of natural rot and depravity in man’s mind. This is corruption in things pertaining to normal everyday living such as social, political, economic, moral or even spiritual or heavenly things; it may even come in the form of ‘churchianity’ or ‘religion’. The full blown effect of this rot or depravity is often held back by the common grace of the Holy Spirit.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

No matter how eloquently presented, spiritual things can never be understood by such a mind. We will look at this further on in this presentation:

The fool has said in his heart, ―There is no God.‖ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. (Psalm 14:1)

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them for Jesus‘ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

But then:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

He has sent us the Holy Spirit. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever ….. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:16,26)

THE COMPONENTS OF MAN (BODY, SOUL AND SPIRIT) 

Body – Physical Functions

God prepares man with a body that he may live for Him; with the expectation that, his (man‘s) body will be offered to Him and used to declare His Glory:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1)

For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God‘s. (1 Cor. 6:20).

According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:13)

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one‘s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).

Soul – Functions of Will, Intellect & Emotions

Will (Volition)

The will is the part of our soul through which we have our rationales and make choices. The process of decision making is (supposed to be) activated by the intellect (mind) though the information before us; our emotions could (if allowed to prevail) determine the outcome; but the will is the function of our soul that makes actual decisions.

So that my soul chooses strangling and death rather than my body. (Job 7:15)

Here we see that the choice made by the soul (of strangling and death rather than living); is coloured by the emotional pain that is a result of the picture Job‟s intellect (mind) paints of the state of his body.

My soul refuses to touch them; They are as loathsome food to me. (Job 6:7)

In this verse we see a choice being made by the soul (of not eating this particular kind of food) based on the fact that information from his intellect (mind) describes the food as being loathsome. It does not show if the emotion played a part in the processing of the information by the intellect (mind).

Intellect (Mind)

The Intellect (Mind) is the part of our soul where thoughts, ideas, concepts, reasons, understanding knowledge etc are processed. It contains our though faculties. The function of the Intellect (Mind) include:

Thinking, considering
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:2)

Knowing
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. (Psa. 139:14).

Remembering
My soul still remembers and sinks within me. (Lamentations 3:20)

Emotion             

The emotion is the part of our soul through which we love, hate, like or dislike, are joyful or grieved. The main aspects of the function of our emotions are of :

Sensing and affection:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Desire
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

Feeling and Sensing
Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‗Father, save Me from this hour‘? But for this purpose I came to this hour. (John 12:27)

Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4) Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:7)

Spirit – Functions of conscience, Intuition and communion.

Conscience

The conscience is for us to discern right from wrong, to justify or to condemn. Knowledge shows what is right or wrong but our conscience is that part of us that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it. The conscience is a part of our spirit:

In the unregenerate man, the conscience as a part of the heart is devoid of guidance from the Spirit of God; but restricted within limits by the grace of God. But at salvation the conscience is restored to perform it’s full functions as part of the spirit of man.

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)

Intuition

Intuition is the function of our spirit that enables us to receive knowledge, perception or conviction directly in our spirit, regardless of reason or circumstance. It is a function of “spiritual sensing” . The sharpness of our intuition is very much dependent on the purity of our conscience – thus, it is impossible for someone with a polluted or corrupt conscience to have discernment. It is more like the “USB Connector” between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. The intuition is that in us which enables us (unlike our natural instincts or soulish emotional feelings) to adhere to what the Holy Spirit is saying (God‟s instructions).

For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? (Mark 2:8)

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. (John 11:33)

When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 18:5)

This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. (Acts 18:25)

And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, (Acts 20:22)

For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men. (1 Corinthians 16:18)

Communion (Fellowship)

Communion is our contact, fellowship and our communication with God. Like any Father, God wants us His children to spend time with Him so that we can get to know Him. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

The woman said to Him, ―I know that Messiah is coming‖ (who is called Christ). ―When He comes, He will tell us all things. (John 4:23-25)

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. (Romans 1:9)

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Fellowship is the most important thing God wants from us. He wants us to come to know him – to be with him – to spend time with him.

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:9-11)

THE HEART OF MAN

Heart of Man is made up of Body – Physical Functions Soul – Functions of Will, Intellect & Emotions Heart Spirit – Functions of conscience ONLY. The heart is a composition of the first part of the spirit – the conscience and all three parts of the soul.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb. 10:22)

Being part of our spirit (the conscience); it can condemn:
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)

As it also includes the mind, the will, and the emotion, which are the three parts of our soul:
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ―Why do you think evil in your hearts. (Matthew 9:4)

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

It Rejoices:
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:22)

Has Sorrow:
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. (John 16:6)

It Purposes:
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. (Acts 11:23)

Has Intents:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

In God’s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man‟s heart is to give man the ability to:

Love Him – And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.‘ This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)

Also, In God‟s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man‟s spirit is to give man the ability to:
a) Be in constant contact with HimGod is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

b) Receive Him – But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

c) Hold or Contain Him – The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:22)

Finally, In God‟s eternal purpose, the intended main function of man‟s soul is to give man the ability to:

Reflect or Express Him – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Because our heart LOVES Him; our spirit is able to BE IN CONSTANT CONTACT with Him; RECEIVE Him; and HOLD or CONTAIN Him; so that our soul is able to REFLECT or EXPRESS Him in all that we think, like, and decide – in all that we are and all that we do.

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THE UN-REGENERATE MAN

The dictionary defines the unregenerate man as:

un•re•gen•er•ate

1. Not regenerate; not renewed in heart and mind or reborn in spirit; unrepentant: an unregenerate sinner.
2. Refusing to believe in the existence of God. : an unregenerate atheist; an unregenerate skeptic.
3. Unconvinced by or unconverted to a particular religion, sect, or movement; unreconstructed.
4. Persisting in the holding of prior convictions; opposing new ideas, causes, etc.; stubborn; obstinate: an
     unregenerate reactionary.
5. Not reformed; wicked; sinful; profligate; dissolute: an unregenerate way of life.

Conscience of the Unregenerate Man

The dictionary defines the conscience as:

“a knowledge or sense of right and wrong, with a compulsion to do right; moral judgement that opposes the violation of a previously recognized ethical principle and that leads to feelings of guilt.”

The conscience of the unregenerate man as we can see from the dictionary definition is governed by:

‘Compulsion to do right’
‘Moral judgement’

So in our modern day culture where there is a daily attempt to „program‟ our minds to fit into this agenda or the other; “compulsion to do right” and “moral judgement” are ever so subjective and moving further away from what the laws of God says. The world’s thinking overrides and drowns out the inner voice of the true conscience that God put within man.

To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. (Titus 1:15)

There is a conscience in all men by nature. Let this never be forgotten. Fallen, lost, desperately wicked as we are all born into the world, God has taken care to leave Himself a witness in our bosoms. It is a poor blind guide, without the Holy Spirit. It can save no one. It leads no one to Christ. It may be seared and trampled under foot. But there is such a thing as conscience in every man, accusing or excusing him; and Scripture and experience alike declare it (Rom. 2:15).

J.C. Ryle

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THE LAW (AT SALVATION)  

The Law Law means instruction – do‟s and don‟ts; the norms of society as enforced by the state. In the context of our topic here; “The Law” refers specifically to the compilation of decrees found in the first five books of the Bible.
This whole body of law was given the name Torah.

While the purpose of treating this topic of the law here is NOT about relying on keeping the law to be saved:

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

But it is sensible for any man to know the reason why God gave these laws to the natural children of Israel: The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile. Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked. (Psalm 94:11-13)

Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. (Psalm 119:164-166)

The Law

The distinct duty of the law is to reveal what sin is. („dangerous‟ and „unwanted‟ piece of knowledge at that):

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20)

So if the law causes our desire to sin to increase, is it then safe to say that the law is bad? The answer here by Apostle Paul is No!!, Capital No!!! For if not for the law, we would not have known sin in it‟s deadly nature; it‟s resistance against God; in it‟s habitual enmity against God; and the hidden lustings it produces within us.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ―You shall not covet. (Romans 7:7)

With regards to salvation; the law enters; deeply and widely opens it’s own commission of enquiry in the conscience of unregenerate man; but here the conscience is only working closely with the soul (devoid of intuition and communion). A kind of “fear of God” (unrighteous because it is devoid of intuition and communion with God) is felt.

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (Romans 5:20)

This ‘commission of enquiry’ headed by The ‘Lord Chief Justice’ Himself (of heaven, earth and all that exists); God Almighty, before whom nothing, absolutely nothing is hidden: Because He is:

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In our next post please look out for – God, According To His Will By The Holy Spirit:  Removes His Sins and Their Consequences & Gives Him Grace For Righteousness.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Holy Spirit you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need as The Holy Spirit would have been pointing out to you while you read the post.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this REPENTANTLY (Having taken time to bring your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

JUSTIFICATION – You’re Not Guilty!! Says God

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ – JUSTIFICATION – You’re Not Guilty!! Says God

FRONT PAGE JUSTIFICATION You are Not Guilty says God

Click on Image to play video

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

We are continuing with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In previous posts we have looked at God’s good will, His original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately being, PLAN A  – The Glory of God –  We saw that it is safe to say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

In our last post we looked at Redemption: Before that, Propitiation  as part of God’s Regeneration of man. We saw redemption as being the act of buying something back; or an act by which the original or prospective owner of a thing pays a price to return that thing from a present owner (back) to his/her possession.

In this post we will continue with our look at this provision He has made for our blunders, Now in our mortal bodies: as we saw in  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ – where we started looking at regeneration as part of  GOD‘S FULL SALVATION. Here we saw regeneration as the act by which God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit; that it involves: Redemption, Sanctification (positional 1 Pet. 1:2; 1Cor. 6:11), justification, reconciliation. We will now look at Justification

 Justification

Justification is a doctrine that is a legal matter to the core; as the word infers, It describes a sinner under trial before the tribunal of a God who is:

 Life –               He is the essence of the breathe of life

Spirit –            It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit

Omnipotence – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.

Omnipresence – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once

Omniscience – He knows all things that can be known in the past,   present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge

Infinity –         He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.

Nature of Love –    God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change

Immutability – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’

“If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, …who could stand?”  (Psalm 130:3).

“There is none righteous, no, not one….” (Romans 3:10).

The dictionary Says of Justification:

A good reason or explanation for something

So in other words, Justification is:

The Act or a good reason or explanation for Making Man Right with God by grace through faith In Jesus Christ.

Justification is the “Act of God” by which (according to His promise) He approves us based on His own standard of righteousness. This He can legally do without compromising His divine righteousness because of the finished redemptive work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. This justification can only be obtained through the grace of God and not by our works.

 Aspects of Justification

PIC  justification of man

There are two distinct aspects of justification:

Forgiveness

This is God‘s act of pardoning and releasing us from our mistakes or wrongdoings and actually ‗wiping them off the slate‘. (Jeremiah 31:34; John 3:18; 5:24; Acts 10:43; 26:18; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17).

Imputation

This is the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us in our sinful state. (Romans 4:4-6; 5:1, 19; 8:1; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-9)

We have:

Imputation for Positional Sanctification

PIC positional sanctification

Thank God

PIC  self hussle justification of man

Imputation for Experiential Sanctification

PIC experiential sanctification

Imputation for Perfection (Christian Liberty)

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

In our next post please look out for Faith (Hebrews1:1) the 4th component of Regeneration.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this REPENTANTLY (Having taken time to bring your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Redemption: An Act of The Master Planner

Redemption: An Act of The Master Planner

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ – Redemption: An Act of The Master Planner

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

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 “ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)

I want to start this look at Redemption by taking us back to some of what we looked at the beginning of this mini- series Trust and Obey, especially where we asked the questions – What is God’s good will? And What provisions has He made for us to take hold of this good will?The answer for the first question being that God’s good will is the pursuit of His eternal purpose. The answer to the second question The Gospel of Christ is what we are now looking at.

In our look at The Gospel of Christ, we saw that it is the singularly most important communication of God to man. We saw that in Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God‘s love and sacrifice that saves us from Gods righteous judgment upon sinners. We then started our look at this GOD‘S FULL SALVATION which comprises of Regeneration, Transformation and Consummation.

 REGENERATION•

God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit. It involves: Propitiation, Redemption, Justification, Forgiveness, Imputation, Sanctification (Positional), Sanctification (Experiential), Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Reconciliation to God

TRANSFORMATION•

This is the process of our freedom from the dominion of indwelling sin. It involves: Freedom from Sin, Sanctification (mainly dispositional Roman 6:19, 22), growth in life, transformation, building up and maturing.

CONSUMMATION•

Redemption of our corrupted body (Roman 8:23) and transfiguring into Christ’s glory (Phil. 3:21). This is the inheritance of God’s Kingdom and participation in Jesus’ Kingship.

We are now looking at Regeneration , of which in our last post we touched on Propitiation.

We will now continue with our look at Redemption.

 REDEMPTION

Re·demp·tion

1. Repurchase, buy back (as of something sold).

2. Christianity

    a. Deliverance or rescue from sin through the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ

    b. Atonement for guilt

3. An act or process of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.

Redeem – gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.

Compensatory – Providing, effecting, or aiming at compensation, in particular. (Of a payment) Intended to recompense someone who has experienced loss, suffering, or injury.

Retrieve – Get (something) back; regain possession of.

Regain  –   Obtain possession or use of (something, typically something

                 abstract) again after losing it.

Reach –     (a place, position, or thing) again; get back to.

Reclaim –   Retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or

                 paid); obtain the return of. The action or process of

                 reclaiming or being reclaimed: “beyond reclaim”.

Repossess –  Retake possession of (something)

Redemption is the act of buying something back; or an act by which the original or prospective owner of a thing pays a price to return that thing from a present owner (back) to his/her possession.  

Three of the Greek words that point to redemption in the Bible are –  ‘agorazo’, ‘exagorazo’ and ‘lutroo’.

Image                                        Click on Image to see presentation on Propitiation

In our next post please look out for Justification  (Romans 5:8-10) the Third component of Regeneration.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like thisREPENTANTLY (Having brought your sins before God with a determination to completely turn away from them):

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Propitiation – It Is Finished

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ : Propitiation – It Is Finished

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

 “ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)

 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, by his blood, to shew his righteousness, because of the passing over of the sins one aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the shewing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).

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                                                   Click on Image to see presentation on Propitiation

Propitiation and Atonement

 In our look at this very important core of our Christian witness – propitiation, I will like to first of all clarify the relationship between propitiation and atonement as it seems that the two are sometimes being taken to be the same.  Using atonement in place of propitiation as seen in some modern versions of the bible renders the death of Christ a perpetual sacrifice which it is not. Propitiation was a one time event.

 Propitiate: to conciliate, appease. Propitiation:

 The act of propitiating. Latin propitius, a disposition of favour (one can think pro-pity, a setting forth of pity or mercy). The Greek word translated propitiation in the New Testament is hilasmos, which is a means of appeasing, a conciliation.

 To appease: to bring peace or calm, to satisfy or relieve.

 To atone: to make amends or reparations for an injury or wrongdoing, to expiate.

 In layman’s terms, atonement is the bringing together of two parties that were initially at odds, and propitiation is the idea of making correction for something that may have caused the two to be at odds.

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Let us take for example, at the case of a man whose wife empties out his savings and runs away. After a period of separation they decide to settle their disagreement (propitiation) and get back together as one (atonement). In this scenario, bringing the wife and husband together is atonement (reconciliation) and the provision for taking care (appeasement) of the sinful act of the wife (or husband) – the “money problem” is propitiation. I guess one of the first questions here would be “how much of the money has she got left”? And for that question to be asked, the husband and wife have to come together one way or the other.

Depending on the state of mind of the husband (or how broke he is), the person resolving this conflict will first of all have to be very well sure that the “money problem” is resolved (Holy God: righteousness, truth and justice) who provided (lamb slain from the foundation of the earth). A comprehensive package that addresses the covetousness of the wife (or as the case may be, the stinginess of the husband and/or other factors that might have caused the situation to occur) must be put in place – these (man’s debt from his sinful nature) are what the Gospel of Jesus Christ addresses through His death, burial, and resurrection. The whole idea here is that, Jesus makes atonement for us by bringing us into fellowship (atonement) with His Father through providing propitiation, which was done by Him dying on the cross to pay the ransom price that our sin demands and that caused us to be at odds with Him who is absolutely righteous.

 ATONEMENT

 

Obsolete : reconciliation

The reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

“That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)

To supply satisfaction for:

Expiate – to put an end to; to extinguish the guilt incurred by.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures”. (James 1:17-18)

Atonement is a concept in which obstacles to reconciliation with God are removed; through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Ephesians 2:14-16)

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:19-22)

 Atonement (Before Jesus Came)

Man is (at default) separated from God due to the sin committed by the first man Adam and he (man) have had to contend with the consequences of Adam’s actions:

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28-32)

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

In the old testament days, the Ark of the Covenant was the place where the Lord had the sacrificial blood poured out, for the forgiveness of Israel’s sins. The blood was sprinkled on the atonement cover.

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 25:17-22)

This was blood of animals which had to be sacrificed time after time

Atonement (At Calvary)

Man was reconciled to God at Calvary. This was made possible by God sacrificing His only begotten Son Jesus Christ (once and for all) unlike the continual sacrifices made in the old testament.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:19-22)

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

When Jesus made Himself a sacrifice at Calvary, He paved the way, cleared out all the impediments – all the blockages that kept man away from God. He then signified the end of this task when He:

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:1-4).

He did not just ‘cover’ our sins, He totally removed them:

“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

One of the strategies of Satan is to make sure that at least he can rob us of our joy if he is unable to steal our salvation by reminding us of our past sins; we will always do ourselves a lot of good to have it in mind that Jesus did not only forgive our “small sins” but “ALL sins”.

PROPITIATION

Propitiation points to what God has received from the death of Christ, whether or not a sinner trusts Jesus Christ. The Holy, Justice, Righteous nature of God has to be completely satisfied and this was done on the cross.

“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)

“This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (1 John 5:6-7)

Propitiate: to conciliate, appease.

Propitiation:The act of propitiating.

Latin propitius, a disposition of favour (one can think pro-pity, a setting forth of pity or mercy). The Greek word translated propitiation in the New Testament is hilasmos, which is a means of appeasing, a conciliation.

To appease: to bring peace or calm, to satisfy or relieve.

To atone: to make amends or reparations for an injury or wrongdoing, to expiate.

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)

Propitiation is the work Jesus did on the cross to appease and satisfy God’s wrath so He would be able to pardon sinners who trust in Christ. It is God’s way of making amends for our sins. This He does by a process in which the guilt or innocence is transferred from one person (Jesus) to another (man). The guilt or the bad actions of one person is attributed or imputed to another. So that when it comes to punishment, the person who is the substitute bears the brunt, and that the person substituted goes away free. This way God made reparations for our sins by transferring them to Christ’s account as He hung on the cross at Calvary. The absolute sinless life of Jesus Christ makes this transaction possible as His innocence is transferred to those who believe and follow Him.

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 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” (Hebrews 9:14-17)

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14)

In our next post please look out for Redemption (Ezekiel 36:25-27) the second component of Regeneration.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

JOURNEY OF REGENERATION – God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts (A)

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 5

The Gospel of Christ –  Journey of Regeneration  God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts (A)

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

 “ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezek. 36:26–27)

 “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13).

Sorry for the interruption (due to circumstances beyond my control) in our mini-series onMaintaining a Healthy Fear of God.  We are continuing with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of the mini-series. In our last post we continued with our look at the provisions God has made for our blunders along the way to His eternal purpose, Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ.

In this post we will have a look at: Journey of Regeneration – God’s Provisions & Man’s Acts  we will have a look at the different components of God’s act of providing for our justification; Jesus’ acts of bringing it to pass on the cross at Calvary and our own little contribution of just believing, repenting and getting baptised.

 “Every Generation Needs Regeneration” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” – William Booth

  What is Regeneration

 

 Regeneration means to be renewed, reformed, or reconstituted; to have a spiritual rebirth (be spiritually reborn) “Born Again”; to cause to be completely reformed or improved and to grow anew (a part to replace one hurt or lost).

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)

 In the world we live in today, the result of man’s quest to “go on the road of discovery of OTHER WAYS TO GOD” or “have MY OWN VERSION OF GOD or my own DESIGNER GOD” or to just believe in “SOMETHING UP THERE”or to outright “DO IT MY WAY”. You know – “anything, anyway or anyone other than this omniscient  God who I am told is able know all my thoughts even before I think them; who is able to know my acts even before I do them when no one could physically do so”  is so glaring.

 In a world where market forces now decide if a man is reformed or not (for example in prison – a task that has been effectively developed and delivered by the Church through the probation service through the years); a world where the destiny of the human soul, supposedly the main beneficiary of everything that has been made to exist is now at the mercy of corporate profit, a situation that automatically triggers a curse against a nation. The prophet Amos touched on this in his writings:

“Hear this, O you who would swallow up and trample down the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail and come to an end, saying, When will the New Moon festival be past that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath that we may offer wheat for sale, making the ephah [measure] small and the shekel [measure] great and falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy [into slavery] the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat [as if it were good grade]? The Lord has sworn by [Himself Who is] the Glory and Pride of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their [rebellious] deeds.  Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it? Yes, it shall rise like the river [Nile], all of it, and it shall be tossed about and sink back again to normal level, as does the Nile of Egypt. And in that day, says the Lord God, I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the broad daylight. And I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation, and I will cause sackcloth to be put upon all loins and baldness [for mourning] shall come on every head; and I will make that time as the mourning for an only son, and the end of it as a bitter day.” (Amos 8:4-10). Whenever

In a commentary on the book of Amos – John Blanchard puts it this way:

 “A holy, covenant-keeping God was being rejected by an unholy, covenant breaking nation – There will be a price to pay”.

Let me not be tempted to dwell too much on this.

 John Barnett in “The Miracle of Salvation: Uninhabitable to Inhabited by God” wrote:

God has made provision for us to be born again, and regenerated through the new birth – in order to give us His life living within. But why would we – the greatest and highest and most wonderful of all earth’s creatures – why would we need regeneration? Because a disaster that has stricken each of us, has rendered us uninhabitable by God.

You and I are by nature from birth uninhabitable to God. We were born with a heart that was emitting a deadly radiant far worse than the gamma rays of that exploded reactor; we were producers of the element most hated by God in the Universe, which is called sin.

 The presence of sin within each of us made us completely uninhabitable to God. He could never live within us because He is holy, and we are sinful.

 Regeneration is when God comes down to the site of the worst disaster in the universe – us sinners – and completely removes the deadly, toxic elements at the core of our being.

 Regeneration is a “supernatural work of the Holy Spirit” by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). Regeneration occurs when God sovereignly acknowledges a person’s belief of the gospel. Regeneration is the most dramatic change in a new believer; when we are “born again” we enter the family of God.

The gift of salvation is about Jesus who died to take us who are dead in our sins, bring us to life; and welcome us as family members, full of endless life and brand new – that’s regeneration!

 Regeneration is broadly made up of three parts; Propitiation (by God); Salvation (by Christ): and Repentance (by man).

Propitiation Points to what God has received from the death of Christ, whether or not a sinner trusts Christ. While:

Salvation Focuses primarily on the blessing the one who trusts Christ receives.

Repentance What man has to do (by faith) on his own part.

 Regeneration pic

                          Click on Image to see presentaion on Regeneration                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit. It involves: Redemption, Sanctification (positional 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Cor. 6:11), justification, faith, repentance, forgiveness, baptism these are the processes of our reconciliation to God.

 Propitiation

Propitiation is the work Jesus did on the cross to appease and satisfy God’s wrath so He would be able to pardon sinners who trust in Christ. It is God’s way of making amends for our sins. This He does by a process in which the guilt or innocence is transferred from one person (Jesus) to another (man). The guilt or the bad actions of one person is attributed or imputed to another. So that when it comes to punishment, the person who is the substitute bears the brunt, and that the person substituted goes away free. This way God made reparations for our sins by transferring them to Christ’s account as He hung on the cross at Calvary. The absolute sinless life of Jesus Christ makes this transaction possible as His innocence is transferred to those who believe and follow Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 John 5:6-7)

 Redemption

Redemption is the English translation of the Greek word ‘agorazo’, meaning “to purchase in the marketplace.” In ancient times, it often referred to the act of buying a slave. It means Jesus Christ, through his sacrificial death, purchased believers from the slavery of sin to set us free from that bondage. (John 3:3; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:7-8; Psalm 111:8-10; Romans 8:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13-14; Titus 2:13-14; Zechariah 12:10; 1 John 5:6-8)

Justification

Justification is the “Act of God” by which He approves us based on His own standard of righteousness. This He can legally do without compromising His divine righteousness because of the finished redemptive work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. This justification can only be obtained through the grace of God and not by our works. (Psalms. 49:7-8; Romans 3:10; 21-22; 1:17; 10:3; John 1:12; Philippians 3:9)

There are two distinct aspects of justification:

Forgiveness

This is God’s act of pardoning and releasing us for our mistakes or wrongdoings and actually ‘wiping them off the slate’ (Jeremiah 31:34; John 3:18; 5:24; Acts 10:43; 26:18; Hebrews 8:12; 10:17).

 Imputation

This is the application of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us in our sinful state. (Romans 4:4-6; 5:1, 19; 8:1; 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:8-9)

 Sanctification (Positional)

Sanctification that is automatically made available to us (through an entirely work of God) as a result of justification; as a believer (at salvation) is justified, declared righteous in conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren”  (Romans 6:11-23; 8:8, 29; 10:1-4; Ephesians 2:1-4; Colossians 2:10-15; 3:1-4).

 Sanctification (Experiential)

Experiential sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit works in us (believer) to set us apart from sin; it is a progressive work spiritual maturity, a progressive work of separating us from the world. Quit opposite from what obtains in the world where maturity means independence from anyone; experiential sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit progressively teaches us to be TOTALLY AND ABSOLUTELY DEPENDENT ON GOD.  (Romans 12:1-4; 16:19; 1Corinthians 6:12-13; 19-20; 7:23; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 7:1; Galatians 5:22-25; Philippians 2:15, 4:8; Colossians 2:6; 3:5-15; 1 Thessalonians 2:12, 4:1-7; 5:5, 22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Timothy 6:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-4; James 1:24-27, 4:4; 1 Peter 2:11-12, 24).

 Faith

Now faith is the substance (physical reality that can be touched and felt) of things hoped for (a chance that something desirable will happen or be possible), the evidence (something that gives a sign or proof of the existence or truth of something, or that helps somebody to come to a particular conclusion) of things not seen. We can also say that:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] (John 3:16,36; 5:24; 6:40; 8:24; 20:30,31; Acts 16:31; 10:43; 15:9; 13:39; Romans 1:16; 3:22-28; 4:3,16; 5:1,2; Ephesians 2:8)

Repentance

At the point of salvation (just as in times like Philippians 2:12-13) repentance is the intellectual (mental) and spiritual perception; emotional change of feeling and volitional change of purpose that follows a sinful act. It should be accompanied by deep regret because of the sins committed in the past, and by determination with God’s help to avoid sin and live in holiness hereafter.  (Matthew 3:2; 27:3;Luke 15:7, 10; Philippians 2:12-13; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 4:1-2; Ezekiel 18:30-32; Daniel 9:13;)

 Baptism

Baptism is the sacred act of being immersed in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; it is a very special moment on the journey of faith; a moment when God’s presence and blessing meets us, as we make our personal commitment of faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour of our life, being grafted into Him, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace and our engagement to be totally His. (Luke 3:16; Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:29-33; Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 1:4, 5; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:35-38; Acts 16:31, 33; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21)

 Reconciliation to God

Reconciliation is the process by which we are brought from enmity with God to friendship with Him. A process through which God (right from creation) had provided for perceived blunders we will make along the way as we fulfil His eternal purpose; a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory. It should be noted that God is not reconciled to us, but we are reconciled to our Father in Heaven. (John 15:15; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Philippians 4:7; Colossians 1:20-21)

In our next post we will be looking at the 1st component of  Regeneration – Propitiation. Meanwhile –

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.
We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?
In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

 What must a person do to accept this gift?
Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Gospel of Christ Jesus

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 4

The Gospel of Christ Jesus  – Introduction

 

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,And with all who will trust and obey.

 

“ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:THAT CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS BURIED, AND HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, AND THAT HE WAS SEEN BY CEPHAS, THEN BY THE TWELVE. AFTER HE WAS SEEN BY OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

We are continuing with our look at the first stanza of the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In our last post we started with our look at God’s good will, we stopped at the original plan of His eternal purpose Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God – We saw that it is safe to say that  His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory, with provision made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

In this post we will have a look at this provision He has made for our blunders, Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ. which we have in fact delved into already in the last post and also in    –Part 1 ALL HAVE SINNED 

Where we addressed the reason for plan A1 in answer to a very valid question asked about the use of the phrases Plan A or Plan A1 – “What Plan B!? Like I said then, it was always plan A from the get go!” (I Used Plan B before making it A1); maybe I had been watching too much of the confusing political debates – oh!! Modern day politics – the more you hear; the less you understand (abracadabra politics). We have also in the same post looked at His plan for us and how we have (through Adam) “temporarily deviated” from the path of this plan and the consequences of Adam’s original sin.

We also in  First Begotten Son is God Part 1  looked at the consequences of Adam’s choice to develop the functions of his will, intellect and emotions “APART FROM GOD” at the expense of developing the functions of his conscience, intuition and communion with God; this (now) being the state of the unregenerate man, who does not know God. (We will examine this further when we have a comprehensive look at Romans 5)

We will now continue with the first stanza of the hymn by looking at this presentation called: Gospel of Christ Jesus

The gospel of Christ Jesus is the singularly most important communication of God to man. In Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God‘s love and sacrifice that saves us from Gods righteous judgment upon sinners.

                                          GOD‘S FULL SALVATION

REGENERATION•

God justifies us through propitiation by Christ Jesus and regenerates us in our spirit with His life by His Spirit. It involves: Redemption, Sanctification (positional 1 Pet. 1:2; 1Cor. 6:11), justification, reconciliation and regeneration

TRANSFORMATION•

This is the process of our freedom from the dominion of indwelling sin. It involves: Freedom from Sin, Sanctification (mainly dispositional Roman 6:19, 22), growth in life, transformation, building up and maturing.

CONSUMMATION•

Redemption of our corrupted body (Roman 8:23) and transfiguring into Christ’s glory (Phil. 3:21). This is the inheritance of God’s Kingdom and participation in Jesus’ Kingship.

Christ in you Hope of Glory

 Gospel of Christ Jesus

    (Click here to view presentation)

In the next post we will be examining Regeneration when one believes in Jesus Christ.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this God you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

God’s Good Will

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 3

 Slide2

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

 

 We are continuing with our look at the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In our last post we looked at the presentation…….

What a glory He sheds on our way!

In this post we shall now continue with the first stanza of the hymn by looking at While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

God’s Good Will

According to thesaurus ‘While’ could also be used as: At the same time as; concurrently; alongside; concomitantly; in tandem; parallel; along with

‘Will’ as: Desire, wish, choice, preference, bidding, command. So:

As we do His good ‘desire, wish, choice, preference, bidding, command’; He (At the same time; Alongside; concomitantly; In tandem; in parallel; Along with) abides with us still.

The immediate questions now are – What is God’s good will? And What provisions has He made for us to take hold of this good will?

 What is God’s good will? 

God’s good will is the pursuit of His eternal purpose.

 PLAN AThe Glory of God – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. PLAN A1The Gospel of Christ – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: PLAN A That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)

To cut the long story short, God’s good will is: “bringing many sons unto glory” through His Son Jesus Christ. (Heb. 2:10)

God’s eternal purpose being a reflection of who He is; a reflection of those virtues that make Him God as we have seen in earlier postsis the embodiment of His Good Will. Watchman Nee’s observation puts it this way:

“In Romans 3:23 we read: “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”. God’s purpose for man was glory, glory, glory, but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgement it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God’s purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory.

The Lord Jesus was the only begotten Son, and as the only begotten He had no brothers. But the Father sent the Son in order that the only begotten might also be the first begotten, and the beloved Son have many brethren. There you have the whole story of the Incarnation and the Cross; and there you have at the last the purpose of God fulfilled in His “bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10)”.

In other words the pursuit of God’s good will is whole hearted pursuit of Holiness; because the pursuit of Holiness will only lead to glory. God’s holiness is the fundamental attribute that defines all His other attributes:

Life – He is the essence of the breathe of life

Spirit – It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit

Omnipotence – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.

Omnipresence – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once

Omniscience – He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge

Infinity – He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.

Nature of Love – God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change

Immutability – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’

Holiness is bound to be at the core of His good will. This holiness which is inherent in Him means that in His time transcending existence, God was, is, and will be righteous in all His ways, so that – His plans can never be flawed (Psalm 145:17); He cannot look at wrong (Habakkuk 1:13); and cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13); Thus, the good will of God (bringing many sons unto glory) has holiness at it’s core:

 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.” (Psalm 89:14)

If the foundation of His throne (not so much about the chair that He sits on, but by virtue of His power, rank and privileges as The Almighty King of all that exist) is:

RighteousnessComplete performance of whatever is right which warrants divine approval; a divine arrangement by which God leads men to a state acceptable to him; a revelation of His love for Holiness.

Justice – virtue which gives each one his due; revelation of God’s hatred for sin.

And before Him goes:

Mercy – God’s goodness and love shown towards people who have no way out; judgement which was due but was diverted. 

Truth Honesty or directness of mind (whether refreshing or distasteful) which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood or deceit. Our God is God of Truth; who lives in Truth; whose work is done in truth; who keeps truth forever.

Then we can safely say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory, with provisions made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

 Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God

provision made for:

Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ

The working out of salvation (not WORK FOR our salvation): PLAN A–Back on Track  

Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God –

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:3-6)

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  (Revelation 21:3-4)

 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  (I John 3:2)

 We shall “be like him” (not Him, because God will always be God above all); Then we will be granted His attributes like: being incorruptible (sinless): And possess wisdom (be shown all truth)

 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

 In a nutshell, WE WILL HAVE ABSOLUTE FREEDOM because:

 COMPLETE TRUTH – SIN = ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

 “Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). If,

JESUS = TRUTH, (WAY & LIFE)= ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

So, when sin came along through Adam (first Adam),

JESUS – SIN = ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

But then,

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” (Romans 6:3-11)

Watchman Nee, in describing the fourfold conditions of living the normal Christian life in the book The Normal Christian Life – chapters on “Path To Progress” numbers the four stages as being : (a) Knowing, (b) Reckoning, (c) Presenting ourselves to God, and (d) Walking in the Spirit) : (we will have a comprehensive look at this discourse in Romans 6 when we get to it). Here, he describes this reckoning that comes after knowing as:

What does reckoning mean? ‘Reckoning’ in Greek means doing accounts book-keeping. Accounting is the only thing in the world we human beings can do correctly. An artist paints a landscape. Can he do it with perfect accuracy? Can the historian vouch for the absolute accuracy of any record, or the map-maker for the perfect correctness of any map? They can make, at best, fair approximations. Even in everyday speech, when we try to tell some incident with the best intention to be honest and truthful, we cannot speak with complete accuracy. It is mostly a case of exaggeration or understatement, of one word too much or too little. What then can a man do that is utterly reliable? Arithmetic! There is no scope for error there. One chair plus one chair equals two chairs. That is true in London and it is true in Cape Town. If you travel west to New York or east to Singapore it is still the same. All the world over and for all time, one plus one equals two. One plus one is two in heaven and earth and hell.

Why does God say we are to reckon ourselves dead? Because we are dead. Let us keep to the analogy of accounting. Suppose I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, what do I enter in my account-book? Can I enter fourteen shillings and sixpence or fifteen shillings and sixpence? No, I must enter in my account-book that which is in fact in my pocket. Accounting is the reckoning of facts, not fancies. Even so, it is because I am really dead that God tells me to account it so. God could not ask me to put down in my account-book what was not true. He could not ask me to reckon that I am dead if I am still alive. For such mental gymnastics the word ‘reckoning’ would be inappropriate; we might rather speak of ‘mis-reckoning’!

Reckoning is not a form of make-believe. It does not mean that, having found that I have only twelve shillings in my pocket, I hope that by entering fifteen shillings incorrectly in my account-book such ‘reckoning’ will somehow remedy the deficiency. It won’t. If I have only twelve shillings, yet try to reckon to myself: ‘I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings’, do you think that the mental effort involved will in any way affect the sum that is in my pocket? Not a bit of it! Reckoning will not make twelve shillings into fifteen shillings, nor will it make what is untrue true. But if, on the other hand, it is a fact that I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, then with great ease and assurance I can enter fifteen shillings in my account-book. God tells us to reckon ourselves dead, not that by the process of reckoning we may become dead, but because we are dead. He never told us to reckon what was not a fact.

Having said, then, that revelation leads spontaneously to reckoning, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are presented with a command: “Reckon ye…” There is a definite attitude to be taken. God asks us to do the account; to put down ‘I have died’ and then to abide by it. Why? Because it is a fact. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, I was there in Him. Therefore I reckon it to be true. I reckon and declare that I have died in Him. Paul said, “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God.” How is this possible? “In Christ Jesus.” Never forget that it is always and only true in Christ. If you look at yourself you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith not in yourself but in Him. You look to the Lord, and know what He has done. ‘Lord, I believe in Thee. I reckon upon the fact in Thee.’ Stand there all the day.

The Reckoning Of Faith

 The first four-and-a-half chapters of Romans speak of faith and faith and faith. We are justified by faith in Him (Rom. 3:28; 5:1). Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them. But in the second section of Romans we do not find the same repeated mention of faith, and it might at first appear that the emphasis is therefore different. It is not really so, however, for where the words ‘faith’ and ‘believe’ drop out the work ‘reckon’ takes their place. Reckoning and faith are here practically the same thing.

What is faith? Faith is my acceptance of God’s fact. It always has its foundations in the past. What relates to the future is hope rather than faith, although faith often has its object or goal in the future, as in Hebrews 11. Perhaps for this reason the word chosen here is ‘reckon’. It is a word that relates only to the past—to what we look back to as settled, and not forward to as yet to be. This is the kind of faith described in Mark 11:24: “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them.” The statement there is that, if you believe that you already have received your requests (that is, of course, in Christ), then ‘you shall have them’. To believe that you may get something, or that you can get it, or even that you will get it, is not faith in the sense meant here. This is faith—to believe that you have already got it. Only that which relates to the past is faith in this sense. Those who say ‘God can’ or ‘God may’ or ‘God must’ or ‘God will’ do not necessarily believe at all. Faith always says, ‘God has done it’.

 When, therefore, do I have faith in regard to my crucifixion? Not when I say God can, or will, or must crucify me, but when with joy I say, ‘Praise God, in Christ I am crucified!’

 In Romans 3 we see the Lord Jesus bearing our sins and dying as our Substitute that we might be forgiven. In Romans 6 we see ourselves included in the death whereby He secured our deliverance. When the first fact was revealed to us we believed on Him for our justification. God tells us to reckon upon the second fact for our deliverance. So that, for practical purposes, ‘reckoning’ in the second section of Romans takes the place of ‘faith’ in the first section. The emphasis is not different. The normal Christian life is lived progressively, as it is entered initially, by faith in Divine fact: in Christ and His Cross.

So if,

Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin

 Then in JESUS is our ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

 

In our next post will still continue with the first stanza of Trust and Obey (While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey). by looking at  PLAN A1The Gospel of Christ. Which we have in fact delved into already.You might say – “Why do I have to know Him experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.