Word-Sword

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  1. It has been well said that “the unsaved need deliverance from the damnation of sin; and the saved need deliverance from the dominion of sin.” Also that, “the Blood procures pardon from sin; and the Cross procures power over sin.” The power over sin involves the restraint of “the old man” via remaining “crucified” (Rom 6:6). This disallows its “reign” and “dominion” (v 12, 14) over the saved, in that it cannot cause us to sin “willingly” (Heb 10:26). Also be it known that the act of “crucifying” is not carried out by the believer but has been established by the Lord’s crucifixion in us (Gal 2:20), which is progressively brought about in us by the Spirit. Thus, “they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh” (Gal 5:24) intends that the sinful nature of our being has been crucified by Christ, which will be progressively manifested in our acts and “conversations.” Same for the “mortifying of your members” (Col 3:5), in which believers have not the power to perform, but is only accomplished “through the Spirit” (Rom 8:13). -NC Death’s Deliverance How constant Israel’s desire for Egypt’s food! With every difficulty in the way, whenever their soul was discouraged, there was always coupled with it regret for leaving Egypt. This is the sure fruit of the flesh, for which no sacrifice nor ordinance has ever been given to meet its deep evil. Transgression, various defilements along the way, all provided for; blood for transgressions, ashes to be sprinkled with running water for the defiled. But nature, the flesh, the root of sin of all, has not yet been the object of any ordinance. The flesh has broken out now (speaking against God – Num 21:5) in its worst form. It is an evil that admits no remedy; it must be destroyed. Sprinkling with ashes of the red heifer, or even blood, does not meet the evil (though well we know that all God’s way of grace from first to last are founded upon the Blood of Christ). A pure thing may be defiled and then cleansed, but death is the only thing for the old man. Wash it as you may, it is still flesh, and must be put “off” in death. This old man cannot be improved, and may be covered to a certain extent by a decent exterior; but there it is, as vile as ever under the covering. To cover is man’s remedy for the evil he knows; it is the religion of the world in its best form. But the Father would not have His saints go through the world, as it were under false pretenses, but teaches us to count it dead, on the ground of our old man crucified with Christ; and, when we take His Word simply and truthfully, He supplies the needed enablement to live in accordance with the standing given to faith working experience in us. How suited to the truth is the manner of teaching! Sin, tainted nature, nature as it is now in man, is sin. There cannot be greater condemnation of man. Murmuring against God is but the complement of loathing His bread. In judgment the Israelites are bitten by fiery serpents and dying. Fitting symbol of the venom of the old serpent who instilled his poison into the heart and nature of Adam in the garden; which made him not a mere transgressor of a known command, but changed his whole being morally before God. Adam truly became another man. Death inevitably followed, and the whole world consequently bears its impress. “Sin entered into the world and death by sin.” The connection between sin and death has never been dissolved. If man be sin, how is death to be severed from the believer: Not the blood in the great Day of Atonement, nor the ashes of the heifer; for the one puts away the sins of the flesh, the other cleansed the pilgrim from defilement contracted by the way. But “the flesh”—the old man—remains unchanged, and the righteousness of God demands that flesh should die. How then is a believer saved? To meet this righteous necessity Christ was made to be sin and died, and thus becomes our deliverance from it and its power. “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The believer knows no other way of deliverance than death. It is surely by the death of Christ unto sin, but it must be morally as well as judicially accomplished. Sin and death are never severed. It is a wondrous way in which God maintains His Word, and instead of being mere judgment, it becomes one of our greatest blessings. But being God’s way, it must therefore be the way of faith to us. “Reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin” (our reckoning doesn’t make it so but provides for a conscience walk in it—NC). Look at Him made sin on the Cross, fully answering for sinful flesh (sinful flesh, e.g. not the body but the nature—NC); then in power of that look turn to the old man and with Job after he had seen God, say, “Wherefore I hate and abhor myself” (old self; old man; old sinful nature; that which is still in the first Adam opposing the believer—NC). As truly as death is the result of sin, so also is life eternal, life beyond the reach of death, and blessed effect of looking at the Lord Jesus Christ made sin for us. God’s judgement joined death to sin, His grace has joined life to the look of faith. The manner of Israel’s healing is the foreshadowing of this. Then it was simply to look at a serpent upon a pole. A look in itself had been nothing; but God now joined healing and life to it; therefore to look is everything. What a lesson of faith is here! All is referred to the power and grace of God of Him Who said, that every one that is bitten when he looked upon it shall live. Blessed testimony of the efficacy of faith and of Christ, Who lifted up like the brazen serpent, had said “that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Here is a type of Christ, not simply of blood, but of death. It is a question of sin is the flesh (the sinful nature—NC), not of sins by the activity of the flesh. Blood purges, purges the conscience, but purges us from our sins. The flesh, the old man, is never purged, but condemned. “God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3). This is not a process in the soul always going on; but it is made experientially true in our growth. The old man has been crucified with Christ (Rom 6). The body of sin is thus annulled. An immense fact for us, effected on the Cross. Only neither this nor any other blessing is known without faith. Realizing by faith that the flesh was condemned and put to death on the Cross, and practically putting on the new man, is both the privilege and the responsibility of the believer. Death to the flesh, not atonement by the blood, nor mere cleansing, is the lesson here. It is our identification with Christ on the Cross and proclaims a deeper truth than that typified on the great Day of Atonement (substitution). On that day we saw the Blood that washed away all our sins. It is propitiation. Here in the brazen serpent it is life through death. Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh, and on the Cross, made sin, and then dying under the judgment of God. That is, He takes our place, made sin for us, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” That righteousness which we are made is the standing we have in Him before the Father; is it not practically that which believers are when they judge their own flesh with the judgment of God? Condemning it root and branch? I am persuaded we shall never know the blessedness of becoming God’s righteousness in Him until we pass sentence of death upon our old man; for you cannot cleanse sin. Our souls are forgiven their sins; but that is another thing. Fallen nature is still flesh, and must be condemned to death. The flesh is never cleansed. The Lord Jesus has fully borne the judgment of the flesh. He was lifted up for that very purpose, that we, beholding the judgment of our old man resting upon Him, might be able to say that we died with Him (Gal 2:20). As the bitten Israelite looked upon the serpent of brass, and lived, so we look upon the Lord Jesus and in a new life live unto the Father. The question of sin is settled forever. Of course it is but a hint there: the full truth can only come out in the Lord Jesus dead and risen. - R Beacon Excerpt from MJS devotion for March 28: “I do not think that a petition that misses the mind of God will ever be answered (1 John 5:14). Personally, I feel the need of trusting Him to lead me in prayer as well as in other matters. I find it well to preface prayer not only by meditation but by the definite request that I may be directed into the channels of prayer to which the Holy Spirit is beckoning me (Rom. 8:26, 27). “When we once have the deep, calm assurance of His will in the matter, we put in our claim, just as a child before his father. A simple request and nothing more. No crying, no beseeching, no wrestling. No second asking, either.” -J.O.F. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  2. There are two dangers to which believers are exposed: one is stopping short of the position grace gives;* the others is, losing the abiding sense of it in the soul. Both involve what is important as to position and condition. The latter should be governed by the former, and both maintained in consistency and grateful thankfulness to the Father of all grace, from Whom all blessedness comes, and to Whom all the fruit of it should return. Alas, how little pure grace is known or understood with the love that gave rise to it, and the work of the Lord Jesus by which the grace of salvation has freely come. The grace that saves from death and judgment, with present forgiveness of sins, is much clouded with uncertainty; so that the fullness of grace in positioning us in Christ in heaven is rarely heard of, much less known and believed in as a present blessed reality. No wonder therefore, that the ground of an earthly people is accepted, and Jewish things imitated; as if what was, should still be in experience and practice rather than what is, since the Lord Jesus has come and is gone back into heaven. Eternal redemption, eternal life, present seated position in Him, in the abiding rest of a complete salvation, are nevertheless for today, since the Gospel has given by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. Happy are those who receive in their simplicity these blessed realities, as beyond all question! It is well, for those who in any measure know what grace has freely and fully given in Christ, to be reminded of the responsibility such a position brings with it. Gentiles when under the profession of Christ, have become proud and boastful, indifferent to the true grace of God, yea, have turned it to fleshly purposes heavenly position may well give heed, lest they fall into the snare of practical indifference to the abiding sense of what grace should produce. If heavenly life calls for heavenly ways and fruit, so also such a position claims the corresponding answer in separation from all that which is a denial of it, bearing in mind that those positioned in Christ on high are created in Him unto good works. To avert the danger of falling short, either of the place grace gives, or of its abiding effects, no brighter example can be given to follow, that the Apostle Paul, to whom its fullness was made known, and as it was received so was it manifested to others. Grace abounded toward him to own himself the chief of sinners, the least of the Apostles and of all saints. “Not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” In motive and object Christ Himself governed him: a man in Christ his grand theme, in contrast the man in the flesh; and Christ in glory the One for Whom he has suffered the loss of all things, to gain Whom as His eternal portion would be his incomparable blessedness. Such was grace to him for salvation and position, as Christ Jesus was his Savior, object and boast. May that same grace so work in us by the blessed Spirit of God to beget in some little measure a like answer to the praise of Him, Who, though on high, yet went lower than all, in order to provide at all cost to Himself a position not only in Him in the heavenlies now, but to be with Him in His own blessed likeness forever and ever. Amen! - G Gardner Poster’s Opinion: * “stopping short of the position grace gives”: this involves incomplete understanding that the forgiveness of all sin encountered in a believer’s life is expiated in Christ, and that apart from this knowledge believers cannot walk “with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb 10:22). * “losing the abiding sense of it”: not having in the conscience the rest, security and encouragement which comes from understanding the permanency of grace. Even though this permanency is actual concerning all who are born again, a life of certainty in all the promises of God in Christ cannot be rested in apart from knowing this. * “the latter should be governed by the former”: knowing that the “position” of forgiveness in Christ is complete and permanent provides encouragement and consistency in the growth of our faith, regardless of circumstance (feelings, opposition, etc.). Excerpt from MJS devotional for March 20: “The wilderness wanderers were maintained by manna, but those in Canaan flourished on “the old corn of the land.” The carnal Christian exists on the milk of the Word, while the hungry-hearted believer feeds and matures on the meat of the Word.” http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  3. When God forgives He is forgiving the sinner but not the sin itself, for He instead always judges it. Thus the priority with mankind is fellowship with God through the application of redemption, without which there cannot even be union, let alone fellowship. How close can our fellowship presently be with the Father? As close as His fellowship is presently with the Son (Jhn 17:11, 21-23)! Surly nothing gladdens the heart of the Father more than fellowship with His Son, Spirit, angels and saints—now, and forever. God desires that our confidence in Him concerning guilt of sin is well understood, that when believers feel condemned this opposition never derives from Him, but from self (1 Jhn 3:20, 21), Satan (Rev 12:10) and society (Mat 5:11; 1 Pet 3:16). It would be required that our Father condemn His Son in order to condemn those who are in Him, for our acceptance with the Father is commensurate with His acceptance with the Son (Eph 1:6). Therefore there need be no single moment concerning guilt of sin allowed in our minds and hearts if our desires are to have permanent “confidence” and continuous fellowship with God, which is His greatest desire concerning us now and latter. The more we are given to understand the vileness of our nature, the more we are also given to understand the holiness of God, and in the presence of this all we are also given to know that the most important issue here is to know and understand the fullness concerning the forgiveness of our position in the Lord Jesus. NC Free For Fellowship “For he that has died has been declared righteous (released) from sin” (Rom 6:7). Let us distinguish at once between being justified from sins—from the guilt thereof—by the Blood of Christ, and being justified from sin—the thing itself. “Justified from sin” does not mean sinless perfection, but something utterly different and infinitely beyond that. It is different, in that it does not refer to an “experience” of deliverance from sin, but a passing beyond, in death with Christ at the Cross, the sphere where the former relationship to sin existed. We are justified, accounted wholly righteous, with respect to the thing sin itself! This, therefore, is infinitely beyond any state whatever of experience. It is a newly established relationship to sin. They are “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” They are heavenly. Their old relation to sin is over forever. They are justified from it. They rejoice, indeed, and have died, are declared righteous from it; that they are cleared, before the Father, of all condemnation because of sin’s presence in this unredeemed body; and delivered from all sin’s former rights and bondage over them. “Justified from sin” is the key in Romans Six to Eight. It is the consciousness of being sinful that keeps saints back from that glorious life Paul lived. He shows absolutely no sense of bondage before the Father; but he goes on in blessed triumph! Why? He knew he had been justified from all guilt by the Blood of Christ; and he knew that he was also justified, cleared, from the thing sin itself; and therefore (though walking in an, as yet, unredeemed body) he was wholly heavenly in his standing, life and relations with God. Paul knew he was really justified from sin itself as from sins. The conscious presence of sin in his flesh only reminded him that he was in Christ—that sin had been condemned judicially, as connected with the flesh, at the Cross; and that he was justified as to sin because he had died with Christ, and his former relationship to sin had wholly ceased! Its presence gave him no thought of condemnation, but only increased his longing for the redemption of the body. 1. Many have turned truly to God, but not knowing the finished work of the Savior—that is, that He actually bare their sins and put them away—are never sure of their own salvation. 2. Others have appropriated gladly Christ’s finished work, as respects the guilt of their sins, and they no longer have apprehensions of judgment, knowing that He met all God’s claims against them on the Cross. But as to their relation to sin itself, it is an “O – wretched man” life that they live; for they see honestly their own sinfulness and unworthiness, but have never heard how they are now in a Christ who died to sin, and that they share His relationship now, dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:10, 11). 3. Thank God, there are those who have seen and believed in their hearts that their relationship to sin itself was completely changed when the Father identified them with Christ in His death unto sin. Their relationship to sin was broken forever; and they present themselves unto Him as alive from the dead, and, through an ever increasing faith, walk about on earth in newness of life; knowing that the same Father who declared them justified from the guilt of their sins through Christ’s shed Blood, has now declared that, in being justified with Christ in His death to sin, they are themselves declared righteous from sin itself! Relief from the guilt of sin, through the shed Blood of Christ comes first, and the conscience concerning judgement being relieved, the heart ever rests (fellowship—NC) in the Blood. But to have the Father tell us further, that we, having died with Christ, are declared righteous from sin itself, is a new, additional and glorious revelation, which sets us in the presence of our Father not only declared righteous from what we have done, but declared righteous from what we were—and as to our flesh, still are (what we were—“in the flesh” – Rom 7:5; what we still are—“flesh in us,” but us “not in the flesh” – Rom 8:9—NC)! We should have no more dejection and self-condemnation when we see our old man (flesh, e.g. sinful nature—NC); for we have been declared righteous from that old Adam-nature standing, as well as from what we have done. Very excellent and godly believers, not recognizing this blessed fact, have spent much time before God “bemoaning the sinfulness” (Jer 31:18) of their now revealed old man. But this was really not to recognize the Word of God that we have been justified from sin itself. For example, David Brainerd (https://en.wikipedia...David_Brainerd) bemoaned his sinful state: “Saw so much of the wickedness of my heart that I longed to get away from myself. I never before thought there was so much spiritual pride in my soul. I felt almost pressed to death with my own vileness. Oh what a body of death is there in me! Lord, deliver my soul.” Again, “Spent this day alone in the woods, I thought, and almost concluded, I had no power to stand for the cause of God, but was almost afraid of the shaking of a leaf.” George Whitefield used to say, “When I see myself I seem to be half devil and half beast,” and as he passed through the great crowds on his way to preach: “I wondered why the people did not stone so vile a wretch as myself.” It may be said, this is just the Seventh of Romans, and Paul had the same experience. Yes, Paul had it; and found that in him, in his flesh, there was no good thing. But, having come to this conclusion about himself, and agreeing with God as to the evil of the flesh (not the body, nor the spirit but the nature—NC), he found deliverance in Christ and afterwards rejoiced in Him alone. Paul’s attitude is the Divine example. He believed what he wrote—that he had been justified from sin itself. So that all struggles from self-condemnation were over. There is no hint in his epistles of a continued struggle, nor of the slightest consciousness of Divine condemnation because of the presence the flesh within. He walked in the awareness of justification not only from guilt, but from sin! Therefore, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, rather than ill thoughts of his old man, filled his mind and affections! The trouble with most of us is, we do not believe we are utterly bad. Or if, like Brainerd or Whitefield, we see and admit it, we do not see ourselves where the Father sees us—only in His Son. Since you are in Christ, you stand in Him—in Him alone—even as He is before the Father. The presence of sin in the flesh has no more power to trouble your conscience, than have your sins: for both were dealt with at the Cross. Your old man was crucified, sin in the flesh was condemned (not forgiven – Rom 8:3) at the Cross, and Paul definitely declares that we have been made to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:12). - Wm R Newell Excerpt from MJS devotional for March 13: “The Lord Jesus’ miracles did not have a character changing effect upon the people who saw them or participated in them. They were but for a testimony to who He was. With all His miracles, in the end the principle of unbelief has not been rooted out of a single individual! Though they saw all that He did, the deep-rooted unbelief was untouched. The amazing thing—even with the disciples themselves—was that they were still capable of deep-seated unbelief. ‘O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe....’ ‘He upbraided them with their unbelief....’ With all they saw, it did not touch character, it did not touch their nature.” -T. A-S. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  4. Israel never presented so much as a single note of praise until the whole congregation stood, in the full power of an accomplished redemption, on Canaan’s side of the Red Sea. Exactly so it is now. The believer must know where the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ have forever set him, ere he can be an intelligent worshiper, an accepted servant, or an effective witness. For the believer there is now no guilt, no curse, no wrath, and no condemnation. Yet, he must be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ; but even there the question of sin is not raised. The Cross of the Lord Jesus has settled that forever; so that it is written of those that believe, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb 10:17). The believer’s whole course must indeed be manifested before the Bema; but the Judge Himself has put away all the believer’s sins, and is their righteousness, so that the reward-seat cannot but be friendly to them. The Lord Jesus surely will not condemn His own work. The righteousness that was required, God Himself has provided. He surely will not find any flaw therein. The light of the judgment seat will be bright enough to disperse every mist and cloud which might tend to obscure the matchless glories and eternal virtues which belong to the Cross, and to show that the believer is “clean everywhere” (Jhn 13:10; Eph 5:27). It is because these foundation truths are not laid hold of in the simplicity of faith, that many of the Father’s children complain of their lack of settled peace—the constant variation in their spiritual condition—the continual ups and downs (which can be changed to only up-and-ups—NC) in their experience. Every doubt in the heart of a believer is a dishonor done (though unknowingly and non-intended—NC) to the Word and the work of the Cross. It is because he does not, even now, bask in the light which shine from the Cross, that he is ever afflicted with a doubt or a fear. Yet, those things which so many have to deplore—those vacillations and the wavering—are but trifling consequences, comparatively, inasmuch as they merely affect their experience (but not their place in Christ—NC). The effect produced upon their worship, their service and their testimony is far more serious where the Lord’s honor is concerned (again, though committed in ignorance—NC). But, alas, this latter is but little thought of, generally speaking, simply because the personal salvation (after imparted—NC) is the grand object—the aim and end—with the majority of Christians. We are prone to look upon everything that affects ourselves as essential; whereas, all that affects the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in and by us is counted non-essential. Then too, the believer proves himself false to the Lord Jesus to the same degree that he has fellowship with the world. We are dead to the world (even in attempting worldly fellowship there is an “enmity” – Gen 3:15 - maintaining separation—NC) and alive to and in the Lord Jesus in glory. We are at once partakers of His rejection by earth and His acceptance in heaven; and the joy of the latter makes us count as nothing the trials connected with the former. To be cast out of the world without knowing that we have a place and a portion now in heaven, would be intolerable; but when the glories in the presence of my Father fill my vision, even a little of the world goes a long way (e.g. significant negative affect—NC)! - C H Mackintosh Excerpt from MJS devotional for March 1: “When we reflect on the innumerable ‘things’ about us—forces seen and unseen of the mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds; on man at enmity with God; on Satan, and his principalities and powers, in deadly array; on the uncertainty and even treachery of those near and dear to us, and even of professing Christians, and of our own selves—which we cannot trust for a moment; upon our unredeemed bodies; upon our general complete helplessness in ourselves—then, to have God say, ‘All things are working together for your good,’—reveals to us a Divine providence that is absolutely limitless.” -W.R.N. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  5. Hi Wayne and thanks for your reply and your compliment on the author's material. Amen, "His commandments are not grievous" (1 Jhn 5:3).
  6. When the believer in Christ learns that the forgiveness given at rebirth will never be subject to change, the concept of the permanency of faith and salvation come clearer into view and the walk is less difficult due to the right to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us . . .” (Heb 12:1). We cannot know the freedom from sin’s reign if we do not walk in the knowledge that it all has been completely dealt with in the Cross. Only when we consider any sin to remain that has not been addressed by the Blood will we walk in our own misjudgment of its full cleansing, even though all the sin has been completely addressed and absolved in the Cross. Only when we know this truth can we always “cast all your care upon Him” (1 Pet 5:7); disallow “your heart to be troubled” (Jhn 14:1, 27); know “you are clean through the Word (Jhn 15:3),” and realize we are ever one with the Father, the Lord Jesus, and one another (Jhn 14:20; 17:21). -NC Long Gone A great many souls are thinking how they stand with God, instead of thinking how God stands with them. When the prodigal came to the father his thoughts were all about what he had done and what he was. He soon found what his father had done and how he felt. There is the sense of how God stands towards us, and how everything about us is removed from His eye, before we know in our soul that everything is removed from our own vision. Do you believe all is gone before the eye of your Father? Yes! Is all gone from before your eye? Ah, that is another matter? It is a great thing to get peace by the work of the Lord Jesus, but it is even greater to have the enjoyment of it. That is what the prodigal son wanted; he knew there was nothing between his father and himself when his father kissed him; but what troubled him was, he was not fit for his father’s house. Many a one knows peace with God who does not know deliverance from himself, and hence he does not enjoy his peace. I know it myself, I have gone that road. When I saw Christ had borne my judgement, and all was gone from before the holy eye of God forever, I said it was beautiful; it was profound blessing—but then when I looked at myself I was not a bit happy. The fact is, at the time I was trying to improve the “flesh,” the “old man.” For deliverance from the reign of the Adam-life you must have more than justification; you need to see that the old man is gone (permanently powerless concerning damnation - Rom 8:1; and permanently powerless concerning domination - Rom 6:12, 14—NC) from your eye, as clearly as you see that it is gone from God’s eye. It must be by the Spirit and the Word that you learn it; it is only by the Spirit that you can see that it is judicially gone. Peace is that I see that my Adam-life is gone from the eye of my Father through the work of the Cross. It is clear that my conscience is truly awakened as to what is due to God, because of the sentiments of my new nature, that begin to find that “in me (that is in my flesh) dwells “no good thing”; and I long, as seeing what would suit me, to be delivered from the “body of this death” (Rom 7:24 - referring to “the body of sin” – Rom 6:6, along with its “members” – Col 3:5—NC) and not to now improve it, but to be delivered from it. It is then that I rise in delight of heart to the full work of the Cross. Nothing can afford me full freedom from the old Adam-life but the scriptural knowledge that my Father has removed it entirely from His own eye in the Cross of His Son. The Lord Jesus made Himself a sacrifice for sin, thereby removing it from before the Father according to the measure it was in His mind. He was made to be sin and suffered for it fully, because He alone knew what it was in God’s sight. Now as He has removed it according to God’s estimate, it is evident that it must be gone according to mine, however much my sense of it may increase. Therefore it is of immense importance that I should believe that God has removed in the Cross everything in me that could offend Him; that it is now judicially true for the believer that the end of all flesh (sinful nature—NC) has come before God. For then I am not only clear of it before Him through faith in Christ, but as the old man has been crucified with Christ, I have nothing to work on or improve. I have only to reckon it as in the place of death, where God has placed it. I must know that through grace I am in Christ before I can survey and apprehend the dignities of this great position; and as I do so, I begin to connect myself with the heavenly places. I cannot understand His glory until I have known His grace, and as I am enjoying His glory, I am in the place where He is. Thus the highest blessing is contingent on the apprehension of the fullness of His grace. - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional: “The Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian’s very life (Col 3:4), and the Holy Spirit dwells within our spirit to manifest Him (Rom 8:18), to work out all that is in Him and to reproduce Him in us. We must remember that there is something in the sight of God that is higher than work. There is Christ-likeness. That is our Father’s purpose, and it is His work.” -A.M. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  7. The Lord Jesus having accomplished the work of redemption, the Father has introduced redeemed man into His presence, and set him in glory (for oneness with God and the saints; Jhn 17:22—NC). Having proved man to be a sinner, He was not content to simply “take away sin,” but He would see him as His own, and enable him to enjoy all His grace in perfect peace, giving him to understand that His righteousness was accomplished in and by His Son. Souls convinced of sin enjoy all the fullness of the sovereign grace of God, because there is no more question of sins for them. By the ministry of the Holy Spirit this effect is produced; there is the consciousness of the perfect righteousness of the Father Himself without conscience of sins. Can you say that there is no question of sins for you? Is this question entirely at rest, and your relation to the Father founded on that? Have you recognized that your responsibility, your relation to the Father, is based upon the accomplished righteousness of the Lord Jesus (1Cor 1:30—NC)? If so, you are happy and blessed. Formerly you were a sinner (no longer considered as such by God—Rom 8:9. Though believers yet sin, there are no Scriptural references describing a believer as a sinner—NC), but now you can say, My Father loves me. I do not speak of your thoughts; but you have made the discovery that you are the Father’s child by faith in His Son, that your responsibility as a sinner is closed. Is your heart thus at large? Do you consider before Him that you have been crucified with Christ, and that sin is gone for you? I cannot have the feelings of a bride towards one whom I dread as my judge. I need the consciousness of being in the presence of my Bridegroom, according to that loving-kindness which is better than life (Psa 63:3—NC). Is your Father your daily resource in your faults and sins, even when you have committed them? Do you believe that His love can do that? This is where the Apostle Paul regards the believer as set; and, when the contrary happens, the Jewish position is more or less taken by the heart. If I have not full confidence in my Father, I must seek something outside, instead of having recourse to Him to receive strength and to restore my soul to fellowship with Him. If the Father is your resource, you will not seek the law. The touchstone for the believer is, whether his resources are in the Father or in himself. Perhaps, like the Jews, he seeks to offer sacrifices. If believers, then we are under grace, and it is of moment for us to be clear as to the position into which the Lord Jesus has brought us. There we are blessed in His presence; there also we are in possession of the precious things which are promised us—“all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” For it is not the promises which constitute our joy and peace, but the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we have them all “Yea, and Amen” (2 Cor 1:20), in virtue of the work which has been wrought and accepted. May the Father strengthen us more and more in the consciousness of His love, which has saved us, and brought us into His presence to enjoy all that He is for us. The Lord Jesus will be the Object of all our thoughts. May we have it simple and settled before us, that it is no more our old selves that live, but Christ that lives in us as our new Life; that nothing is lacking in the accomplishment of the requirements of the Father, and that our position is based eternally upon His love and life. - J N Darby Excerpt for 2-13 by MJS: “When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, it is to remove self from the throne of our hearts. When the Holy Spirit fills us, it is to place the Lord Jesus on the throne of our hearts. Ours is the choice—”not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20); His is the work, for He is “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2). http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2017/02/13/
  8. There is never a chastising or discipline of God with those in Christ that results in punishment (Heb 12:5-9, chiefly 10, 11), difficulty usually but never from being in trouble with Him or losing His favor with you who are in Christ. The Spirit’s opposition to our “sinful nature” (Gal 5:17) may at times feel to us that God is against us personally but we are to remember that this address is always against the “old man,” to keep us from doing that which we would otherwise be doing in accordance to our old man. In my assessment, the believer’s doing of God’s “pleasure” (Phil 2:13) is contained in the desire He “works” in us, which to put His desires first. Even though there will always be times of doing “the evil that I desire not” (Rom 7), the issue is that the believer in the new nature does not desire it, thus any wrongfulness done is unintentional because it’s being done against the will and desire of the believer, e.g. as a “captive” (vs 23) or unwilling subject, unlike that of a willing subject, who does not act as a captive to it because it’s his desire and thus not against his will. Since He ensures that our ultimate motives are always “His good pleasure,” there leaves only that which is of our Father’s loving-training school, and since He already knows what all will do in every situation it is always for others to learn from concerning every trialing situation. In Job’s case (and all who are in Christ) He knew he would manifest an overall acceptable representation of Him (33:10), thus discrediting Satan’s claims against Job, which also demonstrates God’s antecedent preparation of Job’s life to learn from it. This is the same care and outcome God maintains for all who are His in Christ. One evidence manifesting our learning here is that we will find ourselves wishing we would learn to take each difficulty (general hardness) with less surprise and hardness, so that we might strengthen and manifest our faith more in remembering to take them lighter via by the forethought of knowing God has already “worked” it out for our “good” (Rom 8:28). Being mindful, that antecedent to every trial small or great, God has beforehand prepared us not only to “endure” it (1 Cor 10:13), but more importantly to learn from it unto the strengthening of our faith (1 Pet 1:7) in our Father and our Lord Jesus. “We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy” (Jam 5:11 NLT). - NC Death Wish It should be borne in mind that, while it is God’s purpose in His dealings with Job to vindicate His own estimate of His servant, it is at the same time, shown us how He educates or disciplines that servant so as to render him worthy of this estimate. “That which I feared greatly has come upon me.” This must ever be the case when the soul has no better security for the love than the evidence and presence of its gifts. The gifts are thus a snare to us, and Satan’s imputation against us is often in a measure true; our ground of rest and quietness of spirit before our Father being His kindness and mercies to us, and not simply the knowledge of His love to us in His Son. This is very evident from the grief and despair many of His people fall into when they are deprived of any particular mercy. They had rested in the gift more than in the Father, and the gift was to them an evidence of His love; the love itself was not the rest of their heart. Job’s discipline is administered in order to set aside self, and introduce the heart into its true relation, with self apart from God. Hence the effect of the discipline is to expose the secret workings and feelings of the old man, which otherwise would not have been detected or known, and, if not known, not renounced. Job felt himself now a hapless one, with misery all around him, having outlived every enjoyment on earth, and he cursed his day. What had he lived for, and what should he live for? Little he knew the place he was occupying before God, or how God was preparing him, through terrible sufferings, to vindicate His own estimate of him to Satan—and ultimately, to ourselves. We have now to examine how God effects this, His blessed purpose, noting the course which a soul under discipline from the Father necessarily takes in order to arrive at simple dependence and rest in Him. The first thought, and the bitterest one, after awakening to a full sense of one’s misery, is to curse one’s day; a terrible impression, and one that can lead to suicide when God is not known. But when the Father is known, as in Job’s case, it is the beginning of healthy action, not in the discontent and wretchedness which it discloses, but because the sense of death, utter exclusion from everything is known and felt. I may give way to rebellion and discontent in learning the utter wretchedness of man on earth, but the sense of this is necessary to full self-renunciation. I ought not to blame my Father for it, but I need to realize it as man’s true place (actual condition without God—NC). Death, because of such present misery, is preferred. To live in it has no attraction for the heart. This Job feels. He knows that God seeks to make him a witness of dependence upon Himself against Satan, yes, and himself (e.g. old self or sinful nature—NC). But this is the Father’s way. Discipline may have the effect of making us feel that death is preferable to life, but it is working out the Father’s purposes on our behalf. Job knew that he had done nothing to deserve his trial; but what he had to learn was that he was entitled to nothing. We are not aware often of the severe process of soul which we must pass through before we are prepared to hear of the Father from His own side. We may have to weary ourselves in very darkness before we are ready to hear the word of light; for light come from the Father only: He (the Lord Jesus) is the “light which lights everyone which comes into the world.” - J B Stoney MJS devotional for Feb. 7: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/ Devotional excerpt: “It is only natural to feel that our need requires immediate victory, but the truth is that we cannot come to maturity apart from the Holy Spirit’s processing and development of our life, day by day. A quick and easy victory would cripple our usefulness in these two ways: we would not understand the all-important principle of processing; we would not appreciate the needs of others. If we are unable to share, we abide alone like the grain of wheat that does not die.”
  9. Upon being born again, the new life of the God-man has come in (Col 3:4—NC), and it has not come in to supplement ours, but to supplant ours. It has not been given to make up for any deficiency in ours, but to displace it. When we say that Christ’s life is to displace ours, what do we mean? We do not mean that this life of the glorified One is to displace our personality. When I speak of our fallen life, I do not mean the human personality as such. I mean the poison which permeates our personality, the poison of sin (old man or Adamic sinful nature—NC) which has degraded, defiled and distorted our humanity. This new life of Christ comes in to take place of the sinful life which is operating in our personality, and employing our faculties. The vessel is the same, but the contents are different; the same vessel, the same person, the same faculties, but the contents are different—the very human-divine life of the Lord Jesus is filling, interpenetrating, permeating. If we do not maintain this scriptural distinction, we are going to come into another bondage, and many a child of God has. They see that it is plainly stated that it must be Christ. “Not I, but Christ,” and so they may quote the second chapter of Galatians, verse twenty, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” In this verse Paul refers to himself seven times, and he does not always mean the same thing. Sometimes he is speaking of himself considered as a created personality, and sometimes as a sinful personality. Therefore he says, “I have been crucified together with Christ.” Now, what does he mean by that? Does he mean that he, considered as a mere personality, has been crucified with Christ? No, Jesus Christ did not die for us on Calvary, considered purely as personalities, but as sinners—as sinful personalities. I was crucified together with Christ in my capacity as a sinful being. That is what Paul means. “I” considered as a sinful being, have been crucified, and it is no longer I, considered as a sinful being that lives. When Jesus Christ went down into the grave, He went down as though He were myself considered as a sinful personality. Hence I, in the Divine mind, went down into the grave with Him; and I there, having been crucified, have been brought to an end in the grave, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives. Where does He live? “Christ lives in me.” Now Paul is using “I” in a different sense. “In me,” considered as a created personality, “Christ lives in me, not instead of me. It is not that Christ comes in and lives instead of me. He comes in and lives instead of me as a sinful personality, but not instead of me as a personality. “I (considered as a sinful personality) have been crucified together with Christ; and it is no longer I (viewed as a sinful personality) lives, but Christ lives in me (as a personality) and the life which I (as a continuing personality) live in the flesh I (as a personality) live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, Who loved me (being what I was, a sinful personality) and gave Himself up for me (a sinner).” We have to distinguish when the Scripture speaks of the sinful personality (of our nature—NC) and when it speaks of the personality as such (of our character or person-hood—NC). It is the personality, it is the man with all of his faculties, created of God, which is now redeemed by the Blood of Christ. God is not seeking to abolish us as human beings and have Christ replace us. He is seeking to restore us as human personalities so that we may be the vehicle through which Christ will express Himself. Therefore you find that whenever God gets hold of an individual, instead of abolishing the personality, He makes it what He intended it to be. Redemption is the recovery of individuals, not their destruction. The new life then, has come in not to supplement our own life, but to supplant it, so that it may be Christ’s life that fills the man instead of the fallen Adam life. The new life comes in, not to be allied with the old, but to be arrayed against it; not to help it, but to hinder it; not to improve it, but to ultimately do away with it. Did the Lord Jesus come to earth in order to affiliate Himself with fallen humanity in gaining a mutual objective? That is what many are teaching—as though this Second Man came in order to link up with the old humanity and work with it to a common end. Nothing of the sort. There is no hint in the record of the life of our Lord Jesus that He was engaged in anything like that. He was found to be diametrically opposed to the old man. He was not here to be a mixer, but a separator. He was not here for peace with the sinful humanity, He was here constantly at variance with it. He was not here to elevate the nature which was opposed to God, but to Cross it out! How did He do it? The answer is that He did it on the Cross of Calvary. In what sense? In this way: on the Cross He was looked upon by God as though He were fallen humanity, and all that God had against us was poured out on Him. Where did that bring Him? It brought Him into death. Jesus Christ, by His Cross, carried fallen individuals into the grave. In a representative way, then, He brought the old man, which heretofore had been the only one on the field, into death, and now individuals stand forth in resurrection glory. When the full meaning of that is wrought out, there is not going to be one sinful individual on the earth. Christ will be all and in all. That is what is involved. Just as the Lord Jesus came into this world where this old humanity was and came into it not to ally Himself with it but to destroy it by the Cross, even so He now by the Holy Spirit, in regeneration comes into us where there is this old fallen life not to ally Himself with it, but to destroy it and that by the same means—the Cross. The new life that is in us, then, is in us not to enter into an agreement with the old life, but to draw the sword of Calvary against it, so that when it is carried to its conclusion, there will not be one bit of it left, but Christ will be all in all in the redeemed individual. There is a great tendency in our hearts to tone the thing down. You say, this is very severe; this is very radical; this is going too far. Because we tone the thing down, we save our old life at some point or other. We do not put it to death by the edge of the sword of the Cross. Our eye pities it. Our hands save it. We enter into an alliance with the crucified old man. We spare him. We will make him serve us and help God’s program along. It may seem for a time as though it was a wise move, but in the end it will be found to be a snare. Believer, anything that is just from yourself, anything of the fallen life—even the best of it—any of it that lives, permitted to abide and dwell and have a habitation, in the end is going to prove a snare—a thorn in your eye, blotting our your spiritual vision. As sure as truth is truth, it will land you in some spiritual bondage and you will harm your testimony. Calvary never changes. The meaning of Calvary is eternal, and the Cross means judgment upon the flesh (not the physical body but the sinful nature—NC)—into the grave with that which is of ourselves. So, God calls for a clear-cut position on our part, a full rejection of our old life through the Cross. On the Cross God dealt with our Lord Jesus as though He were us, and when He went into the grave, we went into the grave, and all the sinful content of our being has been taken down into death. We must recognize that it is incumbent upon us to say Amen to that, to accept the significance of it and, in the light of that fact, to turn away utterly from that which is of the old man—renouncing the best as well as the worst. Whenever you find a child of God who has a reservation somewhere, you will find that child of God by that very reservation forging the chains of his captivity. If there is any reservation on our heart, this is the very means by which we are sooner or later bound hand and foot. Believer, when we come to recognize these realities and see that it is not a combination of our old life and Christ’s new life, we come to the key of spiritual emancipation. This is not eradication, not a bit of it, but it is a definite rejection of the old man that is within, on the ground of its representative destruction on Calvary. Our Father calls upon us to amend the spiritual significance of the Cross. That is where the Church of God is held up. The Cross is not only the place to come for deliverance from Divine judgement, but the Cross also means the rejection of sinful humanity. It is not for us merely to accept the benefits of the Cross by way of emancipation from judgment, but it is for us to have the mark of the Cross upon us—to be branded by the Cross inwardly. It is for Him to work it out. This is the way of spiritual emancipation. There is no other way. Is the power of the holy life in Christ within us drawing the sword of Calvary against our old life to the uttermost? It is not you in your power trying to wield the mighty Cross of Christ. It is Christ in you, an indwelling presence rejecting the flesh on the ground of the Cross. Are you repudiating your old life on the basis of its judicial destruction? This is the only way of spiritual liberty, and it is the sure way. - Norman Douty MJS devotional for Jan. 31: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  10. Hi Neighbor - Good job, and thanks for your interest and replies! Yes, the intention of "needs be" as you probably now see, is understanding the necessity of our trials, which teach us to trust on God that they are always, as all things are, for our "good" (Rom 8:28). We learn growth in our faith mostly during our hardness! Blessings!
  11. It is one thing to be silent and passive under suffering, and quite another to be conscious of its “needs be,” and (though at first it may be only in a very partial way) to derive such a real good and help from it, that instead of lamenting, one is owning to the Father His wisdom and thoughtfulness in putting one through such necessary discipline. Now this latter can never be reached but through exercise of soul. The trial one feels much ought to exercise one much before the Father. If I am assured that His love is as great as His power, and neither knows measure nor end, then must I not be exercised before Him as to why in His love He should allow me to be so afflicted? The very exercise engages and connects my soul with Him (Rom 8:17; 1 Pe 4:13—NC), and this nearness acquires for me help and instruction about many other things. The waiting of the soul upon God in the time of affliction, is requited with a growth and strength in the knowledge of the Father which tends to relieve one of the suffering that was the original cause of waiting on Him; and the soul once truly habituated to wait on the Father learns so to value it that it never again can do without it. Then it learns to say, “All my springs are in Thee.” The fact of the desolation which one feels here when a beloved one has been removed, and the hesitancy with which one refuses to submit to it, proves that the heart required the trial in order to discover to itself that it has rested and hoped in something outside of the Father. The exercise of the soul consequent on the affliction leads to that nearness and waiting on the Father which supplies what was before unknown. Most blessed when it has this, its true and intended effect. We must beware of being sentimental in divine things; I mean by sentimental, your thoughts of the Lord Jesus centering in yourself. The tendency is to make oneself the center of everything passing, how it pains or cheers oneself, ever musing on oneself as if one were the one solitary object for the sunshine or the cloud to rest on, watching every alternation as it falls on or visits oneself. A soul in the strength of the Lord Jesus regards everything as He would regard it, and therefore he regards it with reference to the Father, and not to man. This throws one out of self-centeredness into the wise and grand purpose of His present counsel and work. My interests and concerns fit in, in the great circle of His interests and concerns, and I see my own in connection and relation with all His. When affliction occurs I accept it as a call to me, and as an aid from Him to be more separated from myself—a check, a breaking off of some unknown or unperceived growth of the old man, and hence redounding to a deeper and fuller abiding altogether above in Him. If I am a hero to myself, or a martyr, I am sentimental. My thoughts are occupied about myself, and I look at and regard divine things as they suit my thinking about myself, and not as answering to what He is thinking of me. I am confining the Lord to myself instead of rising up and seeing myself lost in Him, and then following Him in all the greatness and blessedness of His work and ways down here. - J B Stoney Miles J Stanford devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  12. It's good to have concern about the lost, but the Word of God is protected the same way as a lion--just let it out because it protects itself and will always draw those whom God knows are His! Blessings
  13. I understand. But it's helpful to know that nearly all the modern translations use the same manuscripts so they all have the same omissions, hundreds. They also contain transpositions and interpolations. Blessings!
  14. Hi Worthy - I agree with your thread, that the KJV is the best translation. Just for an eye catcher to accompany your alarm concerning nearly all the modern translations, look at 2 Samuel 21:19. You'll see they read that Elhanan killed Goliath. The translators decided to leave out the phrase "the brother of" because it is not found in any of the extant Hebrew manuscript copies, but the KJV translators included it in order to maintain a correct reading. The King James translators brilliantly utilized a system that italicized words to let the reader know they were not found in the copies. Their additions are for the purpose of presenting a text that does not contradict itself, i.e. "the brother of" is italicized in 2 Sam 21:19 but there are no italicization in 1 Chronicles 20:5 which correctly records the account concerning Elhanan killing Lahmi the brother of Goliath. The majority of the modern Bible versions are based on manuscript copies (there are no known original manuscripts) that were recently discovered and are accepted as credible due to their antiquity because they are the oldest copies (only a few codices). But the reason for their good condition and age is due to the fact that they were too inconsistent in containing content found the majority of copies and fell into disuse because they rejected them. Hence if they had an acceptable text they would have undergone the same wear as most, which often required recopying before becoming illegible, and the copiers destroyed many among the majority of copies in order to prevent them from falling into misuse. These older manuscripts (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexdandrinus) have been proclaimed by some of the prominent Bible scholars of the past (Robert D Wilson, William Burgeon, et al.) to be products of scholars who were steeped into Gnosticism, which versions often detract from the deity of Christ, i.e. Ephesians 3:9 omits the phrase "by Jesus Christ." Translations that contain the plenary (entire) versions of the Word of God in the Greek NT are those based on The Majority Text (KJV, NKJV, YLT, WEB, et al). The errant versions are listed in the Minority Text (nearly all other modern versions, and the NIV just recently began publishing the correct reading in 1 Sam 21:19). When using a concordance for Word searching related to verse locations, etc. the KJV is the best to use because it is the most unchanged version. Since most of the modern versions significantly vary in content to the traditional versions, they cannot be used in a concordance for searches. I've shared this information with many in the least few decades and have surprisingly discovered only a handful of concerned Christians concerning this because most Christians for a long time now (last 50 years IMO) have discontinued reading and studying the Bible (which, IMO is one of the primary reasons for reading inconsistency. Making it difficult to decide on a translation usually results in indecisiveness and a cessation of study). Good subject and thanks for starting it!
  15. If it's not against the forum rules, we can discuss any biblical issue you wish.