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WordSword

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  1. The most helpful truth I’ve learned about myself is that which concerns my “old man” and how busy it seems to maintain itself in everything. During the times I identify the old man’s activity it’s then I can determine how far back and how long it has been affecting me in my present situation, and this is all that is needed—to notice that it has been working on me. The results always end with the same problem and is when I finally put my finger on everything at the time; it always leaves one being over-concerned about self! NC The Word in the Word Spiritual growth is a step by step, ascending scale of glory. It is impossible to gaze upon the glory that is in the face of the glorified Lord Jesus if we are entangled with what we are in the flesh, and do not know that we are clear of it by the Cross and our death unto sin in the risen Lord. Until then, the veil is on our heart, and there is that which hinders the perception of the glory. How could you bring what you are into that realm of glory? Man is referred to as a worm, literally a “maggot,” in Job 25:6. If all that I am in the flesh (not the body but the nature—NC) is not gone on the Cross, if every rag and stitch of the “the old man” was not cleared away from God’s sight at Calvary, I would be lost and shut out for all eternity. But now there is no need to hide anything; the more we come out into the full light of the glory of God, the better off we shall be. The Spirit has been given to bring us in heart and mind into the glory realm now. Paul says, “We use much boldness”; we do not have to cover anything up. Our Father always had our end in view (Jer 29:11 – expect goodness—NC)—the Lord Jesus and the Spirit. Scripture opens with that, the tree and the river on the front page (Gen 2:9, 10—NC). All the Old Testament, even the Law, is full of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit in figure, but it was not known (God’s sovereign control over all things are manifested by Him eventually revealing what He has prefigured from even millennia earlier—NC). “Unto tis day the same veil remains in reading the old covenant, unremoved” (2Co 3:15). They did not see the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the OT, and many believers now fail to see Him and the Spirit in the Scriptures because they read the Word in relation to themselves. They go to the Bible to find a comforting verse for themselves and they find it, of course; but they do not get the real good of Scripture. If I read the Word with regard to myself the veil is on my heart, but if I read it with regard to the Lord Jesus as my life, I gain very much. All too often in reading the Word it is the old man that is before us, but the right way is to behold the Lord Jesus. He is the great theme—the purpose of the Scriptures. If we look upon Him we receive the greatest comfort—we are lifted up, but in another Man. The Father is not seeking to build me up as an individual apart from His Beloved Son. We are naturally self-centered; the Father is causing us to be Christ-centered. The true center of the Word is The Word! We are too much like the old astronomers; they believed the earth was the center of the whole universe, and that the sun revolved around it, so all was in a muddle to them. If we read the Scriptures with ourselves as the center we miss the whole point; but if we see that the Lord Jesus is the center we get things rightly divided and in the Father’s perspective. To come into the blessing and reality of all these things we are to turn to the Lord Jesus: when the heart of Israel “shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2Co 3:16). That sets forth a turning away from the old man; that is what turning to the Lord Jesus means, and then the veil is taken away. “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18). - C A Coates MJS devotional excerpt for 12/6: “It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus’ company, that we can be tranquil about everything. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, ‘I will fear no evil; my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.’ In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent upon him.” -J.B.S http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  2. The only way to be free from sin is to become dead to it, “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom 6:7). What is involved being free from sin? Scripture, and the testimony of the believer’s walk, clearly show it doesn’t involve the eradication of sin, nor its source—“the old man,” otherwise known as our sin nature! Jesus’ crucifixion was physical, and ours was spiritual! He did not need a spiritual crucifixion because His nature is divine. We did not need a physical crucifixion because Jesus endured that for us (Gal 3:13; 4:5; Tit 2:14). Our being crucified with Him (Gal 2:20) crucified our sin nature (Rom 6:6), which results being “dead to sin” in being permanently nullified from its curse of “condemnation” (Rom 8:1) and its “reign” of “dominion” (Rom 6:12, 14). I believe it is the freedom from the sin nature’s dominion that glorifies God the most, because the dominion of the old man lies within its ability to engender to us the desire to “serve sin” (Rom 6:6). Believers sin but no longer after the manner of serving sin, which is to “willfully sin” (Heb 10:26); “For the law (principle; power) of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). NC “Dead to Sin” The grace of the Father positions us in the Lord Jesus, in whom the old man was crucified “that the body of sin (not the physical body but the sinful nature, which is as a body with its “members” - Col 3:5, 8—NC) might be destroyed, that we should not serve sin” (Rom 6:6); and yet “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (Jhn 1:8). To preserve these two statements intact and inviolate is the truth. If I am not dead to the old before God in Christ, I am still alive in that which is sinful, and I have no peace; and if I say I have no sin I do not admit that I am that being who needed the Blood of the Lamb. In order to be at peace with the Father I must see myself in union with the Lord Jesus out of judgment, and that judged (old man—NC) which exposed me to judgment. To every quickened soul, knowing through grace that the Lord Jesus is the propitiation for their sins, and having peace with the Father in the faith that He hath raised our Lord Jesus from among the dead, the next thing is that I reign by one, Jesus Christ. I am a totally new being, with a new life in righteousness. Thus the side with God is all complete. There is propitiation through the Blood of the Savior, there is righteousness through His resurrection; there is life, the result of the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. And now it only remains to be free from the dominion of sin and to know and reckon that we are dead to it. It is not only that I have received through Christ the gift of righteousness by His righteousness, and the justification of life; but the man, as to the race, was crucified in the Cross, in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we should not serve sin. Thus there is the positive side, and having received through Christ abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, we reign in life. Thus I am assured in a two-fold way; I have received on the one hand everything to fit me for the Father, and on the other hand I have been free form everything in which sin could find a place. I have been crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed. I am in the vigor of a justified life on the one side, and I am freed from the body of sin on the other, for he that is dead is freed from sin; and as thus, dead to the old before the Father through the Cross. The Spirit of God asserts His claim over the members of the as-yet-unredeemed body, so that they have no right to serve sin (the physical body is not sinful but can be used in sinning—NC). I am through grace set in Christ in newness of life, and in the crucifixion of the old man, and hence the one single responsibility now is to live unto the Father. “Now, being made free from the reign of sin, you are servants to the Father, you have your fruit unto holiness, resulting in everlasting life” (Rom 6:22). Here there is growth, not because I am dying to sin, but because through the grace of God I am in newness of life; and in Christ I am in One who has died unto sin, and who now lives unto the Father; and therefore, whichever way I look, whether it be the life conferred through the righteousness of One, or the exemption from the body of sin through the crucifixion of the Cross, now living unto the Father, the fruit is holiness, as touching my position in Christ, and on God’s side. But besides this and because of this—that is, because I am in this new ascended position, this place of liberty before the Father in the Son—I am led by the Holy Spirit by whom I live, to walk in Him; and as I do so, I do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, though they are still there (members of unrighteousness within the body of sin—NC). If they were not, where would be the virtue of not fulfilling them, or where would be that great manifestation of grace which is exemplified in every devoted and growing saint, even with the same nature in which he dishonored God, he is now empowered by the Spirit in a new life and nature to answer the mind of God? I am to “mortify my members which are upon the earth,” but this is not to attain to death (which occurred in rebirth—NC). Then death would be a work here in me and by me, and not done for me; and the rest in my soul which I can only have because that is “dead wherein I was held” (Rom 7:6), would be dependent on my own progress of self-mortification, instead of, as the Scriptures set forth, the fact that I have died with Christ. He is my hope; and therefore I am to put to death the members on earth still in existence as to themselves, and as this progresses there is growth. Sanctification does not proceed or arise (manifest—NC) from an improvement in the members, but from a greater subjugation of them in death-like powerlessness; for it is the simple responsibility now that all the members of the flesh should be in a death-state, for we have put off the old man (as we receive desire not to sin—NC), and have put of the new (always receiving desire to holiness—NC), which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who has created him (it—NC). But this is not to attain to a state of death, but because I have died before God in Christ, that I may practically carry out my true standing in my walk and condition here, while still in the body, so that the state may grow in accordance with the standing. For the conscience will be wounded if the conduct of the individual tallies not with the faith which is in keeping with the calling of God (sinning cannot satisfy the believer as before, for it being contrary to the new nature always results in dissatisfaction; and our continuing to put off the sin nature does not effect our “death-state,” but rather manifests it has already been effected at rebirth—NC). The more I enjoy in my spirit the new state, the more do I deny that which would represent me in a character quite opposed to it, and hence there is an avoidance of everything which would minister to the flesh, not because I expect to expel sin from it; but because, being free from it, I would no longer be enslaved by it. I am no debtor to the flesh, and I prove my freedom by not yielding to it, not in expecting its extinction—for then there would cease to be anything to repel or act against—“but I keep my body under and bring it into subjection” ( 1Co 9:27 – “body” here “is not to be understood by the Apostle of his natural body, and of his keeping it under by immoderate watchings, fastings, and labours, or by whipping and scourging, and lying upon the bare ground, and other such practices (like ascetic ritualism—NC); but of the body of sin (Rom 6:6), the corruption of nature, and of that being laid under some restraints (Cross – Ro 6:6—NC); of the mortifying the deeds of the body through the Spirit, of crucifying the affections with the lusts, of putting off the old man with his deeds, as concerning the former conversation, and of making no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” - John Gill 1697–1771. “The word here (body) means, that Paul made use of all possible means to subdue his corrupt and carnal inclinations; to show that he was not under the dominion of evil passions, but was wholly under the dominion of the Gospel – Albert Barnes 1798–1870). Now here comes in the exhortation of 1Peter 4:1, “Arm yourselves … with the same mind (the death of Christ): for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin”—the practical bearing in the body (physical body—NC) the death of Christ, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in the body. There is no clear apprehension of the grace of God unless, on God’s side, I am dead with Christ; and as I see this I “walk in the Spirit” in order to make true in the body here what is true of me by faith in Christ. And as this progresses, there is more control over the old man, and growth develops. Nothing can be more marvelous than to see the life of the Lord Jesus manifested in the man here on earth through whom sin came in. That is, that the one through whom sin came in should now through grace, not only be dead to sin in Christ, but by the power of the Holy Spirit should be enabled to set forth the life of the Lord Jesus in that very body where sin entered. - J B Stoney (1814-97)
  3. If we have genuinely received Christ, there will be that constant “desire” to “do” the “pleasure” of God (Phl 2:13); and thankfully He takes us through all the trials we encounter and teaches us to wait on Him, by entrusting all to Him (1Pe 5:7). It is He who directs our “hardness” (2Ti 2:3) and ourselves, to result in strengthening our faith—using us to glorify Himself in our present fellowship with Him! As we continue to “be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29) we see the maturing of it in our walk, and such is the most significant part of the Christian life, that we might know that our constant need is to realize all that we already have—which is the Lord Jesus. This is manifested as we are progressively learning to be less self-dependent and earthly minded, and more God-dependent and heavenly minded. We can then know how our prayers may originate more from heaven to the earth, than from the earth to heaven, appropriating more practically our present and eternal heavenly position! Though there may often be times we do not know what we should think, do, or pray in the midst of difficulty, we can be assured that He unfailingly “comforts us in all our tribulation” (2Co 1:4), which mostly involves trusting and waiting (and the hardest thing to do is nothing); and the more the trust, the more surefootedness the wait! It’s also acceptable to realize that the most difficult infirmities to trust for are sometimes those we feel might be self-incurred. But this is irrelevant, as our lessons are often trial-by-error and all is already taken into account; and we should realize that God knows the believer’s sins and wrongs are unintentional (“we are not after the flesh” – Rom 8:9), and that He teaches us even more so through them! NC Resurrection Source Many of us may be like the disciples, truly loving the Lord Jesus, and knowing Him as our Savior; but we have not yet stood outside everything, and found that He is enough for us when there is nothing else. But not only this, for this is only the beginning, we find here how fully He satisfies the heart, and makes up for everything. If Simeon, or a dying thief, or the martyr Stephen finds Him everything to them, why should we wait for the dissolution of the body, and of all here, to learn this full and blessed lesson? Surely Paul did not wait for it till death; but in order to learn it, the teaching set forth here is necessary. We shrink from being in the ship at sea, with nothing in it but the Lord Jesus (Mat 8:25); and yet it is then we learn for the first time His full value. The mercies of a former day tell us who He is, and He recalls them to His disciples, in order that they understand who He is; but He Himself is greater than His mercies and when we have no resources, we learn what He is. I have nothing but Christ; is He sufficient, or not? This is resurrection, and when I have entered on it, I know the power and resources of His Life. No soul can know consciously what He is as to resource, above the claims of nature, until he has learned this lesson. Abraham learned it when he ascended Mount Moriah, prepared in heart to extinguish the only light which cheered his eye on earth; and at no time did his soul enter into, or comprehend what God is in His own might and majesty, as in that eventful moment. Each step in that solitary ascent only deepened his conviction of the greatness of God in whom he trusted; and after it, he was prepared for the deeper communications of God. Assuredly, until we have found Christ—not only as our Savior, saving us from the depths of our ruin and sin, but also as the One on the shore who is enough for us, where there is nothing else (Jhn 21:4, 5)—we are not prepared for deeper revelations, for the unfolding of things connected with Christ, because we have not found Him to be the true resource of our hearts (though knowledge-wise, but maybe not yet practically in a sufficient degree—NC). This, not only in our own individual history, but also in the church, and as His witnesses on earth; for, after all, there is no true standing publicly which has not been learned individually. If I know Christ in my private history as my resource when there is nothing else, I shall not find it difficult to see that He is enough for me in the church. If He stands by me, all men may forsake me; and I may like Paul, confront unmoved, the most dread tribunal in the world! To know Him in His sufficiency, apart from everything else, is necessary at the very beginning of our life in Him. He saves us, and because He lives, we live also; but the moment I know that He is my Life fully (Col 3:4), it is no longer I, “but Christ liveth in me”; and hence it is Himself who first meets me. He is the Head whom I am told to hold, and from whom all nourishment flows; this is what gives strength and character to the soul, and is learned and cultivated by everyone who enjoys solitude with Him. If He is not enough for my soul alone with Him, I have not learned that He surpasses all things (“preeminence” - Col 1:18—NC); nor could I bear to be deprived of everything here, nor to confront it fearlessly. When He is enough, retirement from everything and everyone to Himself is full rest and solace to the heart; and the less question there is between Him and me, the more shall I seek to be alone with Him, because there I am prepared for explanation and correction from Him, which I would not have received or noticed in the crowd. If I have wandered from Him, I shall fear being alone with Him; and yet, if I have known what a resource He is to my heart alone, I shall be miserable until I have found myself again alone with Him, and have heard His correction, which restores and invigorates my soul. As our souls learn this, two things are apparent in our course: one, that we can bear the loss of anything, because He is our resource; the other, that we fear not any power which may oppose us, because we are near Him. - J B Stoney (1814 -1895) MJS devotional excerpt from 11-12: “The harvest can be no better than the sowing and cultivating. The burden over the need of others develops our hunger of heart to be a ‘vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work’” (2 Tim. 2:21). – MJS http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  4. I believe there is a difference between God’s “will” and God’s “desire.” His desire is that angels keep “their first estate,” but His will is “everlasting fire” (Mat 25:41) when they “leave” it (Jude 1:6). Same for man, as He “desires all men to be saved,” and “not desiring that any should perish” (1Ti 2:4; 2Pe 3:9). But His will is that “they that have done good (believed) shall enter “unto the resurrection of life,” and “they that have done evil” shall enter “unto the resurrection of damnation” (Jhn 5:29). I think in this sense it could be said that God’s “will” is done in every being in heaven and earth, but not His “desire,” which is accomplished only in those who are His. Concerning the Lord’s prayer example (Luk 11:2), the sense is that one day God’s desire will “be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Presently, His will and desire are being done in all believers on earth, also in believers during the Millennial Kingdom on the present earth—and permanently in all on the New Earth! NC “As in Heaven, So in Earth” It is a grand thing for our souls on the one hand, to be firmly established in the grace of God toward us, to allow no insinuation of the enemy (self, Satan & society - NC) to raise a question touching the efficacy of what the Lord Jesus has wrought for us—the fullness of redemption that is in Him (nothing left to be done on His part concerning the soul, only manifesting Him in our lifestyle on our part - NC). On the other hand, to use all the liberty, the comfort, the certainty of our Father’s love for our souls as a reason for not sparing in us that which is contrary to Him. It is not only that we have the Lord Jesus for us, but we are in Him. What and who is He in whom we are? What does the Father think of the Blessed One in whom He has set us for Himself? Is there a single fault that God finds with the Lord Jesus? Is there a conceivable blessedness that He does not find there? Now, this is exactly what we want. Full of faults, without a single thing is us (self alone - NC) which the Father’s eye could regard with complacency and delight, He who has chosen to place us in the Lord Jesus before Himself, has been pleased to give us the knowledge of it all. For it is not something done in a corner, or something mysterious and concealed from the knowledge of those to whom this exceeding grace is shown. The God who thought of such mercy had revealed it fully, that we may not have one cloud in our souls, but the positive, absolute, unvarying certainty that we are in Christ Jesus. We can look back at Adam, and see what we are by nature—not to speak of the bitter fruits all the way through our being. We can see him sinning and rebelling; we can see him covering his sin (Gen 3:7) and throwing the blame upon his wife, and virtually on God Himself (Gen 3:12); we can see his pride and untruthfulness, for such is always the effect of sin naturally. Such is the flesh. But we “are not in the flesh” (Rom 8:9). By that wondrous work of the Lord Jesus, by death and resurrection, God has now a blessed way; and He has applied it to our souls, and given us the knowledge of it, that we are not now regarded as what we were in Adam—we are now new creations in Christ Jesus. Although there is that which reminds us of what we were, that old, abominable life and nature, which is not in the slightest degree changed by our having a new position (Ro 8:7); yet there is this priceless truth—that the more we enter into our position in the Lord Jesus, and appreciate Him to whom we belong, the less power our old man has to assert himself. Where we question the blessing, and doubt the grace, and hesitate about the reality of our relationship to the Lord Jesus in glory, all is weak, dim and uncertain. There may be godliness, but it will always be godliness under law—the effort after something in ourselves, instead of living upon what the Father has given us in the Lord Jesus—our Christian “Life” (Col 3:4). Although there may be a measure of separation from sin, yet there will be the danger of thinking how much better we are, or comparing ourselves with other people (2Co 10:12), and thinking we are not quite so bad. All this results from one tragic error—the tendency of man’s heart to think of himself and of what he may be to God (Rom 12:3), instead of thinking of Him who is the fullness of grace, and of what He is to us. Still, there is a full deliverance—a deliverance that will not be one whit better when we are taken out of this world and brought into heaven (presently-complete-eternally-unchanging salvation of the soul, but not yet the body—NC); for we are not a bit more forgiven in heaven, or more secure in heaven, or more precious to our Father in heaven than we are now made on earth: for what gives us our preciousness and stamps out character before the Father is something that He has given us in His Son while we are on earth. Hence, it is that departing form this life is merely a circumstance; the essence of that blessing is on the Lord Jesus, and we are in Him, and “there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus” (Ro 8:1). - J G Bellett (1795 – 1864) MJS November 6 Devotional excerpt: For the believer, the dominion of Law is just as devastating as the dominion of Sin. At Calvary, death freed us from both. “Theological teaching since the Reformation has not set forth clearly our utter end in death with the Lord Jesus on the Cross. The fatal result of this error is to leave the law claimant over those in the Lord Jesus, for ‘the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth’ (Rom. 7:1). Unless you are able to believe in your very heart that you died with Him, and that you were buried, and that your history before the Father in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary you will never get free from the claims of the law upon your conscience.” -W.R.N.http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  5. Hi and God bless! The Spirit teaches through one another. Through one another He shows us doctrine and we share it with one another. Otherwise we "lean" only to our understanding, which greatly limits God's access, since He teaches through one another. The above reference depicts a time that will come when all will know God and nobody will need to teach one another about Him. This passage demonstrates the Spirit working through Christians in preaching the Gospel (Rom 10:14, 15), which I believe parallels Jh 6:44.
  6. To “walk in the Spirit is to have the Lord Jesus as actual source of all that arises in us of thoughts and feelings. A man’s spirituality is measured by this. What freedom from sin and all besides to fellowship with the Father, and to serve Him! “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). For the Lord Jesus is the only Object of faith, the only One that satisfies us, as indeed, He is the Father’s Object; and if we have got but one mind with Him about the Beloved (Eph 1:6), our communion is with the Father, and with His Son. We do need to be taught of the Spirit, to enter, more deeply than we have done, into what the Father has given us in His Son. If we do not, some difficulties will arise which will demand the knowledge of that which we have not got, and there will be weakness; there will be the consulting of flesh and blood (natural discernment of what we think instead of what He thinks—NC), instead of going forward in the strength of God, with the eye fixed upon the Lord Jesus. To be saints of God, to be in His presence, at ease and at home before the throne of our Father, to have the privilege of beholding His beloved Son, and seeing Him in the glory which He had with the Father before the world was: there “is the hope of His Calling” (Eph 1:18). He has called us there, where no angel can be, no creature (heirs of salvation making us children of God wherein is no nearer fellowship—NC), save those who have a divine nature imparted to them; and who, by the Holy Spirit, are capable of entering into the deepest thoughts of God. This is communicated to us, even here in this world that our hearts may rise up to the consciousness of the dignity of our position in the risen Lord Jesus. Conscience will not keep a person from sin (it’s just a register of memories—NC). There must be the affections brought into play, and such an acquaintance with the Father, such a familiarity with His thoughts and feelings that they become the meat and drink of the child of God. Are not our souls too often satisfied short of this? Content with what is more simply suited to our need, or with what would be considered more practical. Why is it so, that we rest short of entering into what our Father gives us in His beloved Son as He is in His own presence now? It is because we are not walking in dependence upon the Spirit: it is the power of nature in exercise that hinders us. Nature always clings to something present—something that touches our wants as we see and feel them. Whereas, where the heart is more in the presence of the Father and in the enjoyment of the Son, while we are more sensitive as to what glorifies our Father, yet we learn a power in the Lord Jesus, and not merely in fact of certain things being right and wrong. Growth is not a mere question of new habits. It is the Father unfolding His Son to us—His own thoughts and feelings as revealed in His Son; and this is what gives us reality. Because, if I see God has really wrought in Christ this wonderful work, far beyond that of creation—the raising of the Lord Jesus form the dead, and setting Him at His own right hand in heaven—if we read that act in the light of God, we see what sin was, what Satan was, what the judgment of God was, who now, in grace passes over it all. All is gone now (the curse and every relative judgement—NC); all is passed over for us, that our Father might magnify Himself. While we are in the world, over which judgment is hanging, we are raised above it all—we have the liberty of heaven (presently using it—NC), while we are on the earth. We have passed in the person of the Lord Jesus outside this world; we have taken our position in heaven, we have been “made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). That is, we have been put at ease there, which the thought of sitting gives. All thought of pilgrimage is lost sight of in this range of truth (often having the sense of already being in heaven—NC). Our being pilgrims and strangers, though most true and blessed, is not so blessed a place as being seated together in places in Christ Jesus. - G Gardiner “Regeneration is a birth: the center and root of the personality, the spirit, has been re-created and taken possession of by the Holy Spirit. But time is required for that center to extend through all the circumference of our being. It is akin to a seed: the life of the Lord Jesus within must grow; and it would be against the laws of nature and grace alike if we expected from the babe in Christ the strength that can only be found in the young man, or the rich experience and stability of the fathers. Even where in the new convert there is great singleness of heart and faith, with true love and devotion to the Saviour, time is needed for a deeper knowledge of the old man and sin, for a spiritual insight into what the Father’s will and grace are.” – Andrew Murray (1828 – 1917) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2019/10/31/
  7. In my opinion, a professing believer who desires to live after the sin nature is not a believer!
  8. Hi, and always thankful for your supportive replies!
  9. Those who have professed faith in Christ but have not shown the fruits of it are obviously false professors ("A man may say" - Jam 2:18), and this is where the issue of "witness" lies, and much confusion with unlearned true professors. The first truth to establish concerning a believer (good for both of us) is that there will "no condemnation" (Rom 8:1). The "judgement seat of Christ" is "good" for the believer, but "bad" for the unbeliever; who will receive "the terror of the Lord" (v 11). These are they who "glory in appearance but not in heart" (v 12). I think most misunderstand the application concerning who is guilty of "defilement of the temple" in this passage. It applies to those unbelievers, who “by the wisdom of the world, through philosophy, and vain deceit; by bringing in false doctrines, errors, and heresies, and hereby corrupt their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ; and make rents, factions, and divisions among them.” (J Gill). This cannot apply to believers because they will not desire to do anything that "defiles." This exemplifies a carnal Christian, who is one which has yet to understand what they are about to learn from Paul's rebuke. I also think many confuse being "carnal" in verses 1 & 3 here, with Romans 8:6, 7. Being "carnal minded" means to be after and in the sin nature, which refers to being an unbeliever (because it still dominates them). Though the sin nature is in believers, they are not after or "in the flesh" (sin nature - v 9), i.e. God never again regards us after it; which would be for God to regard Him who we are in after the same manner.
  10. Sanctified, not spiritually but physically set apart unto one another and nobody else. One spouse, one marriage.
  11. I think you mean 2Pe 1. I would say we are founded in Christ "through faith," thus faith being first established for salvation (grace's first gift is faith, which means of transmission for salvation, without which can be no salvation), and it being the means of appropriating grace cannot be altered in its essence but only in its strength, which is done by walking in the accompanying fruit. Faith holds a greater place than the list of fruit it produces, for without it there is no fruit. I also believe faith can never be lessened, only increased, which is what it can ever do in the saved. We do not bring faith along, but faith brings us along! There is the sanctity of marriage which is not related to salvation, and is God's first institution established with man beginning with Adam and Eve (Gen 2:24). To me, the sense of (1Co 7:14) is that the two are set apart from all but one another when it comes to the institution of marriage.
  12. In my opinion it appears we have the same understanding, as I've stated that faith is the only godly attribute which grows (and that in quality, not quantity, as only a need a mustard-seed size). It's my understanding that the list in 2Pe 1:5-7 are seen as fruit of faith, which are with faith and can be appropriated as we increase in our understanding of faith in this list of fruit. Faith is the first principle of grace, and it's growth is manifested by the accompanying fruit (works) as we are taught by the Spirit in His Word, and faith is always the base as it supports everything after grace. I believe learning to walk in godly attributes and their works (fruit) deepens our understanding and fellowship with God, but never has effect as to our union with Him in salvation. It's also my opinion that those who profess faith and have no desire to live in these fruits may not have been reborn (still unsaved); which also will show as they maintain a departure of their profession and its lifestyle (walk).
  13. Not to dispute your comment, but just wanted to add that though most of the Hebrews in the past did not believe in God, there were always many who did. Same for the Jews since then, most have yet to believe in the Lord Jesus, but many have. The phrase "those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" is to the Messianic Jews. I agree here if you mean not saved (out of the Lord), but it's my understanding that believers who are "yet carnal" (1Co 3:3) are still "in Christ" and are His (1Co 3:1,23). I believe all who have been reborn in Christ will continue to "grow up into Him in all things" (Eph 4:15), because "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13). Blessings!
  14. Concerning "sanctified," my purpose for the article was to show that it is irrelevant as reference to effecting (producing) salvation, because it is fully imputed at rebirth, same for holiness, righteousness, and justification (all of which only manifests faith and salvation, not produces nor retains faith and salvation). What Christians believe in accordance to they're present understanding on any issue is acceptable, because we assume that what we presently believe is true, and if it isn't God will eventually give us the correct understanding (unless you're not seeking truth, which this is the only way to find it - Mat 7:7; Luk 11:9); and of course it stands to reason that if we seek Scriptural support for our beliefs we will receive understanding the soonest. This is a list of all the NT references using "sanctified," and note that they are in the present tense, or directs to the present tense: Jhn 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? Jhn 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Act 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Rom 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Heb 2:11 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 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Jde 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.
  15. I see Hebrews 5:11-14 an admonition to certain Hebrew believers to be aware of their immaturity, which admonition will eventually lead them to maturity, as others are.
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