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  1. In creation, two elements came into being concerning man’s makeup: body and spirit. In Christianity, the body of man will eventually be recreated, but the spirit of man is already recreated, which manifests the omnipotence of the Spirit of God as its Creator. The first creation was intentionally temporary; the last or new creation—eternal! Thus, Christians have, not the life of the Spirit, but the “life” of Christ, from the power of the Spirit, which is the “life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). The life of the believer is Christ Himself (Col 3:4), and the power of this new Life in Christ is the Holy Spirit—who “shall abide with you forever” (Jhn 14:16; Rev 22:17). NC Old and New Creations Of the first creation we read, “all things were made by Him” (Jhn 1:3); and again, “all things were created by Him and for Him” (Col 1:16). Not so the second creation, for the formula of this is “in Me” (Jhn 15:4). This is “the creation of God” (Rev 3:14) with Christ as its Head, as the first was by Christ with Adam as its head. Accordingly, in Ephesians we are said to be God’s “workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). So that this new creation (new creature - 2Co 5:17; Gal 6:15—NC), and the works morally suited in character to it, are as truly as the first creation divinely formed and prepared. And, what is of deepest moment, they are altogether and exclusively in the Lord Jesus in every respect. Thus we are chosen in the Lord Jesus, have redemption in Him; are made nigh, sealed, blessed, accepted, and seated in Him, in “whom also we have obtained an inheritance” (Eph 1:11; Heb 9:15 ), etc. In the same Epistle too, we read, “Having put on the new man, renewed into full knowledge, according to the image of Him that has created him,” wherein there is neither Greek nor Jew . . . but Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:10, 11). Clearly we see here the righteous title of the Lord Jesus as sovereign Head of the new creation, and the same scriptures constitute our title-deeds to this inheritance in Him, in whom all its moral characteristics find full and blessed display. In Romans 6:11 we get the first mention (not only the concept but also the direct wording—NC) of this new ground. “Likewise, reckon ye also yourself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord.” So in verse 23, “the wages of sin is death”—this is the old creation—“but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”—this is the new creation. For, be it observed, it is not only eternal life, but in “Christ Jesus our Lord,” which establishes it as this new, positive order of blessing which is ours in union with Him as “the beginning of the creation of God” (could probably mean “beginning of the new creation”—NC) and which is perfectly exemplified only in the moral beauty of His own character—“the fruit of the Spirit” (who is the Spirit of the Father and of Christ - Rom 8:9; 1Pe 1:11; Phl 1:19—NC). Then, in Romans Eight, it is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” making it clear our deliverance judicially the curse of the first creation. In Adam is condemnation, in Christ Jesus, none; because in the reckoning of faith we have died with Him out of the creation to which condemnation belonged, and for those who are His it is “irrevocably” abolished (Rom 11:29). “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” Hence our present portion is that we are actually upon virgin soil, as it were, of a new creation—“in Christ, a new creation” (first One to possess the eternal body—NC). “Old things are passed away”; this was indispensable, for it is impossible that we should have at the same time a standing in Adam to answer for ourselves (law), and a standing in the Lord Jesus who has answered for us (grace). It is the total relegation, morally, for faith of the former and abrogated creation, now no longer acknowledged, and carrying with it a final repudiation of the flesh and its activities. What a thorough, what a perfect, deliverance this is! In fine, it is God’s solution for us of every problem as to our relation morally to man’s world. I have died in the death of Christ. As the reckoning of faith, and in the same reckoning, the “old things”, in which the life of the first man found gratification, “have passed away”; be it the world, with its: lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life; or be it the flesh itself, with all its nameless variety of ways of working; or be it man’s religiousness, or will-worship (Col 2:23); all that God traces to that parent root of self-will, or lawlessness, He in His supremacy over evil, assures us that all has “passed away,” as between us and Himself. - Unknown
  2. Believers are not intended to walk within the Law for their righteousness, for it is only Christ and His work that brings one to rebirth and which imputes His righteousness! Surly there is nothing more hindering to Christian spiritual growth (but not to receiving salvation itself) than to misapprehend the intention of the Law concerning its purpose and application (which knowledge will probably not become common enough in Christendom until the translation of the Church)! It has been accurately stated that “The New Testament is "enfolded" in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is "unfolded" in the New! It must be well understood though, that this has only to do with the individual identification and purpose of each system, and that neither have application to the other beyond the types and shadows of what God will do and has done concerning the salvation of believers. “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us” does not design the motive that the Law is fulfilled in the believer, but that the righteousness—to which the Law directs—“condemn sin” and deliverance in Christ (which “the Law could not do” - Ro 8:3—NC), is fulfilled in the believer! The Law was not intended for deliverance (not even for Israel to whom only it ever applied) but only to identify and reveal guilt of sin, and rather direct one to deliverance (Gal 3:24). It was in the sacrificial ordinances and not obedience to the Decalogue that forgiveness was obtained (Num 15:24-31); which ordinances had only Christ’s sacrifice in mind, and it is here where deliverance is “finished” or completed! The purpose of obedience to the Decalogue was to manifest faith in God and His commands, especially concerning the ordinance of the sin-offering, which alone brought forgiveness. The same applies to Christian obedience, because obedience does not deliver but manifests there has been deliverance, for there must first be deliverance before than can be true obedience, because it requires the right heart in the obedience (new nature after Christ’s nature - Col 3:10). One walking “in the Spirit” with the “new man” or new nature, glorifies God in manifesting that salvation has been applied to the soul only because of what Christ has done, and this provides for us to ask God for faith in His Son and His work. Also, please excuse the excessive cementations below, due to what I feel are issue-pertinent, thanks! NC Vicarious Law-keeping? “Even so through the obedience of One” (Rom 5:19). This was our Lord’s death, as an act of obedience: “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” (Phl 2:8). He was of course always obedient to His Father, but it cannot be too strongly emphasized that His life before the Cross—His “active obedience,” as it is called, is not in any sense counted to us for righteousness. “I delivered to you,” says Paul, “first of all that Christ died for our sins” (1Cor 15:3). Before His death He was “holy, guileless, undefiled and separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26). He Himself said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jhn 12:24). Do you not see that those who claim that our Lord’s righteous life under Moses’s Law is reckoned to us for our “active righteousness; while His death in which He put away our sins, is, as they claim, the “passive” side, are really leaving you, and the Lord too, under the authority of the Law? “Justified in His Blood,” and of that alone, reveals the direct lie to the claim that man must have an “active righteousness” (self-works—NC) as well as a “passive righteousness” (Christ’s works—NC). The specious assertion is, that “inasmuch as we have all broken the Law (even though God says that Gentiles were ‘without law’—and those in Christ are not under it) and inasmuch as man cannot by his works himself recover his righteous standing, Christ came and kept the Law in man’s place; Then He went to the Cross, and suffered the penalty of death for man’s guilt so that the result is an ‘active righteousness’ reckoned to man—that is, Christ’s keeping of the Law in man’s place; and second, a ‘passive righteousness,’ which consists of the putting away all guilt by the Blood of Christ. Now, the awful thing here is the unbelief concerning man’s irrecoverable state before God (self-works being applied for redemption and not because of redemption is the same as demonstrating works-salvation. It’s Christ only, as our works should show—NC). For not only must Christ’s Blood be shed in expiation for our guilt; but we had to die with Christ. We were connected with the old Adam; and the old man—all we had and were in Adam, must be crucified—if we were to be “joined to Another, even to Him that was raised from the dead” (all of which are far from the workings of the Law – Ro 8:3—NC). Theological teaching since the Reformation has never set forth clearly our utter end in our death with Christ on the Cross (which answers to the reason why so much attention is given to the admixture of Judaism and Christianity, i.e. the Judeo-Christian concept. This is acceptable if the meaning here is proselytizing from Judaism to Christianity, which was the initial intent of meaning. But to conceive of amalgamating the two systems would result, if were possible, in detracting force from both—NC). The fatal result of this terrible error is to leave the Law as claimant over those in Christ: for “law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth” (Rom 7:1). Unless you are able to believe in your heart that you died with Christ, that you old man was crucified with Him (Rom 6:6), and that you were buried, and that your history before god in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary, you will never get free from the claims of Law upon your conscience. Such is the plight of Reformed theology. Both Calvinists and Arminians think that the flesh (old man; Adamic sinful nature of one’s spirit—NC) is not so bad that it cannot be acted on for God by Christ using the Law of God and giving it power through the Spirit (I am still researching if these two doctrines believe this claim—NC). The ascended Lord Jesus Christ is our righteousness. His earthly Life under the Law is not our righteousness. We have no connection with a Christ on earth and under Law. We are expressly told in Romans 7:1-6 that even Jewish believers who have been under the Law were “made dead to the Law by the body of Christ, that they might be joined to Another, even to Him who was raised from the dead” (Rom 7:4). It is only the desperate legality of man’s heart, his self-confidence, that make him drag in and cling to the Law—even though Christ must fulfill it for him (leaving self out of any credit for salvation is the only true faith within Christ-only-salvation—NC)! Vicarious Law-keeping is Galatian heresy! Christianity begins with the resurrection (spiritual resurrection from sin and death—NC). - W R N (William R Newell 1927–1992) Just to summarize my opinion, Jesus’ perfect fulfillment of the Law was not to credit His righteousness in the Law to believers, but to manifest His qualification of being the perfect, spotless sacrifice for us, and to manifest that He is the only One righteous. The righteousness with which believers are imputed is from the righteousness He has always possessed; which does not derive from works (He didn't need to do the works of the Law to be righteous but to manifest that He is righteous), but are always part of being Divine, and is why righteousness, holiness, etc. have to be imputed, because these attributes of God are incommunicable to man and must be imputed (credited).
  3. Though obedience holds no favor with God but pleases Him, disobedience evidences His absence!
  4. Is it not in the difficulties (that all must endure) where we are “conformed” to grow the most in our faith, which growth continues until departure? Obedience pleases God but is never causal for His blessings, which are solely derivatives of our favor in Christ! If obedience (intended out of love only and not favor, which is already secured) was the standard for God’s favor, there would be no need for the Cross of Christ; and if obedience were the cause of blessings, they too would negate the need for favor. No, obedience has no effect on blessings, for the Father’s blessings all derive from favor in Christ. Therefore our concerns for receiving blessings are purely according to God continually working in us to “be conformed to the image of His Son” in everything! We can see every trial an opportunity to please God according to how we respond, and this takes our mind more off of self and places it more on God and others (disappointment is most often caused by thinking too much of so called earned blessings). There is never a “hardness” (2Ti 2:3) through which believers traverse that God not only foreknows, but has also foreordained to “work together for good to them that love God”; thus I can always say, I’m am saved and all is for my “good.” Please remember, whatever we are doing while He is doing His part, it should already include regularly “casting all your care on Him,” and this means “all” we “care” about— the enjoyable and the difficult (1Pe 5:7). May God conform us to let our motive be not only for relief (which is acceptable but nevertheless for learning) but also for endurance, which is only accomplished by entrusting all your concerns into God’s care, that He may teach us to know that pleasing Him should always our primary and first intention in all we say and do, especially in the “trials!” NC Treasured Trials “We are kept by the power of God . . . In this ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold trials, that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:5-7). There are bound to be difficulties, trials and temptations—it is well we should look them in the face. Nobody is passing smoothly through this life, though some may be more so than others (commensurate with the maturity in Jesus’ “image”). There are plenty of difficulties and trials, and we have to make straight paths for our feet. Still, we are “kept by the power of God”; but mark this, it is “through faith.” We have to remember that this is why the trials come in. We can count upon the power of our Father, but this is exercised in sustaining our faith in Him, as the Lord says to Peter, “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Our Father does not take us out of trial; on the contrary, it is said, “ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations,” or testing (which is never to determine a pass or fail but always for strengthening—NC). There may be this heaviness through trial; no such thing as doubting the Father’s goodness, but the pressure, whether sorrow or of that which might tend to make our feet slip, may produce heaviness of spirit. But after all it is “only for a season,” and “if need be”. Do not make yourself uneasy; the One who holds the reins of the need-be is your Father. He does not take pleasure in afflicting. If there is the need for it, we go through the trial, but it is only for a moment. It is a process of growth that is going on, and do you fancy that you do not need it or want it? The great secret is to have entire confidence in the love of your Father, in the certainty that He is the doer of it—disdaining to look at circumstances or at second causes, but seeing the hand of the Father in it, that it is the trial of our faith, and that it is only on the way. When the day comes that the Father has things His own way, so to speak (He does His own work now of course), these very trials will be found to praise, honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. It is a process that He is carrying on now, it may be even the putting into the furnace to bring out the preciousness of faith. It is not a question of being cleansed, but He does cause us to pass through all evil that which He sees needed for discipline, for child-training. He uses the things that are in the world: the evil, the sin, the ill-will of others. All the things that are in the world, He uses simply as instruments to be found unto the praise, honor and glory at the appearing of the Lord Jesus. Thus we see what a strengthening thing it is to trust the Father and wait for the Son. I do not think much of an uncomfortable inn if I know that I am only there for two or three days on the way. I might perhaps wish it were better, but I do not trouble myself much about it, because I am not living there. I am only passing through this inhospitable world, but I am dying here; if there is (always—NC) a bit of the old life, it has to be put to death. My life is hid with Christ in God. The Lord give us to be of a true heart, and to remember that Christ is our Life, and He could not have a portion down here. Joy and peace and quietness of spirit go with it, and real happiness in the midst of trial: only we must exercise faith in our Father. Abraham found in the mountain a place where he could intercede with God, while Lot was saying, “I cannot escape to the mountain lest some evil take me and I die.” Unbelief always looks at the place of faith as the most awful thing possible—all darkness. The Lord give us to know what it is to live the life which we live “by the faith in the Son of God.” - J B Stoney
  5. Life and living are concerned about the possession of a physical body, and as the Lord Jesus has always been the One-of-a-kind Son of God, He now and will ever also be the One-of-a-kind divine Human (theanthropic, as the writer shows); all of which results greatly in additional glory and joy for Christ and the Father—via Their Holy Spirit of course! As we were created in God’s image, so has His Son permanently taken on the addition of our form of physicality in order that we may see the degree of nearness we are to Them. The Son—divine, sinless and human; His saints—human and eventually sinless! No closer can we be to the Father and His Son than for His Son to be forever-human with us. Christ’s life ever in us (Col 3:4) and God’s Spirit residing with us (Jhn 14:16; Rev 22:1); that we may be one with and in Them (Jhn 17:11, 22)—now and forever more! NC The Hypostatic Union The Lord Jesus Christ was not only an equal member in the Godhead before His incarnation, but He retained that reality in “the days of His flesh” (Heb 5:7—the Son being deity can do all things, as being born a divine babe, then grow and remain divinely human. So great expression of love in such a willingness of humility!—NC). But the experience of the incarnation by which two (lives) natures are united in one Person belongs only to the Son (I’m of the preference conceiving that Jesus is two forms; Son of God and human, but only one nature, divine. Conversely, believers are two natures but one form, human. The nature after Adam’s humanity is sinful; the nature after Jesus’ humanity is divine, which divinity is incommunicable with the created, e. g. man and angels)—NC). The Father and the Spirit are seen to be associated and active in all that concerns the Son; but it was the Son alone who took upon Him the human form and who is, therefore, through glorification, a Kinsman in the human family; and as complex and difficult as it may be to our human minds, the original Trinitarian unity abides as perfectly after the incarnation as before (cf. John 10:30; 14:9, 11). By means of the incarnation the Lord Jesus assumed a complete and perfect humanity (with exception to the infirmities of the body that He endured for us—NC). This He did not possess before, and its addition to His eternal Deity has resulted in the God-man which He presently is. Though His Deity is (has always been—NC) eternal, the humanity was gained in time. Therefore, the theanthropic Person—destined to be such forever—began with the incarnation. It is also revealed that though the assumption of His humanity was first a condescension and afterwards a humiliation (Act 8:33; Phl 2:8, 9), through His death, resurrection and ascension He acquired a surpassing glory (the addition of being the Head of the Father’s children—NC). There was a joy which was “set before Him” (Heb 12:2), and, because of the obedience manifested in the Cross, God “hath highly exalted Him” (Phl 2:9). Reference is thus made to a glory and joy exceeding every glory and joy that had been His before. A glorified man whose humanity has not been renounced is in heaven. As such ministers on behalf of His own who are in the world, and as such He is seated upon the Father’s throne expecting until, by the authority and power of the Father committed unto Him, His enemies shall be made the footstool of His feet (Heb 10:12, 13), and the kingdoms of this world are become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ” (Rev 11:15). Therefore, it is to be recognized that the theanthropic Person is very God and very man, and that His humanity, perfect and complete, is as enduring as is His Deity. The truth that is so evidently taught in the New Testament is that undiminished Deity—none other than the second Person, whom He eternally is—has been incorporated into His Being that perfect humanity which He acquired and ever will retain. Of these two natures (lives) it may be affirmed from the evidence which Scripture provides, that they united in one Person, and not two; that in this union, that which is divine is in no way degraded by its amalgamation with that which is human; and, in the same manner and completeness, that which is human is in no way exalted or aggrandized above that which is unfallen humanity. It is only natural to suppose that the divine nature would be injured to some extent if combined with that which is human, and the human nature would be exalted out of its precise limitations if combined with the divine. The teaching of the Scriptures serve to save us from such natural conclusions. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is unimpaired by its union in the one Person with that which is unfallen human nature, and the unfallen humanity retains its normal limitations. The confusion and uncertainty that would follow if these natures were subject to problematical alterations are beyond estimation. - L S Chafer (1871 – 1952) Excerpt from MJS devotional “None but the Hungry Heart” for September 18 (which addresses what I believe is not a commonly known problematic issue in contemporary Christendom and still has delayed many in the growth of their faith in the last few centuries, i.e. admixture of law and grace—NC). “The Reformation, for all of its rise from Rome, to this day has never really gotten off the ground” (-Miles J Stanford). "Almost all the theology of the various ‘creeds of Christendom’ dates back to the Reformation, which went triumphantly to the end of Romans Five, and, so far as theological development or presentation of the truth was concerned, stopped there. Therefore, you must not regard yourself as bound to accept all that legal doctrine of sanctification, which has been and still is predominantly, the sine qua non of orthodox belief." - William R Newell (1868 – 1956) "The contrast is painful in the extreme between the uniform language of the New Testament about Christians as thus called to worship in liberty and joy and nearness to the Father, and that of liturgies ancient and modern; and this because the results of redemption soon became merged and hidden in Jewish forms, and the law was recalled to the place of the Holy Spirit, and man in the flesh intruded wholesale into realms which belong only to those solemnly accredited as God’s Church, the Body of Christ. "The liturgies of ritualism merely fall back upon the feelings of man, with a slight tincture of Gospel and a large infusion of law. There may be sublime language and glowing ideas, chiefly borrowed from the Old Testament; but in substance they are utterly beneath spiritual or even intelligent Christian use." – William Kelly (1821 – 1906) http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  6. The real good in any ministry is in the measure in which it feeds the heart with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the sun to give to give light and warmth, and the greater the extent of surface presented to Him the more He confers. There is more capacity to receive, which is increased as the heart is occupied with Him. The heart is first won, and this deepens as it learns His love “in His humiliation” (Act 8:33; Phl 2:8, 9). He “loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Secondly, the heart is satisfied because united to Him, and in association with Him where He is in His glorification (Jhn 12:16). The heart captivated by and object could not be at rest until it was united to the One who had won it, and for satisfaction the heart must be where He is. Love really cannot think of anything until it is quite sure of its object; then when at rest about itself, it studies the mind and heart of that object. The first desire of a true heart, as with the women in Luke 7:37-50, is to seek the presence of the Savior, to be in personal nearness to Him. With the bride in Canticles, whenever He is present, all is bright—but there is no satisfaction. There is true affection, and often deep delight, but there is no satisfaction until the heart is in assured union and association with its Object (knowing permanency in Christ allows for confident and persistent satisfaction, and nothing else will do—NC). Thirdly, after satisfaction comes an entirely new occupation. All before related chiefly to oneself. The heart is won, and the heart is satisfied; now the occupation will be studying Him—seeking to be suitable to Him. One may try to be suitable to Him in order to satisfy one’s own heart, but then there is a legality about the effort, and it bears the mark of seeking to make oneself the object rather than Him (if first motive is pleasing Him, esp. with enduring difficulties, all aligns properly for growth—NC). Now after my heart is satisfied, I sit down before the Lord and study Him, and from that study I grow (now, all is only a matter of growth in the “image of Christ” in our walk—NC). “Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2Co 3:18). All the previous gains of the heart are increased by each new one; that is, I am more won by the Lord Jesus as I am satisfied by Him, and I am more won and satisfied as I fellowship with Him. I continue in His sanctification and company. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself” (Jhn 17:19). As I am sanctified I am ornamented, and it is the adorned one that is properly qualified to be the serving one. “That they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things” (Titus 2:10). The serving one deepens in all the preceding gains. He is more won, more satisfied, more suitable as he is more serving. I do not come to the Lord Jesus as to my fellow, attracting Him by something in me—I have nothing (from self—NC) to bring Him, and He won me when I was in the most unattractive state. Hence I must be well assured of the constancy of His heart for me, and of my association with Him, which far removed me from the depth of misery I was in, before I can think whether I could be anything or could to anything to please Him, for I have nothing of myself, and it is only in His company that I “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2Pe 3:18). - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional for September 10: We receive life by reliance upon the Savior; we grow in that life by reliance upon the Spirit. "Many think that because of faith they are cleared of everything before God through the Cross, and therefore by faith they are clear of everything in themselves. But that is the error of ‘holiness by faith.’ The objective (position) is that we are clear before the Father; the subjective (condition) is that we are cleared from ourselves by the growth ministry of the Holy Spirit." "As you by faith in the positional facts realize that you are in the Father’s presence, you will not try to depend upon any sense of His presence. You know His presence because you know that your position in the Christian life is a life of faith in the facts—nothing else. That the Father forces you to live by faith so as to draw you into His presence—not you, by sense, trying to draw Him into yours." - Miles J Stanford
  7. “He ever maketh intercession for us” (Heb 7:25). We are constantly upheld in perfectness by the power of the intercession of the Lord Jesus. It is this that ever keeps us in the right place before our Father, however infirm or mistaken in our walk here. The blessedness of the ministry of Him Who ministers for us in the true Tabernacle is, that it is entirely independent of us. Our conscious enjoyment of it will depend indeed on our walk, on our self-judgment (1Co 11:31), on many things; but the ministry itself depends alone upon our High Priest. He is a faithful minister ever performing His functions in a manner well-pleasing to the Father, whether our souls are realizing the value of what He is doing or not. Every saint is upheld by the intercession of the Lord Jesus, even in one’s most thoughtless mood. Advocacy is part of the work of grace—grace that provides for the putting away our every sin, and aiding our every infirmity, and bearing our waywardness, in order that we may never be out of the very presence of our Father. Hence the moment the conscience of a careless saint is re-awakened, he may find full and instant access to his Father, because though he has failed, the Minister of the Sanctuary has not. However we may fail therefore, the resources of grace can never fail; for faith reaches out to the Father and to His provisions of grace in our Lord Jesus over every failure. If there be one deeper anguish of soul than another, it surely must be for a saint to become conscious of sin (again, continuous self-discernment, e.g. judgment—NC), yet to be without faith to look to the Father’s gracious provision to meet it; but the Lord Jesus, as with Peter, prays that our “faith fails not” (concerning our walk, the exercise of faith is commensurate with our maturity in it, but concerning our redemption it is complete, being dependent upon its “Author and Finisher,” which is an “irrevocable gift” (Rom 11:29—NC). His present ministry on our behalf in heaven is based upon the same abundant grace which marked His care of His disciples on earth. His own perception of His servant’s peril had moved the gracious Lord to Pray for him, hence He could tell Peter of his danger (danger of delaying growth, but not hindering salvation—NC). His present intercession above forms the same divine estimate of our necessities, our difficulties and our dangers; things to which we are so often and so largely insensible. Yes, He knows how, amidst all these things, we appear in the eye of the Father Himself; and He ever ministers on our behalf according to the requirements of that searching eye. Thus we are preserved without spot (Eph 5:27) before our Father, unfailingly maintained in the Sanctuary itself in the fragrant perfectness and acceptance of His Beloved (Eph 1:6). It is indeed most blessed for us that there is a ministry for us which separates the precious from the vile, and which orders all according to our Father. Our Great High Priest thus ministers for us. He takes up that, which to us seemed so clogged with infirmity and mingled with impurity, that we can discern no preciousness in it, and separating the precious from the vile He offers what is really of the Spirit in the full value of His own offering. If any soul is awakened to the desire of serving the Lord, what sorrow they have found in having to learn the wretched imperfectness of all that which they attempt (of themselves—NC)! But if thus we are oftentimes dispirited and ready to “grow weary in well doing,” let us remember this present ministration of the Lord Jesus for us. Oh, if it were not for this ministry on high, how could we read the words, “To do good and to communicate forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb 13:16)! - J N Darby
  8. Thanks for the information about your ID. I believe our understanding about the permanency of salvation cannot hinder being saved, but it does affect how we will grow in our faith, which is also permanent. God bless!
  9. Hi and thanks for the reply and input. Yes, you are correct that it's in reference to receiving and retaining salvation! Just asking, do you have a brother named Billy who lived in Illinois, because I knew him in High School? God bless!
  10. Hi and thanks for your reply and question. The responsibility of effecting salvation and retaining it is God's. It's accepted that we cannot save ourselves but many are mistaken that we keep ourselves saved. The obedience of the Christian isn't from self but from God's "work in you" (Phl 2:13); and it's not obedience that can retain redemption once received because it was not obedience that effected it, but seeking it from God. Therefore true obedience merely demonstrates salvation and love have been received from God, and all who are reborn (truly saved) will show it because God "works" in everyone reborn. True obedience can only be after rebirth because it requires possession of the new nature from Christ and the Spirit to be genuine, which will show in the fact that it continues without ceasing. Outward obedience can be false and imitated by mimicking and eventually ceases, but true obedience never ceases because of the indwelling of the Spirit of God and the new nature (new man). Obedience pleases God and is used for drawing the lost and strengthening the saved, but favor come only through Christ and what He has done to secure us in the Father.
  11. The believer’s part is to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:25), which ability is given by God as He unceasingly “works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13).Thus self cannot retain redemption any more than one can save one’s soul! Sustainment of redemption attributed to self-reliance in any form has in my estimation the same implication (though unknowingly) as self-attributed salvation; for where would the difference between the two be found? In all openness, what credit is there—anywhere—that a believer would desire to claim attribution of anything belonging to God? Knowingly, nowhere; but wrongfulness committed in ignorance is yet evidence of a misapprehension in understanding. It’s God who saves a soul, and it’s He who “makes him stand” (Rom 14:4). Thankfully our Father knows the weaknesses in our understanding, and progressively teaches us all that He desires us to comprehend (Pro 28:5; 2Ti 2:7). If those professing Christianity eventually decide to permanently discontinue it, there is a manifestation of two things: the profession was not genuine; the soul was never reborn. What is within those reborn which contains the “life” of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:4) and is what the Father, through His Holy Spirit “works in you” (Phl 2:13)?—the new nature; which is “after the image of Him (Christ) who created him (it)” (Col 3:10). If we profess to be in Christ, what is the most evident manifestation of this rebirth?—continuing in all that is involved (obedience) unto the cessation of one’s life (Mat 24:13; Mar 13:13). Only a permanent Christian walk best demonstrates the redeemed life; for those who are not reborn will unavoidably discontinue a profession and walk of the Christian life. How unsettling it is in seeking restful assurance towards joy and sustaining endurance, when there is not that knowledge of the permanency of faith and salvation, wherein there is no surer encouragement within the “Word of Truth,” concerning the “hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb 6:19). NC
  12. What is the sum of the believer’s blessings in Christ? Heaven, because it eventually physically places us with God. Not as now in the presence of His sight (Pro 15:3), but latter, in the presence of Himself (Rev 21:2, 4). The thought of Heaven has no equal as to its exhorting encouragement when you “set your affections on things above,” more than “on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). After all, it’s not this world from which we are to seek “things,” but from “above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (v 1). NC No Place Like Home! Is the Lord Jesus “in heavenly places”? Am I united to Him there now, or am I only going to be united when I die? Am I now in this very place before the Father, “raised up together” with the Lord Jesus, and so “in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ehp 2:6)? It is quite evident that the doctrine of Ephesians is that we are so; it is notorious that the doctrine of most Christians is that we cannot be so till we die. Now, why is it that people do not enter into this truth? A primary reason is, you cannot be both an earthly man entering into that which occupies men here below (earthly centered—NC), and a heavenly man too (heavenly centered—NC); but the natural mind would like to make the best of this world, and the best of the next too. The truth is, I must cross the Jordan now as a Christian; nay, I have crossed it in Christ if I am a Christian. So you will observe that I am not going to point out to you what you have to do, but I wish to make plain what God has done for you, if you are a believer. How blessed it is that Christianity does not hold out what I must attain to in order to be saved (other than receive—which is manifested in our walk—NC), but is a revelation of what the Father has given me in His beloved Son! Our Father gives us a salvation so full, that it not only means that we have been brought across the Red Sea (thus made pilgrims and strangers in this world), but that we have been brought across the Jordan into heavenly places, and blessed with all spiritual blessings there (Eph 1:3). You say, perhaps, it is mysticism. No such thing. It is the very negation of mysticism. For this turns the eye to the Lord Jesus in glory, and the Father’s work in Him! Whereas mysticism occupies the heart merely with its feelings about Him. If the Lord Jesus is my life (Col 3:4, 10; 2Pe 1:4; “seed” e.g. new nature – 1Jo 3:9), and He is seated there, it is evident that I have by the Spirit if God who dwells in me, and who has been sent by the Lord Jesus (Jhn 15:26; 16:7), a divine link with Him who has entered there. It is thus that the Father speaks of us according to that which is true of His Son. That is, He being there and He being the life of the believer, and the Holy Spirit the power of that life, we are spoken of according to the place that the Lord Jesus has entered. I beseech you to hold fast this vital truth. You have passed across the Jordan as truly as you have marched through the Red Sea (since your rebirth—NC). You are not only to remember that you are a pilgrim in this dark world, but that you have a living link in heaven; be sure you regard it as your own proper home. The wilderness is merely a place of sojourn, but the heavenly places are our only abiding position. The Father’s purpose to have us in heaven with Himself was decreed before the world was (in my understanding He’s always known who would not “resist” His drawing—NC). The world has become sinful (majority of mankind—NC) and so has become a wilderness, for there would be no wilderness if there was no sin, but the Father has delivered us in grace from our sins, and has also brought us in spirit through the wilderness into glory. As a matter of fact, indeed, we have sin, and are passing through the wilderness; but in title and position, and as united to the Lord Jesus as our life we are clear from both. May the Father in His grace give us to enter more into this truth, and to live in the reality of it! - W Kelly Excerpt from MJS devotional for August 22: “We come to feel our need, and often attempt independently to supply it by our own means; the Lord must confound us in the attempt; but having done so, He leads in dependence to find and acquire an inconceivably greater answer to our wishes than even that which we prescribed for ourselves. The prodigal only sought ‘sustenance’ from the citizen in the ‘far country,’ but back in his father’s house he found not bread merely, but abounding welcome and a fatted calf.” –Miles J Stanford http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  13. Can you always, with permanent conviction, call Heaven your present possession? This is one among many Biblical truths from which believers are to appropriate for exhortation from the “comfort of the scriptures” (Rom 15:4). How eternal life is comprehended will determine whether or not there will be a walk in the encouragement of spiritual growth truths. Concerning the “New Heaven,” believers are considered presently there because of the surety of its inevitable occurrence. Though our present condition is earthly, our present position is heavenly (Eph 2:6), which answers to our Lord’s declaration that, “I go and prepare a place for you and I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” This concurs with the Lord’s action of being our heavenly “Forerunner” (Heb 6:20). NC Heavenly Dwelling The two great subjects of the testimony of the Holy Spirit are the sufferings of the Lord Jesus and the glories to follow. When these two connected truths are received into the soul by the teaching of the Spirit, they necessarily sever it from the absorbing power of earthly interests. Take the Cross, for example. “They are enemies of the Cross of Cross . . . who mind earthly things” (Phl 3:18, 19). On the other hand, take the resurrection. ”If ye then be risen with Christ . . . set your affection (the same as “mind” in the former quotation) on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). The great moral of the Gospel is heaven as a present enjoyable reality, as the home of our affections, the center of our interests. This is indeed a wondrous truth, but how little we know the actuality of it in our souls! The characteristic of our present calling is, that it is “heavenly.” We are addressed as “holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling.” Our true tabernacle is in heaven; our only Priest is in heaven. The epistle to the Hebrews sets forth the heavenly worship, which faith alone can recognize in direct contrast to earthly worship, which the senses could recognize. The priest of the Jews was a visible person; the sacrifices, tangible objects; the temple, a material structure: all beautiful and orderly and suitable to the system with which God Himself has connected them; but to faith, they are mere shadows of glorious and eternal realities (God began with visibly-aided proof and gradually minimized it to allow faith to be exercised in its greatest capacity before its time is gone, for soon we will walk by sight—NC). The heart of man naturally lingers about the shadows; and the full-blown evil of the Judaizing tendency (not that Judaism is evil but attempting the admixture of it with Christianity is—NC), with which the Apostle Paul dealt so sternly, is now become habitual to the thought of Christianity, and has helped to form that characteristic of “dwellers on earth.” Judaism has been taken as the pattern of what men call Christianity, and thus Christianity itself is regarded as a mere improvement or refinement of Judaism, instead of being regarded according to Paul as its direct contrast (opposite—NC). The new piece has been added to the old garment, “and the rent is become worse.” We are exhorted to walk worthy of the calling wherewith we have been called (Eph 4:1). This implies the knowledge of our “calling.” It is a “high calling.” The word rendered “high” is the same as that rendered “above” in Colossians 3. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” We are called of God from beneath to above, from earth to heaven. We are bodily on this earth and in this world, yet we belong not to either—“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Hence also the pilgrim and stranger character of the saint: heaven is his home, and oh, that we as ardently desired to be with the Lord Jesus where He is, as He desires to have us with Him! We are not as “those that dwell on the earth” (Rev 13:14). Moralists, philanthropists and politicians all recognize something valuable in Christianity, and use it as helpful to their own ends; and thus has Christianity been dragged down from its lofty eminence, till almost all that is distinctive is lost amidst so many elements which are foreign. The long continued attempt to apply Christianity to the world, merely as an aid to its civilization, has led to the loss of even the theory of the Church. In time it may well be that nothing will be so offensive to “the dwellers on the earth” as the assertion of the peculiar privileges and special hope of the Church. - Wm Kelly (1821-1906)
  14. During your times of light, moderate or severe trials do you look unto self to find what you may have of the Lord to endure, or have you learned that there is nothing within you personally—not even the new nature—that delivers through trials. Knowing what to do in our times of stress is only half the resolution; knowing how to practice what is known brings the answer, and “Casting all your care upon Him” (1Pe 5:7) is always the proper procedure. Any other means is looking unto self for the answer, and regardless the appeal that self-reliance may possess, it’s always nothing more than a temporary delay at most. It’s also important to note that the “trying of your faith” needs the proper response—so you’ll be able to continue to be properly trial-conformed (1Pe 1:6), as this gradually increases in difficulty, but never beyond “that you are able.” Consistently putting all that we care about, pleasantries and difficulties, into God’s keeping means you’re believing His Word concerning everything in your life, that “He careth for you.” So, the protocol is first “what”; cast everything on our Father. Then “how”; trusting that He is using “all things”—“to work together for good” to you (Rom 8:28). The greatest significance in this truth is in knowing that it is solely dependent upon our position in Christ, and never the condition of our walk, which will always be progressing “in the Spirit.” The maturity of our “walk in the Spirit” varies between all and is merely an indicator of where we are concerning the level of conformity to His Word, and not a means of His deliverance, because the point of deliverance through a trial proceeds from Himself, in providing its understanding to us. You will eventually know you’re not following God’s protocol when the resolution-times for closure often seem too lengthy. Sure, God’s teachings of conformity concerning our lifestyle (walk) are hard, but not “grievous” (1Jo 5:3), because He will always “make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1Cor 10:13); and the relief (escape) is always a matter of faith in His written Word. It’s from the trials we learn the most concerning our walk. The two primary factors concerning their application are that they will always come and go; and they contain in one degree or another the element of “hardness,” which continues to conform and manifest our walk of faith “as a good solder of Jesus Christ” (2Ti 2:3). It is in the difficulties that we are brought to see if we are trusting in the “arm of flesh” (2Ch 32:8) or the arm of God. Myself, I’ve learned the former always eventually leads in succession to the latter, as God will have it no other way for us. NC
  15. It’s not in redemption that one “changes . . . from glory to glory,” for once applied it fully saves; which will show in our permanent lifestyle. It’s our earthly walk that manifests in escalating glories all that we already are (1Jo 4:17), and all that we already have (2Pe 1:3) in Christ! The present “divine nature” indwelt by the believer will not be any newer than it is now. Therefore the primary differences in the resurrected saint’s essence will be the absence of “the old man,” and the newness of the finally “redeemed body” (Rom 8:23). NC “Follow After Love” “I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor 11:2). Paul’s song accounts for all that is in Solomon’s Song. The Father looks upon the believer as altogether lovely. A sinner in himself, he has, by faith, taken on him the beauty of the Lord Jesus. He is “in Him.” He is “accepted in the Beloved.” Faith alone gives him all this comeliness. He has been baptized into the Lord Jesus, and put Him on. This is the beauty of the believer; and he is lovely in the Lord Jesus’ eye. Indeed in this form of beauty there can be no spot. The very “best robe” in the Father’s house is on Him. For it is the Lord Jesus Himself that the believer is arrayed with. Such harmonies are there between the Son of Solomon, the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles. We are naturally prone (due to the indwelling old man—NC) to be suspicious of any offer to make us happy in our Father. Because our moral sense—our natural conscience, tells us of our having lost all right, even to His ordinary blessings. Yet, in the revelation of God, faith reads our abundant title to be near Him and happy with Him, though our natural conscience and our sense of the fitness of things would have it otherwise. Faith feeds where the moral sensibilities of the natural mind would count it presuming to tread. The Song of Solomon opens with strong and fervent desire toward Himself; reaching forth to apprehend Him in some more intimate manner that had been preciously understood. It is as though the saint has been conscious of being in a lower condition than would now satisfy. For at times the soul rests itself simply on the firm ground of doctrines, such as “the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth from all sin.” It is the simple and sure power of such truth that alone answers, at times, the need of the soul. But again, at times, the ground under our feet, as believers, is understood and rested on and it is the Lord Jesus Himself that the heart desires. She had been keeping the vineyards (Son of Solomon 1:6)—attending to things abroad—but now was learning that her own vineyard had been neglected; and the deeper things of personal fellowship are longed for. The saint is leaving Martha’s and taking Mary’s place, hungering to feed under His own eye and from His own hand, not another’s. Now it is conscious of being more at home, more about its own vineyard; as though it had left the Martha place, “busy about with many things” (Luk 10:40—still unnecessarily preoccupied with much of this life—NC) and assuming the Mary place at the feet of the Lord Jesus in personal fellowship. There is a great influence upon the soul to be occupied with such affections (Christ’s fellowship—NC). It strengthens and sanctifies—for all question of our standing is anticipated, and our energy in meeting temptation is increased, and thus the liberty of our soul is secured. For how can the thought of condemnation or the temptation to defilement be entertained, when the believer is seeking to reach more into the light and joy of such communion and fellowship as this? Does it not lead him into more than a mere escape from the spirit of bondage, or from practical sin (sin commissions—NC)? Is it not the divine method of making him more than conqueror? “For 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 as by the Spirit of the Lord” (The Scriptures are “as a mirror” of Christ, which shows us what we are to look like – Jam 1:22, 23. Thus the more we look into it, the more we will remember how we are supposed to look. 2Cor 3:18). - J G Bellett (1795–1864)
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