Archive for February, 2014

Christ Gives the Victory

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The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power— including death.   Romans 8:35-39, Ephesians 3:14-21

 

By Pastor Dennis Smith

 

Until the Christian comes to understand and experience what it means to let Christ give him His victory, he will not experience the consistently obedient life he desires.  In today’s devotional I will present how to let Christ live out His victorious life in you.  When you come to understand and experience this truth, your Christian life will never again be the same.  Instead of a life of sporadic obedience and broken promises to God, you will, in time, experience a life of victory through Christ over every temptation and sin that Satan brings your way.

 

Is such a consistently obedient life really possible?  Can we truly have victory over every temptation and sin in our life?  That is the kind of life God calls us to live in Romans 6:6,6:11-14.

 

“He who has not sufficient faith in Christ to believe that He can keep him from sinning, has not the faith that will give him an entrance into the kingdom of God” (Manuscript 161, 1897, p. 9).

 

So what is the answer to how we can live a consistently victorious Christian life?  The answer is to let Jesus live out His life of victory in us, a truth taught throughout the Bible (Ps. 16:8; Isa. 26:3, 4; John 15:4, 5).  These passages, and others, point to our dependence on Jesus and His guiding light in our lives.

 

Christ’s mind was filled with pure, holy, virtuous thoughts.  If we have asked Christ to live in us through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, if we believe He does, and if we believe He will manifest His love – His pure, holy, virtuous thoughts in our minds – He will do just that.  It is a matter of faith – believing He will truly manifest Himself in our lives.  Paul recognized this fact when he wrote Galatians 2:20 and Ephesians 3:16,17.

 

Believe Jesus will help you, and ask Him to manifest His virtue in you in relation to the temptation.  Be specific. This happens as you daily receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18 and 1 John 3:24).

 

With Jesus living in you, you have His mind:

 

“For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’  But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).

 

We have His love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance – all the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23).

 

Through Jesus living in us via the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we have His likes and dislikes, His pure thoughts, His forgiveness – the list could go on and on.  Every virtue of Christ is in you through Christ abiding in you.

 

How is the Christian to apply this truth?  Simply put, the steps are these.  When you become aware of a temptation to sin:

 

  1.  Choose to turn your mind immediately away from the temptation:  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
  2. Believe that the power of your sinful nature’s attraction to the temptation to control you is broken.
  3. Believe Jesus is in you, and ask Him to manifest His virtue in you in relation to the temptation.  Be specific.
  4. Believe that He will manifest Himself in that manner, rest in that belief, and don’t fight the temptation.  When we fight the temptation we are actually focusing on it and trying to resist it in our own strength rather than looking to Jesus for the victory:  “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1, 2).
  5. Thank Him for the deliverance He has just given you.

 

 

 

 

 

Treasures From The Vine—I Am The Vine

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Come Follow Me  26274_n

 

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on  a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

I am the vine, ye are the branches. – John 15:5

In the previous verse Christ said: “Abide in me.”  He then announced the great unalterable law of all branch life, on earth or in heaven:  The branch cannot bear fruit “of itself”; “except it abide.”  In the opening words of the parable, He has already said, “I am the vine.”  He now repeats the words.  He would have us understand – note well the lesson (as simple as it appears, it is the key of the abiding life) – that the only way to obey the command “Abide in me” is to have eye and heart fixed upon Himself.  “Abide in me . . . I am the vine.”  Yes, study this holy mystery until you see Christ as the true Vine – bearing, strengthening, supplying, inspiring all His branches, being and doing in each branch all it needs – and the abiding will come of  itself.  Yes, gaze upon Him as the true Vine until you feel what a heavenly mystery it is and are compelled to ask the Father to reveal it to you by His Holy Spirit.

He to whom God reveals the glory of the true Vine, he who sees what Jesus is and waits to do His will every moment, he cannot but abide.  The vision of Christ is an irresistible attraction; it draws and holds us like a magnet.  Listen ever to the living Christ still speaking to you and waiting to show you the meaning and power of His word: “I am the vine.”