Posts Tagged ‘Gospel Fellowship’

My Assurance is Being “In Christ Jesus-2

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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 8:38-39, Ephesians 3:14-21

 

Can you  without any hesitation say that you experience Eternal Salvation right now? Do you have full assurance that Jesus has saved you and He is continuing to save you? If today were your last moments to live  can you say without pause and with complete assurance that you are saved?

The Bible teaches us that we have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.      Psa 31:14-16 Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. “This is life eternal that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). When we “know” God as Jesus revealed Him to be and trust Him, then we have confidence, faith, or trust in Jesus’ ability to “save” (salvage) us! Our assurance or confidence is in our Savior (just like the thief on the Cross) not in a legal payment. Thus we can have complete assurance that we have Salvation NOW!!!! Praise God!!!!!1 John 5:11-13

We have Assurance that we don’t have to save ourselves.

We have made salvation woefully complicated.  We have brought our own ideas and opinions to the discussion.  When I choose to trust Jesus with my Life, then Jesus and Jesus alone will save me!  He is my Savior.  “In Christ,” Jesus wants us to sit down and enjoy what He has already done for us.  We are not to try to work at attaining these blessings.  I can’t add anything to the equation of Salvation no matter what I do.  “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”  Once we trust Jesus with our lives, He freely gives us all things which are bestowed “through Christ” and His Cross.                    1 Corinthians 1:30-31.  Luke 2:10-11.  Hebrews 4:1-8.

Jesus wants us to enjoy Salvation now!!

We have “Assurance that Jesus alone is reconciling us to Him”. 

Now all thing are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”  2 Corinthians 5:18-19.  Jesus wants to heal us completely from the virus of sin.  Reconciliation is a change from enmity to friendship and is brought about my God alone.  “In Christ” we become a new creation.  This is possible only through the compelling love of Jesus.  He will draw us to Him with an everlasting love.  His transforming, reconciling love is through His Holy Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:18.  Are you baptized by the Holy Spirit?  John 1:29, 33,  Luke 3:16,  Acts 1:5,2; 1-4,  Ephesians 5:18, 6:18,  Luke 11:13,  Galatians 5:22-23.

 

The truth is that Jesus wants to literally live out His life in us giving us His victory:  This is “being in Christ Jesus”.  Colossians 1:27.

 

We have Assurance that Jesus is writing “His laws” (plural) in our minds.

Yes, laws, plural.  His laws of love and liberty.  By completely healing us,  Jesus will remove selfishness from our minds and will restore in us the living law of love and liberty.  Praise God:  Hebrews 8:10, 10:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17.  (More on the concepts about the laws of love and liberty in future studies)

 

When we are “in Christ Jesus”  He will manifest Himself in and through us. 

It’s Christ alone who heals us!  It’s Christ alone who restores His image in us!  This is why there is no fear, anxiety, worry or burden abiding “in Christ Jesus”.  It’s all about Jesus.  We simply allow Him to do these things in and through us by The Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:1-5, 11.

  We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  Psa 31:14-15, 1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

The Very Basis Of The Gospel Is To Know That God Is Love!

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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

The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.  EGW COL 415

 

 

 

 

The Very Basis Of The Gospel Is To Know That God Is Love!

Knowing and Trusting In God’s Steadfast Love is the very basis of Salvation.  “For God so loved”—that He Gave. John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 13:5

“This is life eternal that they might know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). When we “know” God as Jesus revealed Him to be and trust Him, then we have confidence, faith, or trust in Jesus’ ability to “save” (salvage) us! Our assurance or confidence is in our Savior (just like the thief on the Cross) not in a legal payment.

            The Power Of God’s Love! Rom 8:37-39

 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.     1 John 4:13-21, John 5:24

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…   John 3:16-17

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.   2 Corinthians 5:14

When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.          Psalm 94:18

But all of us who are Christians have no veils on our faces, but reflect like mirrors the glory of the Lord. We are transfigured by the Spirit of the Lord in ever-increasing splendour into His own image.   2 Corinthians 3:18

God Loves You Just Like He Loves His Son Jesus!

The one thing above all others that Christ is desirous that we should know is that The Father has loved us even as He loved Him!

I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. John 17:23,26

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!   1  John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

The Extravagant Love of Christ

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The last rays of light that will fall on this darkened earth just before the end comes will be a revelation of God’s character of love. This is Bible teaching:

 

That last “revelation” will obviously be the same as the light of that “another angel” who comes down from heaven having great power. The “earth is lightened with his glory” (Rev. 18:1, 2). It’s not legalism gone wild, nor soft-soap emotionalism; it’s love (agape).

 

That “glory” in turn will obviously be the same as the message Jesus describes in John 12:32, 33: “‘I, if I am lifted up, will draw all to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He should die.” That “love” which will “reveal the character of God” must be the same love that “holds together,” “controls” and “compels,” or motivates the ones who believe in Jesus. They are moved henceforth to live only for Him, “no longer for themselves” (2 Cor. 5:14, 15. There is tremendous power locked away in that “love” known as agape. Jesus longs to put His character in every believer! John 3:16

 

Again, that revelation of love in the last days must be what Paul meant when he said that he “determined not to know anything among [the Corinthians] except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). That was not extremism; it was only a “reasonable service” that Paul saw as appropriate to the extravagant love Christ had shown for him  ( Rom. 12:1). It was agape, not ordinary human love. Paul saw what we have not yet seen clearly.

 

In these last days when sin and selfishness will become so rampant, the Lord Jesus will be honored by those who “follow the Lamb [the crucified, risen Christ] wherever He goes. … They are without fault before the throne of God” (cf, Rev, 14:1-5). Whoever they are, there WILL be such a people who will glorify Christ! We might eventually be surprised who will end up in that group; let’s walk humbly before Him.

God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that He justifies everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ.  Romans 3:26 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Jesus longs for you to come to Him so He can change you into His image and likeness thus  ready for Heaven!! 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2Corinthians 5:14-15,17,20, 1John 3:2

 

The Relinquished Life—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7

 

 

 

 

 By Oswald Chambers

Author of:“My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For March 8th

“I am crucified with Christ.”

Galatians 2:20

No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretence. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretence of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.

Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ. When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home.

If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.

Trust God To Save You!!

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Mark 1-17-18

 

 God Will Save You If You Simply Let Him!!

You are not able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; but if you are “willing to be made willing,” God will accomplish the work for you, even “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. Then you will “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13 MB 142

 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends. John 15:15

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:37-40,47

Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
   Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever Psalms 23:6 NLT

 

The Sabbath Is A Gift From Jesus

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Sunset Lighthouse _0235

 

 The Sabbath Is A Symbol That We Have Ceased From Trying To Save Ourselves! Jesus Is Our Savior!!

Luke 2:10-11, Ezekiel 20:12,20;36:26-27, 1Thessalonians 5:23-24, 2Corinthians 3:18, Hebrews 3:12,19;4:1-4,10-12,15-16

 

 

 

The Sabbath is a true gift of God to humanity (Mark 2:27).  It was the first complete day that Adam and Eve spent as children of God and their first day as a married couple (Gen. 2:1-3).  On Sabbath we stop worrying about our daily struggles (Ex. 20:8-11).  We do not just rest: any day of the week would do as a day of rest.  The difference between this day and any other day is that the Sabbath offers a rest not for inactivity but rather to undertake different activities similar to the first Sabbath in Eden.  Sabbath is the moment to catch our breath (Ex. 31:17) as we change activities.

Interestingly, Jesus criticizes the inactivity that the religious leaders of His time tried to impose on the Sabbath and affirmed: “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17).  He, of course, refers to Sabbath work as being redemptive and not the type of daily labor we normally engage in during the week (Matt. 12:7).  God’s idea of rest for us frees us from ourselves and our worries so that we can have time and space for different activities.  According to Jesus, Sabbath is the ideal day for blessing others (verses 9-14).  It’s a day of a change in activities centered on God meeting humanity – those He formed out of dust. It is a celebration of the relationship between God and humanity, the members of the family and our ties to all of creation.  Sabbath is an echo back to Eden.  Sabbath is God’s way of telling us that He wants to have an intimate relationship with us; that we are more important to Him than all the other things He made.

Sabbath is a necessity, not only an obligation.  Just as we need air, light, water, and food in order to survive, we need the Sabbath to truly live.  It is also a day of worship when we kneel before God and recognize that He is Lord.  “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps. 100:3).  Sabbath puts us back in our proper place.  In the six other days of the week there is time for personal goals.  As we manage our time and activities, there is always the danger that we could begin to consider ourselves equal or even superior to God.  We need the Sabbath for this weekly reminder that everything we do, can do, and even all our ability to plan comes from our Creator.

Sabbath is also a day of re-creation.  When everything in life seems to be disintegrating, Sabbath calls us back to Eden.  And once again the Lord turns and creates everything from nothing.  Where we are weak, we can become strong.  Chaos turns into order; fear becomes joy; uncertainty is replaced by certainty and trust; God’s justice puts injustice and oppression into their corner; guilt is transformed into pardon.  This moment of redemption is reflected in Israel’s experience when God’s strong arm brought them out of Egypt (Deut. 5:12-15), and we recognize the Sabbath as our delight (Isa. 58:13).  We not only receive the blessings of this special day, but every Sabbath we renew our covenant with Him and publicly confirm that we want to be God’s children.

Truly understanding the Sabbath changed my life many decades ago – and millions all around the world experience this delight every Sabbath.  Can you imagine the incredible Sabbath celebrations in our new heavenly home – face to face with our Creator and Savior?

The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation.  The fourth commandment of God’s unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath.  The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another.  It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God’s kingdom.  The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people.  Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts.  (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32, Mark 1:32)

Thanks Professor Raul Quiroga

God’s Character: Our Assurance Of Salvation

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We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

God’s Character: Our Assurance

   God’s nature doesn’t necessitate His forgiveness of sin, as if that were His job.  Nor is forgiveness the suspension of God’s justice, as if His justice were severe and harsh.  Doubts about our eternal security are rooted in a misconception of God’s character—in our failure to grasp the wondrous blend of His justice and mercy, as revealed by God to Moses in Exodus 34:6,7.  It was this harmony of God’s attributes that Israel’s prophets and psalmists praised, as can be seen in Joel 2:13; Nehemiah 9:31; Jonah 4:2; Psalms 85:10, 86:15; 103:8; 145:8.   God intended that the society of His covenant people reflect His divine character by placing justice and mercy on equal terms (see Exodus. 22:25-27).

No psalm reflects more accurately the tension repentant believers feel about their standing before God than does Psalm 130:1-8 .  Here the psalmist cries “out of the depths” to the God of Israel.  And here he receives assurance:

 

If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?  But with

you there is forgiveness, therefore you are feared… O Israel, put your

hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full

redemption.  He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. Psalms 130:3,4,7,8.

 

A troubled conscience can hear no greater assurance than these inspired words of comfort.  Many believers have divorced mercy from justice.  But in the biblical revelation of God’s nature—for example, in Exodus 34:6,7 and Psalm 85:10—“God’s love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy.  Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love.”  This insight does not mean that mercy destroys justice; instead, it means that both are the fruits of God’s holy love.  Such a harmony of God’s attributes exceeds all human comprehension!  God doesn’t bestow His mercy on repentant sinners reluctantly but with delight and with “full redemption” Isa. 55:7,  Ps. 130:7.

 

Charles H. Spurgeon unfolds this mercy in its great variety:

“Here is mercy that receives sinners, mercy that restores backsliders, mercy that keeps believers.  Here is mercy that pardons sin, that introduces to the enjoyment of all gospel privileges, and that blesses the praying soul far beyond its expectations.  With the Lord there is mercy, and he loves to display it, he is ready to impart it, he has determined to exalt and to glorify it”.

 

Leslie C. Allen explains the basis of Christian assurance of salvation as follows; “For the Christian this grace is grounded not only in a heart of love but in its disclosure through the death of Jesus as the objective basis of divine deliverance.”  Jesus demonstrated this holy love and mercy of His Father in His own life and death.  He showed that God does not demand justice without mercy, or no one would be saved (see Ps. 143.2).  He assured every repentant believer that His self-sacrifice was an all-sufficient ransom for all humankind (Mark 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6).

GOD IS LOVE ALL THE TIME!! 1 John 4:8,15,16

 

We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

Salvation Is By Faith Alone In Jesus—That’s It!!!

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We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!    1 John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

 

It is all Christ and nothing that we “do” in the area of putting forth effort.  We simply believe what God says. Praise God we don’t have to save ourselves.

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.  Matthew 1:21, Luke 2:11, John 3:16,  Romans 10:9

 

 

Trusting In Jesus: John 11:26: You Never Die, Hebrews 4:3,10-12                         But You Must Continue Trusting In Jesus!

 

 It’s All About My Relationship!!  Am I Trusting In Jesus? John 17:3

 

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

 

Sin Is Not Trusting In Jesus

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me.  John 16:7-9

There Is Reason For Encouragement!!

  1. Romans 1:16-17,20
  2. Colossians 1:26-27,Philippians 2:12-13
  3. Matthew 24:14, Revelation 14:6
  4. Romans 3:21-22,Ephesians 2:8-9,Philippians 2:12-13
  5. John 3:16-17,Acts16: 30-31,Romans 10:9 ,Romans 5:1-5,6-8,9-11,20-21
  6. John 15:5,9-17,John 17:2,23
  7. 1John 2:28
  8. 1Corinthians 1:18,21-25,29-30, 1Corinthians2:2,9,16
  9. Romans 5:1-14,Romans 5:15-19 Romans 5:20-21

 

Full Assurance By Faith In Jesus Alone!!

 

  1. Hebrews 4:14-16
  2. Hebrews 9:11-15,27-28
  3. Hebrews 10:4,10,11-20,22-25
  4. Hebrews 1:9,Hebrews 10:34-39

For we continue to share in all that Christ has for us so long as we steadily maintain until the end the trust with which we began.  Hebrews 3:14 Phillips

Treasures From The Vine—Jesus Alone Is The Vine

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sunset-farmhouse-italy_9134_600x450

 

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

How much weary labor there has been in striving to understand what abiding is, how much fruitless effort in trying to attain it!  Why was this?  Because the attention was turned to the abiding as a work we have to do, instead of to the living Christ, in whom we were to be kept abiding, who Himself was to hold and keep us.  We thought of abiding as a continual strain and effort – we forget that it means rest from effort to one who has found the place of his abode.  Notice how Christ said, “Abide in Me; I am the Vine that brings forth, and holds, and strengthens, and makes fruitful the branches.  Abide in Me, rest in Me, and let Me do My work.  I am the true Vine.  All I am, and speak, and do is divine truth, giving the actual reality of what is said.  I am the Vine.  Only consent and yield your all to Me, and I will do all in you.”

And so it sometimes comes that souls who have never been especially occupied with the thought of abiding are abiding all the time, because they are occupied with Christ.  Not that the word abide is not needful; Christ used it so often because it is the very key to the Christian life.  But He would have us understand it in its true sense – “Come out of every other place, and every other trust and occupation, come out of self with its reasonings and efforts, come and rest in what I shall do.  Live out of yourself; abide in Me.  Know that you are in Me; you need no more; remain there in me.”

I am the Vine. – Christ did not keep this mystery hidden from His disciples.  He revealed it, first in words here, then in power when the Holy Spirit came down.  He will reveal it to us too, first in the thoughts and confessions and desires these words awaken, then in power by the Spirit.  Do let us wait on Him to show us all the heavenly meaning of the mystery.  Each day, in our quiet time, in the inner chamber with Him and His Word, our chief thought and aim should be to get the heart fixed on Him.  We can have the assurance:  All that a vine ever can do for its branches, my Lord Jesus will do, is doing, for me.  Give Him time, give Him your ear, that He may whisper and explain the divine secret: “I am the vine.”

Above all, remember, Christ is the Vine of God’s planting, and you are a branch of God’s graftingStand always before God, in Christ – waiting for all grace from God, in Christ, yielding yourself to bear the more fruit the Husbandman asks, in Christ.  And pray much for the revelation of the mystery that all the love and power of God that rested on Christ is working in you too.  “I am God’s Vine,” Jesus says; “all I am I have from Him; all I am is for you; God will work it in you.”

* * *

I am the vine.  Blessed Lord, speak that word into my soul.  Then shall I know that all Your fullness is for me and that I can count upon You to stream it into me.  My abiding is so easy and so sure when I forget and lose myself in the adoring faith that the Vine holds the branch and supplies its every need.

 

Christ Manifest in the Flesh— Your Flesh!

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By Pastor Dennis Smith

Please visit Pastor Smith’s Website.

 

 

 

Christ Manifest in the Flesh

 

You are the temple of God and it is His desire to “dwell in you and walk in you” (2Corinthians 6:16).   Jesus wants to live out His life in you.  He wants to manifest all His virtues, character and obedience in and through you.  If you choose to turn from your temptations and trust Him to manifest Himself He will.  In fact, He will become so much a part of your mind and life that Christ through you will be once again manifest in the flesh; in your flesh.

“All true obedience comes from the heart.  It was heart work with Christ.  And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses.  The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service.  When we know God, as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience.  Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” Desire of Ages, p.668

These words describe those who are ready to meet Jesus when He returns.  When obeying Him they will be simply carrying out their own impulses.  Why, because Christ is fully manifest in and through them.  Their life will be a life of continual obedience.  Why; because they are allowing Christ to live out His life in them continually.  This is the high and holy calling God is giving to you today.

This is not a call to try harder or put forth more effort to obey.  It is a call to be filled with His Spirit, choose to obey Him in all things, and let Christ manifest Himself in and through you.  When you say yes to His call and learn how to let Christ live out His life in you your Christian life will no longer be a burden.  This is what Christ spoke of recorded in the gospel of Matthew.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your soul.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

An Illustration

Perhaps the following illustration, though imperfect, will help in understanding what happens when we daily experience the abiding of Christ in our life.  Picture two pieces of cloth that are placed side by side parallel to each other.  One cloth is white, which represents the Christian covered with the “white” righteousness of Christ though not 100 percent reflecting His character yet.  The other cloth is saturated with liquid blue dye, which represents Christ.  The blue dye symbolizes His character, likes, dislikes, virtues, etc.  As the blue cloth comes into contact with the white cloth the blue dye liquid begins seeping into and through the white cloth.  As long as they stay in close contact the white cloth will continue to become more and more blue.  In time only blue is seen.  The blue dye has completely saturated the white cloth.

In this illustration we see that the white cloth did not work at becoming blue.  It simply stayed in intimate contact with the blue cloth.  As pointed out previously, the same principle applies to us.  Our part is to choose to stay intimately close to Christ and believe He will live out His life in us.

Though far from a perfect analogy this illustration somewhat represents what happens when we stay connected with Christ, and allow Him to live out His life in and through us.  His life, character, virtues, etc. become more and more a part of our life.  In time only Christ will be seen.

Praying God’s Promises In The Spirit

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 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

John 12:32

 

 

 

 

Post By Pastor Dennis Smith

Please visit Pastor Smith’s Website.


 

God has given us many promises in the Bible to meet our every need.  Both the Old and New Testaments have outstanding examples of God’s people claiming the promises of His Word when facing difficulties.

One of my first exposures to the Bible’s teaching on prayer was in The ABC’s of Bible Prayer; a book by Glenn Coon.  I learned the concept of claiming God’s promises in prayer as a young Christian, and it was proved to be a great blessing throughout my life and ministry.  The prayer formula is simple:

Ask – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  (Matt. 7:7)

Believe – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  (Mark 11:24)

Claim the promise with thanksgiving before any answer is seen – “And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’”  (John 11:41-43)

In these verses we see that Jesus thanked the Father for hearing and answering His prayer before there was evidence of it being answered.

God’s promises are sure.  We can be confident that God will do what He says:

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”  (Num. 23:19)

And He can do what He promises:

“Ah, Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  There is nothing too hard for You.”  (Jer. 32:17)

Just as the oak tree is in the acorn, so is the fulfillment of God’s promise in the promise itself when claimed by faith.  Concerning the promises of God’s Word, Ellen White writes:

“In every command and in every promise of the Word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the Promise realized.”  (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 38)

God’s power and very life are contained in the promises of the Bible.  Nothing can stand in the way of His promises being fulfilled when we claim them by faith in persevering prayer.

In 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 we find a marvelous prayer model of claiming God’s promises.  Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was facing an imminent invasion by a confederacy of armies.  He had made preparation for such a crisis by building up Judah’s army and defenses.  He had more than 1 million well-trained men ready for battle.  However, when the threat became known to the king, his first response was not to look to his preparations for war, but rather look to the Lord.

When we face problems in life, our response should be the same – look to the Lord first.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t do what we can to meet whatever situation may arise.  The danger is that we have the tendency to go immediately to our human resources for help and deliverance.  Our mind often begins formulating ways to solve the problem rather than turning to God first.  Jehoshaphat’s response is a good example for us to follow.

This prayer reveals five steps for victoriously praying for the promises of God:

  1. The king began by praising God’s attributes, especially those related to the problem he was facing (verse 6).  He recalled that God rules over all the kingdoms of the nations, that “power and might” are in His hand, and that no one can withstand Him.
  2. The king recalled past victories, similar to the present victory Judah needed (verse 7). Recalling God’s provision in the past, as related to our present need, reminds us of God’s faithfulness and builds our faith.
  3. He stated in prayer a promise God had made to His people in the past – a promise related to the problem he was facing (verses 8, 9).
  4. Jehoshaphat then stated the problem (verses 10-12).
  5. He praised God before any evidence of victory was seen (verses 18, 19).