Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

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 Spirit Gives To You!!

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By Max Lucado

Call it what you wish. A talent…a skill set…a gift. The terms are different, but the truth is the same. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.”

You aren’t the only person with your skill. But you are the only person with your version of your skill. You entered the world uniquely equipped. Psalm 139:13-15 describes it as “knit together, woven together in the dark of the womb, intricately and curiously wrought.”

Each of us! Not some of us, a few of us, or the elite among us. Each of us has a beauty that longs to be revealed and released. It is you at your best! When you stand at the intersection of your skill and God’s call, you are standing at the corner of Promised Land Avenue and Glory Days Boulevard.

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

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

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.

Holy Spirit Baptism! Has Your Christian Experience Been All You Hoped It Would Be?

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This Post Is By Pastor Dennis Smith of Holy Spirit Ministries.

Pastor Smith is Author of “The Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Spirit Baptism is a Great Read That Will Guide you into A Close Intimate Walk With Jesus, The Only One Who Can Save You!! Details and links are at the end of this post.

Christians of Past Generations

The Lord has given us examples in both the Bible and history of individuals who have learned lessons in life as the struggled to enter into the victorious life the Bible calls them to attain.  Paul tells us that “all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” 1Corinthians 10:11.  One such example is that of J. Hudson Taylor, the well known 19th century missionary to China.

Taylor experienced frustration, confusion, and discouragement at the beginning of his service for the Lord.  At the age of thirty-seven he shared his inner most feelings with his mother in a letter.  In it we read of the feelings of failure and defeat he felt because of his inability to be faithful to His Lord in all things.  Taylor wrote:

“My own position becomes continually more and more responsible, and my need greater of special grace to fill it; but I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious master.  I cannot tell you how I am buffeted sometimes by temptation.  I never knew how bad a heart I had.  Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only in all things.  And I value above all things that precious Savior in Whom alone I can be accepted.  Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all; but I try to throw it back, and rejoice all the more in the preciousness of Jesus, and in the riches of that grace that has made us ‘accepted in the Beloved.’  Beloved He is of God; beloved He ought to be of us.  But oh, how short I fall here again!  May God help me to love Him more and serve Him better.  Do pray for me.  Pray that the Lord will keep me from sin, will sanctify me wholly, will use me more largely in His service.”

John McCarthy, a fellow missionary in China, wrote Taylor a letter describing a recent understanding he had come to concerning victory over temptation through Christ.  In the letter McCarthy wrote:

“To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification is what I would live for by His grace.   Abiding, not striving or struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power;…resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the joy of a complete salvation, ‘from all sin’—this is not new, and yet ‘tis new to me.  I feel as though the dawning of a glorious day had risen upon me.  I hail it with trembling, yet with trust.  I seem to have got to the edge only, but of a boundless sea; to have sipped only, but of that which fully satisfies.  Christ literally all seems to me, now, the power, the only power for service, the only ground for unchanging joy.  May he lead us into the realization of His unfathomable fullness…Not a striving to have faith…but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and for eternity.”

God used this letter to open Taylor’s eyes to the wonderful truth of our abiding in Christ and His abiding in us; the truth of the mystery of the believer’s union with Christ.  From that day forward Taylor’s walk with God was one of peace, rest and victory in Christ.  This amazing change could be seen by his colleagues in ministry who said, “Mr. Taylor went out, a new man in a new world, to tell what the Lord had done for his soul.”

Taylor wrote his sister in England seeking to explain to her this wonderful truth he had discovered and the marvelous experience he was having in His Lord.  He said:

“As to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone.  The last month or more has been perhaps, the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul.  I do not know how far I may be able to make myself intelligible about it, for there is nothing new or strange or wonderful – and yet, all is new!  In a word, ‘Whereras once I was blind, now I see.’

“When my agony of soul was at it height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before.  McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory): ‘But how to get faith strengthened?  Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.’

“As I read I saw it all!  ‘If we believe not, he abideth faithful.’  I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!)  I thought.  ‘I have striven in vain to rest in Him.  I’ll strive no more.  For has He not promised to abide with me – never to leave me, never to fail me?’  And, dearie, He never will!”

Taylor went on in his letter to describe how the Lord had opened up his understanding concerning Christ’s words that He is the vine and the believers are the branches.  He wrote: “Oh, the joy of seeing this truth!”  Then he said:

“The sweetest part, if one may speak of one part being sweeter than another, is the rest which full identification with Christ brings.  I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine.  It makes no matter where He places me, or how.  That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient.”

Yes, J. Hudson Taylor found the secret of victory in his walk with God and great peace in all circumstances of service for Christ.  God offers to each of His children this same victory and peace.  Do you desire such victory and peace?  My prayer is that all who read this book will find just that – victory and peace in Christ; a joy that seemed so impossible to attain before.

Next Post: The Path to Discovery. The Truth of Abiding “in Christ” and How We Can Experience a Victorious Life.

Can it be This Simple?

“The Baptism of The Holy Spirit”. In This Book Pastor Smith gives the reader an essential understanding of The Baptism of The Holy Spirit. Click on the link that follows.

“The Baptism of the Holy Spirit”.

Pastor Smith’s Website

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Did a Census Really Bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem?

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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

 

 

 

 

1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.”    

Luke 2:1-5

Defending the faith means clearing Christ and the Bible of false charges when they arise. When others cast doubt on the historical accuracy of Bible events, such as the census mentioned in the passage above, be prepared with a gracious response. Here is one adapted from W. P. Armstrong’s well-documented article “Chronology of the New Testament” in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Classic Commentary

The census or enrollment, which, according to Luke 2:1, was the occasion of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, is connected with a decree of Augustus embracing the Greek-Roman world. This decree must have been carried out in Palestine by Herod and probably in accordance with the Jewish method–each going to his own city–rather than the Roman.

While Josephus does not mention the Herodian census, Luke carefully distinguishes the census at the time of Jesus’ birth as “first,” (i.e. first in a series of enrollments connected either with Quirinius or with the imperial policy inaugurated by the decree of Augustus).

The geographical work of [Herod] Agrippa, together with the interest of the emperor in the organization and finances of the empire and the attention which he gave to the provinces are indirectly corroborative of Luke’s statement. Augustus himself conducted a census in Italy in and in Gaul in 727/27* [see Roman dating system, ‘AUC‘] and had a census taken in other provinces. For Egypt there is evidence of a regular periodic census every 14 years extending back to 773/20 and it is not improbable that this procedure was introduced by Augustus.

The time of the decree is stated only in general terms by Luke, and it may have been as early as 727/27 or later in 746-8, its execution in different provinces and subject kingdoms being carried out at different times. Luke dates the census in the kingdom of Herod specifically by connecting it with the administrative functions of Quirinius in Syria. But as P. Quintilius Varus was the legate of Syria just before and after the death of Herod from 748/6-750/4 and his predecessor was C. Sentius Saturninus from 745/9-748/6 there seems to be no place for Quirinius during the closing years of Herod’s reign.

Tertullian indeed speaks of Saturninus as legate at the time of Jesus’ birth. It is possible that the connection of the census with Quirinius may be due to his having brought to completion what was begun by one of his predecessors; or Quirinius may have been commissioned especially by the emperor to conduct a census in Syria.

A Thought to Keep

Christian author Francis Schaeffer wrote, “The best reason to believe Christianity is that it’s true.” God calls us to true belief, not blind faith.

And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:15-17

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

 

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 NLT

Treasures From The Vine—God’s Perfect Work In Us!

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Catching a ride 65

 

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

 

And every branch that bears fruit, he purges it,

that it may bring forth more fruit. – John 15:2

More fruit. – The Word comes with divine authority to search and test our life.  The true disciple will heartily surrender himself to its holy light and will earnestly ask that God Himself may show what may be lacking in the measure or the character of the fruit he bears.  Let us believe that the Word is meant to lead us on to a fuller experience of the Father’s purpose of love, of Christ’s fullness, and of the wonderful privilege of bearing much more fruit in the salvation of men.

More fruit. – The word is a most encouraging one.  Let us listen to it.  It is just to the branch that is bearing fruit that this message comes: more fruit.  God does not demand this as Pharaoh the taskmaster, or as Moses the lawgiver, without providing the means.  He comes as a Father, who gives what He asks and works what He commands.  He comes to us as the living branches of the living Vine and offers to work the more fruit in us, if we but yield ourselves into His hands.  Shall we not admit the claim, accept the offer, and look to Him to work it in us?

“That it may bring forth more fruit”: − Do let us believe that as the owner of a vine does everything to make the fruitage as rich and large as possible, the divine Husbandman will do all that is needed to make us bear more fruit.  All He asks is that we set our heart’s desire on it, entrust ourselves to His working and care, and joyfully look to Him to do His perfect work in us.  God has set His heart on more fruit; Christ waits to work it in us; let us joyfully look up to our divine Husbandman and our heavenly Vine, to ensure our bearing more fruit.

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Our Father which art in heaven, You are the heavenly Husbandman.  And Christ is the heavenly Vine.  And I am a heavenly branch, partaker of His heavenly life, to bear His heavenly fruit.  Father, let the power of His life so fill me that I may ever bear more fruit, to the glory of Your name.

 

 

 

Treasures From The Vine—My Father Is The Husbandman

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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

 

And my father is the husbandman. – John 15:1

A vine must have a husbandman to plant and watch over it, to receive and rejoice in its fruit.  Jesus says: “My Father is the husbandman.”  Jesus was “the vine of God’s planting.”  All He was and did, He owed to the Father; in all things He only sought the Father’s will and glory.  He had become man to show us what a creature ought to be to its Creator.  He took our place, and the spirit of His life before the Father was ever what He seeks to make ours:  “Of Him, and through him, and to him, are all things” (Romans 11:36).  He became the true Vine, that we might be true branches.  Both in regard to Christ and ourselves the words teach us the two lessons of absolute dependence and perfect confidence.

My Father is the husbandman. – Christ ever lived in the spirit of what He once said:  “The Son can do nothing of himself” (John 5:19).  As dependent as a vine is on a husbandman for the place where it is to grow, for its fencing in and watering and pruning, Christ felt Himself entirely dependent on the Father every day for the wisdom and the strength to do the Father’s will.  As He said in the previous chapter (John 14:10):  “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.”  This absolute dependence had as its blessed counterpart the most blessed confidence that He had nothing to fear: The Father could not disappoint Him.  With such a Husbandman as His Father, He could enter death and the grave.  He could trust God to raise Him up.  All that Christ is and has, He has, not in Himself, but from the Father.

 

Treasures From The Vine–I must Indeed Abide!

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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

 

We know the meaning of the word except.  It expresses some indispensable condition, some inevitable law.  “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”  There is but one way for the branch to bear fruit, there is no other possibility: It must abide in unbroken communion with the vine.

Not of itself, but only of the vine, does the fruit come.  Christ had already said: “Abide in me”; in nature the branch teaches us the lesson so clearly.  It is such a wonderful privilege to be called and allowed to abide in the heavenly Vine.  One might have thought it needless to add these words of warning.  But no – Christ knows so well what a renunciation of self is implied in this:  “Abide in me”; how strong and universal the tendency would be to seek to bear fruit by our own efforts;  how difficult it would be to get us to believe that actual, continuous abiding in Him is an absolute necessity!  He insists upon the truth:  Not of itself can the branch bear fruit; unless it abides, it cannot bear fruit.  “No more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

But must this be taken literally?  Must I, as exclusively and manifestly and unceasingly and absolutely as the branch exists in the vine, be equally given up to find my whole life in Christ alone?  I must indeed!!  The except ye abide is as universal as the except it abide.  The no more can ye admits of no exception or modification.  If I am to be a true branch, if I am to bear fruit, if I am to be what Christ as Vine wants me to be, then my whole existence must be as exclusively devoted to abiding in Him as that of the natural branch is to abiding in its vine.