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NetChaplain

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NetChaplain last won the day on September 9 2016

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  1. NetChaplain

    The Amber Spot

    In this “valley” (Psa 23:4), are we looking at “death’s shadow” more than at God’s provision of “comfort”? Regardless of which, all who are reborn have been delivered from “death” (John 8:51), even though while in its shadowed-valley (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14)! It has been encouragingly said that “the lost need saved, and the saved need deliverance”! Though believers know of being saved from the guilt of sin we nevertheless require constant testing and learning considering sin’s dominion. Not that its “dominion” is what “reigns” (Rom 6:12, 14), we are kept form that, for “sin shall not have dominion over you”; but that we still have opportunity in the testings (never pass or fail but grow) to increase the strength of our faith; and this strengthening is only possible in this life because we will not be “walking by faith” in the next, which will all be “sight” (2 Cor 5:7). During a trial do we know that it is controlled (1 Cor 10:13; Rom 8:28) by Him who has allowed it or maybe even brought it to occur? All that we will encounter foreknown by our omniscient God, thus we never need to wonder if this control for our “good” can ever be hindered (maybe seemingly delayed, but only in our opinion, for God is always timely). Of course, we learn more faith through each and every trial, if it is mixed with the understanding and belief in the above promises prior to, during or after the difficulty. God always ensures that goodness will result from all our trials and difficulties, no matter where we are in our maturity concerning this. But the difference will be that the mature believer has learned to be more of an exemplary witness when it’s time to “endure hardness” (2 Tim 2:3), and so manifesting a stronger faith and experiencing a greater peace and "nearness" with God in this life. NC The Amber Spot Go where one will in this dark scene there is but one bright spot, as it is expressed in Ezekiel 1:4, “And I looked, and behold, a whirlwind … out of the midst thereof as the color of amber.” As one in a dark night watches for the moon, there is a great moral difference as to whether one is dwelling on the clouds that intercept the light, which “rules the night,” or whether the eye is simply and entirely watching for the light, though it may often be obscured. If you are occupied with the clouds, you will feel tortured; everything will seem against you, and you will feel as one crushed and deserted. But if you are occupied with the “amber” spot, though there be a great whirlwind and a “great cloud,” you will be assured of heart, in the consciousness that you are waiting for a display of a well-known power which will disperse all the clouds, and afford you a full bright view of Himself in a cloudless sky even in your journey here. Trials, clouds and vexations you will have; we need them in order to convince us that it is all night here, but then your business is not with clouds, but with the One who is the light in the midst of darkness. Apparently there would be little difference between two travelers journeying along in a dark and stormy night; there is evidently no more light to one than to the other, yet the one taken up with his sufferings because of the storm and the darkness would be crushed and distressed in a way that the one whose eye was fixed on the moon, or on a star, to cheer and alleviate the trials, would be quite the superior one. This latter counts on the efficacy of a well-known resource, one which is known to exist, and which every now and then is displayed with such distinct help, such complete victory over the trials that the very value and charm of the light is enhanced by the temporary obstructions, and a deeper sense of its worth is obtained to impart greater courage and more hope when the clouds would again prevail. Thus one thinks of the light and not of the clouds; and clouds, like the wants to a rich man, only afford and opportunity for making a good investment, feeling how rich one is when the want is presented. The moment of need and misery to a poor man displays complacency to a rich man because he has resources to meet it. The one with his eye on the clouds I compare to the poor man; the one with his eye on the blessed light and cheer of our hearts is the rich man—the man rich in the Lord Jesus Christ. - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional for September 13: "The law is not our ‘rule of life’ for the simple reason that it was the Israelite’s. The Christian not being a Jew, the law is not for him. ‘Holy, just and good’ it is, but the Christian’s rule of life is ‘in Christ. . . a new creature’ (Gal. 6:15). The believer’s place and rule is to walk as a ‘pilgrim and stranger’ upon the earth. The law has nothing of this. Had it been fulfilled, it would have made earth morally a paradise; and will, when written upon Israel’s heart in millennial days. But strangership on earth and a heavenly walk, it never taught." -F.W.G. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  2. NetChaplain

    Are You Last?

    Amen, and that's love from the new nature (vs 23). Thanks for you reply and God bless!
  3. NetChaplain

    Are You Last?

    As we already know, the primary goal of every believer is to put others before self (Phl 2:3). This is the priority for those who desire to put God first because it is how we “keep” His “commands” (John 14:15), which are summed up into one—namely “love one another” (John 15:12, 17). Therefore to love God is to love others, and anything short of this intention is merely immaturity concerning our “growing up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15). Until this is our intention in what we do we cannot rightly “walk in the Spirit,” for “love” is the foremost “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22)! Thus, it can be safely assumed that love to others is the greatest work of God within a soul; it undoubtedly is the spiritual growth determinant of the saint. Though our practical love to others cannot be continuous (due to the old man), the desire for it should ever be final, manifesting at least to self, God’s “work” in us (Phl 2:13). The disappointment in this inconsistency can be compensated by being encouraged to know that God knows (because He puts it in you) your overall intention is love to others. To me this can be seen similar to Peter (I believe) being encouraged in knowing Christ knew he loved Him when he appealed to Jesus in answering Him a third time with, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:15-17). I believe “love” was Apostle John’s prominent attribute which God had worked in his life, which is seen dominant in his writings, and could have been why he was Jesus’ favorite (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24). Not that He loved John more than any other, “but as a man, He had a particular affection for this disciple” – J G. As we seek God to make neighborly love a priority in our lives, let us be patient while we see Him gradually and assuredly working it to be not only desirable, but more importantly—practical in our walk with Him. Thank God that we know that He knows that we love Him above all, and it is this ultimatum that makes our love to all others an ever-conscious priority! NC
  4. NetChaplain

    Church sans Tribulation

    For those in Christ, there hasn’t been and will never be a general tribulation such as will involve the world (majority of society). This sense is in reference to the eschatological tribulation which contains “things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev 1:1). These “things” are not difficulties which believers endure that derive from the oppositions of men, but from the judgment from God, which answers to why children of God (e.g. those in Christ, which excludes any in the OT) are never seen in Scripture to encounter judgment of any kind—they being ever absent of it in the Lord Jesus (Rom 8:1). NC Church sans Tribulation Not only is the Church a product of this specific age with no relation whatsoever to any other age (after the OT and prior to Rev 20:4), but each believer is perfectly accepted now and forever before God on the ground of his position in Christ, and, being saved out of this cosmos world, he is no more of this world than Christ is of this world (John 15:18, 19; 17:14, 16). The coming tribulation is the judgment of this world. Israel has her part in it since, being not yet saved (Ro 11:26), she is of the world (cf. Mat 13:44). The believer, being what he is in Christ, has no more a rightful place in this world’s judgments than Christ Himself or even any unfallen angel. Back of the theories that the Church will enter or pass through the tribulation is the Arminian heresy that the believer contributes something to his own acceptance before God, and, having failed to some extent in this responsibility, he will be purged and purified by the suffering which the tribulation affords. There is a line of truth which concerns the believer’s personal faithfulness; but this is consummated before Christ at His judgment seat in heaven. As for any condemnation, or other judgment, the Christian is wholly delivered forever on the most righteous ground that a Substitute bore the condemnation and judgment and has provided a perfect standing before God. It is established by Scripture that the believer is delivered from all condemning judgments (John 3:18; 5:24; Rom 5:1; 8:1, 33, 34; 1 Cor 11:31, 32). In general, those who contend that the Church will experience the tribulation assert that all believers—spiritual and unspiritual, will enter that period of suffering, though there are those believing in a partial rapture who assert that the Church will be divided and the spiritual element, which always includes those who advance this notion, will go directly to heaven, while the unspiritual will suffer for their sins in the tribulation. This constitutes a Protestant purgatory. The answer to all such conceptions is the recognition of the truth that, when members of this sinful race go to heaven, it is not on the ground of their own merit, but only through the merit of Christ. It is to be remembered that each believer is already perfectly justified forever (Rom 5:1; 8:30, 33, 34; Heb 10:14), and this wholly within the range of divine justice (Rom 3:26). Thus the contention that the Church will enter or pass through the tribulation becomes and insult to, and unbelief towards (though ignorantly—NC) the measureless grace of God in His Beloved Son. Those who entertain the idea that the Church experiences the great tribulation must reckon with the fact that of upwards of seventy-five generations (almost 2000 years) who comprise that company, all but the present generation have entered Glory without the supposed benefits of that purging experience. Why, then, should the last generation suffer that from which the vast host have been spared? On this point a specious argument has been advanced, namely, that as the Church has suffered martyrdom in certain periods of her history she may be expected to suffer thus again at the end of her age; but back of this claim is the failure to recognize that past sufferings were due to the attack of wicked men upon the Church, while the great tribulation is God’s judgment upon wicked men. Wholly justified believers have no place among evil men who are destined to eternal doom. - L S Chafer Excerpt from MJS devotional for September 7: “We are to draw nigh in faith where we already are in position.” - MJS "Instead of the priest coming out to bless, as in Judaism, we are to go in for blessing. There are no barriers now. The Father has removed every hindrance and now it is for me to go in and abide. The teachers of Christendom have practically stitched up the veil which He rent. The rent veil in the Gospels is the Father’s coming out, but the rent veil in Hebrews is the believer’s going in." -J.B.S. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  5. NetChaplain

    Separating Separator

    Thank you too for your reply! Blessings!
  6. NetChaplain

    Separating Separator

    One of the encouraging concepts I find concerning “made us meet” is that of God lifting us above ourselves in our thoughts of unworthiness. The significance here is that though we realize we are unworthy apart from Christ, we learn that we are made (meet) worthy in Him; and the imputation of His righteousness unto us gives us one of among many divine attributes, so that we can see ourselves relating to Him in the holiness which He stands. Understanding that we are holy because He is holy provides for us a shameless union concerning our conscience, resulting in ourselves being more open towards God in the joy of our fellowship with Him; and this is what God joys in—our joy in Him!
  7. NetChaplain

    Separating Separator

    I'm sorry FF but I do not know what to do with a reaction instead of a reply or quote, but thanks!
  8. NetChaplain

    Separating Separator

    Peace with God on our side can be unnecessarily interrupted when we think there could be times He may not be at peace with us on His side, which could never be. In Christ, He punishes not out of anger but rather disciplines out of love. Thus, everything a believer encounters and does is merely that which has to do with Him manifesting His love for us. God is completely clear of all that we may think could interfere with His unbroken love and peace concerning His—and His desire is the same for us—to rest assured that we can always walk in peace toward Him. We may find disappointment in ourselves, but God is never disappointed in us (neither should we be), for He knows our “will” (regardless of the sin) is always to “please” (Phil 2:13) Him. NC Separating Separator Our acceptance with the Father on the ground of the work of the Son (Eph 1:6) has been done perfectly, and is therefore unimprovable. It never alters, and it is very important for us not to mix our acceptance itself with our enjoyment of it. The acceptance is “in Christ,” and therefore unchangeable; the experiential enjoyment is “by the Spirit,” and therefore often hindered (because of the working of the indwelling old man). In Romans 5 we have the truth presented on the Father’s side: the terms He is on with us. There is another vital point for us to consider, namely, how we are before Him. This we get in chapter 8. The prodigal could have no doubt as to his father’s feelings towards him, when he covered him with kisses. His trouble was his own unfitness for the place—his unsuitability. He says, “I am no longer worthy to be called thy son.” It is at this point that serious and protracted troubles arise in souls. The knowledge of grace and forgiveness is an assured reality; and then, too often, the effort is to make the flesh (old man, not the body—NC) subject to the law of God, which (we read) it “neither indeed can be” (Rom 8:7). The prodigal had the grace of forgiveness when His father embraced him; but he had to be made fit to enjoy this grace, and this also is effected for him. The best robe is put on him; he is no linger in his rags. In Christ there is no condemnation; everything of the old man is renounced. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” “Giving thanks unto the Father, who has made us to fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (2 Cor 5:17; Col 1:12). How blessed to know that you are not connected in God’s sight with the man (original nature; old man—NC) under judgement, but with the Man who bore the judgement, and who has been raised from among the dead by the glory of the Father! What a blessed utterance for you in Romans 8:2: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” You have changed from Adam to Christ (concerning your nature—NC). As before the Father, positionally, we are clear by faith through Christ (this is Romans 4 and 5), but as to yourself, your condition, it is not by faith that you get experientially clear, but by the Spirit of Christ (faith is the medium for transfer of power—NC). This is exceedingly important. No one is in liberty who is trying to improve the old man. He (it—NC) cannot be improved; you must be apart from him altogether. The death of the Cross is the separation; the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the Separator. In the end of Romans 7 you get experientially clear of him, and in the beginning of Romans 8 you are set free “in Christ” (while the old man yet indwells—NC). In Romans 5 we have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given unto us; but in chapter 8:2 it is not love but life. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts first: then life in Christ is known and enjoyed; ability by the Spirit to behold the Lord’s glory—all the Father’s satisfaction according to all His attributes expressed in Him. It is “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). The growing result of our thus “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, (is that we) are changed in to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18). Thus, in our growth, we become here descriptive of the Man seated at the right hand of the Father, not of the fallen, sinful and earthly man—Adam. - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional for August 21: “The love motive is not adequate to carry the believer through to fruitful walk and service. Few seem to be able to face up to this fact, possibly because they see no higher alternative. But there is one: the life motive. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). “The law (i.e. of sin and death—NC) is for the man who departed from God—that man has been removed from God’s sight in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I rejoice that now by the ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ I am ‘free from the law of sin and death’ (Rom. 8:2).” http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  9. NetChaplain

    Personalized Peace

    The Lord Jesus’ peace in this scene was a wonderful thing. I note there are two truths which, as they are known, impart to us this peace. The first is seeing Him by faith in the place where he is, where He has prepared a place for us. In a place of evil and sorrow like this, it is an immense lever, lifting us above these influences, to be assured that the One who loved us, and gave Himself for us on the earth, has prepared a place for us in heaven, and that He is in the place that He has prepared. It throws the heart peculiarly into concert with the holiest and brightest scenes (as with one’s home), because the delight of the heart is there, and everything suited to it is in the place. If He, the Object for the heart, were not there, the heart would not be there; and if the surroundings were not holy and beautiful, there would be suffering from even our personal appreciation of Him, and not unbroken enjoyment of being in His presence. To enjoy His society and fellowship, there must be nothing to distract or interrupt. I enjoy His love here but partially, where so many things arise every moment to interrupt me, be they evil, sorrow or natural pleasure. I may be much attracted, but yet I am interrupted. The heart is not restful until it is associated with its object. Surroundings are necessary, not merely for comfort’s sake, but that there might be nothing to make one anxious or disquieted. You seek it with your friend; you draw round the fire in the winter evening, the cold is excluded, the lamp is lighted, the darkness forbidden, the door is closed. There is thus no interruption. The seclusion suits you, and the sense of home is known to the heart. You must say to your heart, amid the din of strife here, and the chaos of everything morally, “I see my Savior where He is, and where He has a place for me”; this gives the heart superiority over this place; and thus you are so far in His peace. The other truth is, that He manifests Himself to us in the place of evil and sorrow. This gives strength to the heart, as the former gives repose to it. You require both strength and repose in order to be in His path here. When He manifests Himself—a wonderful favor—you feel as if He were beside you. “The Lord stood with me” (2 Tim 4:17). What could ruffle me when He as a great tower, is beside me? “The righteous run into it, and is safe” (Pro 18:10). You have the greatest and most loving Companion even where you are the weakest and can really do nothing; and you follow Him by faith where He has prepared a place for you, where you have nothing to do but to enjoy His company, without a hindrance. If you would know that He has a place for you in the Father’s house, reckon upon the fact—“hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). If you would that He should manifest Himself to you, keep His words (John 14:21); and thus you arrive at His peace. Your roots are in heaven, but your branches are on earth. Here, He is the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. When the roots are in heaven, the branches are sure to be according to His Word; and hence He manifestly protects and fosters what is His own, and for Himself. “My peace I give unto you.” - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional for August 15: “When our Lord takes us down into an area of processing and trial it seems as though He deliberately takes away our understanding, and we often react as though we had never gone through anything before. One of His reasons for this is that we may receive the full effect and benefit of the child-training.” - MJS “We should give our consent to our Father when He seeks to lead us through devastating processes. And we need have no fear, for He knows how to apportion our suffering. He exactly matches the suffering to our condition. He measures all things with unfailing accuracy and selects the particular trial suited to our particular need.” – G W http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  10. NetChaplain

    Assured Assurance

    Only the Spirit God can inwardly “bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:16), thus He continually confirms and assures in our understanding we are His, which none other can do. Then there is the outward indication (which is not necessarily affirmed conformation) of being a child of God, which is “you shall know them by their fruits” (Mat 7:16). I believe Romans Eight is one of the clearest descriptions concerning this discernment because it alternates between that which is of the sin nature, and that which is of the Spirit. The reason for its clarity is due to the use of contrasting between that which is true only of a believer, and that which is true only of an unbeliever. It begins with the clear separation between the two by identifying those “who walk not after the flesh” and those who walk after the Spirit; and neither of the two can do both. Nobody can will after the “things” of the sinful nature and after the things of the Spirit of God (Rom 8:5). “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt” (Mat 7:18; 12:33). “No man can serve two masters (i.e. sin nature and the Spirit), for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Mat 6:24). James states parallel instruction with, “Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? . . . so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh” (3:11, 12). To “walk after” designs the intention of that which one wills over all things. Though believers are yet effected by the desires of the “old man,” their overriding and ultimate desire and will is always to please God; and it is this all prevalent “desire” (Phil 2:13) of which believers are continually aware. These are not only comforting and assuring but—ever present! - NC
  11. NetChaplain

    “But One Thing Is Needful”

    When we fully understand that God uses everything in our lives (all thoughts, feelings, words and actions) to “work together for our good,” we can then realize that the sum of all we encounter is but to teach us to know that we need not to wonder if our daily lives are counting for Him in the way He desires. He is the Orchestrator and therefore in control of the finalities of all begotten of Him, in directing our lives through the administration of His work “in” and “for” us (Phil 2:13; Rom 8:28). Thus wherever we are, it is in His school of training, which will—without fail—always serve to progress us unto our next level of learning. In His omniscience, all has been taken into account, even the wrongs we will inadvertently choose, and has been preplanned to an inevitable single end—to continually “conform” us to the life of the Lord Jesus (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18). This does not address the redemption in which we are “irrevocably” planted (Rom 11:29), but increases our effectiveness in the possession of it! - NC “But One Thing Is Needful” “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things” (Luke10:41). The Lord’s words are very striking. Beloved friends, if you are busy about many things you will not only be busy, but troubled. Martha, we read, “was cumbered (distracted) with much serving”; and she was not only “encumbered,” but also “troubled”—it weighed upon her (vs 40—NC). If you have service that weighs you down, look to it; see well why it is. Plainly that very character would put you along with Martha there. “And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word” (vs 39). The Lord takes her up to signify His entire approbation as to where she was and what she was. He has a reproof for Martha’s service, but has only approbation for Mary’s simply sitting at His feet. “But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (vs 42). Only “one thing.” To what a little point would that diminish all care (e.g. eliminate unnecessary concerns—NC) if we only recognize and bowed to the truth of the Lord’s words. There are a great many needs in the busy world; there are a great many duties that you have, and that Christians think they have to society, to their neighbors, and what not. The Lord here would bring our hearts from everything simply to one—to sit at His feet and hear His Word! Don’t you feel as if that would leave service out altogether? How is it possible that only a single thing is needful, and Mary had chosen that very part, when there are so many things to do? Are we to leave out service to the Lord? What does it mean? Beloved, this: That the thing which is to be our care is that we receive from the Lord Jesus. And if we are receiving, service and everything else will take care of itself. Mark, I do not mean that you won’t serve. You will. But I say this: that if your care is not for service (i.e. as a priority—NC), but to be receiving from Him, you will find that the “one thing” of which the Lord speaks embraces all the rest. What our Father wants from us is receptiveness (first, then service—NC). He wants in us the capacity to receive. “Come” and “drink”; and he that believeth on Me (faith being that receptive character in the soul), out of his inner being shall flow rivers of living water.” Mark what a beautiful thing—that out of the innermost of man’s nature (e.g. new nature—NC), the part that craves, the fullness flows. If rivers of living water flow out of you, this means both testimony and service, surely. It implies real ministry to others, and that God is to get His own from you in the world. But if this is to be true of you, what are the means by which it is to be accomplished? You are to come and drink; you are to come and receive as Mary did, and you will find in this “one thing needful” all other things are contained. Even amid a ruined world, paradise is returned again for him who takes this place at Jesus’ feet—this place of happy dependence to which there is no lack. You see, the fullness is His, it is not ours. People have the idea that grace in a man is a sort of thing that God puts as it were a seed into the soul, and it is to grow and grow, and develop there into more, so that he has consciously more and more. That is not it at all! Surely I do not mean to say that a man is not born of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, and that as so born he does not grow. Certainly he does; but that is another thing (grace admits in only one degree but understanding it deeper ever increases—NC). From the very beginning of growth this ought to be true of us. Beloved, the blessedness we speak of is to be found in that which God has already given to us, if we are Christians—that which the Apostle sets forth in Colossians 2:9 and 10 (the key of the epistle): “In Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are filled up in Him.” Now, if that is really so, you see your competence at once. God has given you place, your part, in Him already. And think, beloved, that in One in whom is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, in Him we are “filled up!” Faith has got to recognize this. Faith has got to make it all practical. Not to make the thing true—it is true—but we have to recognize it to find the proper truth of it. Alas, we are all Marthas, apt to be busy with much serving. And the last thing which we naturally think of is to come to the Lord to find satisfaction in Him alone. You think, “If He is such a glorious Person, He must be served. No, if He is such a glorious Person, would He come down from heaven to earth to be served by us? Was it not more adequate faith in Mary, saying, as it were, “If He had wanted service, He would not ask for it from such poor, incompetent hands as ours.” “The less is blessed of the better” (Heb 7:7). It is not more blessed to receive, but “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” And are we trying to serve the Lord Jesus? Take care we are not trying to be “the better,” and to make Him “the less” (of course inadvertently so—NC). Are we trying to serve Him, when He had to come from heaven to serve us? What is the secret, beloved ones, of all the dishonor done to Him (alas!) by His people? It is that they are not where Mary was—they are not in the place of real occupation with Himself. That is what the Lord wants. He has come all this weary way to attract our hearts to Himself. He wants us to receive out of His fullness—He want us simply to receive. Not to get us to say, after a little while, “I must be doing something now” (receive to do, not to do then receive—NC). He wants us to receive, receive and receive! If it is only receiving from Him, every other responsibility will be met easily—not by effort, but met of necessity. This will come after you own soul is fully satisfied; for the vessel must be filled itself before it can properly flow over. It is not from a vessel that is partly full that you expect an overflow. You must sit at His feet until you are filled yourself—that is the first thing. And when filled yourself, don’t think that you require effort then. As surly as you are filled yourself, out of your inner being shall flow “rivers of living water.” How slow are we to receive in its full reality the grace that requires not, but gives—that delights to give—that only seeks to have objects for it; the grace that, simply as we receive it, we find not only fullness for ourselves, but that which makes our lives full also for others. That “one thing” needful is occupation with Him—to sit at His feet and learn of Him. So then, if we want to serve Him, the only possible way is to receive from Him first until our hearts are so full that we cannot contain it any longer. The overflow is not measured by the capacity of the vessel, but by the power of the spring. Think of that! Think of our testimony in the world being the testimony of the divine fullness—not the measure of what we are, but the measure, so to speak, of what He is. The “one thing” needful for us is that our whole souls should be satisfied with Himself—and to be occupied with the Lord Jesus Christ is to be satisfied (In satisfaction there is absence of greed—NC). - F W Grant Excerpt from MJS devotional for August 10: The legal Christian considers the law to be his best friend who will enable him to live righteously. But in reality the law, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, is his beloved enemy. The Spirit’s purpose is to bring the well-meaning believer down into defeat, wretched and ready to realize, “I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom. 7:25). - MJS “It is perhaps the most alarming symptom of decay to be seen amongst evangelical believers today, that so many have accepted (at any rate mentally) the fact that they cannot be justified before God except by the sacrifice for sin once made for all upon Calvary, proceed to build a new legal code by which to live, and seek to be sanctified by their own efforts and endeavors. – JCM www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  12. NetChaplain

    Grace Over Sin

    Believers are to be aware of their sin nature (old man) and its sins but not consciously stayed on them, for He knows this would hinder spiritual growth in our faith in the Lord Jesus and thus become less useful in His purposes. A fixation on our sins indicates a less-than-full understanding of His forgiveness (not hindering redemption but stunting the fullness of its use), “because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (Heb 10:2). It’s a matter of understanding and believing that Christ’s one-time sacrifice (Heb 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10, 14) is all-sufficient in eternally removing the guilt of our sin from us. This is “as far as the East is from the West” (Psa 103:12), which intends that of being as far as one can possibly imagine. There is a vast difference between being aware of something and being conscious of it. In “walking circumspectly” (Eph 5:15) our thoughts are not stayed on our sin, nor on the Enemy and his “devices” (2 Cor 2:11). But we are to merely realize that we are not to find it unexpectedly that our “old man” (sin nature) and the devil will ever be in opposition to us, thus ever making attempts to delay the increase of our faith in Christ; and we can know that this conflict is used for our spiritual growth, which growth (in quality not quantity) increases with every practical use of faith. There is nothing between us and God, except possibly that which is misunderstood concerning His Son’s expiation for our sin! Every single thought the Father has concerning His Son contains equally the same thoughts concerning believers, which answers to, “You are not in the sin nature” (Rom 8:9). I believe the crux of the matter concerning our sin nature (old man) is in what we desire. The believer will always desire God's pleasure (Phil 2:13), even though the sin nature yet dwells within and affects us. We have been given the right to live our lives after these truths—if we desire to go this far—which will be limited only in where we might not comprehend or fail to accept them. May God give us to know the fullness of the freedom we have in the Lord Jesus, in order that we might be more efficiently used by Him; in “drawing” the lost (John 6:44) and “exhorting” the saved (Heb 10:25). - NC
  13. NetChaplain

    Legality, or Life?

    As God began with Israel, giving them the Law as a rule of life so He could show the earth He always has a separated people from most of the world, He also now gives “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” to show He still has a separated people from most in the world. We then should not find it discouraging (though greatly moving) that the majority of mankind is not going to choose “life” (Deu 30:19; Mat 7:13, 14). It could be an instructional point to note that God, even prior to creation knew most would reject Him, but also knew those who would “receive” Him, and it fails me to think of a more sensible reason for this other than that it is worth it to Him to gain the “few.” For “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10). In a general sense, the prior dispensation (OT) found God choosing a certain people (Israelites who chose to believe in Him – John 14:1) to teach them an earthly dwelling. In the present dispensation He chooses all believers (in Christ) to teach them not only an earthly dwelling, but also a heavenly dwelling! - NC Legality, or Life? The law addresses man in the flesh, in Adam. The life of the Lord Jesus, by the Spirit, directs and enables man in Him. It is the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). The former seeks to produce something from the man, subjecting him to this and that exercise and rule in order to produce a given result. The latter, the Spirit of Christ in me, controls me according to the mind and nature of the Lord Jesus,* “who is my life” (Col 3:4), and uses my body as a vessel. In the case of one using the law as a rule of life, there is an effort to attain by the flesh that which is not in it* (Rom 8:7—NC). In the other case, the Holy Spirit only expresses the desires of the new man, and then demonstrates the qualities of the Lord Jesus, in spite of the flesh which has not only no sympathy with the Spirit, but on the contrary, has unceasing opposition to Him (Gal 5:7). When I am legal I am attempting to answer the law by my flesh (Rom 8:3; Gal 3:3; Heb 7:18); I am only occupies with an attempt to extract something from the flesh and so long as I do this, it is in a way pleasing to the flesh, because the flesh is acknowledged. Now the spiritual man is quite different—he has the taste and the power too, to accomplish what he aims at, and he in the Spirit resists and silences the flesh which interferes with him, and there is actual compensation and success at the same time. If there is suffering in the flesh, there is known joy in the Spirit. There is not, as in the legalist, depression and excitement alternating according as there is hope or no hope from the process of training, or rather exaction. The spiritual man doubts not the power and good quality of that which he depends on, and he is happy in acting according to the mind of the Lord Jesus, no matter what waves and currents he may be exposed to. Struggling to row a great boat is legality; there may be some progress where there is no opposition, but then all the tugging, though very arduous and self-extracting is of no use. The spiritual life is like a boat powered by steam, and hence it goes everywhere according to the Captain’s orders. Tides, currents and winds are not taken into account. Where the legalist is baffled and exercised to no purpose, the spiritual man moves on with dignity and purpose, not attempting what is not in him, but answering by the great power in him to the mind of the Lord Jesus. The legalist is ever thinking of his oar; everything depends on his stroke. The spiritual attends only to the Word of the Master, and by the simple movement of the helm turns to the exact point to which he has been directed. The legalist is ever thinking of his conduct*. The spiritual is thinking of the Lord Jesus and His Word, and seeks strength to walk according to it. You can always distinguish the legalist from the spiritual by the way each moves about or does any act. The former is thinking of how he is doing it, the latter of the intention of it. The former is thinking of his own manner, the latter of his company and how he can serve them. There is moroseness and severity about the former, but a glow of life and triumph about the latter, “who rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil 3:3). - J B Stoney Poster’s Opinions: * “controls me according to the mind and nature of the Lord Jesus”: Believers “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16), e.g. like minded with Him concerning the Father’s desires and pleasures. This comes through the new nature (Rom 7:22), which nature is from Christ’s nature (Col 3:10; 2 Pet 1:4). * “attain by the flesh that which is not in it”: “By the flesh” is reference to the old nature, by which nothing of God can be partaken concerning all that is heavenly, nor of a walk involving proper earthly obedience, for it will never be “subject to the law (principles) of God. This answers to the necessity of a new nature, which derives only from the New Covenant and the new birth. I believe the “Everlasting Covenant” is often misunderstood (understandably so), that it is between God and man, as the prior Covenant was. But the New Covenant is between God and His Son. In the prior Covenant with man, God’s promises were imparted to the ones with whom He made the Covenant, and blessings bestowed were according to the covenanter’s (man – Israel) performance. This Covenant finds the blessings bestowed according to the Son’s performance, which no man could ever do. Man wasn’t even in existence when the Everlasting Covenant was made and thus had no part in being one of the two Covenanters. The phrase “Everlasting” is not only in reference to the future but also to the past, in which this Covenant has always existed in the mind of God and the Lord Jesus. Though man is not a Covenanter—he is the beneficiary. I believe when Jesus said, “This cup is the new testament in My Blood,” He was not then making this Covenant but confirming or ratifying it, e.g. making it come to pass. Hence it was not made with man according to his performance, but according to “the Blood of Christ.” I believe the crux of this Covenant is demonstrated in the act of the Father resurrecting His Son after suffering and dying for man’s sin nature! * “The legalist is ever thinking of his conduct”: Those reborn are to know that everything done by them is desired and attempted with the motive of pleasing God and this is the goal, regardless the results, though they become more fruitful all the time! Excerpt from MJS devotional for July 31: “The present and eternal ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son; the past, present, and future ministry of the Son is to glorify the Father. Our life and ministry will bring glory to our Father to the extent that we abide in the Son, and are controlled by the Holy Spirit.” - MJS “When one’s ministry or outreach flows from close communion with the Father, one’s influence and moral authority will be recognized. Moreover, such a workman is not carried beyond what he has received from the Lord, so that his ministry finds sanction in hearts without any pressure.” -J.N.D. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2018/07/30/
  14. NetChaplain

    Freely Confess

    Believers are ones who are convicted but guiltless—“through faith” in the expiating Blood of Christ (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 John 1:7). Thus confession does not procure forgiveness but manifests God’s forgiveness; and that He has “cleansed us from all unrighteousness! This is to understand that confession does not effect (produce) forgiveness but rather manifests its reception, because one who knows not forgiveness will not confess (admit); and confession perpetuates fellowship with the Father. Therefore those who are non-confessing and unrepentant manifests the absence of having been “forgiven” and “cleansed.” – NC Freely Confess Believers who understand grace best are the ones who confesses their sins best. It is a lack of understanding grace that makes a person timid to confess sins to the Father. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed are those whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom 4:7, 8). By His grace and mercy the Lord clears you altogether. The thief on the cross is a perfect blank, so he is a perfect example of grace. He is on a cross and has nothing to expect from God or man, therefore he can only be a recipient. Grace purposes a new Person and a new position. The Lord Jesus says to him, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” He exchanges his own condition as a man for Christ’s. God’s righteousness places him in the highest place, in the presence of God – that’s what He has done for a man entitled to nothing. A person who has nothing must not in anywise modify what grace puts upon him. Grace proposes a thing to him, he is entitled to nothing but judgement; grace comes in and clears him entirely. Now he must be essentially subject to what grace proposes, namely, he cannot take a lower person than the Person of the Lord Jesus, not a lower position than the paradise of God. Grace says, “Everything on your side is gone, and now I will act as I like.” Christ meets the thief with, “Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” You cannot have this too clearly, that everything has been blotted out by the Blood of the Savior, and now He will write on your heart a new order of things. Scripture presents the effect, you learn what grace is, you have nothing to keep up (concerning receiving and retaining salvation—NC), and the effect is that in your spirit there is no guile (the obedience that follows redemption manifests it, not effects it—NC). Although you are on entirely new ground with the Father, you fail again, and you are astonished to find you do wrong and that you are a failing person even though a Christian. You ought not to do wrong, but “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Again you find you have sin in you and you feel it ought not to be there. What do you do? In one sense I am not sorry when people are in Romans Seven. You may try to cloak or excuse yourself when you fail; if you have a tender conscience you say, “It was so and so,” but that is not confession. You are not to wait for the law to find you out, you are to tell on yourself. You are to stand before God against yourself, and the better you tell out the things, the clearer you get discharged. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance.” I never saw a person so hardened that he was not sorry that he has done a thing, but repentance is that I repudiate the principle (old man – Rom 7:17, 20—NC) that does it; not that I regret the tarnish on myself and am sorry that I made so little of myself, but I repudiate the thing as before God. There is to be nothing hidden, it is an action of extreme importance to our hearts; you let the Lord Jesus see all. It is not going to Him for answers, but you confide to Him the whole of your heart; you have such a sense of what His wisdom is that you give Him the master key. You cannot make a person your confidant unless you know he has wisdom. If he has not wisdom, you have committed yourself where you will be badly handled and you make him your master. What makes me proof against the man of evil and the woman of flattery (Pro 6:24)? Wisdom! - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional for July 28: No true believer expects the Law to give life, yet many expect it to govern life. Too few realize that their death on the Cross separated them from the entire principle of law, and that their resurrection united them to the Lord Jesus, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). “All of the Lord’s commands to me are according to the new nature I already have. He is my life, and all His words are the expression of that life. Therefore when His words are given to me, they only give me the authority to do what my new nature likes to do. ‘A new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you” (1 John 2:8). -J.N.D. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  15. NetChaplain

    Fact-founded Faith

    Reckoning does not produce the blessings of God but appropriates them into practice. Saints are not dead to sin by reckoning it so, because it’s the work of Christ that has effected this power within the believer at rebirth. But reckoning puts this truth into practice (same for all blessings) within the mind and in the walk (for spiritual growth) by realizing (reckoning) it is already so. - NC Fact-founded Faith The only thing the believer is enjoined to do, in view of his death in Christ unto sin is to reckon himself to be dead unto it; not, indeed, to reckon sin to be dead, but to count himself, being in Christ and a partaker of all that He wrought in the judgment of sin, to be dead to it. Apart from such reckoning (as is in unbelievers—NC) it is clearly implied that sin, as a living force within, will reign in the mortal body (Rom 6:11, 12). The fact that the old man is judged is a revelation of supreme importance and speaks of the Father’s faithfulness on behalf of His loved ones; but He also reveals to them the knowledge of His measureless provision for their growth and daily walk. The record concerning Christ’s death unto sin is not given merely to enlarge the individual’s knowledge of historical facts; it is given that he may be assured that there is deliverance from the reigning power of sin, as once unbelievers were assured through the revelation of the fact that Christ died for their sins that there is salvation from the penalty of sin. The death of Christ unto sin is the ground of a great confidence. Thus it may be concluded that the divine provision for the believer’s deliverance from the dominion (same as “reign” in Rom 6:12, 14—NC) of indwelling sin is twofold, namely, (a) a legal and righteous judgement of the old man and (b) the gift of the indwelling, liberating (2 Cor 3:17) Spirit of God. In gaining a deliverance from the power of sin, the believer’s responsibility is stated in one word—faith, a faith which not only reckons one to be dead to sin, but alive unto God (Rom 6:13 – just as rebirth severs us from sin, it simultaneously unites us to God—NC). Naught else remains for believers to do (concerning effecting this state—NC) since, as above stated, God had provided the righteous ground upon which the deliverance may be wrought by the Spirit and has caused that same liberating Spirit to indwell them for this very purpose. The requirement is not an act of faith, such as once secured regeneration; it is an attitude of faith, which is maintained throughout each succeeding day—a walk of faith (everything believers do concerning the revealed will of God in Scripture is through faith—NC). To walk by means of, or in dependence on the Spirit is to be delivered from the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). Here, as a life principle of procedure, faith is as always, opposite to human works. The apostle Paul testified that the result of his struggle, when he strove in his own strength to realize spiritual ideals, was utter failure and he could only conclude that to will was present with him, but how to perform that which is good he found not (Rom 7:18). “Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (Rom 7:24)? The answer to this great question and cry of distress is given in the following verse: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). This is more than a deliverance from the Law of Moses: it is deliverance from the power of sin and death (its results – Rom 6:23). The effect of this deliverance is indicated by the blessedness recorded in the eighth chapter, as in contrast to the wretchedness recorded in the seventh chapter. The helpless and defeated “I” (old man—NC) is in evidence in the one case, and the sufficient and liberated “I” (new man—NC) by the Spirit, is in evidence in the other. The believer is, then, to be delivered by the “law (or power) of the Spirit.” But attention must be called to the fact, stated in 7:25, which is “through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Christian is delivered by the Spirit, but the deliverance is made righteously possible through Jesus Christ our Lord, because of the believer’s identification with Him in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. - L S Chafer Excerpt from MJS devotional for July 18: “When once we see and accept our Father’s purpose for our lives to the extent that it becomes our will also, the time and details of His process cease to matter. Thy will be done” (Lk. 11:2). – MJS http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
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