Anointed To Teach God's Word

Classic Christian teaching from the holy Bible

[This lengthy series features the Classic Christian Author: Ruth Paxson. Her style is clear and concise; her in-depth, Spirit-inspired writing, her ability to teach is extraordinaire. I think you will be delighted with her work! This series will be very lengthy. Ms. Paxson starts at the beginning of the Christian life and continues on until the end. Read each article carefully. She has something for everyone! 


The Story of Salvation Told in Five Chapters

[there are ten chapters in this series]

Chapter 1 

The Sinner in Adam. Without Christ.

The penalty of sin is upon him.

The power of sin is over him.

The presence of sin is int him.

Without Christ

The sinner, without hope.

Chapter 2

The Sinner at the Cross – With Christ.

The penalty of sin is removed by Christ, the Saviour.

Pardon is granted.

Righteousness is imputed.


The sinner’s past. Covered.

Chapter 3

The Believer in the Heavenlies. In Christ.

The power of sin is broken by Christ, the Lord.

A new sphere is entered.

A new sphere is implanted.

A new nature is imparted.


The believer’s present. Assured.

Chapter 4

The Believer on the Earth – Through Christ.

The place of sin is taken by Christ, the Life.

Dead to sin, alive to God.

Dead to self, alive to God.


The believer’s present. Secured.

Chapter 5

The Believer in the Air. Like Christ.

The presence of sin is effaced by Christ, the King.

He is perfected into His likeness.

He is conformed to His image.


The believer’s future. Transfigured.

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith,

And not of yourselves: It is a gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.”


[this is a brief outline of the series but, believe me, there is much more included!]

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Requirements for Answered Prayer

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18)

Is there something in your life that you have prayed for repeatedly? Perhaps your prayers are for a mended relationship, a job offer, or healing. Whatever your need may be, the Bible provides us with five requirements for answered prayer.

1. Complete dependence on Christ as the only grounds upon which we can claim blessing (John 14:13-14). We cannot rely on our personal merit for answered prayer. Instead, we must trust in Jesus alone.

2. Separation from all known sin (Psalm 66:18). If we continue in sin, God will not answer our prayers. To do so would be to condone our sinfulness.

3. Faith in God’s Word of promise (Hebrews 11:6). It is important to understand the difference between God’s unconditional and conditional promises, and which ones are affected by our obedience.

4. Asking in accordance with His will (1 John 5). We must pray in God’s will for our prayers to be answered. To know His heart, we must consult His Word and pray.

5. Persistence in our request (Luke 18:1-8). God wants us to continue in prayer until our request is answered or until He says, “I have something better.” God is willing to answer our prayers, and He asks us to come boldly before the throne.

Cleanse my heart, Lord, of wrongdoing, so that I can surrender to Your will in prayer and depend completely on Your grace. Amen

~Charles Stanley~

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The Presence of the Lord # 2

The Lord gave them that mighty victory to begin with in order to encourage them to go on. The victory of the Red Sea corresponds to the victory of the Cross – the victory of death, and burial, and resurrection with Christ. That was the great foundation. And with that foundation behind them and under their feet, they went on. But there came a time when they stopped going on. You will remember that the tabernacle was constituted for transit; it was not a building to be put down in one place and to stay there forever. It was all made so that it could go on. And the tabernacle was the place where the Lord was. So that the Lord’s idea for them was to go on.

I wonder how interested you are in the Book of Numbers. The Book of Numbers is a very wonderful Book. If you have not studied it, I advise you to study it. It can be called the Book of Goings-On, the Book of progress with the Lord. And you will come to one chapter, chapter thirty-three, and in that one chapter, you will find one phrase used forty-three times in one chapter. Now if one thing is repeated forty-three times in one chapter, it must mean something. Numbers, chapter thirty-three, and in that chapter, this phrase occurs forty-three times – “And the people of Israel journeyed.” It says, forty-three times the people went on. They took their journey. And that is the Book in which you find the Lord so mightily with His people.

Now you know that when they came to the other side of the wilderness, they came to Kadesh-barnea, they came to the border of the promised land, they stopped. You do not read again – and they journeyed. They stopped. All, but two men, of that whole generation died in the wilderness. That is not the idea of the Lord for His people, for His people to die in the wilderness is not the Lord’s idea. The Lord is not in that. Indeed, as we have read in Hebrews, the Lord is against that. So the term on which the Lord is with His people is that they keep going on. We have read in Hebrews, chapter four, the terrible warning that the Lord gave because they did not go on. He said, “I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter into My rest.” They lost everything because they did not go on. So we read in chapter six, “Let us go on.” Do not let us stay with our beginnings, but let us go on.

Now what does going on mean? Well, of course, for us it is a going on in a spiritual way. We are in a new dispensation, and this is a spiritual dispensation. But there is one thing that I want to suggest to you as meaning our going on. It is true of Israel in the wilderness, although it was an earthly thing with them, the same thing is true with us in a spiritual way. If you look again into this letter to the Hebrews, you will discover this, that going on spiritually is a matter of putting into practice what the Lord has said. Do you realize that we never go on by being told things by the Lord? Now that sounds like a very  strange thing to say. The Lord can speak to us Himself. We may have His word, we may have all the teaching that He can give us, we may know all the truth of God, we may have had it all, we may be standing still. No, it is not a matter of knowing what the Lord has said. It is a matter of putting that into practice. Doing what the Lord has said, that is the only way of going on.

How are we to go on then? We are to sit down quietly and say, “Now what has the Lord said to us?” Perhaps it may be over these past four or five weeks, or it may be over years past. The Lord has spoken in this place, or to you through the ministry of His many servants. Now through the reading of His Word you may have a great mountain of truth, and yet you may not be going on, and the Lord may not be with us, as He wants to be with us. The Presence of the Lord is power! The Presence of the Lord is life! The Presence of the Lord is holiness! Oh, the Presence of the lord means much, but it is all very practical. The Lord does not believe in theory. He does not believe even in textbooks. The Lord is a very practical Lord. And His attitude toward us is this: Look here, I have said this to you, you have heard it. Perhaps you have rejoiced in it. Perhaps you have believed it to be true. Perhaps you thank the Lord for it. But what have we done about it?

Have we taken each thing that the Lord has said, and brought it up and said, ‘I have got to do something about that. We, as the Church, have got to do something about it. We have got to put that into effect. If we do not do that, we will not make progress. And the power of God will not be manifested among us.’ We may go on for years, and we may fill the years with teaching, but we may still be years behind. We may not be coming into what the Lord means that we should be in. Why all these exhortations in the New Testament to go on? What is the New Testament just made up of exhortations and encouragements and warnings to the people of God about going on? And why is the New Testament such a practical Book? Because real spiritual progress and the Presence of the Lord depends upon bringing everything that we know right up to date.

I wonder if you could tell me the number of times in the New Testament that that one thing occurs. It is a quotation from Israel’s life in the wilderness. And it is this: “Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart.” Again and again, those words are put in the New Testament. Today! Today! Today! You see, all this is got to be brought into “now.” All our progress for the future depends upon what we are doing with what we know “now.” So the Lord says to us: I am with you if you are going on. And going on means putting into practice and effect all that I have said to you. Our growing knowledge of the Lord depends entirely upon our daily obedience to the light which we have.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 3)

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The Wickedness of Unbelief: Making God a Liar

” … He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave to his Son” (1 John 5:10)

True faith must always rest upon what God is, so it is of utmost importance that, to the limit of our comprehension, we know what He is.

The psalmist said: “They that know thy name will put their trust in Thee,” the name of God being the verbal expression of His character, and confidence always rises or falls with known character.

What the psalmist said was simply that they who know God to be the kind of God He is will put their confidence in Him! This is not a special virtue, but the normal direction any mind takes when confronted with the fact. We are so made that we trust good character and distrust its opposite, and that is why unbelief is so intensely wicked!

The character of God, then, is the Christian’s final ground of assurance and the solution of many, if not, most, of his practical religious problems.

Though God dwells in the center of eternal mystery, there need be no uncertainty about how He will act in any situation covered by His promises. These promises are infallible predictions. God will always do what He has promised to do when His conditions are met. And His warnings are no less predictive: “The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Psalm 1:5).

We cultivate our knowledge of God and at the same time cultivate our faith. Yet while so doing we look not at our faith but at Christ, its author and finisher!

~A. W. Tozer~

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The Presence of the Lord

The Presence of the Lord is Power!

The Presence of the Lord is Life!

The Presence of the Lord is Holiness!

We turn to the Letter to the Hebrews, chapter four, verse one through three.

“Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, as I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”

Chapter six, verse one through three,

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”

In our first series of special meetings, the Lord led us to be occupied with the matter of His Presence with His people. I think everyone here will agree that the most important thing for us is the presence of the Lord. I expect, when we gather together like this, our prayer in the first place is the the Presence of the Lord. And probably those of you who prayed at the beginning of the day, will always pray for the Lord’s Presence. We realize that the all-important thing in our lives and in the lives of God’s people is His Presence with us. We should all be afraid to go on unless the Lord is  with us. We cannot think of life without the Presence of the Lord. The Lord’s Presence means everything to us.

Now you will remember that we pointed out that this is the greatest desire of the Lord Himself. He said to Moses, “Let them build me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” The greatest desire of the Lord is to be among His people. But there are some conditions upon which the Lord is with His people. The Lord has His own terms upon which He will be with us. You will notice that this letter to the Hebrews from which we have read is all the time referring back to the life of Israel in the wilderness, that period which was covered by those words to Moses, “Let them build Me a sanctuary.” It was the period from the Red Sea to the border of the land to the river Jordan.

Now during that period of forty years, although there were many difficulties, and the Lord had much trouble with the people, the Lord was with them. There were, as I have said, many difficulties during those forty years. There were many very serious times. We read of Amalek coming out to fight against Israel. We remember the story of Balaam, the false prophet who was hired by Balak to curse Israel. There were some of the very critical times during that journey. There was the crisis of bread and the crisis of water. There were the crisis of enemies. But through all that time the Lord was with His people. He did not allow Amalek to succeed in their war against Israel. He turned the curse of Balaam into a blessing. The Lord was with them. That meant victory, that meant support, that meant the supplying of all their needs, that meant that the Lord helped them in spite of their own weakness, the Lord was with them.

There was one reason why the Lord was with them through all their troubles and difficulties. The Lord was with them because of one thing: They were a people who were going on. They had set out to go to a certain goal, and in spite of many hindrances, they were a people going on. Sometimes their troubles just stopped their progress for a little while, but then they went on again. And the Lord was with them, because they went on. When they went on with the Lord, the Lord went on with them. And that is one of the fundamental terms upon which God is with His people. They had started out with a vision. Perhaps you will remember that when they had crossed the Red Sea, and Pharaoh’s army had been drowned in the sea, then Moses and Aaron and the people of Israel sang a song. And in that song, the vision arose. They said, “The Lord has brought us out in order to take us in.” The Lord has brought us out, not to let us die in the wilderness, that is not the Lord’s idea for us. The Lord has brought us out of Egypt in order to take us into the land. They put it this way – “to bring us unto His holy hill” (Psalm 43:3). That was the vision with which they started. And while they kept that vision before them and went on, the Lord was with them.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 2)

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Out of Order

Proverbs 1:1-7

Doing all things “decently and in order” applies to a lot more areas than theology. It’s remarkable how many guys who have the ability to articulate the most exacting details and nuances of their area of expertise never get their desks cleared off or their workrooms organized. They’re brainy enough to rebuild some complex engine, but the trash under the kitchen sink can overflow until it’s ankle-deep, and they aren’t even aware of it. Isn’t it amazing how many men have quiz-kid heads and pigpen habits!

And it’s not limited to the male species. Some women have the toughest time just keeping a path clear from the front door to the den. I heard last week about a gal who was such a lousy housekeeper that Good Housekeeping canceled her subscription! She must have been a friend of Erma Bombeck. She’s the one who admitted that her cupboard shelves were lined with newspapers that read “Malaria stops working on the canal.” Of course, it’s possible to become a “neatness neurotic.” Like the fastidious wife of that poor fella who got hungry and got out of bed for a midnight snack. When he came back to bed, she had it made.

Truthfully, however, most of us don’t struggle with being too orderly. Our problem is the other side of the coin. And the result is predictable. We burn up valuable energy and lose precious time.

Stop and think that over. Maybe a few questions will help prime the pump of self-analysis:

Do you often lose things?

Do you put off doing your homework until late?

Are you a time waster … like on the phone or with TV?

Are you prompt in paying bills and answering mail?

How many unfinished projects do you have lying around?

Does your desk stay cluttered? How about the tops of tables and counters?

Can you put your hands on important documents right away?

Do you have a will? Is it in a safe place?

Can you concentrate and think through decisions in a logical manner?

We’ll talk some more about it tomorrow. For now, think about this? Spending what it takes to become a little more efficient is an investment that pays rich dividends. When we are reluctant to do so, our lives are marked by mediocrity, haphazardness, and disorder.

Time spent on the right things is never wasted.

~Charles Swindoll~

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Is Christianity a Legal System? # 18

“A sword Shall Pierce Through Thy Own Soul”

Here is a conversation between Simeon and Mary, the mother of Jesus. And it is perfectly clear that Mary was recognizing that something of very great importance to God, was being entrusted to her. This was something of great value to God Himself. Then Simeon said, it was something of great value to the world, “A light to lighten the nations.” Then it was something of great value to the Lord’s people, Israel, “And the glory of Thy people, Israel.” All this was bound up with the little baby now in the arms of Simeon. And Mary realized that she had been chosen by God to serve Him, to serve the nations, and to serve His people in some special way. This little Child was set for a sign; and all peoples would come to recognize what Jesus signified.

So Mary had been the vessel chosen by God for that great purpose – an angel had come from heaven and told her of the great vocation to which she was called. Mary was just a simple country girl, who had with her husband been living in a small house in a far away city of Nazareth. Then a little while after Jesus was born, she came up to the city of Jerusalem, took the Child to the temple and we have this further wonderful thing said by Simeon: “This Child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against.” As she listened to these things, no doubt her heart was filled with wonder. What a wonderful thing it is that the Lord has called me to! What a great purpose God has called me to serve. It is something far too big for me. I have no natural qualifications for this. I am only a simple country girl. I am the wife of an ordinary carpenter in a little town, and that town is a very despised one. One man said, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” And yet the Lord has called such a one as I to serve Him in this great world purpose. Perhaps there was some fear in her heart, but undoubtedly her heart was thrilled when she listened to these things. She would be saying inside herself, “Can it be possible that I have been called to this?” And then as she looked at her little baby in the arms of Simeon, she would say in her heart, “Little Baby, these are great things that are coming through You. These are very wonderful words that Simeon is saying. It must be a marvelous Life that is here given to us. God must have some very great things that He is going to do through You.” So she listened to these words of Simeon, and astonishment and amazement filled her heart.

While she was listening to those wonderful things, suddenly a cloud came over the whole situation, and already she felt something like a stab at her heart. Because Simeon finished with these words: “And a sword shall pierce through thine own soul that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” Wonderful things, mighty things, precious things, most important things –  but a sword. With them all, a sword shall pierce thine own soul.

I expect Mary often wondered about that in the following days. But we know how this prophecy of Simeon was fulfilled. The day came when she saw that Son of hers despised and rejected of men, taken to the judgment hall and accused of the worst sins; and then led to Calvary to be crucified. It says that Mary  stood by the Cross of Jesus. Yes,she lived to know the meaning of, “A sword shall pierce through thine own soul.”

Now our word has got to be a very brief one this morning. I have about seven minutes left. But perhaps you already can see the meaning of what we have said. Was Mary called to be a vessel and instrument of this great world purpose of God? Mary was a woman, a simple woman, without any great qualifications, but chosen of God for this great purpose. Do you know that the Church is always spoken of in the feminine? The Church is always represented as a woman. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church.” And always, the Church is spoken of as a woman.

But this Church, the bride of Christ, this Church, the wife of the Lamb, is called and chosen for this selfsame purpose. That through this Church, this CHRIST OF GOD shall be manifested to the whole world. That through this Vessel, CHRIST may be a blessing to all the nations, and a blessing to all God’s people. Mary was not called for a greater purpose than the Church is called for. You and I, who form part of the Church of Christ, are called for this very purpose. Paul says, “We are called according to His purpose,” and the purpose is exactly the same as that one spoken of by Simeon to Mary. We are called to be a light to lighten the nations, and a blessing to God’s new spiritual Israel. Wonderful things are bound up with the Christ Who is entrusted to His Church. If the little Baby was entrusted to Mary, the great eternal Christ is entrusted to His Church. He is committed to us for this great world purpose. If it was a great honor to Mary, it is an even greater honor to us. If it was a wonderful thing to Mary, it ought to be a more wonderful thing to us. Yes, wonderful things, precious things, glorious things – but a sword.

Anything that is really precious to God will have suffering associated with it. Perhaps the first thought of Mary about Jesus were – He is going to be a great public figure Whom everybody thinks wonderful things about. What a wonderful Man He is going to be, everybody will think highly of Him. All people will speak well of Him; but she lived to find it just the other way. A sign that shall be spoken against. And these Jewish leaders in the prison of Paul saying, “This is something that is everywhere spoken against.”

We are called to the fellowship of the great purpose of Christ in this world. We are called into the greatest things that ever God has done for this world. Ours is not less an honor and glory than that of Mary. But we are also called into the fellowship of His sufferings. However great this Christ is, and however great the honor entrusted to us in having Him, strangely to say this great preciousness to God will never be popular in this world. There will always be the sign that is spoken against. The Cross of the Lord Jesus is not a popular thing. Man has tried to make it popular, but it is never popular.

So I say to you all this morning, and especially to the younger people here, you are called to a very great purpose. God has called you to a service for Him that is the greatest service in this universe. God has entrusted into your hands His Own wonderful Son. But remember, however wonderful it is, it will never be popular; there will always be suffering attached to it.

In a few minutes, you are coming to the Lord’s Table. Is that table the symbol of something popular? No, it is the symbol of the most unpopular thing in this world, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me. As often as ye eat this loaf and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death.” When we take these symbols, we are only saying, “We come into the fellowship of His sufferings.” To be a blessing in this world, a sword shall pierce thine own soul, a sign that is everywhere spoken against. May we be given the grace to share with Him His sufferings.


~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 19)

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The Joy of Kindred Spirits

“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus …” (Phil. 1:1)

Despite their shortcomings, people of kindred spirit are precious gifts from the Lord.

Timothy was Paul’s trusted companion in the gospel. In Philippians 2:20 Paul describes him as a man “of kindred spirit.” That is, they were like-minded, sharing the same love for Christ and His church.

Elsewhere Paul described Timothy as his “beloved and faithful child in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17) and as a “fellow-worker in the gospel of Christ” (Romans 16:21; 1 Thess. 3:2). Those are significant compliments coming from Paul, whose standard of ministry and personal integrity was very high.

However, as godly and useful as Timothy was, he apparently struggled with man of the same weaknesses we face. For example, 2 Timothy implies he might have been intimidated by the false teachers who challenged his leadership (1:7). He perhaps was somewhat ashamed of Christ (1:8) and was tempted to alter his theology to avoid offending those who disagreed with sound doctrine (1:13-14). He might have een neglecting his studies in the Word (2:15) and succumbing to ungodly opinions (2:16-17). Other struggles are implied as well.

Paul wrote to strengthen Timothy’s spiritual character and to encourage him to persevere in the face of severe trials.

Despite those apparent weaknesses, Paul valued Timothy highly and entrusted enormous ministerial responsibilities to him. In addition, Timothy’s friendship and ministry were sources of great joy and strength to Paul.

I pray that you have people of kindred spirit in your life – brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage you, pray for you, and hold you accountable to God’s truth. Like Timothy, they may not be all you want them to be, but they are precious gifts from God. Esteem them highly, and pray for them often. Do everything you can to reciprocate their ministry in your life.

If perhaps you lack such friends, seek the fellowship of a local church where Christ is exalted, His Word is taught, and holy living is encouraged. Build relationships with mature Christians who will stimulate you to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).

Suggestions for Prayer: Identify three people who are of kindred spirit with you. Pray for them. Tell them how much you appreciate their examples and ministries.

For Further Study: Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14. What were Paul’s admonitions to Timothy? How might they apply to you?

~John MacArthur~

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Is Christianity A Legal System? # 17

The Matter Which Is Of Supreme Importance Is: “Christ Fully Formed In You”

Now we have to hurry to a close. We come back to Galatians four, and verse nineteen, because this gathers up everything. What was it that Paul was working for? What had he given his life for? What was he suffering for? What was he so troubled about with these Galatians? You can rule out a whole number of things, and you can say it was not that, and it was not that. He said, “I am again in travail until Christ be fully formed in you.” When he uses the word “again,” that is, a second time. He means that I was in travail for your new birth. ‘It cost me a great deal of suffering and pain to see you truly born again. It meant a great deal to me to see that Christ was really planted in you. Your new birth was a travail to me. But now I am having to go through it all again.’

My real object was not just to get Christ into you, my real object was that Christ should be fully formed in you, that Christ would grow up in you and you should grow up in Christ. And so I am today in travail again because you stopped. You are putting others things in the place of Christ. You are putting “form” in the place of Christ. You are putting mere teaching in the place of Christ. You are putting law in the place of Christ. You are putting a legal system in the place of Christ. Paul says that just throws me into agony.

I am going to apply that to ourselves. If we are suffering at all, what are we suffering for? If as in the case of Paul we have enemies, those who are against us, and who are working against us, why are we suffering? What is the nature of our suffering? Is it because of something personal? Are they working against us? Is it because of some piece of work for which we are jealous? Is it for some place in which we are interested? And against our way of going on? Is it any of these things? Is that why we are suffering? I say, the Lord deliver us from all of that! The only real and true reason for any spiritual suffering is that Christ is being hindered. We see that these things limit the Lord. They dishonor the Lord. And they will cause spiritual limitation. They are against the enlargement of Christ in us. All our suffering ought to be for the sake of the Lord Jesus, and not for anything else, “Until Christ be fully formed.” That is the last word I am going to leave with you for this time.

I know something about your troubles. And I know something about the cause of your troubles. But I am going to bring it back here. Are you and I in travail over things, or for the full formation of Christ? Is all our suffering in our hearts related to the increase of the Lord Jesus? Is it that He may have His fullest place? Is it that He shall be fully formed in us? Have we, therefore, got this true kind of travail – not travail for something, but travail for Christ? I ask you a question, if you are suffering at all, and you ought to be suffering, what are you suffering for? Is your genuine concern for the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus? Is it that in every one of  these believers, from the children, to the young men and women, to the grown up people, that in every one of them, Christ should have a full place? Are we travailing in pain for that?

So all that we have said this week about these contrasts: Legalism and spirituality, Judaism and Christianity, all these other differences, they focus down upon this one question: THE FULL FORMATION OF CHRIST. How far does legalism limit the growth of Christ in us? How far does our technique get in the way of Christ? It is all a matter of Christ.

So I leave that question with you. I leave that emphasis with you. Now when I go away from you, the one thing that I want to be sure of is that I preached Christ to you, that I was not just giving you Bible teaching. And I was not trying to put you right on the technique of the Church, or the churches. But I was keeping Christ always in full view, and telling you that the matter which is of supreme importance is: CHRIST FULLY FORMED IN YOU – CHRIST FULLY FORMED IN US!”

A Sword Shall Pierce Through Thy Own Soul”

Will you please turn to the Gospel by Luke, chapter two, verse twenty-five.

“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon.”

And verse thirty-five,

“Yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul; that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

I want to add verse thirty-four to that verse thirty-five,

“This Child is set for a sign which is spoken against.” “Yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul; that thought out of many hearts may be revealed.”

Now turn to the last chapter of the Book of the Acts, chapter twenty-eight, and verse twenty-two,

“But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest; for as concerning this sect, it is known to us that everywhere it is spoken against.” “This Child is set for a sign which is spoken against.” “Concerning this sect, it is known to us, that everywhere it is spoken against”

We do not worship or pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus. We do not ask things from her as though she were God. We do not put her alongside of the Divine Trinity. But we do honor her. We give her respect and honor because of the great service which she rendered unto God. And we find some real help from some of the things which have come to us through her. Some of the things which were said to her by an angel, by Simeon, by others, have very real value in them for us. Some of these helpful things are in the Word which we have read; in the prophecy of this old man Simeon. And we shall this morning seek to draw from what he said about some of the helpful implications.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 18)

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Scriptural Guidance: Believers May Test Themselves

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are out into the world” (1 John 4:1)

The seeker after God’s best things is always eager to hear from anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him.

These are the times that try men’s souls. Our Lord has made it plain not only that there shall be false spirits abroad, endangering our Christian lives, but that they may be identified and known for what they are! I have met Christians who have been led into emotional experiences that were beyond their power to comprehend, and they have inquired eagerly whether or not their experience was of God.

The first test must be: “What has this done to my relationship with and my attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ?” Do I love God more? Is Jesus Christ still to me the center of all true doctrine? Do I still agree that anything that makes Him less than God has declared Him to e must be rejected?

Again: “How does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures? Did this new view of truth spring out of the Word of God itself or was it the result of some stimulus that lay outside the Bible?

Be assured that anything that comes to us from the God of the Word will deepen our love for the Word of God!

~A. W. Tozer~

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