Anointed To Teach God's Word

Classic Christian teaching from the holy Bible

The Christian’s Choice – Self or Christ? # 3


Life On The Highest Plane

But we do have a great deal of confidence in the flesh. We divide it into the good and the bad. Certain things in the flesh we are compelled to distrust because they have gotten us into trouble. Certain other things we have gone so far as to acknowledge as weaknesses, faults, possible danger points. But there is another good sized portion of the flesh that we rate rather high and in which we trust without reserve. It may be our refined and cultured tastes; the opinions and judgments which are the product of our educated minds; our generous, noble, philanthropic feelings; our high standard of morality; or, like Paul, our ancestral heritage. So that when we make a cross section of our “flesh,” taking good and bad together, it seems in our sight to measure up fairly well; at least we can see no reason for such a wholesale condemnation of it as God makes.

But let us put this best product of the flesh to the test. Let us take it from a home in which love reigned and sweet companionship was its daily portion, where books lined the library shelves, beautiful pictures adorned the walls, snow while linen covered the table, and from a community life which offered everything needful to satisfy the intellectual, social, aesthetic and spiritual desires and needs. Transplant this life to an interior village on the mission field to live within a house with several people of varying temperaments and tastes, with limited household appointments, with untaught, untrained servants, with nothing without upon which to rest the eye but mud walls and dirty narrow streets, surrounded by jarring voices and unpleasant odors, and a furlough seven years off – would this best product of the flesh stand the test and come off more than conqueror? More than one missionary has left the mission field even before furlough was due and for no other reason that that “the flesh” broke down under the test.

Or let us put it to a different kind of a test. Perhaps “the flesh” boasts of that Godlike quality of character called love. So choose the deepest, purest human love we can find and place it alongside of the love of 1 Corinthians 13. Is it a love that in nothing or at no time seeketh its own, that is absolutely free from the slightest taint of jealousy? Does it suffer long and is it always kind or is there sometimes not a feeling of  secret irritability toward the one most deeply loved? Has it unfailingly been so charitable that it has never taken account of evil? Would it not have to blush with shame at its jealousy, envy, snobbishness, intolerance, selfishness, impatience and irritability? Has our “flesh” never broken down under this divine test?

May we make one more analytical test of “the flesh.” This time let it be a chemical analysis made in God’s laboratory. Here is a man who boasts of his generosity and is considered one the best givers in the city. He lavishes expensive gifts upon his family and gives costly dinners to his friends and subscribes largely to campaigns when the newspapers print the list of donors. But he grinds the most possible labor our of his employees for the least possible pay, he quarrels with his tailor over his bill, and he robs God of even the tithe which is His by right. Here is a woman who rides triumphantly upon the social wave as one of the most gracious and charming women in the community. But she nags her husband, is impatient with her children and scolds her servants. “The flesh” always has its blind side.

But I can almost hear someone rise up in defense of “the flesh” and say, “But is it not natural to resent wrong? to dislike some people? to crave certain things? to stand up for your own rights?” Yes, it is natural and that is just why it is sinful. That is just what “the flesh” is, it is our natural life; including all we call highest and best as well as all we deem worst and weakest. What God asks us to do is to take the cross section of “the flesh” we have made and condemn it all, to believe in its utter impotence to do good and in its mighty power to do evil.

We must consent to the crucifixion of the old man. Having condemned “the old man” as a hideous, hateful, heinous thing we are prepared for the next step God asks us to take. He has declared “the old man” worthy of crucifixion, in fact, he has already accomplished his crucifixion with Christ. Now God asks the believer to give his hearty consent to this transaction and to consider it an accomplished fact in his experience. Again this would seem like an extremely easy thing to do. In theory it is, in practice it is not, for “the old man” will fight like a tiger for his life.

“Self will make any concession if allowed to live. Self will permit the believer to do anything, give anything, sacrifice anything, go anywhere, take any liberties, bear any crosses, afflict soul or body to any degree – anything, if it can only live. It will consent to live in a hovel, in a garret, in the slums, in far away heathendom, if only its life can be spared. It will endure any garb, any fare, any menial service rather than die.”

But God says nothing short of the crucifixion of self will do.This was the second step which the Apostle Paul took to life on the highest plane – he gave his whole-souled consent to his co-crucifixion with Christ Jesus and considered it something now past.

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

“The Cross only severs what you consent to part from. The severing of the Cross is not an actual experience, unless the will of the believer desires and consents to the actual separation in fact and practice.”

Have you consented to your crucifixion with Christ? There can be no reservations, no holding back part of the price. The whole “I” must be counted dead. God asks you to put your signature to this statement, “I have been crucified with Christ.” If you have never done so, will you do it today?

We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in keeping the old man crucified. What Christ has made possible for us the Holy Spirit makes real within us but only with our intelligent cooperation. God states very clearly in His Word what our part is and it is the duty of every believer to know and to do his part.

(1) Reckon yourself dead unto sin.

Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our lord.”

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 4)

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An Idol In Your Life?


 

Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:4

When we think of idols, most of us do not think of worshiping some molded statue. Today, some religions do bow down to gods with the image of a man, woman or creature, but certainly not Christians. We know that an idol is anything that we prioritize over God, not necessarily a literal man-made god that we worship. But then again, we do have the “Oscars.” Each year Hollywood gives out these little gold statues to its most honored artists. The evening gowns, the jewelry and the parties are also a big part of this night of awards and acclamations. However, it is not just for those who attend the event and are nominated for the golden honor…it seems that many of us get caught up in the excitement as well.

As Christians, what are our responsibilities in supporting or not supporting this industry?  How much should we care about the movies and about these little golden statues? For some, it is harmless entertainment. For others, it is a continuing sign of moral decay in our society. Where are the lines for us as Christians? The answers to these questions are based upon a personal conviction for each one of us. If we somehow are choosing these idols over our Lord, then maybe we should really pray about our level of interest.

The bigger issue is that God warned His people to turn from their idols and false gods because He knew where it would lead them…to destruction. The same is true for us today. When we focus on things outside of Jesus, our focus is marred with images that are not healthy. No greater place breeds false images than Hollywood. Think about your level of interest. If you feel a nudge in your spirit, ask the Lord to show you areas that need refocusing. We must also remember that our minds tend to replay images over and over in our minds, so be careful of the content in those images. If you find yourself thinking on things of the world too much, ask the Lord to change your focus.

~Daily Disciples~

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The Christian’s Choice – Self or Christ? # 2


Life On The Highest Plane

These two natures co-inhabit every believer. This truth is repeatedly brought out in 1 John. John wrote to those believers as though he did not expect them to sin because they had within them this God-inspired, God-begotten nature.

1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.”

Yet he made full provision for their sinning because they had within them this satan-inspired, devil-begotten nature.

1 John 2:1, “And, if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

God makes no attempt to change or to improve the old nature because it is unchangeable and unimproveable. Cultivation through education and travel do not change it one iota but simply clothe it in a more refined and respectable costume. God makes no attempt to subject it for it is incorrigible and irreconcilable. Government and laws may keep it partially suppressed but but it is planning and secretly executing a world-revolution against God and His government, and stands ready to break out in vehement action at every favorable opportunity. God makes no attempt to eradicate it because He has a far more wonderful way of conquest over this sinful nature which we shall soon consider.

The Conflict of These two Natures in Every Believer

To admit the co-existence of these two diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive natures is to admit the necessity of fiercest conflict. It is indeed the age-long conflict between satan and Christ with the believer’s inner life as the battlefield. It is Self contesting Christ’s right to His purchased possession.

This conflict is personalized in the spiritual experience of the Apostle Paul. He has been reborn, he was justified and sanctified in Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus had come in to possess His possession and to take control. But there was one who contested His right. A conflict ensued between the old Saul and the new Paul. Two antagonists were fighting a deadly battle for a coveted prize. Romans seven pictures a Christian torn to pieces by this awful conflict and baffled and discouraged beyond words by it all. He wonders if there is any possible way into victory and rest.

It is this conflict which staggers many a young Christian and often causes a total eclipse of faith or a gradual backsliding into the world. He took the first step into the Christian life because his conscience was awakened to the evil of his doings. His chief concern was for his sins. He had been convicted of the sinfulness of acts and habits, and felt a sense of guilt because of them. He came to Christ and accepted Him as Saviour that he might be rid of certain sins. In the realization of forgiveness and the assurance of pardon he experiences great joy and gladly witnesses for Christ.

But he soon finds himself doing the old things again; and evil habits persist; the sinful disposition manifests itself in hydra-headed fashion; wicked practices return; worse than all, the joy in fellowship with Christ lessens; the heart grows cold; the spirit is dulled; he grows utterly discouraged. But his love for God has not been altogether quenched and flames up into intense desire under the inspiration of some message from God’s Word or by the glimpse into a life which reflects peace and joy. Something in him cries out for God while another something contests every inch of God’s claim upon the life. He is wholly nonplussed by this duality within himself.

Something within him will not let him release his hold upon God. Consequently he strives against these sins, agonizes over them, prays for release, makes every effort possible within his own power to get victory. But in spite of all he does his life is a kingdom divided against itself. Then something tells him it is no use trying to live a victorious life and he may as well give up. Over and over again he asks himself the question “Is it all worth while?” He tries even to persuade himself that the man who makes no profession of Christ is much happier than he. But one day when on the very verge of absolute despair he cries out of deep heart desire for deliverance, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

What seems like this utter downfall is really his hour of deliverance for it is the time of abject self-despair to which he had to come before God could step in and open before him the way of deliverance.

Dear friend, are you living in Romans seven today? Are you worn out with the conflict? Do you wish to know the way out? Then just close this article for a moment and tell Him so; then open it and ask Him to show you the way out into conquest and victory.

The Conquest of the Old Nature

God gives to us very clear and definite instruction regarding our part in the dethronement of this usurper Self and the enthronement of Christ as sole Possessor and only Ruler over His inheritance in us.

We must condemn the flesh. God condemns the flesh as altogether sinful (Romans 8:3); He sees in it “no good thing” (Romans 7:18); and no Christian will ever have conquest over it until he accept God’s estimate of it and acts accordingly. This may seem like an easy thing to do but on the contrary it is exceedingly difficult. God’s standard is very exacting. He says there is “no good thing” in the flesh. God says that “the flesh” both at its center and circumference is sinful; He condemns both its innermost desires and its outermost deeds (Ephesians 2:3, Col. 3:9), and declares that it is unworthy of any confidence on our part. The first step which the Apostle Paul took to the life on the highest plane was this – to condemn as unsafe, unclean and untrustworthy, the flesh which formerly he had so highly regarded.

Phil. 3:3-4, “For we re the circumcision which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more.”

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 3

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Beware the Immoral Person


 

For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Proverbs 5:3-4 NKJV

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12). Andy who follow the immoral man or woman is on the path towards destruction. Be wise. Do not believe everything you hear. Check things out before you believe the source.

Jesus told us in Matthew 7:15-16 to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” You know the type of person we’re talking about. They seem pleasant and nice at first. But once you get to know them a little better it becomes obvious they order their life around what’s best for them.

How will we know if the person is immoral or not?

Jesus offered further instruction on how to tell in Matthew 7:17-20. “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Before we get involved relationally we ought to watch the person’s life and check out what kind of fruit they produce. No good fruit? Stay away. Don’t risk it. You would be asking for trouble if you got involved with that person.

If you are tempted in this way right now, remember you are not tempted beyond what you can handle. God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Pray that you see it, take it and get out of the situation before you regret it.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your wisdom and your instruction. Help us to learn from you. May we be wise and be fruit inspectors before we become involved with anyone. In your name we pray Amen.

~Think On It Ministries~

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The Christian’s Choice – Self or Christ?


 

Life On The Highest Plane

There are two kinds of Christians, easily identified and clearly distinguished from each other. “How can there be such a paradox?” is the question that must present itself to every thoughtful mind. The foundation head of the Christian life is the same for all. Then how can thee be two streams from it which flow so widely apart? When every Christian, as we have seen, has been brought through God’s grace into the same position and put under the same control how does one become carnal and another spiritual? How can two persons, each of whom is born again, live such differing lives? An answer to this question is essential if one is to choose intelligently to be a spiritual Christian and to carry out that choice steadfastly.

The Co-existence of Two Natures in every Believer

Every Christian is conscious of inward conflict, of a duality within himself which he experiences but perhaps does not understand. Part of him aspires to be well-pleasing unto God, another part of him wants to satisfy every demand of self. Part of him longs for the peace and rest of the promised land, another part of him lusts for the leeks, onions and garlic of Egypt; part of him grasps Christ and part of him grips the world. He has to admit that there seems to be a law of gravitation which tends ever to pull him sinward while at the same time a counteracting law lifts him Christward.

The Scriptural explanation of this duality in Christian experience is found in the co-existence of two natures within the believer: the old, sinful Adamic nature and the new, spiritual Christ nature. Let us turn to the first Epistle of John for its clear unfolding of this very important truth. The Apostle John is a mature Christian and he is writing to those who are at least capable of receiving very deep spiritual truth. In the simplest of language he teaches the co-existence of the two natures in every believer.

1 John 1:8, “If we say that we HAVE no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

If any Christian, no matter how full-grown he is or how many special experiences he has had, says that he is entirely freed from the old sinful nature, he deceives himself. But such a person does not deceive his family, nor his neighbors, nor his fellow Christians, nor does he deceive God. In the next verse God makes provision for the very sins which will come out of the root of sin still existing in this self-deceived Christian (1 John 1:9). These “sins” which are forgiven and the “unrighteousness” which is cleansed, are the sins and the unrighteousness of saints.

But the Apostle John goes further. “If we say we have no sin” the inevitableness of logic compels us to say that we do not sin for if the root of sin is eradicated, then from what source could sins come? Every stream no matter how tiny must have a source. A few days ago looking out upon the Alps in a heavy rain storm I saw ten streams of water flowing down the mountain side. In today’s sunshine I look out again and not one of those streams can be seen. If there is “no sin,” then the believer “cannot sin.” The old apostle uses very drastic language here – it may be that he knew he was writing to some who in the very earnestness and intensity of desire were in danger of believing this unscriptural doctrine.

1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him (God) a liar, and his word is not in us.”

The gross, vulgar, more open sins may have gone from us but what of the hidden sins of the heart; the pride even in our spiritual attainment, the attitude of self-righteousness toward others who are still on a lower plane, the harshness of judgment of those who do not believer as we do, the secret irritability, sometimes even toward those we love best, the unloving thought toward relative, friend or servant, the intolerance toward the weak or willful, or the countless sins of omission that must be charged against the Christian by the One who said, “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Sin is not merely an act; it is also an attitude and an absence. It is not alone what we do but what we do not do. It is what we are and what we are not in the inmost part of our being as God sees us. Who that has a Scriptural apprehension of sin as it is in man and of holiness as it is in God could ever say he is without sin?

There is in every believer that old nature which can do nothing but sin. John traces this sinful nature back to its original source in satan. Inherent within the old nature is a three fold inability: it cannot know God, it cannot obey God, it cannot please God. By physical birth every person becomes the possessor of this God-ignorant, God-defying and God-displeasing nature and it remains in him as long as he lives on earth.

But there is in every believer that new nature which cannot sin. The old apostle leads us along the trail to its source in God. Inherent within the new nature is a threefold capacity: it can and does know God, obey God and please God. By spiritual birth every person becomes the possessor of this God-knowing, God-obeying, God-pleasing nature.

1 John 3:6-9, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 2)

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Rich Blessings


 

Let me ask you a question.  Do you believe God wants to bless you?  You may say, “Yes,” but in your heart do you really believe this to be true?

Take a moment to read Ezekiel 34:26,

“…I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.”

I believe the Bible teaches us that just like there are seasons of trial, there are seasons of exceptional blessing that come from God.  And those seasons of exceptional blessing should not be taken for granted.  We should capitalize on them and seize the momentum when those seasons come.

Don’t get me wrong, God is good all the time, and He is good to all.  His tender mercies are over all His works.  He causes His sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  The fact of the matter is, God is good even to people who are not good because it is His nature.

However, there are richer, more frequent blessings that come from the hand of God.  And they come to those who do a particular thing.

Tomorrow I want you to look with me in the book of Galatians.  As we look at these verses, we will find that though God is good to all, the richer and more frequent blessings come to those who do a particular thing.  Together we will see what that thing is.

Today, I just want you to grasp the truth that God does want to bless your life in an extraordinary way.

~Bayless Conley~

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The Marks of A Spiritual Christian # 7


 

Life On The Highest Plane

Carnal or Spiritual

But it is not merely the apprehension of and acquiescence in the will of God that loosens the grip of the world and the flesh upon the believer. It is the deeper appreciation of the gracious love of the Father and the sacrificial love of the Son that woos an wins him into a life of devoted separateness. We consent to be truly separated when once we spiritually discern how for our sakes He sanctified Himself that we might be sanctified. It is the one, who beholding the Lamb of God taking away the sin of the world, says, “He loved me and gave Himself for me” who gladly consent to be crucified unto the world and to have the world crucified unto Him.

May the writer bear testimony that it was so in her experience. Life in the flesh and in the world kept her form some years after her conversion and entrance into church fellowship from victory and peace in her inner life and from power in service. Hour upon hour had been spent in argument with a dear friend and a separated Christian upon the harmlessness and rightfulness of her worldly walk. But one day face to face with God the decision of the will was made and the front door of her life was opened and the King of kings and Lord of lords was invited to enter and to take real control. Thereupon the vagabonds and hirelings that had robbed her of her possessions and privileges in Christ sneaked out the back door and desire for and delight in their companionship was gone forever. It was with her in deed and truth “the expulisve power of a new affection” that kept her so occupied with her adorable Lord and so happy in His service that there was no sense of loss but rather of incalculable gain.  It is a life of winsome holiness.

Exodus 15:11, “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

1 Peter 1:15-16, “But like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves holy in all manner of living; Because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.”

God’s holiness is His crown of glory. It is His holiness that measures the awful distance between Himself and the sinner. Yet He calls His own to be holy because He is holy and there is no other way by which he may come to have fellowship with Him for “without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Every Christian is called by his new position in Christ to a life of holiness. But there are many Christians who frankly do not want to be holy. There are others however who truly desire to be spiritual but are nevertheless afraid to be “holy.” This may be due to their misunderstanding of what holiness is, either through their own neglect of the study of God’s Word or through the false teaching on this subject which makes them shy of it through fear.

If one aspires to life on the highest plane he must be holy according to Scriptural holiness. What, then, is it? First, may we say what it is not. Holiness is NOT sinless perfection, it does NOT place one beyond the possibility of sinning nor remove from him the presence of sin. Scriptural holiness is NOT “faultlessness.” That is a condition e will reach only upon the return of the Lord Jesus who takes him beyond all contact with a world of sin. Scriptural holiness is NOT “faultlessness” but it is “blamelessness” in the sight of God. We are to be “preserved blameless” unto His coming and we shall be “presented faultless” at His coming.

1 Thess. 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jude 24, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”

This truth was unfolded to me with fresh meaning four years ago when I was called upon to dispose of the personal belongings of a dearly loved sister whom God had called Home. Among the things she especially treasured was found a letter written to her when I was seven years of age. She had gone on a visit; I loved her and missed her and that letter was the love of my heart expressed in words. The letter was by no means “faultless” for the penmanship was poor, the grammar was incorrect and the spelling was imperfect, but it was “blameless” in the sight of my sister for it came out of a heart of love and was the best letter I could write. For me, a grown woman, to write the same letter today would not be “blameless” for my experience in penmanship and my knowledge of grammar and of spelling are far greater.

Holiness is a heart of pure love for God expressed in character, conversation and conduct. Holiness is Christ, our Sanctification, enthroned as Life of our life. It is Christ in us, living, speaking, walking. The character of even the greatest saint will have in it some lack, his conversation will often fail in magnifying his Lord and his conduct in some respect will fall short of his calling in Christ Jesus. He will not be sinless but his heart will be pure love for God and he will give Christ the place of supreme preeminence in his mind, heart, strength and soul. There will be nothing static in his holiness but daily by the Holy Spirit’s faithful sanctifying work in his inmost life Christ Jesus will be formed more perfectly within him. The result will be a “transformation into His image from glory to glory.”

1 Thess. 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”

Such holiness is winsome for it spells the holy calm of God mirrored in the face, the holy quietness of God manifested in the voice, the holy graciousness of  God expressed in the manner, and the holy fragrance of God emanating from the whole life. It is God so inhabiting His holy temple, which temple ye are, that He reveals Himself through human personality.

A sermon I heard when a student at the Moody Bible Institute thirty years ago brought me the meaning of true holiness. The sermon was not a long one, neither was it preached by a famous preacher. It was a sermon of just six words preached to an audience of one by Amelia, the maid who waited upon the door. Amelia’s sermon was occasioned by the call upon me of a very poor woman needing help on a very hot day when I was packing a very big trunk in a very small room. Several times I had gladly gone to this woman’s home to help her but on this particular day I did not want to see her. Of course, I did not want Amelia to know that, so smiling sweetly said, “I will be down soon.” Amelia turned and went a few steps, then came back and with a pained expression in her face said, “Why, Miss Paxson, you looked cross!” Amelia taught me that day that holiness is an inward possession and not an outward profession and a possession that implies a Presence – that penetrates to the inmost spirit, that permeates the whole being and that purifies it in every part.

The life of the spiritual Christian which has been unfolded is that which every true believer desires but which very few expect to live on earth. To many such a life seems to be the prerogative of only a few rare souls chosen by God for especially high and holy tasks and to be utterly impossible for others. On the contrary, it is not the prerogative of a few but the privilege of all. To some it is a life which they have admired in others but have feared for themselves because of the demand it made for complete surrender. To others there has been utter ignorance either of the possibility of such a life or of how to live it. But I believe there are a very large number of Christians today who are not satisfied with the lives they are living and who desire to know what is the cause and the cure of carnality. Diagnosis precedes cure. We have attempted in this chapter to make a diagnosis. Let us now week to find a cure.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 1 – “The Christian’s Choice – Self or Christ?”)

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You Are Not Alone


 

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

Have you ever poured your heart out to someone but felt worse afterwards because you knew that no matter how hard you tried to express your feelings, they just did not understand? True understanding and empathy come when the person you are sharing a personal problem with has lived through the same type of situation. Several years ago my dad died of a heart attack, suddenly and without warning, and the shock was painfully tough for our family. But comfort came from those who experienced similar traumas, including my two half-sisters whose dad had died a few months earlier. Their dad died the same way, and they were dealing with the same type of pain. Through the pain and suffering a close bond was formed between us as our hearts were drawn to each other, and even to this day, we share a relationship like sisters who have suffered together.

When I think of the sufferings that Christ endured here on earth, I am comforted that He understands my sufferings. No one was more rejected, ridiculed, misunderstood, and alone than Jesus. Even though He was fully God, He was also fully man. Jesus dealt with the same emotions and temptations in his flesh just as we do, yet He was without sin. But Jesus never focused on His own pain; His concern and compassion was for the people. Even when His friend Lazarus died, Jesus cried. He understood the pain that Lazarus’ sisters were feeling and He knows today the pain that we feel. For me, I try to remember these things in my weakest moments, and I know that I am not alone.

Are you hurting today? Maybe you feel as though no one really understands or even cares. Jesus says to “come boldly to the throne of grace” and there you will find help in your time of need. Come boldly today and seize the mercy and grace that is freely given by Jesus. His sufferings were for just this reason, so that we can all pour out our hearts to the One who truly understands and the only One who can truly help us. Go to Jesus today. He loves you, He understands you, and He will help you. 

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

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The Marks of a Spiritual Christian # 6


Life On The Highest Plane

Carnal or Spiritual

The power to do “the same works and even greater” is not the power which resides in anything human. On the contrary it is the power of God the Holy Spirit which is fully at our disposal when we are fully yielded to Him. Is His supernatural power manifested in your life and works today?  It is a life of  devoted separateness.

1 Thess. 4:3, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.”

Hebrews 7:26, “For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”

John 14:17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

The spiritual man apprehends the will of the Father, the walk of the Son, and the work of the Spirit, in relation to his sanctification. The Father willed that he should be set apart and separated wholly unto Himself and the spiritual man acquiesces in the Father’s purpose and wills to separate himself from everything that he knows would keep him from becoming a vessel fit for the Master’s use.

The spiritual man takes Christ as his Example and determines to walk as He walked. Christ lived a life that was “holy, undefiled, separate from sinners.” He was in the world but not of it. He had the closest contact with the world but without conformity to it or contagion from it. He lived in a world, evil, corrupt, polluted, yet He remained unspotted, unstained and unsullied. The spiritual man aspires to a similar separateness of walk in this evil world.

The spiritual man lives habitually under the dominating control of the Holy Spirit who indwells him. The Holy Spirit and the world have nothing in common. The world cannot see or know the Holy Spirit for He is unseen and invisible and the world comprehends only the seen and the tangible. The Holy Spirit working within the believer enables the risen Lord to continue from the throne the work of sanctification begun in the believer at the Cross. The spiritual man yields unconditionally to the Spirit’s power as He works out God’s full purpose in him.

God, the Father, works through His Son, by the Holy Spirit, to carry out His will of complete sanctification.

1 Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.”

1 Thess. 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Holy Trinity are at work within the believer to separate him wholly unto the Lord and to set him apart as a vessel fit for the Master’s use. God is ever  working to bring the believer into full conformity to the image of His Son.

When there is complete separateness the Christian will bear the same relationship to the world as Christ bore to it and the world will bear the same relationship to him as it bore to Christ. The Christian will regard the pleasures, the pursuits, the principles and the plans of the world exactly as Jesus Christ did. He is not of the world, therefore the world hated, persecuted and crucified Him. Such an experience the spiritual Christian will likewise have.

John 17:16, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

John 15:19-20, “If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”

There can be no successful attempt at a compromising admixture of the world and the heavenlies, of the flesh and the Spirit in the life of the one who truly aspires to life on the highest plane. God has separated these two unmixables by the Cross of Christ. Any believer who submits to the perfect work of that Cross both for and in him must choose to leave the world and the flesh behind and be wholly separated unto the pleasures and pursuits of life in Christ in the heavenlies.

God calls the believer to a life of spiritual “isolation” and “insulation” in order that he may be conformed to the image of His Son and filled by His Spirit. The spiritual Christian responds to the call and obeys God’s command to come out and live a life of devoted separateness.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 7

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Seek His Promises


 

“And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.”-  Matthew 11:6

While teaching on Joshua 1, I realized that God clearly told Joshua that He fulfills His promises. God even clearly restates what those promises entailed. However, today, many people do not know how to get promises from God. And even if God is speaking to them, many Christians do not know how to wait it out, and so they fail to watch God work it out to completion. As a result, many Christians stumble over Jesus and the way He works in our lives. But that is not God’s intention as He desires to speak to us and reveal to us things that are to come.

My mom came over today and I asked her how she would teach someone to get promises from God. Immediately, she started giving me illustrations of when God gave her promises. So, I asked her again, “But how did you learn to get a promise from God?” She used another illustration of a promise God gave her to try to speak in the generalities of teaching someone else. I was thankful for the discussion because I had also realized that it is very difficult to come up with a “basic formula” in receiving a promise from God.

God’s Word is filled with promises He gave in the past which can be applied to my present circumstances. I can give a very simple way of how I get a promise from God. First, I start by praying to Him about a burden while asking for His will to be done in it. It is not God’s will for me to be stressed out and unsettled, so I start reading the Word, looking for a passage that addresses what I am praying about. If a verse pops out, I will start meditating over it, asking God about it and looking up the cross references for it. I know that it is a promise from God if it addresses the burden on my heart in future terms while giving me a present day peace. I also know that it is a promise and not a command if I can’t do anything to fulfill it by myself. God wants me to trust and have faith and He will accomplish the rest.

Today, try to read segments in the book of Isaiah. God has given me so many promises in that book. Keep seeking the Lord’s will until He gives you a verse. Then trust Him. He is more than able to address and accomplish all that concerns you today and every day!

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

 

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