Archive for November, 2010

v312 Belief Unto Salvation

Belief Unto Salvation

All throughout the New Testament it is shown that belief is necessary for salvaion. In fact, it is all that is necessary. That makes belief a powerful agent.

Acts 16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

But there are obviously different kinds of belief for the devils believe too and they are not saved. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19.

There is a belief unto death and a belief unto salvation. As in so many things in the Christian realm there are things that mean one thing in one realm and an entirely different meaning in the other. I am speaking about the temporal, earthly, soulish realm versus the eternal, heavenly, spiritual realm.

There is an earthly knowing, and a heavenly knowing, there is an earthly mind and a heavenly mind, there is a earthly love and a heavenly love. I would venture that for every thing in heaven there is a earthly counterpart that is its perversion, corrupted as it is by sin.

There is an earthly belief and a heavenly belief too. There is a believing that saves and believing that condemns.

The belief that does not save is a mere intellectual assent, an agreeing with the facts. Your mind may be able to see, understand and agree that Jesus died for your sins, but that is only a mental process. The belief is real when you begin to live according to the belief. Faith without works is dead. Faith expresses, belief expresses, and the Holy Spirit if He lives in you expresses.

This is what Jesus meant when He said, “By their fruit you will know them.” You can’t judge a book by its cover by you can judge a person by their fruit. If there is visible fruit, there is Life in the branch and the branch is abiding in the vine. If there is no fruit, well, the jury is still in session.

The reality is that if Jesus Christ, God Himself in the Holy Spirit is in you, He is only there for one purpose, to reveal Himself in much the same way He revealed Himself in Christ. It is the seed within that produces the fruit without. Look for the fruit of the Spirit.

Oswald Chambers writes:
“Jesus Christ is not working out the Redemption, it is complete; we are working it out, and beginning to realise it by obedience. Our practical life is to be moulded by our belief in the Redemption, and our declared message will be in accordance with our belief. If we say we believe “It is finished” we must not blaspheme God by unbelief in any domain of our practical life.”

If the salvation of God through Redempton is in you, it is working itself out. God’s Word does not return unto Him void but will accomplish the thing for which it was sent (Isa. 55:11).

Redemption is a process of realignment. You have been missing the target because you aimed at the goals of Satan, Self and the world. To hit the target you must aim at it — the target being the righteousness of God in Christ.

The process of our redemption is accomplished by keeping the will in alignment with God’s will. Keeping in alignment assures that you are working out your salvation.

Are you centered on God’s will? If you move to the left or to the right you will miss the target. Some have shifted so far as to make an about face and lost sight of the target altogeher.

God will never move the target into the path of your will. You must continually seek it out, and with steady prayer, faith and love execute your life like an arrow.

How many times has your arrow hit the target of God’s will? One hundred times?, one thousand times?, one hundred thousand times? Jesus never missed once. If He is given place in you, if you submit to Him and let Him live His life through you, neither will you again.

v4.16 Go Ye and Learn

Go Ye and Learn

“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matt. 9:13

There is much to learn from our Lord. The way He walked before men, the words He spoke, even the simple acts He performed. Everything was holy unto His Father. He did not “try” to do things before men. He just kept in tune with His Father – what He saw the Father doing, what He heard the Father saying, where He saw the Father going.

For whatever reason, He sets apart this little event, this snippet of a vignette, and wants us to concentrate some thought on it. He wants us to reflect on this scene and its little drama so we might, “learn what that meaneth”.

Here is the setting for the passage to bring the perspective into a meaningful context:

“And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matt. 9:9-13.

“As Jesus passed… he saw a man… sitting” I bet you have seen men sitting before too. There they are, just busy with the work of the hour. How did Jesus see him? He saw him there and somehow knew that His Father had chosen him. Jesus did not pick him out, nor did He randomly choose Matthew. God was doing something in Matthew and Jesus saw him.

Jesus always does what He sees the Father doing. Wouldn’t you like to see what the Father is doing? Not nearly so much as He would like you to. Learn what that meaneth.

But Matthew was a “sinner” in the eyes of the Pharisees and Pharisees don’t associate with sinners. Their eyes are purer than can behold evil (at least that is the gist of it). They have set a distinction between their righteous behavior and the behavior of those who would collect taxes. There is within us and them the temptation to the thinking — “We are righteous, they are sinners.” Learn what that meaneth.

The Pharisees had a certain contempt for “sinners” that Jesus never had. Have you noticed that Jesus never condemned sinners for being sinners? There is something about having a low, humble, accurate opinion of yourself when you see yourself as a sinner that makes you approachable to hear the gospel. There is something amazingly attractive to God about a broken and contrite heart. These God will not cast out, “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17. Learn what that meaneth.

Where the Pharisees openly displayed their contempt and lack of mercy for sinners, Jesus showed mercy. What is noteworthy is that Jesus had compassion on sinners and not the righteous. Rather, His greatest contempt and display of righteous anger was directed at the “righteous”. Learn what that meaneth.

Who were the Pharisees? They were the evolutionary products of what was once a group of men called to serve God and represent His Kingdom interests in administering grace and mercy through a system of sacrifice. They were a tangible example of what the perversion of the heart does to the will of God when corrupted by the thinking and traditions men. Learn what that meaneth.

The Pharisees considered themselves righteous by their actions and condemned those who did not display the same external conformity to the Law as sinners. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Tim. 3:5. They had ritualized the internal righteousness of God’s mercy, shown outwardly in the sacrificial system, into a system of external conformities. Learn what that meaneth.

Here is the point that God in Christ is making: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” It is the knowledge and acceptance by confession before God that you are sinner, that keeps you on the mercy seat, unable to judge others. God desires mercy, not sacrifice. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8. Learn what that meaneth.

Have we come so far from this today? Are there not large groups of men and women that put robes on each week and join in the procession of the sacrificial system, conforming to a mesh of man made traditions and thinking far from the intent and purpose of the original design? A kind of us and them attitude that permeates all of it? I believe our righteousness is a stench in the nostrils of God. Learn what that meaneth.

There are those who are seeking God’s mercy and those who are not. The (self)-righteous do not need a physician, but the sick. I see my Father showing mercy to the sick and having a certain contempt for the righteous. I only do what I see my Father doing.

I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Learn what that meaneth.

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Plumbline of Truth Because God is holy he hates all sin. He loves everything which is in conformity to his law, and loathes everything which is contrary to it. Arthur W. Pink – The Attributes of God, circa 1940, copyright 1975 Baker Books
A Total Wash and Blotting Out Not only shall they perish themselves, but their way shall perish, too. The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the sand. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
The Humility and Joy of Bowing Low It is always so. Our choicest blessings invariably come to us by descending; our richest benefits come by going downward. We stoop to conquer. The farmer bows his face toward the earth both to sow the seed and to reap the harvest; the miner goes below for the precious things of the earth; the loveliest streams flow along the lowliest valleys; the sweetest flowers flourish in the shadiest dells. F. W. Boreham – The Heavenly Octave: A Study of the Beatitudes, Copyright 1936 by F. W. Boreham
For His Good Pleasure Again, let a tradesman but have this intention and it will make him a saint in his shop; his everyday business will be a course of wise and reasonable actions, made holy to God by being done in obedience to His will and pleasure. He will buy and sell and labor and travel, because by do doing he can do some good to himself and others. But then, as nothing can please God but what is wise and reasonable and holy, so he will neither buy nor sell or labor in any other manner, nor to any other end, but such as may be shown to be wise and reasonable and holy. He will therefore consider not what arts or methods or application will soonest make him richer and greater than his brethren or remove him from a shop to a life of state and pleasure; but he will consider what arts, what methods, what application can make worldly business most acceptable to God and make a life of trade a life of holiness, devotion, and piety. This will be the temper and spirit of every tradesman; he cannot stop short of these degrees of piety, whenever it is his intention to please God in all his actions, as the best and happiest thing in the world. And on the other hand, whoever is not of this spirit and temper in his trade and profession, and does not carry it on only so far as is best subservient to a wise and holy and heavenly life, it is certain that he has not this intention; and yet without it, who can be shown to be a follower of Jesus Christ? William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, circa 1728; Random House Inc. © 2002
Working In Obscurity Much of God s work is done in secret because you would not die to yourself if He always visibly stretched out His hand to save you. God does not transform you on a bed of light, life and grace. His transformation is done on the cross in the darkness, poverty and death. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Other Gods Begin In The Mind The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. It begins in the mind and may be present where no overt act of worship has taken place. When they knew God, wrote Paul, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Then followed the worship of idols fashioned after the likeness of men and birds and creeping things. But this series of degrading acts began in the mind. Wrong ideas about God are not the only fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true. A. W. Tozer – The Knowledge of the Holy, © 1961 Aiden Wilson Tozer
Prayers That Toss To and Fro on Your Lips Jesus Christ did not say, Ask what you like, and it shall be done unto you, but ask what you will, ask when your will is in the thing that is a real problem to you, and God has pledged His honour that you will get the answer every time. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
God Made A Way, Where There Was No Way In Jesus, every obstacle has been removed out of the way of your immediate forgiveness and acceptance. The dying Savior put away sin, bearing our offenses in His body on the tree, reconciling the world to Himself. You may not believe this, or feel the joy of it, but that does not alter the fact that it’s true. F. B. Meyer – The Best of F. B. Meyer, circa 1910, © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries
In The End, It is You and God After All Jesus himself, Lord and God, whose virtue could neither receive increase in the secret of the desert, nor be impeded in a public place, nevertheless, so that he might instruct us by an example, was proved by fasting and temptation in solitude before he preached and performed miracles (Matthew 4:1-11). Scripture also says of him that leaving behind the crowds of his disciples he went up the mountain alone to pray (Matthew 14:23). As the time of the passion already grew near, he left the apostles and went alone to pray (Matthew 26:39-44), showing us especially by this example how much solitude aids prayer, since even though the apostles were his companions, he did not wish to pray along with them. Guigo I – Carthusian Customs – circa 1120; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Defiance is Indefensible It is not your ignorance, nor your deception, nor your foolishness that will not allow you to die to Self and submit to God but Pride in all its flaming glory that will not allow you to confess your dependence on others and God. Pride is the life-blood of Death. Tom Van Hoogen

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

“Life is the opportunity, allotted in Time, to prove your faith in and love for God.” — T.V.

Your Light, your Life (the life of Christ in you), your Works were never meant to be hidden under a bushel.

Let your Light so shine before others…
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee…
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

A light that does not shine before others, a life that does not bear witness, a faith that does not work — these are an abomination to God.

Here are some thoughts to consider:

“Jesus says that life is the opportunity God gives to man to do his life work; that means that God has no respect whatever for our programmes and machinery. Our Lord insists on one thing only, God’s purpose for Him; He pays not the remotest attention to civilised forces, He estimates nothing but one standard.”
—Oswald Chambers

“Not only has the Creator appointed to every human being, in the constitution of his manhood, a certain stature to which he may and ought to attain; but He has appointed a corresponding task for him to fulfil, determined by the providential circumstances in which he is placed. In fact, this is his life; and not to fulfil this God-appointed purpose of his existence is to lose his life.
— James Stalker

“To-day we hold conferences and conventions and give reports and make our programmes. None of these things were in the life of Jesus, and yet every minute of His life He realised that He was fulfilling the purpose of His Father (e.g. John 9:4). How did He do it? By maintaining the one relationship, and it is that one relationship He insists on in His disciples, and it is the one we have lost in the rubbish of modern civilisation. If we try and live the life Jesus Christ lived, modern civilisation will fling us out like waste material; we are no good, we do not add anything to the hard cash of the times we live in, and the sooner we are flung out the better.”
— O. C.

Yes, we all must be able to present proof of Life and you have the opportunity of a lifetime to do it.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8:35.

You have only one opportunity for every minute of your life, don’t waste it.

He Made the Way, Walk Ye In It

God is a WayMaker. He Makes a Way where there is no way. But you have to walk in it.

He made a Way for Abram to provide a sacrifice, after he by faith was willing to offer his son, his very hope for eternal life.

He made a Way for Israel to survive the famines by placing Joseph, a forerunner to the Messiah, in the earth, only to be resurrected to save his people.

He made a Way of escape for Israel to leave the world, Egypt, through the sacrifice of the firstborn of Egypt.

He made a Way to survive the Wilderness by bringing down Bread from heaven and water from a Rock, a Way to enter the promised land by rolling back the water of time all the way to Adam, a Way to defeat the giants by trusting in Him, a Way to flourish in prosperity by redistributing the wealth of the heathen to His chosen, and many,many more Ways.

Oh yes there is a Way. And it is not hard to find. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8. “Seek Him and… He will be found by you.”

There is a Way. The only obstacle that He did not remove is you. That is your job. You must deny your Self so that you may turn toward God. It is the essence of repentance. When you turn toward God you are at the same time turning from Self and his desires.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” Isa. 53:6a.

Won’t you turn to Him? Won’t you turn from Self and deny him so that you may please and adore your Heavenly Father? Won’t you trust Him rather than the things of the world for your provision and protection? Won’t you repent of your own wayward heart that seeks its own will?

Turn you eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the Light of His Glory and Grace

There is a corollary to this:

Turn you eyes upon the world
Seek heartily all of its toys
And the things of God
Will grow strangely dim
And the darkness will steal all your joy.

Oh there is a Way provided to those who will turn from making their life about them and instead make Him their life. There really is no safe place between the world which is perishing and Him. You are either in the Ark or you are not in the Ark.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isa. 43:19.

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Prov. 16:25.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.

The Way is a walk. It is a steady, persistent moving toward the goal which is that Christ be formed in us as we die to Self. Standing in the Way will never get you Home. You must walk in the Way.

Deuteronomy 5:33: Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Isaiah 30:21: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Jeremiah 7:23: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

II John 1:6: And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

He made the Way, walk ye in it.

Don’t Lose Your Life, Gain It

The Life of Christ must manifest in you or you just don’t have it. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12. There are no sons of God hidden under a bushel.

Too many have been taught in religious settings just what they want to hear. When once they are through hearing what they want to hear, they close their ears to everything else.

We hear the part about God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you life. We don’t hear the part about, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3:12.

We hear the part about, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28. We don’t hear the part about, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” James 1:2.

We hear the part about, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Heb. 13:5. We don’t hear the part about, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.

We hear the part about, “I know the plans I have for thee, to prosper thee…”. We don’t hear the part about, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Heb. 11:25.

You see, the Truth is that you must accept and believe and live by faith the second part in order to gain the first part. That is the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Jesus was not a cherry picker deciding which things He would obey and which he did not agree with or like.

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” Heb. 5:8.

Jesus Christ was not wishy-washy about this. He stated in many occasions and many ways, there will be those who miss the boat, those who do not enter in, that have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.

Religion is a form of godliness that denies the power thereof. The power of God is the Life of Christ in you. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12.

Heaven is nothing more than an Exchange Program, His life for yours, yours for His. If he doesn’t have your life, you don’t have His. The entire redemption program rests on this concept of substitution. His for yours, yours for His.

Matthew 10:39: He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Mark 8:35: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Luke 9:24: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Luke 17:33: Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

John 12:25: He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

I think He is trying to make a point. It may not be what you want to hear, but its the Truth.

Don’t lose your life — find it, save it, preserve it, keep it, gain it — in Him.

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