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October 23, 2017, 06:45:04 PM

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Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277699 Posts in 26449 Topics by 3790 Members
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1  Theology / Bible Study / Keeping Company on: September 20, 2013, 05:14:19 AM
If I have the love of a person, I share in all that person is.  It is the greatest of all things to know the Lord Jesus personally.  Joseph is a type; he said to his brethren, “Fear ye not; I will nourish you, and your little ones.”  The Lord Jesus has done for us the greatest work—“greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  But that is not all; the love of God is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit which is given unto me, and I thereby know the Lord Jesus and the Father personally.

To Adam a garden was given, and everything in it—a tree of life in the midst of the garden; and there he was set, subject to God’s word.  But now we have a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary Magdalene, in a garden said, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.”  Very ignorant, I admit (as were all, concerning His resurrection, even though He spoke of it – Matt 12:40; Luke 24:46; John 20:9—NC), but her heart is set on a Person.  Hence the Lord reveals Himself to her; He does not give her anything on the earth, but He said to her, “Go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father.”

There is nothing greater than to know the Lord Jesus personally, so that you can sit down under His shadow with great delight.  There is a universality about a person, that no combination of circumstances can supply; we all know that no combination of circumstances can make up for the loss of a near relative—things cannot equal a person.

The more you know of the Lord Jesus the more you will find that “He satisfieth the longing soul”; and when you know Him as your Life outside of every human voice and influence, then He will be everything to you.  Many Christians can say, Christ is chiefest.  Yes; but can you say, He is everything?   

“Peter said, Lo, we have left all and followed thee” (Luke 18:28).  This is about three years since the occurrence in chapter five, when Peter left all and followed Jesus.  Now note the Lord’s answer: “And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come, life everlasting.”  You may ask, What is this manifold more?  I answer, The company of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Peter was three years with the Lord Jesus.  Would you not like to get what Peter got?  For three years he was in His company; all that time under His wing, under His influence.  Surely that was better than any blessing, earthly or otherwise.  “When they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”  Loss? Instead of loss, “manifold more in this present time.”  Some imagine it is something of the same kind as that which you have surrendered.  No, it is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!

It is not only the work of salvation that you receive, but that you come to know His heart and interests; how He thinks of you, how He seeks to draw you to Himself, and to connect you with His own interests; so that the more your heart understands His love for you, the more you are convinced that if the whole world were given up for Him, He is manifold better than all.

A life of patience intervenes between the day of illumination and the day of glorification.  I am not to count on a path of pleasure—a path of ease—a path of prosperity—on being more distinguished tomorrow than today; but I am to count of a path of patience.  And is not there glory in that?  Yes, there is personal company with the Lord Jesus Christ!

- J B Stoney
2  Theology / Bible Study / Reply To An Interesting Inquiry of “From Eternity Past” on: September 15, 2013, 08:32:21 PM
“So, would you then say that in effect God causes the sinner to sin the sins they sin? Thus when a man is tempted it is because God created Him to be tempted in just this way?”



It is obvious God created man with the ability to sin, same as the angels (but they are not heirs of salvation, just messengers to those who are - Heb 1:14), or Adam and Eve couldn't have sinned. Whether this nature was antecedent of the temptation is irrelevant to me, but God’s foreknowing is. I believe one the primary similarities between the angelic and human order is autonomy, which is what I believe is the primary "likeness" of God, e.g. only man and angels have this ability.

I believe it is this ability of choosing for self (Due 30:19) that incurs accountability, and just as the angels were created with the ability to choose, so man also has. God's "ways are past finding out" (Rom 11:33) and I believe He chose to use sin in His plan, which in my opinion does not make God to become a part of sin. To allow for the concept of man being in His "likeness" concerning choice, He "determined" this is the way, or He would have predetermined another way if it wasn't the way He desired it to transpire.

God doesn't "cause the sinner to sin" but in order that we are like (likeness) Him in autonomy, this is His way.

I expect there will be many who conceive of this concept to be ridiculous and my apologies, but my reason for posting all my materials is to encourage, not compete.

-NC (Robert)
3  Theology / Bible Study / From Eternity Past on: September 13, 2013, 02:22:54 PM
The intent of this article is not a presumption to know or understand God’s will for mankind, but rather to speculate concerning His control within the entirety of all of His creation.  In my opinion, His will must involve complete control (acting according to foreknowledge, e.g. He always knew but not always acted upon creation until His time of choosing to create); otherwise I believe it could be concluded as confusion.  Also, please forgive me if this article seems to be disruptive to you in any way.

From Eternity Past

Was man supposed to enter into sin (could God say, “They weren’t supposed to do that)?  Since God foreknew man would sin and allowed it to transpire, could this be part of His foreknown plans; esp. considering nothing happens without His foreknowledge and the fact that He could have preplanned to disallow it?  The issue isn’t that man chose to sin, but rather the fact of God’s foreknowledge of it.

I believe since God is omniscient, every occurrence in this life that He allows to transpire is not only foreknown by Him, but is also taken into consideration as part of His plan, which was foreknown prior to creation—from eternity past.  The only alternative is being bereft of the impossibility that God is not omniscient and does not foreknow everything; or He chooses not to know certain things, which would be an even greater impossibility, considering omniscience means “all knowing” (God never had to learn anything but has always foreknown everything—a very comforting thought for the saved).

To address the above concept, two prominent and unavoidable elements must be examined and if done rightly, it may serve as a base.  These are; God’s will and God’s desire.  In a general sense these two terms can intend identical definitions, depending upon the context, as all words do; but their specific sense varies according to usage.

The specific intention of “God’s will” concerns His “ways,” which are “past finding out” (Rom 11:33).  Even though He is “not willing (desirous) that any should perish” (2 Pet 3:9), and “Who will have (wills or desires to have) all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4), He foreknew the generality of mankind would perish (Matt 7:13, 14).  For “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11).  This passage has direct reference to the Jews but may also be applied indirectly to the rest of the world when considering “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (1 Cor 10:26, 28).

For example, the “will of God” is that all who receive His Son inherit eternal life (John 1:12).  Now, if He chooses not to grant the same for those who do not want to believe, this cannot be attributed as being partial (Rom 2:11; Eph 6:9).  Partiality can only be attributed if He broke His will for the unbelieving and granted them eternal life, which would disregard His will. 

Therefore concerning the controlling-factor of God (the crux of this article), everyone is an active subject of His will, but not an active subject of His desire!

-NC

4  Theology / Bible Study / The Glory Of Grace on: September 11, 2013, 05:58:01 PM
Our “acceptance” (Eph 1:6) in the Father is sustained by the same provision which established it—the life of Christ—thus there can be nothing in the believer’s new life in Christ (Col 3:4) which can possibly effect the continuance of this acceptance. 

But rather, the Father’s intention of salvation is for use of glorification (Matt 5:16), which establishes two primaries: the drawing of the lost and the maturing and strengthening of the saved.  The believer’s sustenance is not his faith, nor his worship, but his union in “Christ, who is our life.”
-NC

The Glory Of Grace

The Law was a ministration of condemnation and death (2 Cor 3:7).  It set forth, not what God is, but what man ought to be.  This was fatal to the creature.  And now the ministry of the law is “that which is done away” (2 Cor 3:11a).  The Gospel, on the contrary, is “that which remaineth” (2 Cor 3:11b).  It will never fade before a brighter glory.  It is not the statement of what man ought to be, but of what God the Father is!  He has revealed Himself in His Son, and in a manner blessedly suitable to our good and condition.  It is not merely introduced with, but it subsists in, glory.

This is the glory that “excelleth” (2 Cor 3:10).  It is the divine testimony to One, Who, having accomplished redemption has gone up into the glory of God.  Him we gaze upon with unveiled face, in perfect peace in the presence of infinite holiness.  The children of Israel could not look upon Moses’ face because of its brightness; but it is ours to gaze without interruption upon the glory our Father in the face of His Beloved Son.  He did not take His seat in that glory until every question relating to our souls was fully settled, and every foe silenced.

Unlike Moses who went up into the Mount, saying, “Peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin” (Ex 32:30).  While the people stood trembling and mourning at the foot—the Lord Jesus first made atonement and then went up to take His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high.  If our sins were not all entirely removed before He was thus glorified, they never can be, for He will never come to earth to die again.  Righteousness was accomplished, and the Father was glorified, ere that place was taken by the Second Man, the Lord Jesus.  Hence the brighter the glory that shines in His face, the fuller the proof to our souls, and the deeper our peace and blessedness.

It is a ministry of righteousness, not in requiring it as under the law, but in revealing it in the Lord Jesus.  “Now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom 3:21, 22).

It is a ministry of the Spirit also.  This God never even proposed to confer as the result of law-keeping.  The holy anointing oil could not be poured on flesh (Ex 30:31, 32).  The Spirit could not be granted as the reward of man’s work.  But the Father put His honor on the work of the Lord Jesus.  The Spirit had come out from the glory into which the Lord Jesus has entered, as the Father’s gift to all who believe the Gospel.  It is not a dry abstract statement of doctrine, but a blessed testimony to the Saviour’s glory.

The Spirit of God having come, He leads up our hearts to where the Lord Jesus is.  The new man finds delight in Him, nowhere else.  The Spirit is the living link between us and the Beloved in glory.  He causes us to gaze upon Him, and we become progressively “changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18).  This is true Christianity—the heart drawn off from things here, and lovingly occupied with the One at the Father’s right hand. 

This we may call the permanent result of the Gospel, though there is progression in the experience of it.  From the moment we believe we are sealed, our faces are turned upward and our backs are turned upon the world, and we become increasingly conformed to His image.  It is the delight of the Spirit to make us so (John 16:14; 2 Cor 3:18).

-W W Fereday


5  Theology / Bible Study / Rule Of Life Ruled Out on: September 06, 2013, 12:56:25 PM
I am doubtless that the most misunderstood Biblical doctrine in contemporary Christendom is that which concerns law and grace.  It’s surely understandable, esp. early in the Christian lives of most believers, that what God had done with the nation of Israel He is now doing with the rest of the world, but in the light of the cannon of Scripture, the dispensations of His will are revealed “at various times and in various ways” (Heb 1:1) and it is in this where the responsibility of the believer is to continuously seek the Holy Spirit’s (1 Cor 2:13) instruction.

I can clearly recall the times when the Ten Commandments were posted in places like the grade-school classrooms and little did I know (as is presently the case with many) they were given only to the nation of Israel in the pre-Cross dispensation and were never intended for any other peoples.
-NC

Just in mentioning, I hope you choose to view the daily readings from the "None but the Hungry Heart" anthology.  They are always brief and they are, in my opinion, the flagship of all the materials Miles J Stanford has compiled; from who is where I get all of the materials I share.  Since his method of compilation involved numerous Biblical authors (circa 17-1800’s), his materials are well established in the Word of God.

FYI - The purchase of any materials are at cost:   mjsbooks.com.

Daily devotional anthology:  http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/day/2013/08/07/

Rule Of Life Ruled Out

There are many pious souls throughout the Church who conscientiously believe that the only possible way to produce obedience, to attain practical holiness, to secure a godly walk, to keep our evil nature in order, is to put Christians under the law.  They seem to fear that if souls are taken from under the school-master, with its rod and rudiments, there is an end to a moral order.  To them, the only possible alternative to law is lawlessness (antinomianism).

If you would know the ground, character, and objet of Christian obedience, you must simply listen to the voice of the Word of God.  And what does it say?  Does it send us back to Moses, to teach us how to live?  Does it put us under the law, to keep the flesh in order?  No.  The Holy Spirit declares, in the simplest and most emphatic manner, that believers are not under law.  “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under law, but grace” (Rom 6:14).

How can holy living be promoted by removing the very foundation of Christianity?  How could indwelling sin be subdued by putting us under the very system that gave sin power over us (“the law is the strength of sin” – 1 Cor 15:56—NC)?  How could Christian obedience ever be produced by flying in the face of Holy Scripture?  Surely a divine end can only be gained by pursuing a divine way.  Now the Father’s way of giving us deliverance from the dominion of sin is by delivering us from under law; and hence all those who teach that Christians are under law are plainly at issue with God; a tremendous consideration for all who desire to be teachers of the law!

If we were under law, sin would have dominion over us.  Indeed, we invariably find, in the Word, that “sin,” “law” and “flesh” are linked together.  The soul under law cannot enjoy deliverance from the dominion of sin (it would again be under trial, which the believer is not—NC); and in this we see the fallacy of the whole legal system, and the utter delusion of seeking to produce holy living by putting souls under the law.  It is simply putting them into the very place where sin can lord it (law—NC) over them, and rule them with absolute sway.  All true believers “are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married (Bride—NC) to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom 7:4).

Paul does not say the law is dead (the Mosaic Law has its origin from “the law of sin and death” – Rom 8:2 – which has its origin in Gen 2:17; the Jew was under both laws but now the sole remaining law is that of sin and death, under which all unbelievers still reside—NC).  The law is not dead, but we are dead to it.  We have passed, by our death with Christ, out of the sphere to which the law belongs.  He took our place; He was made under the law, and on the Cross, He was made to be sin for us.  But He died for us, and we died in Him; and He has thus taken us clear out of the position in which we were under the dominion of sin and law, and introduced us into an entirely new position, in living association and union with Himself, so that it can be said, “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

Is the glorified Lord Jesus Christ under law?  Assuredly not!  Then neither are we.  Has sin any claim upon Him?  None whatever!  Neither has it upon us.  We are, as to our position, as He is in the presence of the Father; and therefore to put us back under law would be a complete overturning of the Christian position.  In the Lord Jesus we are forever delivered from the terrible system in which the prominent figures are, “Flesh,” “Law,” “Sin,” “Death”—a melancholy group, most surely!—and we are brought into that glorious scene in which the prominent figures are, “Life,” “Liberty,” “Grace,” “Peace,” “Righteousness,” Holiness,” “Glory” and “Christ.”

But some may still feel disposed to ask, “Is there not a danger of unholy laxity and lawlessness if the restraining power of the law is removed?”  To this we reply, “God is wiser than we are.”  He knows best how to cure disobedience and rebellion, and how to produce the right sort of obedience.  He used the law to prove man’s enmity against Him.  It worked wrath; it caused the offense to abound (Rom 5:20); it developed “the motions of sins”; it brought death; it was the strength of sin; it deprived the sinner of all power; it slew him (Rom 7:11); it was condemnation; it cursed all who had to do with it.  “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse”; and all this, not because of my defect in the law, but because of man’s total inability to keep it.

One who walks in the Spirit—as every believer should—fulfills the righteousness of the law.  Love is the fulfilling of the law; and love will lead us to do what the Ten Commandments could never effect, namely, to love our enemies.  No love of holiness, no advocate of practical righteousness, need ever be the least afraid of losing aught by abandoning the legal ground, and taking his position on the elevated ground of true Christianity—by turning from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion—by passing from Moses to the Lord Jesus.  No; he only reaches a higher source, a deeper spring, a wider sphere of holiness, righteousness and practical obedience to the Father.

All of the realm of law must be completely abandoned by those whose privilege it is to walk in the light of the new creation; who know the Lord Jesus as their righteousness, their sanctification, their all in all, their very Christian life (Gal 2:20; Col 3:4).  They find their motive for obedience, not in the fear of the curses of a broken law (though many early on understandably have—NC) but in the nature and life of the Lord Jesus—“Who died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live into themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:15).

It is possible that anyone who has ever tasted, even in the very feeblest measure, the heavenly sweetness of the grace of God, can accept the wretched mongrel system, composed of half law and half grace, which so much of the Church offers to the soul?  How sad to find the children of the Father—the Bride of the Bridegroom—temple of the Holy Spirit—robbed of their glorious privileges, and burdened with an intolerable yoke, which, as Peter says, “Neither we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10).

Search the Scriptures; and if you find these things to be so, then fling aside forever the grave-cloths in which you have been bound, and walk and run in the liberty wherewith the Lord Jesus makes His own free; tear off the bandage with which it covers the eyes of men, and gaze upon the moral glories which shine with such heavenly brilliance in the Gospel of the grace of God.

And then let us prove, by a holy, happy, gracious walk and conversation that grace can do, what the law never could.  Let our practical ways from day to day, in the midst of the scenes, circumstances, relationships and associations in which we are called to live, be the most convincing reply to all who contend for the law as their rule of life.

Finally, let it be our earnest, loving desire and aim to seek, insofar as in us lies, to lead all the dear children of the Father into a clearer knowledge of their position and privileges in the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ.  May He send out His light and His truth, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and gather His beloved ones around Himself, to walk in the joy (freedom of guiltlessness—NC) of His salvation, in the purity and light of His presence, and to wait for His coming.

- C H Mackintosh




6  Theology / Bible Study / “As He Is, So Are We” on: August 29, 2013, 10:11:17 AM
The Red Sea is the type of the death of the Lord Jesus, in its application to sin, the world and Satan.  By His death unto sin the believer is completely and forever positionally delivered from the power of sin (positional-truth literally places us in the life of Christ - Col 3:4 - and not our own—NC).  He is, alas, conscious of the presence of sin; but its power over him is broken.  The believer has died unto sin, in the Lord Jesus on the Cross; and what power has sin over a dead man?  Sin dwells in the believer (Rom 7:17, 20), but its rule is terminated (Rom 6:12, 14).  It is not merely that the Savior’s Blood has purged our sins; but His death unto sin has broken its power (“old man” or sinful nature is restrained but not dead - remains on His Cross in perpetual crucifixion - Rom 6:6—NC).

It is one thing to know that our sins are forgiven, and another thing altogether to know that “the body of sin is annulled” (not the physical body but the sinful nature and its members – Col 3:5—NC); its reign ended—its dominion gone.  Many will tell you that they do not question the forgiveness of their past sins, but they do not know what to say as to indwelling sin (“old man” or old nature—NC).  Such persons are, to use the figure, “between Migdol and the sea.”  They have not yet learned the truth of Romans Six.  They have not as yet, in their spiritual intelligence and apprehension, reached the resurrection side of the Red Sea.  They do not know what it is to be dead unto sin, and alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

It is essential to note the Apostle’s word, “reckon.”  How very different it is, in every way, from our word, “realize” (to confirm by sense—NC)!  This latter word may do very well where natural or human things are concerned.  We can realize physical or material facts, but where a spiritual truth is involved, it is not a question of realizing, but of reckoning.  How can I realize that I have died to sin?  All my own experience seems to offer a flat contradiction to the truth (Rom 7:19).  I cannot realize that I have died, but my Father tells me I did.  He assures me that He counts me to have died to sin when the Lord Jesus died on the Cross.  I believe it; not because I feel it, but because my Father says it in His Word.

I reckon myself to be what my Father tells me I am.  If I were sinless, if I had no sin in me, I should never be able to reckon myself dead unto sin; neither should I ever be called to listen to such words as, “Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body.”  But it is just because I have sin dwelling in me, and in order to give me full practical deliverance from its reigning power that I am taught the grand liberating truth, that the dominion of sin is broken by the death of the Lord Jesus in whom I also died.

How do I know this?  Is it because I feel it?  Certainly not!  How could I ever realize it, have the self-consciousness of it, while in this body?  Impossible!  I do not reason about it.  I could never find any evidence (proof by sense—NC) of it in myself.  I simply reckon myself to be what my Father tells me I am.  I do not endeavor to struggle, and strive, and work myself into a sinless state which is impossible.  Neither do I imagine myself to be in it, which would be a deceit and a delusion (we’re not in the sinful nature - Rom 8:9—NC); but by resting faith I take the blessed ground which faith assigns me, in association with my dead and risen Lord.  I look upon Him there in the glory, and see in Him, according to the Word, the true expression of where I am, in my Father’s presence.  I do not reason from myself upwards, but I believe from my Father downwards.

This makes all the difference.  It is just the difference between unbelief and faith—between law and grace—between human religion and divine Christianity.  If I reason from myself, how can I have any correct thought of what is in the heart of my Father?  All my conclusions must be utterly false.  But if, on the other hand, I listen to Him and believe His Word, my conclusions are divinely sound.  Abraham did not look at himself and the improbability, nay, the impossibility of having a son in his old age; but he believed God and gave Him glory—and it was counted to him for righteousness.

It is a great mercy to get done with ourselves (avoid getting caught up and distracted by the old self or the old man’s deeds—NC), and to be at rest on the written Word and in the Lord Jesus whom the Word presents to us.  Self-occupation is the death-blow to fellowship, and a great barrier to rest and progress.  There is no settled peace with the one who is occupied with himself.  He must hearken to the Word of God, and rest without a single question on its pure and everlasting record.  The Word never changes.  I change; my feelings, my experience and my circumstances change continually; but the Word of my Father is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Furthermore, it is a grand and essential point for the believer to apprehend that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only definition of his place before the Father.  This gives immense liberty, blessing and rest.  “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).  This is something perfectly wonderful!  Let us ponder it: let us think of a poor, wretched, guilty slave of sin, a bond-slave of Satan, the dominion of sin, the power of this present evil world—pardoned, washed, justified, brought nigh to the Father, accepted in His Beloved, and perfectly and forever identified with Him, so that the Holy Spirit can say, “As Christ is, so is he in the world!

All this seems too good to be true; and, most assuredly, it is too good for us to get; but, blessed be the God of all grace, and blessed be the Christ of God, it is not too good for Him to give.  Our Father gives like Himself, and He acts in a way worthy of Himself, and worthy of the Son of His love.  Were it a question of our deserving’s, we could only think of the deepest and darkest region of outer darkness.  But seeing it is a question of what is worthy of our Father to give, and that He gives according to His estimate of the worthiness of His Son, then, verily, we can think of the highest place in Heaven.  The glory of God, and the worthiness of His Son, are involved in His dealings with us; and hence everything that could possibly stand in the way of our eternal blessedness, has been disposed of in such a manner as to secure the divine glory, and furnish a triumphant answer to every accusation of the enemy.

Is it a question of trespass?  “He has forgiven us all trespasses.”  Is it a question of sin?  He has condemned sin on the Cross (Rom 8:3), and thus put it away forever (Heb 9:26).  Is it a question of guilt?  It is canceled by the Blood of the Cross.  Is it a question of death?  He has taken away its sting (sin-1 Cor 15:56), and actually made it part of our property (“old man,” source of our sin—NC).  Is it a question of Satan?  He has destroyed him, by annulling all his power (1 John 3:8.).  Is it a question of the world?  He has delivered us from it, and snapped every link which connected us with it (Gen 3:15; Jam 4:4).

Thus it stands with us if we are to be taught by Scripture, if we are to take our Father at His Word, if we are to believe what He says.  And we may add, if it be not thus, we are in our sins; under the power of sin; in the grasp of Satan; subject to death; part and parcel of an evil, Christ-less, Godless world, and exposed to the unmitigated wrath of God—the vengeance of eternal doom.  Oh that the blessed Spirit may open the eyes of God’s people, and give them to see their position, their full and eternal deliverance in association with the Lord Jesus who died for them, and in whom they have died, and thus passed out of the power of all their enemies!

—C H Mackintosh
7  Theology / Bible Study / “The Flesh”—Physical Body and “The Flesh”—Sinful Nature on: August 21, 2013, 05:34:13 PM
The Old Testament uses the word “flesh” to mean only one thing—the physical body, because it was not until Christ that the “flesh”—sinful nature—was addressed with the application of being finally “condemned” (Rom 8:3).

For example, the phrase in the above reference, “sinful flesh,” does not mean the physical body, this would conflict with “you are not in the flesh” (Rom 8:9), meaning you are no longer living for or after the dominion of the sinful nature, but rather for or after “the Holy Spirit.”

The concept that the physical body is sinful or evil is a misunderstanding, and reasonably so when considering the often obscurity of Scripture.  It is the nature which determines good or evil of a spirit (person), the body just manifests what the spirit is, thus the body is subject to the person, whether it will be used for good or evil.

Examples:

“In the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3); “Which expresses the reality of His incarnation, of His having a true real human nature; for flesh is not to be taken strictly for a part of the body, nor for the whole body only, but for the whole human nature, soul and body; which though it looked like a sinful nature, yet was not sinful.

“The likeness of it denotes the outward appearance of Christ in it; who was born of a sinful woman (Rom 3:23); was subject to the infirmities of human nature, which though not sinful, are the effects of sin; was reckoned among transgressors, was traduced as one Himself by men, and treated as such by the justice of God; He having all the sins of His people on him, for which He was answerable.” JG

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom 6:12).  “The ye should obey it” (I believe “it” is in reference, not to the body but to sin).  I believe “the lusts thereof” is “the body of sin” (Rom 6:6), which pertains to the sinful nature, thus these are “your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col 3:5).

Reference: “Flesh,” Strong’s G4561, sarx, IV. The flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God.
8  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Positional Presence on: August 19, 2013, 06:38:51 PM
You're most welcome, and I return the warm regards. We're happy to have you with us.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Thank you my brother Tom!
9  Theology / Bible Study / Positional Presence on: August 19, 2013, 02:45:13 PM
I would like to thank the Admin/Mod team for such a nice site to be a part of--which due to their continuous improvising provides an ever-enhancing fellowship experience. God's blessings to your Families!


The positional-truth (un-hinderingly heaven bound) of the believer has prominence over his conditional-truth, that though our condition still possess the sin nature (“old man”), we are not in it (Rom 8:9), e. g. our desires are within our new nature (“new man”) and are what we live for, because the Spirit ensures it (Gal 5:17). 

The significance isn’t the ongoing presence of the “old man,” because all it will ever do is already accounted for and has been satisfied; so the believer can say with the Apostle Paul, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience” (1 Tim 3:9).

This is not making allowances for sinful thoughts and actions, which are to be confessed, but so the believer can rest knowing that from such he is never considered to be in trouble with God and that the conception shall always be that of a Divine guidance out of a loving-chastisement—Him using it all to teach us for our good (Rom 8:28) and never out of punishment, but correction—a vastly significant difference.
-NC

Positional Presence

There is a great deal of Judaizing in the church today.  I do not mean to charge the present generation only with it.  The Ten Commandments have a place assigned to them as the sine qua non, the recognition of which was necessary for true religion while man was under law.  To insist on their having that place now tends to bring men into fearful bondage, and hinder them getting into the full liberty of the child of God.  “The law . . . can never . . . make the comers thereunto perfect,” in contrast with, “By one offering Christ has perfected forever them that are sanctified” i.e., those set apart by His Blood (Heb 10:1, 14).

Now we have the Father’s ultimate and eternal sacrifice. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.  He taketh away the first that He may establish the second; by which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:9, 10).  Hereby we are set apart once for all.  It is a revelation of a new character of God, our Father.  If He brings me into that place where He is, what do I find there?  Not that it is full of sins, but that the great leading Person, who marks the place to me, made an end of sin before He went in there.

Quite different from the tabernacle or the temple, where there was nothing but sin, sin, sin; nothing but curtain and distance from God; and now I am told to go right in.  What meets me?  There is the veil rent, the flesh of God’s Son, going through that, the death of Christ.  I go in—yes, to see what is on the other side.  I go in as confessedly one who has not one word to say for myself, because He has borne the penalty; and the way up, leads into the purest light possible, where the object that meets my mind is the Son of Man (eternally with His new human body –Luke 24:39; John 20:27; Phil 3:21—NC), who sat down at the Father’s right hand.

There is no guilt whatever in this place I have been brought to, a place where sins, where guilt, cannot live.  All has been judged, all borne, recorded if you please.  Because of mercy from this place, compassion shines there, and my Father is present there as meeting conscience.  Ah! The new-creation saint is received in, and seen through the Father’s delight in that blessed One before Him.

Now the difference between law and grace come out.  At Pentecost men were terrified to hear of the Lord Jesus being up in heaven.  Now when you hear of the Blood, if you draw nigh, you will find all has become yours.  If I have Him whose Blood was shed for me, I know that He has made me perfect before God as far as conscience is concerned.  Before a saint can start to walk as a Christian safely, he must know that his conscience is perfect (Heb 9:9), and that the question of sin is settled completely.  It is a test for a good many, this truth.

If I have been trying to salve over things in myself, I get a measure of contentment, a certain amount of quietness.  But when I am getting nearer to God, I find that I am not settled.  The effect on conscience when it is really perfect is greater the nearer you get to the Father; the neater the light, the more comfort you have.  I may have all sorts of feelings; but when I stand in the light, I have the conviction of the work and value of Him who is on the throne making it the mercy-seat.  If you can go by faith, then you have a perfect conscience; and the nearer you get the more the soul is filled with holy boldness (Heb 10:19) in the presence of the Father.

I cannot have my eyes fixed upon the Lord Jesus where He is, as the accepted sacrifice, without having a perfect conscience; a conscience perfect, because formed on the very thing that His holiness finds rest in.  My Father has told me about Himself in the truth that His Son has borne all.  If I am not satisfied, that is only saying that I am more holy than God.

-G V Wigram

 
10  Theology / Bible Study / “I Thank God through Jesus Christ” on: August 16, 2013, 10:57:09 AM
The lost need saved and the saved needs deliverance.  He must increase in you, not you must increase in Him, for you must decrease (John 3:30)—that is, your old self or “old man” will continue to have less effect on you as the Spirit continues to increase His influence in you. 

As the Spirit works God’s will in all believers (Phil 2:13) they will notice the continuous waning of Adamic influences and the waxing of the Spirit’s.  The growth in “the image of Christ” is most notable in our encounters with the original nature (old man) in observing the Spirit’s work against it (Gal 5:17).

This results in the release of the believer, not from sin’s guilt which is already perpetuated, but from sin’s rule which is allowed continuous attempts with its influence, and this allows the Lord Jesus to increase His work in our “new man” thus the believer—through the Spirit—to decrease his work in the “old man”.
-NC 

“I Thank God through Jesus Christ”

“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Rom 7:24, 25).  Having finally learned to realize his wretchedness as a helpless captive to the power of indwelling sin, the believer turns away from himself to think of and enjoy fellowship with the risen Lord Jesus as his Life.  Occupied now with Him, he sees himself as in Him—as belonging to Him, as being of Him.  Convicted by the Spirit of needing a deliverer, he finds the need fully met in the One to whom he has turned; and he responds, “I thank God!”  Through Jesus Christ he has been delivered from his captive.

“So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Rom 7:25).  Now as a delivered one he looks back with spiritual intelligence—the intelligence of the Spirit—upon the terrible struggles through which he has passed.  He understands that, as serving the law of God with the mind, and the law of sin with the flesh, he had been entirely mistaken as to his real condition before God.  He did not have the mind of the Spirit about it at all.  He now understands that there is no condemnation to those who are in the Lord Jesus Christ: that the Father views them as being of the risen One, and thus as sharing in the favor and acceptability in which He stands before the Father.

If it is the truth that sets free, what truth is it which sets free from the struggle we have been considering?  It is, as being of Christ, he is under the operation of the law of life, which operates by and in the Lord Jesus.  Knowing, as he now does, that this is the law with which the Spirit identifies Himself, he understands that, according to the mind of the Spirit, He is no longer a subject of the law of sin and death (as it has been said, the believer is no longer on trial—NC).  Furthermore, he now sees that sin in the flesh has already been fully condemned of God in the death of Christ (Rom 8:3); that God therefore is not requiring fruit from the flesh; that the righteous thing required by the law, instead of being produced by the flesh as he has hitherto supposed, is produced in him by Christ with whom he is now occupied.  Walking according to the Spirit is holiness and fruitfulness.

Thus we see that all the victims of sin whose hearts have been laid hold of by the grace that comes in through Jesus Christ, belong to the risen Lord.  They are of Him—are sharers in the nature and character of His risen life (2 Pet 1:4).  They belong to the position into which He has entered as risen from among the dead.  As being thus of Him they are entitled to be experientially free from the power of indwelling sin; but to actually enjoy that practical freedom from sin’s power, they need to learn the impossibility of doing so by trying to walk according to the law; that holiness and fruitfulness are found in the enjoyment of the mind of the Spirit.  Walking thus according to the Spirit in fellowship with the risen and glorified Lord Jesus is practical liberty.  "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (Gal 5:16; 2 Cor 3:18).

-C Crain
11  Theology / Bible Study / From Rags to Riches on: August 13, 2013, 09:07:11 AM
There is nothing higher than the heart of the Father—the eternal dwelling place of the Son, and there can be nothing lower that the Cross and the grave; but, amazing truth! I find the Lord Jesus in both.  I find Him in the heart, and I find Him in the grave.  He went down into death in order that He might leave behind Him, in the dust thereof, the full weight of our sins and iniquities.  The Lord Jesus in the grave exhibits the end of everything human—the end of sin—the full limit of Satan’s power.  The grave of the Son forms the grand terminus of all.

But resurrection takes us beyond this terminus, and constitutes the imperishable basis on which the Father’s glory and man’s blessing repose forever.  The moment the eye of faith rests on the ascended Lord Jesus, there is a triumphant answer to every question as to sin, judgment, death and the grave.  The One who divinely met all these is alive from among the dead, and has taken His seat at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; and not only so, but the Spirit of that risen and glorified One, in the believer, constitutes him a son.  He is quickened out of the grave of the Saviour: as we read, “And you, being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col 21:3).

Hence, therefore, sonship, being founded on resurrection, stands connected with perfect justification—perfect righteousness—perfect freedom from everything which could in any wise be against us.  He could not suffer a single speck of stain of sin upon His sons and daughters.  The Father could not have the prodigal at his table with the rags of the far country upon him.  He could go forth to meet him in those rags, he could fall upon his neck and kiss him in those rags—it was worthy and beautifully characteristic of his grace so to do; but then to seat him at his table in the rags would never do.  “And he said unto him, Friend, how comest thou in here not having on a wedding garment?  And he was speechless” (Matt 22:12, 13).

The grace that brought the father out to the prodigal, reigns through the righteousness which brought the prodigal in to the father.  It would not have been grace had the father waited for the son to deck himself in robes of his own providing, and it would not have been righteous to bring him in, in his rags; but both grace and righteousness shone forth in all their respective brightness and beauty when the father went out and fell on the prodigal’s neck, but yet did not give him a seat as his table until he was clad in a manner suited to that elevated and happy position.

The Father, in the Son, has stooped to the very lowest point of man’s moral condition, that, by stooping, He might raise man to the very highest point of blessedness, in fellowship with Himself.  From all this, it follows that our sonship, with all its consequent dignities and privileges, is entirely independent of us.  We have just as little to do with it as Abraham’s dead body and Sarah’s dead womb had to do with a seed as numerous as the stars which garnish the heavens, or as the sand on the sea-shore.  It is all of the Father.  God the Father drew the plan, God the Son laid the foundation, and God the Holy Spirit raises the superstructure; and on this
superstructure appears the inscription: “Through grace, by faith, without works of the law.”

--C H Mackintosh
12  Theology / Bible Study / Re: Note on “Our God and Father” Post on: August 12, 2013, 10:41:37 AM
Thanks Brother for your reply.  I understand your point and my additional note attempts to clarify the concept of the thread.

God Be blessed
13  Theology / Bible Study / Another Note on “Our God and Father” on: August 12, 2013, 10:38:44 AM
The OT usages of "children" also means "sons" indicating a child-father relationship between Creator and man (Gen 6:2; Heb 12:9) and esp. between Israelites and God Deut 14:1), but my intention is to explain the differences between the OT and NT usages of this doctrine.

In the OT it was as a child-father relationship but was not a practical (in practice or performance) relationship, which was not possible until the Holy Spirit was given (John 7:39) i.e. “If then I be a father, where is mine honor” (Mal 1:6)? I refer to a child in a true sense—by the Spirit (Rom 8:14, 15; Gal 4:6; 1 John 3:2), not in a false sense (Rom 9:8).  This is “by adoption, secretly (Eph 5:32) in God's predestination, and in the covenant of grace; and openly in regeneration, through faith in Christ, and by the testimony of the Spirit” –JG (Rom 8:16).

God’s blessings to your Families!

For Christ’s Sake <>< (1 Cor 4:10)

 
14  Theology / Bible Study / Note on “Our God and Father” Post on: August 09, 2013, 09:20:38 AM
The love of God is the same for His people (Old Testament) and for His children (New Testament).  The difference is in the relationship.  Prior to the coming of Christ individuals were known only as the people of God (Jud 20:2; 2 Sam 14:13; Heb 11:25) but now, believers are not only people of God (Heb 4:9; 2 Pet 2:10) but also “sons (and daughters) of God.”  This is why the phrase “the children of God” is not used in Scripture prior to Christ and is first used by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:9. 

"I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God" (John 20:17).

-NC



15  Theology / Bible Study / Our God and Father on: August 08, 2013, 01:34:19 PM
With this article I have included the link to a new site (August 1) which contains the material I believe is central for the learning of the antiquated Christian writers whom I believe are well within the Biblical dispensational ideology.  As many are aware, their teachings are applicable within the spiritual growth category and many are finding these teachings instructional, which is also encouraging to the believer.

It’s the “None But the Hungry Heart” daily devotional anthology from Miles J. Stanford which some are familiar with.  It is also (in my opinion) the center of dispensational thought, as it contains compilations of numerous authors (circa 1700-late 1800’s), which I also believe (since studying them for the last 15 years) is a very useful avenue the Lord is using to teach His Word.

http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

God’s blessings to our Families and God be blessed above all!

--NC


Our God and Father

The love of God and the love of the Father are from the same blessed One.  The love of God comes down to us in all our ruin, but the love of the Father connects us with Himself in all His own divine perfection.  Let us see this difference.

In the Old Testament the name of the Father was not revealed.  He was known as God Almighty and as Jehovah.  Still, His love as God for His people was unbounded.  He says, “He that touches you touches the apple of His eye” (Zech 2:8.).  Then the love of God came down to man in his lost estate while man was under trial, and the judgment of death which was on him had not been removed.  There was nothing then about drawing the believer to Himself as a son to a father.

But when the Lord Jesus came, “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8.).  He came down to us in our lost estate, and removed in the Cross the judgment that lay upon us; and until we know what the love of God has effected, and that He can receive us in love and righteousness—as the parable of the prodigal prefigures—there can be no knowledge of the Father’s love.  It is only when we know Him as sons, as brought to the Father in the Lord Jesus that we can enjoy the Father’s love.

We must learn fully the love of God as come down to us, before we can rise to Him.  The prodigal had not entered into the greatness of the reconciliation until he was fitted to enjoy his new relationship to his father—as in Romans 5:11, “we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.”  We get no allusion to the Father in Romans (as referring to the believer’s son-ship—NC) till we come to chapter 8; then all distance has been removed; all that descending love could accomplish we enjoy; then we come to the great fact, that led by the Spirit of God we are the sons of God; we are now in a new relationship to Him and it is in the Spirit of the Son we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Our blessed Lord’s great work was to declare the Father, not only to relieve man according to his own sense of want, but according to the fullness of the Father’s heart.  My need was not the measure of His grace; in all things His love super-abounded, therefore His love is properly the measure of grace.  Until you know where His grace has set you, you cannot enjoy your new relationship, nor ascend to the love of the Father.

You learn from Hebrews that the Lord Jesus’ own were drawn away from the earth, to be in association with Himself in the Holiest of All, outside of everything here; and there we know that by Him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  Unless “His love is perfected in us,” and we know that “as He is, so are we in this world,” we cannot be consciously as the Lord Jesus before the Father, nor can we know the Father’s love as the Lord Jesus says, “The Father Himself loves you, because He loves Me.”

None can enjoy love but in the place where the loved one is.  It is a great cheer and solace to the heart, when in company with the Lord Jesus, we are brought into such nearness to the Father that we can know and enjoy His love.  When we are in nearness, we are not thinking of anything down here; our hearts are drawn away in the blessedness of being loved by our Father.

—J B Stoney 
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