“Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.”
“If honest of heart and uprightness before God were lacking or if I did not patiently
wait on God for instruction or if I preferred the counsel of my fellowmen to the
declarations of the Word of God, I made great mistakes.”
“There was a day when I died; died to self, my opinions, preferences, tastes and will;
died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my
brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto
“A servant of God has but one Master. It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich,
and great and honored in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean and despised.”
There is spiritual progress for us all, if we keep before
our minds in vigorous faith our identification with the
Lord Jesus. Death, burial, resurrection and ascension
is the absolute condition of deliverance and growth.
How shall the Father, who commands us in Romans 6:13,
to present ourselves before Him as those that are alive
from the dead, speak to and deal with our souls, if we
fail to present ourselves before Him in such attitude as
He asks, as risen ones?
There is no way of true deliverance from the reign of
sin except we believe we have died to it—having died
with Christ, our connection with sin being thus broken.
Also, there is not real deliverance from the law and its
bondage, into that liberty for which Christ set us free
except to believe, and to keep believing, that we died
to the law with Him, and are now risen, and joined
to Another, the risen One.
It is as Romans 7:4 asserts: “Ye also were made dead
to the law, through the body of Christ; that ye should
be joined to another, even to Him who was raised
from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.”
Or the still stronger words of verse 6: Ye were “dis-
charged from the law, having died to that wherein we
were held; so that ye serve in newness of the spirit,
and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Christians may get “blessings” and temporary “de-
liverances,” in answer to prayer; for the Father is
merciful to His saints and His blessed Spirit refreshes
and blesses us even apart from the real walk of faith.
But it is a greater blessing finally to us, and much greater
glory to the Father, if we simply accept His Word, and
learn to walk in the power of it by a naked faith; which
asks no longer certain experiences, but being sure of
God’s truth because it is His truth, maintains the attitude
of faith therein—attitude, I say—a fixed attitude.
For faith, when once we see the truth, consists of a
believing attitude of the heart toward the Father.
Of course, this involves a negative attitude toward all
doubt of His promises and finished work, or anything
that would raise a doubt; and it also involves a continued
refusal to rest upon appearance or feelings, even though
these may come in great abundance. It is God’s written
Word that supplies strength to the heart of faith!
Boldly to reckon ourselves dead to the law and discharged
there from is the only possible means of entering into that
state of rest in the Father in which we bear fruit indeed to
Him. How can a slave rest in the presence of a master
whose unfulfilled commands lie yet before him? How
can even a child rest in the presence of his father, if he
has upon his mind some task assigned by his father—
some heavy task which he has not yet performed? How
indeed shall the child of God enter into rest, if he believes
in any way whatsoever, that God holds him still under the
law? He will be having his tasks and duties in mind, while
in the presence of God; rather than delighting in the Father
Himself and His Son Jesus Christ, and the glorious salvation
provided for him.
It is to be remembered that the law is by no means said to be
dead; but we died to it. The law cannot die, or be “abrogated,”
(done away with) as some falsely hold. The law not only remains,
but “has dominion” over everyone that is “alive” to it; that is, to
every one in the old creation, in the old Adam, in the flesh.
Only those in the Lord Jesus Christ have escaped the law. And
they only by having died to it. The law is holy, just, good, and
eternal, but we have passed into another sphere.”
When anyone accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior they are instantaneously enriched with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and declared to be complete in Christ (Col. 2:10). In fact, the Apostle Paul refers to these blessings as “the unfathomable riches of Christ” in Ephesians 3:8. “Unfathomable” is the Greek anexichniastos which means “past finding out, unsearchable, not to be tracked out.” The idea is that the believer’s blessings in Christ are “too deep to be measured.” Many of these blessings, however, are clearly defined for us in the Bible. When you receive Jesus Christ by faith, at least the following 34 things are unconditionally promised to you as a member of the body of Christ, the Church, as stated in God’s holy Word.
However, if you never receive Jesus Christ by faith as the only begotten Son of God who died on the cross in your place to pay the penalty for your sins, and rose again to ever reign with God the Father, then you will forfeit these awesome blessings.
The Position and Possessions of the Believer
1. In the Eternal Plan of God
a. Foreknown: Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2
b. Elect of God: 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2, Romans 8:33, Colossians 3:12,Titus 1:1
c. Predestined: Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:5
d. Chosen: Matthew 22:14; 1 Peter 2:4
e. Called: 1 Thessalonians 5:24
a. Reconciled by God: 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, Colossians 1:20
b. Reconciled to God: Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:20
3. Redeemed: Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18, Romans 3:24
4. No Condemnation: Romans 8:1, John 5:24; 1 Corinthians 11:32, John 3:18
5. Related to God Through Propitiation (the satisfaction of God’s holiness):
Romans 3:24-26; 1 John 2:2
6. All Sins Removed by His Efficacious Blood: 1 Peter 2:24, Romans 4:25
7. Vitally Joined together with Christ for Judgment of the Old Self “Unto a New Walk”
a. Crucified with Christ: Romans 6:6
b. Dead with Christ: Romans 6:8; 1 Peter 2:24
c. Buried with Christ: Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12
d. Raised with Christ to Walk By a New Life Principle: Romans 6:4, Colossians 3:1
8. Free from the Law
a. Dead to the Law: Romans 7:4
b. Delivered from the Law: Romans 7:6, Galatians 3:25, Romans 6:14; 2 Corinthians 3:11
9. Children of God
a. Born Again: John 3:7, John 1:12; 1 Peter 1:23
b. Quickened: Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13,
c. Children of God: 1 John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 3:26
d. A New Creation: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 2:10
e. Regeneration: Titus 3:5, John 13:10; 1 Corinthians 6:11
10. Adopted (placed as adult sons): Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5-7
11. Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ
a. Made the Righteousness of God in Christ: Romans 3:22; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9
b. Sanctified Positionally (Positionally set apart in Christ): 1 Corinthians 1:30, 6:11
(not experiential sanctification per John 17:17 or the final perfection of the believer per Ephesians 5:27 and 1 John 3:3.)
c. Perfected Forever: Hebrews 10:14
d. Made Accepted in the Beloved: Ephesians 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5
e. Made Qualified: Colossians 1:12
12. Justified: Romans 5:1. Romans 3:24, Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 6:11, Titus 3:7
13. Forgiven all Trespass: Colossians 1:14, Colossians 2:13, 3:13, Ephesians 1:7, 4:32 (A distinction is necessary here, between the complete and abiding judicial forgiveness and the oft-repeated forgiveness within the family of God. See 1 John 1:9)
14. Made Close: Ephesians 2:13 (There is a corresponding experience, see James 4:8 and Hebrews 10:22.)
15. Delivered From the Powers of Darkness: Colossians 1:13, 2:13-15
16. Translated into the Kingdom: Colossians 1:13
17. On the Rock, Christ Jesus: 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 1:21
18. A Gift from God the Father to Christ: John 17:6, 11-12, 20; John 10:29
19. Circumcised in Christ: Colossians 2:11, Philippians 3:3, Romans 2:29
20. Partakers of the Holy and Royal Priesthood
a. Holy Priesthood: 1 Peter 2:5
b. Royal Priesthood: 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6
21. Chosen Generation, A Holy Nation, and a People of God’s Own Possession
1 Peter 2:9, Titus 2:14
22. Having Access to God: Ephesians 2:18, Romans 5:2, Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19-20
23. Within the “Much More” Care of God: Romans 5:9-10
a. Objects of His Love: Ephesians 2:4, 5:2
b. Objects of His Grace: (1) For Salvation: Ephesians 2:8 (2) For security: Romans 5:2; 1 Peter 1:5 (3) For service: Ephesians 2:7 (4) For instruction: Titus 2:12-13
c. Objects of His Power: Ephesians 1:19, Philippians 2:13
d. Objects of His Faithfulness: Hebrews 13:5
e. Objects of His Peace: Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 3:15
f. Objects Of His Comfort: 2 Thessalonians 2:16
h. Objects of His Personal Care: 1 Peter 5:7
i. Objects of His Intercession: Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 9:24
24. His Inheritance: Ephesians 1:18
25. Our Inheritance: 1 Peter 1:4, Ephesians 1:14, Colossians 3:24, Hebrews 9:15
26. A Heavenly Association: Ephesians 2:6
a. Partners with Christ in Life: Colossians 3:4; 1 John 5:11-12
b. Partners with Christ in Position: Ephesians 2:6
c. Partners with Christ in Service: 1 Corinthians 1:9, 3:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6, 5:20, 6:4
d. Partners with Christ in Suffering: 2 Timothy 2:12, Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 2:20, 4:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 3:3, Romans 8:18, Colossians 1:24
27. Heavenly Citizens: Philippians 3:20, Ephesians 2:19, Hebrews 12:22, Luke 10:20
28. Of the Family and Household of God: Ephesians 2:19, 3:6, Galatians 6:10
29. Light in the Lord: Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
30. Vitally United to the Father, Son and Spirit
a. In God: 1 Thessalonians 1:1, Ephesians 4:6
b. In Christ: John 14:20, Colossians 1:27 (1) A member in His Body: 1 Corinthians 12:13, (2) A branch in the Vine: John 15:5, (3) A stone in the Building: Ephesians 2:19-22, (4) A sheep in the Flock: John 10:27-29, (5) A part of His Bride: Ephesians 5:25-27, (6) A priest of the kingdom of priests: 1 Peter 1:5-9, (7) A saint of the “new generation”: 1 Peter 2:9
c. In the Spirit: Romans 8:9; Compare “the Spirit in you”: 1 Corinthians 2:12
31. Blessed with the “First-Fruits” and the “Earnest” of the Spirit
a. Born of the Spirit: John 3:6
b. Baptized by Means of the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:13
c. Indwelt by the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2:12, John 7:39, Romans 5:5, 8:9; 2 Corinthians 1:21, Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3:24
d. Sealed with the Spirit: Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22
e. Anointed with the Spirit: 2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20
32. Glorified: Romans 8:30
33. Complete in Him: Colossians 2:10
34. Possessing Every Spiritual Blessing: Ephesians 1:3
The term “new birth” has become quite common in recent years. What does it mean?
The new birth is a Biblical imperative found in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [new birth]” (John 3:7) Why is this so?
Our primary purpose is to explain this all-important spiritual birth according to the Scriptures. The Bible is God’s Word, an actual love letter He has written to tell you how you may become a Christian.
However, if you have already received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, we trust this booklet will give you a fuller understanding concerning your spiritual birth and subsequent spiritual growth.
Miles J. Stanford
Colorado Springs, Colorado
“Views which hold that we can be “filled” one moment
simply by praying and yielding, then “unfilled” the next,
have reduced the spiritual life dangerously close to a
mechanical formula. Spiritual growth is the product of
a relationship, not the application of a formula. If the
“fullness of the Spirit” means anything, it means
Christlikeness (cf. Gal. 5:22,23), and this only comes
by walking with Him through a lifetime of intimate
“Christ… is our life… Christ is all and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness” (Col. 3:4,12-14).
Here is one of the great basic truths of Christianity. The Christian has Christ as his life. Christ is all, not simply is his all, but Christ is all. There is no true Christian character at all in our life except only as Christ, who is our life, produces it. The stream flows out in our manners and actions but the spring is Christ Himself, who is our life, dwelling within the heart by faith. Therefore it goes without saying that this life in us should be characterised by that same divine tenderness that was ever seen in Him as He walked down here in this scene. What is this list here— bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, love —if not a perfect portrait of Christ? And this is presented here as being what the Christian is to put on and display in his walk and ways for Christ is his life. It was natural for Christ, for it is His nature. It is not natural in the Christian; it is something he has to put on by surrendering himself fully to Christ and letting Him take over our life fully into His own hands and reproduce there His own character of divine tenderness. It is much easier to convince one of his natural sinfulness than to convince one of his natural hardness and utter destitution of heavenly and divine tenderness. The very essence of the new life is a divinely imparted tenderness and sweetness of spirit. Without this, even the most strict Christian life is a misrepresentation of Christ, who is our life.
Even among intensely devoted Christians nothing is more rare to find than a continuous, all pervading spirit of tenderness. Tenderness of spirit is preeminently divine. It is not the delicacy and soft sensibility of a mere gentle make-up which some persons naturally possess, neither is it the courtesy of manner which results from high culture and beautiful social training, though these are valuable in life. It is a supernatural work throughout the whole spiritual being. It is an exquisite interior fountain of God’s own tenderness opened up in the inner-man inundating the soul, saturating the manners, words, and tones of the voice: refining and moulding the whole being after the image of Him who was infinitely meek and lowly in heart. It cannot be borrowed, or put on for special occasions; it is emphatically supernatural, and must flow out incessantly from the inner fountains of a life of intimate fellowship with the meek and lowly Jesus. Without this Christ-like tenderness of spirit, the most vigorous life of righteousness and good works, rigid purity of morals, missionary zeal, profuse liberality, ascetic self-denial and blameless conduct utterly fail to display the spirit of Christ.
It is impossible to see the infinite excellence and necessity of real heavenly tenderness of heart unless it is specially revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. What inexpressible tenderness and gentleness of nature were always seen in Christ. What beauty is to the rainbow, what perfume is to the rose, what harmony is to music, all this and much more is what tenderness of heart is to Christianity. Without tenderness of heart the most intensely righteous and devoted life is without beauty and attractiveness. It is possible to be very, very devoted, staunch, persevering in all Christian duties, bravely defending the truth, mathematically orthodox, blameless in outward life, and very zealous in good works, and yet to be greatly lacking in tenderness of heart that all-subduing love, which incessantly showed itself in the eyes, voice and, ways of the Lord Jesus.
Many Christians seem loaded with good fruits, but the fruit tastes green; it lacks flavor and mellowness. There is a touch of vinegar in their sanctity. Their purity has an icy coldness to it. Their personal testimonies are straight and definite, but they lack that tenderness of love. Their-prayers are intelligent, and strong and pointed, but they lack heart piercing pathos. They speak eloquently and explain with utmost nicety but they lack that love that sighs and weeps,—that all-consuming love. Real tenderness of spirit is seldom acquired except through suffering. It matters not what shape the trial may be, whether an unutterable sorrow for sin, or extreme poverty, or great physical pain, or relentless persecution, or the wear and tear of a thousand daily annoyances, or the agony of unrequited love, of life-long loneliness, or
heart-breaking disappointment, these or any other forms of sorrow may be the means of producing in a soul that is in communion with Christ this heavenly tenderness.
Divine tenderness of heart has a behavior which is heavenly. It feels for the poor, seeks to deliver the oppressed, enlightens the deceived, lifts up the fallen, restores the erring, recovers the straying. 0It instinctively avoids wounding the feelings of others by talking on unpleasant things, wrangling in an argumentative way, referring to painful and mortifying subjects. It cannot scold, or scowl, or threaten, though it will not fail to give an earnest and loving warning or reproof when necessary. It does not quarrel. It instinctively buries and forgets all bad things. It feels all things from God’s standpoint, and lives but to receive and transmit the spotless sympathies and affections of the Lord Jesus. It understands the words of the Holy Spirit, “Be ye tenderhearted, forgiving one another.” “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour” (Eph. 4:31, 32; 5:2).
Again it enters into the feeling of the Apostle when he entreats the believers, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3). Tenderness and gentleness are the characteristics of the new nature. Lowliness, forgiving, and forbearance are the behavior of the divine nature so fully manifested in Christ. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6).
Unknown Author (From “Grace and Truth”, June 1949)
“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an
example, that ye should follow His steps”
1 Peter 2:21
O Father, Thy care is not to make
The desert a waste no more,
But to keep our feet lest we lose the track
Where His feet went before.
If you are really going to take such a step as that of following Christ you must count the cost…..Friends must be given up for Christ. A man may have to leave everything else, but the question is, Am I to leave God?….”You cannot have two hearts—a heart for the world and a heart for Me,” Christ would say. I tremble when I see people who have not counted the cost setting out in the profession of following Christ. It is God’s way to put [a] barrier at the start. If you can leap that you will do.
“He stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” He knows His Father’s will and He does it. He sets His face there, where His Father’s will is to be done, not looking to this side or to that, but there —-Jerusalem. We, according to the measure we have of the single eye, shall be following in the same course, going to the cross steadily, with one purpose; and in proportion as we do so will those who do not so set their face, oppose us. But the Lord says: “If any man serve me, let him follow me.” Service is not doing a great deal, but following the Master, and the world and half-hearted Christians do not like that. There is plenty of doing in the world, but “If any man serve me, let him follow Me.”
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily.” “Daily”—this is the trial. A man might heroically do it once for all, and he would have plenty of people to honour him, and books written about him, but it is terribly difficult to go on every day denying oneself, and no one knowing anything about it.
People do not like to do the things that Jesus did when He was down here. Why is there so much argument about that one passage, “Resist not evil”? [see 1 Peter 2:21,23]. It is because you like to resist evil…. It is given you as matter-of-fact exhortation, but you do not like it, and you will get rid of it if you can. At whatever cost to self, shew love as Christ did….”Love ye your enemies.”….It must cost us something; it cost the life of Christ. His love was a stream which, if it met with hindrances in its way, only went on
flowing over, and leaving them behind till it reached the cross. “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” If it is so with you [being full of His “light”] there is sure to be light in the path— light not for ten years hence [in the future] but for this one step that is before you, then for the next.”