THE CROSS – OT – NT…..J.G. Bellett

“”If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Col.3:1)

THE BOOK OF JOB gives us the saga of a saint in patriarchal days the
account of his trials through which he was to learn the common lesson
according to the common calling that we are a dead and risen people.

Although Job came before Abraham, he did not come before this lesson,
for it had been taught from the beginning; Adam and Abel, and the line
of Seth through Enoch and Noah, had already learned it. And Job, after
them, is set down to the same lesson, only engraved in deeper and darker
lines!

The Book of Job exhibits a soul set to learn through trials and sorrows
the common lesson, the power of our calling; that our hopes are neither
in this world nor from the flesh, but in living position with the Lord Jesus
Christ—beyond all that is here.

The events themselves are deeply touching, but they are all ordinary,
or such as are “common to man.” Thieves carry off his oxen and
asses. Lightening destroys his flocks. A high wind blows down his
house and kills his children. And, at last, a sore disease breaks out on
his body from head to foot.

Each of these might have happened to his ungodly neighbor as well
as to him. In the mere matter of these afflictions, there was nothing
that distinguished him as a child of God. They were not the sufferings
of a martyr. but still they were all under the exactest inspection and
measured control of his heavenly Father, all in the way of appointment
and of discipline flowing from heavenly interests and divine relationships.

Resurrection has from the beginning been an article of the faith of God’s
people; and being such, it was also the lesson they had to learn and to
experience–the principle of their life out of death. The Genesis fathers
had learnt the lesson, Moses learnt it, David was in the power of it,
the whole nation of Israel were taught it, again and again.

The Lord Jesus, “the Author and Finisher of our faith,” in His day, realised
this lesson to all perfection. And each of His growing ones is set down
to it every day, that we may “know Him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings being made conformable unto his
death.” (Phil. 3:10)

The leading purpose of the Book of Job sets forth a child of resurrection,
in early patriarchal days, learning the lesson of resurrection–life out of death.
His confession tells us that the resurrection was understood by him as a
doctrine, while the whole account tells us that he had still to know the
reality of it in his life. It was an article of his faith, but not yet the principle
of his life.

And a sore trial it was to him, hard indeed to learn and digest. He did not like
(and which of us does?) to take the sentence of death into himself, that he
might not trust in himself, nor in his circumstances in life, nor his condition
by nature—but in God who raises the dead. “I shall die in my nest” (Job 29:18)
was his thought and hope. But he was to see his nest rifled of all with which
nature had filled it, and with which circumstances had adorned it.

This honored and cherished saint had to learn the power of the calling of
all the elect, practically and personally–the life of faith, or the lesson of
resurrection. And it may be a consolation for those of us who know our-
selves to be little among them, to read in the records which we have
of them that all have not been equally apt and bright scholars in that
school; and that all, in different measures, have failed in it as well as
made progress in it.

How unworthily of it, for instance, did Abraham behave; how little like a
dead and risen man, a man of faith, when he denied his wife to the
Egyptian. Yet how beautifully did he carry himself, as such, when he
surrendered the choice of the land to his younger kinsman, Lot.

We are encouraged and consoled to know that our present lesson, as
those who have died and whose life is hid with Christ in God, has been
the lesson of the elect from the beginning–that on many a bright and
hallowed occasion they matriculated in that lesson to the glory of their Lord;
that at times they found it hard, and at times failed in it. This tale of the
soul is well known to us. Only we, living in New Testament truth, are
learning the same lesson in the still ampler page and after the clearer
method in which it is now taught us in our death and resurrection with
the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is some difference (and distance) between a righteous and devoted
believer. The measure of devotedness may be said to be according
to the energy one is exercising as being dead and risen with Lord Jesus.
At the beginning of his history, Job was a righteous man. He was well
spoken of again and again, in the very face of his accuser. But he was
not yet a devoted man. Accepted he was as a sinner who knew his
living and triumphant Redeemer; godly and upright beyond his fellows,
but as to the life that wrought in his soul, he was not a dead and risen
man.

Such also was the writer of Proverbs 20:1-9. He was godly and of a
lowly, self-judging spirit. He makes a good confession of human
blindness and depravity, of the unsearchable glories of God, the
purity and preciousness of His Word, and of the security of all who
trust in Him.

He was a man of God and walked in a good spirit, but he was not a
devoted man. He did not know how to abound and how to suffer need.
He dreaded poverty lest he should steal, and riches lest he should
deny God. He was not prepared for changes. Neither was Job. But
Paul was. He surrendered himself to the Lord Jesus, as they had not.
He was ready to be “emptied from vessel to vessel.” He was instructed
both to be full and to be hungry. He could do all things through Christ
strengthening him.

See that devoted man, that dead and risen man in the closing chapters
of Acts (20 to 28). He is in the midst of a weeping company of brethren
at Miletus, and in the bosom of a loving Christian household at Tyre.
But were those able to detain him? No. Even there he carried a heart
thoroughly surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He could not be held, and on from thence he goes, along the coast of
Syria up to Jerusalem and then for two long years, apart from the brethren,
in perils by sea and land, under insults and wrongs, a single heart and
devoted affection bearing him through all. Mere righteousness will
not take such a journey. There must be that singleness of eye to the
Lord Jesus, that principle of devotedness which reckons upon our
death and resurrection in Him.

Job was righteous but he was not prepared for such shifting scenery as
this. He loved the green spot and the feathered nest. Changes come,
and changes are too much for him. But God, in the love wherewith He
loved him as his heavenly Father , puts him in school to learn the lesson
of a child of resurrection–to be a partaker of His holiness, the holiness
not merely of a right or pure-minded man, but the holiness that suits
the call of God, the holiness of a dead and risen man; one of the pilgrim
family, one of God’s strangers in the world. (Heb. 12:9,10)

Job was chastened to be partaker of such a holiness as this. Not that
trials and troubles, like this, are essential to the learning of this lesson.
A very common method it is with our heavenly Father in His love and
wisdom. But Paul set himself daily to learn and live that lesson,
without the instructions of griefs and losses in either body or estate. (Phil.3)

A dead and risen believer will have neither his springs nor his objects here.
His principles of action will be found in the Lord Jesus. He is taken out
of all the advantages and adornings of the flesh into the righteousness
and life of God in Christ–and then, livingly and practically, progresses
up the hill, having in spirit left the low level of the world. He has taken leave
of the course of the world. He has taken leave of the plain beneath, and
has ascended in spirit above–hid with Christ in God.

He lets the world know that it could never provide him with his object. In
the midst of its kingdoms and delights he is a stranger still. He can, like
his Master, hide the glory to which God has appointed him and be nothing
in the present scene here below. Abraham did not tell every Canaanite
whom he chanced to meet that he was the heir of the country.
–J.G. BELLETT (Selections from the Patriarchs)

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PERILS OF THE VICTORIOUS LIFE

Perils of the Victorious Life — Charles Trumbull

 

 

“It is not a once-for-all victory; it is a moment-by-moment victory…as the believer ‘looks away’ from all else, “unto Jesus,” the author and finisher of faith. (Hebrews 12:2).

WAITING ON THE LORD…..a sermon by C.I. Scofield (PART 2)

“They shall run, and not be weary.” Isaiah 40:31

“They shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“What! must we come down and run and walk here on
this stupid, prosaic earth after these eagle flights?
Yes, precisely. We go up there that we may serve
down here, and we never can serve down here
according to God’s thought of service….until we….
come down from interviews with God…[and] can
touch human lives with the power of God.

Yes, we must run down here, and walk down here, but
only in the degree in which we know the inspiration
of the upper air can we either run without weariness,
or walk without fainting.

What is the “walk”? It is the everyday life. It is
the getting breakfast, dressing the children, getting
them off to school; it is going down and opening
the store; it is going out and feeding the herds;
it is going into the study and opening the Word of God.
It is whatever our appointed task may be. It is doing
this all day, in heat and cold, dull days and bright days–
the common life. It is this, the everyday walk, that tests and tries.

But we may
“walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 31

under the wear and petty vexations and frictions of everyday life,
only on condition that we have been “waiting upon God.” The
man who does that will be a reservoir of sweetness, quietness
and power.”
(“Waiting on God”, a sermon by C.I. Scofield)

IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Ps. 116:12

The answer: “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name
of the Lord.” Ps. 116:13

It is all we can do. Gratitude should move every one of us to get right
with God. There can be no enduring happiness in a life which is out
of harmony with God. And we all want to be happy, do we not?

What must we do to get right with God? What must we —all out
of harmony in our selfishness, with His unselfishness, in our hatred,
with His love, in our sins, with His holiness –what must we do to
come into harmony with Him…He makes one simple, definite
proposition to us, and it is wrapped up, not in doctrine, but in a
person. His one proposition is Jesus Christ.

Right with God, we are right with humanity. Right with God, through
Jesus Christ, we are right for the next world as well as for this.

All the problems of life, the whole meaning of life, centers on that
one thing—what is Christ to me and what am I to Him? I can not
go back to the law –it only curses me, for I have broken it. I can not
begin today, if it were possible for me to do so, to live so that every
act of my life shall be pleasing to a holy God, for first of all I have no
power to do it, and secondly, there is my record up to today.

To do the thing He has commanded me—believe on Jesus Christ
whom he hath sent. Trust Him. Give myself away to Him. Put my
whole case into His hands. Let Him take this life, so full of evil,
and put the evil out of it. Let Him take this life so full of weakness
and fill it with strength. Let Him take this life so selfish and
self-centered, and let it flow out in all its breadth to humanity. Let
Him make it over. Let Him purify it. Let Him solve all its problems.
Let Jesus Christ fill it.”

(Is Life Worth Living? a Sermon by C.I.Scofield)

CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST……J.B. Stoney

STEM Publishing : Magazines : The Christian’s Friend : 1897 : Crucified with Christ

I believe the great hindrance to divine joy in the soul arises from the imperfect way the crucifixion of the old man is apprehended. The believer at first, for full peace, believes that God has raised from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore the judgment which lay on him, so that the man that was under judgment is really gone from the eye of God in judgment. The believer is now before God, not in the man who was under judgment, but in the Man who has glorified God in bearing the judgment; and, consequently, there is not a cloud between his soul and God, because the man who caused the distance has been removed in judgment.

Often a believer, though tasting of peace with God, when he finds the working of sin in him, tries to correct it as if he could alter himself, overlooking the great and stupendous fact that God Himself has removed the man in judgment in the death of His own Son; He has laid help upon One that is mighty – His own arm brought salvation – and if a believer is really at peace with God, it is because his old man has been crucified with Christ, and altogether set aside in judgment on the cross. If he were clear as to the fact of our old man being crucified with Christ, instead of trying to correct himself, he would look to Christ to set him free from the intrusion of the flesh “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What becomes us now is to have Christ before us, and not the correction of the old man. The snare of trying to improve oneself is very common, and it is important to see that, however well-meaning it may be, it is really a denial that our old man has been crucified, and a revival of that which has been set aside in the cross. It is plain that if you are clear of the old man you can have no man before you but Christ. “If Christ be in you the body is dead because of sin”; and the more sensible you are of how ready the flesh is to intrude, the more you are cast upon Him.

It is inconceivable that one could have any just apprehension of God’s grace, and yet continue to expect anything from the flesh, or in any way to deal with it. It shows how little the revelation of His grace is really accepted in its greatness; because if I know that God Himself has in the cross removed the man who offended, how gladly should I accept His grace! What fruitless sorrow has one known for months and years in the attempt to improve oneself, until wearied out we cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Then we find there is only one relief, and that is found where we ought to have sought it at first. “I thank God through Jesus Christ our lord.” Nothing can be more certain for the believer than that one man is gone in judgment, and that Christ alone remains. When I have put on Christ – the best robe – the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Not only does the blessed God see me on this ground – one from which He never can change or be diverted – but I now, by the Spirit of God, see myself on that ground, and I can say, not only “our old man is crucified,” but “I am crucified with Christ”; and if I am crucified, how can I refer to myself in any sense? If we observe the history of Christians, we see them trying to improve themselves – their tempers and their evil tendencies – plainly showing that they do not believe in the absolute and simple revelation that “our old man is crucified with Him.”

Nothing is of deeper importance at the commencement of our Christian history than that we should accept, with some apprehension of its greatness, that the man that was under judgment is removed from the eye of God in judgment. We have to ponder, in order to realize the magnitude of it, and when we do believe it as a truth, another thing of equal importance is made known to us – that not only is the old man completely removed from the eye of God, but that by the Holy Ghost we are in Christ a new creation by the power of God. If we keep these two together we have a great start; one man is gone and Another is brought in, and this is established to us by the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

Now we enter on our new history. Properly, we are not occupied with the flesh; though the flesh is still in us, “we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit”; and our attention is largely given to walking in the Spirit. We have now a new exercise, even to sow to the Spirit, and of the Spirit to reap life everlasting. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” This shows us how intent our eye must be on Christ; we have nothing to do with the man that is gone; and the more we realize this the happier we are – judicially freed of the one, and by the Spirit of God established in Christ. Everything we do now is done with reference to Christ; and not only is the body the Lord’s, but “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” – we have to act according to His pleasure in the very management of the body, just as a slave would use his body according to the wishes of his owner.

It is remarkable that Romans 12:2 refers to the body: “Present your bodies a living sacrifice . . . . be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” But in 2 Cor. 3:18, We all beholding the glory of the Lord – are transformed; it is the same word (transformed) as in Romans 12, and is only used twice in Scripture in reference to us – once as to the body, and secondly as to what is imparted to us – what is received from Christ; we are “transformed into the same image.” This I might call the exercise of our daily life; our history here is not merely seeking to glorify Him in our bodies, but we should be growing in moral correspondence to Himself, and that by association with Himself; so that the two great truths we started with would be confirmed to us more and more every day – the old man gone from the eye of God completely and for ever, and we established in Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost for ever and ever. J. B. Stoney.

I COUNTED ALL THINGS LOSS…THAT I MAY LIVE CHRIST’S LIFE

“The eye of the Lord Jesus is never off us! ‘He withdraweth not His eyes
from the righteous.’ Let us remember that the flesh never can be made
any better; but the Lord Jesus is continually thinking of us to do the needed
thing. What does He do? He puts down the flesh. How does He deal with
us? He makes nothing of us; and that is not at all pleasant.

The Lord Jesus took care by this thorn in the flesh that Paul should be
a person in some way contemptible. Paul asked three times that it should
be taken away. Not at all, the Lord says: I have given it on purpose;
I must make nothing of Paul, that I may be everything to him. Do you say
you are in Christ before the Father, and loved as Christ is loved? I reckon
myself dead, if I talk of my place before the Father; I bear about the dying
of the Lord Jesus, if I am to manifest His life in this world. [For we which
live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of
Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 2Cor. 4:11]. Nature,
of course, does not relish that; but, if we are to manifest the life of the
Lord Jesus in our mortal bodies, the flesh must be put down.

Reckon [count on being true] yourselves to be dead unto sin [nature], because
in Christ you have died. When you go down to this world, the only possible
dealing with the [sin nature] is making nothing of you. This is not power,
but it is the way the Father deals with us to give power, whether
to an apostle or to the giver of a cup of water. If you are in Christ, one
wants nothing but Him from you. The thorn is not strength in itself, but
preparation for power. Suppose Paul despicable in his ministry: well,
there never was such a work done before. Then there must be something
besides Paul here: it must be Christ. Ah! says Paul, ‘I glory in my
infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’

The Lord Jesus’ strength is made perfect [perfected, matured] in our
weakness. He cannot make it perfect in our strength! I am as weak as
water—a poor weak thing. God has chosen that no flesh may glory in
His presence. Where a person is nothing, ‘My strength is sufficient.’
Where is His strength made perfect? In a person who has no strength
at all: then it must be the Lord Jesus. When I am made nothing of,
‘I glory in my infirmities.’ There is what the Christian is.

My Father says that I have died, and am now alive unto Him, and loved
as His beloved Son is loved. My position is in Him, and in Him only.
Experience contradicts this. So I have to find out that the flesh is a judged
and crucified thing. ‘I have been crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live.’
If in point of fact the flesh is there, it is a judged thing.

The Lord keeps me then; He sends a thorn, if needed, to put me down
completely. When the flesh is practically put down in its place of death,
then Christ’s strength is made perfect in my weakness, for there can be
no doubt that it is His strength. Are your hearts content that the [sin nature]
should be put down? Can you glory in infirmities that the power of Christ
may rest upon you?

If we seek to have the life of the Lord Jesus manifested in us, if we are
conscious that He is our blessed portion….we want more depth — all of us –
showing us what the flesh is, and what the Lord Jesus is. The time is
coming when we shall see all the rest was worse than vanity, stunting
the life of Christ in us, instead of mortifying our members on earth.
May the Father give us to see the Lord Jesus that we may now say
with Paul, ‘I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus my Lord.’” (William Kelly….edited by lkp)

“NOT I BUT CHRIST” a conversation between 2 Believers

“The Romans 7 Christian is in “the law of sin and death”.
The Romans 8 Christian is in “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”

“The reality is that holiness as defined by and pursued via the legal principle is necessarily “by my own power” while the holiness that is of Christ is necessarily by the power of the Spirit…they are two entirely different lifes with two entirely different sources of power.”

“The Romans 7 Christian is in ” the struggle”.
The Romans 8 Christian is in “the walk”.

“For sure…the desire for holiness by our own power dies a long hard death.”

“The Romans 7 Christian sees “me and Christ”
The Romans 8 Christian sees “not I, but Christ”

“The Romans 7 Christian sees Christ as a model and example.”

“The Romans 8 Christian sees Christ as his life.
The Romans 7 Christian beholds himself and the law.”

“The Romans 8 Christian beholds Christ.”

“The Romans 7 Christian thinks about himself and the law by which he works to produce his own righteousness which he can then present to God for earthly reward.” 

“The Romans 8 Christian thinks about God Who has by grace made him righteous in Christ and upon Whose Spirit he depends to conform him to the image of Christ who Himself is his reward.” 

“The Romans 7 Christian works to produce the righteousness of man according to law by his own power.”

“The Romans 8 Christian depends on the power of the Spirit to conform Him to Christ in Whom he has already been made the righteousness of God.”