EXPOSITION OF THE WORD OF GOD

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NOT I BUT CHRIST

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)

TRIALS FOR OUR GOOD

When going through suffering (trial, discipline) isn’t our first reaction – “take this away from me” instead of “take me through it”?????
Isn’t our first reaction – “my will be done” instead of “Thou will be done”????

Years ago, a pastor friend made a statement about a mutual friend: this friend reminded
the pastor of Jonah….who was more interested in his own will…his own comfort (see Jonah 4)
than God’s will. My reply was: “Well, Lord, keep the worms coming!”

No doubt most have the initial reaction to a trial: a desire to escape or to be delivered from
the trials. We are not convinced or confident in God’s word that “all things work together for good.”
Some go to great lengths to change the circumstances rather than view it from God’s hand.
If we endure and depend upon the Lord though we are mystified how these trials can
be from the Lord, we learn to stand upon God’s word though seemingly there is no
evidence of good coming from them. We can look back and see over and over He has
“proved” His will in our lives (Rom.12:2). The continuous pressure of the trials are revealing:
we learn the sin nature will never change….and any emotional response out from the sin
nature will not change. The weight of the pressure drives us to the Lord for His remedy.
We learn the workings of Roman 6 truths….and the freedom from the grievous power of
the sin nature ….yielding to it brings us down to “death” (Rom.8:13). How many trips
to this situation until we learn the freedom and joy of God’s solution! We know in
theory it would be best to respond with faith immediately to the trial. I don’t know
about other believers, but this has taken me many years to learn. I dislike the idea
of the “bit and the bridle” being necessary to bring me along in my growth…but
that is what I needed. I thank the Lord He did not give up on me! John 12:24-25. lkp

UNIVERSALISM ??

The plan of God did ALL that was needed to meet God’s righteousness (an unrighteous man cannot know God)….God, through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross brought salvation to all men…BUT not all men will accept / receive this salvation. Paul said God reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ… then Paul says to: receive this reconciliation that God has provided. Not all will turn to Him for this salvation…”for all men have not faith.”

Some verses to look up:

Romans 3:28 –“a man is justified by faith..”
Romans 9:32 — (speaking of Israel in v.31) –“they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.”
Romans 13:5 –“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith..”
Galatians 3:8-9 –“God would justify the heathen through faith…”
Galatians 6:10 –“do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
Ephesians 2:8–“For by grace are ye saved through faith…”
2 Thessalonians 3:2 –“we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith…”

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 –“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ…
verse 19: “To with, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself”
verse 20: “we pray you in Christ’s stead, BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD…”
2 Corinthians 5:21 –“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we MIGHT
be made the righteousness of God in him.”

2 Corinthians 3:14-16–“But their minds were blinded…the vail is upon their heart….when it [their heart]shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.”

QUESTION

Question:
I am thinking about praying “in the Spirit” and how to
make sure that’s how prayer is done?

If we are abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are filled with
the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit fills us with Christ
and His likeness…the fruit of the Spirit. This is as we think
on the Lord through the Word of God. If temptation comes
to entice us from this position, and we follow that temptation
and then sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit in our life. We feel this
loss of fellowship with God and lose our peace etc.

Our prayers are effective when we are abiding, focusing on the
Lord and not on self. It is resting and depending on Him
in everything. We need to drink from Him through His word
to be strengthened to keep resting. Our thinking is renewed
by this and we more and more have the Lord’s view on things
and consequently will pray from His will and not ours. This
is a growth process that is day by day, moment by moment.
lkp

DELIVERANCE……THE BEGINNING

To answer your questions on deliverance:  I can only share with you the concepts the Lord gave me; my “history” with the Lord.  I had learned the Romans 6-8 (sanctification truths) and  knew they were not in my life and walk with the Lord….how to apply was a mystery to me, but as I read what the apostle Paul had written about the Christian life and the early Plymouth Brethren writers, I knew there was another experience:  one of joy and peace and contentment (versus the depression, sorrow and grief that I was experiencing).

I knew the reality of these truths were not based upon “good circumstances”…i.e. money in the bank etc., but based on the source of the Christian life: knowing Jesus Christ. So, I learned to ignore my unstable emotions and thoughts (see 2 Cor. 10:3-5,7) and  stand upon the word of God. All this means is believing God’s Word….believing what He says, though it may not be in your life.  He will make all things clear…He will work it into your life in time. (Heb.13:21) I am sure you have “tasted that the Lord is gracious” and are able to believe He will give you what He has promised through His Word.  Our “part” is to rest in Him and His Word while He works in us.  Now resting does not mean doing nothing.

When He in His perfect timing, brought in the “sifting” and “those things that are shaken” (Heb.12:27), He brings us “low” (as J.N Darby said) and humbles us (as George Mueller said.).  This hopefully causes us to be teachable and not bitter. We are to be “tenderhearted” throughout His dealings with us.  (keeping that fellowship with Him..1John 1:3-9).  There is a “turning point” (see Deliverance papers by William  Kelly and J.N. Darby) where we look “outside of ourselves”…He now is our focus more and more rather than the trials.

What does the Word of God say about us?  For one thing:  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”  Reading this is not enough.  We must dig…what does it mean to be “in Christ” ?  We are  now identified with Christ…not our sin or our sin nature.  Not that we take a “light view” of sin…but we confess and leave it with Him.  Wonderful gift from Him.  I read and read…especially Romans 8.  I may have told you how I wrote the scriptures from that chapter on 3×5 cards and taped them to my cupboards.  Hannah Whitall Smith said in one of her books:  “He saves me now.” Present tense.  That went up on the cupboards.  The discouraging thoughts came like waves that rolled upon me, but I was standing upon those verses.  Gradually, I realized in my experience freedom as I “refused” to dwell on the discouraging thoughts.  And the thoughts diminished.  So it is with refusing the sin nature on all levels.  This is a miracle and what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross (see Romans 6:6-7,10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Romans 8:3).  

As we continue to believe what the word of God says about freedom from the sin nature and we apply the truth, the pull of the sin nature fades.  Not that it won’t pop-up in some other way, but the answer is the same.  We “died” with Christ positionally and now the Holy Spirit makes real all those “riches of His grace” in us.  First we must “know” the sanctification truths before we are able or even interested in experiencing freedom from the power of the sin nature in us.  Truly this verse is fulfilled in us as we study His word:  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb.11:6) If we study “lightly”, we will know the freedom from sin “lightly.”  If we are a divided man (James 1:6-8) we will be unstable.  The Lord revealed to me during my “wretched man” time that I put my loved ones before the Lord.  I did not realize I had done this all my Christian life.  This process is very necessary…and very personal.  What He reveals to one believer will obviously be different than another.  We learn that He must have preeminence in our life.  Out from that relationship comes love for others.  

The Lord brought me to Romans 12:1 and 2 Cor. 5:15.  Years earlier I would go forward on an altar call as we were urged to obey Romans 12:1.  It was all for naught…I did not understand.  It takes time and it is a work of the Holy Spirit to reveal “self” to ourselves.  I believe as we have been taught that Romans 12:1 is a one time thing that we look back on.  But it is no issue now..I belong to the Lord.  The epistles are full of our “riches in Christ”…our positions in Christ.  We do not experience the truth but as we stand upon them, our thinking changes.  You asked how we “cooperate” with the Lord in our growth process.  This is where submission comes in…some call it yieldedness, some brokenness.  “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”  In our Bible classes , we learned the definition of humility:  a lowering of our minds to God’s mind…His written word.  We chose to believe what the Lord says in His word over human viewpoint.

We accept the humbling of the Lord in our circumstances…that He does all things right so this circumstance is from Him for my spiritual good.  We may experience suffering as we yield to the Spirit…as we are “crossing the sinful nature” but it is as nothing when we realize the blessings of walking in the Spirit…versus the reaping of the flesh.  There is much “reaping” in the flesh but even that is turned to our spiritual good. We learn thoroughly that doing things His way brings the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  Read as the Lord leads you; there is encouragement for us in our “wilderness journey” here.  lkp