THE CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTIAN……Miles J. Stanford

The risen Lord Jesus is the abiding-place and environment of our new nature, and it is in that life we are to walk, “for our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
It is there, abiding above, that we fellowship and grow; and it is from there that we minister here in this lost and needy world. Although we are in this world, we are not of it; we are primarily here in order for God to be glorified in us and the Lord Jesus to be manifested through us for the sake of others. “Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that although they may slander you as evil doers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God” (1 Pet. 2:12, Amplified).
To escape from the reign and corroding influence of the world we must count on the work of the Cross, by which we were crucified unto the world, and the world crucified unto us.  (Galatians 6:14 “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”)  The source of our Christian life is neither in the worldly nature, nor the worldly system; we are to look to another world for all our resources. “If [since] then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1–3).
Satan
Both the Cross and the risen Lord Jesus separate us from the reign of Satan. At Calvary we died out of his kingdom of darkness and death; in the resurrection we were born into the Son’s kingdom of light and life. “Giving thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:12, 13).
Resist
Satan would seek to bluff us out of our position of safety. But we are to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith…” “Neither give place to the devil.” “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”(1 Pet. 5:8, 9; Eph. 4:27; James 4:7).
Our resistance to the Enemy is on the basis of faith, faith in the work of the Cross in which he was doomed and his power broken. Through our reckoning, his defeat at Calvary is applied and we are made to triumph.
Satan, although dangerous, has been defeated. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy [make of no effect] him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14).
Stand
We are to stand in our position, “hid with Christ in God,” that we may be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Col. 3:3; Eph. 6:10). We do not have to wage war with the devil to obtain our position, nor do we have to fight him either to maintain it or to retain it. We simply stand where we have been placed, abiding above, resisting his assaults and fiery darts through faith in the Victor who defeated him and all his cohorts. At the Cross the Lord Jesus “spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15). We humbly walk in the train of His triumph.
Rest
Many believers, not knowing of, nor abiding in, their position in the triumphant Lord Jesus, attempt to war against and defeat the devil and his demons. Before long Satan looms larger and stronger in their eyes, while the Lord Jesus seems to become smaller and weaker.
Soon they imagine there are demons on every hand, possessing nearly everything and everybody. They become obsessed with their “warfare,” and before long begin to experience defeat and breakdown in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual realms.
If Satan can get the believer to become more aware of him than of the Lord Jesus, the inevitable result is a triumphant foe and a defeated Christian. Our responsibility is to steadfastly resist the Enemy by quietly resting in our impregnable position in Christ. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” “Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Col. 2:9, 10; Rom. 13:12).
Our Father often uses the Enemy as a foil, to teach us to handle our weapons of defense. We are told to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).  Actually, the Lord Jesus is our armor—“put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14). Satan cannot touch Him, nor can he touch us in Him.
Even when our Father chooses to let out Satan’s chain a bit, the Enemy’s worst only proves to be God’s best for the believer who stands his ground in Christ. Satan thought he was destroying the Lord Jesus on the Cross, and now he attempts to do the same with the believer. But all he gets is a mouthful of ashes, his Calvary defeat. All he gets is judgment, “because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11).
I am thankful that the Cross has closed my history as related to the world and its prince. I was a slave to the world, but now it is crucified to me, and I to it.
Galatians 6:14
14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  I was a slave to Satan, but now my Father has made me a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, and delivered me from the power of darkness.
Colossians 1:12-13
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
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The “Prodigalic” Process…..Miles J. Stanford

https://thedeepertruths.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/the-prodigalic-process-miles-j-stanford/

Posts longer than usual are placed on Northwest Bible Bookshelf.  We encourage you to visit the site and read this Miles J. Stanford article.

PROGRESSIVE SPIRITUALITY

“We are to reckon (count) ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ
while trusting the Holy Spirit to keep the old nature in its place of death and
form Christ in us and in time the old nature loses it’s reigning power.  Progressive spirituality.”
(Reckoning that Counts, Miles J. Stanford)
“Chafer (and those following his view) tend to stress a clear-cut distinction between
‘carnal’ and ‘spiritual believers’.  This is a weakness leading to many errors and problems.
Believers are compositions of both ‘carnal’ and ‘spiritual’ characteristics.  Through identification based spiritual growth, there is ‘progressively less carnality and more spirituality over time — progressive spirituality.”
Susan S.

LOVE OF THE WORLD?

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world*, the love
of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world*, the lust of the flesh and the lust of
the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God
lives forever.”  1 John 2: 15-17
(*contemporary culture)
“May we find our joy in Him, not pursuing a life of our own hearts, but a life of His grace
and goodness, and may He keep our hearts fixed on Him and on a crown with Him.”
(J.N. Darby, First Epistle of John)
“They (some believers) want the so called deeper life but they want the world, too…  let
them find out.”  Miles Stanford

TRIALS AND SUFFERING

“See how we call those who thus endured happy! You have heard
how patiently Job endured and have seen how the Lord finally
blessed him, because the Lord is tenderhearted and merciful.”
(James 5:11, Wms.)

“Our Father can advance His children into conformity to the image
of His Son, more by suffering in one day, than in many years of
ease from trial.”

(None But the Hungry Heart #3-22)

BITS OF WISDOM……

Many Bible teachers place “reliance upon the Spirit to overcome the old nature by
means of the new nature. This leads the believer to seek the filling of the Spirit
in order to overcome sin and the old nature and to be conformed to the image
of Christ. Thus the Biblical means of freedom from the domination of sin is
passed over, leaving the old man [sinful nature] free to block true spiritual progress.” mjs

A few of these folks do teach the believer’s crucified position, but they fail “to
teach the application of that positional crucifixion! Instead of counting upon the
finished work, [they call] upon the will, thereby abandoning the struggling believer to
the rigors of Romans Seven. [They] offer no rest through reckoning upon our death
and resurrection with Christ, but only the civil war of ceaseless conflict and life-long
warfare with sin and the old nature.” mjs

“The Cross and the Christ-life are inseparable.”
“Grace and growth are inseparable.”

KNOW the facts: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the
body of sin might be [annulled], that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

RECKON on the facts: “Likewise reckon [count on being true] ye also yourselves
to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

YIELD: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin [nature]: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

“I find there are three great stages in the Christian history. First, the greatness of my
salvation. Second, the attractiveness of Christ, Himself. He is my life. I count all
things but rubbish that He might be my gain [in experience]. Very few come to this stage,
but those who do, are in the third stage –here for Him; they could not be otherwise.” JBS

“People are glad enough to find peace, rest, deliverance from fear of judgement…; but to
part with their very self, to be supplanted by the indwelling Christ Himself, to have another
Person exhibit His excellence and His glory, to have His will, His wisdom, His sufficiency
only exhibited and carried out at all times, is very, very different. This is the end of the
gospel which Paul preaches, and it is unutterable glory to the heart that accepts it.” Wm. Newell