Posted by Jerry White on Aug 29, 2012
“O Christian, only believe that there is a victorious life! Christ the victor is your Lord. He will undertake for you in everything and will enable you to do all that the Father expects from you. Be of good courage. Will you not trust Him to do this great work for you who has given His life for you and has forgiven your sins?
Dare, in His power, to surrender yourself to the life of those who are kept from sin by the power of God. Along with the deepest conviction that there is no good in you, confess that you see in the Lord Jesus all the goodness of which you have need, for the life of a child of God. Begin to literally to live ‘by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).
Thank God, a life of victory is sure for those who have a knowledge of their inward ruin and are hopeless in themselves. But, who, in ‘the confidence of despair’ have looked to Jesus, and, in faith in His power to make the act of surrender possible for them, they have done it, in His might, and now rely on Him alone every day and every hour.”
Fill Me With Hope, October 21
Compiled by Paul M. Miller
If Christ lives in you by His Spirit, then why is He there? What difference should it make in your daily living? How will it affect how you live today in your responsibilities? Will you live out of your self-life—your own soul’s energy—or will you live out of His abundant life within you — out of His power? How will you live out of His power? What will you do to deny living out of your futile self-life so you can live triumphantly from His strength within by His Spirit? Christ in you as a believer is a wasted gift if you do not live out of His all-powerful life but choose instead to live in the strength of your own soul. The Lord Jesus lived by complete dependence on His Father in all things every day, and this graphically shows us how we should live our lives — by total dependence like He did. The branch draws its life from the vine.
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 26, 2012
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:2 (ESV)
“What was done by God the Father and accomplished by the Son becomes a reality and a personal experience only as we assent and consciously, believingly look to the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, to make it a vital experience in our lives.
The Holy Spirit can do nothing until by faith we lay hold of it (i.e., the knowledge that our old man was crucified with Christ, my old self, my self pride, in fact all that I received from Adam by my birth, all that I am apart from Christ).
When we give assent to this truth, though we cannot see the reality of it in our lives, the Holy Spirit is able to and does make this an actual experience for us.
As we stand on this truth, the Holy Spirit is able to lead us into a personal, practical experience of crucifixion with Christ…. Our having been crucified with Christ has to make the body of sin of none effect while we live by faith, but it can instantly become active and dominate in the life of a believer when faith becomes dormant and inactive…
Will you not now bow before God and thank Him that you were crucified with Christ, begin to thank Him regardless of feeling! It may take a month or a day I do not know how long, but I do know that when any child of God will believe and begin to express that faith in thanksgiving, day by day thanking Him for the fact which one may not yet have experienced, the Holy Spirit will lead that one into a glorious personal experience. Then from the heart he can say ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death.’”
L. L. Legters
His Victorious Indwelling, 306-307
Nick Harrison, Editor
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 23, 2012
“In biblical teaching temptation is not sin. That is a principle of enormous practical importance. Many sincere Christians have been paralysed [sic] by Satan precisely here, and made to feel that simply because they have been tempted to a particular sin they have already sinned and come under the displeasure of God. It is vital therefore to see the distinction between temptation and sin. It may help us if we remind ourselves that Jesus was tempted (Heb. 4:15). Yet he was without sin and therefore to suggest that temptation is a sin is to come close to blasphemy — and there are occasions when a strong reminder like that will clarify the minds which Satan has confused.
How then can we distinguish temptation from sin when both seem to cling closely to us? By asking ourselves whether we want the temptation which is set before us. If our hearts are set against it, then we may be sure that we are not yet engaged in sin but are being subjected to temptation.
In fact the Bible has two different sets of words for temptation in the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament. One conveys the idea of testing in order to prove validity. In the word-picture of Scripture, the believer is tested for genuineness just as metal is tested for its genuineness. The other word normally has a less positive content, and conveys more the idea of testing through temptation, through the experience of the opportunity to sin. The first expression is never used of Satan, the second is infrequently used of God. But when God does test, it is in order to know what is in the hearts of men and women. He applies pressure on their lives to see what will emerge. This is a regular theme in the Old Testament (Deut. 8:2; Judges 2:22; 3:1-4; 2 Chronicles. 32:31).”
Sinclair B. Ferguson
Taking the Christian Life Seriously, 87 (1980)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 19, 2012
“I have never been much for ‘steps’ in the Christian life, though they may be useful to some people. For the most part, my method has been simply to plunge in on the promises of God and let God take care of the ‘steps.’ I would, however, make a few recommendations to anyone seeking a more satisfying and more God-possessed life than he now enjoys.
First, determine to take the whole thing in dead earnest. Too many of us play at Christianity. We wear salvation as a kind of convention badge admitting us into the circle of the elect, but rarely stop to focus our whole lives seriously on God’s claims on us.
Second, throw yourself out recklessly upon God. Give up everything and prepare yourself to surrender even unto death all of your ambitions, plans and possessions. And I mean this quite literally. You should not be satisfied with the mere technical aspect of surrender but press your case upon God in determined prayer until a crisis has taken place within your life and there has been an actual transfer of everything from yourself to God.
Third, take a solemn vow never to claim any honor or glory or praise for anything you are or have or do. See to it that God gets all the honor, all the time.
Fourth, determine not to defend yourself against detractors and persecutors. Put your reputation in God’s hands and leave it there.
Fifth, mortify the flesh with the affections and lusts! Every believer has been judicially put to death with Christ, but this is not enough for present victory. Freedom from the power of the flesh will come only when we have by faith and self-discipline made such death an actuality. Real death to self is a painful thing and tends to reduce a man in his own eyes and humble him into the dust. Not many follow this rugged way, but those who do are the exemplary Christians.”
A. W. Tozer
His Victorious Indwelling, 209-210
Nick Harrison, Editor
Complete Bible knowledge and thorough understanding of the best theology does not make a disciple like Jesus. This only happens when a believer walks out the truth of God’s Word day by day in absolute surrender followed by steadfast faith and obedience.
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 16, 2012
“How shall we describe this center, this inner spiritual territory where encounters are almost too sacred for words? Beyond theological definitions, we are left with not much more than a collection of metaphors.
David of the Psalms was thinking in metaphors when he imagined his inner spirit to be like a pasture where God, the shepherd, led him as a lamb. In his metaphor, there were calm waters, green pastures, and tables loaded with food to be eaten in safety. This was a place, David said, where the soul was restored….
For me the appropriate metaphor for the inner spiritual center is a garden, a place of potential peace and tranquility. This garden is a place where the Spirit of God comes to make self-disclosure, to share wisdom, to give affirmation or rebuke, to provide encouragement, and to give direction and guidance. When this garden is in proper order, it is a quiet place, and there is an absence of busyness, of defiling noise, of confusion. The inner garden is a delicate place, and if not properly maintained it will be quickly overrun by intrusive undergrowth. God does not often walk in disordered gardens. And that is why inner gardens that are ignored are said to be empty….
Bringing order to the spiritual dimension of our private worlds is spiritual gardening. It is the careful cultivation of spiritual ground. The gardener turns up soil, pulls out unwanted growth, plans the use of the ground, plants seeds, waters and nourishes, and enjoys the harvests that result. All of this is what many have called spiritual discipline.
I love the words of Brother Lawrence, a reflective Christian of many centuries ago who used the metaphor of a chapel:
‘It is not needful always to be in church to be with God. We make a chapel of our heart, to which we can from time to time withdraw to have gentle, humble, loving communion with Him. Everyone is able to have these familiar conversations with God. Some more, some less—He knows our capabilities. Let us make a start. Perhaps He only waits for us to make one whole-hearted resolve. Courage! We have but a short time to live.’ (Italics added)
Let us begin soon, Brother Lawrence coaxes us; time is short! The discipline of the spirit must begin now.”
Ordering Your Private World, 127-129 (1984)
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 13, 2012
“For most of us, it is time to stop asking God for help. He didn’t help us to be saved, and He doesn’t intend to help us live the Christian life.
Immaturity considers the Lord Jesus a Helper. Maturity knows Him to be Life itself. Dr. J. E. Conant wrote, ‘Christian living is not our living with Christ’s help, it is Christ living His life in us. Therefore that portion of our lives that is not His living is not Christian living; and that portion of our service that is not His doing is not Christian service; for all such life and service have but a human and natural source, and Christian life and service have a supernatural and spiritual source.’ Paul insisted, ‘For to me to live is Christ’; and, ‘I can do all things through Christ’ (Phil. 1:21; 4:13a).
Wm. R. Newell said, ‘Satan’s great device is to drive earnest souls back to beseeching God for what God says has already been done’! Each of us had to go beyond the ‘help’ stage for our new birth, and thank Him for what He had already done on our behalf. God could never answer a prayer for our help in the matter of justification. The same principle holds true for the Christian life. Our Lord Jesus waits to be wanted, and to be all in us and do all through us. ‘For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him’ (Col. 2:9, 10).
God is not trusted, not honored, in our continually asking Him for help. In the face of ‘my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ (Phil 4:19), how can we beg for help? Our responsibility is to see in the Word all that is ours in Christ, and then thank and trust Him for that which we need….
The believer does not have to beg for help. He does have to thankfully appropriate that which is already his in Christ; for, ‘…the just shall live by faith…’ (Heb. 10:38a). And dear old Andrew Murray encourages us with, ‘Even though it is slow, and with many a stumble, the faith that always thanks Him—not for experiences, but for the promises on which it can rely—goes on from strength to strength, still increasing in the blessed assurance that God himself will perfect His work in us (Phil. 1:6).’”
Miles J. Stanford
Principles of Spiritual Growth, 92-93, 95 (1968)
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 9, 2012
“How can I get this blessed abiding presence of Jesus? And when I have got it, how can I ever keep it? How can I know that He will be with me always? If you were to ask the Lord, ‘Oh, my blessed Lord Christ, what must I do, how can I enjoy Thy never-failing presence?” His answer would be, ‘Only believe. I have said it often, and you only partly understood it, but I will say it again—my child, only believe.’ It is by faith.
We sometimes speak of faith as trust, and it is a very helpful thing to tell men that faith is trust; but when people say that it is nothing else but trust, that is not the case. It is a far wider word than trust. It is by faith that I learn to know and see the invisible One. Faith is my spiritual eyesight for the unseen and heavenly.
You often try hard to trust God, and you fail. Why? Because you have not taken time first to see God. How can you trust God fully until you have met Him and known Him? You ought to begin first with believing, with presenting yourself before this God in the attitude of silent worship and asking Him to let a sense of His greatness and His presence come upon you. You must ask Him to let your heart be covered over with His holy presence. You must seek to realize in your heart the presence of an almighty and all-loving God. Take time to worship Him as the omnipotent God, to feel that the very power that created the world, the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is at this moment working in your heart.
We do not experience it because we do not believe. We must take time to believe. Jesus says, ‘Oh, my child, shut your eyes to the world and shut out of your heart all these thoughts about religion and begin to believe in God Himself.’ That is the first article of The Apostles’ Creed—‘I believe in God.’”
Jesus Himself: A Call to Spiritual Intimacy, 25-26
The Lord Jesus spoke to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe” (Mark 5:36). To believe is not a feeling, but rather an inner deliberate choice to expect God to fulfill His Word. Without feeling, inspiration or evidence you can choose to believe God’s Word. This allows the Holy Spirit to work His truth into your soul.
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 5, 2012
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!
Psalm 112:1 (ESV)
“What ought to be the real objective of the Bible student? God’s Word is food, bread from heaven; the first prerequisite of Bible study is a great hunger after righteousness, a sincere desire to do all God’s will. The Bible is a light; the first condition to its enjoyment is a hearty longing to walk in God’s ways. Is this not what our texts teach us? ‘Blessed…are those who hear the word of God and obey it’ (Luke 11:28). The Word is nothing if it is not obeyed. If any man will do God’s will, he will know what it is. All true knowledge of God’s Word depends upon there being first a will to obey it. This is the very lesson we are enforcing. God will unlock the real meaning and blessing of His Word only to those whose will is set upon obeying it. I must read my Bible with one purpose: Whatever He says, I will do.
This is easily understood when we think of what words are meant to do. They stand between will and action. If someone decides to do something for you, before he does it, he will formulate his thoughts or purpose in words, either to himself or to you, and then he will do what he says he will do. So also with God. His words derive their value from what He does or has done. In Creation His word was with power; He spoke and it was done. In grace He does what He says He will do. David prays in 2 Samuel 7:25, ‘And now, Lord God…do as you promised.’ …Through the prophets, God says, ‘I the Lord have spoken it; and I will do it.’ And they reply, ‘What you have spoken is done.’ The truth and worth of God’s promises consist in the fact that He fulfills them. His words of promise are meant to be fulfilled.
This is no less true of His commands, which He intends that we obey. If we do not obey them; if we seek to know them and admire their beauty and praise their wisdom, but do not obey them, we delude ourselves. They are meant to be obeyed; as we obey them, their real meaning and blessing can be revealed to us. Only as we obey can we grow in the divine life.”
The Believer’s Daily Renewal, 40-41
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 2, 2012
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.
Colossians 2:6 (ESV)
“What is given must be received, otherwise it does not profit. If the first great deed of God’s love is the gift of His Son, the first work of man must be to receive this Son. And if all the blessings of God’s love come to us only in the ever-new, ever-living Son of the Father, all these blessings enter into us from day to day through the always new, always-continuing reception of the Son.
You, beloved young Christians, know what is necessary for this reception, for you have already received the Lord Jesus. But all that this reception involves must become clearer and stronger, the unceasing living action of your faith (2 Cor. 10:15). Herein especially consists the increase of faith. Your first receiving of Jesus rested on the certainty which the Word gave you—that He was for you. Through the Word your soul must be still further filled with the assurance that all that is in Him is literally and really for you, given by the Father in Him to be your life.
The impulse to your first receiving was found in your want and necessity. Through the Spirit you become still poorer in spirit, and you see still more how you have need of Jesus for everything every moment; this leads to a ceaseless, ever-active taking of Him as your all. Your first receiving consisted in nothing but the appropriation by faith of what you could not yet see or feel. The same faith must be continually exercised in saying: ‘All that I see in Jesus is for me. I take it as mine although I do not yet experience it.’ The love of God is a communicating, a ceaseless out-streaming of His light of life over the soul, a very powerful and veritable giving of Jesus. Our life is nothing but a continuous blessed apprehension and reception of Him.”
The New Life, 49-50 (1965)
If Christ by the Holy Spirit lives in you, why is He there?
What benefit is it to you for Christ to be in you?
How do you enjoy all that He is within you while you live your daily life?