RENOUNCING OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS

“[H]is heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly” (Dan 5:20 ESV).

“Possibly you may be confident of your own strength, and may think that you are not in danger, that there is no temptation but what you are able easily to overcome. But you should consider that the most self-confident are most in danger” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p71).

“If when others who have fallen into gross sins should be inquired of, and should declare how it was with them, doubtless they would say that they at first thought there was no danger; that they were far from the thought that ever they should commit such wickedness” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p71).

“O faithless daughter, who trusted in her treasures, saying, ‘Who will come against me?’” (Jer 49:4 ESV).

“[N]ever can I swallow pride

My pride will swallow me

Unless I’m overwhelmed by grace

In forced humility” Doug Newton (ref#166, p132).

“God would rather let His children all into the devil’s hands than to see them proud. Better is that temptation that humbles than that duty which makes us proud. [A] Christian may get much good by temptation” Thomas Watson (ref#225, p202).

“The one great design of God in all His dispensations to His people, is to prevent and cure the pride of their hearts. We must condemn ourselves, before He will justify us; and renounce our own righteousness, if ever we will be made righteous” Richard Mayo (ref#225, p 237).

“[W]hen I see myself as I really am, nobody can insult me. It is impossible, because they can never say anything that is bad enough about me. Whatever the world may say about me, I am much worse than they think. Self-sufficiency, self-consciousness—oh, to get away from the self” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 13th)!

“Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” (Ps 51:12 TLB).

FORGIVEN SINNERS

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Ps 32:1-2 ESV).

“[T]he psalm is about forgiven sinners, not about perfect people. [T]he righteous and the upright are not perfect. They are persons who confess their sin, hate it, and trust God for forgiveness and help” (ref#200, p214).

“Because I am a sinner, I need mercy, and because God is merciful, I can face the reality of my sin. Maybe it’s a thoughtless word, a selfish act, a prideful thought, a moment of envy, a flash of lust, a willing act of disobedience, an attitude of vengeance, or a minor moment of thievery. [W]e all give daily proof to the truth that sin still lives inside us. [I]t’s only when you admit how deep and comprehensive your problem is that you get excited about the rescue that only God’s mercy can supply” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 16th).

“The knowledge that we are sinners should not keep us from fighting for God’s truth. If the accusation of sin was enough to silence God’s children, no one would be left to herald his truth. Having confessed our sin we should not be afraid of calling our cause righteous and go forward in God’s strength” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 27th). “[W]e are vindicated in the eyes of God” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 28th)!

“[Y]ou must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11 ESV).

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:geraldfaurote:Desktop:Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 9.47.25 AM.png“[S]alvation through Jesus Christ has given us complete separation from the oppressive dominion of evil. We may be people who can still sin and most certainly do, but not because we are still in the grip of sin. We no longer live where we are forced to do what we do not want to do. If we often feel that way it is only because we have not learned how by faith to count ourselves as ‘dead to sin.’ Nor have we learned to no longer offer our bodies to sin, but to be slaves of righteousness.” Doug Newton (ref#166, p84).

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification” (Rom 6:17-19 ESV).

ABIDE IN CHRIST

THE JOY OF ABIDING IN CHRIST

I eat my breakfast in front of a large picture of JESUS feeding the 5000.  His face displays peace and joy.  It reminds me how much He enjoys the children His FATHER gives Him.  There is joy, not only for me in abiding, but for Him, too.  I am mindful again that He needs me to share His joy with more than needing me to do His work.

“These things I have spoken unto you that my joy may abide in you and that your joy might be fulfilled” (John 15:11 Jubilee Bible 2000). “Abiding fully in Christ is a life of exquisite and overflowing happiness.  As Christ gets more complete possession of the soul, it enters into the joy of its Lord” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p159).

 “…your experience of joy must be emanating from God’s experience of joy….if the God who dwells in you is pleased and full of joy, you will be too….’The joy of the LORD is your strength’ (Neh 8:10).  It does not say, ‘Your joy about the LORD is your strength.’  It’s God’s joy in you that makes you strong” Doug Newton (ref#327, p94-95).

“Whether we look backward and see the work He has done, or upward and see the reward He has in the Father’s love…or forward in the continual accessions of joy as sinners are brought home, His joy is ours” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p161).

“We all know the value of joy.  It alone is the proof that what we have really satisfies the heart.  As long as duty, or self-interest, or other motives influence me, men cannot know what the object of my pursuit or possession is really worth to me. But when it gives me joy, and they see my delight in it, they know that to me at least it is a treasure.  Hence there is nothing so attractive as joy…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p159).

For me, this joy is one “…that is never to cease or to be interrupted for a moment” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p161).  Of course, I have worldly good and bad times but spiritually I have a constant joy because nothing can keep me from GOD.

“…the joy of God overcomes all the trials of life….With a heart full of joy no work can weary, and no burden can depress; God Himself is strength and song” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p160).

The summation of “Abiding in CHRIST” blogs is “joyfully sing” (Zeph 3:17).

PRAYER

HOW TO PREPARE FOR PRAYER

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he…heard my cry” (Ps 40:1 ESV).

“…go to the Lord in your worst frames; do not stay away from Him until you get a good one.  Satan’s grand argument to keep a soul from prayer is, ‘Don’t go with that old and insensible frame, and with that hard and sinful heart; wait until you are more fit to approach God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 5th).

“…how we get into an abiding position with the Lord…being fully clothed in the armor of God” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p63).  “A Christian gets dressed for battle, not to go out into the world, but to go into the prayer closet” Doug Newton (ref#166, p89).  [“…pray…on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” (Eph 6:18 NIV).  This verse comes right after the description of the armor of GOD.]  “Because Jesus Christ has conquered the enemy of our souls, Satan has to drop his weapons when we resist him with prayer, using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” Doug Newton (ref#166, p89).

“Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations of Christ and of His glory….Place no limit on your knowledge of Christ.  Always consider that you have only read the preface to the volume, you have only touched the margin of the sea; stretching far away beyond you are undiscovered beauties, precious views, and sparkling glories, each encouraging your advance, inviting your research, and asking for the homage of your faith, the tribute of your love, and the dedication of your life” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 30th).

Of prayer, Andrew Murray suggests—“1.  Be slow…weigh all in the light of the…Scriptures and in the fear of God.  2.  Seek to have no will of your own…3.  But when you have found out what the will of God is, seek for His help, and seek it earnestly, perseveringly, patiently, believingly, expectantly; and you will surely in His own time and way obtain it” Andrew Murray (ref#19, THIRTEENTH LESSON).

“…Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.  Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.  The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace” (Matt 6:6 MSG).

REDEMPTION

NOW UNDER GRACE

“…a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6 ESV).

“…the covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator and surety; called “new”, not because newly made, for it was made with Christ from everlasting; nor newly revealed, for it was made known to Adam after his fall, and to all the Old Testament patriarchs, and was exhibited under the legal dispensation, though but darkly, in types, shadows, sacrifices, &c. which therefore waxing old is vanished away; and the covenant of grace is now more clearly revealed under the Gospel dispensation, free from all the obscurity it before laboured under; and therefore is called “new”, as well as because it will always continue so, and never give way to another covenant: now the Gospel, and the ministry of it, is nothing else but an exhibition of the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises…” John Gill (ref#283).

“You are ‘not under the law,’ Paul says, ‘but under grace’ (Rom 6:14)….you are in an entirely new position.  You are under grace, and grace is unmerited favor.  It is kindness shown to people who deserve nothing but punishment. Grace means that God, because He is God, looks upon us with favor when we do not deserve anything at all.  That is what ‘under grace’ means” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 25th).

“God is no longer just a lawgiver to you—He is your Father….It is the difference between being in a relationship of law and a relationship of love.  You are in an entirely new position….You know that He is determined to bring you back to the perfection in which He originally made you, and that all the forces of His love and grace and compassion are working in your favor” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 25th).

FATHER, through Your grace of unmerited favor I have become new.  You have removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh—“…the recovery of a fully sensitive, fully functioning moral conscience…” Doug Newton (ref#166, p108).  Hallelujah!

SCRIPTURE

SCRIPTURE STUDY

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Col 3:16 ESV).

“…when God originally created man, the reason, the emotions, and the will all worked in perfect harmony.  Reason led the way in understanding the will of God, the will consented to God’s will, and the emotions delighted in doing it.  But…” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

FATHER, now that I sit in sin-nature my reason is the first to dodge obedience to You.  I easily read Scripture wrongly.

“We somehow feel that consent to the teaching of Scripture is equivalent to obedience” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p72).  “The question is, do we really believe we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding, or do we actually depend on our own intellectual ability in our study of Scripture?….What we are talking about here is not just acquiring more knowledge of biblical truth, but rather the development of Bible-based convictions by which we are to live”  Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p177).

“…our relation to the word of God must be based on simple obedience—on being hearers and doers—not on an analysis of the content of the word” Doug Newton (ref#166, p110).

“…we are more apt to…become proud over our ‘superior’ knowledge of biblical truth rather than humbled over our lack of obedience to what Scripture teaches” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p177). “Our tendency seems to be to equate knowledge of the truth, and even agreement with it, with obedience to it” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p182).

“…we should pray for knowledge of truth that will change our lives rather than simply inform our minds” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p178).

JESUS

OUR GIFT—THE PRIESTHOOD

FATHER, Your Son is my High Priest: “For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf”(Heb 9:24 ESV).

“When our coldness, our old nature, our neglect, our ingratitude, and our backslidings might have prevailed, He [CHRIST] has never entirely and forever withdrawn.  His post is to watch…with a sleepless eye of love…’He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous’ (Job 36:7)…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 1st, brackets mine).

“It is a personal, an anticipative, and a present intercession.  It embraces all the personal needs of each believer…it bears the saint and his sorrow before the throne.  At a crisis of his history, at a juncture, or perhaps even at the most critical moment in his life when a believer’s heart is oppressed with emotion and cannot breathe a prayer—Jesus is remembering him, sympathizing with him, and interceding for him” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, March 27th).

JESUS is our High Priest who goes before making us priests also.  “…To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever…”(Rev 1:5-6 ESV).

As JESUS is our High Priest, we then, can be priests to others.  “In the kingdom of Christ each individual is a priest.  The priest’s work is not limited to any order of the ministry. All may offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving: all have direct access to the holiest through the blood of Jesus: all Christians, as priests, are to minister to one another and to plead for one another” Marvin Vincent (ref#271).

“…the three fundamental functions of the priesthood. Worship—insuring that people exalt God’s greatness. Intercession—insuring that people experience God’s grace.  Blessing—insuring that people enjoy God’s favor”Doug Newton (ref#166, p140).

“If you have believed in God’s decontaminating work in your own life…you are now qualified to function as a priest.  You are now called to use your words to intercede on behalf of people and pronounce over them the blessings of God’s mercy and grace as God directs you” Doug Newton (ref#166, p141).  “God…is saying…If you will make your whole life about bringing the benefits of my presence and grace to others, you will have Me in a way the others never will.  I will be your portion” Doug Newton (ref#166, p141).

JESUS

THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD

FATHER, in the Old Covenant for a sin to be forgiven the Israelite had to place his hand on the head of a spotless young lamb that he provided and kill it.  An innocent lamb appeased Your wrath; the lamb’s blood covered the sin.

“What…the blood of the lamb was to the children of Israel, is what the atoning blood of Christ is to the believing soul” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 24th).  “In the Old Testament the Israelites transferred their guilt to a lamb, and then the lamb was killed….God took your sins and mine, and He put them on the head of His own Son, and then…He killed Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 3rd).  “…the believing though trembling penitent sees all his sins cancelled and all his transgressions pardoned through the precious blood of Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 19th).

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life”(Lev 17:11 NIV). “…the Bible reiterates in numerous scriptures that cleansing occurs through, and only through, the shedding of blood” Doug Newton (ref#166, p133).

“The atoning blood of Christ possesses the power to pardon.  Through this blood, God, the holy God against whom you have sinned…can pardon all your sins, blot out all your transgressions, and take from you the terror of a guilty conscience” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Sept 22nd).

“’One lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even.’  The devout Israelite was thus taught to close the day as he began it: with a sacrifice for sin….How much in the transactions of a single day may there be that needs the evening’s confession with faith’s hand upon the evening Lamb” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, page vii)!

FATHER, since I don’t have the advantage of the Israelite of old and physically required to slaughter an innocent lamb, I am prone to forget my sins require blood to be blotted out.  CHRIST’s blood flows for me everyday—every minute canceling and pardoning my sin.  GOD, I need to thank You more!

JESUS

THE CLEANSING AGENT

FATHER, the actual cleansing agent for my sin is the blood of JESUS.  “The blood and suffering of Christ, applied and relied on by faith, justify the sinner, silence Satan the accuser, purge the conscience from dead works, and open a way into the holiest of all….The death of Christ puts the sin to death, but delivers the sinner from it” Nathanael Vincent (ref#225, March 21st).

“The shed blood proves that a death has occurred, an appropriate sacrifice has indeed been made and confirms that the terms of God’s covenant have been met”(ref#166, p134). “Where He sees the pure heart’s blood of His own Son—so precious to Him—sprinkled on the broken, penitent heart of a poor sinner, He will pass him over in the great outpouring of His wrath” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 19th).

You know, O LORD, there has been much preaching and songs written about the “blood”.  But now I understand “blood” is not the actual cleansing agent.  The term “blood” is a metonymy—it includes many elements yet we use the word “blood” to include a host of elements.

“Here are the elements of the cleansing process represented by the metonymy “blood”: faith is required—faith in what God has promised and pronounced. God has promised to credit righteousness (cleansing) to anyone who believes.  But God cannot keep that promise without making provision for the removal of sin.  He can’t remove sin by simply waving His hand as if it never occurred.  The Laws of justice which emanate from God Himself cannot be set aside and disregarded.  Justicerequires that every sin receive its due consequence.  The penaltyfor sin is death…the tiniest amount of contamination ruins everything.  But God, whose unchangeable nature is also love, cannot contradict Himself and must find a way to penalize sin without destroying His beloved creation. Somehow love and justice must work together undiminished to find a way for salvation.  And so God gave birth to the sacrificial system by which sin is transferred to a substitute whodies in the place of the guilty party. And that death must be demonstrated through the shedding of blood….the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) is precious, but the power is not in the blood as if blood is a miracle cleansing agent.  The power is ultimately in the word of God and all the things God did to make His word conform to His nature of justice and love” Doug Newton (ref#166, p135).

“The actual cleansing agent has been and always will be, just as the only agent of performing God’s will has been and always will be, the word of God—the word of God proclaimed and the Word of God incarnate” Doug Newton (ref#166, p136).

GOD

GOD IS LOVE

“…search and rescue impulse is in the very center of God’s heart” Doug Newton (ref#166, p35).

GOD is love (1 John 4:8). He is not just loving.  Love is not one of His attributes, it is what influences His attributes.  Yet, GOD does not love to glorify Himself, His focus is on His people.  “…love does not look at itself—it is absorbed in the object of its love” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p116).

“In enriching us with his gifts, God gains nothing for himself, yet he would have the splendor and beauty of his character manifested in bountifully dealing with us….” John Calvin (ref#164, March 7th).

“I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God”(Ex 29:45-46 ESV).

“…God searches passionately for people who are lost, finds them and does whatever He must to make them His possession” Doug Newton (ref#166, p36).

FATHER, You are absorbed in the objects You love.  And not only in loving me but all Your human creation that I, privileged as Your helper, search also to bring to You.