THINKING OF OTHERS 2

Is my religion as obvious as a black eye just waiting to be asked about?

“Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-save life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it” (1 Cor 9:19-23 MSG)!

“When have you resisted helping people in trouble, saying they brought it on themselves? Have you shunned those who are ungodly or cut off those who are ungrateful? [L]et us be challenged by Christ’s teaching to extend love to anyone in need” John Calvin (ref#164, June 15th).

“[N]o one gives grace better than a person who is deeply convinced of his own need of it” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 19th).

“[C]ontend for the faith. [C]ontend means, to strive, to fight, to labour fervently. Lukewarmness neither pleases our Captain, nor prevails over our adversary. Everyone must give account for his idle words, and for his idle silence” Willian Jenkyn (ref#225, April 16th).

“Reprove seriously. Reprove compassionately. Soft words and hard arguments go well together. Passion will heat the sinner’s blood, but compassion will heal his conscience. Our reprimanding may be sharp, but our spirits must be meek. The reprover should have a lion’s stout heart, or he will not be faithful, and a lady’s soft hand, or he is not likely to be successful” George Swinnock (ref#225, Sept 26th).

“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 ESV).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

ASSURED OF HEAVEN

“It is not one or two good actions, but a consistent conduct, that tells whether a man is a true Christian….A Christian may stumble, he may even fall, but he gets up and walks on in the way of God’s commandments; the bent of his heart is right, and the scope of his life is straight, and thus he is considered sincere” George Swinnock (ref#225, Dec 11th).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong.  He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas, and customs.  What men think or say no longer concerns him….He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people…He fears offending God more than offending man” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

“I start…from the standpoint that I have been made a child of God by the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am destined for heaven; I have an assurance that I have been called to go there and that God is going to take me there, and it is because I know this that I am preparing now.  I must never regard that as contingent and uncertain in order that I may make it certain.  It is exactly the other way round: it is because I know I am going to meet God that I must prepare to meet Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p41-42, underlining mine).

FATHER, I am “…spiritually and vitally united to Christ…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p120) therefore I behave like Him.  I don’t try to act like Him.  I am like Him.  In my walk with CHRIST I no more strive to be like Him.  That no longer concerns me; CHRIST has taken care of that.  Instead my walk is to prepare to meet Him in heaven.

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again is careful of his own soul.  He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it.  He is careful about the company he keeps.  He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart, and that evil is more catching than good…He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitable” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).  And to spend it profitable is preparing to meet Him in heaven!

REDEMPTION

RENEWED AND RECTIFIED

“…a new man…is but the original man ‘renewed’” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p55).

“he saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5 ESV).

“In regeneration nature is not ruined, but rectified.  The convert is the same man, but new made….God in conversion does not bestow a new understanding, but a new light to the old; not a new soul, but a new life to the old one…We put off the rags of the old man, and put on the robes of the new man, and continue in regard of substance the same man” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“…when this new building of regeneration is erected, the Spirit of God makes use of the old substantial materials—the soul and its faculties, the body and its members which were in man before, only he now polishes and purifies them, and squares them according to the rule of God’s Word” George Swinnock (ref#225, March 1st).

“Regeneration consists…of grace infused into the soul…the powers of the soul are spiritualized and made alive unto God, fitted to enjoy God and hold communion with Him.  Regeneration consists in a radical change of heart, for there is implanted a new disposition as the foundation of all holy exercises; the mind being renovated, the affections elevated, and the will emancipated from the bondage of sin” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p54).

“The change in my disposition does not mean that I have a greater intellect now than I had before….But because the disposition governing it is changed, my mind is operating in a different realm and in a different way…it is exactly the same with the feelings…The will…was obstinate and rebellious, but now it desires, it is anxious, it is concerned about the Gospel” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 16th).

“Salvation is all of the grace of God; damnation is all of the will of man.” Charles Spurgeon