UNDER THE DOMINION OF ANOTHER POWER

“I can say to myself that not only am I no longer under the dominion of sin, but I am under the dominion of another power that nothing can frustrate However weak I may be, it is the power of God that is working in me” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p70).

“God’s strong hand is on you; [l]ive carefree before God; he is most careful with you” (1 Pet 5:6-7 MSG).

“[L]et yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life” (1 Pet 1:13-16 MSG).

“[H]e’s a good Father. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living” (1 Pet 1:17 MSG).

“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God”(1 Pet 1:18-21 MSG).

“The more vile we are in our own eyes, the more precious he will be to us” John Newton (ref#322, p128).

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18 ESV).

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthy in you” (Col 3:2-5 ESV).

“’Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul’ (1 Pet 2:11). We do not receive our sanctification and are then delivered from these things. No; he tells us to abstain from them and to keep ourselves from them” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 27th).

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 4:10-11 ESV).

“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly” (1 Cor 13:13 MSG).

OUR WEAKNESSES

“We are ready to turn into any house, stay and play with everything in our way, and sit down on every green bank, and much ado there is to get us home” Richard Baxter (ref#225, May 21st). Note: CHRIST does not just sit on His throne.

“[T]o keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited” (2 Cor 12:7 ESV).

“Paul’s earthy weakness, not his revelations, are to be the platform for demonstrating the Lord’s power and grace” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2238).

“[D]o not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse no barn, and yet God feeds them. O you of little faith! [D]o not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried” (Luke 12:22-24, 28-29 ESV).

“Be strong and courageous” (Josh 1:6 ESV).

“Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

When I am weak then am I strong,

Grace is my shield and Christ my song” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).

“A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 4th AM).

“Purity is mastery over the inferior appetites” J.I. Packer (ref#321, p10).

“Most men study rather how to pass away their time than to redeem it” Thomas Case (ref#225, Dec 12th).

“Weak, unskillful, and unfaithful, as I am in practice, the Lord has been pleased to give me some idea of what a Christian ought to be, and of what is actually attainable in the present life” John Newton (ref#322, p135).

“Our native strength is but another term for utter weakness.” Octavius Winslow

OBEDIENCE

“When Simon and Andrew heard the call of Jesus, they obeyed at once without question. If we would always, promptly and with resolute zeal, put into practice what we hear on the spot or at the first suitable occasion, our attention to the means of grace could not fail to enrich us spiritually. He will not lose his loaf who has taken care to eat it immediately” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 20th PM).

“[B]e doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22 ESV).

“Good actions are designed by the counsel and resolution of the spirit, but performed by the ministry of the flesh. Every grace expresses itself in visible actions by the body. In the sorrows of repentance it supplies tears, in fasting its appetites are restrained, in thanksgivings, the tongue breaks forth in the joyful praises of God. All the victories over sensible pleasure and pain are obtained by the soul in conjunction with the body” William Bates (ref#225, Apr 9th).

“[T]he desire of the righteous ends only in good” (Prov 11:23 ESV).

“[A]s grace prevails, self is renounced. We feel that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price; and that it is our duty, our honour, and our happiness, to be the servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. To devote soul and body, every talent, power, and faculty, to the service of his cause and will, to find our own pleasure in performing his” John Newton (ref#322, p138).

“You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day” (2 Chron 6:15 ESV).

“Human obedience to God’s commands is the means of ratifying or accepting God’s promises, as well as a condition for experiencing the reality of the promises in the present. God himself provides the grace for his people to obey” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p749).

“Obedience that is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looks at the heart, and if He sees that we serve Him from force, and not because we love Him, He will reject our offering” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 9th PM).

“[W]hen the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. [T]hat those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works” (Titus 3:4-5,8 ESV).

“The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself. The thing that will hinder joy is the irritation of thinking out circumstances. Stop being self-conscious and live the life hid with Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 31st).

SOUL EXERCISE

Outward actions first, inward state of the heart second, No! Our outward actions cannot be correct if our heart remains unchanged.

“When we consider that soul exercise is a term which has almost passed out of our religious vocabulary and that more attention is paid to the outward actions of the Christian life than to the state of the heart, we cannot but come to the conclusion that vital godliness is at a low ebb” John Newton (ref#322, p11).

“He that rightly understands the Lord Jesus, understands how to have his guilt removed, his heart renewed, his conscience calmed, his soul secured. The better Christ is understood, the more the soul that understands Him is at rest” Nathanael Vincent (ref#225, July 23rd).

“The deep things are not discovered; they are received. They are not achieved; they are believed” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p108).

“Whereas false teaching results in meaningless speculation, proper apostolic teaching results in practical good behavior rooted in love. And that love must come for internal, Spirit-worked changes that have produced a pure heart (rather than one filled with sinful desires), a good conscience (rather than one laden with guilt), and a sincere faith (rather than pretense and hypocrisy)” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2325).

“It is only when you understand the completeness of your justification (that your penalty has been paid and you have been made eternally right with God by the life and death of Jesus) that you are able to rest in the ongoing discipline of your sanctification. That discipline is not to make you right with God, but an expression of the fact that you have been made right with God, and because you have, you are not the object of his Fatherly love. You can expect his discipline, but you do not have to fear his anger. You will experience his correction, but you will never face his rejection. He disciplines all his children in order to produce a harvest of righteousness, but he will never punish you for your sin” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 1st).

“’My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline then you are illegitimate children and not sons” (Heb 12:5-8 ESV).

THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD

“We cannot conquer the obstacles in our way by our own strength; yet we can give way to them; and if we do, it is our sin, and will be our sorrow. The apostles exhort us, to give all diligence, to resist the devil, to purge ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, to give ourselves to reading, meditation, and prayer; to watch, to put on the whole armour of God, and to abstain from all appearance of evil” John Newton (ref#322, p124).

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph 6:11 NIV).

Am I standing firm by allowing my salvation to protect my thought life? “[T]ake the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17 AMP).

Am I standing firm by believing the gospel? “[A]s shoes for your feet, put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15 ESV).

Am I standing firm by knowing what the Bible says so I can use it to quiet Satan? “[T]ake the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God” (Eph 6:17 AMP).

Am I standing firm by knowing what the Truth is? “Stand firm having belted your waist with truth” (Eph 6:14 NASB).

Am I standing firm by living righteously so I can deny Satan’s accusations? “[P]ut on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph 6:14 NASB).

Am I standing firm by walking in faith? “[U]se the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One” (Eph 6:16 NCV).

Am I standing firm by constantly praying? “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion” (Eph 6:18 NLT).

SHATTERED PRIDE

“As we grow in the Christian life we face increasing danger of spiritual pride” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p72).

“To humble the pride of the flesh, God determined to take away from men any reason for confidence or boasting” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 9th).

“It is a very common for God’s people, after they have enjoyed a great deliverance, to find a little trouble too much for them. It is as if the Lord must teach us our littleness, our nothingness, in order to keep us within bounds” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Jan 21st PM).

“Thank God if you are going through a drying-up experience! The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues. It is the saddest thing to see people in the service of God depending on what they have by the accident of heredity” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Dec 30th).

“Weakness is not the big danger to be avoided. What you need to avoid is your delusions of strength” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 17th).

“Idlers may indulge a fond conceit of their abilities, because they are untried; but the earnest worker soon learns his own weakness. If you seek humility, try hard work. If you would know your nothingness, attempt some great thing for Jesus” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Mar 2nd PM).

“To be truly in Christ is to stand accepted in His righteousness, to be justified by Him freely from all things; it is to be brought to the knowledge of our own vileness, insufficiency, and guilt; to be made to cast aside all self-dependence and works of human merit, and to come as the thief on the cross came, without any confidence in anything of self, but as a poor, helpless, ruined, condemned sinner, whose hope of pardon and acceptance is only through the free mercy of God in Christ Jesus” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, July 1st).

“[W]e must die if we are ever going to live. So grace is out to kill us. But in presiding over our deaths, grace gives us life” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Oct 19th).

“[T]rust the Lord, surrender, and go habitually trusting through all the changes, knowing that his love, purpose, and promise are unchangeable” John Newton (ref#322, p191).

HUMBLE WAITING

“[I]f all things are in his hand, if the very hairs of our head are numbered; if every event, great and small, is under the direction of his providence and purpose; and if he has a wise, holy, and gracious end in view, to which everything that happens is subordinate and subservient;–then we have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as he leads, and cheerfully to expect a happy issue” John Newton (ref#322, p137).

“You are to be nothing so that God may be everything. It is for you to fall at His feet, with confusion of face and contrition of heart” Charles Spurgeon (ref#320, p 73).

“[M]y power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9 ESV).

“[A] Christian knows the plague of his own heart and the value of Christ” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Feb 29th).

“[H]umility means ‘a deep sense of our own meanness which is always accompanied with a profound submission to the will of God, and great deadness to the glory of the world, and the applause of men.’” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p11).

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 ESV)?

“[T]he one condition for spiritual progress is that we remain sincere and humble” John Calvin (ref#313, p19).

“[T]he battle is not yours but God’s. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf. Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe and you will succeed. Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever” (2 Chron 20:15,17,20-21 ESV).

GOD’S POWER FOR US

“[W]hat the kingdom of Christ bestows upon us raises us even to eternal life, so we can patiently live at present under toil, hunger, cold, contempt, disgrace, and other annoyances. [H]e arms and equips us by his power. [W]e here are clothed with his righteousness, we can bravely surmount al the insults of the world and as he replenishes us liberally with his gifts, so we can in our turn bring forth fruit unto his glory” John Calvin (ref#113, p320).

“His presence gives us the courage to take on evil and win! He enables us to withstand temptation” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p25).

“The fact that we have been saved frees us from guilt and from God’s judgment The fact that we are being saved frees us from bondage to our own self-centeredness. And the fact that we shall be saved frees us from all fear about the future” John Stott (ref#258, p83-84).

“How happy are they who can believe that he chooses better for them than they possibly could for themselves” John Newton (ref#322, p137)!

“Only be strong and very courageous” (Jos 1:7 ESV).

“Keep listening to the thunder in his voice” (Job 37:2 ESV).

“[B]e strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:1 ESV).

PURELY GOD

“It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised” (2 Cor 1:12-14 MSG).

“It is true, we shall still fall short; we shall find, that when we would do good, evil will be present with us. But the attempt is glorious, and shall not be wholly in vain. He that gives us thus to will, will enable us to perform with growing success, and teach us to profit even by our mistakes and imperfections” John Newton (ref#322, p138).

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:4-5 ESV).

“He comes to us at the moment of our salvation, and he comes to us again and again as we journey from the ‘already’ to the ‘not yet.’ He sits down with us, assuring us again of his love, drawing out from us love for him, and sending us on our way to do the work he has chosen us to do. He does not wait for us to come to him; he comes to us. It is the way of grace” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Oct 24th).

“O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works” (Isa 26:12 ESV).

“God accepts those gifts which he himself has conferred upon his servants” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 7th).

“Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength” (Isa 45:24 ESV).

“What then shall we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things” (Rom 8:31-32 ESV)?

“We have a Keeper, and our safety is his commitment” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, July 4th).

“[H]e who is the blessed and only Sovereign,, the King of kings and LORD of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen” (1 Tim 6:15-16 ESV).

GOAL OF SANCTIFICATION

“It is God’s work, wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit who makes Christ our sanctification. Generally there is an awakening of heart and mind in which there comes vision and persuasion. There is a conviction of need and a revelation of grace, a hunger and a search, a process and a crisis, an act of faith and an assurance of cleansing. It is as distinctly a second work of grace as regeneration is a new birth” Smauel Chadwick (ref#195, p115-116).

“[T]his is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thes 4:3 ESV).

“[A Christian] is in a partnership with God, and he will reap its benefits only when he has fulfilled his own responsibilities. He cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what [He] should do. No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but just as surely no one will attain it without effort on his own part. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p9).

“[God] first ‘counsels and directs’ as to what is to be done, and then He ‘excites and effectually inclines’ to the doing thereof” Thomas Jacombe (ref#225, July 20th).

“The aim is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim 1:5 ESV).

“Weak, unskillful, and unfaithful, as I am in practice, the Lord has been pleased to give me some idea of what a Christian ought to be, and of what is actually attainable in the present life, by those whom he enables earnestly to aspire towards the prize of their high calling” John Newton (ref#322, p135).

“[W]hoever does what is true his works have been carried out by God” (John 3:21 ESV).