ADVANTAGES OF COMBAT

“’There can be no victory where there is no combat” Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p118).

“[T]he spiritual government of Christ is so opposed. It limits the course of the will and casts a bridle on its wanderings. Everything natural resists what opposed it. Carnal men would like to bring Christ and the flesh together, and could be content, with some reservation, to submit to Christ. But Christ will be no underling to any base affection, and therefore where there is allowance of ourselves in any sinful lust, it is a sign the keys were never given up to Christ to rule us. It is no sign of a good condition to find all quiet with no opposition” Richard Sibbes (ref#311, p119-120).

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls” (Heb 12:1-3 MSG)!

“God’s way is not to take us out of the difficulties and trials, not to avoid them. His way is to enable us and to strengthen us, so that we can go through them with heads erect and undefeated, more than conquerors in them and over them. [Y]ou are fulfilling the glory of God even as you go through a trial” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, March 16th).

“Plead with Him earnestly, and either He will remove the affliction, or remove the impatience” Thomas Watson (ref#333, p239).

“[W]e ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23 ESV).

“This groaning is universal among the saints. It is not the groan of murmuring or complaint; it is the note of desire rather than of distress” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Dec 4th PM).

“Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight” (Ps 119:143 ESV). “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words” (Ps 119:147 ESV).

“Faith triumphs in trial. When reason is thrust into the inner prison, with her feet secured in the stocks, faith makes the dungeon walls ring with her joyful notes. Faith pulls the black mask from the face of trouble and discovers the angel underneath” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 12th PM).

IN AFFLICTION, REPENT

“[T]rouble will reveal our hearts or display his glory” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, April 23rd).

“[I]f we desire to experience [God’s] favor in adversity, we must repent and sincerely acknowledge our guilt, for adversity does not come to us by chance but is the method by which God rouses us to repentance” John Calvin (ref#164, April 14th).

“We should submit to God’s providential dealing with us, knowing that there is still much in our characters that needs improving. We would trust Him, believing that He is infinite in His wisdom and knows exactly the kind and extent of adversity we need to accomplish His purpose” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p236).

“Christ experienced misunderstanding, injustice, the treachery of friends, loneliness, even his disciples forsaking Him and fleeing from Him.

In every pang that rends the heart,

The Man of Sorrows had a part” (M. Bruce) Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 30th).

In 2 Corinthians the Apostle Paul talks about some situations he and Timothy went through when they were in Asia. His words should encourage to let GOD rescue us from circumstances in life:

“We had great burdens there that were beyond our strength. We even gave up hope of living. Truly, in our own hearts we believed we would die. But this happened so we would not trust in ourselves but in God. God saved us from these great dangers and he will continue to save us. We have put our hope in him, and he will save us again” (2 Cor 1:8-10 NCV).

“When you are in trouble, call out to [God]. [He] will answer and be there” (Ps 91:15 CEV).

CHRIST TEACHES SUFFERING

“For us all—for you, tempted to interpret your afflictions as signals of wrath and your sins as seals of condemnation, your poverty as the mark of neglect, your seasons of darkness as token of desertion, and your doubts and fears as evidences of a false hope and of self-deception. For you, dear saint of God, Jesus was delivered up” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Dec 14th).

“[L]et no Christian call into question God’s love when he is brought under painful afflictions and trials. God did not enrich Christ on earth with temporal prosperity. But He [gave] Him the Spirit without measure (Jon 3:34). Learn that spiritual blessings are the principal gifts of divine love” Arthur W. Pink (ref#253, p10).

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Pet 4:1 ESV).

“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 “Christ teaches us how to live, and He also teaches us how to suffer. Because we live in a world of suffering and we need to be taught how to suffer, He teaches us how to suffer. The cross teaches us how to suffer—not only how to live morally and ethically, but how to suffer. ‘The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ come to us all: people misunderstanding us, injustices done to us, the failure of trusted friends, people letting us down, disappointments, loneliness, physical pain” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, April 30th).

“He that abides in Christ the Crucified One, learns to know what it is to be crucified with Him, and in Him to be indeed dead unto sin” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p199).

“He suffered for us; he calls us to be conformed to him in sufferings. He conquered in his own person, and he will make each of his members more than conquerors in due season” John Newton (ref#322, p182).

KNOWING WE ARE DUST

“If we are truly [God’s] in this world, we are ready to come down and humble ourselves, to be misunderstood, to be laughed at and treated with scorn and derision, in a sense to be crucified—certainly in spirit, perhaps even in body” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p523).

“[E]ven the greatest saints, though realizing that they can only be strong in the grace of God, and not in themselves, are nevertheless more sure than they ought to be of their own bravery and persistence, unless [God] leads them by the trails of life into a deeper knowledge of themselves. This proud idea induced even David to say: “As for me, I said in my prosperity, ‘I shall never be moved.’ By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed” (Ps 30:6-7 ESV). Though in prosperity many saints have flattered themselves with perseverance and patience, yet they learned that they had deceived themselves when adversity broke down their resistance” John Calvin (ref#313, p48).

“God chooses to exercise his children with continual conflict, so that they may flee with alarm to hide themselves under his wings, where they may abide in peace” John Calvin (ref#164, March 30th).

“It is by feeling our utter insufficiency, either to perform duty or to withstand our enemies, that the Lord takes occasion to show us the suitableness, the sufficiency, the freeness, the unchangeableness of his power and grace” John Newton (ref#322, p182).

God’s Presence Makes Glad

When I can sit at Jesus’ feet,

And he anoints my head,

Such peace ensues, so calm and sweet,

I think my foes all dead.

My simple heart then fondly dreams,

It will see war no more;

Too firm to shrink my mountain seems,

And every storm blows o’er.

Then Jesus sends a trying hour,

This lurking pride to quell;

My dead foes rise with dreadful power,

And drag me down to hell.

Now faints my heart within me quite,

My mountain disappears;

All grace is vanished from my sight,

And faith seems lost in fears.

At length my Lord, with sweet surprise,

Returns to loose my bands,

Brings kind compassion in his eyes,

And pardon in his hands.

I drop my vile head in the dust,

And at my Lord’s feet fall;

His grace is now my song and boast,

And Christ my All in All.

     John Berridge (ref#224, Song #336)

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).

WORKING TOGETHER WITH CHRIST

“The Gospel announces that rest is only to be found in a knowledge of God, because God has made us, and He has made us in such a way that we never can know rest apart from Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, May 21st).

“God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that” (1 Cor 1:7-9 MSG).

“[J]ust as it is the same life and sap that abides in the vine and in the branches, so it is the same life, which in its surpassing glory and fullness dwells in the God-Man-Mediator, that is also in the weakest believer. It is the same spirit, poured out upon the head, and received by him without measure, that in measure is given to his people. [I]t is his life-giving power that creates it at the first, that preserves it, and that causes it to grow from grace to grace, and from grace to glory” Charles Ross (ref#241, p119).

“To live by the Spirit is to live both in obedience to and dependence on the Holy Spirit. There is a balance then between our wills (expressed by obedience) and our faith (expressed by our dependence)” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p74-75).

“[Y]ou will see in the Scriptures the same operations are attributed to God and to man. God converts, and it is man that converts himself. God circumcises the heart, God gives a new heart; and it is man that should circumcise his heart and make himself a new heart” Louis Gaussen (ref#246, p9).

“We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him” (Rom 8:15-17 MSG)!

“[T]o accept [our] lot and rejoice in [our] toil—this is the gift of God. For [we] will not remember the days of [our] life because God keeps [us] occupied with joy in [our] heart” (Eccl 5:19-20 ESV).

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Heb 13:20-21 ESV).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

My Part in sanctification as it relates to Abiding in the God-head – Part 3

“Jesus said, ‘He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.’ Our challenge is not to bear fruit, but to abide” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p63).

“It is impossible to abide in him, unless we are first of all in him—vitally united to him by faith. [O]ur first care must be to get an interest in Christ, and our continued care must be to abide in him” Charles Ross (ref#241, p122).

“[T]hat which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3 ESV).

“What does fellowship mean? To be in a state of fellowship means that we share in things. We are partakers or, if you life, partners—that idea is there intrinsically in the word. That means something like this: The Christian is one who has become a sharer in the life of God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 22nd).

“[W]hat is it to abide in Christ? It implies for one thing it’s a continued sense of need of him. [I]t implies also an abiding perception of Christ’s all-sufficiency and glory. Christians growing in poverty of spirit lies in this, that Christ is his. [T]o abide in Christ is to depend upon him—to trust in himto adhere to him to the end. And this union is mutual. [J]ust as truly as the soul is to abide in Christ, so Christ is to abide in the soul—Christ in the soul through the indwelling Spirit, and the soul in Christ by faith” Charles Ross (ref#241, p123).

“Jesus says: ‘Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you.’ What, then, is the love wherewith the Father loves the Son? Not surely the love of pity and compassion, but that of complacency and delight. Of the like nature is the love of Jesus to his people. It is true indeed, that he loved them with a love of pity and compassion, when they were in their low and lost estate—when they were in the filthiness of sin; but it is also a most blessed truth that ever since he made them ‘his own’ by his effectual grace—ever since he clothed them with his righteousness and made them the temples of his Holy Spirit—he regards them with peculiar satisfaction and delight” Charles Ross (ref#241, p129).

“[I]t is this love of complacency and delight on the part of Jesus, in which we are exhorted to ‘continue,’ or rather to ‘abide.’” Charles Ross (ref#241, p130).

“Christians are not merely people who are a little bit better than they once were and who have just added certain things to their lives. Rather, they are men and women who have received the divine life” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 22nd).

ABIDING IN GOD

My Part in Sanctification as it Relates to Abiding in the God-head – Part 2

“[T]he Christian is one who has come to know God as Father. [W]e have the spirit of adoption, the result of which is that we know God in an intimate way so that we address Him as ‘Abba, Father’ because we are His children. This also means that we delight in God and that we have joy in His presence. We know God in that way” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 23rd).

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:15-16 ESV).

“It is God speaking to me; it is God saying something and calling forth a response in me. ‘We love him, because he first loved us.’ God has fellowship with us in that way” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 24th).

“He reveals His will to us. He shows us what He would have us to do. He leads us. He opens doors and shuts them; sometimes He puts up barriers and obstacles. It means you are aware of the fact that you are in the hands of God, and that He is dealing with you, and that as you go forward in this journey called life, God is there. That is having fellowship with God—knowing that He is there in these various ways in which He manipulates our lives and speaks to us and gives us wisdom and understanding” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 24th).

“[F]ellowship with God is such a high privilege that one can regard nothing as being greater and higher” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p11).

ABIDING IN GOD

My Part in Sanctification as it Relates to Abiding in the God-head – Part 1

“Communion with God is the life of religion” Matthew Barker (ref#225, Aug 12th).

“Christians are not men and women who are hoping for salvation, but those who have experienced it. They have it; there is no uncertainty. They ‘know whom [they] have believed’ (2 Tim 1:12)” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 21st).

“[I]f we are ‘in Christ’ all that is in Christ comes to us by free grace, without effort on our part but on the ground of simple faith” Watchman Nee (ref#387, p49).

“Your heart will never be satisfied in things. No, your heart will be satisfied only in the Giver of the things. [T]he physical, created world was designed to be glorious, but these glories cannot satisfy your heart. You were made for him. Your heart was designed to be controlled by worship of him. Your inner security is meant to come from rest in him. Your sense of well-being is intended to come from a reliance on His wisdom, power, and love” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 24th).

“[H]e has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Pet 1:4 ESV).

“’Our fellowship is with the Father.’ We have communion with God. This can be looked at from our side. What does this wondrous thing that has been made possible for us in Christ mean from our side? It means, obviously and of necessity, that we have come to know God. God is no longer a stranger somewhere away in the heavens; He is no longer some stray force or power somewhere, some supreme energy. God is no longer some potentate or lawgiver far removed and faraway from us; God now is someone we know” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Sept 23rd).

“It is not merely that you are having communion and association with God, but that you are in a vital union with Him [W]e are thus born of God and in this organic internal relationship to Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p11).

PLACING OURSELVES IN THE WILL OF GOD

“[I]t is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13 ESV).

“[T]he Lord allows us to succeed, when we in good faith discharge our duty and shun nothing that he commands. How many times have we abandoned our duties because we thought that success could only come through disobedience” John Calvin (ref#164, Jan 10th)?

“Behold on what sure foundation his happiness is built whose soul is possessed with divine love, whose will is transformed into the will of God, and whose greatest desire is, that his Maker should be pleased! Oh! the peace, the rest, the satisfaction that attendeth such a temper of mind” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p78)!

“[W]hoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. [W]hoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:5-6 ESV).

“[L]et people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14 ESV).

“[H]oliness is a process, something we never completely attain in this life. [A]s we begin to conform to the will of God in one area of life, He reveals to us our need in another area” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p10).

“We are not our own, therefore neither our reason nor our will should guide us in our thoughts and actions. We should not seek what is expedient to the flesh. [L]et us forget ourselves and our own interests as far as possible. [L]et his wisdom and will dominate all our actions” John Calvin (ref#313, p21).

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not so much take the Christian out of the world as take the world out of the Christian. [I]f the world is not in them, the world outside them will not be able to affect them” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, March 20th).