WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION

“’Work out your own salvation’ and ‘It is God which worketh in you’ (Phil 2:12-13)—are words which at once link human accountability and individual responsibility with divine power and accomplishment” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 19th).

“The killing of your flesh is your duty, but his work” Kris Lundgaard (ref#383).

“I daily need God’s work of mercy in order to do his work of mercy” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 26th).

“We are called. We are invited. But the responsibility to answer, the responsibility to follow, lies solely on us. T]he responsibility of yes—the choice of faith—lies completely in our hands. [W]e will never understand something until we live it out” Jarrad Gibler (ref#259).

“[B]ecome partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4 ESV).

“A lifelong pattern of growth in Christlike character is expected of Christians. [T]hey share in [Christ’s] nature as they become increasingly like him” The ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2418).

“I will go before you
    and level the exalted places,
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the LORD,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
I call you by your name,
    I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the LORD, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness;
    I make well-being and create calamity,
    I am the LORD, who does all these things
” (Isa 45:2-7 ESV).

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

VALLEYS AND MOUNTAINTOPS

“[P]ut me to the test, say the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need” (Mal 3:10 ESV).

“Endeavor to enrich and enlarge your mind with more spiritual understanding of the personal glory, love, and fullness of Christ. All declension of soul arises from things contrary to the nature of indwelling grace gaining admittance to the mind. The world—its pleasures, vanities, cares, and various temptations—enters the mind, often disguised in the shape of lawful undertakings and duties, and draws the mind away from God and the affections away from Christ. It weakens and deadens faith, love, and every grace of the indwelling Spirit. But when the mind is preoccupied by Christ, filled with meditations on His glory, grace, and love, no room is left for the entrance of external allurements; the world, other people, and the fascinations of sin are shut out, and the soul holds a constant and undisturbed fellowship with God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jul 22nd).

“Be careful to keep your old receipts which you have had from God for the pardon of your sins. There are some display days, and Jubilee-like festivals, when God comes forth clothed with the robes of His mercy, and holds forth the scepter of His grace more familiarly to His children than ordinary. [T]hen the firmament is clear, not a cloud to be seen to darken the Christian’s comfort. Love and joy are the soul’s repast and pastime, while this feast lasts.

“Now when God withdraws, and this cheer is taken off, Satan’s work is how he may deface and wear off the remembrance of this testimony which is so important for a believer’s spiritual standing. Satan wants to deprive him of this evidence, so that when he accuses him again the believer will have nothing with which to defend himself.

“It will benefit you, therefore, to lay them up safely: such a testimony may serve to non-suit your accuser many years hence. One affirmative from God’s mouth for your pardoned state, carries more weight (though of old date) than a thousand negatives from Satan’s” William Gurnall (ref#225, Dec 14th).

“I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them” (Isa 42:16 ESV).

“God knows His grace in us, and will own it, when we doubt of it or deny it” Richard Baxter (ref#225, Dec 14th).

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).

HARD LIFE

“[W]e can be in the very center of God’s will, being used by the Lord in a powerful way—and still get into a lot of trouble” Jim Cymbala (ref#161, p114). I think of Stephen who was chosen by the Apostles to wait tables but ended up martyred (Acts 6-7).

“Those whom the Lord has chosen and honored with his intercourse must prepare for a hard, laborious, troubled life, a life full of many and various kinds of evils; it being the will of our heavenly Father to exercise his people in this way while putting them to the proof. Having begun this course with Christ the first-born, he continues it toward all his children. (Heb 5:8)” John Calvin (ref#113, p458).

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12 ESV).

“Christ is exceedingly ready to pity us. His arms are open to receive us. He delights to receive distressed souls who come to Him and to protect them. He would gather them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings; it is a work that He exceedingly rejoices in because He delights in acts of love, and pity, and mercy” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p106).

“So Christ is an ever-flowing fountain. He is continually supplying His people, and the fountain is not spent. They who live upon Christ may have fresh supplies from Him to all eternity; they may have an increase of blessedness that is new, and new still, and which never will come to an end” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p107).

“As thy days, so shall thy strength be” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jan 1st).

“It would seem as though we were summoned not so much to go out on the field of battle, as on the field of conquest; not so much to combat with the foe, as to gather up the spoils of victory What is each successful conflict with our spiritual adversaries, each mortified corruption, each resisted temptation, each overcome sin, but a display of the great victory already won by the Captain of our salvation” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Aug 5th)?

INTRODUCTION TO OUR PART IN SANCTIFICATION

“God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thes 2:13 ESV).

“The Scriptures place great emphasis on our part in sanctification” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 27th).

“Do not be conformed to this world” (Rom 12:2 ESV).

“Growing in the Christlike virtues will give believers increasing confidence that God really did call them and really did elect them to salvation” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2419).

“[B]e filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:9-14 ESV).

“The Scriptures place great emphasis on our part in sanctification, on what you and I have to do” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Jan 27th).

“[B]e diligent to confirm your calling and election” (2 Pet 1:10 ESV).

Definition of a ‘holy life:’ “[A] life sanctified through the influence of faith, the achievements of prayer, and the endowments of holiness. Such a life is a living demonstration of the divinity of the Bible, and does more to confirm its truth and spread it throughout the world than all that has ever been spoken or written on the evidences of Christianity” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, June 6th).

“[A]nswer the call of Him who asks for all because He is all” Gene Edwards (ref#226, Dedication Page).

GOD’S LOVE

“I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jer 31:3) A.W. Pink (ref#253, p7).

“God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him” (Rom 5:6-8 MSG).

“God who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them (I Tim 1:11)” John Piper (ref#220, p53).

“[T]he salvation of the sinner is not so much a manifestation of the justice, holiness, wisdom, or power of God, as it is a display of His love” Octavius Winslow (ref#252, p1).

“[I]f God has already granted you a place in eternity, then he has also granted you all the grace you need along the way, or you’d never get there. There is grace for our fickle and easily distracted hearts. There is rescue for our self-absorption and lack of focus. The God of eternity grants you his eternal grace so that you can live with eternity in view” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Jan 3rd).

“[A]ll God’s trying, wounding, disappointing dispensations towards His people are the result of His everlasting love. He Who smiles today and Who frowns tomorrow, Who kisses now and smites us then, is the same tender, faithful Father, Whose love knows no change and Whose faithfulness never fails” Octavius Winslow (ref#256, p31).

“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence” (Acts 2:28 ESV).

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zeph 3:17 ESV).

“Love never ends” (1 Cor 13:8 ESV).

THE SPIRIT’S HELP IN SANCTIFICATION

“For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph 2:18-22 ESV).

“God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thes 2:13 ESV).

“[T]he Pentecostal gift of the Spirit is the gift of a God-possessed personality. The gift turns ordinary persons into extraordinary personalities” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p87).

“We are encompassed with innumerable sinful infirmities; we have a law in our members warring against the law of our mind, and bringing us into captivity to the law of sin in our members. We are constantly assailed by Satan, and as constantly liable to yield. Oh, with what power and constant acting of faith should we throw ourselves on the Spirit! How ceaselessly should we pray to Him with all supplication, imploring His guiding, teaching, sealing, and comforting grace to help us in every time of need” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Apr 12th).

“He put His own nature into us. [I]t is acting and manifesting and expressing itself by the Holy Ghost (Rom 5:5)” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p17).

“[A]s the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a diviner sense made in the image of the Most High and are partakers of the divine nature” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 16th AM)

 DYING TO SIN

“[B]aptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross” (Col 2:11-15 MSG).

“[O]ur dying to sin is the result of our union with Christ. Because He died to sin, we died to sin. Therefore, it is apparent that our dying to sin is not something we do, but something Christ has done” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p52).

“The life of the renewed soul, springing from the indwelling of Christ by the Spirit, includes the crucifixion of self (Gal 2:20). We do not plead for its utter annihilation in this life; that would be looking for something the Word of God never warrants. But we do insist upon its mortification: we plead for its subjection to Christ” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Mar 16th).

“We are to consider—ourselves dead to sin, but our reckoning does not make it true. Because we are dead to sin through our union with Christ, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies. Our daily experience with regard to sin is determined—not by our reckoning, but by our will—by whether we allow sin to reign in our bodies” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p53).

“The more we say no to sin, the more we are inclined to say no. Therefore, in dependence on the Holy Spirit, we must systematically work at acquiring the habit of saying no to the sins that so easily entangle us” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p133).

“[T]he sweep of New Testament teaching is that it is the sun of Christ’s heart, not the clouds of my sins, that now defines me” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p187).