THE SPIRIT, OUR PROVISION

“Jesus cannot come as long as there is anything in the way either of goodness or badness. When He comes am I prepared for Him to drag into the light every wrong thing I have done? It is just here that He comes. Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unutterable unworthiness. ‘He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.’ John does not speak of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. ‘He shall baptize you.’ The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of absolute unworthiness” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 22nd).

“God has made provision for our holiness and He has also given us a responsibility for it. God’s provision for us consists in delivering us from the reign of sin, uniting us with Christ, and giving us the indwelling Holy Spirit to reveal sin, to create a desire for holiness, and to strengthen us in our pursuit of holiness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and according to the new nature He gives, we are to put to death the misdeeds of the body” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p78).

“The saving work of the Spirit in the heart of God’s elect is a gradual and progressive one” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p78).

“It is not the work of the Spirit to tell you the meaning of Scripture, and give you the knowledge of divinity, without your own study and labour. To reject study on the pretense of the sufficiency of the Spirit, is to reject the Scripture itself” Richard Baxter (ref#225, July 22nd).

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16 ESV).

“Weakness is a reproach when such a might is at our service. Defeat is dishonor when the partnership of God is rejected” Samuel Chadwick (ref#195, p73).

DEATH OF SIN

“[A]bstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Pet 2:11 ESV).

“Do I accept God’s verdict on sin in the Cross of Christ? Have I the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death, to be killed right out to all interest in sin, in worldliness, in self—to be so identified with Jesus that I am spoilt for everything else but Him? The great privilege of discipleship is that I can sign on under His Cross, and that means death to sin. Get alone with Jesus and either tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you; or else tell Him that at all costs you want to be identified with His death. The proof that your old man is crucified with Christ is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers ( ref#7, Dec 23rd).

“True repentance, furthermore, shows itself before the world in a thorough breaking off from sin. The life of a penitent man is altered. The course of his daily conduct is entirely changed. What God commands he now desires to practice; and what God forbids he now desires to avoid” J.C. Ryle (ref#363, p36).

“True repentance shows itself by producing in the heart a settled habit of deep hatred of all sin. He comes short of his own desires frequently. He finds in himself an evil principle warring against the Spirit of God. He finds himself cold when he would be hot, backward when he would be forward, heavy when he would be lively in God’s service. He is deeply conscious of his own infirmities. But still, for all that, the general bias of his heart is toward God and away from evil” J.C. Ryle (ref#363, p36).

“Knowing thus the faithfulness and justice of God and the power of the blood of Christ to deliver me and to cleanse me from the guilt and stain of my sins, I can with confidence go forward, knowing that all is clear, my conscience has been cleansed, and I can continue to walk with God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p 134).

SHEEP OR GOATS

“The power of Christ will be manifested in all, by the destruction either of sin or the sinner. The hearts which now yield to the impressions of His Spirit are broken only in order to be formed anew, and to become vessels of honour fitted for the Master’s use. Those which continue stubborn must be dashed in pieces by the stroke of eternal vengeance” George Horne (ref#333, p292).

“Either God or sin must die in my life” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 23rd).

“People conceived and brought into life by God don’t make a practice of sin. How could they? God’s seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It’s not in the nature of the God-born to practice and parade sin. Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test” (1 John 3:9-10 MSG).

“[H]e that has slight thoughts of sin, had never great thoughts of God” John Owen (ref#225, p298).

“[W]icked men cannot sigh for heaven” Robert Rollock (ref#333, p115).

“[S]in is horrible because I crucified the Savior. It is an awful thing to insult God to His face” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 2nd PM).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

NOT REAL

“There are many today who are sincere, but they are not real; they are not hypocrites, but perfectly honest and earnest and desirous of fulfilling what Jesus wants of them, but they really cannot do it because they have not received the Holy Spirit who will make them real” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p85).

“It is the Holy Spirit alone who by His indwelling can make a spiritual man” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p25).

 “…I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom 10:2 ESV).  “…they trusted…and argued that because they were zealous they were therefore of necessity right….they rejected the knowledge the Gospel was offering them because of that very ardor.  The conflict in their case was between zeal and knowledge, between sincerity and truth” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, May 27th).

“There can be no doubt at all but that these qualities—zeal and sincerity—are being exalted in our day precisely as they were by the Jews of old.  Knowledge is being depreciated, almost despised.  Clear, logical thinking and exact definitions are discounted.  Doctrine and dogma are taboo and regarded as being almost the enemies of truth, and even good deeds are not given the prominence they had a few years ago” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, May 27th).

“…knowledge…draws us to the kingdom of heaven or takes our affections from the world, and leads us to Jesus Christ…when we do not know what the salvation means that was purchased by our Lord Jesus Christ, we belong to the world and are profane” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 9th).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again…believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can pardon his soul, that He is the divine person appointed by God the Father for this very purpose, and beside Him there is no Saviour at all….trusting in Him, he believes that his sins are all forgiven.  He believes that, for the sake of Christ’s finished work and death on the Cross, he is reckoned righteous in God’s sight. (Rom 4:20-5:1, 8:1)” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

INOCULATED CARNAL CHRISTIANS

Christians who keep GOD at arms length are in much peril.  Satan finds many ways to convince wanta-be Christ-followers that the way he choses to be a Christian is an adequate way.  This satisfaction can be labeled “inoculation” for it makes him feel safe that all will turn out well in the end.  The enemy makes his life pleasant enough.

“It may impart just enough light to the mind to leave its atheism without excuse, but it cannot impart enough light to convince the soul of its sinfulness, guilt, exposure to the wrath of a holy God, and its need of a Savior” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 25th).

Carnal Christians have a zeal for GOD but do not walk in tandem with Him.  They consider themselves inoculated and thus not in need of CHRIST the Physician.  “They work for Christ in a certain way, but we can scarcely recognize the true sanctification of the Spirit…” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p14).

“One grain of the truth of God experienced in the heart is more valuable and precious than the whole system in the head only….Welcome whatever makes you more acquainted with God…Welcome the cross, though it may be heavy; welcome the cup, though it may be bitter…welcome the wound, though it may be deep.  Welcome to your heart whatever increases your knowledge of God” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 10th).

“The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is not sincerity, not deciding for Christ, not a determination to serve Him, but complete and entire recognition that we cannot begin to do it” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p86).

“No matter what your experience or profession, no matter how certain of your conversion or how orthodox your belief: ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting’ (Gal 6:7-8).  O the madness of men in courting eternal death rather than leave their sinful pleasures and live a holy life” A.W. Pink (ref#269, p111).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

MORAL CONFORMITY

Babes in CHRIST are carnal-like.  They have little of GOD’s SPIRIT because flesh predominates and the SPIRIT does not “rule their whole life” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p13).

“…my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer 2:13 ESV).

There is a definite distinction between the Gospel and moral conformity. Timothy Keller (ref#123, p69).  The wandering Israelites fell into the trap of “moral conformity.”  Speaking to Israel GOD said: “…in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.  But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God and you shall be my people….’” (Jer 7:22-23 ESV).

FATHER, the carnal babe in CHRIST does what he thinks best [moral conformity] instead of obeying Your voice [Gospel].  Forgive us, LORD, for we all have a natural tendency to go our way without communicating with You.

“How much Christian work there is to-day which has…simply sprung into being by impulse!  In Our Lord’s life every project was disciplined to the will of His Father….saints…are doing work for God at the instigation of their own human nature…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Sept 9th).

“In becoming partakers of the union with Christ, there is a work God does and a work we have to do.  God does His work by moving us to do our work.  The work of God is hidden and silent; what we do is something distinct and tangible.  Conversion and faith, prayer and obedience, are conscious acts of which we can give a clear account while the spiritual quickening and strengthening that come from above are secret and beyond the reach of human sight” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p44).

“There is but one way of being delivered from this life of self.  We must follow Christ, set our hearts upon Him, listen to His teachings, give ourselves to Him every day that He may be all to us; and by the power of Christ the denial of self will be a blessed, unceasing reality” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p37).

“…The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them…” (Rom 11:7-10 MSG).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

ABIDE IN CHRIST THE GLORIFIED ONE

“…when Jesus was on earth, temptation could still reach Him:  in glory, everything is holy, and in perfect harmony with the will of God.  And so the believer who abides in Him experiences that in this high fellowship his spirit is sanctified into growing harmony with the Father’s will” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p200).

“The very secret of Christ’s life was this: He had such a consciousness of God’s presence that whether it was Judas, who came to betray Him, or Caiaphas, who condemned Him unjustly, or Pilate, who gave Him up to be crucified, the presence of the Father was upon Him…man would not touch His spirit” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p47-48).

“When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic.  The saint who is intimate with Jesus will never leave impressions of himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having unhindered way…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 7th).

“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.  He that abides in Christ the Risen and Glorified One, becomes in the same way partaker of His resurrection life, and of the glory with which He has now been crowned in heaven” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p199).

“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]” (Phil 3:10-11 AMPC).

ABIDING IN CHRIST

BELIEVING THE IMPOSSIBLE

“If Christ finds us willing to trust ourselves and our interests to His love, if in that trust we give up all care for our own will and honour, if we make it our glory to exercise and confess absolute dependence on Him in all things, if we are content to have no life but in Him, He will do for us what the Father did for Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p150).

My heart leaps with joy imagining the power of the SPIRIT in JESUS in me but my mind cannot comprehend and is thus frightened.  “The believing surrender to Christ, and the submission to His word to expect what appears most improbable, is the only way to the full blessedness of knowing Him” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p112).

FATHER, now that I know my part in gaining an abiding in CHRIST is small—consisting of surrender and waiting, next I need to find faith enough to believe what CHRIST does.  Change my unbelief into full trust.

 “Receive what you do not comprehend, submit to what you cannot understand, accept and expect what to reason appears a mystery, believe what looks impossible, walk in a way which you know not—such are the first lessons in the school of God” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p112).  “Our Lord said, in effect, to Paul—Your whole life is to be overmastered by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 24th).

“Faith trusts the working of the Spirit unseen in the deep recesses of the inner life.  And so the word of Christ and the gift of the Spirit are to the believer sufficient guarantee that He will be taught of the Spirit to abide in Christ.  By faith he rejoices in what he does not see or feel: he knows, and is confident that the blessed Spirit within is doing His work silently but surely, guiding him into the life of full abiding and unbroken communion.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; it is His work, not only to breathe, but ever to foster and strengthen, and so to perfect the new life within” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p113).

So, FATHER, to quell fright is to ask You for and to receive from You more faith.  Only You can heal my faithlessness (Hos 14:4; Jer 3:22).

ADIBING IN CHRIST

CHRIST – MY STRENGTH

“It was thus with the disciples….when they were prepared, the baptism of power came.  It was power within and power around.  The power came to qualify for the work to which they had yielded themselves…The power came to set up the Kingdom within them….” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p180).

As it was with the disciples, so it is with us.  “…all our strength is in Christ, laid up and waiting for use….ready to flow in according to the measure in which it finds the channels open….” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p183).

“The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him….The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him.  We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 18th).

It is prudent to check often whether we are working or allowing JESUS to work.  Andrew Murray warns: “You are so occupied and filled with other things, religious things, preaching and praying, studying and working, so occupied with your religion that you do not give God the time to make himself known” (ref#272, p47).

“What Christ died for is not that we might help him, but that we might see and savor him as infinitely valuable” John Piper (ref#92, p83).

“…when God and man are spoken of as working together, there is nothing of the idea of a partnership between two partners who each contribute their share to a work.  The relation is a very different one.  The true idea is that of cooperation founded on subordination.  As Jesus was entirely dependent on the Father for all His words and all His works, so the believer can do nothing of himself” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p117).

FATHER, how easy it is for me to skip the step of allowing CHRIST to make Himself known.  It is so much easier to do what I think the boss wants and hope that he likes it, as it is to take the time to directly ask. Keep me fearing You.

ABIDING IN CHRIST

THE SAME DISPOSITION AS CHRIST

“The disposition He manifested in choosing and bearing the cross must be yours.  Like Him, you will have to give full assent to the righteous judgment and curse of a holy God against sin….Like Him, you shall experience that it is only through the self-sacrifice of Gethsemane and Calvary that the path is to be found to the joy…of the resurrection life” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77).  “…let us…bear the reproach he endured” (Heb 13:13 ESV).

“Like Him, you have to consent to yield your life, as laden with sin and curse, to death, and through it to pass to the new life” (ref#266, p77).  “What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, viz., sacrifice our lives.  Not—I am willing to go to death with Thee, but—I am willing to be identified with Thy death so that I may sacrifice my life to God” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Jan 8th).  Let us present our bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1).

FATHER, grant me a disposition to die.  You have put the desire in me; now aid me to bring it to fruition.  I run to Your SON who has died—I run to Him to show me how it is done.  “I must gaze on Him on the Cross…to make me partaker of the full power of His death to sin, and the new life of victory…I must yield myself to Him in an undivided surrender, with much prayer and strong desire, imploring to be admitted into the ever closer fellowship and conformity of His death…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p77).

“…we know that He is in us, if we wait and pray to be filled with Him, He will teach us how to abide.  First, guiding our will to a whole-hearted cleaving to Christ, then quickening our faith into ever larger confidence and expectation, then breathing into our hearts a peace and joy that pass understanding…” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p114).

“So the Lamb of God shed his blood that we might defeat the devil by trusting his blood and shedding ours.  Jesus calls us onto the Calvary road.  It is a hard and good life.  Come” John Piper (ref#92, p95).

“’I want the everlasting God to come in and take such hold of me that I may be kept in the hollow of His hand all my life…that every moment He may work all in all in me’” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p45).