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).

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).

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).

THINKING OF OTHERS 1

“Love is the greatest and most excellent thing we are masters of” Henry Scougal (ref#321, p71).

“Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves” (1 John 3:16-17 MSG).

“We have greater work to do here than merely securing our own salvation We are members of the world and Church, and we must labour to do good to many. We are trusted with our Master’s talents to do our best, to propagate His truth, grace, and Church; to bring home souls, honour His cause, edify His flock, and further the salvation of as many as we can. All this to be done on earth, if we are to secure our goal in heaven. It is then an error, though it is but a few that are guilty of it, to think that religion only concerns the life to come” Richard Baxter (ref#225, April 19th).

“It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God” (2 Cor 5:11-14 MSG).

God is not satisfied with informing you about the work of his kingdom, He transforms you to participate in the work of his kingdom. He has called all his children to be his ambassadors, that is, to represent his message and his character in whatever environment he has placed them. You have been called to be the look on his face, the tone of his voice, and the touch of his hand. You are to represent his presence and his love. You are placed where you are to make his mercy and faithfulness visible and concrete. His ambassadorial call drives us to him to receive the grace we need to represent his grace in the lives of others” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Nov 10th).

Note: Evangelism is my whole life; it’s not just opening my mouth and talking about GOD.

“Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as shrewd as a snake, inoffensive as a dove” (Matt 10:16 MSG).

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).

LET US PRESS ON TO KNOW THE LORD

“When have you been the most fruitless? Has it not been when you have lived farthest from the Lord Jesus Christ. Has it not been when your graces have engrossed your attention instead of your Lord, when you have forgotten where your strength dwells” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 13th AM)?

“You cannot, without incurring guilt, neglect private prayer, meditation, and self-examination, or public ordinances such as the ministry of the Word, the services of the Church, the assemblies of the saints. Neglect of these, however slight, entails a severe loss to your soul. It is in the way of diligent, prayerful waiting upon the means that the Christian goes ‘from strength to strength.’ Search, oh search, for this living grace. No man shall wait upon the Lord in vain” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Feb 3rd).

“It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him. We would far rather work for God than believe in Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 1st).

“We must bend our every effort to this goal: that we should not let ourselves be overwhelmed by careless or faintheartedness. [W]e have to wage war against an infinite number of enemies” Doug Newton (ref#166, p71).

“The Christian should be of a courageous spirit, by enduring trials in a heroic manner. If he is fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonor his God. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic that soon spreads among the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up, Satan will be too much for you” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, May 11th PM).

“[F]ear of weakness amounts to God-forgetfulness” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, July 6th).

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32 ESV).

“[L]et us know; let us press on to know the LORD, his going out is sure as the dawn, he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hos 6:3 ESV).

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).

REST AND WORK, WORK AND REST

“God of glory and grace, who calls his people to do his will on earth, always goes with them as they obey his calling. When he sends you, he doesn’t give you a bunch of stuff to help you along the way. He always gives you himself because he is what you need” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Sept 27th).

“He knows that we cannot keep the law which He has set before us. Yet for the exercise of our faith, and for the testing of our duty and obedience to Him, He will always have us to aim at it. And although we come short of that duty and obedience which He requires at our hands, yet He will accept and reward our good endeavor” Henry Smith (ref#225, Nov 18th).

It never works to ask people to do for you what only God can do. It never works to wait for God to do what he has clearly called you to do. God promises to provide, but he calls us to labor, pray, and give. God alone has the power to save, but he calls us to witness, testify, proclaim, teach, live, and preach. God not only determines outcomes, but he rules over the means by which those outcomes are realized. [T]he life of faith is all about rest and work. We rest in God’s presence and constant care, and we toil with our hands, busy at the work we have been commanded to do. We rest in our work and work in our rest. At times, we work because we believe that God who is at work calls us to work. At other times, we rest from our work because we believe that the work that needs to be done only God can do. So rest and work and work and rest. It is the rhythm of the life of faith” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 2nd).

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking –around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Rom 12:1-2 MSG).

“[W]e have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Eph 3:12 ESV).

“I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic” (Acts 2:22-28 MSG).

“[T]he joy of the LORD is [my] strength” (Neh 8:10 ESV).

RESULTS OF OBEDIENCE

“If Christ is your life, you are free from the desperate quest to find life in situations, locations, and relationships. You don’t need to search for meaning and purpose. You don’t need to search for identity. You don’t need to look for something to give you the inner sense of well-being that every person wants” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 8th).

“And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised” (Deut 26:18 ESV).

“[W]e hold unassailable truth because we feel a divine energy living and breathing in it—an energy by which we are drawn and animated to obey it, willingly indeed, and knowingly, but more vividly and effectually than could be done by human will or knowledge” John Calvin (ref#113, p34).

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trust in You” (Isa 26:3 ESV).

“When we reach that place of deep intimacy with the Lord, we experience a joy and a peace and an overflowing sense of love that cannot be equaled. The joy we know overrides any difficulty, hardship, trial, tribulation, or lack we may have in our lives. His peace and His love fill up every lonely, frustrated, or empty crevice in our being. He deals with us in a way that is infinitely kind and good and faithful and generous and merciful, so that our automatic response to ourselves and to others is one of kindness, goodness, faithfulness, generosity, and mercy” Charles F. Stanley (ref#230, p68).

WAITING ON GOD

“We call Abraham ‘father’ not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Abraham was first named ‘father’ and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do” (Rom 4:17-18 MSG).

GOD didn’t allow CHRIST as the Son of Man to master His life. JESUS said this about Himself: “I can do nothing on My own initiative” (John 5:30 NASB).

To conform myself to CHRIST requires that I live like CHRIST. The Apostle John records JESUS Himself telling how He did it: “Jesus replied, ‘The Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing, and in the same way” (John 5:19 TLB).

CHRIST lived from day to day, from faith to faith. He had to make His own decisions. But He did not depend on His flesh. Isaiah rightly prophesied about JESUS: “He will not judge by the way things look or decide by what he hears” (Isa 11:3 NCV).

“Waiting on God is an active life based on confidence in his presence and promises. Waiting is your calling. Waiting is your blessing. Every one of God’s children has been chosen to wait, because every one of God’s children lives between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet.’ Already this world has been broken by sin, but not yet has it been made new again. Already Jesus has come, but not yet has he returned to take you home with him forever. Already your sin has been forgiven, but not yet have you been fully delivered from it. Already Jesus reigns, but not yet has his final kingdom come. Already sin has been defeated, but not yet has it been completely destroyed. Already the Holy Spirit has been given, but not yet have you been perfectly formed into the likeness of Jesus. Already God has given you his Word, but not yet has it totally transformed your life. Already you have been given grace, but not yet has that grace finished its work. You see, we’re all called to wait because we all live right smack dab in the middle of God’s grand redemptive story We all wait for the final end of the work that God has begun in and for us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 2nd).

CHRIST made no decisions on His own. He simply went from moment to moment obeying His FATHER. Likewise, GOD did not create me to become independent of Him. “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27 NKJV).

“So we wait and act. We wait and work. We wait and fight. We wait and conquer. We wait and worship. Waiting on God is an action based on confident assurance of grace to come” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 2nd).