Posts Tagged ‘God the Father’

sanctified…preserved…called

Normally we think of “holy,” or  “saints,” but have you ever thought of yourself as beloved – if not, add that to your list of definitions for sanctified.

For sanctification is not only meant to be considered as internal, but also to election – the appointment to service – vessels set apart with design and purpose for sacred use and service.  I think it still implies a separation from the world so that we are considered a distinct and peculiar people – as such we are loved by God the Father.

We owe our preservation wholly to Jesus; and know full well that everlasting life comes only by Him. We would all fall away and perish if it were not for the grace of God keeping us.

We continue our walk in the faith unshaken knowing that this faith of ours can not be preserved unless we continue in union with Christ, by whose  grace alone we can be preserved and called.

We have a place in His heart, and we are in His hands, and are in Him, and united to Him, and we are represented by Him in the covenant of grace; and being in Him, we are preserved by Him,  We need to understand that we are not  preserved from falling   from the corruption of human nature, nor from actual sins and transgression.  However, the law could not execute the sentence of condemnation on us, nor sin damn us, nor Satan.

We are not preserved  from indwelling sin, nor from the temptations, nor from doubts and fears and unbelief, nor from slips and falls into sin; but from the tyranny and dominion of sin, from being devoured by Satan, and from a total and final falling away;  we are preserved in the love of God, and of Christ; in the covenant of grace; in a state of adoption; and in the paths of right living, truth, faith, and holiness.

Called to be saints.

Saints is the same as Christians; to become such we are called to believe in Christ.  We are called out of darkness into light, and from bondage to liberty; and from a dependence on ourselves to the grace and righteousness of Christ; and from society to fellowship with Him; and to eternal glory.

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How do you see Jesus?

Stare at the four black dots in the center of the image for 30 – 60 seconds.
Then, to see Jesus in your own home, quickly close your eyes and look at something bright (like a lamp or a window with sunlight coming through it).

Some of us have paintings with Him laughing, or standing behind a sailor as he pilots the ship through a storm, or holding the hands of little children and of course the illustrations from many Bible stories.

There is one picture I have never seen and would like to – and if you have one, please send it my way.

Jesus, as my priest or as the Bible points out the office of the High Priest.

I think that this is important.  For me personally, I have come to Him to dedicate my children, asking Him to anoint them for dedication of service and to fill them with the power of His Holy Spirit.  I have come to Him to anoint me for every position I have ever held in any ministry which I have led.  I have been called since I was twelve and can only serve when I have a mentor, leader, guide and anointing of my High Priest.  I brought my wife to Him, to receive His blessing and approval.  Our home received His blessing and approval as did each room in the house.  Every car I have ever purchased has been dedicated to serve Christ and to allow Him to minister to anyone who rides in that car and for protection for everyone who rides in that car.

Think about how important seeing Jesus as your High Priest is!

Yes, He is our friend, brother, joint-heir, Saviour…yes and amen…but His position of authority comes from His priesthood and He sits at the side of God the Father conducting quite a few things for us.

Everything else we read in the OT was just a shadow of this very thing.  Consider your earthly pastor, priest or spiritual mentor – they will come and go – but our relationship with Jesus is forever, always.  Your confidence in Him never has to be transferred to anyone else – it is eternal.

We have a High Priest – He took upon Himself human nature, appeared on earth, and there gave himself as a sacrifice to God for our sins. We must not dare to approach God, or to present any thing to Him, but in and through Christ, depending upon His merits and mediation; for we are accepted only in and through Christ. In all obedience and worship, we should keep close to God’s Word, which is the only and perfect standard.  The promises of all spiritual blessings, and of eternal life, revealed in the gospel, and made sure through Christ, are of infinitely greater value. Let us bless God that we have a High Priest that serves our helpless condition.  May your meditate today seeing Jesus as your High Pries and may He anoint you for service in all that you do.

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Can Satan fill a Christian’s heart?

Well, I guess that we need to state the obvious – great deeds of wickedness are traced to the influence of Satan.

He is the father of lies – he owns the franchise on the attempts to deceive.

It becomes our problem when we find ourselves yielding to the temptation.

Nowhere in the Bible are people supposed to be free from guilt from the mere fact that they have been “tempted” to commit it. God requires them to “resist” temptation; and if they “yield” to it… then…

For when our hearts or our minds are “full” of such a crime – when we are “intent on it”, strongly “impelled to it”; or when we are fully occupied with it, maybe even excited about it – what does that mean?

To lie is to attempt to deceive. The deception which we practice, what we pretend with can be seen as “tempting” God – supposing that He could not detect a fraud.

Maybe the real issue here is not with God the Father, but God the Holy Spirit?

I think that is the real issue here – I think this is an act against the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit guides us and leads us and we follow, but somehow along the way we are not true to the call, and “keep some for ourselves” but act like we gave it all away – are we not making a fool of the Holy Spirit?

Barnes shares these two thoughts:

(1) The Holy Spirit is a distinct Person from the Father and the Son; or, in other words, there is a distinction of some kind in the divine nature that may be designated by the word “person.” This is clear from the fact that sin is said to have been committed against him – a sin which it was supposed could not be detected. “Sin” cannot be committed against an “attribute” of God, or an “influence” from God. We cannot “lie unto” an attribute, or against wisdom, or power, or goodness; nor can we “lie unto” an “influence,” merely, of the Most High. Sin is committed against a “Being,” not against an “attribute”; and as a sin is here against “the Holy Spirit,” it follows that the Holy Spirit has a “personal” existence, or that there is such a distinction in the divine essence that it may be proper to “specify” a sin as committed especially against him. In the same way sin may be represented as committed especially against the “Father” when his “name” is blasphemed; when his “dominion” is denied; when his mercy in sending his Son is called in question. Sin may be represented as committed against “the Son” when his atonement is denied; his divinity assailed; his character derided, or his invitations slighted. And thus sin may be represented as committed against “the Holy Spirit” when his office of renewing the heart, or sanctifying the soul, is called in question, or when “his” work is ascribed to some malign or other influence. See Mark 3:22-30. And as sin against the Son proves that he is in some sense distinct from the Father, so does sin against the Holy Spirit prove that in some sense he is distinct from the Father and the Son.

(2) the Holy Spirit is divine. This is proved, because he is represented as being able to search the heart, and to detect insincerity and hypocrisy. Compare Jeremiah 17:10; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Corinthians 2:10, “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God”; Revelation 2:23. And he is expressly “called” God.

This should cause us to examine ourselves, pray and dread hypocrisy, covetousness, and seeking glory for ourselves. It will prevent us from being false teachers. Let us learn to hate lies, follow the God of truth, and avoid as much as possible doubtful expressions or even double meaning in our speech.

 

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Do you want life?

I guess if one were to offer life, they would have to be able to give life.  This is the claim that Jesus gave of Himself when accused of healing a man and then telling him to pick up his mat and walk – and that on a day that no one was supposed to be doing any kind of labour.

Early in His life on earth, Jesus made it quite clear to the religious leaders – in a formal, systematic, orderly and repetitive fashion that He and God were one and that His divine commission and authority came from God.

He is, by nature, divine.  He cannot act contrary to His nature.  He must act as God the Father acts.  His words and His deeds are those of the Father.  Like father, like son, we say, and so does our Lord.  The Son does what He sees His Father doing.

The other element of Jesus’ authority to give life is that He is rooted in His Father’s love for Him as His Son.  Even if Jesus could act independently of the Father (which He cannot), why would He ever want to? The Father loves the Son, and He shows the Son all that He is doing. The Father withholds nothing from the Son. The Father and the Son share all things. So what is it the Son needs to grasp for Himself by acting independently of the Father? The Father’s love for the Son removes any motivation for the Son to act independently of the Father.

The Father shows the Son everything He is doing so that the Son will do likewise. What Jesus is doing is that which He has seen the Father doing.

God alone raises the dead giving us life. So also the Son gives life to whomever He wishes. This “giving of life” appears to be the giving of spiritual life our Lord will “give life” by literally raising the dead.

The Son has the power to give life to the dead, and the Father has also assigned all judgment to Him. The Son saves us by bearing the wrath of God in the sinner’s place; He also executes God’s wrath upon those who reject His sacrifice for sins. That role once played by the Father—the judgment of all people—has now been given over to the Son exclusively, so that the Son might be uniquely honored by everyone,  just as they honored the Father as the “Judge of all the earth”. Those who refuse to honor the Son also dishonor the Father, who has given all judgment to the Son. We must honor the Son as they do the Father, because the Father has purposed it to be this way.

If Jesus is the Son of God, then whoever hears His message and believes in the One who sent Him has eternal life. To possess eternal life is to escape divine condemnation. The one who believes crosses over from a state of death to the state of life.

Just how can the Son give eternal life to those who believe in Him, and judge those who reject Him? It is only through resurrection—His resurrection, and the resurrection of the dead. There will be a time when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  This is possible because of our Lord’s Father-Son relationship with God the Father.  

Jesus makes it very clear: a time is coming when He will raise all the dead from the grave. The dead include not only those who are saved, but those who are not. The righteous experience the resurrection resulting in (eternal) life. The unrighteous dead are the recipients of the resurrection resulting in condemnation.

 

 

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The surpassing worth of knowing and gaining Christ

To be “surpassing” means more than knowing Him subjectively, but objectively, through others who follow Him, who know Him not only as God over all, but as Saviour and Redeemer and in particular, their Saviour and Redeemer.

They know Him as their Lord through that redemptions and grace, putting emphasis on the words, “my Lord” – expressing our  faith, our great affection for Him and believe it or not, our cheerful subjection to Him.

This knowledge is special, spiritual and saving – a fiduciary one, which is a combination of faith in Him and experimental, practical,  progressive, and growing relationship.

It is not attained as a gift of nature, nor through our development of our reason, nor through the law (Moses), but by the Gospel of the grace of God and through the efficiency of the Trinity – Father reveals Christ to us, the Son gives us an understanding to know Him and the Spirit is a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.

This knowledge of Christ is more than a general, notional one, more than that which was under the legal dispensation, it comes from God the Father of lights; it is a free grace gift, a distinguishing one, and is very comprehensive, unspeakable, and unchangeable: and as to the object of it, it is Christ, the chiefest among ten thousands; who made the heavens, earth, and seas, and all that in them are, the sun, moon, and stars, people and beasts, birds and fishes, fossils, minerals, vegetables, and everything in nature; and therefore the knowledge of Him must be superior to the knowledge of everything else; and, which adds to its excellency, it makes Christ precious, engages faith and confidence in Him, influences the life and conversation, humbles the soul, and creates in it true pleasure and satisfaction; when all other knowledge fills with self-love, pride, and vanity, and increases sorrow.

This knowledge is not only useful in life, but when we look at death and eternity, we realize that the grace we receive now is the beginning of our pledge for eternal life.

That we might gain or acquire a larger knowledge of Christ; and that we care not what pains it took, what expenses it costs, nor what loss we sustained that we might gain by Christ, or that Christ might be gain to us, as we found Him to be, and as He is to every believer; who by parting with all for Christ, gains much by Him, as a justifying righteousness, acceptance with God, peace, pardon, life, grace, and glory now and in the life to come.

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How can you understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God?

The conditions coming to this place in my journey are few and probably come with some shade of distinct meaning.  It involves in not receiving only, but includes hiding or treasuring – not only involves the ear, but the heart – not just a mere cry but the eager lifting up the voice.

1.  Accept God’s Word

The Gospel, relating to the person, office and grace of Christ, and salvation by Him; the Words of peace, pardon, righteousness and life; which are to be received, not as the word of a person but as the Word of God.

2. Treasure God’s Word

The idea is to hide them in your heart, and then act from them through the medium of your affections.  If I have a rule that my duty is only to my Bible and in my head, I am not likely to be a steady, consistent character because my heart is not engaged and my obedience can only be forced or done from a sense of duty – not the obedience of a loving, dutiful child to an affectionate Father.

But if I have the Word of God in my heart, and I work from my heart, my heart goes with me in all things and I delight to do the will of my heavenly Father, because His Word is in my heart.

3.  Give your ear to God’s Word

God’s Word is Wisdom – Christ is Wisdom – if I lend my ear to Him, to the Gospel, it produces within me a divine wisdom.  Education could never have given me this wisdom and when it is opposed, there is a glorious display of the wisdom of God, in the justification and salvation that comes by Christ.  It is therefore worth listening to with the greatest of attention.

4. Apply your heart to understanding God’s Word

Can I say to a spiritual and experimental understanding of the Gospel, and the truths in it?  Again if I give the ear to it only, leaving out the workings of my heart which brings out the passions of my mind for a desire after knowledge, it will be of little significance.  For a hypocrite my look like they are giving great attention and show much affection and yet their heart is after the things of this world.

5. Pray

Fervently I pray that I may attend to the ministry of the Word and I cry to God to give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of diving and spiritual things because I want it, have a healthy desire for it, having some apprehension of the worth and value of it; and if it is to be had, as there is indeed great reason to hope for and expect it – then I want it.

6. Cry

For an understanding of the Gospel and the mysteries of it, which I do  not naturally understand and for which there must be an understanding given.  May my eyes of understanding be enlightened, Jesus, by Your spirit and grace, you must open the understanding, that I might understand these things and that You may grant this to all who lift up their voice to You in prayer for it.

7. Look at the Word as if it were Silver

How do we seek money? What will we not do to get rich? Can we take that same energy and instead seek the salvation of our soul in as much earnest and desire as a person who seeks wealth? Lord forgive me if I am less in earnest for true riches than after perishing wealth.

So I will seek after wisdom, knowledge, and understanding; wisdom, Jesus, the Gospel, a spiritual and experimental knowledge and understanding and the truth found in the Word of God which are desirable and valuable as silver – and more so – for compared to silver, wisdom is to be preferred for its purity, solidity and duration.    Therefore I will seek after wisdom with as much or more eagerness, affection, and diligence, as those who seek after silver.

8. Hide the Word of God

As in hiding treasures that are concealed in the earth or caves – treat the Word as precious metals or precious stones.

There is a great story from Brazil that illustrates this beautifully I think –  in Brazil slaves are employed to scrape up the soil from the bed of the Rio Janeiro, and wash it carefully, in order to find particles of gold and diamonds; and it is a law of the state, that he who finds a diamond of so many carats shall have his freedom. This causes the greatest ardor and diligence in searching, washing out the soil, picking, etc., in order to find such diamonds, and the greatest anxiety for success; so precious is liberty to the human heart.

Those who earnestly seek divine wisdom, will never complain that they have lost their labour; and the freeness of the gift does not do away the necessity of our diligence, so let us seek, and we shall find it; let us ask, and it shall be given to us.

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