"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
Beyond the assumption that this includes jumping buildings and raising the dead, the context deals with dealing with circumstance and trails of this life. It certainly does not mean that we sin and do wrong with the strength of Christ as our aide.
And beside the all the futile efforts to convince others of the purity of the King James English, consider what one word being changed would do.
I can "try" all things through Christ that strengtheneth me. Wow, interesting isn't it? But, be honest that is more of how we use this text than we wish to admit. And the results speak for themselves, We find ourselves at the close of day after day as a failure at what we tried. And can not comprehend why God let us down again, because we really tried hard to do what He said.
And therein lies the trouble, we try! That is the effort of law and works. Love and grace submit to the righteousness of God, Jesus. Faith says do. Law says try and fail. It is the difference in looking for our satisfaction and assurance in self or finding it in the finished work of Christ.
It not "try", it is "do". Not "hearers", but "doers". I can do, not try. When this day closes, it will be done, not tried. I may be tried, but in Christ I am done! Rest comes to those that have ceased from their labors. Thank you Lord for the truth for today and ever, "It is finished". Amen.
How is it with you? Do you greet the day with joy or dread? Depends on what you Expect, right? How will it be this evening? Will you count the day to be remembered or forgotten? Depends on what you Experienced, right? What is a day worth and what is there to be gained? Depends on how you Exercise your mind and strength in it, right? You see how you Exit depends a great deal on how you Enter, right? How about God being first and not last? Embrace the day!
Life precedes Action. This is a fundamental principle that is undeniable.
Most of religion believes that man comes into the world as a clean slate without sin, yet because of the condition of the world around him he is prone to yield to the influences of his environment and do wrong, thus becoming a sinner by action.
The truth of scripture is that all mankind is corrupted by the sin of the first man that ever lived, being created by God (who established right and wrong), and thus are sinful by nature and sinners by practice. There are none born innocent. We are conceived in sin and thus dead to God.
Whatever the system of religion is that holds any requirement of the individual, be that belief or obedience to code, is a system of hopeless logic. Without life that can be no ability or action to respond to reason.
Faith itself being the quality of the will to respond in confidence toward the things of God is given by Holy Spirit God by conception of life in regeneration. Only those that have eternal life can respond in faith. Thus, faith is not that gives life, but the action of the living. Principle undeniable. Amen.
"For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given for edification, and not for destruction, I should not be ashamed:" 2 Corinthians 10:8
Please take note that Paul understood the authority given him was for edification (building up, instruction, etc.) and not for destruction (tearing down, debated, etc.).
Some have assumed that the authority of the gospel is to dominate the lives of the hearer in every action. That is the action of law. The authority of the church, the pillar and ground of the truth, is the gospel.
The authority of the church and her ministry is to hold and distribute the truth of the finished work of Jesus Christ. To preach Christ and not self. To hold up Christ as Head and not self. To present truth and not tradition. To declare one name, and that of Jesus Christ. To herald, "He is Lord!", and not, "make Him Lord".
Our contending is for what we preach and not so much what we do. What we do should not take away or distract from the message of Christ. What we do is to become the gospel, that is to glorify and magnify. Our priority and purpose is the gospel, not self or pleasure. We desire to draw attention to Him, not ourselves. May the Lord bless us to shine today in truth and in spirit. Amen.
If your eyes ever behold the face of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, if your feet ever are blessed to walk heaven's streets, if there be any hope within your heart this day of those things, it is because Jesus died for your sins.
Now, the question begs your attention, "Why did he have to die?" The answer is unheard of today, "Because you are a sinner and do not deserve in any way heaven's habitation." You have no ability to attain to that height. You are corrupt and without hope in this world, in fact, without God on your own.
Yet, you say that you have not been that bad. You do not realize that you were conceived with an inherent disease called sin. Your very nature is sinful and the actions of your character are dictated by that. And you fail to realize that the Judge of right and wrong/good and evil is God and not you.
If there be any hope for you and me it is in the blood of Jesus Christ, If there be any glory and praise it belongs to Him and not us and our religion. Heaven and Hell, you don't chose, that is done. Adam chose to rebel and lost all for you. Jesus chose you and died in your place and won all in turn.
There is ONLY ONE way, ONE truth, ONE life, and His name is JESUS CHRIST. There is no God, but ONE. There is no church, but ONE. There is no record of His truth, but ONE.
Repent of your idolatry and religious ignorance and turn to Christ! If that strikes any cord of conviction and raises any desire for heaven, you ARE a child of God. That is grace. Now act like and stand up, speak up, and submit to Him, TODAY!
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9
Herein lies salvation available only to the child of God, not the world in general, but those born of God in the world. What presents itself here is the true fact that to the individual that believes in his heart in the resurrected Christ and will by faith confess him with their mouth deliverance comes.
In essence, when our hearts and mouths connect Christ is raised to the position of glory in our lives which he is due. From and individual that is sinful by nature the power of the name of Jesus is heard. This is nothing more but life from the dead in a manner. We who were dead in sin have been raised by God and given the privilege to speak the name of Christ.
This is life eternal to know God and Jesus. This is salvation in the struggles of the day of the individual. This is glory to God for what he has done within. May it be heard and seen without today!
What we believe is shown in what we say. Lord Jesus save me today from myself and help me be an example to others. Amen.
With all the discussion and explanation of terms, did you know that Jesus defined "great faith" for us? He did so being impressed with the response of a Gentile centurion. A man without the history and pedigree of the law expressed an understanding of authority that so marveled Jesus that he said Israel had not shown such. The centurion had come because of the need of another and requested the help of Jesus for a servant. He said he was not worthy of the Lord's presence in his home, but if Jesus would only speak, it would be done. He acknowledged Jesus as Lord and submitted to the authority of God he saw at work in him and the power of his word. That is the expression of faith without the law. Indeed, as Jesus said, GREAT FAITH.
"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing, My brethren, these things ought not to be." James 3:10
Indeed, they ought not so to be, but obviously they are. What an absolutely wonderful, perplexing, dilemma. While the gurus of religion struggle with this inescapable daily battle, those that are honest students of scripture find truth exposed.
There are those that would say that a "real, true" believer, child of God, Christian, regenerate, born again individual would not act that way and in fact would prove that they are not sincerely or actually 'saved'.
I don't wonder at that because those same people do not understand that not all of the elect have been regenerated, and not all of the regenerated believe, and not all of the believers are Christians, and not all Christians remain so.
The truth of the matter is the fact that the same mouth of the individual can speak in two different manners, the same hand that one day helps someone up could also knock someone down. The same feet that walk in obedience can follow the wrong crowd to destruction. And even more so, the supposed right appearing actions can be done for the wrong reasons by the same person. This is the manifestation of two warring natures in the same individual and is not so in the non elect or the unregenerate. Only those that have been born of the Spirit of God have this war within. Only those that have been quickened into eternal life struggle with these expressions of the battle between the flesh and spirit.
This is a mark of the "true, real" born again, child of God. For only they have this fight and deal with the ebb and flow of the ups and downs of their own existence. Here is Romans chapter seven lived out in my life. Here is where Paul and I cry out to be delivered from the "the body of this death".
Now, these things ought not to be. And should not be so and can be overcome in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit within us leading that inward, new creature to overcome the old, Adam, carnal nature and its desires and lusts and in turn to live for Christ. There is the victory my friends, and there is the truth. Stop looking for your assurance of salvation in self, but find victory over self and this world in Jesus Christ and His grace alone. Amen.
In the morning reading a vivid reminder of details overlooked at times stood out with renewed clarity. As the book of Leviticus opens with instruction for sin and trespass offerings and oblations I was convicted with the details of the offerings for sin committed in ignorance. When these sacrifices are killed and slaughtered, certain parts are to be lain directly upon the wood for the fire of sacrifice and other parts placed in order upon the altar to be burned. Thus one part of the animal is considered fuel for the fire and the other to be consumed with fire.
Here is what struck me. When we are made to know of our sin before God our sacrifice of repentance from the activity of our old nature should be killed/mortified at our own hand to fuel the fire to make our new nature and its offerings of praise and obedience as a sweet savor to God. It is all of one individual who is now consumed in the submission of a new life in service to God and forgetting that of the past. It is the knowledge of the war within of the old man/sin nature being brought into submission by the new man/spirit nature to live through death to God's glory.
This is the lot and quest of the regenerate child of God. To overcome self to serve Christ. As Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 KJV
So may it be that in all we say and do that as one part of us fuels the fire of sacrifice, the other is raised as a sweet smell in the nostrils of Almighty God! Amen.
"Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold." Proverbs 9:10
As I ponder the thoughts of this today I am made to think of the use of these words by an apostle in two accounts from the record of New Testament circumstance.
Peter, a man who had asked what profit was there to have forsaken all, when faced with the request of the lame man of Acts 3:6 replied, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:" and stated in 1 Peter 1:18 that we know that it was not "with corruptible things as silver and gold" that we were redeemed from the empty rituals of traditions taught us by our fathers. It has always made me to wonder then what it was he had to give and to consider the value of the blood of Christ.
In the Proverb we are reading the lessons being taught by "Wisdom" as she speaks of the value of the knowledge to be gained in comparison to the temporary things of this life. Thus, it makes me to think that to come to understand the finished work of Christ Jesus in my place and for my case is a treasure beyond price indeed!
For those that are hindered in life and bound in the past, for those overcome of self and ceremony of religion, those that have sat at the gate all their lives and never entered; what could possibly change their case? Could it be silver and gold, or some other prosperity message? I think not. Could the power and position, however fleeting they be, of our own past and tradition ever change us to the truth? I can attest to a negative here.
Then what more could it be than to come to the knowledge of grace and mercy in Christ and to by faith rise and walk in newness of life to follow Him and learn the wealth of wisdom day by day in our own personal experience? What riches indeed! What joy and peace! What freedom beyond description to learn that he, though he be a pauper in this world's goods, is the Lord's priest and king of all things. Wondrous thoughts indeed.