Union, Not Substitution

Posted March 18, 2016 by SandreS
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Union with Christ is the means of life and reconciliation to God. The word “substitution” should be never be used, since it is not scriptural and conveys to the minds of many the idea that Christ did something INSTEAD of us, in such a sense that we are excluded.

The Scriptures, so far from teaching that Christ suffered and died “in our stead,” as it is often expressed, plainly show that we “suffer WITH Him” (Romans 8:17), and “be made CONFORMABLE unto His death” (Philippians 3:10), in order to share His resurrection life and glory.

This is the grand doctrine, and we think it should not be dishonored by being even seemingly linked, by the use of an unscriptural word, with the barbaric and unjust idea that God “substituted” His innocent Son to suffer the punishment due to sin instead of the guilty. Neither love nor justice could either demand or be satisfied with such an arrangement. Both love and justice will be satisfied when, IN and THROUGH Christ, all mankind will be “reconciled to God.”

John H. PatonJohn H. Paton (1843-1922)
The World’s Hope
September 15, 1890
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The Long, Steady Process of Spiritual Growth

Posted February 19, 2016 by SandreS
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… Growing in the growth of God (Colossians 2:19).

Spiritual growth does not occur at the rate, or in the methods that are traditionally accepted. Instead, God works steadily and effectually for His Own purpose. He is in no rush by human schedule. He is the Potter, and you are His clay. He molds and fashions you according to His own will and design (Romans 9:21).

Make no mistake about it: the Master Potter is faithfully and steadily at work in you. He works all things after His Own will (Ephesians 1:11). His hand in your life leaves no place untouched. Even that which seemingly is working against you is used by your Father to fulfill His Own good purpose in your life.

The fact is simple – you can trust God. He alone is truly trustworthy; and He has a definite goal in sight for you. His current goal is to bring you to a place where you find your completeness, satisfaction, contentment, glory, thanksgiving and rejoicing in Him alone, and not in your circumstances.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Celestial Citizenship

Posted January 22, 2016 by SandreS
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We have no valid rights on earth. It, with its fullness, belongs to Jehovah, and He has not delegated any of its privileges to us. But why should we wish to meddle here, seeing that God has given us a far more glorious sphere? We are citizens of the heavens (3:20). We will not go there as fugitives of earth or as guests dependent on the hospitality of others. We will need no pass, no visa, as though we were foreigners, limited in our rights and restricted in our movements, alien expatriates, despised emigrants of a despicable and death-doomed race. This we would be in ourselves, but in Christ we are entitled to all the rights and privileges which He Himself can claim.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Studies in Philippians
Unsearchable Riches Magazine
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Colossians: Heavenly Men on Earth Filled with His Fullness

Posted January 10, 2016 by SandreS
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In Colossians we see heavenly men on earth – yet holding fast the Head in heaven, and becoming filled with His fullness. All of the fullness of the God dwells bodily in Christ, with Whom believers’ lives are hidden in God, and Christ becomes the object of all of the believer’s thoughts and affections. Since you are raised together with Christ,

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (3:2-3).

The believer is content not to be known or manifested until the glory of Christ comes. Four desperate foes oppose this mystery of faith of holding fast the Head in heaven while walking on earth: beguilement through enticing words; philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men; the ritual observance of outward ordinances and holy days; the worship of angels (2:4, 8, 16, 18).

William R NewellWilliam R. Newell (1868-1956)
Professor, Moody Bible Institute
The Spiritual Order of Paul’s Church Epistles

Philippians: A Sample Believer Runs the Course

Posted January 8, 2016 by SandreS
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In Philippians we see Paul as a sample believer of all of these glorious truths, running the wonderful “course” toward that coming “day of Christ”! (1:6, 10). Saying, as he runs, “To me to live is Christ” (1:21); exhorting, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (2:5-8); crying, as he runs,

I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death. I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus … I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded … For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven … I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me … My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Paul’s word in 3:17, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample,” is the key of Philippians. By the grace of God certainly, but none the less true, Paul was enabled to run the race in all of its fullness!

William R NewellWilliam R. Newell (1868-1956)
Professor, Moody Bible Institute
The Spiritual Order of Paul’s Church Epistles

Ephesians: Men From Earth Seated in the Heavenlies

Posted January 6, 2016 by SandreS
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In Ephesians the marvelous secret is opened out by which believers are made alive with the raised and glorified Christ – raised up with Him and made to sit in the heavenlies (no longer in the earthlies, as was Israel) and made indeed to become the fullness of Christ our Head, Who fills all in all.

William R NewellWilliam R. Newell (1868-1956)
Professor, Moody Bible Institute
The Spiritual Order of Paul’s Church Epistles

Galatians: Perfecting Without Religion

Posted January 5, 2016 by SandreS
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The Galatians are seeking to be perfected by turning back to religion, by observing “days, and months, and time, and years” (4:10-11).

Are ye so foolish, having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh? (3:3).

Paul goes clear back to Romans 6 truth, and testifies to these Galatians,

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 (2:20).

He goes back to the truth of II Corinthians 5:17:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

He then sets before us the proper “rule of life” of the believer in words which completely set aside “religious life,” whether Jewish, Romish or Protestant.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God (6:15-16).

William R NewellWilliam R. Newell (1868-1956)
Professor, Moody Bible Institute
The Spiritual Order of Paul’s Church Epistles


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