Celestial Citizenship

Posted January 22, 2016 by SandreS
Categories: Identification

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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
Categories: Identification

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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

II Corinthians: Power Without Strength

Posted January 3, 2016 by SandreS
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In Second Corinthians we find Christ our sufficiency. The key verses here are 12:9-10:

When I am weak then am I strong My grace is sufficient for thee.

Many believers never find that God alone is their strength along every line. Paul found it!

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us (4:7-11).

Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (4:16).

Our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus (7:5-6).

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (12:9).

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

Coping with Ourselves

Posted December 31, 2015 by SandreS
Categories: Identification

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And let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful (Colossians 3:15).

People tend to find difficulty in coping with who they are. Often they mask who they really are with a curtain of perceived or “ideal” nature. Some call this political correctness, but it goes much deeper than politics. Each one of us is born naked, bloody and crying; but as we grow older we do our best to conceal our nakedness (both figurative and literal), our bleeding (both figurative and literal) and our crying (both figurative and literal). Why do we do this? I believe it is because it is in our moments of nakedness, bleeding and tears that our true self shows, and being uncomfortable with ourselves we avoid these moments of transparency and vulnerability at all costs.

As it has been said so often; “life is the path, not the destination.” The beauties of traveling this path all deal with growth in some way. The collection of experience, knowledge, memories and diverse tastes are blessings to each of us. One specific blessing that is visible in the eyes of those who have received it (though few they are) is the blessing of learning to cope with who we are as individuals. The peace that comes with finding our identity and finding comfort in it is a peace that many people discover only as they draw their last few breaths.

My friend has found this blessing early in his life and you can see it so clearly in his eyes. He is at peace with everyone and everything around him. His wife, his children, his grandchildren and his close friends all feel the peace and comfort that radiates from him. He does not fear the transparency and vulnerability of nakedness, bleeding and tears; he counts them as blessings. When you are around someone who is at peace with himself and with the Lord, you know it and you cannot help but enjoy it. You indulge in it. This friend of mine has told me one of the secrets of coping with who I am, because it’s something I struggle with sometimes. This secret is to learn to stop living in past failures – to stop counting your past offenses against yourself. He and I both realize what an unspeakable blessing it is to be justified by our heavenly Father, but this is the obstacle that my friend has learned to get over which I have not yet. Paul mentions this secret in II Corinthians 5:19 by showing how our Father does it. Paul says that God was bringing the world back into peace with Him by not counting their offenses against them.

God has not counted against me the horrible things I’ve done in the past; why do I still count them against myself? When I apologized to the people I have sinned against in the past, fortunately every single one has said “I forgive you.” Some even laughed and said, “What do you mean? I have forgotten all about that.” It seems that it is easier for us to not count bad things against others than it is to do the same for ourselves, but we must. There can be no peace of mind inside a mind at war with itself. This is the part of “coping with myself” that I struggle with the most. From time to time, I still count against myself some things I have done in my past, but each day that I travel this path; I learn and grow. There are some things that I have done that I thought I’d never put away which I have come to terms with. None of these things have I put away on my own. It is God’s example that helps me each day.

Being comfortable with who God made us is something we must all learn to accomplish if we wish to find peace within ourselves. It is an active task which is certainly not easy, but it pays big dividends to yourself and everyone around you. Learn to put away the things of the past that haunt your mind. If God has declared you righteous and isn’t counting your sins against you, you have peace with Him. You must also stop counting against yourself your sins that have passed if you wish to gain peace within yourself. Only then can you see the blessing in being transparent and vulnerable around your loved ones instead of hiding behind the walls of a fortress built with fear and sadness.

Aaron LockerAaron Locker


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