Archive for October 2014

Forsaking Paul for Politics

October 30, 2014

The saints of God are aliens here on earth. Let that sink in. No believer, as such, can be a Republican, for in his heart he believes in and is related to a kingdom. Republicanism is merely political Arminianism – it believes in human ability in some form. How can a rejected king became a member of a rebellious republic? If Christ be the King, forget not that we are His body. Individually we may be ambassadors entreating the world to be conciliated to God, but does England’s ambassador to the United States vote? Can any ambassador legislate in the country to which he is sent? Of course not. …

Paul was no politician. Once, it is true, he claimed Roman citizenship, but see what happened thereafter. The events that followed after he claimed his “rights” quickly led to a conclusion of the preaching of the kingdom of God. If, as a Roman citizen, he received Roman protection for a season, it is also true that as a Roman citizen he was put into a Roman prison, and ultimately as a Roman citizen suffered from the stroke of a Roman sword.

Paul had no political program. The cross put an end to man in the flesh. It assessed the natural man and declared him bankrupt. Bankrupt politically, morally, spiritually, totally. Instead of being a citizen of the world he became a corpse in it: “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). As far as the world is concerned, the church of God is a cemetery full of nothing but dead men, and men with their names on tombstones do not run for political nominations.

The religious world of today prates much and often of the glories of “democracy;” yet the believer’s hope is centered not in democracy but in Theocracy, not in man-ocracy but God-ocracy. If the reader … has learned the truth of Paul’s epistles, he will not claim to be either a Republican, a Democrat or a Socialist; for God’s choice and not his, God’s vote and not his ballot has made him a member of the Theocratic party by the grace of God. “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (II Timothy 4:10) would correctly describe the modern religious political attitude toward Paul’s theocratic teaching.

Alan Burns (?-1929)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 15, page 273 (1924)


Bearing His Reproach

October 27, 2014

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Just as His place in glory is our place, so His place on earth is our place as we go through this sinful world. What is His place down here? It is the place of rejection, for “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.

He is still the rejected One, and the place that the world has given Him should determine the place that you and I will take. He was rejected, not merely by the barbarian world, not merely by those who were living low, degraded lives, but also by the literary world, the cultured world, and the religious world. It was the religious leaders of the people who demanded His death, and all of the world acquiesced. The world continues to do so. It has its culture, its refinements, its civilization, its religion; but our blessed Lord is apart from it all, and the Word to us is this,

Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach (Hebrews 13:13).

HA IronsideH.A. Ironside
Charge That to My Account (1931), pages 114-115
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God’s Will

October 26, 2014

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I take God’s will not to be something that I have got to discover outside of myself, as it were; but because He is living His own life in me, the road I walk is His road, and therefore I take it for granted that He already has the answer in hand for all problems I meet on it.

Norman GrubbNorman P. Grubb (1895-1993)
Knight of Faith, Volume I
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The Body of Our Humiliation

October 24, 2014

Who will transfigure the body of our humiliation … (Philippians 3:21).

No one is so keenly sensitive to the degrading corruption and impotence of our bodies as the saint who has caught a glimpse of His glory. But the phrase means more than that. It is not merely a humiliating body, but the body which accompanies and accords with our humiliation (3:21). So long as we are in it we are to humble ourselves, as well as suffer the humiliation it involves. This is not the time for us to be glorified. The Corinthians were sated and rich and reigning, while the apostles were a gazing-stock to the world, but that was due to the Corinthians’ carnality (1 Cor.4:8-10). A mortal body is the proper place to display our present humiliation. Undesirable as it is in itself, we should be thankful for it, as it prepares us to appreciate the body that shall be ours in the future.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Studies in Philippians
Unsearchable Riches Magazine

Our “Off” Times

October 21, 2014

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You know, we have our “off” times spiritually. If my experience is of any value to you, I have come to this position: It is not what I can do, not what I cannot do, nor how I am today; all is with Him.

Today, maybe, I am not conscious of His indwelling, but on the contrary very conscious of other things that are not Christ. Well, that is my state; but He is faithful, He is true. He has given me certain assurance – about perfecting unto the day of Christ a good work which HE hath commenced (Philippians 1:6). He started this thing – I did not; He undertook this thing. Before ever I had a being, He had undertaken to carry through His perfect work. That was all undertaken before ever I saw the light of day, so that I did not start this – it did not commence with me.

I find I have these “off” times, but as I definitely trust the Lord, I say, “Lord, this is Your responsibility, and I know this will not last; and I am trusting you in the meanwhile.” Trust Him. “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20); He has the whole matter in hand.

T. Austin-Sparks (1888-1971)
A Witness and a Testimony (January, 1940)
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Pass Through!

October 19, 2014

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There is a phrase which occurs again and again in the Bible; it is the phrase, “It came to pass.” There is symbolic truth in it. One of the tragedies in life is a life which is lingering for ever in the past. There are people who live on past triumphs, on past moments of greatness, yet who fail completely in the duties of the present.

There are people who linger for ever in past disappointments, past griefs or sorrows, past failures, and who are resentful and bitter throughout their lives. There is nothing which unfits a man for the present like the wrong kind of lingering in the past.

Forgetting those things which are behind,” said Paul, “and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Philippians 3:13) – that is the way to live life. To think things through, to see things through, to pass through things, to go on – this is life.

William BarclayWilliam Barclay (1907-1978)
Daily Celebration
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Faith in God’s Goodwill

October 15, 2014

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… Good will toward men (Luke 2:14).

… It is your Father’s good pleasure … (Luke 12:32).

… According to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:5).

… According to His good pleasure (Ephesians 1:9-10).

… His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

The good pleasure of the Lord is a tremendous thing. The Gospel is “good news.” It is the spirit, the attitude, the mind of God toward us that is the thing of importance – His goodwill.

God’s attitude toward us is a “goodwill” attitude, in a very vast and full way. Many an adversity, but the goodwill is looking over it all and following the whole course. I can say this out of my own coward heart, that knows only too well what it means to wonder whether the will of God is always good. What begins with goodwill (“good will toward men”) develops and unfolds to a vast fullness encompassing all ages – “the good pleasure of His will.”

T Austin SparksT. Austin-Sparks
A Witness and a Testimony
March-April 1954, Vol. 32-2
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