Archive for May 2015

Holding the Head

May 30, 2015

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Holding the Head” [Colossians 2:19] is a succinct expression of our duty as members of the Body of Christ. A conscious connection and subjection to Him as our Head will sever us from the things of the world, whether it be its religion (however divine its origin) or its philosophy. Any attempt to improve our position before God by physical means, whether it be an appeal to the senses or a curbing of its normal needs, denies our completeness in Christ.

KnochA.E.Knoch (1874-1965)
Concordant Commentary on the New Testament (page 305)

All in Father’s Design

May 28, 2015

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Father’s purpose in us is to awaken and enlighten us to the truth that this world and life are not our reality. It is His way of reminding us of who we really are, and what we really are, in Christ as part of His grand design for the ages, that He has a wondrous plan, purpose and place for us against which the things of this life pale in comparison, about which Paul said that all of this life is really nothing compared to the “far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory …” (II Corinthians 4:15-18) which one day will be “revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Just think: One day Dad will use what the world sees as our pitiful imperfections – our brokenness, our divinely implanted flaws – as the display of His “abundant grace” (II Corinthians 4:15). Even in this life the outworking of death (“the dying of the Lord Jesus,” :10) in us has a glorious purpose: that the “life of Jesus might be manifested in our mortal bodies” which will eventually (and even now in some measure) “through the thanksgiving of many super-abound to the glory of God” (:15).

We read in :6 that God “commanded the light to shine out of darkness,” taking us back to Genesis, and in the same way God’s light “has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of His glory …” Imagine that! The same creative power of God that brought all of creation into existence is at work in us for the purpose of revealing “the light of the knowledge” of His Glory to the world around us, illuminating, as it were, “the face of Jesus Christ” to others!

When we read in :7 about “treasure in earthen vessels,” we are taken back to when God used just a very few of His people to defeat a huge army arrayed against Israel. These few had a light in earthen vessels, and then when the vessels were broken the light shone forth to reveal God’s awesome work. In the same way, God is working in His “not many” (I Corinthians 1:26) vessels of service; and it is in our brokenness that His light, “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:4), shines forth to the world to reveal God’s awesome work!

This ministry spoken of in :1 is in the continuing context of chapter 3, and is a ministry of our being living, walking “epistles” (3:3), the purpose of which is to give “life” (:6). Our wonderful Father uses the troubles, perplexities, persecutions – all of the trials and tribulations of this life (4:8-9) – to deliver us to death, for the marvelous breaking of His vessels. Thus, while the world is busy attempting to show off their supposed superiority of supremacy, God ultimately reveals the futility of the “darkness” of their “blinded minds,” demonstrating the “excellency” of His power through us.

What a wonderful and glorious privilege and benefit it is for us that our Awesome Father has chosen us to use as weak, flawed, broken vessels in His service, so that ultimately the whole creation will see and understand the amazing knowledge and wisdom in all that He has done and said He will do.

Oh! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, and it shall be repaid to him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory throughout the ages. Amen! (Romans 11:33-36).

AndréAndré Sneidar

Co-Regents of the Universe

May 27, 2015

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… We shall also reign with Him … (II Timothy 2:12).

The Greek word used to translate “reign” here is sumbasileuo, meaning “to be co-regent.”

By God’s measureless and matchless grace, one day we will rule as co-regents with the Lord Jesus Christ, because the Father has made us one with Him, as our Head. As a part of Christ’s Body – His governing Body – we will reign from the “heavenly places” in the “ages to come.”

This reigning is predicated on our suffering with Him here, in which all members of His Body participate as well. This should serve as a great encouragement to the believer as they endure the daily trials of this temporary life.

If we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also (CLNT).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Participation in Christ’s Allotment

May 19, 2015

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Yet if children, enjoyers also of an allotment, enjoyers, indeed, of an allotment from God, yet joint enjoyers of Christ’s allotment (Romans 8:17, CLNT).

In Christ we have been made partakers of the allotment of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Son, we have been brought into union with all that the Father has. We never could have dreamed up such a thing in our wildest imaginations. As with all that we have through our union with Christ, if it was not the record of Scripture itself we must surely oppose it as pure blasphemy.

We will not take full possession of our allotment until the resurrection. We must not forget as we labor through our days that we are sons of the Father, and that He is the “possessor of heaven and earth” – of all things.

We currently live in “this present evil age,” but we have a divine calling on our lives. We are to walk here as God’s Own sons – shining as lights – and doing so changes our approach to and outlook about the many diverse details of our earthly lives.

The nations are to be joint enjoyers of an allotment, and a joint body, and joint partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus, through the evangel (Ephesians 3:6, CLNT).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Chicken? or Eagle?

May 18, 2015

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A man had an eagle which had grown up among the barnyard hens. For a time the bird seemed content to be only a chicken. But one day it looked up into the sky, and something within the eagle, sleeping until now, awoke. Flapping its wings, it soared away toward the sun and never returned.

Just so, too many, meant for the eagle-life, content themselves with a barnyard existence. Now and then they feel something stirring within them; but they spend all their days down in the dust, among earthly things, instead of waking up to their God-given calling.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things! (Colossians 3:1-2).

JR Miller - YoungerJ.R. Miller (1840-1912)
Things That Endure

Weary Mariner on Life’s Tempestuous Ocean

May 16, 2015

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God’s afflictions are sent in mercy and directed by love. They are designed to unite us more closely to the Savior, to wean us from earth, to elevate our affections to that blessed world where there shall be no more pain. Every breeze of earthly sorrow is only wafting us to those high and heavenly abodes, where temporal ills are forever unknown.

Weary mariner on life’s tempestuous ocean, when afflictions cloud your sky, and billows roar around you, trust in the Savior’s confiding love, knowing that, like the Captain of our salvation, you must also be made perfect through suffering; and that these light and momentary afflictions are working for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!

D.A. Harsha (1827-1895)
The Star of Bethlehem, A Guide to the Savior (1863)

Faith and Correct Understanding

May 13, 2015

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The notion that one is simply not a believer or in Christ until he accepts certain important correct doctrines while rejecting certain other incompatible, incorrect doctrines, is necessarily mistaken. It is true that popular myths such as the Trinity, free will, immortal souls, and eternal torment, are incompatible with and militate against the truth of the evangel. Because of their adherence to such contradictory views, many are kept back, whether to a great degree or even entirely, from a true understanding of the evangel. We feel this tragedy deeply, and frequently need to be reminded that this, too, even as all else that is wrong with the world, is in God’s purpose and will eventuate for good.

We have no promise that within the course of our present lifetime even relative maturity of faith will be given to all who are chosen. We only know that, whether sooner or later, concerning the one who is infirm in the faith: “he will be made to stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

In the meantime, the ecclesia will continue to consist of all those who are chosen and called, to whom it is given to believe that Christ is the wisdom and power of God and that Jesus died and rose – however limited or faulty their apprehension of these glorious declarations may be.

James Coram
Unsearchable Riches Volume 91

Continuance of Christ’s Ministry

May 13, 2015

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As God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, it is given to us to share in the continuance of that ministry, “filling up that which is behind in the afflictions of Christ” as Paul says in Colossians 1:24 – a most striking statement.

Beauty, joy, peace are to be balanced with the darker side which brings us into the “fellowship of His sufferings.” All that happens to us is God in action, affecting sometimes known and many times unknown and hidden purposes. In the matter of our union in Christ, it is clear that it is all He in us and not we working out something by our own understanding and wisdom.

Thus we are called to “give thanks in all things.” God is in charge of even the darkest scenario that we call evil, as He was in the ministry of Christ’s life and death. The resurrection is the light side of God and His unfailing dealings, but that for us comes later when we shall dwell in the light with Him.

Norman GrubbNorman P. Grubb (1895-1993)
Confusion to Clarity

Identity Theft

May 7, 2015

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Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16).

Our true identity as the temple of God, the house of God, has been stolen from us – years before we were ever born. Human organizations and institutions, along with their brick and mortar structures, have taken for themselves our identity in Christ. These religious agencies for too long have been pawned off as the Body of Christ.

The “Reformation” never did free the members of Christ’s Body from this type of religious bondage and tyranny. Centuries later, in spite of all of the truth to which the Body of Christ has been exposed, it is still the common practice to surrender our true identity to the religious system.

When will we wake up and realize that our identity has been taken from us? When will we reclaim our true identity and live in the fullness of who and what we are “in Christ?”

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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May 5, 2015

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Some might be surprised when we consider the frequency of Paul’s usage of the personal pronoun “I.” Depending on the English version consulted, Paul uses the word “I” nearly 700 or upwards of 1200 times; and he uses the personal pronoun “me” on nearly 200 or upwards of 300 occasions.

Christianity sometimes can convey the idea that we have to give up who we are, that we lose our “I”; but the fact is that “I am what I am.” God has made me a person. “I am” a personality. God has made me so. “I” do not lose my personality “in Christ.”

“I” am very much “present” in my life, I am not “missing.” I have not somehow been replaced by Jesus Christ my supposed “Substitute.”

“In Christ” “I” have not vanished. “I” have not gone out of existence. “I” am still very much alive. Christ Jesus is not my replacement. He has identified Himself with me in living union.

“In Christ” I am free from the seemingly independent “I” of Adam, to the unioned “I” with Christ.

I [a son of Adam] am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I [a son of God] live; yet not I [the “I’ of the old creation], but Christ lives in me [the me of the new creation]: and the life [the life of God] which I [the unique person God that has made me to be] now live in the flesh [right now, this very day] I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

“In Christ” I am actually now free to be myself, the real me that He alone has made me to be. Thus, Paul could actually freely use the personal pronouns “I” and “me.”

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

To me to live is Christ (Philippians 1:21).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L.Pilkington, Jr.
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