• Runing the Race

    by Published on 02-07-2015 02:22 PM     Number of Views: 429 
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    2. Spiritual Christian Life,
    3. Runing the Race

    I was reminded today of the devilish obstinacy and utter lack of humility of an old man in his flesh whom I have known for decades when he accused me of claiming to be God after I told him he needs to be Christlike because his anger and lack of discipline were showing up in his inordinate nose picking in confined and non-public places which I privately witnessed many times. I told him he should repent, to stop taking pride in his nose picking and that he needs to be Christlike. Is Jesus a nose picker? Christians don't believe we are God for we are not the uncreated Creator, obviously. Only God is uncreated. There are no gods beside Him, before Him, or after Him. He alone is God from everlasting. Let's take a look at some verses that support the need to be Christlike.

    "Christ Be Formed" and "Transformed" and "Like Him"

    As the law of life operates freely in us life will increase to the degree of having Christ formed in us (Gal. 4.19). In the measure that Christ is gradually being formed in us, in that same measure are we increasingly transformed (2 Cor. 3.18); and the goal of transformation is to be like Him (1 John 3.2). Christ formed in us is inseparable from the operation of God’s life in us. To the degree that the life of God works in us to that degree is Christ being formed in us and to that degree is there the amount of our transformation. As our inside is filled with the life of Christ our outside is able to live out and manifest Christ. This is what is meant in Romans 8.29 by "to be conformed to the image of his Son." It is both Paul’s pursuit and experience (Phil. 3.10, 1.20). It should be the calling as well as the practical experience of all children of God today. For us to be wholly like Him will of course have to wait until He shall manifest himself (1 John 3.2), that is to say, at the day of "the redemption of our body" (Eph. 1.14, 4.30, especially Rom. 8.23).

    "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you" (Gal. 4.19).

    "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing" (2 Cor. 2.15). Ryan gets his nose in the way of the beautiful fragrance, because his fingers are in his nose way more than they ought to be. That was funny!

    "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3.18).

    "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3.2).

    "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8.29).

    "And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes" (Gal. 3.27).

    "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" (Phil. 3.10).

    "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Phil. 1.20).

    "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory" (Eph. 1.14).

    "Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church" (Eph. 4.15).

    "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph. 4.30).

    "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8.23).

    And perhaps my favorite verse of all,

    "Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed" (1 Cor. 4.10).
    by Published on 02-24-2013 09:28 PM     Number of Views: 692 
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    Must Love All Mankind

    Those who work the work of the Lord must not only love the brethren but also love all mankind. "Whoso mocketh the poor," said Solomon, "reproacheth his Maker" (Prov. 17.5a). All men are created by God; therefore all are to be loved. If a worker does not have sufficient love for the brethren, or if he has the love of the brethren but no love for mankind in general, he is not qualified to serve God. For loving men or showing love to men is an essential quality to have in God’s service. All who view people with annoyance and despise them are definitely unfit to be the Lord’s servants.

    We ought to see that though all men have fallen, they are nonetheless the object of the redemption of our Lord Jesus inasmuch as they were all created by God. In spite of their hardness of heart, the Holy Spirit still convicts them. The Lord Jesus came to this earth; He came to be a man. Like the rest of mankind, He grew up gradually from birth to maturity. For God intends to set up on earth a Model Man, a Representative Man—one upon whom rests all the purposes of God. After the ascension of the Lord Jesus, the church came into being, and yet the church is but the formation of a new man. The whole plan of redemption is to exalt and glorify men.

    One day when we come to a deeper understanding of the word of God, we shall find the term "man" more palatable than even the term "the children of God." For we shall realize that God’s preordained plan and election is to obtain a glorious man. As we gradually perceive the place of man in God’s plan as constituting the focus of His counsel, and when we truly see God humbling himself to be a man, we shall be impressed with the preciousness of man. While our Lord Jesus was on earth He declared that "the Son of man also came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10.45). The word the Lord says here is so plain: the Son of man comes to serve men. The Son of God becomes the Son of man on earth in order to serve men. Thus are we shown the attitude of the Lord Jesus towards mankind.

    Many who work for God have a serious deficiency, which is, that they are totally lacking in the love of humanity. They lack the proper respect towards men, and they lack as well a knowledge of the value of man in God’s sight. Today we feel elated because we seem to have learned a little love for the brethren. Formerly, we loved no one; now, we can show our love towards the brethren by doing something for them. No wonder we are high-spirited. Yet this is far from sufficient. We need to be so enlarged by God that we come to see that all people are to be loved and valued. Whether or not you are successful in your future work for God depends chiefly on your attitude towards the value of man. The depth of your work is to be measured by your interest and feeling towards men. By
    by Published on 10-15-2011 04:19 PM     Number of Views: 1452 
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    Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh. Matthew 24.42.

    What is the significance of the word “watch”? The meaning of watching is not to be careless. How prone Christians are to be overly self-confident. Watchfulness is the very opposite of carelessness. He who sleeps must be so confident in himself that he reckons nothing is going to happen, whereas the watchful person puts no trust in his flesh at all. The self-confident one is prone to fall, for to boast that “I am different from yesterday” opens the way to failure. Only the person who deeply senses his own inadequacy will be watchful. Since the Lord has not told us the hour, let us ever be watchful and on guard.

    There is some question whether today we know when the Lord comes though not the actual hour, but possibly the day, because Israel is a nation again. I don't think we should disallow this consideration. At least be open to the possibility.
    by Published on 02-24-2011 04:34 AM     Number of Views: 1891 
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    We can't lose eternal life if we are saved but we can lose the reward of reigning in the 1000 years.
    Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 1 Corinthians 9.24.
    Soon after a person is saved he is set by God on a specific course that lies ahead of him. The entire life of a Christian can be likened to running a race. Yet this is not a racing towards the goal of eternal life. On the contrary, only the person who has eternal life is qualified to run. No, the result of this race is that some of the participants are to be crowned while others will not be.

    What is meant by the crown? The crown represents the kingdom. It signifies reigning, having dominion and glory. And thus to obtain the crown means to gain the kingdom—that is to say, to reign with the Lord Jesus. For a Christian, having eternal life is already a settled matter, but having the kingdom depends on how that Christian runs.