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The majority of these posts are my replies to emails, text messages, or other questions brought up in various settings. Any names or personal information have of course been removed.
Law and Grace pt. 2teaching
We cannot throw off the law until we put off the nature that is condemned by the law. We cannot say that we are dead to the law until we are dead to the sin that is condemned by the law. So long as we are living in the flesh, finding our life and heart and home in the flesh, then we are still bound to the condemnation that corresponds to the flesh.
Law and Grace pt. 1teaching
Law didn’t start with Moses. Law started with God, and it started as something good, perfect, and wonderful. Before the fall, God’s life and nature WAS the law that governed all created things. I’m not talking about written or spoken rules or commandments. I mean the very life of God—who He was, how He was, what He was, His very nature, life, and light—this was a living truth or reality that never changed, and that acted upon all of His creation, bringing it into a perfect conformity to Himself, a living state of glory.
The Gospel pt. 3teaching
The gospel comes in power, and that power begins with light. And it is because we do not love this light and turn at its rebukes, it is because we make excuses to follow our own will, and justify ourselves against our own secret convictions, that we know so little of its power. In this way we crush the mustard seed when it is just beginning to sprout. We are unfaithful with little, and so rarely experience more.
The Gospel pt. 2teaching
Almost every Christian is quick to say that their belief in the gospel will save them when they die. But why are we so sure that God will save us in the future, if we are refusing to let Him save us from our sin and pride and lust, RIGHT NOW? I mean, why should we expect God to save us in the next life, if we are not letting Him save us in this one?
The Gospel pt. 1teaching
The message of the gospel can be described in words and believed as words; but the thing described by these words is an experience of power. Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the POWER of God.” What do you really know about the “effectual working” of this powerful gospel? Has the gospel changed your heart, cleansed your soul, given you a new Spirit, with new desires, new understanding, and a new will? Is it restoring in you the image and likeness of God that man lost in the beginning?
Walk in the Spirit pt. 2
It is because the EXPERIENCE of inward transformation is so foreign to the Christianity of our day, that so many people become confused and discouraged when following Christ quickly leads them into the wilderness. I mentioned last time that the Spirit of God leads man somewhere that he generally does not want to go, and therefore many do not stay close to Him. What I meant was that, contrary to our desires and our expectations, the Lord leads all true followers into the wilderness, where they are made to see and feel what is really in their heart, and given an opportunity to surrender every bit of self and sin to the cross.
Walk in the Spirit pt. 1
On the one hand, man finds in himself an incredible force of deceptive desire arising from his flesh and aiming at the world. But he ALSO finds in himself the stirring, moving, convicting, and calling of another desire or will that comes from a very different source. And just as walking in the flesh means following and obeying the will of the flesh that comes from self and does all for self; so walking in the Spirit means following and obeying the will of the Spirit, that comes from God and does all for God.
Obedience Must Keep Pace with Knowledge
Spiritual growth is indeed a work of the Spirit, but there are many ways that we can work against the Spirit, and perhaps the most common have to do with the HUNDREDS of “little ways” that our heart or will does not humbly and sincerely submit to and obey the measure of spiritual understanding that we already have. I mean, the various ways that our obedience does not keep pace with our knowledge.