The Life Which I Now Live

I theory there are two ways to righteousness. I say theory because the 1st is impossible, that is under the law (Old Testament) to live a perfect sinless life. Secondly and more practical, you can have Christ live your life for you and no longer be under the law. 

Paul in his letter to the church at Galatia says in Chapter 2:

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20 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. Galatians 2:20

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The question is what life are you living today?

Made Righteous In HIM!

As Isaiah foretold the Messiah would be not only ignored but completely rejected by man and so acquainted with grief He would be known as the “Man of many sorrows.”  He whom God stuck down and afflicted with our sins.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4

  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. ISAIAH 53:3-4

Despreciado y desechado entre los hombres, varón de dolores, experimentado en quebranto; y como que escondimos de él el rostro, fue menospreciado, y no lo estimamos. Ciertamente llevó él nuestras enfermedades, y sufrió nuestros dolores; y nosotros le tuvimos por azotado, por herido de Dios y abatido. Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)


Man deep in his core knows that there is a God (Romans 1:20). Some on there own will try and live a “good” life that they deem acceptable. Unfortunately they will ALWAYS fall short of the standard set forth by the righteous Holy God of all creation. 

So what is man to do, give up?  Far from it, God from before time understood man would screw up, couldn’t measure up and had a plan (Ephesians 1:11) in place for him. Christ is the plan (1 Peter 1:13-21), the only means of our being made acceptable (righteous) before God. Are you on God’s plan or your own? 

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Al que no conoció pecado, por nosotros lo hizo pecado, para que nosotros fuésemos hechos justicia de Dios en él. Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)

Daily Devotional – Slaves of Sin or Slaves of Christ PT.I

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What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were [a]delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your  members as slaves of righteousness [b]for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit [c]to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [d]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV) 

 ¿Qué, pues? ¿Pecaremos, porque no estamos bajo la ley, sino bajo la gracia? En ninguna manera. 16 ¿No sabéis que si os sometéis a alguien como esclavos para obedecerle, sois esclavos de aquel a quien obedecéis, sea del pecado para muerte, o sea de la obediencia para justicia? 17 Pero gracias a Dios, que aunque erais esclavos del pecado, habéis obedecido de corazón a aquella forma de doctrina a la cual fuisteis entregados; 18 y libertados del pecado, vinisteis a ser siervos de la justicia. 19 Hablo como humano, por vuestra humana debilidad; que así como para iniquidad presentasteis vuestros miembros para servir a la inmundicia y a la iniquidad, así ahora para santificación presentad vuestros miembros para servir a la justicia. 20 Porque cuando erais esclavos del pecado, erais libres acerca de la justicia. 21 ¿Pero qué fruto teníais de aquellas cosas de las cuales ahora os avergonzáis? Porque el fin de ellas es muerte. 22 Mas ahora que habéis sido libertados del pecado y hechos siervos de Dios, tenéis por vuestro fruto la santificación, y como fin, la vida eterna. 23 Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro. (RVR 1960)

This week I have decided to take one passage of scripture concentrate on that and  really dig into it. 

CONTEXT: 

     The Apostle Paul is about 3/4 of his way through his discussion (Chapters 1-8) on the Foundations and Fundamentals of the Christian Faith.  He ended Chapter 5:12-21 with an explanation of how as believers we are dead because of our natural sin nature but made alive in Christ. 

 Paul continues that thought in Chapter 6:1-14  explaining how if we are alive in Christ we are dead to sin. He is careful to point out that this does not mean without sin but our sin nature is dead. We are not to present ourselves as instruments of sin, but humbly as tools of righteousness. That it does not reign in us any longer that is reserved for Christ Alone through Grace Alone. 

    That leads us to our main text above. 

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 

Paul draws the obvious conclusion, just because we are not obligated under the “law” and are redeemed under Grace that does not give us a ‘licence to sin’. We have all heard the expression “Once saved always saved” and the arguments for and against it. The chief argument against that I have always heard is that it gives someone that license to sin. My response is then they were never saved, for we will know them by their fruit. 

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

I have been asked about this passage by many a non-believer, usually something to the effect ‘why would you want to be someones slave.’ They have the mistaken picture of Hollywood tortured and mistreated slaves. This is not the slavery Paul speaks of when he writes: whom you present yourselves slaves to obey. Note it is we presenting ourselves, the original languages make it clear this is a willing act not a forced action. Paul is saying whom is it you are going to obey sin and death or obedience and life eternal?

A true converted, redeemed child of God will ALWAYS be a SLAVE to Christ and LIFE. 

Daily Devotional – Lead Me O Lord

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Psalm 5:8

 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. (KJV)

 Guíame, Jehová, en tu justicia, a causa de mis enemigos; Endereza delante de mí tu camino.  (RVR 1960)

Context: This is a Psalm or prayer v.1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, v.2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry given in a time of great need not a normal daily conversational prayer with God. v.3-6 the Psalmist tells how he will honor God and reminds God how much He hates unrighteousness. 

So let us break it down: 

v.7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. After declaring God’s hate for those who refuse to obey and worship Him, the Psalmist declares he will do just that, come and worship in the holy temple (tabernacle). He will worship in thy fear or in complete reverence to God’s mercy, grace and righteousness. 

v.8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. Again the Psalmist is crying out to God; Lead me, O Lordnot in my own ways (for we all know how corrupt and wrong those are) but in thy righteousness, God’s ways because His are always proper and right. Note the circumstances, because of mine enemies; you have heard me say this many times, if you are a true born again believer and do not have enemies (those living in the world ready, willing and able to attack you) you are not (with few exceptions) living for God. Lastly the Psalmist asks God for a simple straight path one he can follow in the midst of the battle with his enemies. 

v.9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. How bad are the enemies we face? There is no righteousness in their mouth; their heart is the personification of wickedness; and their mouths are as an open sepulchre; or grave spewing forth nothing but dead things. 

Conclusion: We need god to lead us every day. It is the fool hardy “Christian” that thinks they can go up against the enemy alone. Our daily prayer (not just in times of trouble) needs to be Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies!


Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible

8.O Jehovah, lead me forth, etcSome explain these words thus: Show me what is right, and make me wholly devoted to the practice of that righteousness which adorns thy character; and do this because of my adversaries; for the saints, impelled by the wicked practice and deceitful arts of the ungodly, are in danger of turning aside from the right way. This meaning is unquestionably a pious and a useful one. But the other interpretation is more suitable, which views the words as a prayer that God would lead his servant in safety through the midst of the snares of his enemies, and open up to him a way of escape, even when, to all appearance, he was caught and surrounded on every side. The righteousness of Godtherefore, in this passage, as in many others, is to be understood of his faithfulness and mercy which he shows in defending and preserving his people. Consequently, in thy righteousness means the same thing as for or according to thy righteousnessDavid, desiring to have God as the guide of his path, encourages himself in the hope of obtaining his request, because God is righteous; as if he had said, Lord, as thou art righteous, defend me with thine aid, that I may escape from the wicked plots of my enemies. Of the same import is the last clause of the verse, where he prays that the way of God may be made straight before his facein other words, that he might be delivered by the power of God from the distresses with which he was so completely surrounded, that, according to the judgment of the flesh, he never expected to find a way of escape. And thus he acknowledges how impossible it was for him to avoid being entangled in the snares of his enemies, (75) unless God both gave him wisdom, and opened up for him a way where no way is. It becomes us, after his example, to do the same thing; so that distrusting ourselves when counsel fails us, and the malice and wickedness of our enemies prevail, we may betake ourselves speedily to God, in whose hands are the issues of death, as we shall see afterwards, (Psalms 69:1.)


 

When I Awake

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But I will see your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.[a] (CSB)

What a great and precious verse this is. Think on this a moment, David is praying and concludes with this; when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence. Should that not be our daily prayer too? Should we not be satisfied with being in God’s presence each day? Further like David should we not be praying for that divine presence daily?

Do not mistake what I am saying, I am not implying some super-natural experience that infuses an individual like Moses on Mt. Sinai. We know that he barely survived that encounter with God and we never could (Exodus 33:20).  This is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit recharging us daily as promised by our Lord and Savior. 

Before offering an old school commentary on this verse I must make not of the opening half of the verse, often neglected when quoted; But I will see your face in righteousness. I once made the mistake of saying “I love buts in the bible while preaching a sermon” it got lots of laughs of course, unintentionally. My point was, words like but, therefore, etc. force us to read what preceded the verse to understand it fully.  

In this case David has lamented his woes asked God for help against his enemies and then says But, in conclusion, no matter the out come that you choose for me Lord I will see your face in righteousness. David says he is living a righteous life so he is secure in how the Lord will deal with his enemies. Wow, are we so secure, so righteous?

The Treasury of David C.H. Spurgeon’s Classic Works on Psalms 

EXPOSITION

Verse 15. As for me. “I neither envy nor covet these men’s happiness, but partly have and partly hope for a far better.” To behold God’s face and to be changed by that vision into his image, so as to partake in his righteousness, this is my noble ambition; and in the prospect of this I cheerfully waive all my present enjoyments. My satisfaction is to come; I do not look for it as yet. I shall sleep awhile, but I shall wake at the sound of the trumpet; wake to everlasting joy, because I arise in thy likeness, O my God and King! Glimpses of glory good men have here below to stay their sacred hunger, but the full feast awaits them in the upper skies. Compared with this deep, ineffable, eternal fulness of delight, the joys of the worldlings are as a glowworm to the sun, or the drop of a bucket to the ocean.

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

These are only two of the Notes and Saying found on the website above

Verse 15When I awake, I shall be satisfied with thy likeness. He speaks here of the resurrection; he calls it an awaking, for you know death is called a sleep. “Those that are asleep in the Lord shall rise first.” He had spoken before of those that had put their happiness in the comforts of this life, suitable to their bodies, to the animal state of their bodies; that is clear by the fourteenth verse, “Deliver me from the men that are thine hand, O Lord, who have their portion in this life, whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure: they are full of children, and leave to them outward things,” bodily things. “But as for me,” saith he, “I will behold thy face in thy righteousness” (there is the vision of God which is his happiness in his soul): “and I shall be satisfied when I awake” (when I rise again), “with thine image.” It is not the image of God only upon himself that he means here. Why? Because that doth not satisfy a holy heart, but it is that image of the invisible God which the human nature of Jesus Christ is, who, in opposition to all these outward pleasures, will be all in all to us; he is a spiritual creature, his human nature is spiritualised, made glorious, and our bodies shall be made spiritual likewise. “The body is made for the Lord, and the Lord for the body,” and this when they are both raised up; Christ is raised up already, and because he hath ordained the one to be serviceable to the other, he will also raise up our bodies; and when he doth raise me up, saith David, though other men have their bellies full here, and have animal pleasures they delight in; yet when I shall awake at latter day, and shall see this image of thine, shall see thy Son, I shall be satisfied: “When I awake, I shall be satisfied with thine image.” Thomas Goodwin.

Verse 15I shall be satisfied with thy likeness. Let a man who is thirsty be brought to an ocean of pure water, and he has enough. If there be enough in God to satisfy the angels, then sure there is enough to satisfy us. The soul is but finite, but God is infinite. Though God be a good that satisfies, yet he does not surfeit. Fresh joys spring continually from his face; and he is as much to be desired after millions of years by glorified souls as at the first moment. There is a fulness in God that satisfies, and yet so much sweetness that the soul still desires. God is a delicious good. That which is the chief good must ravish the soul with pleasure; there must be in it rapturous delight and quintessence of joy. In Deo quadam dulcedine delectatur anima immo rapitur: the love of God drops such infinite suavity into the soul as is unspeakable and full of glory. If there be so much delight in God, when we see him only by faith ( 1 Peter 1:8 ), what will the joy of vision be, when we shall see him face to face! If the saints have found so much delight in God while they were suffering, oh, what joy and delight will they have when they are being crowned! If flames are beds of roses, what will it be to lean on the bosom of Jesus! What a bed of roses that will be! God is a superlative good. He is better than anything you can put in competition with him; he is better than health, riches, honour. Other things maintain life, he gives life. Who would put anything in balance with the Deity? Who would weigh a feather against a mountain of gold? God excels all other things more infinitely than the sun the light of a taper. God is an eternal good. He is the Ancient of days, yet never decays, nor waxes old.Daniel 7:9 . The joy he gives is eternal, the crown fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:4 . The glorified soul shall be ever solacing itself in God, feasting on his love, and sunning itself in the light of his countenance. We read of the river of pleasure at God’s right hand; but will not this in time be dried up? No. There is a fountain at the bottom which feeds it. Psalms 36:9 . “With the Lord is a fountain of life.” Thus God is the chief good, and the enjoyment of God for ever is the highest felicity of which the soul is capable. Thomas Watson.

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – March 28th, 2019

Chapter 13
PREPARATORY DIRECTIONS
Speak No Peace (Continued)

 

2). If rational principles are relied upon

a). The meaning of relying upon rational principles

  When men measure out peace to themselves upon the conclusions that their convictions and rational principles will carry them to, this is a false peace and will not abide. I shall a little explain what I mean by this.

   A man has got a wound by sin; he has a conviction of some sin upon his conscience. He has not walked uprightly as becomes the gospel; all is not well and right between God and his soul. He considers now what is to be done. He has light, and knows what path he must take, and how his soul has been formerly healed. Considering that the promises of God’s Word are the outward means of application for the healing of his sores and quieting of his heart, he goes to them, searches them out, finds out some one or more of them whose literal words are directly suited to his condition. He then says to himself, “God speaks in this promise; here I will take myself a plaster(91) as long and broad as my wound.” And so he brings the word of the promise to his condition, and sets him down in peace. This is another appearance upon the mount: the Lord is near, but the Lord is not in it (1Ki 19:11-12). It has not been the work of the Spirit, Who alone can “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8), but the mere actings of the intelligent, rational soul.

   There are three sorts of lives: the vegetative, the sensitive, and the rational or intelligent. Some things have only the vegetative; some the sensitive also, and that includes the former. Some have the rational, which takes in and supposes both the others. Now, he who has the rational not only acts suitably to that principle, but also to both the others: he grows and is sensible. So it is with men in the things of God. Some are mere natural and rational men; some have a superadded conviction with illumination; and some are truly regenerate. Now, he who has the latter has also both the former; and therefore he acts sometimes upon the principles of the rational, and sometimes upon the principles of the spiritually enlightened man. His true spiritual life is not the principle of all his motions: he acts not always in spiritual strength, neither are all his fruits from that root. In this case that I speak of, he acts merely upon the principle of conviction and illumination, whereby his first natural inclinations are heightened.

   But the Spirit breathes not at all upon all these waters. For example, suppose the wound and disquiet of the soul is upon the account of relapses. Whatever the evil or folly is, even if very small, yet there are no wounds nor disquietments (92) deeper than those that are given the soul on this account. In the inner turmoil of his mind, he finds out that promise: “The Lord…will have mercy upon him, and our God…will abundantly pardon” (Isa 55:7)—that is, He will multiply or add to pardon, He will do it again and again. Or he finds the promise in Hosea 14:4, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.” This the man considers, and thereupon concludes peace to himself. Whether or not the Spirit of God makes the application, whether or not the Spirit gives life and power to the letter, that he does not regard. He does not hearken whether God the Lord speaks peace. He does not wait upon God, Who perhaps yet hides His face, and sees the poor creature stealing peace and running away with it, knowing that the time will come when He will deal with him again and call him to a new reckoning (Hos 9:9), when he shall see that it is in vain to go one step where God does not take him by the hand.

(91)  plaster – bandage spread with a healing substance to cover and close wounds.
(92)  disquietments – things that rob one of peace, rest, or quietness; disturbances.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Worldliness vs. Righteousness

It amazes me why so many congregations today want to bring so many worldly activities into  their churches. We should never cloak righteousness in anything but God’s Glory.

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 09 February

p-day-byGOODNESS OF THE SAINTS

 I myself am also persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye yourselves are full of goodness… – Romans 15:14 (R.V.)

 Let’s the Pope’s calendar only saint the dead, the Scripture requires sanctity in the living. – William Jenkyn

 If I cease becoming better I shall soon cease to be good. – Oliver Cromwell

 True piety {goodness} hath true plenty. – George Swinnock

 Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God” daily devotional.

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 03 February

p-day-byJUSTICE

 The justice of the Lord – Deuteronomy 32:21

 My justice was as a robe and a diadem – Job 29:14 R.V.

 Without justice, great commonwealths are but great troops of robbers. – John Owen

 His will is the rule of righteousness, and righteousness is the rule of His will. – Elisha Coles

 Justice in rigor is oft extreme injustice. – Richard Stock

 Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

** Note for a daily devotional this year check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God”

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 02 February

p-day-byGOD NOT AUTHOR OF SIN

 Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. – Romans 9:14

 Is…Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. – Galatians 2:17

 We owe our creation to God, our corruption to ourselves. – Stephan Charnock

 God made the face, and the devil paints it. –  Thomas Adams

 Man’s fault cannot prejudice God’s right. – William Gurnall

 Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

** Note for a daily devotional this year check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God”