Fifth spiritual work of mercy: To forgive offenses willingly
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Sadly, they stay in a religious form of bondage instead of a rebellious one. I realize that this is a different take but, again, only because of our sin-conscious religious paradigm.
And while I do agree that everything we receive from God is unmerited, it still misses the main point of grace. Defining grace simply as unmerited favor also means that Jesus cannot be our example of what it looks like to walk in grace. Why is this so? Yet, He was full of grace and truth. Not to mention, the wreckage of broken relationships it can leave in its wake.
Claiming grace to get away with wrong doing is the baby end of Christian living. Lewis said, it shows our complete ignorance of what we have in Christ.
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Sin is bondage and slavery, and we are no longer slaves. We speak of a calm and heavenly frame, and there may be something of this kind as a fruit of it, but spirituality is not a nebulous, mythical, or abstract thing. Spirituality is the most practical thing. When men or women are called by God into some piece of Divine ministry, and in face of the demand are conscious to the last degree that they have no ability, no resource, no power to fulfil that ministry; that in themselves the thing is utterly impossible; that for them to essay to do it would be the utmost folly and absurdity; when in such circumstances they recognise that they have a living Christ in Whom are resources more than enough to meet that demand, and by faith lay hold of Him, and go forward into the ministry with that consciousness, that is spirituality: The issues prove that it is practical.
It is in that way heavenly things are done, and these are the things which cannot be shaken. Spirituality is not Remoteness Christ's spirituality was not that He was remote from what was practical in every day life. It was that He was bringing heavenly forces and resources to bear upon the practical matters of every day life.
You can wash doors, or clothes, or floors, or do any of these ordinary domestic things, in spirituality. People seem to think that spiritual work and ordinary work, household work for example, are two different things.
A Reflection of the Blessed Boundless God by George Swinnock | TacThoughts
They talk about the spiritual work and the other work. Now, you can bring heavenly resources in to do anything that is legitimate, and the doing of those things may be a testimony.
The majority of people have no occasion to draw upon heavenly resources for a platform ministry. For the most part their work is of some regular, daily kind, and very often they feel utterly unable for it, and they are tempted to think that if they had some spiritual ministry to fulfil, if they had to go and take a meeting, or speak to some souls about spiritual matters, they could make a claim upon the Lord for help and He would carry them through.
For the trivial round and common task such a thought is all too often wholly absent from the mind.
Now, exactly the same resources have to come into the ordinary work as into what we call spiritual work. It has all to be done on a spiritual basis, and therefore to be a testimony. To get through an ordinary day's work often requires something more than ordinary human resources.
Spirituality consists in our doing everything as out from heaven. Let us be careful how we draw a line, lest we make a distinction between the spiritual and "the rest". That is to say He never took these heavenly resources for granted. He never allowed the thought that they would operate mechanically, irrespective of certain conditions on His side.
His was a life of exercise in relation to them. Before He chose His disciples He spent a night in prayer. I think we are right in saying that the two things were in some way related.
Of the occasion He said later, "I know whom I have chosen". That was said in connection with His having deliberately chosen His betrayer, Judas. To do that surely demanded Divine government, Divine help, Divine assurance, as well as His choice of the rest. In the light of the repeated breakdown and failure of those men, in the light of the final scene before the Cross where they all forsook Him and fled and everything seemed lost, did Christ make a mistake?
Is there indeed room for our remonstrance: Well, Lord, You would have done better had You chosen a different set of men; You made a mistake in Your men! His reply to that would be: This choosing was governed by a night of prayer. He evidently found prayer to be a necessity. I do not think we are right in saying that prayer to Him was just a case of getting away and having a quiet talk with the Father for fellowship's sake.
I think it was a necessity; I think He required it. I think prayer was an avenue for the communication of resources, and if so, His prayer life, rich and strong as it was, makes it perfectly clear that He took nothing for granted as to Divine resources. Only on certain grounds could He take His Father's help for granted, namely, on the ground of His own maintained exercise in relation to those resources. You and I must be careful lest we fall into a snare in this very thing. While these same resources are at our disposal, are ours in Christ, and are intended to be expressed in our lives; while it is true that the sovereignty of God secures them for us, yet these resources will not be ministered to us irrespective of the conditions that obtain on our side.
We cannot presume upon them. We cannot take them for granted. We cannot neglect prayer. If we do, we shall find that the resources are not forthcoming, but that weakness, loss, and need supervene. The Lord Jesus must be our pattern in this matter. That, then, is a brief summary of the question concerning His resources and ours, when joined to Him in resurrection life. I want to add a further word with reference to the fact that all this lay behind the purpose of His life.
There are two things to be said in this connection. One is that there was a secret strength for Him which lay in the fact of a Divine purpose, a heavenly vocation.
He knew that He was on this earth for a purpose of tremendous significance, and from the fact that He had come for a purpose, and that a purpose was bound up with His being here, He drew a great deal of strength. The other point is that these resources of which we have been speaking were definitely related to the purpose, and that the strength of those resources would have immediately failed if He were found at any time not in the line of that purpose.
Those are two things which we want to follow out a little more fully for a few moments. They touch us very deeply in our own experience, in our own lives. Firstly then, The Strength Derived from a Sense of Divine Purpose Marking our Lives It is true again that as you read the story of His time here on earth you cannot miss those emphatic marks of Divine purpose.
Go through John's Gospel, for instance, and underline the occurrences of the word "sent". You will first come upon the word in chapter 4 and verse You pass on into chapter 5 and find it repeated four times. In chapter 6 it is again found four times; in chapter 7 four times; in chapter 8 four times; in chapter 9 once; in chapter 12 three times; in chapter 13 once; in chapter 14 once; in chapter 15 once; in chapter 16 once.
All these have reference to Himself. Then there is the word "gave", and its cognates, in such passages as John 3: Again, trace through the Gospels the usage of the word "come" with reference to His advent. He is engaged in something specific, definite. He has come with a purpose. There is an entire absence of what is of merely incidental value in His life, and an equal absence of what is of merely general meaning.
The immortality of Christ is not to be thought of in mere terms of His doing a work which others would take up after Him, and that in the ultimate His part would be seen somewhere in the mass, would have a place. In His case the purpose of His life was clear-cut, unique, and He with His work will be found at the end abiding for ever.
He was not here merely to start a movement which was to continue when He was gone and forgotten. He was not here for an enterprise, a campaign, which others were to take up and assume; He was here to do something with which He personally would be associated through time and eternity. He was here related to a definite, predestined, and undefeatable purpose, clear-cut and rounded off. For this cause He was called in the book of the prophets the Servant of Jehovah.
That title meant that He would come to fulfil a purpose of God. He was the Servant of Jehovah, the Servant of a Divine purpose, and when you come into the realm of service in the case of the Lord Jesus, you find everything very precise. We are familiar with the outstanding note of Mark's Gospel, for instance. Mark's Gospel is the Gospel of the Servant of the Lord. Without any introductory particulars of His birth, or childhood, the Lord Jesus is there immediately presented as a Servant.
The language is precise. Precision characterises everything in Mark's Gospel. That is the characteristic of a true servant. The Servant of the Lord is here on business; not here to play, not here for interest, for diversion; He is here with a purpose, and to that He is given.
If He summons into relationship with Himself it is for service - "and straightway they left the nets and went after Him. There is the element of a Divine purpose governing His life. From that consciousness He drew a great deal of strength. It meant strength to Him. There is a great deal of strength to be drawn from the realisation that things are not incidental, not general, but specific, with regard to our being here on this earth; that we are related to an eternal purpose, are called according to His purpose.
Wherever we are, provided we are there after having subjected our lives utterly to the Lord, and definitely sought to be in His will, we are not to mark time, not to stand and wait, but to recollect that we are there in relation to a purpose.
A great many of the Lord's people are standing about waiting, marking time. They think that they are in a kind of hiatus, in some place where the real thing has no bearing upon their lives. Now, let us leave such thoughts behind us. There is a treachery about that mentality. It may be true that we have not yet come into our ultimate calling, but we are in it relatively now, and we shall never come into that unless we are making good all the possibilities that are present where we are.
If the Lord were to come to us and say: Now, look here, this present time which seems to be unmarked by anything very special in the character of the work is nevertheless intended by Me to fit you for a large work that I have in store, which will develop in a certain given year, and on the first day of that year you will move out into a tremendous piece of work!
He exists in time and space, yet eternal.Jesus Reveals He is the Son of God & Revealed His Father & Blessings of truly knowing Him
His eternality allows Him to interact through specific plans in specific times within the time space continuum while seeing all past and future events. He does this seeing every possibility of every consequence of every action.
Therefore, in order to be God, You must exist as a being outside the created order because You created it, while holding together creation through Your power because the power is higher than what You created.
How would a human being ever approach this God? No human being is able, on their own. It is what separates Christianity from every other religion in the world, God allows human beings to approach Him through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These attributes are not the His works or words, but rather the continuing unchangeable attributes within His being by which His actions are always rooted.
These concepts can be studied and pondered, building the foundation for the acceptance of the existence of an all-powerful being.
While needing to be revealed and pondered, these attributes are not the outward expression of His being. Instead, they are the foundations of His being by which all actions, reactions, or manifestations are employed by God to bring completion to His sovereign plan. These attributes allow us to move from understanding the truth of the existence of God, to slowly understanding what that God looks like. It is much like a lion in which you can feel its presence, the heavy footsteps, the strong breathing, and his strength as nature moves around him.
His attributes begin to show when you see him lit by the moon. You can then see his huge paws, overwhelming gaping mouth and teeth. You can see the muscular build that makes a wide path through nature. As you consider this lion, its being and form, you can then begin to have an awareness of the actions that this majestic beast would have the potential to perform. We then see attributes such as His holiness, wisdom, power, justice, faithfulness, mercy, and patience.
These attributes are unchanging. We can then surmise with accuracy the works and words, or actions in which God will engage. These works and words are inexplicably tied to His attributes, which are in turn, completely, without exception, rooted in His incomparable being. This means that God not only sees the beginning of time, the current time, and time eternally to come, He exists in His being as eternal. His eternality places Him both inside and outside time. He not only sees the beginning of time, but the existence of space before and around time.
The time in which I am speaking is time as understood by human being in which moments, events, or memories live. God knows it all at the same time, and His being is in it all. After His being we understand that the God of the Bible maintains attributes such as, but not limited to, holiness, wisdom, power, justice, faithfulness, mercy, and patience. He is also good. Everything that maintains a relationship with Him is good and whoever or whatever does not, cannot be good.
The Bible says that no one is good. Therefore, no one can maintain a relationship with the personification of good. Herein lies the Gospel. Through putting faith in the grace provided by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, one can be seen as good. This is because God in His goodness looks not upon a human being, but upon Himself as the Son portion of the Godhead. Through Jesus, God is in relationship with the one covered in the goodness of Himself.
Just as the lion, He moves through nature. We moved on, understanding that the attributes of God are the unique characteristics by which we are given clues to His actions. You can then see his huge paws, overwhelming mouth with its gaping mouth and teeth. As the lion is felt and then seen, the motion of the lion can be both considered by its attributes and experienced through its actions.
His works are great.