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Posts Tagged ‘John’

EAT MY FLESH AND DRINK MY BLOOD!

French_bread_DSC00865John 6

  47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

 

48 I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.

49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

 51 I AM THE LIVING BREAD WHICH CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN. IF ANYONE EATS OF THIS BREAD, HE WILL LIVE FOREVER; AND THE BREAD THAT I SHALL GIVE IS MY FLESH, WHICH I SHALL GIVE FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD.”


 52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

  53 THEN JESUS SAID TO THEM, “MOST ASSUREDLY, I SAY TO YOU, UNLESS YOU EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN AND DRINK HIS BLOOD, YOU HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU.

 54 WHOEVER EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS ETERNAL LIFE, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY.

55 FOR MY FLESH IS FOOD INDEED, AND MY BLOOD IS DRINK INDEED.

 56 HE WHO EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM.

57 AS THE LIVING FATHER SENT ME, AND I LIVE BECAUSE OF THE FATHER, SO HE WHO FEEDS ON ME WILL LIVE BECAUSE OF ME.

  58 This is the bread which came down from heaven–not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

 60 THEREFORE MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES, WHEN THEY HEARD THIS, SAID, “THIS IS A HARD SAYING; WHO CAN UNDERSTAND IT?”

 61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?

62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.

65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

 66 FROM THAT TIME MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES WENT BACK AND WALKED WITH HIM NO MORE.

 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”

71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

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Whoa…imagine the setting? Jesus was teaching in the church of the day. He stood there while all of His disciples stood around listening and I would imagine the Pharisees and religious leaders were there taking notes as well.

 Jesus knew the majority of His followers would eventually fall away for they were not chosen for eternal life.

 Here He was, ready to drop the bomb of all bombs on them…imagine what you or I would have thought?

 You cannot be with Me. You cannot go to heaven. You cannot experience eternal life.

 UNLESS…you eat MY FLESH and DRINK MY BLOOD!!

 Can you see their faces? Can you see the men standing there doing their best to compose themselves? Picture yourself there, listening trying to (ahem) digest Christ’s words…

 Any one of us would have turned back as well. How would you feel if on Sunday morning, you sat there and listened to your pastor tell everyone that he is leaving the church to start a new church. Those of you who wish to follow will have to EAT MY FLESH AND DRINK MY BLOOD!!!

Yeah…right.

 So to clear the air over this much understood passage, let’s look at what Christ was actually saying.

 How did Jesus open the topic? He talked about manna and how the Hebrews ate the manna and still died. Then He swung the topic around to say that He was the bread of life. What was bread symbolic of in the Scriptures? Sustenance. Life.

 He showed how even though the manna came from heaven, it still couldn’t keep the people from dying. But He, being the bread of life, the true sustenance, could give the person who accepted Him eternal life. He was saying in essence, as important it is to eat food and water in order to live, it is even more important to accept and submit to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for eternal life. His bruised and beaten body and His spilled blood are far more important than food that spoils and is gone tomorrow.

 He knew who God was going to give to Him and He wasn’t concerned about them. He knew the majority of His followers (just like today) would turn their backs on Him when the going got tough.

 Jesus always had a way with words and every word was pre-planned and said in such a way that those who were blinded and deafened spiritually wouldn’t be able to comprehend.

 This is why there is only a small select group of us who get the Gospel and who understand the “hard truths” of Christ.

Reblogged from: https://paultheslave.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/eat-my-flesh-and-drink-my-blood/11351484_815986675117573_1263621577630400600_n
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MORE HERE-3 sermons

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Are You? Accepting Your True Identity

http://frankviola.org/2013/02/25/whoareyou/

In Revise Us Again, I argued at length that the Christian life is becoming who you already are.

In Ephesians, Paul says two times to “speak the truth in love” to one another. In context, Paul is exhorting God’s people to remind one another of who they are in Christ . . . to remind one another about the new self into which they have been made . . . to remind one another of their true identity. Something that’s all too easy to forget.

If you have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, here’s a list of who you really are.  Marvel at the epic greatness of your Lord and what He has done for you.

Receive it, remember it, and walk in it . . .

You are complete in Christ who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).

You have been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).

You are dead to sin (Romans 6:2).

You have been made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

You are free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

You are born of God, and the evil one does not touch you (1 John 5:18).

You are holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

You have been given the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

You have the Greater One living in you and greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

You have received the gift of righteousness and reign in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

You have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus (Ephesians 1:17-18).

You can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

You show forth the praises of God who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

You are God’s child, born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23; John 1:12).

You are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You are alive to God (Romans 6:11).

You are an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

You are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you (Romans 8:37).

You have been brought near to God by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

You are beloved of God (1 John 4:10).

You are loved by the Father the same way Jesus is loved by the Father (John 17:23).

You have been redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13).

You have been justified from all things (Acts 13:39).

You are now God’s offspring (1 John 3:2).

You are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).

You have been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18).

You have been accepted by God in the Beloved Son (Ephesians 1:6).

You are kept by the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:8).

You are free in Christ (John 8:36; Galatians 5:1).

You are in Christ’s hands out of which no one can pluck you out (John 10:28).

You are in the Father’s hands out of which no one can pluck you out (John 10:29).

You are an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony (Revelation 12:11).

You are a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).

You are part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).

You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

You are God’s elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).

You are forgiven of all sins and washed in the blood (Ephesians 1:7).

You have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

You have put off the old man and have put on the new man (Colossians 3:9-10).

You are healed by the stripes of Jesus (1 Peter 2:24).

You are raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).

You have overcome the world (1 John 5:4).

You are greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).

You are strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).

You have not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

You have Christ living inside of you (Galatians 2:20).

You are a holy one (Colossians 1:2).

You are one spirit with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17).

You are holy, unreprovable, and unblameable in His sight (Colossians 1:22).

You are a member of Christ’s holy body (1 Corinthians 12:27).

You have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness (1 Peter 1:3).

You are light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8).

You have been given all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

You have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

You have been justified (just as if you had never sinned) (Romans 5:1).

You are a branch on the true Vine (John 15:1, 5).

You are born of God (1 John 5:18).

You have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16).

You are free from condemnation and you cannot be charged or indicted (Romans 8:1, 32-34).

You have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

You are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-4).

You are a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).

You are at peace with God (Romans 5:1).

You have everlasting life (John 5:24).

You are kept by God’s power (1 Peter 1:5).

You are in Christ Jesus by God’s act (1 Corinthians 1:30).

You cannot be separated from God’s love in Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

You are fit to partake of His inheritance (Colossians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14).

You are part of Christ’s bride that He cherishes, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh (Ephesians 5:29-32).

You are a king and priest unto God (Revelation 1:6).

You have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).

God will complete the good work that He started in you (Philippians 1:6).

God is for you even when others are against you (Romans 8:31).

Beyond Evangelical | The Blog of Frank Viola

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HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM SAVED

Since the evidence of genuine salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the individual, how can this be verified? How can we be reasonably certain about ourselves, as well as others, without being guilty of judging? To answer this, let’s take our own case first-there are several “tests” that we can take to determine His presence within us: (all Scripture quotes from Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

1. Romans 8:16 tells us: “The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.” First and foremost, we have the unshakable testimony from within us! The indwelling Holy Spirit of God constantly reassures us that we belong to Jesus Christ.

2. The entire book of First John was written as a “test” for determining the reality of salvation. Verse three of Chapter one tells us: “What we have seen and [ourselves] heard we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have (which is a distinguishing mark of Christians) is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah.” The fellowship enjoyed by genuine Christians is proof positive of salvation. Those who claim Christ, but yet rarely attend church to worship God and associate with other believers, are possibly fooling themselves! A backslidden Christian can stay out of church and away from other believers, but I can guarantee you from first-hand experience that there will never be a time when you will be comfortable with it! On the other side of the coin, verse 8 teaches us that if we deny the existence of sin within us, the Truth is not in us. Verse 3 of Chapter two teaches us that we are genuine and “growing in grace and knowledge of Christ”, if we keep His commandments. Verse 10 teaches us that we are of Christ if we love the brethren. Again, those who habitually absent themselves from God’s house and do not make it clear that they love being around God’s children, are very likely to be tares and not wheat. Verse 15 teaches us that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. “Worldly Christians” is almost a contradiction in terms and those who claim Christ, but yet cling to the value system of this world-are suspect.

3. 1 John 5:13 informs us that the entire Book of 1 John was written so that we can know that we possess eternal life in Christ. Do you know for absolute certainty that, if you were to die tonight, you would go to Heaven?

4. The Word of God teaches that the Bible is incomprehensible to the “natural man”-the unsaved individual. It is a spiritual book and the unsaved person is not only spiritually blind, but 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that he “is incapable” of knowing that which is spiritually discerned. Do you understand the Bible? Does it make sense to you and speak to your heart? Does it convict you of your sin and teach you the right way?

5.  The Bible is very clear that an unregenerate individual will not seek God (Rom.3:11). Are you painfully aware of your sinful nature and cry out to God from your heart for forgiveness when you sin? If so, this is one of the signs of having been born again.

Is your soul, your conscience, sorely vexed when you see sin in the culture around you? When you see blatant sin in public, or on TV, or in Entertainment, or anywhere else you encounter it, do you feel a severe vexation in your spirit? The Bible says of Lot, who was foolish enough to live and do business in Sodom: “(God) delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)” [2 Peter 2:7-8]

If your heart is “vexed” by the terrible sin in our daily culture, that is a good sign you are saved. If your spirit is not vexed by this sin, that is a good sign you are not saved.

6.  The Bible says that an unregenerate individual is a slave of Satan and incapable of doing anything about it (Eph.2:2). Have you been able to turn your back upon this world and its sinful ways? Are all of your close friends Christians? If you have been born again, your unsaved friends will drop you like a bad habit! (Just as an illustration, spray a small amount of “WD-40” lubricant on a surface wet with water and watch how fast the water retreats! A genuine dose of salvation is like the WD-40 where reprobate buddies are concerned.)

7.  Do you love–really love–Christians and would rather be with them than anyone else? Can you meet a total stranger, find out that they are a believer, and then have instant fellowship with them? Is there “something” in your heart that draws you to them and establishes a closeness which cannot be explained any other way? [We alluded to this feature in Paragraph 2, above]

8.  Do you actually enjoy giving to the Lord’s work? Do you give generously of your time, talent, and treasury?

9.  Do you sin less now than you did prior to receiving Christ?

10. Have other people seen the “fruit of the Spirit” at work in your life? That is, can they see genuine love, joy, peace, long-suffering, etc., (Gal.5:22), being wrought in and through you by God’s Holy Spirit? Do they sense that you are a different person from the one you used to be?

11. Have you experienced persecution because of your faith in Christ? (Former friends who back away because of your testimony for Christ, are a subtle form of persecution).

12. Are you eagerly expecting and anticipating the any-moment return of Jesus Christ for His Church?

If you can truthfully answer “yes” to these questions, you are a child of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within you! If you cannot truthfully answer “yes” to these questions, then you are probably not saved and you need to go to the bottom of this page to the Salvation message and go through the steps in honesty and sincereness of heart so you can be saved!

“You must be born again”

The Bible is very clear on the necessity of a person being “Born Again” if they are to receive eternal life. Jesus coined this term, in John 3:3-7, when he told Nicodemus, “You must be born again” to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Since this necessity is so critical, Satan has attacked it with all his might for two thousand years, causing most “Christian” churches to stop teaching this doctrine, even though no one can be saved without undergoing this wondrous spiritual conversion. However, Satan’s most effective weapon against being Born Again has been, and still is, confusion.

Fortunately, Jesus lovingly made this transformation process very simple, so simple that even those who are retarded or not educated can understand. There are several steps to becoming Born Again, listed below:

1. Understand that ALL men ever born are sinners. Romans 3:23, says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This message that all men are sinners is amply repeated through Scripture . This means you are a sinner in the eyes of an angry God, Who must punish all sin. Do you believe you are a sinner?

2. Since man is an imperfect sinner, and God is a perfect God, no man can save himself. Jesus made this fact very plain in Matthew 5:48, when He said, “Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”!!!
If we all have to be perfect in God’s eyes, how can there be anyone in Heaven, especially since the Bible declares, repeatedly, that ALL people are sinners? Obviously, no one is going to get to Heaven this way, by trying to be ‘good enough’ to merit Heaven. Since the Bible says there are going to be untold millions of people in Heaven, there must be some other way to get there, other than by trying to be ‘good enough’.

You must also be very sorry for your sins, and want to have them forgiven. This is known as Repentance. The word Repent means to both be very sorry for your sins, and to want to not sin anymore. Repentance means the desire to turn your life around 180 degrees. This does not mean you will never sin again, but it does mean that sin will become the exception in your life, not the rule.

3. When the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary, He died for the sins of His people in their place as a sacrificial substitute. And in doing so, He suffered the wrath of God the Father upon their sin. He paid the penalty for that sin in His own body and purchased their eternal redemption. This enables Him to give as a free gift His own holiness and righteousness to those who believe in Him and trust Him for salvation. making them absolutely perfect in God. s sight! Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” None of us deserve to be saved; in His love and mercy God extends grace to those who will believe. Grace is defined as “undeserved favor” and perhaps this little acrostic will help you to remember its meaning: G od. s Riches At Christ. s Expense. [The true meaning of GRACE]

4. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Apostle Paul reiterates this teaching that eternal life with God is a free gift. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast.” No man can stand before God in eternity, and boast that they ‘earned’ their way to Heaven. All people in Heaven will be there only because of Jesus’ FREE Gift, which He obtained from God because of His substitutionary death sacrifice on the Cross. Rather than punishing each person’s individual sins, God heaped all those sins on Jesus on the Cross Isaiah 53:2-12]

Now, you are probably thinking, ‘How can I obtain this free gift of eternal life’? Again, the Bible is not silent. In Acts 16:25-33, the jailer anxiously asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved”? Paul answered “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …” verse 31″. You must BELIEVE on Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. To truly believe, you must place your complete faith and trust in Christ and rely upon Him as your only hope of salvation and eternal life. This is a matter of the heart and you cannot hope to deceive God by putting on an act because He knows everything about you. Many people mistakenly think that by merely believing the facts concerning Jesus Christ. s death, burial, and resurrection, they will be automatically be given the gift of eternal life. But such is not the case. Preachers call that a “head knowledge and not a heart knowledge.” Salvation is freely given, but only to those who are genuine believers.

  5. In John 1:1, 14, we see that Jesus Christ is God, equal with God, present with God from before the beginning of time, and the actual Creator of the Universe. He is 100% God and 100% human at the same time, which is why He used both titles during His ministry, Son of God and Son of Man. To become Born Again, you must believe this doctrine about Jesus Christ.

Verse 14 is most important, the teaching that Jesus God became man. This teaching becomes a point of separation between the followers of Christ and Antichrist. In 1 John 4:1-3, we see that anyone who denies that Jesus has come in the flesh is the spirit of antichrist. That is just what the Gnostics of that day were saying, i.e., that Jesus the human was not God Messiah come in the flesh; rather, the ‘Christ Consciousness’ the ‘Messiah’ Consciousness, came on Jesus at His baptism and left Him on the Cross; they believe Jesus was not God and Man. The New Age Movement and Freemasonry have resurrected this blasphemy with a vengeance.

6. Isaiah 53:6 foretells exactly what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross; “the Lord [God the Father] has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Praise God!! Only the Wisdom, Grace, and Power of God Almighty could conceive of such a gracious Plan of Salvation!! God’s Nature is such that sin must be punished. Period! But, God set up a Plan whereby an innocent substitute was to be punished instead of the guilty person. In the Old Testament, God allowed the lamb to be the substitute sacrifice for sin; Jesus then became the ultimate substitute sacrifice, for all the sins of the world. His was the Perfect sacrifice, that never needs to be repeated, and that saves all people forever more.

You must believe in, and understand, this principle of Substitute Punishment, before you can become Born Again. And, you must believe that Jesus Christ became the Perfect Substitute Punishment for YOU, before you can become Born Again.

Now that you understand these Truths, and believe them for your life, you now need to understand how you can obtain this FREE Gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. After all, if I were to attempt to give you a FREE gift, that gift would not become yours if you were to refuse to reach out and take that gift from my hand. So it is here. You must reach out and take this FREE Gift of Eternal Life from the hand of Jesus Christ. How is this done?

Through Saving Faith .

Notice I said Saving Faith . There are types of faith that will not get you saved. You may have ‘head knowledge’ faith that merely intellectually assents to the facts of Jesus Christ’s person, but that is not Saving Faith. You may be in a ‘church’ or a cult that teaches many truths about Jesus Christ, but who teach that you must do many things to earn your way to Heaven. This is not Saving Faith.

Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for your Salvation.

If you think you need to do anything for Salvation except trust in Jesus work on the cross, you are guilty of violating Ephesians 2:8-9 and Isaiah 53:6b. Most cults and false Christian religions err at this point; they add things that are “necessary” for Salvation, or they offer a counterfeit way to Heaven, i.e., Salvation by Baptism.

Do you want this Gift of Eternal Life that Jesus left Heaven and died on a cross to give you? If your answer is, ‘Yes’, you can immediately have Eternal Life.

Let me clarify exactly what this involves. First, you are going to transfer your trust, your hope of eternal life from what you have been doing to what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross. Jesus will take your sin and transfer TO YOU His right standing with God the Father, what we call His righteousness . This means that though we have failed repeatedly to keep God’s commandments, Christ perfectly obeyed all the laws of God. He lived the perfect life, so He could be the perfect, innocent substitutionary sacrifice that God would accept for your sins, and the sin of the entire world, for all who will believe.

Are you willing to repent of your sins right now, and become a responsible member of God’s forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His body, the Church? If your heartfelt answer is, “Yes”, then we can go to Him now in prayer, and we can tell Him that you want to cease trusting in anything else for Eternal Salvation, especially in what you can do for yourself. You can place your trust in Him and Him alone for salvation. Before we pray this simple prayer, I need to point our that the Lord Jesus Christ is looking at your heart more than His is listening to your lips. As He promised, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when [after] ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).

If this is what you mean, then the Lord will hear your prayer and grant you eternal life, right now, in the privacy of your home. Let me pray.

“Father, I pray that You would grant the FREE gift of eternal life. May thy Holy Spirit draw him or her unto Thyself. Grant him faith to believe Thy wonderful promises. Grant him or her repentance to turn from his sins. Reveal unto him Jesus Christ crucified as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice, today.”

Jesus Christ is right with you right now. You are not talking to anyone now, but to Him. If you really want to be Born Again, into the Eternal Family of God through Jesus Christ, pray this prayer, from your heart.

“Lord Jesus, I want you to come in and take over my life right now. I am a sinner. I have been trusting in myself and my own good works, and in other things. But, now I place my trust in you. I want You as my own personal Savior. I believe You died for me. I receive You as Lord and Master of my life. Help me to turn from my sins and follow You. I thank you for Your offer of the FREE gift of eternal life. I am not worthy of it, but I thank You for it. Amen.”

Now, allow me to pray. “Father, you have heard the prayer which has been prayed. I ask that in this quiet moment, Thy Holy Spirit will grant unto him Your absolute assurance of life eternal; grant unto him the certainty that his sins are forgiven. Grant that he may hear, in the depths of his soul, Thy voice saying, ‘Thy sins be forgiven thee. Go in peace’. Grant, O Jesus, that he may hear Thy voice saying, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far have I put thy sins from thee, never to remember them against thee anymore. [The person] that believeth on Me shall not come into condemnation . He that trusts in Me is passed from death unto life. He that believeth on Me shall not perish but has everlasting life [paraphrased from Psalm 103:12; John 3:1 8; 5:24; 3:16]. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

 

You have just prayed the most important prayer you have ever prayed in your life. If you were sincere in this prayer, I want you to see what Jesus says about what you have just done. In John 6:47, Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me has everlasting life.” In your prayer, you didn’t hear any angel choirs or see any visions; however, by a simple act of faith, you have placed your trust for your eternal salvation in Jesus Christ.

 

Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE for your salvation . If you meant with your heart what you just said with your lips, you have the promise of Jesus Christ that He has forgiven your sins, and has adopted you into the kingdom, and has given you eternal life in Heaven with Him.

 

If this sounds so simple you have trouble believing that it could be true, the Bible assures you that it is most definitely true. Over the centuries, man has deliberately complicated this simple Plan of Salvation that most people simply do not know how simple and uncomplicated God has planned Salvation through Jesus Christ to be!! If you were genuine in your prayer, you now have eternal life, and are as assured of it as if you were already there!! This is why Jesus said, that no person can ever take any of His who are Born Again out of the Father’s hand.

How can you know for sure that you have been born again? Please do not expect any “earth-shaking” experience, because in the majority of cases it comes about in a rather peaceful way, a sense of relief and a load lifted. There will be no fireworks or brass bands playing, just a wonderful calm that is deep down inside. But with the passing of time, I have found that one of the best indicators of the New Birth is a genuine understanding of the Word of God. Prior to being Born Again, the “natural man”, as the Bible calls him, (a lost person), cannot understand the Bible because it is spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Indeed, it is foolishness to him! So when the Word begins to make sense, to speak to your heart, and convict you of sin in your life, it is a very good indicator that you have the Holy Spirit of God residing within you. You see, a Christian obtains a new spiritual nature by the New Birth, but he does not get rid of the old nature he was born with. That is why it is so vitally important that we “grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit as we walk through this sinful and spiritually defiling world around us. The Holy Spirit literally takes up residence within us when we are Born Again and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Another wonderful evidence of genuine salvation is found in the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) that will take place in our daily lives as the Holy Spirit works within us. His presence will be manifested to the outside world by means of the love, joy, peace, longsuffering, faith, etc., they see in us! Then, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:16 that, “The Spirit itself (lit. Himself) beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” In other words, the Holy Spirit living deep within us tells us that we belong to God.

But, He has done much more!! In Revelation 3:20, Jesus promised, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock [He has been knocking at the door of your heart, and you have just opened that door to let Him in]; if anyone hears and listens and heeds My voice, and opens the door I WILL come in to him and will eat with him, and he will eat with Me.” Jesus Christ has just entered INTO YOUR HEART through the work of the Holy Spirit, to live in your heart for the rest of your life!! What great news, for now we have the same Holy Spirit power within us that raised Jesus from the dead [Romans 8:11]. In fact, read Romans 8 to see all the advantages we have because the Holy Spirit indwells us daily.

 

Salvation through Jesus shed blood on Calvary gives you a deep, abiding Personal Relationship with His Holy Spirit while you live on this Earth!! As you read the Bible, especially the New Testament, you will come to understand the wonderful depth you can reach between you and your Creator!! Salvation produces a relationship that will deeply enrich your life daily!! You will never have believed, prior to becoming Born Again, what kind of life you have been missing out on for so long!

 

Please write back to tell us if you have decided to become Born Again. We need to give you some practical advice on how to ensure your continued maturity and productivity in the Lord. When you e-mail us, please put “Born Again” in the subject field.

 

We love you in the Lord. Pray for us in this ministry, in warning people all over the world about the impending New World Order. Satan has been so strong in attacking this ministry.

 

Because of His Love On Calvary,

David Bay

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the web version of this Days of Praise

May 24, 2013
Memory and the Holy Spirit

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

 John wrote his detailed discourses of Jesus (almost half of the verses in John’s gospel consist of His words) approximately fifty years after Christ spoke them, yet John was able to report them verbatim because of the supernatural memory of them brought back by the Holy Spirit. The same must have been true for the other biblical writers as they recalled words and events of years before.

 

In a real, though different, sense, the Holy Spirit also can “bring to our remembrance” the words of Scriptures just when they are especially needed in witnessing or for personal guidance or some other need. This will only be operational, of course, if they have first been stored in our memory, either by direct memorization or by such frequent reading and studying of the Bible as to make it a part of our subconscious memory.

 

Recall how the unlearned fisherman Peter was able to quote long passages of Scripture when he needed them (see, for example, Acts 2:16-21, 25-28, 34-35). He had apparently spent much time in studying and even memorizing key portions of the Old Testament. Jesus, of course, frequently quoted Scripture in His conversations, and Paul quoted Scripture abundantly in his epistles. Should we not do the same?

 

Scripture memorization has been a great blessing to many Christians over the years but seems to have become almost a lost art in this day and age. Nevertheless, Christ has promised answered prayer: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” (John 15:7). So, as Paul urged, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). HMM

6ED436FEBD3240D3AD5CCA98F0776A60.ashxICR equips believers with evidence of the Bible's accuracy and authority

The Gospel of Peace

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isaiah 52:7) More…

The Opened Heavens

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God’s Sovereignty

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Garden flowersJuly, 2010

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Passion Week A. Friday/Saturday: Jesus arrives in Bethany

This post corresponds to the related Google map of Jesus’ Passion Week you can access here.

This is a telling of the Gospel story and event of Jesus and Mary who annointed Jesus’ head with oil, one week before he was to be crucified. The Gospel is told by C.J.Mahaney and transcribed by Alex Chediak for a Desiring God conference in 2007. You can read the entire message here

Extravagant Devotion

We then were asked to open our Bible’s to Mark 14:1-11. C.J. read the text. C.J. assured us that his text, Mark 14:1-11, revealed a truly historic moment as it contained a profound pronouncement. Nobody else except this woman receives this promise from the Savior: “wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Why? Why her? Why now? Just her. Why her? C.J. wanted to help us discover “why her” so that we all might be affected by her.

The Mark 14 passage begins with disturbing descriptions of the chief priest: Only Jesus’ popularity and the threat of a riot slow have slowed them in their goal of killing him. That’s the backdrop to our passage. At the end of the evening, the chief priests will get some help from Judas.

The Alabaster Flask

And in between the intrigue of verses 1-2 and 10-11, there is a party taking place in Bethany. Jesus and his friends are gathered. They are in the home of “Simon the leper,” who – had he still been a leper – could not have been hosting the get-together. C.J. suggested he might have been previously healed by Jesus. John’s gospel, in a parallel passage, informs us that Lazarus was present, having recently been raised from the dead.

[C.J. joke: “Imagine being there with Lazarus. I’d find some way to recline next to him at some point in the evening. I’d have lots of questions for him. It’s not often you meet someone who has died. What was it like to die? Is it a bummer you have to do it again? What was heaven like? Who broke the news to you that you had to go back? How did they break the news to you? ‘Lazarus, your sisters won’t stop crying, now the Savior is crying, you’re going back, pal.’ And what was that like? Hearing the Savior say, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ Going from Paradise to the graveclothes. What was that like? If I’m disoriented by frequent travel, how disoriented is Lazarus?”]

John also tells us Martha is present; the quintessential servant, she is catering the party. And most important, the Savior is there. Presumably, he is the guest of honor. One would expect the atmosphere to be warm and friendly – there are no Pharisees or chief priests present. Only those with every reason to be grateful to Jesus are present (except perhaps Judas, who is still under the radar at this point).

Suddenly, a woman (John tells us it was Mary) stands by Jesus and proceeds to break an alabaster flask of very expensive perfume. She pours the entirety of its contents over his head. The fragrance fills the room. It was impossible to ignore this public, dramatic, passionate display of affection. The disciples do not appreciate this act, and they scold her. The scene is no longer festive. Suddenly there is a dramatic change in the mood and atmosphere. A voice says leave her alone.

The Savior then makes the profound promise: “wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Why? Why does he make this promise to her at this moment? What she has done must be told wherever the gospel is preached, because Mary uniquely exemplifies the transforming effect of the gospel, which is extravagant devotion to the Savior. She demonstrates the effect of the gospel by her extravagant love for Jesus. She was to be an example of piety to the church universal throughout history. Her story is told so that we might evaluate if we have been appropriately and effectively transformed by the gospel. Not just applause, but application: We should evaluate ourselves in relation to her.

Two points to be drawn:

1. Extravagant devotion is an evidence of conversion.

Earlier in Mark’s gospel we encounter a teacher of law who is told, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34). It was surely both an encouragement and a warning to this man. You are near, but not in. Well, it is clear that Mary’s not simply “near.” She’s “in.” Big-time. This is what being “in” looks like.

Where there is a profession of faith without affection for and obedience to the Savior, it’s authenticity should be questioned. Be assured if you are truly saved. If you have genuine affection for the Savior, and genuine obedience to the savior, then you can have fresh assurance.

C.J. expressed concern regarding the prevailing tendency among many in the church to grant false assurance to those who profess faith in the Savior, but whose lives bear no evidence to the miracle of regeneration (namely, affection for and obedience to Jesus Christ). C.J. lamented that in the U.S. evangelical church, it is quite common for someone to retain the lifestyle of those in the world, but with the (false) confidence that they possess eternal salvation.

Where does that confidence come from? In his novel The Painted House, John Grisham describes a Sunday school teacher eulogizing a mean character Jerry Sisco, killed the night before: “She made Jerry sound like a Christian, and like an innocent victim. As baptists we’d been taught that they only way you get to heaven is by accepting Jesus. Accept Jesus, or you went to hell. That’s where Jerry Sisco was, and we all knew it.” C.J. exhorted us not to emulate the example of this Sunday school teacher who gave false assurance to someone whose life displayed no evidence of salvation: affection or obedience. We are not serving the children we have the privilege to lead if we impart false assurance to them. Let us not encourage assurance where there is the absence of affection for, or obedience to, the Savior.

Given the size of this conference, C.J. noted, he would be remiss to assume that everyone present is genuinely converted. “I think I can assume most everyone here is, but given the large number, it would be unwise to assume that all are converted, and perhaps even now God is drawing near those who have maybe even made a profession of faith, are serving in children’s ministry, but without evidence of affection or obedience. There are other things you are more passionate about than the Savior. If that is a description of you, I would warn you right now to receive this plea as an expression of God’s mercy. If you are not genuinely converted recognize that God is demanding you to turn from your sins to the Savior for the forgiveness of your sins. Because extravagant devotion is an evidence of genuine conversion.” (My paraphrase of C.J.’s warning)

If I witness a person who is unaffected by truth, uninvolved in the local congregation, and uninterested in spiritual things, that individual is very unlike Mary, and therefore unconverted. Extravagant devotion to the Savior cannot be concealed. It must find expression. It is evidence of true conversion. This is the significance of Mary.

2. Extravagant devotion is the increasing experience of the converted.

C.J. asked us to consider if we recognized ourselves in the following illustration:

A woman took her children to the park to break the monotony of the summer days. Instead, she broke her heart. A young attractive woman skipped to a picnic table in a secluded spot. The mother wondered who she might be so eager to see. The mother grew preoccupied with her children and forgot to watch. But when she did look again, it made her heart hurt. The young woman was reading her Bible. She had so eagerly run from her car to meet the Lord. The mother knew she had lost this passion. Something had happened over the years of her walk with the Lord. She would not now be one to skip to meet the Lord. She wept in the park for her loss.

The question C.J. put to us is: Are we still skipping? Now all who are genuinely converted can, at times, recognize themselves in this illustration. In the Mark 14 episode, we are sometimes more like those criticizing Mary than we are like Mary.

What should have happened there in Mark 14? As Mary stood over the Savior pouring out the perfume, affectionately, passionately, appropriately, over His head….quietly, everyone present should have gotten up and formed a line behind her and should have said to her, “Mary, could you please save some for me to pour? For he has forgiven all of my sins. Mary, can I pour some? For he healed me of my leprosy. Mary, thank you for your example. Can I follow your example?” That’s what should have happened.

So who do you resemble more? The arrogant and critical disciples? Or humble Mary, expressing her love for the Savior through this extravagant display of affection. How can we become more like her? How can we cultivate extravagant devotion to Christ?

Application: We must review and reflect upon the gospel.

We must regularly read, and meditate upon, the gospel, particularly the events surrounding Christ’s death. The transforming effect of the gospel is extravagant devotion to the Savior. Therefore, if extravagant devotion is diminished, it normally means the gospel has been neglected. Charles Spurgeon said:

Are you content to follow Jesus from a distance? O, let me affectionately warn you for it is a grievous thing when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Savior’s face. Let us work to feel what an evil thing this is – little love to our own dying Savior, little joy in our precious Jesus, little fellowship with the Beloved! Hold a true Lent in your in your souls, while you sorrow over your hardness of heart. Don’t stop at sorrow. Remember where you first received salvation. Go at once to the cross. There, and there only can you get your spirit aroused. No matter how hard, how insensible, how dead we may have become, let’s go again in all the rags and poverty, and defilement of our natural condition. Let’s clasp that cross, let’s look into those languid eyes, let’s bathe in that fountain filled with blood – this will bring us back to our first love; this will restore the simplicity of our faith, and the tenderness of our heart….The more we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard the more noble our lives become. Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior.

How often do we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard? Those cries were all necessary because of our sins, and those cries were sufficient for our salvation. The transforming effect of those cries is extravagant devotion to the One who uttered those cries.

C.J. than cautioned that if we don’t intentionally review and reflect upon the gospel each day, we will inevitably review our own sin – and, consequently, be more aware of our sin that of God’s grace. Reflection upon sin should be a means, never an end. Cry out for grace, and be amazed by grace.

C.J. encouraged us to custom-design a play so that we can each day survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died. And express extravagant devotion each day through the experience of dwelling where the cries of Calvary can be heard.

If our affections have grown cold, C.J. suggested we consider restricting our spiritual diet to dwell where the cries of Calvary have been heard. Study a gospel, particularly the passion week. Study the Savior as he resolves to go to Jerusalem, as he is overwhelmed in the garden of Gethsemane, and contemplates the experience of God’s full and righteous wrath against sin.

C.J. movingly recounted Jesus’ words on the cross as we sat with eyes closed. He then encouraged us to have Christ-centered, Sunday school curricula, so that the attention of our children is drawn to Christ and Him crucified with regularity. Finally, he prayed that all present would be encouraged in their ministry and sense the Savior’s pleasure, even as we take appropriate measures to maintain our first love for Christ.

Books which C.J. commended for “dwelling where the cries of Calvary can be heard”:

J.I. Packer quote C.J. displayed:

The preachers’ commission is to declare the whole counsel of God; but the cross is the center of that counsel, and the Puritans knew that the traveler through the Bible landscape misses his way as soon as he loses sight of the hill called Calvary.

Reblogged from rodi in http://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/passion-week-a-fridaysaturday-jesus-arrives-in-bethany-2/

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Joy As the Power to Suffer in the Path of Love for the Sake of Liberation

http://vimeo.com/60122673

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A.W.Tozer on John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word… (a must read!)

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John 1:1

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

An intelligent plain man, untaught in the truths of Christianity, coming upon this text, would likely conclude that John meant to teach that it is the nature of God to speak, to communicate His thoughts to others. And he would be right. A word is a medium by which thoughts are expressed, and the application of the term to the Eternal Son leads us to believe that self-expression is inherent in the Godhead, that God is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His creation. The whole Bible supports the idea. God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking. He is by His nature continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking Voice.

One of the great realities with which we have to deal is the Voice of God in His world. The briefest and only satisfying cosmogony is this: “He spake and it was done.” The why of natural law is the living Voice of God immanent in His creation. And this word of God which brought all worlds into being cannot be understood to mean the Bible, for it is not a written or printed word at all, but the expression of the will of God spoken into the structure of all things. This word of God is the breath of God filling the world with living potentiality. The Voice of God is the most powerful force in nature, indeed the only force in nature, for all energy is here only because the power-filled Word is being spoken.

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The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The life is in the speaking words. God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book.

We take a low and primitive view of things when we conceive of God at the creation coming into physical contact with things, shaping and fitting and building like a carpenter. The Bible teaches otherwise: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” Again we must remember that God is referring here not to His written Word, but to His speaking Voice. His world-filling Voice is meant, that Voice which antedates the Bible by uncounted centuries, that Voice which has not been silent since the dawn of creation, but is sounding still throughout the full far reaches of the universe.255255_386113628108762_1944002362_n

The Word of God is quick and powerful. In the beginning He spoke to nothing, and it became something. Chaos heard it and became order; darkness heard it and became light. “And God said — and it was so.” These twin phrases, as cause and effect, occur throughout the Genesis story of the creation. The said accounts for the so. The so is the said put into the Continuous present.

That God is here and that He is speaking — these truths are back of all other Bible truths; without them there could be no revelation at all. God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years. God breathed on clay and it became a man; He breathes on men and they become clay. “Return ye children of men,” was the word spoken at the Fall by which God decreed the death of every man, and no added word has He needed to speak. The sad procession of mankind across the face of the earth from birth to the grave is proof that His original Word was enough.

We have not given sufficient attention to that deep utterance in the Book of John, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Shift the punctuation around as we will and the truth is still there: the Word of God affects the hearts of all men as light in the soul. In the hearts of all men the light shines, the Word sounds, and there is no escaping them. Something like this would of necessity be so if God is alive and in His world. And John says that it is so. Even those persons who have never heard of the Bible have still been preached to with sufficient clarity to remove every excuse from their hearts forever. “Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing Witness, and their thoughts the mean while either accusing or else excusing one another.” “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

This universal Voice of God was by the ancient Hebrews often called Wisdom, and was said to be everywhere sounding and searching throughout the earth, seeking some response from the Sons of men. The eighth chapter of the Book of Proverbs begins, “Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?” The writer then pictures wisdom as a beautiful woman standing “in the top of the high places, by the way in the places of the paths.” She sounds her voice from every quarter so that no one may miss hearing it. “Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of men.” Then she pleads for the simple and the foolish to give ear to her words. It is spiritual response for which this Wisdom of God is pleading, a response which she has always sought and is but rarely able to secure. The tragedy is that our eternal welfare depends upon our hearing, and we have trained our ears not to hear.

This universal Voice has ever sounded, and it has often troubled men even when they did not understand the source of their fears. Could it be that this Voice distilling like a living mist upon the hearts of men has been the undiscovered cause of the troubled conscience and the longing for immortality confessed by millions since the dawn of recorded history? We need not fear to face up to this. The speaking Voice is a fact. How men have reacted to it is for any observer to note.

When God spoke out of heaven to our Lord, self-centered men who heard it explained it by natural causes: they said, “It thundered.” This habit of explaining the Voice by appeals to natural law is at the very root of modern science. In the living breathing cosmos there is a mysterious Something, too wonderful, too awful for any mind to understand. The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers, “God.” The man of earth kneels also, but not to worship. He kneels to examine, to search, to find the cause and the how of things. Just now we happen to be living in a secular age. Our thought habits are those of the scientist, not those of the worshipper. We are more likely to explain than to adore. “It thundered,” we exclaim, and go our earthly way. But still the Voice sounds and searches. The order and life of the world depend upon that Voice, but men are mostly too busy or too stubborn to give attention.

Every one of us has had experiences which we have not been able to explain: a sudden sense of loneliness, or a feeling of wonder or awe in the face of the universal vastness. Or we have had a fleeting visitation of light like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world, that our origins are divine. What we saw there, or felt, or heard, may have been contrary to all that we had been taught in the schools and at wide variance with all our former beliefs and opinions. We were forced to suspend our acquired doubts while, for a moment, the clouds were rolled back and we saw and heard for ourselves. Explain such things as we will, I think we have not been fair to the facts until we allow at least the possibility that such experiences may arise from the Presence of God in the world and His persistent effort to communicate with mankind. Let us not dismiss such a hypothesis too flippantly.

It is my own belief (and here I shall not feel bad if no one follows me) that every good and beautiful thing which man has produced in the world has been the result of his faulty and sin-blocked response to the creative Voice sounding over the earth. The moral philosophers who dreamed their high dreams of virtue, the religious thinkers who speculated about God and immortality, the poets and artists who created out of common stuff pure and lasting beauty: how can we explain them? It is not enough to say simply, “It was genius.” What then is genius? Could it be that a genius is a man haunted by the speaking Voice, laboring and striving like one possessed to achieve ends which he only vaguely understands? That the great man may have missed God in his labors, that he may even have spoken or written against God does not destroy the idea I am advancing. God’s redemptive revelation in the Holy Scriptures is necessary to saving faith and peace with God. Faith in a risen Saviour is necessary if the vague stirrings toward immortality are to bring us to restful and satisfying communion with God. To me this is a plausible explanation of all that is best out of Christ. But you can be a good Christian and not accept my thesis.

The Voice of God is a friendly Voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it. The blood of Jesus has covered not only the human race but all creation as well. “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” We may safely preach a friendly Heaven. The heavens as well as the earth are filled with the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush. The perfect blood of atonement secures this forever.

Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, “Be still, and know that I am God,” and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence.

It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferably with our Bible outspread before us.

Then if we will we may draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak to us in our hearts.

I think for the average person the progression will be something like this:

First a sound as of a Presence walking in the garden.

Then a voice, more intelligible, but still far from clear.

Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which had been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend.

Then will come life and light, and best of all, ability to see and rest in and embrace Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and All.

The Bible will never be a living Book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe. To jump from a dead, impersonal world to a dogmatic Bible is too much for most people. They may admit that they should accept the Bible as the Word of God, and they may try to think of it as such, but they find it impossible to believe that the words there on the page are actually for them. A man may say, “These words are addressed to me,” and yet in his heart not feel and know that they are. He is the victim of a divided psychology. He tries to think of God as mute everywhere else and vocal only in a book.

I believe that much of our religious unbelief is due to a wrong conception of and a wrong feeling for the Scriptures of Truth. A silent God suddenly began to speak in a book and when the book was finished lapsed back into silence again forever. Now we read the book as the record of what God said when He was for a brief time in a speaking mood. With notions like that in our heads how can we believe? The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word. The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God’s continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind for us put into our familiar human words.

I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking. The prophets habitually said, “Thus saith the Lord.” They meant their hearers to understand that God’s speaking is in the continuous present. We may use the past tense properly to indicate that at a certain time a certain word of God was spoken, but a word of God once spoken continues to be spoken, as a child once born continues to be alive, or a world once created continues to exist. And those are but imperfect illustrations, for children die and worlds burn out, but the Word of our God endureth forever.

If you would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to you. Do not come with the notion that it is a thing which you may push around at your convenience. It is more than a thing; it is a voice, a word, the very Word of the living God.

(via)

Reblogged from  rodi

http://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/a-w-tozer-on-john-11-in-the-beginning-was-the-word-a-must-read-2/227630_537796562905032_685594238_n

31 Jan 2013

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