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Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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Things that differ #1   Bible discussions/all

Started Jan-7 by PAULFROMNYS; 181 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   

Things That Differ
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 1 - Ministry

 

Lack of spiritual perception and discernment is accountable for more confusion, paralysis, ineffectiveness, and failure in Christian life and service than we realise.

This lack is itself an indication of many things, but primarily of failure to mature or develop in spirit. In other words it implies spiritual infancy. There are very many of the Lord's children, truly born again, who, while they have become mature men and women, rich in experience so far as Christian work and works are concerned; and more or less mellowed by years, made steady by disillusionments and the vanishing of fancies, dreams, idealisms, romances, before the chilly winds of frigid facts; whose sympathies are enlarged because of an expanded knowledge of human weakness and suffering, and who, in many other ways have become good and kindly and full of that knowledge which restrains from extremes and checks preponderances, are, nevertheless, still very immature in those spiritual faculties which discriminate in things that differ.
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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   It would seem almost impossible to lay too great an emphasis upon the fact that to fully satisfy the mind of God in His eternal conception and purpose, initial conversion is not enough, and at least twenty of the New Testament books were written for "The perfecting of the saints unto the work of ministering."

It is not one of the least important of these vital discriminations that the laying under grace of our natural life, its temperament, disposition, and constitution, so that our soul is purged and sweetened is not the same as having our spirit quickened, energised, endowed with spiritual gifts, and exercised unto essentially spiritual service. There are many benevolent and benign old saints who are pathetically lacking in this latter sense.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   The first may be passive in temper, though active in "good works," but the second will see through and beyond and know by spiritual discernment (not shrewd natural judgment) whether a thing be of God or not, and what are the limits of the Lord's acceptance, approval, and seal.

There are "many mighty works" in His Name which stand in no relation to Him, and only that which the Father is doing can carry His resource. The knowledge of such things is spiritual discernment. Not all work FOR God is service TO God. A child's sincere desire to help its mother may only result in more mess. So in the matter of service there is the great difference between engaging in work in His Name, which seems to us to be good and right and necessary and even scriptural, but which fails to achieve His end even while it seems to be successful; and on the other hand there is that which springs firstly out of a revelation of self which brings one to an end of their own works for God, and then a revelation of the Lord which makes spiritual ministry possible. We must be constituted ministers by the things wherein the Lord has appeared unto us, and will yet appear unto us, "for to this end have I appeared unto thee, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things wherein thou hast seen Me, and of the things wherein I will appear unto thee" (Acts 26:16).

This limits all effectual service. Is it by revelation or is it on any other ground?

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   

Chapter 2 - Salvation

 

Of the things that differ we now proceed to say a little on the subject of salvation. Far be it from us to even seem to make the way of salvation difficult or complicated, but we feel that there are many very strong demands for an emphasis upon the tremendous nature of a conversion. This matter has been made all too simple and easy with disastrous consequences in after life.

While it is true that in many notable cases the final touch by which the new birth has taken place has been very gentle and undemonstrative, this does not by any means weaken the case or take from the terrific nature of the entire new birth. Precautions must be taken against such contingencies as are commonly met with amongst those who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus.
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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   For instance, there are many who come to a time when the whole question as to whether they are really born again children of God arises and they are tossed about in uncertainty, darkness and helpless impotence. Then there are many who after a time of seeming reality drop back into the old life and are carried away into greater excesses of sin and worldliness than ever. Further, the Master spoke of many who in that day will say "Lord, in Thy Name we have prophesied and done many mighty works" and that He would answer "Ye stand in no relationship to Me."

Now while in the two first instances there may have been a real transaction with God at some time and in their case doubts have arisen under extreme pressure from the Enemy, and in the other instance a pure case of backsliding, experience goes to prove that in all too many cases the origin of this "Christian Life" (?) was doubtful or inadequate.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   In view of the tremendous sifting which must take place and of the words, "If the righteous scarcely be saved where will the sinner and the ungodly appear" it behoves us to be very clear and certain as to the nature of salvation.

It is a tremendous thing to be born out of God. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is set throughout the scriptures as an example of a new birth. The divine attestation to His Sonship is always reserved for His resurrection, both in type, prediction, and fact. The Bible is written from Genesis to Revelation in the terms of the resurrection of Christ. When the Father says "Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee" it refers and relates to His resurrection by which He was the first begotten from among the dead.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   Now the Apostle says, "The exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe according to the energy of His might which He energised in Christ when He raised Him from the dead." This energy of the might of God in resurrection is "to usward who believe" and represents the nature and requirement of a birth from the dead of such as are dead in trespasses and sins. The inwrought faith of God Himself is the only adequate faith and the essential principle of resurrection. Apply this to the scriptures and you will find it is true. When we believe we turn with willingness and sincerity toward the Lord and come to Him, thus opening our hearts that His Spirit may give unto us the extra essential requisite, even saving faith.

So often there has been quoted to the unconverted as a simple basis of salvation the familiar words "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation," but we must remember that faith in the heart which is justifying faith follows upon a previous work of the Holy Spirit in the deep conviction of sin, and such faith is by the Holy Spirit's energising. In ourselves we have no saving faith - our life in Christ from start to finish is "by the faith of the Son of God."

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Jan-7

   Then also we must remember that "no man can say that Jesus is the Christ but by the Holy Spirit." This carries with it the law that, not by any mere mental assent to certain proposed truths about the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, not by any mere mental apprehension of the terms of the Gospel can man be saved, but by nothing less than the mighty work of the Holy Ghost upon and within them.

We have not sufficiently measured the force of spiritual death, the authority of Satan, the awful nature of sin, and the real change in the nature and level of man's life through the Fall. To apprehend by revelation but a little of all this would enable us to see that souls are not as easily born and cheaply won as we have been prone to think. Sooner or later in our relationship to Christ we shall be forced experimentally to recognise the infinite measure of the resurrection of Christ wrought - not only for - but in, every true child of God.

The Lord make us very sure for ourselves, and to make very sure in the case of every one with whose salvation we have anything to do.

Fred (fnorthrup)

From: Fred (fnorthrup)

Jan-7

TAS said:

Of the things that differ we now proceed to say a little on the subject of salvation. Far be it from us to even seem to make the way of salvation difficult or complicated, but we feel that there are many very strong demands for an emphasis upon the tremendous nature of a conversion.

We were just discussing salvation. I had the distinct experience of being a religious church-goer for 5 years, then of touching the Lord and being regenerated, so this subject is dear to me. We must find our spirit. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit. John 4:24

Fred (fnorthrup)

From: Fred (fnorthrup)

Jan-7

TAS said:

We have not sufficiently measured the force of spiritual death, the authority of Satan, the awful nature of sin, and the real change in the nature and level of man's life through the Fall.

We were just discussing this also. Once again, I wish brother James would not appear, and then disappear like a vaporous apparition. We have much to discuss. 

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