So long as you struggle under law, that is by your own effort, sin shall have dominion over you: but the moment you step from under the shadow of Sinai, throw yourself upon the simple grace of Christ and His free and absolute gift of righteousness, and take Him to be to you what He has pledged Himself to be, your righteousness of thought and feeling, and to keep you in spite of everything, that ever can be against you, in His perfect will and peace, the struggle is practically over. Beloved, do you really know and believe that this is the very promise of the Gospel, the very essence of the new covenant, that Christ pledges Himself to put His law in your heart, and to cause you to walk in His statutes, and to keep His judgments and do them? Do you know that this is the oath which He sware unto Abraham, that He would grant unto us. That we being delivered from the hands of our enemies, and from all that hate us, might serve Him without fear, in righteousness and holiness before Him all the days of our life. He has sworn to do this for you, and He is faithful, that promised. Trust Him ever.
Lean not unto thine own understanding
~ Prov 3:5
Faith is hindered by reliance upon human wisdom, whether our own or the wisdom of others. The devil’s first bait to Eve was an offer of wisdom, and for this she sold her faith. Ye shall be as gods, he said, knowing good and evil, and from the hour she began to know she ceased to trust. It was the spies that lost the Land of Promise to Israel of old. It was their foolish proposition to search out the land, and find out by investigation whether God had told the truth or not, that led to the awful outbreak of unbelief that shut the doors of Canaan to a whole generation. It is very significant that the names of these spies are nearly all suggestive of human wisdom, greatness and fame.
So in the days of Christ, it was the bondage of the Jews to the traditions of their fathers and the opinions of men, that kept them back from receiving Him. How can ye believe, He asked, which receive honor from men, and seek not that which cometh from God only?
Let us trust Him with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding.
Be not dismayed, for I am thy God
~ Isa 41:10
How tenderly God is always comforting our fears! How sweetly He says in Isaiah xli. 10, Fear not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. And yet again with still tenderer thoughtfulness, I, the Lord thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee. Not only does He say it once, but He keeps holding our right hand and repeating such promises.
The blessed Lord has condensed it all into one sweet monogram of eternal comfort in His message to the disciples on the sea of Galilee, It is I; be not afraid. He does not say, It is over, or It is morning, or It is fine weather, or It is smooth water, but He says, It is I, be not afraid. He is the antidote to fear; He is the remedy for trouble; He is the substance and the sum of deliverance. Therefore, we should rise above fear. Let us keep our eyes fastened upon Him; let us abide continually in Him; let us be content with Him; let us cling closely to Him and cry, We will not fear though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.
~ Isa 53:11
Jesus … said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.—He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.—To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which be purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.—That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.—Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
John 19:30, 2 Cor 5:21, Isa 43:21, Eph 3:10-11, Eph 2:7, Eph 1:13-14, 1 Pet 2:9
Hold fast that which is good
~ 1 Thess 5:21
It is a great thing to be able to receive new truth and blessing without sacrificing the truths already proved, and abandoning foundations already laid.
Some persons are always laying the foundations, and they present at last, the appearance of a lot of abandoned sites and half constructed buildings, and nothing is ever brought to completion.
The fact that you are abandoning today for some new truth the things that a year ago you counted most precious and believed to be divinely true, should be sufficient evidence that you will probably a year from today abandon your present convictions for the next new light that comes to you.
God is ever wanting to add to us, to develop us, to enlarge us, to teach us more and more, but it is ever in the line of things which He has already taught us, and in which we have been established.
While we are to prove all things, let us hold fast that which is good, and whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
We have turned every one to his own way.
~ Isa 53:6
Noah … planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken.—Abram … said unto Sara his wife, … Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake.—Isaac said unto Jacob, … Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.—Moses … spake unadvisedly with his lips.—The men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them.—David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
These all … obtained a good report through faith.—Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.—The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways.
Gen 9:20-21, Gen 12:11, Gen 12:13, Gen 27:21, Gen 27:24, Ps 106:32-33, Josh 9:14-15, 1 Kgs 15:5, Heb 11:39, Rom 3:24, Isa 53:6, Ezek 36:32
Charity doth not behave itself unseemly
~ 1 Cor 13:5
In the dress of a Hindu woman, her graceful robe is fastened upon her person entirely by means of a single knot. The long strip of cloth is wound around her person so as to fall in graceful folds like a made garment, and the end is fastened by a little knot, and the whole thing hangs by that single fastening. If that were loosed the robe would fall. And so in the spiritual life, our habits of grace are likened unto garments; and it is also true that the garment of love, which is the beautiful adorning of the child of God, is entirely fastened by little knots.
If you will read with care the thirteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians, you will find that most of the qualities of love are purely negative. Love envieth not, love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave herself rudely, seeketh not her own, is not provoked, thinketh no evil. Here are nots enough to hold on our spiritual wardrobe. Here are reasons enough to explain the failure of so many, and the reason why they walk naked, or with rent garments, and others see their shame. Let us look after the nots.