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Hope As An Anchor Of The Soul (New Year)

hope as an anchor of the soul, eternal security, new year 2018, assurance of salvation

As we move into 2018 many are hoping for a better year than 2017. Many had a very hard year, even excessively hard. Yesterday I was at a public hospital to see a doctor (thyroid) and get medicine repeats. While at the first stage of the process I got talking with a doctor also waiting in the process. He used to work at that particular hospital but had moved on. As we spoke I asked him what his thoughts were for the new year. He immediately answered that he saw nothing ahead that he felt that he could put his hope in. He is not optimistic about the future.

And in one way or another we will all be looking ahead and wondering what life will be like in 2018, or wondering what will happen in our personal circumstances in the coming year. And with so many changes happening so quickly and unexpectedly in the last 20 years or so. It’s hard to be able to predict what will happen in the coming new year. Life has become very uncertain, very unpredictable, not as it was 30-40 years ago.

What many found to be secure 30 years ago in businesses and careers are no longer secure today. From a spiritual perspective I see a very positive side to the modern insecurity of the temporal life. When businesses and careers were secure people who were resisting God found a comfortable place to hide from the Lord in those ‘secure’ environments. But as our world has so turned from the Lord and each generation turned from Him further than the previous generations. Our world has become more and more insecure as it’s become more and more ungodly. And as the Lord has been left out of modern society more and more, He has not allowed such people, such nations, to prosper as once they did when they acknowledge Him, and the Christian Faith as the one truth faith from Him. Now it is becoming far harder to find the world a distraction ‘from the Lord’. In all levels of society people are very insecure regarding their future, regarding the new year. And that is good! People mustn’t be able to find ‘security’ in the world!

I’m hoping that this will have a positive cause in some irreligious people turning to the Lord. And some religious, lost people, turning properly, Biblically to the Lord. As only the Lord can provide absolutely perfect security regardless of our circumstances. That which the Lord wants to give each of us, our world at it’s best cannot come close to providing…

Hope … As An Anchor Of The Soul

While still in this life, in this world, God’s children have hope, perfect security from God regarding their temporal life, as well as their eternal souls…

Hebrews 6:18-20
18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20  Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

As an anchor secures a boat or ship from drifting, so an individual being ‘in-Christ’, being Born Again’, is perfectly secure regarding their eternal soul’s security. And each child of God may have this hope keep them perfectly secure in this world. Even should chaos be happening around them, because their security, their hope is in Christ, their hope cannot be taken away, it cannot be lost! It is in Hebrews 6 promised to be both, “sure and stedfast”…

“Sure”: As in ‘certain’ or ‘unfailing’

“Stedfast”: Will not abandon the child of God before they are living in eternity, at Home in Heaven with the Lord.

This is where our hope for 2018 must be! In Christ! Not in ‘favourible circumstances’ or in ‘things working out better for us in the New Year’. There is no Biblical reason why 2018 will be good as far as temporal things are concerned. Our rebellious societies / cultures give every indication of breaking down even further than they have at this point in time! Get hope from the ONLY source that guarantees hope … Christ!

In Christ’s Hand, In The Hand Of The Father

Those who are truly Christ’s, those who have actually been born again, follow Him. Their life is not their own, they follow their Saviour’s example that He made while in our world…

John 10:27-30
27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and my Father are one.

Christ’s redeemed, His sheep, are absolutely secure in His Hand. As secure as if they were already with Him in Heaven! There is no more secure place than in their Saviour’s Hand! And if that was not enough, the Lord Jesus further comforts His sheep with the fact that they are also in the Father’s Hand! Language cannot express the extent of such security! Words fail us to adequately describe the absolute security of God’s children! And though they will have trials and struggles while still in this sin damaged world, their souls are perfectly secure in Christ for all eternity.

Those Who Know And Keep Christ’s Commandments Are Those Who Are Secure

1 John 2:3-6
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

It is one thing reading, and learning of the perfect security of God’s children. It is another to have such hope, such certainty in one’s heart and mind, giving daily comfort. The irresponsible child of God will not experience the comfort of hope and certainty as they should in their daily walk. The apostle John writes of the eternal security of the child of God who keeps the commandments of Christ faithfully. And this promised certainty strengthens with time. Where on going obedience to the commands of Christ becomes the life of the child of God. Where their life is permanently changed / shaped by the commands of Christ. And (v5) as the, “love of God”, ‘matures’ / ‘is perfected’ in them. Love for God, and then love for their fellow man. These will become blessed indicators of true life with Christ as a child of God. And (v6) they will live according to the same values that the Scriptures teach us that Christ had. Witnessing such change in one self will encourage that one that they have in reality been secured in Christ.

The Inner Working Of The Holy Spirit Gives God’s Children Eternal Security

Here we see that it is the whole Triune Godhead that is involved in the child of God’s hope, their eternal security. Here we are taught the part that the Holy Spirit has…

Romans 8:4  “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

It is through the indwelling Holy Spirit that the obedient child of God is enabled to live righteously, according to the normally impossibly high standards of God’s law. Which happens when they, in obedience to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, walk after Him instead of after the sinful passions of their flesh…

Romans 8:13-17
13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

V15/ It is by the indwell Holy Spirit that God’s children will love Almighty God as their Father.

V16/ They will know the witness of the indwelling Spirit that thy are indeed children of God.

Again: it is through obediently allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead them that another form of ‘hope’, ‘eternal security’ is realized / known in God’s children’s personal experience. That, “all things work together for good to them that love God…”

Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The apostle Paul, after teaching the amazing truths of this chapter in Romans describing the incomparable life of the Spirit led, and Spirit enabled child of God, sums up…

Romans 8:31-32
31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Folks, why be mindlessly foolish by looking to the world, our cultures, and life’s fickle circumstances in the coming 2018 for hope in the coming months of 2018?! Look to the Lord each day, week and month for all your hope in life! Our rebellious world and its ways is going to pass away forever soon (1 John 2:17). Only the ways of the Lord will continue into eternity. Live with the Lord and get used to living according to His values and ways now! And know His hope as an anchor through 2018 and for the rest of your life in this temporal world!

1 John 2:17  “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

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180 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – HOW TO ACHIEVE THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 149

The Lord has given us His Word in order for us to know with certainty what life with Him is in reality. And with our world so far from God with endless mixed ideas of Who He is, and what His Truth is in all matters. We MUST do a responsible study of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15-16), relying on the Spirit’s leading (Romans 8:14), in order to learn God’s perspective of life – His Truth!

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

___

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

The context of this study…

B. What Does The Lord Reveal In His Word As To What Is His Way To Achieve His Goal / Purposes In Us? (See Studies 035 – Continued)

4. Integrity – Uprightness – Honesty Needed For…

b. Man’s Spiritual Life (See Study 045 – Continued)

x. Man’s ‘Spiritual Life’ Is Being “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 130 – Continued)

x.ii.i. God’s Children Need To Be Made “Spiritually Minded” (See study 132)
x.ii.ii. Walking “After The Spirit” (See studies 133 – 143)
x.ii.iii. Minding “The Things Of The Spirit” Makes The Child Of God “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 144 – 162)

x.ii.iv. Being “Spiritually Minded” (See study 163 – Continued)

x.ii.iv.i. Introduction (See study 163)
x.ii.iv.ii. Being “Spiritually Minded” Is Not… (See study 164 – Continued)

x.ii.iv.ii.i. …Having Only A Vague Understanding Of The Lord (See study 164 – Continued)

x.ii.iv.ii.i.i. Because Of Being ‘Lukewarm’ (See study 164)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.ii. The Remedy Is In Christ Himself (See study 165)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.iii. The Love Of Christ’s Rebuke (See study 166)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.iv. Loving Rebuke And Chastening (See study 167)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.v. The Joyous Purpose Of Chastening And Scourging (See study 168)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.vi. “Be Zealous Therefore, And Repent” (See study 169)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.vii. “Behold, I Stand At The Door, And Knock” (See study 170)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.viii. “If Any Man Hear My Voice, And Open The Door” (See study 171)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.ix. “I Will Come In To Him, And Will Sup With Him, And He With Me” (See study 172)

x.ii.iv.ii.i.ix.i. Being Taught By Christ (See studies 173 – Continued)

x.ii.iv.ii.i.ix.i.i. “Instruction” (See study 174)
x.ii.iv.ii.i.ix.i.ii. “Understanding” (See studies 175- Continued)

x.ii.iv.ii.i.ix.i.ii.i. “The Fear Of The LORD” (See studies 176- Continued)

Proverbs 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Illustrated In The Old Testament (See studies 176 – 177)
Illustrated In The New Testament (See study 178)
The Lord’s Given Way To Know Godly Fear Of Himself (See study 179)

Knowing The Reality Of “The Fear Of The LORD” Opens The Way To ‘Knowledge’ And ‘Wisdom’ From The LORD

(From last time…)

Hebrews 12:28-29
28  … let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29  For our God is a consuming fire.

Proverbs 2:1-8
1  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8  He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

(Continuing in the above Scriptures, and…)

Proverbs 2:8-12
He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
10  When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
12  To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

When the child of God has responded to the inner working of the Holy Spirit, to be given a passion to know the LORD, His will, and His ways (spoken here as, “knowledge and understanding” – verses 2, 3, 5, 6), the LORD will respond, as we have seen, with giving them – firstly – to, “understand the fear of the LORD.” And secondly, as well as thereafter (Proverbs 1:7) ‘the most important of all, knowledge and understanding”’, – the, “knowledge of God.” Because the child of God, or any individual for that matter, who turns their focus and attention to the LORD with such integrity, will find the LORD responding to them. Any individual who responds whole heartedly to the LORD has done so because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Who ‘reproves’, convicts, “the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” And they have responded to Him. And He has therefore enabled them to, “understand the fear of the LORD, AND find the knowledge of God.” We are given further explanation that ‘this’ child of God has turned to the only source of true, eternal, “knowledge and understanding” – the LORD…

Proverbs 2:6  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

And the responding child of God will get to be made more and more spiritually minded, as the LORD leads them away from the sinful ways of the world and the flesh, to ‘know’, ‘understand’, and ‘live’ His ways.

Where the responding lost person, the one not born again, will be – if they continue to respond positively, obediently, to the LORD – be led to being born again. And thereafter, as a child of God, to turn away from the sinful ways of the world (1 John 2:15-17 KJV) to the LORD’s ways, and being made more and more spiritually minded, more and more like the LORD.

(To be continued…)

 

Link to the whole study’s outline CLICK HERE

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157 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – HOW TO ACHIEVE THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 126

The context of this study…

x.ii.iii.iii. God’s Word Is Vital Towards God’s Children Knowing The Reality Of ‘Minding, “The Things Of The Spirit”’ In Their Spiritual Lives (See studies 147 – Continued)

x.ii.iii.iii.i. Reading God’s Word (See studies 147 – 148)
x.ii.iii.iii.ii. Studying God’s Word (See studies 149 – Continued)

2 Timothy 3: 16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Summing Up The Command To Study God’s Word

We have examined two primary Scriptures in these studies:

Firstly, we saw the ‘command’ to God’s children to, “study”, or ‘make an effort’, so show, or make sure, that they are, “approved unto God”. That the prime efforts of God’s children are to be to make certain that they are, “approved unto God”. That their walk, their lives, are acceptable in His sight as their Father.

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Secondly, that God’s children are to be, “approved”, as, “workman”. God’s children are away from Home, Heaven, for one purpose only – to be, ”workman”, representative of their God, their Father for the sort time that they are away from Home in this world. And that they must ‘make an effort’ to be, “workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” They must keep a pure conscience before their Father day and night. The indwelling Spirit will lead them in all that they must do. They must simply, willingly, enthusiastically follow His lead. And these Scriptures teach God’s children some of the things that the Holy Spirit will lead them into. We saw how this verse finished with a vital truth that the child of God’s ‘studying to be, “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed”’, has to do with, “rightly dividing the word of truth.” i.e. They must learn to use the Scriptures correctly. They must know how to find where the Scriptures teach them, as Christians of the Church, how to be, “approved unto God”, and how to be, “workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” And with these studies as your guide, ARE you ‘studying’, ARE you ‘MAKING AN EFFORT’, to know the reality of being, “approved unto God”? By the ‘kind of effort’ we ARE making we showing the Lord whether or not He HAS priority in our hearts and minds above all else, which is as He requires our hearts and minds to be…

Colossians 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

i.e. That in all things Christ would have FIRST PLACE… How much of a reality is this in our walk, in our lives with Him? Do we have an actual plan of action to rectify this where necessary, or a plan of action to make this actually happen? Are we putting in the kind of effort needed to know the reality of making sure that our Father approves of our walk with Him, that He does have the preeminence, the first place in our hearts, our minds, and our daily walk with Him? Every child of God is challenged in here, and every child of God MUST be making their own plans on how this spiritual development is going to actually happen between them and the Lord.

The Lord guide you into loving Him above all, and demonstrating your love for Him with action…

 

Link to the whole study’s outline CLICK HERE

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109 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – HOW TO ACHIEVE THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 78

vii. Man’s Spiritual Life Challenged By satan (See studies 067 – 095)

viii. Man’s Spiritual Life Challenged By ‘The World’ (See studies 096 – 108)

ix. Man’s Spiritual Life Challenged By “The Flesh

The spiritual term ‘the flesh’ comes up time and time again in the Scriptures, and has come up time and time again in our examination of the two enemies of God’s children, ‘the devil’ and ‘the world’ in our Spiritual Life studies. We’ve seen the significant threat of the devil and the world to God’s children, but as will be seen, we’ve left the worst for last. ‘The flesh’, we will see, is by far the most troublesome and most destructive enemy to the child of God’s spiritual life.

ix.i. Introduction To The Enemy Of “The Flesh”

In Romans 6-8 and Galatians 5 Paul deals with the opposition of, “the flesh”, in the life and walk of the child of God. In verses 16 and 17 of Galatians 5 Paul describes this opposition / challenge of the flesh…

Galatians 5:16-17
16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Paul here describes the internal conflict that goes on inside of each child of God, because of their, “flesh”. On the one hand, the child of God has the indwelling Holy Spirit attempting to lead them, and give them spiritual enabling in their spiritual lives, and to lead them to spiritual maturity – to being, “spiritually minded” (Romans 8:1-7 KJV). And on the other hand, there is their, “flesh”, that is self-centered, and unwilling to yield to God, and to being led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit being passionate about leading God’s children to spiritual maturity, and helping the child of God with the challenge of their flesh. And their flesh stubbornly, passionately resisting the Holy Spirit, and not wanting to yield to anyone but their own selfish desires, “For the flesh lusteth [IS PASSIONATE] against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh…”.

In Romans 8:12-13 Paul teaches us the vital principle of spiritual victory…

Romans 8:12-13
12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

A Scripture that we looked at recently… Though one be born again, if they are careless, their spiritual lives with the Lord may be destroyed, or ruined, “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die…”. This is not physical death, but a ruined walk and usefulness to the Lord that is being referred to. Nor is this referring to losing their salvation – which is impossible, but their walk and usefulness to the Lord. Daily, even situation by situation, the child of God has to make the conscious decision to do what they know to be right in the eyes of God, and not to follow the lazy, self-centered desires / passions of, “the flesh”, and do what is ‘convenience’ at the time. Many times the child of God will find that they have to consciously turn to the Lord in prayer for help to do what they know is God’s will, and to, with the Spirit’s help, “mortify the deeds of the body”. i.e. Relying heavily of the Spirit’s enabling to do His known will, and not do what their flesh is strongly tempting them to do. Urgently praying something like, ‘Lord help! Help me to mortify / kill this passion in me to do what I know to be wrong!’

And when you do fail. Never give up! Confess the sin, and ask the Lord to help you not to repeat the same sin. BUT NEVER GIVE UP! The child of God has Almighty God PASSIONATELY on their side. And He has made provision to cleanse us of all unrighteousness when we sin, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Keep looking to the Holy Spirit to get rid of sinful acts and habits!

 

Link to the whole study’s outline CLICK HERE

To download an MS Word file of the above study…

031 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 31

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. And that the Lord created them to NEED Him in order to have a full, secure and purposeful life. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

I. WHAT IS THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN? (STATED)

A. That Man Would Have Life WITH Him (See studies 001 – 002)
B. That His Children Would Learn To Know Him (See studies 003 – 007)
C. That His Children Would Therefore Love Him With All Of Their Being (See studies 008 – 010)
D. That Motivated By Supreme Love, His Children Would Glorify Him In All That They Do (See studies 011 – 014)
E. That His Children Would Be “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 015 – 030)

Conclusion

The way we think, what we value, the way we view ourselves, has significant impact on our lives. The only correct view of ourselves is the Lord’s view of us. He sees all, He sees what we really are. There is nothing that is hidden from Him. And the more those who have been born again allow the Holy Spirit to lead them and make them, “spiritually minded”. The more they will be seeing themselves as the Lord does.

This will help them to not be unduly confident in their own ability. Becoming, “spiritually minded”, will also keep them from being discouraged by personal weakness real or imagined. Those who are, “spiritually minded”, are led into the truth about themselves that they ARE sons or daughters of God, and therefore important to Him. They will also understand that they have to have the Spirit’s enablement to live the spiritual life with their Father, and to keep them from sin. And so this will keep them humble, BUT completely satisfied with life with the Lord!

They are thereby convinced that the only life for them is life with their God and Father. Learning to know Him more and more through the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit’s opening of their understanding of Who and What their God is – according to the Word of God. And then, so very important, that they get to experience the Truths that they have learnt from God’s Word about their God in their personal walks with Him.

Psalms 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

1 Peter 2:3  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

This will of course bring them to love Him more and more towards their meeting His rightful requirement – that they love Him with all of their being…

Deuteronomy 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Matthew 22:37-38
37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38  This is the first and great commandment.

And as we have seen, That God’s children’s’ loving their God with all of their being is demonstrated by their doing all they do to the glory of God…

1 Corinthians 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

See also Colossians 3:23 and 1 Peter 4:11 KJV.

Both our personal love for our God, and our doing all to His glory, are to be done with all of our being. Devotion and love that is appropriate for our Creator, being All Mighty God, and Who has loved us beyond our comprehension in the giving of His Son to reconcile us to Himself, and His astounding mercy and grace when we sin!

Next we will have a look at the Lord’s revealed way to achieve His goals for us.

 

To download an MS Word file of the above study…

030 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 30

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. And that the Lord created them to NEED Him in order to have a full, secure and purposeful life. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

I. WHAT IS THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN? (STATED)

A. That Man Would Have Life WITH Him (See studies 001 – 002)
B. That His Children Would Learn To Know Him (See studies 003 – 007)
C. That His Children Would Therefore Love Him With All Of Their Being (See studies 008 – 010)
D. That Motivated By Supreme Love, His Children Would Glorify Him In All That They Do (See studies 011 – 014)

E. That His Children Would Be “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 015 – Continued)

i. Examples Of What Being Spiritually Minded Is (See studies 018 – 024)
ii. “That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God” (See studies 025 – 027)

iii. KNOWING That They Are Part Of God’s Purposes (See study 028 Continued)

Continuing in Ephesians 4 from our last study…

Ephesians 4:13-16
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

We’ve seen in verses 13 and 14, how the Spirit led local church will prepare those who are born again in their church, to grow to maturity in doctrinal knowledge of the Lord, and the Christian faith. So that their local church is united in their knowledge of the ‘one true Christian Faith’ that the Bible reveals, and that the Holy Spirit has opened to their understanding. So that they are not ‘spiritual children’ who are driven back and forth between this and that ‘new’, ‘exciting’ teaching that they hear somewhere, but are ground in the one true Christian Faith given by the Lord.

Verse 15, and when there are children of God, in the local church, brought to spiritual maturity: Doctrinal (in the foundational truths of Christianity at least), as well as in their personal, practical walk with the Lord. Then may they be true representatives of Christ! And speak, “the truth in love”, to all in their lives. Both at church and in their personal lives.

Verse 16, here we have the description of a Spirit led, Spirit blessed local church! Their leaders are gifted by the Holy Spirit for their spiritual ministries. And because they are also walking by the leading of the Holy Spirit in their personal lives, and being led by the Holy Spirit in their ministries, their ministries are fruitful! Though in this day and age of general moral and spiritual wickedness, they will not have a huge base of people, who have been born again, and being Spirit led. But those that the Lord gives them are growing! The Spirit led ministers have been the Lord’s ideal environment for them to grow in. And those who have taken the God given opportunity, HAVE grown! The Word of God is being taught by Spirit led men, and they have the ideal opportunity to grow to spiritual maturity.

So that they may in turn fulfill their part in their local church, and personal world. This verse 16 is what the Lord is aiming for through the local church. People born again, and led to maturity in knowledge and daily walk, so that each may minister to one another within their church. “…by that which every joint supplieth,… unto the edifying of itself in love.” Each of those who are born again in the local church is a, “joint”, in the local ‘body of Christ’. And we are meant to be capable of spiritual ministry among ourselves, in spiritual fellowship, encouragement and teaching. So that the local ‘body of Christ’ edifies itself.

Then each child of God, from being able to minister within the local church, will then also be useful to their Lord in their personal worlds as well. God’s ministers in the local churches will never get to meet the people that those of their congregations do in their daily lives. And the Lord would have those sons and daughters doctrinally, and spiritually, prepared to serve Him among those in their lives.

This is the Lord’s goal for each of His children: to have a mature, spiritually educated, life with Him where they are able to love Him, and glorify Him, through capable spiritual involvement in His purposes.

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

029 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 29

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. And that the Lord created them to NEED Him in order to have a full, secure and purposeful life. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

I. WHAT IS THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN? (STATED)

A. That Man Would Have Life WITH Him (See studies 001 – 002)
B. That His Children Would Learn To Know Him (See studies 003 – 007)
C. That His Children Would Therefore Love Him With All Of Their Being (See studies 008 – 010)
D. That Motivated By Supreme Love, His Children Would Glorify Him In All That They Do (See studies 011 – 014)

E. That His Children Would Be “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 015 – Continued)

i. Examples Of What Being Spiritually Minded Is (See studies 018 – 024
ii. “That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God” (See studies 025 – 027)

iii. KNOWING That They Are Part Of God’s Purposes (See study 028 Continued)

It is easy to appreciate that the Lord has gifted men in the local church, to lead the ministries of that church. Though not all seem to appreciate that EACH child of God is to contribute to the ministry of the local church through spiritual ministry, and not only non-spiritual service.

Ephesians 4:11-16
11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Verses 11 and 12 reveal the fact of certain believers in the local church having spiritual gifts from the Lord to fulfil their spiritual ministries. And the goal of those gifts being for the spiritual benefit of the believers in that church, and for fulfilling of the spiritual ministries of that church.

Verses 13 through 16 detail the Lord’s goals for the spiritual maturity of the believers of the local church, through to where they can contribute to one another in spiritual ministry.

Verse 13, doctrinal, “unity of the faith”, – they are to be taught God’s Word regarding just what the Christian Faith is, and what the practical daily walk is, so that they wouldn’t be divided in belief and understanding of exactly what the Christian Faith is (see also 1 Corinthians 1:10 KJV). The rest of this verse speaks of God’s children also being taught about, “the Son of God”. And then about being brought to spiritual maturity, “unto a perfect man”, which is Christ our perfect example, “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”, – the, “spiritually minded”, child of God to use the Romans 8 term for maturity. All this tells us that the Lord is not willing that His children are ignorant of Him and His Word, or ignorant of just what the Christian Faith Is, just what the daily, practical, spiritual life is!

Breaking this down into more detail…

Verse 14, it is not the Lord’s will that His sons and daughters remain spiritual children, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”. See also 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 KJV. Today’s church attender, and even many very active people in today’s churches are either not born again (Matthew 7:22-23 KJV), or they are spiritual children. They follow variations of the million plus corruptions of what is called Christianity today! And they are influenced by what takes their fancy, but what they like, or by what makes sense to them personally. And not by what they have been led to believe through honest study of God’s Word, looking carefully, urgently, to the Holy Spirit to guide them into HIS TRUTH contained in HIS Word! And while the average church attender remains not born again, or a spiritual child, they cannot be used by the Lord as He has planned to! They are rather a hindrance to His purposes!

By the Lord’s provision of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and His perfect Word, not one of us needs to remain unsaved, not born again! And His sons and daughter have no excuse to remain in spiritual ignorance! Our choices are: love for the Lord – shown through obedience to Him; or love for the wicked ways of the world, and love for self. We each make our choices – what is your choice? The Lord sees the reality of our choice – many deceive themselves even about their choice here. Be careful of the human tendency to self-deception (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

028 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 28

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. And that the Lord created them to NEED Him in order to have a full, secure and purposeful life. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

I. WHAT IS THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN? (STATED)

A. That Man Would Have Life WITH Him (See studies 001 – 002)
B. That His Children Would Learn To Know Him (See studies 003 – 007)
C. That His Children Would Therefore Love Him With All Of Their Being (See studies 008 – 010)
D. That Motivated By Supreme Love, His Children Would Glorify Him In All That They Do (See studies 011 – 014)

E. That His Children Would Be “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 015 – Continued)

i. Examples Of What Being Spiritually Minded Is (See studies 018 – 024)

As God’s children learn the reality of being led by the Holy Spirit, they are brought to view all things as the Lord does. God’s children who are spiritually minded are…

ii. KNOW “That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God” (See studies 025 – 027)

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

iii. KNOWING That They Are Part Of God’s Purposes

There are certain realities that are unique to individuals who have been born again, and are, “spiritually minded”. There are some personal things that they see, as the Lord sees, in their own walk and ministry with Him. They get to be led by the Lord to see where He wants to use them in His purposes in the local church, as well as in their personal lives…

Ephesians 4:11-12
11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The Lord gives local churches individuals called and gifted for the ministry that He wants them to serve Him in. And if they are being led by the Holy Spirit, He will lead them into that sphere of service, in the local church, that HE wants them to serve Him in. As opposed to them deciding where and how they will serve the Him. This will be ‘individual’, ‘personal’, leading by the Holy Spirit. Leading them into how they are to serve Him in His purposes in this world.

Now not all will have an ‘official’ ministry of their own in their local church. Most will serve assisting in the local church ministries. This assisting will bring about opportunities to minister to individuals’ spiritual needs. Whether to lead them to Christ, or to disciple them in the foundational truths of the Christian Faith, or to teach them some aspect of the spiritual life, or to simply edify them through fellowship in spiritual matters. But the Lord will lead those who are, “spiritually minded”, to do more than be an extra pair of hands, in non-spiritual duties – though such assistance will also be needed. But none should stop with only giving the ‘extra hands’, non-spiritual assistance. All should be students of God’s Word so that they may mature in their faith, and walk with the Lord, towards ministering to peoples spiritual needs. This is certainly the goal of the Holy Spirit in all that have been born again. And will be the result in those growing in being, “spiritually minded.”

In the Ephesians 4 passage, Paul teaches this very thing. In verses 11 and 12 above we see that the Lord has given certain gifts to believers in the local church, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” “Perfecting of the saints”, is teaching God’s children the Christian faith, and the daily spiritual life with the Lord. (The gifts of apostleship and prophets of course having fallen away now that the Bible is complete. And therefore no need for direct revelation of new truth from the Lord. And the history of the Biblical Church testifies to that reality.) These gifts are so that the ministries of the local church are, not works of man, but are carried out according to the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit – i.e. Through the spiritual gifts given them, “for the work of the ministry”. These gifts are also for the spiritually enabled ‘encouragement’, for the spiritually enabled ‘challenging’, of God’s children as well, “for the edifying of the body of Christ”.

Next we will have a look at how the gifted men, leading the ministries of the local church, are to be preparing all the believers of their local church to be capable to being used by the Lord in spiritual ministry. Spiritual ministries within and without the local Church – i.e. Also among family, friends and business colleagues in their lives.

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

027 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 27

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. And that the Lord created them to NEED Him in order to have a full, secure and purposeful life. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

I. WHAT IS THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN? (STATED)

A. That Man Would Have Life WITH Him (See studies 001 – 002)
B. That His Children Would Learn To Know Him (See studies 003 – 007)
C. That His Children Would Therefore Love Him With All Of Their Being (See studies 008 – 010)
D. That Motivated By Supreme Love, His Children Would Glorify Him In All That They Do (See studies 011 – 014)

E. That His Children Would Be “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 015 – Continued)

i. Examples Of What Being Spiritually Minded Is (See study 018 – Continued)

As God’s children learn the reality of being led by the Holy Spirit, they are brought to view all things as the Lord does. God’s children who are spiritually minded are…

ii. “That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God” (See study 025 Continued)

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 “All things”, means, “ALL THINGS”. Not just spiritual things, but also things of temporal value, “all things”! Looking at this blessed truth, this blessed promise in few practical ways…

a. Those Who Have Been Born Again, Who Are “Spiritually Minded”, KNOW That They Are In God’s Hand (See study 025)

b. Those Who Have Been Born Again, Who Are “Spiritually Minded”, KNOW That They Will Not Be Tempted Above That They Are Able To Manage (See study 025

c. Those Who Have Been Born Again, Who Are “Spiritually Minded”, KNOW That Trials And Temptation Are Allowed For Their Spiritual Growth

d. “All Things Work Together For Good” Summed Up

Those who are growing in being, “spiritually minded”, will discover that as they continually seek to do their Father’s will in all things, that with the mix of occasions of great joy and blessing along with the trials that they must endure, that their walk’s with the Lord ARE progressing! And that their knowledge of the Lord and the Faith is increasing as they are led in their study of God’s Word. And to their joy the Spirit has been opening their understanding of the truths of the Faith!

Those who are growing in being, “spiritually minded”, will see greater and greater evidences of their Father’s Hand in their daily lives. As, again in the mix of blessing and trial, things are always working out for best, and that they always have what they need in the temporary things of life.

With both their spiritual and the temporal needs being met, and both areas of their lives becoming so clearly managed by the Lord. The promise, “…, all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”, so clearly being kept in their personal walk with the Lord, that ‘what deep inner joy and satisfaction they know!’ There always being sufficient blessing to keep them through all trials that their Father’s wise management allows in their life with Him. And sufficient blessing to bring them to love their Father more and more with time.

Paul wrote to the careless Hebrew believers of their need to grow in their walk with the Lord, to where they knew hope, “as an anchor of the soul.”

Hebrews 6:9-19
9  But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10  For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11  And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
14  Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16  For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
17  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Here Paul urges them on to not being slothful (careless), but to be followers of those whom they knew had made spiritual progress in the Faith. To the end, verse 18 and 19, that they would have, “strong consolation”, who have, “fled”, – turned with all their hearts and minds to the Lord – and have found hope, “as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast”. i.e. Their responsible, their honest, walk with the Lord has brought about reality between them and the Lord! So that their walk with the Lord has brought ‘certainty FROM Him’. That they KNOW that they ARE secure! They their hope is not blind belief, but FROM THE LORD in the REALITY of their walk with Him!

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…

026 THE SPIRITUAL LIFE – THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN – 26

Why did the Lord create man? According to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word, the Bible, man was created to have life with Him. That they would have a full, secure and purposeful life with their Creator. And that the Lord created them to NEED Him in order to have a full, secure and purposeful life. So that those who CHOOSE life WITH Him, would learn to know Him, and therefore love Him with all of their being. And motivated by love, glorify Him in all that they do.

I. WHAT IS THE LORD’S GOAL FOR MAN? (STATED)

A. That Man Would Have Life WITH Him (See studies 001 – 002)
B. That His Children Would Learn To Know Him (See studies 003 – 007)
C. That His Children Would Therefore Love Him With All Of Their Being (See studies 008 – 010)
D. That Motivated By Supreme Love, His Children Would Glorify Him In All That They Do (See studies 011 – 014)

E. That His Children Would Be “Spiritually Minded” (See studies 015 – Continued)

i. Examples Of What Being Spiritually Minded Is (See study 018 – Continued)

As God’s children learn the reality of being led by the Holy Spirit, they are brought to view all things as the Lord does. God’s children who are spiritually minded are…

Seeing Themselves As The Lord Does…

That They Are His Son And Daughters & Are Secure In Their Salvation (See study 018 – 019)
That They Are Eternal Beings (See study 020)
That Death Is Nothing To Fear (See study 021)
That They Are More Deceitful To Themselves Than satan Is (See study 022)
That They Are To Be About Their Father’s Business (See studies 023 – 024)

ii. “That All Things Work Together For Good To Them That Love God” (See study 025 Continued)

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

“All things”, means, “ALL THINGS”. Not just spiritual things, but also things of temporal value, “all things”! Looking at this blessed truth, this blessed promise in few practical ways…

a. Those Who Have Been Born Again, Who Are “Spiritually Minded”, KNOW That They Are In God’s Hand (See study 025)

John 10:27-30 KJV

b. Those Who Have Been Born Again, Who Are “Spiritually Minded”, KNOW That They Will Not Be Tempted Above That They Are Able To Manage (See study 025)

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV

c. Those Who Have Been Born Again, Who Are “Spiritually Minded”, KNOW That Trials And Temptation Are Allowed For Their Spiritual Growth

In the book of James we are instructed in the reason for those who have been born again being allowed to be tempted, and being allowed trials. The trials are for the purpose of bringing God’s children to spiritual maturity. To bring them to being, “spiritually minded”, in the terminology of Romans 8.

James 1:2-4
2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

The first virtue towards spiritual maturity is, “patience”, and a daily walk with the Lord having to be patient will develop the virtue of, “patience”, and will lead to greater spiritual maturity in developing other spiritual virtues (See also Galatians 5:22-23 KJV) – our being brought to being more and more, “spiritually minded”, (“…, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting [lacking] nothing”). And when the Lord declares a son or daughter to be, “…perfect and entire, wanting nothing”, or being like Christ, then we know that such a believer has been brought to a place of being supremely useful to the Lord. Praise the Lord that we don’t have to reach such a level of maturity to be useful. Though the closer that we do, the greater our usefulness to the Lord will be.

And so the tougher experiences of life are not beyond our ability to manage (1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV), but are given to bring us to spiritual maturity. Hense, “all things work together for good …”.

But …

Those who are, “spiritually minded”, learn to know the difference between trials that the Lord allows, and the trials that they have brought into their own lives through sin. The above promises will not necessarily protect them against sinful behaviour, or sinful negligence. They will learn the truth of reaping what they sow …

Galatians 6:7-8
7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

If those who have been born again ruined their health through previous years of the use of drugs, tobacco, drink or neglect. If they have been foolish in early life and lost a leg, or an arm through sinful living. Whatever they have brought on themselves will be carried through the remainder of their lives in this world. They will reap the consequences of such a life. For some the consequences will be less severe than others. But years of life outside of Christ, or of sinful behavior as a child of God, often will have consequences that will last the rest of their lives in this world.

This is not to say that they cannot be wonderfully used by the Lord, but it can mean that their walk with the Lord is weighed down with certain consequences of their early life. Of their earlier life either as an unbeliever, or as a carnal believer. But what they are doing now, and how they walk with the Lord today, and in the days to come, will determine what their life with the Lord will be, and what their usefulness to Him will be. Their past need not prevent them from a wonderful walk with the Lord for the rest of their life in this world, and wonderful usefulness in their Lord’s purposes.

(To be continued…)

 

Use the following link to download an MS Word file of the above study…