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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/15/2019 in all areas

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    It’s God’s care to “work in us” (Phl 2:13), and the believer’s care to “walk in His Spirit” (because we “live in His Spirit - Gal 5:25), via Him “conforming” our minds and hearts to be as His Son’s (1Jo 4:17) by His Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16) through the implanting of a new nature (“new man”) that is “after” the Lord Jesus’ nature (Col 3:10), thereby being made “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4). Hence we do not conform ourselves but are “to be conformed.” We do not change ourselves but “are changed” (Rom 8:29). Those who are “born again” eventually, without fail, manifest (in their lifestyle or walk) all these godly virtues and blessings, as we continue “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2). The renting of the Temple veil was the renting of the Lord Jesus’ body and demonstrates not only the nullification of the sin nature’s damnation (Ro 8:1) and dominion (Ro 6:14) in believers, but is also the provision of establishing eternal fellowship with the Father. “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (Heb 10:10 – NLT). . . by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh” (Heb 10:20). His death did not establish new life but firstly, the judgement of our sin, so His resurrection could establish our new life in Him and the Father, through Their Holy Spirit! NC Glorious Gaze The Lord Jesus in glory is set before us as the object to which we are to be conformed. We are told that the Father has predestinated us “to be to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). John likewise alludes to the fact when he says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know the when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1Jhn 3:2). But it is Paul who brings out this truth in its most definite form. Writing to the Corinthians, and contrasting the ministry of righteousness with the ministry of condemnation, and being led to state the full and blessed place into which believers are now brought, he says, “We all, with open (i.e. unveiled) face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Cor 3:18). He refers to Exodus 34, where we read Moses was compelled to put a veil upon his face to conceal the glory that lingered there (after he had come down from the Mount, where he had been with the Lord forty days and forty nights), because Aaron and all the children of Israel “were afraid to come near him.” “And (till) Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord, to speak with Him, he took the veil off, until he came out” (Ex 34:34, 35). Only Moses went in, under that dispensation, before the Lord with unveiled face; but now we all—all believers—with open (unveiled) face behold the glory of the Lord. The truth then is, that all who are in the Christian place and position are set down in the light, as God is in the light (1Jo 1:7), and there they behold with unveiled face the glory of the Lord. Christ in glory is the object on which they gaze (it’s gazing or “looking unto Jesus” in the Word of God that conforms and changes—by the Spirit – e.g. Jam 1:23, 24; thus the more the Word exposure the more the change in our walk of what we already are in Christ—NC). This was shown, albeit in an extraordinary way, in the death of Stephen. “He, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). This scene is significant from the fact that now the heavens are opened for every believer, and that he therefore, by faith, without a veil, with nothing between, sees the glorified Lord Jesus at the right hand of the Father. For upon the death of Christ the veil was rent (renting of His body—NC), expressive of the fact that the atonement He made by His death was accepted by the Father as a full and complete answer to all the claims of His holiness, so that He could now come forth in all His grace and love to meet the sinner, and bring him, through faith in the Savior, unto Himself, to dwell in His own immediate presence, in the Holiest of All. Such is the place and position of every saint of God! A caution, however, may be needed. It is undoubtedly true that this place belongs to every believer; but it is another, and indeed, a most momentous question, whether we are occupying it (walking in it by the same principle as “living” and also “walking in the Spirit” - Gal 5:25—NC). We are brought into it according to the efficacy of the work of the Lord Jesus, and through His death, resurrection and ascension; and it is thus our blessed privilege to be ever occupied with Him as our Object. The Father would have us thus occupied; for He would have us share His own delight in gazing upon the face of Him who has retrieved His glory by becoming “obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.” Are we then, occupying the place into which we have been brought by the grace of our Father, and having fellowship with Himself as to the Object of His own heart? Perhaps there is no greater loss at the present time than knowing the full truth of our position without seeking to answer to it practically (in our lifestyle—NC). It should, therefore, be a very solemn matter of inquiry with us whether we maintain the attitude of Stephen; whether our faces, like his, are ever turned to the glory of the Lord. But the marvelous thing is, that the Lord Jesus we thus behold as our Object, is the model to which we are to be conformed (we are forever conformed to Jesus’ place of innocence at rebirth, so it’s always our “walk” which is unceasingly being conformed—NC). The Father, according to the purpose of is infinite grace, and delighting to mark His appreciation of the work of His Son, will have us to be like Him Who He has glorified. Even now we can say, “As He is (guiltless—NC), so are we in this world” (1Jo 4:17); that is, our acceptance even now while in this scene, is as perfect as His at the right hand of the Father. But the time will come when we shall be fashioned after His own likeness, when even these poor bodies of ours shall also be conformed to the likeness of His glorious body” (Phl 3:21). {Note of interest: There is a scientific law implies that mass can neither be created nor destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space, or the entities associated with it may be changed in form. Thus, God takes all the mass of our first body, from wherever all of it has been separated to in existence, and “changes” it - 1Co 15:51; God “redeems” our old body – Rom 8:23, but not our old nature, and are given a new nature, which presently indwells us, and at the resurrection will eternally remain to be our only nature—NC.} How then, we may inquire, is this change wrought out in us? This same Scripture gives the answer—“We . . . beholding the glory of the Lord are changed . . . by the Spirit of the Lord.” While on the one hand the Lord Jesus in glory is the model to which we are conformed, beholding Him, there is on the other, instrumentality in the power of the Spirit by which it is effected. How simple! We behold and are changed—changed into the same image from glory to glory—for it is a gradual process (e.g. in our walk, not our redeemed position—NC), as by the Spirit of the Lord. We receive the impress of the One on Whom we look; the rays of the glory of His face falling on us, penetrate in and transform us morally into the likeness of our Lord (God fully transforms us at rebirth, and is inevitably [Rom 11:29] manifested in our walk—NC). Herein lies our responsibility and privilege. The object is before us; before Him we stand with unveiled face, and it is divine power alone that can mold us into His likeness; but the activity of that power—through the Spirit—the Father has been pleased to connect with our beholding. Who then, would not ever stand before Him, catching every ray of glory that shines from such an Object, in the earnest desire to obtain growing conformity to Him on Whom we gaze? But it should be remembered that it is only growing likeness we obtain even by such a process. Full conformity “waits” (Rom 8:23), as John teaches, for the moment when “we shall see Him as He is.” There is no perfection here (concerning ourselves personally, due to the old man and old body—NC), since the Father’s standard of holiness is His Son in glory, and He will never rest until we are perfect according to it. May we keep our eyes ever upon the Object, that we may daily grow in resemblance to Him to Whom we are to be fully conformed. It is not only that the Lord Jesus is a Savior suited to our needs, but He is One who is suited to the heart of the Father—the Man after His own heart; and the Father would have us prize Him according to His own thoughts of His value and preciousness, to enter into, and to rejoice with Him in, His appreciation to the worth of Him who gave up all for the Father’s glory. As He is our Object now, so He will be throughout eternity. We shall ever be with the Lord. He Himself (not just through the Holy Spirit as now—NC) will be with us, the Lamb that was slain; then as now, the Man—for He will nevermore lay aside the humanity He has assumed; and then He will fill our gaze and our hearts, perfectly and completely. What an infinite study to trace out and contemplate His varied and manifold excellencies! We shall hear His voice, and oh how we shall hang to every word that falls from His lips. All that we see and hear will but fill our souls with ineffable delight, and our ceaseless joy (nothing to ever interrupt—NC) will be to lie at His feet in adoration and praise. Lord, in anticipation of the time, turn our eyes from all that might obscure Thee from our present view, and Thyself attract and occupy us altogether! - Edward Dennett (1831-1914)
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