Tag Archives: Spirit

Things We Cannot Do Without

There are many things in life we can well do without, but there are at least seven things a Christian simply cannot do without. These are:

1. The Lord Jesus Christ. Speaking of the heathen nations before Christ, Paul said: “At that time ye were without Christ, . . . having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

2. Christ’s shed blood. “Without shedding of blood is no remission.” “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ” (Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

3. Christ’s sinlessness. The Lord Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, He could die for our sins.

4. Faith in Christ. “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is” (Hebrews 11:6).

5. Faith-generated works. True faith in Christ inevitably produces good works. As our text reminds us, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).

6. True holiness. “Follow . . . holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Genuine faith in Christ both receives His imputed holiness and also generates practical holiness in the believer.

7. Heavenly chastisement. Unconfessed and unforsaken sin in a Christian’s life must receive chastisement from the Father. “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye . . . not sons” (Hebrews 12:8).

Without saving faith in the Lord, we have nothing of eternal value, but with Him, we have “all things” (1 Corinthians 3:21). HMM

The Power in Us

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

This amazing assurance of God’s unlimited ability to answer our prayers is related to a unique “power [Greek dunamis] that worketh in us.” Paul had used the same word twice before in this same epistle, speaking of “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe” and “the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power” (Ephesians 1:19; 3:7). “Effectual working” in the original is one word, energeia, from which we get our word “energy.”

Such power working in us is actually nothing less than the presence of God Himself. Its very first occurrence is in the model prayer. “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever” (Matthew 6:13). It is this “power of God unto salvation” that is received when we first believe on Christ through the gospel (Romans 1:16). It has been so ever since the fulfillment of Christ’s promise when He told His disciples that “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).

This remarkable power of God is thus imparted to us and energized in us by the Holy Spirit. Because of this, we can be filled “with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). Furthermore, He thereby provides impregnable security for time and eternity, for we “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).

With such a resource of unlimited spiritual power working in us, God is able indeed to accomplish far more than we can ever imagine, as He works in and through those yielded to His will. HMM

Spirit and the Word

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

The word “fun” is never mentioned in the Bible, and “entertain” is used only in reference to being hospitable. Such activities as “reveling” and “playing” receive nothing except condemnation in the Scriptures (with the exception of little children at play).

Yet, there is growing emphasis today in many churches and parachurch organizations on providing “entertainment” and “fun times” for their members—especially for teenagers and young adults. This is the way to reach them and keep them for the Lord, so they say. Perhaps so, but one wonders why neither the Lord nor the apostles nor the prophets ever told us so. Is this a program kept in reserve by the Lord just for the young people of this generation?

Actually, Christians can have something far better, more effective, and more lasting than fun and entertainment. In Christ, they can have heavenly joy! “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” the Bible says (Proverbs 17:22), where the word for “merry” is more commonly translated as “joyful” or “rejoicing.”

While the Bible never mentions “fun,” it has many references to “joy” and “rejoicing.” Here are just a few. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16). “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). “For the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

We must remind ourselves continually that the Lord Jesus daily, through His words, shares His joy with us, “that [our] joy might be full.” HMM

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