Christian Stability and Diligence
This study is about Christian stability and diligence. For the missionaries whom this study is primarily intended for, the basic concepts of this study are things which I trust you understand. I doubt there is any concept which will be talked about here which you don’t know already. But hopefully this will help you have an even stronger Biblical basis for some key things which you already know and understand well. And for others who might listen, hopefully this will make some important things clear as day to you if they have not been so clear to you already.
I’m reading from James 1:12-15 and 1:22-27 respectively:
James 1:12-15: “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
James 1:22-27: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (or, a mirror): 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (this is one key reason why people who don’t take seriously doing the word usually have a higher estimation of their own spirituality than those who do). 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (this man regards his actual need of God’s grace and appropriates it according His promises in Christ so that he conquers sin and lives righteously, since he doesn’t deceive himself and excuse succumbing to temptation, as verses 12-15 of this chapter gives instruction about). 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (and what a great summary of being doers of the Word and not yielding to sin verses 26 and 27 are- and then as James continues his thought, the practical example he uses of what he had closed chapter one with is a rebuke to those who respect persons, which is interesting and illustrates how deceitful sin can be . This really exposes the shallow definitions of sin which people tend to have).”
You’ll notice in verse 22 the lesson that it is a form of self-deceit to be a hearer of the word and not a doer of the word. It’s only logical to conclude then that being a hearer of the word and not a doer of the word will open a person up to many other forms of deception also. And then conversely, it is only logical to conclude that resolutely repenting towards God and setting one’s face to be both a hearer and a doer of the word will help them recover from the various ways in which deception has already affected their heart and mind.
And that’s basically what we see then expressed in the Book of Ephesians. And as a foreword to that, I’ll mention that in the first half of the Book of Ephesians, Paul talks about the vast measure of God’s grace and mercy which caused Him to offer redemption for man through Christ in order to obtain a holy, blameless, righteous people for Himself. Many take this basic goal of the gospel, which is true Biblical predestination, and define it falsely as an unconditional choosing of individuals by God before the foundation of the world to salvation, when in reality it refers to the goal of God obtaining a people that is holy and without blame before Him in love. This goal could only be reached through the offering of his beloved Son, and the promises which He would be able to offer to man through that offering, so that individuals could become a part of His special people. This is an elect people who are chosen, not unconditionally, but based on their willingness to come into line with this way of redemption which He has offered. This way of salvation was devised before the foundation of the world. And hence Christ’s gospel, and all its accompanying promises, were given through the foreknowledge of God. This foreknowledge also included His plan to choose a special nation on earth to demonstrate His ways to the world, to establish His worship among, to make object lessons about that way of salvation through that worship, and to bring forth His Son through that nation to be a light to the entire world- and to thus bring forth a people founded by the faithful of that special nation (which was Israel) and built upon by those of all nations who should afterwards obey the gospel of his Son (i.e. of both Jews and gentiles). And then the focus of the book shifts towards how those who have so believed in the Son are to continue in the faith of the Son, to live out the salvation God has offered, and to walk in it until the end that they might ultimately be saved. And in this process they demonstrate the wisdom, the excellence, and the effectiveness of the power of His gospel and of truly believing in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.
So I”m reading then from Ephesians chapter four, beginning in verse 1, where this shift in the Book of Ephesians takes place::
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (the Spirit who inspired the word leads in the paths of righteousness and doesn’t give anyone peace apart from submission to walk in the paths of righteousness). 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (remember he is speaking to Christians who have already been termed as saints and faithful in Christ Jesus, in the very first sentence of the book actually). 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers (not all of these at the same place and at the same time- we need to heed the men whom Scripture calls Apostles and we’d be nuts to elevate any person afterwards to their level); 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. (How is this going to happen then? And what will be the testimony of any person who has been entrusted with any authority in the body of Christ? Think back now to what we read and talked about at first from James chapter 1:12-15 and James 1:22-27. Paul is about to basically say the same thing in different words.) 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart (the how and why of hearts becoming blind is about to be exemplified in the next verse): 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (How? Doing the word and walking righteously before God). 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another (Paul is dealing especially with relations between fellow church members, but obviously this needs to be our conduct with all people). 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Continuing then in Ephesians 5:1-21, we talked in the last study how chapter breaks were inserted later, not by the Bible’s original writers and how often in the Bible the chapter break doesn’t the slightest bit signify a change in time, scenery, or train of thought. “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Is this how we better understand God’s will, better discern good from evil, and primarily how we avoid false doctrine. It sure is!). 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things (thanks for all good things and all the opportunities for good we have, even in the midst of bad things) unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
And then in the rest of chapter 5, and into chapter 6, instruction is given in proper Biblical submission and relationships according to God’s order, along with appropriate exhortation accordingly. And then, besides the personal business and salutations at the very end, there are instructions and warnings about standing and fighting in spiritual warfare- things which prove any form of unconditional eternal security to be utter nonsense!
Are there any shortcuts then to Biblical holiness, to spiritual maturity (i.e. having Christ formed in you), or to salvation and glory? There are absolutely none at all! We must be doers of the Word and we must teach men so.
Matthew 5:17-20: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
It’s important to understand that “least” in this context means excluded, as the next sentence makes clear. The Scribes and Pharisees sought shortcuts around doing the word, even though they heard the word and went to a lot of effort to make themselves believe they were doing it. They didn’t put their hearts into it though, so their alleged holiness was shallow and unacceptable. Those who do likewise will not be saved and make heaven; only those who turn to God with their whole hearts and appropriate His grace to actually crucify their carnal appetites and do righteousness from their hearts will make heaven.
Psalm 66:18: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”
John 4:23-24: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
John 9:31: “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, which we quoted from above, as Jesus is concluding, He says in Matthew 7:21-27: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock (now THAT is Christian stability!). 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
And there is also the matter of being diligent to not cut corners in doing righteousness, in diligently seeking to better understand what is righteous in God’s eyes, and in following through with everything which you know you ought to do to please God. The more diligent one is in this way, the better they’ll ensure that they are truly building their house on the rock and not the sand. A house needs to be maintained, and if you consider the parable of the seed and the sower, which is in a way a parallel illustration to this, but shows the same truth from a different angle, there is the need for a plant to establish its roots deeper in the earth, and there is the need to weed the garden around a plant, even when it has life and has begun to come up some. And there are also different degrees of bearing fruit even when a plant has continued and matured to actually yield a harvest. And all of these factors are reasons why diligence to understand and to do God’s will, in order to come to spiritual maturity, is so extremely important.
Consider: Hebrews 5:7-14: “7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared (See this example of diligence! And consider how your spiritual life then may very well depend on the intensity of your diligence); 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Do we have to fight to walk the road of our salvation faithfully the same way in which Christ had to fight to purchase our salvation and become our High Priest who can actualize our salvation? Yes!); 10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (The Hebrews written to here had slacked in their diligence and we’ll see that they were thus in grave danger of falling away). 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (we can see here how their lack of Christian stability was caused by their lack of Christian diligence to understand and to do the will of God).”
Continuing then in Hebrews chapter 6, verse 1: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit (Paul isn’t sure that many of the Hebrews hadn’t fallen away from Christ already, but we’ll see that he assumes the best due to the good start in the Christian race which he had already seen from them). 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing (seeing is an especially key word here) they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs (i.e. plants) meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. 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 labor 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 (they need to renew their former diligence which Paul had just alluded to): 12 That ye be not slothful (the opposite of diligence, which they had descended to in the spiritual realm and needed to repent of), 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 (i.e. remained diligent in believing God’s promise wholeheartedly and acting accordingly), 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; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
And it’s because of the importance of diligence in not only continuing in the faith for the present, but also in gaining spiritual insight which is so important for avoiding deception, for overall spiritual growth, and for ultimately enduring in the faith in the future, that Peter talked about diligence and the ways in which that ought to be applied, so that the Christians he cared for would continue in the faith and flourish after his death, which he knew was impending at the time he wrote what we are about to read.
2 Peter 1:1-15: “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Peter by the way is not saying Christ’s righteousness is directly imputed to Christians, but rather it is because of Christ’s righteousness that He could be the perfect sin offering to forgive and cleanse those who have a living faith in Him, a faith which requires that they walk in the light of His word to have His forgiveness and cleansing- 1 John 1:7): 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (already, you are surely not even in Christ if you haven’t done this through a living faith in Him). 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins (he has forgot the purpose of original repentance and cleansing from his sins and he is in grave danger of falling away from the faith due to his lack of diligence, as we just read of in the book of Hebrews). 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (you obviously will if you don’t do these things): 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth (the Christians Peter was writing to were doing a lot better than the Hebrews when they received their letter). 13 Yea, I think it meet (or, fit), as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”
The things which Peter talked about are not steps to becoming a Christian or things which are added one at a time to the Christian life. They are different aspects of Christian character which must all be present in a Christian, but which the Christian must also give diligence that they increase in his or her life by seeking to better understand and do the will of God diligently. They are things which a Christian should aim to incorporate better in their character through the promises of God, as doing God’s Word necessarily involves having these things; and applying God’s promises through Christ will cause these things to be added to a Christian so that they will have increased spiritual insight and be anchored more firmly in Christ. They will thus be better able to stand in Him and to conquer whatever challenges they might ever face, victorious in doing the will of God and avoiding the snares of the world, the flesh, and the devil. May that be us! We saw that escaping the corruption which is in the world through lust is an entrance requirement to be a true Christian, since no one can be born again and forgiven in Christ who does not repent of their sins and turn to God so as to do this (this has a lot to do with what Christian baptism represents). In turning to God and forsaking evil then, there is the necessity of setting one’s heart on learning to do what is right and well in God’s eyes (think of the term disciple, since walking in true Christianity is a discipline). That is what Peter is speaking of in terms of the character which this discipline is intended to build in a Christian as they better understand the requirements of God’s word and how to actually walk in them.
Isaiah 1:16-17: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
And if you want some really specific instruction in adding these things Peter talked about, the passage which we’ve looked at here from the latter half of Ephesians is directly dealing with that. Romans chapters 12 to 16 likewise, which corresponds very closely to Ephesians chapters 4 to 6, as Romans and Ephesians are books which have both a section devoted to general Christian doctrine and principles, followed by a section on practically applying the doctrine and principles already spoken of to everyday life. The Book of Titus is also especially appropriate for this, along with the books of James and 1 Peter (2 Peter by the way is ultimately a warning about false teachers coming in among the flock and subtly teaching against the need for Christians to be diligent that they might be found of God in peace, without spot, and blameless- 2 Peter 3:14. Just look at how the book closes. And obviously the teaching Peter rebuked is most of the teaching and preaching labeled today as “Christian”). But ultimately, when it comes to specific instruction in doing righteousness and in Christian character, it is all over the Word of God- and we need it all! (Matthew 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, etc)
Consider how so many get deceived by fake spiritual gifts because they don’t heed the instruction given about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 to 14, how we should seek them for the edifying of the church. When you heed the Scriptural truth that we should seek spiritual gifts for the edifying of others, you know that the unintelligible tongues are not a gift of the Holy Spirit. When you know that, you won’t bother with getting them or you’ll stop them in recognition of that (if you are already doing them). Then you’ll spend more time in actual prayer and in things which can edify others. You’ll also recognize false teachers better. And you will also not have the unintelligible tongues as a false security to give you a false confidence in sin. This will be a check to you to save you from building on the sand rather than upon the rock as a faithful doer of the word. Otherwise, you’re likely to think you’re in God’s grace even when you neglect to do righteousness. That is just one example of how diligence, or the lack thereof, to understand God’s will can have a major practical effect on one’s walk for the better or for the worse. There are too many potential examples to count. But we can (and must) handle them all by diligently heeding the word of God and diligently doing it! There is no Christian stability apart from THAT!
Those who submit to the truth and walk in the truth, He will lead them into more truth. And if they continue diligently in this, they will be led into all the truth.
Remember: Ephesians 4:13-15: “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”
Those who walk in darkness in any way have given themselves to deceit; and they are thus under God’s wrath. They thus forfeit the peace and comfort of God’s Holy Spirit, whose ministry to them is rather conviction to peradventure bring them to repentance and turn them from their evil way into Christ’s narrow way, to walk in the truth of His Word wherein is life (remember John 14:6). We see this brought together with the things which we have been talking about in John 16.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me (remember John 3, light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light ,because their deeds were evil); 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (as all who walk in darkness and refuse to submit to the truth will also surely be if they harden their hearts to God’s Spirit drawing them to obedience to Christ’’s word, the truth). 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth (as you walk in the light of truth diligently, shunning all deceit and darkness): for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
We close then with Philippians 3:7-16: 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness (or, justification), which is of the law (he had previously abused the law and wrongly sought to use it as a means of self-atonement and justification), but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (he now looks to Christ’s blood as the means of his justification while he surrenders to Him so that His power can work in him to fulfill the righteousness of the law in him; he thus uses the law rightly as a guide to walking by faith and doing what is pleasing to God rather than as a means of justification and/or self-atonement): 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect (i.e. in line with God in the narrow way of Christ’s word, walking as he had just described his own walk in principle), be thus minded: and if in any thing ye (those whom he just described) be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.” And that is basically what John 8:31-32 says: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
For any questions or clarification on this study, contact bro Aaron at [email protected].