Building on the Atonement

. . . present . . . your members as instruments of righteousness to God —Romans 6:13

I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot make atonement for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot right what is wrong, purify what is impure, or make holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God. Do I have faith in what Jesus Christ has done? He has made the perfect atonement for sin. Am I in the habit of constantly realizing it? The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things. The redemption of Christ is not an experience, it is the great act of God which He has performed through Christ, and I have to build my faith on it. If I construct my faith on my own experience, I produce the most unscriptural kind of life— an isolated life, with my eyes focused solely on my own holiness. Beware of that human holiness that is not based on the atonement of the Lord. It has no value for anything except a life of isolation— it is useless to God and a nuisance to man. Measure every kind of experience you have by our Lord Himself. We cannot do anything pleasing to God unless we deliberately build on the foundation of the atonement by the Cross of Christ.

The atonement of Jesus must be exhibited in practical, unassuming ways in my life. Every time I obey, the absolute deity of God is on my side, so that the grace of God and my natural obedience are in perfect agreement. Obedience means that I have completely placed my trust in the atonement, and my obedience is immediately met by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.

Beware of the human holiness that denies the reality of the natural life— it is a fraud. Continually bring yourself to the trial or test of the atonement and ask, “Where is the discernment of the atonement in this, and in that?

Wandering From God’s Word

Psalm 119:33-40

Assembling a toy or mechanical device rarely turns out to be as easy as the instructions claim. First, there is a myriad of parts that are expected to go somewhere. Next, the amount of time set aside doesn’t seem to be enough, and interruptions come more often than we want. Then, there are the instructions themselves, which typically leave out key points on how to finish the job.

Perhaps you have been viewing God’s instruction book—the Bible—in a similar way. There are those 66 books to read and apply. Then there’s the obstacle of insufficient time or interruptions that distract you. Or, it may seem as if additional training is needed to understand divine truth. Any one of these could cause us to veer away from Scripture. Even mature Christians can find themselves inattentive to the Bible. But when we wander from God’s Word, we soon wander from God and His ways.

What is it that you desire for your life? To please the Lord? To glorify Him? To rise above worries and fears and experience the abundant life (John 10:10)? For all of us who answer yes, our priority needs to be drawing closer to God. We do that by studying and applying His Word.

Are you willing to give God your undivided attention in order to nurture your relationship with Him? Will you put yourself under the control of His Holy Spirit to learn how to live an increasingly godly life? The rewards are great: knowing our Savior in ever-increasing fullness and living a life pleasing to God.

The Man Child

“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” (Revelation 12:5)

This remarkable scene was part of a great vision given to the apostle John as the Lord was revealing to him “the things which shall be hereafter” (Revelation 1:19). He had seen an amazing “sign” in heaven—a woman “clothed with the sun . . . travailing in birth,” with “a great red dragon” awaiting the delivery and ready “to devour her child as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:1-4).

Although the whole vision is richly symbolic, the figure of the man child clearly refers to Jesus Christ, because it is He alone who must eventually rule all nations “with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15). Thus, the symbolic “woman” must suggest His human mother, Mary, but also Eve, the “mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), for in His human birth, the Son of God became also “the Son of man” (Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13). The vision, in fact, dramatizes the long warfare between the great dragon (i.e., Satan—Revelation 12:9) and the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).

In the vision, the “man child” will have been “caught up” (i.e., “raptured”) to heaven, and the dragon and his angels “cast out” to earth (Revelation 12:5-9). But when Christ returns from heaven, all believers, living and dead, will also be “caught up” to meet Him in the air, and thus may well be included in the man child of the great “sign.”

There has been continuous warfare between the seed of the Serpent and the spiritual seed of the woman. The Dragon is forever “wroth with the woman” and with “the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). But Christ will finally prevail and cast Satan into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). HMM

Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we trust In His holy name

Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted In His holy name.—Psalm 33:21.

TAKE anxious care for naught,
To God your wants make known,
And soar on wings of heavenly thought
Toward His eternal throne;
So, though our path is steep,
And many a tempest lowers,
Shall His own peace our spirits keep,
And Christ’s dear love be ours.
JOHN MOULTRIE.

CHERISH thankfulness with prayer. St. Paul gives us in two words this secret of peace. “In everything,” (he excepts nothing, so do not you) “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” He does not say it as a benediction only: he tells us; it “shall keep your hearts and minds.” Do the one and God will do the other. Ask what you will, be thankful; and not peace only, but peace which passeth all which our poor minds can think, shall keep these poor breaking, restless hearts— these ever wearying, worrying minds of ours—in Christ Jesus. EDWARD B. PUSEY.

After this manner … pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven

After this manner … pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven. Matthew 6:9

Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father. — My Father, and your Father. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. —Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

John 17:1. John 20:17. Galatians 3:26. Romans 8:15,16. Galatians 4:6,7. John 16:23,24. 2 Corinthians 6:17,18.

The whole family in heaven and earth

The whole family in heaven and earth. Ephesians 3:15

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. — Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. — That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.

He is not ashamed to call them brethren. — Behold my mother and my brethren! Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. —Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father.

I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: … and white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. —That they without us should not be made perfect.

Ephesians 4:6. Galatians 3:26. Ephesians 1:10. Hebrews 2:11. Matthew 12:49,50. John 20:17. Revelation 6:9-11. Hebrews 11:40.