VIDEO The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success – The Final Warning

The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success

Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you… —Luke 10:20

Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20, Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view— we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others’ lives until they are totally yielded to God. One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God, we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and those lives will be God’s testimony to us as His workers. God brings us up to a standard of life through His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that same standard in others.

Unless the worker lives a life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), he is apt to become an irritating dictator to others, instead of an active, living disciple. Many of us are dictators, dictating our desires to individuals and to groups. But Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an “if,” never with the forceful or dogmatic statement— “You must.” Discipleship carries with it an option.


There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

The Final Warning – Asahel Nettleton Christian Audio Sermons

Really The Only Way

When He had by Himself purged our sins, [He] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3

In an age of tolerance and compromise, the idea that there is only one way to do something is roundly rejected. “One way” is considered narrow-minded, intolerant, inconsiderate, and even disrespectful. So, it’s not surprising that the New Testament’s message of forgiveness through Jesus alone is not received by many.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews was not hesitant to make a “narrow” point about Jesus. He spent the first ten chapters of his epistle pointing out that Jesus did what no one else in Israel’s history had been able to do: provide salvation from sin, once and for all. The writer points out that Jesus was superior to the angels, to Moses, to the thousands of Aaronic priests, and to the sacrifices of those priests. “By Himself [Jesus] purged our sins [and] sat down at the right hand” of God—something no one else could have done. Peter confirmed that narrow point of view by saying there is salvation in no one else besides Jesus (Acts 4:12).

Are you willing to embrace the Bible’s presentation of Jesus as the only Savior of mankind? It may not be popular, but it is true.

Free justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  Sinclair Ferguson

Heirs With Christ

Romans 8:12-18

How often do you think of yourself as an heir of God? It’s not usually the first thing that comes to mind as we consider the blessings that are ours when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Perhaps this is because we don’t really know what it means to be God’s heir. Nor can we begin to comprehend what awaits us in eternity or when that will be.

Being an heir is usually associated with family ties, and the same is true of our relationship to God. When we were born again by His Spirit, we became His adopted children, and as such, we are heirs along with Christ. In Colossians 1:15, Jesus is called “the firstborn of all creation.” In the ancient world, the firstborn son had a place of prominence in the family and was the chief heir of all that his father owned. In the same way, Jesus Christ holds the position of firstborn and is the heir of all creation.

What’s truly amazing is that He has promised to share His inheritance with us. When He returns in glory to take up His rightful place as King of Kings on earth, we will rule with Him, under His authority (Revelation 2:26-27). The Christian life is filled with undeserved favor. What we experience now of God’s grace is only the tip of the iceberg.

Realizing all that Christ has done and will do for His followers should prompt us to live for Him today. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, empowering us to put to death our fleshly desires and to follow God in obedience, even when it’s costly. Anything we suffer here for Christ’s sake is insignificant compared to the glory that awaits us.

Prerequisites for Our Christian Unity

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2)

Churches haven’t changed much in 2,000 years. The call to unity in these verses is as needed now as it has always been. Let us examine the prerequisites for unity found here.

Consolation in Christ: The Greek word translated “consolation” is frequently translated “exhortation,” and that seems appropriate here. The “exhortation in Christ” immediately follows this passage where His beautiful life of humility becomes the exhortation to unity among believers, since disunity ultimately comes from pride (v. 3).

Comfort of love: Comfort could be rendered “encouragement,” implying a tender act of incentive. The agape love that the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a believer produces the incentive to unity. When believers truly love one another in this fashion, unity prevails.

Fellowship of the Spirit: The Holy Spirit makes possible a precious relationship between believers. Through the Spirit’s empowering, our wills can be molded into Christlikeness, enabling us to live in unity with our fellow saints.

Bowels and mercies: In the Western world, the heart is referred to as the seat of our innermost affections, here called “mercies,” or, literally, “compassionate yearnings and actions.” When Christians have tender compassion for one another, divisions cease.

The four prerequisites for unity are then Christlike humility, Spirit-produced agape love, a yielding of the will of each believer to the Spirit, and tenderheartedness toward one another. May God grant that they will know we are Christians by our love. JDM

Even the wind and the sea obey Him

Matthew 8:18-22

Matthew 8:18

He avoided popularity. To be followed by an admiring crowd was no joy to him; he gave orders to sail at once, but did not start for some time afterwards.

Matthew 8:19

Master, or teacher,

Matthew 8:19

It was a rare thing to meet with a scribe who had any respect for the Lord, and it is to be feared that even this well-disposed member of that profession was not a spiritually enlightened person. He thought himself capable of making any sacrifice. It is the mark of those who have not the Spirit of God that they think themselves able to do everything, whereas when taught of God they discover that of themselves they can do nothing.

Matthew 8:20

Was the scribe willing to share such deep poverty? We fear not. Could we ourselves follow Jesus whithersoever he goeth?


“Have ye counted the cost?

Have ye counted the cost

Ye warriors of the cross?

Are ye fixed in heart, for your Master’s sake

To suffer all earthly loss?

Can ye bear the scoff of the worldy-wise

As ye pass by pleasure’s bower

To watch with your Lord on the mountain-top

Through the dreary midnight hour?”


Matthew 8:21, 22

Jesus saw that he was merely offering an excuse for delay. There are always people enough to attend to earthly business, and when the Lord calls us to do his work, we must leave all lower concerns to those whose proper calling it is to attend to them.

Mark 4:35-41

Mark 4:35, 36

They hurried him off, weary as he was, for the crowd increased. He was quite worn out with toil.

Mark 4:37, 38

Jesus always cares for us. Even though he seems to sleep, and allows our troubles to multiply, all is well.

Mark 4:39

Who but God could speak thus? Where are the senses of those who cannot see his Godhead?

Mark 4:40, 41

Awe came over them, and well it might; they saw that no mere man could act as he had done. Jesus, Master, in all our troubles we will call upon thee, and thou wilt answer us! Our heart rejoices in thee, and sings:—


“Away, despair; my gracious Lord doth hear!

Though winds and waves assault my keel

He doth preserve it; he doth steer

Even when the boat seems most to reel.


Storms are the triumph of his art

Well may he close his eyes, but not his heart.”

Fear was within the tossing bark,

When stormy winds grew loud,


And waves came rolling high and dark,

And the tall mast was bowed.

And men stood breathless in their dread,

And baffled in their skill,


But one was there, who rose and said

To the wild sea, “Be still!”

And the wind ceased—it ceased: that word

Passed through the gloomy sky;


The troubled billows knew their Lord,

And fell beneath his eye.

And slumber settled on the deep,

And silence on the blast;


They sank, as flowers that fold to sleep,

When sultry day is past.


Practice the Truth

Cleanse your hands… and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8)

Christians habitually weep and pray over beautiful truth, only to draw back from that same truth when it comes to the difficult job of putting it into practice!

Actually, the average church simply does not dare to check its practices against biblical precepts. It tolerates things that are diametrically opposed to the will of God, and if the matter is pointed out to its leaders, they will defend its unscriptural practices with a casuistry equal to the verbal dodgings of the Roman moralists.

Can it be that there is no vital connection between the emotional and the volitional departments of life? Since Christ makes His appeal directly to the will, are we justified in wondering whether or not these divided souls have ever made a true commitment to the Lord? Or whether they have been inwardly renewed?

It does appear that too many Christians want to enjoy the thrill of feeling right but not willing to endure the inconvenience of being right! Jesus Himself left a warning: “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1b).


Spiritual Sowing

He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Gal. 6:8

Sowing looks like a losing business, for we put good corn into the ground never to see it any more. Sowing to the Spirit seems a very fanciful, dreamy business; for we deny ourselves, and apparently get nothing for it. Yet if we sow to the Spirit by studying to live unto God, seeking to obey the will of God, and laying ourselves out to promote His honor, we shall not sow in vain. Life shall be our reward, even everlasting life. This we enjoy here as we enter into the knowledge of God, communion with God, and enjoyment of God. This life flows on like an ever-deepening, ever-widening river, till it bears us to the ocean of infinite felicity, where the life of God is ours for ever and ever.

Let us not this day sow to our flesh, for the harvest will be corruption, since flesh always tends that way; but with holy self-conquest let us live for the highest, purest, and most spiritual ends, seeking to honor our most holy Lord by obeying His most gracious Spirit. What a harvest will that be when we reap life everlasting! What sheaves of endless bliss will be reaped! What a festival will that harvest be! Lord, make us such reapers, for thy Son’s sake.


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