Arrows in the Hands of a Mighty King (Part 3)

In this last part of this last chapter of Beyond a Mere Christianity, we will look at how God has designed the other side of His arrows. Again we see Faith in Christ as the center ~ the heart of every Christian. We begin our relationship with Him as He has planned ~ for us to know Him, hear, see, fear, and love Him. This brings us to the point of obedience. Living by faith, we obey, serve, worship, praise, pray, and proclaim His kingdom in power.

Some of these chapters have been more than a normal post but necessary for this book. There is much here of God’s Word that you may possibly only scan but hopefully, a quote will speak to your heart and you can keep them all for future reference.

From the center of living by faith in Christ, we will follow the design in the Conclusion to what it means to LIVE Beyond a Mere Christianity.

LIVING BY FAITH

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2 Corinthians 5:7

And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” Galatians 3:12

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

OBEY

“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:18

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel i7:27

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7

In four verses, Paul speaks in his letter to the Romans of obedience to and of faith (See The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans).

 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship,
for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
Romans 1:5

 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” Romans 6:16-17

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:26

 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Exodus 19:5;Zechariah 6:15;Acts 5:32;1 Peter 1:22

SERVE

“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:11

“Serve the Lord with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.”
Psalm 100:2

“Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.” Psalm 101:6

“That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,” Luke 1:74

“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:2

“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:6

“For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” Romans 14:18

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:24

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” Hebrews 12:28

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:” Revelation 22:3

 WORSHIP

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2

“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” Psalm 45:11

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138:2

“God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship him
in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24

Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15:4

PRAISE

 “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:13

While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” Psalm 146:2

“I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.” Psalm 7:17

“Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.” Psalm 18:49

“Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength:
so will we sing and praise thy power.”
Psalm 21:1

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” Psalm 51:15

In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.” Psalm 56:10

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalm 57:7

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.” Psalm 66:2

“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” Psalm 71:14

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 106:1

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8

“From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

“He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 147:20

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;” Psalm 149:6

“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” Isaiah 25:1

“To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
Ephesians 1:6

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:11

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

PRAY

“And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.” Numbers 11:2

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.” 2 Chronicles 7:1

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:38

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Luke 18:1

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:18

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

“Pray without ceasing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” 1 Timothy 2:1

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” James 5:13

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:15

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” Jude 20

And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:4


PROCLAIM

 “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Exodus 9:16

“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”Exodus 34:6

“Declare his glory among the heathen;
his marvellous works among all nations.”
1 Chronicles 16:24

They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” Psalm 22:31

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.” Psalm 73:28

And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.” Psalm 145:6

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” Proverbs 14:25

“I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:12

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8

Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.” Isaiah 48:6

Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.” Isaiah 48:20

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” Jeremiah 31:10

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” John 1:8

 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.” Acts 15:4

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27

“For thou shalt be his witness unto all men
of what thou hast seen and heard.”
Acts 22:15

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” 1 Corinthians 15:1

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,” Ephesians 6:19

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 2 John 1:5

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.” 1 John 5:9

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” 1 John 5:10

Conclusion of a Mere Christianity will be our next post. Please pray for two of our WordPress bloggers whose witness shall be added to this book.

Dear Father, full of mercy and truth, thank you for saving us to be your own children. Fill us with your Spirit and increase our knowledge and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us hear, see, fear, and love you to the point of obeying your Holy Word. Instruct and equip us to serve you, worship, praise, pray and proclaim your kingdom in power. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Living Sacrifices

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1-2

These verses in Romans 12 cannot be taken out of context but in relation to the whole letter to the Roman Church. Paul gives the means and the reason for His beseeching. Presenting our body (our whole being) is our response to the mercies of God. Afterward, we see the results of the presentation and the commitment of ourselves to Him.

The Reason
Here, Paul brings the believer to consider the truths he has presented in the previous eleven chapters. The key words in this verse are by the mercies of God. Before we do can anything with or for God, there has to be a revelation of Him and the work of His mercy for us.

In Romans 11:29-36 we find the capsule of God’s mercies opened–the door–therefore–for Paul’s beseeching the reader to consider and respond. He calls us as brethren–believers and followers of Christ–to bring to God the Father, the gift of His mercies in earthen vessels for His use. When, by His mercies, He gives us new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26) and lives in Christ, our only reasonable response is to bring ourselves in dedication and commitment to His service and worship

Peter speaks of God’s abundant mercy that has given us new life in Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 
1 Peter 1:3

A Covenant Relationship
We are made holy and acceptable unto God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Before the foundation of the world, the covenant of redemption was planned between the Father and the Son. In the power of His Holy Spirit, through the knowledge of His Word, this covenant–the covenant of grace as we know it–is revealed as God’s plan to win us to Christ, His Son.

We are betrothed to Him through His sacrifice for us.
Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:1-2  show how we are to accept and enter into this covenant with Him. As a wife submits to her husband in the covenant of marriage, we submit to His covenant for life here and for eternity.

It is our agreement with Him that we are His temple, His building, His people, His children.

This is His means to accomplish all He desires in and through us.

“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20

Paul’s purpose of ministry to the Gentiles was that they might glorify God for his mercy (Romans 15:9).

In Romans 10:3 Paul speaks of those who have not submitted themselves unto Him.

We must be humbled to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. The proud cannot present themselves; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-6).

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
Romans 6:13

Living Sacrifices for a Living God
Paul speaks to the Thessalonians of how they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:9

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14

For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. Luke 20:38

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corintians 3:3

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, Hebrews 12:22

 But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

The Results

“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 
Romans 12:2

When we read all of Romans 12, we find the results of the whole body of Christ living sacrificially for His glory. Except for the offering of ourselves to Him, the remainder of the chapter would mean nothing to us.

When we understand the love and mercy in the sacrifice of our Lord, we willingly bring all to Him to do what He wills in and through us. He died, sacrificing all in His death for our salvation. We sacrifice all to Him to live and prove His perfect will in us. He performs His covenant in our lives when we enter into His covenant with Him, agreeing to His working to conform us to His image (Romans 8:29).

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4 

 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 21

Dear Father in heaven, Only you, by your Holy Spirit, can draw us to Christ. Only through your Holy Word, do we know who you are and your purpose for us. Do your holy, acceptable and perfect will in our lives for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Image and Song
Related Article: Radical Mercy

Impressions and Expressions of the Gospel (Romans 1:16-32)

As our pastor is preaching through this most images powerful of Paul’s letters (to the Roman Christians) my desire is to make note of the impressions that the Lord is leaving on my own heart and life; with the prayer that the gospel to which Paul was called and set apart, and was not ashamed, would be revealed in me, so powerful and impressive; so as to be the expression of my own life.

In the middle of the first chapter of Romans (vs. 16-17) he speaks of “the power of God,” a reference of the same “power” in verse 4 ~ “the Son of God in power.” It is the same power and the same “gospel of His Son.” (vs. 9)  In these verses he also is setting the stage for the whole of the letter, as it refers to “salvation,” “righteousness” and “faith.”

Before he goes on to encourage with the main elements of the gospel for salvation he inserts the reason for this salvation, the knowledge and need of the gospel, using the backdrop of God’s wrath. Why can we not look over the wrath of God when we speak of the gospel? Why can’t the gospel be preached simply from the center of God’s mercy and love?

Before we can know where we need to be we must know where we are. Without understanding the power and depths of our depravity we cannot fully understand the need for the gospel and its power.

Oppression and Suppression of the Truth
“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.”   In Romans 1: 18-32 we have a description of humanity in its lowest state of sin and misery. Since the antithesis began in the garden oppression has a grip on the hearts and minds of the creatures that God created to be His image-bearers. Instead of obedience to God man has rebelled, and stirred the wrath of God upon us all.

Instead of accepting all that God has created as evidence of His rule and reign over us, man continues to suppress the truth. “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God, but became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”

Even as God proved the weakness of our thinking and living on our own, with Adam and Eve, so in giving man up to their own lusts, He reveals how deep into our own depravity we come without Him. Under the power of oppression and sin man suppresses the truth and love of God; and becomes as the lowest creatures, following their own lusts as they have no power of righteousness within them.

Having read and studied Paul’s letter to the Romans, meditating on the truths that are written there, I was not prepared for the tears that came during this sermon. Knowing the mercy and love of God that comes through the power of the gospel of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and how Paul was not ashamed to live and proclaim this salvation for righteousness, I am amazed at how the ungodly are not ashamed of their sin, and of those who “give approval to those who practice them.”

We, as a congregation, were reminded that we, though believers are part of this fallen humanity, still subject to the oppression and temptation to sin.  It is only through the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ that we have any hope of righteousness and of escaping God’s wrath.

I praise the Lord for such power of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that works faith by His grace, (Ephesians 2:8-10) to make known to us and overcome the ungodliness and unrighteousness in us who believe.  This power is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  (Ephesians 1:19-20; Ephesians 2:1-6) a power greater than the oppression of this world and our sin.

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for this letter to the Romans. Please open our hearts to hear, and obey the gospel wherein your righteousness is revealed from faith for faith to us. Keep us aware of our own nature; keep us close to you. Search us and know our hearts; try us and know our thoughts; see if there be any wicked way in us; and lead us the way everlasting. Fill us with the power of your Spirit to speak the truth of Christ ~ not ashamed but eager to share the gospel of Christ wherever you lead us.

Related articles:
The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans
Obligated and Eager
The Father’s Glory and Mother Nature