Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
From the beginning man has sought to know God and to understand His ways. This knowledge has been carefully sought by carnal minds through their own abilities, efforts, understanding and learning. The law given to Moses recorded:
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2
As we view the creation from a Spiritual aspect, we discover that darkness was upon the face of the deep. Darkness alludes to the spirit of darkness. This darkness was upon the face of the deep. The deep represents the inner most recesses of man and his relationship with his Creator. This is always expressed in the face. The face reflects the innermost recesses of man's being. The face reflects man's successes and failures, his contentment or loneliness, his hardness or his compassion. The face shows pain and rejection.
The face of man reflects his soul. When a man lies, it shows in his face because lying is poison to his soul. Defeat, frustration and shame are all reflected in the face. Distress, anxiety and anger not only are reflected in the face, but change the whole facial design.
The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Water speaks of that which covers the earth, God's earth, His Spiritual creation, man. Water in the Bible has many meanings. The setting for the Bible was a desert area. So water meant life itself. Water, as seas, represents the multitudes of people God has placed on the earth.
Water also represents the Word of God. The Word of God must cover man as the waters cover the sea. The Spirit of God dwells in His Word, and if we are not covered by His Word, then the Spirit of God cannot move on the dark recesses of our beings to complete the work that God has begun in each life. Our unwillingness to yield to the Spirit by committing ourselves to the Word hinders God from moving upon the face of the waters.
In man's endless search to try to understand God with his carnal mind, he has overlooked the written Word. Paul wrote to the Romans:
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" Romans 11:33
God's ways are past finding out. The word past means "cannot be traced out nor comprehended". God revealed to the prophet Isaiah:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
Man continues in his search to have a relationship with God on his own terms. He tries to figure out what God is doing. Solomon, with all his wisdom, gave up his carnal search for knowledge in frustration, when he wrote:
"All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me. That which is far off, and exceedingly deep, who can find it out? I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness: Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." Ecclesiastes 7:23-25, 29
God made man upright, but man has sought many inventions. The word inventions means "employments of the mind". The prophet Jeremiah warned us of the mind (heart):
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
Today many, as Solomon, continue to search for wisdom, knowledge and the deep things of God without the benefit of the Spirit of God moving on the face of the water of the Word. It is only in the reflection of the water of the Word that God has revealed Himself through His Son. Paul wrote:
"But God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." I Corinthians 2:10
God can only reveal the deep things of Himself through the Spirit. And the Spirit reveals Himself through the Word of God. The Word is revealed in our lives through the written and spoken Word. These are the Logos and Rhema Word of God. But God has given us another revelation of Himself, and that is the Incarnate Word. The word incarnate means "to embody with flesh". The beloved John reveals:
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
Jesus was the Incarnate Word of God. The writer of Hebrews proclaimed:
"Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of his person," Hebrews 1:3a
Paul wrote to the Colossians:
"For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9
All the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in the Incarnate Word of life, who was the express image of the Father. This does not mean that Jesus looked like God; for God is Spirit. But He was the express image of the character, nature and personality of God. This image was resident in God's creation Adam before the sin nature was manifested through rebellion and disobedience.
God's desire is to reveal the deep things of Himself to His creation, man. In order for Him to do this, the Spirit must be given free access to every area of man's life. The deepest recesses of man's heart must be made manifest through the Word. The path that God has set before His creation, man, can only be trodden by those who have determined in themselves to become the Word of God; those who will allow the Spirit free access to change them into His image and likeness. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19
If we are to be filled with all the fullness of God, then we must begin to comprehend what is the breadth, length, depth, and height. This is the fullness of God that He measures His creation by, until we can comprehend (lay hold onto) the fullness of God in our lives.
We must then begin to live our lives by the example that God has given us. Our example was Jesus Christ who did only what He saw the Father doing, and only spoke what He heard the Father saying. Jesus only spoke the Spiritual Words of life. If we desire to walk in God's ways, then we must follow the way that He left for us.
Jesus told His disciples, "Whither I go ye know and the way ye know" John 14:4. He said, "I am the way". Jesus was our example of the way that we must walk. When we walk in the Spirit of Truth, we cannot turn to the right hand nor to the left. Our eye must be single. If we look to the right or to the left then we will miss the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, Philippians 3:14. Jesus spoke:
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." Matthew 6:22
The word single means "single in purpose, not doubleminded". "A doubleminded man is unstable in all his way," James 1:8. If we do not have singleness of purpose we will never come to the knowledge of the truth that was resident in Jesus' life where all the fullness of God dwelt.
Peter was given the keys to the kingdom because he heard the Father's voice that revealed unto Peter whom Jesus was. In Peter's first letter, he gave us a revelation that must be applied in our lives if we are going to know the breadth, length, depth and height of the knowledge of God.
"For even to this were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:" I Peter 2:21
God was speaking to His called, His chosen ones. Jesus not only left us an example of His suffering, He also left us many other examples that we must follow. The word example is the Greek word HUPOGRAMMOS and is derived from the word HUPOGRAPHO. This word has been viewed by many to mean "pattern". It has that meaning, but a pattern can be made larger or smaller and still look like the original.
The word HUPOGRAMMOS comes from two Greek words: HUPO which means "to place under"; and GRAMMOS which means "to copy exactly". HUPOGRAMMOS has the meaning, therefore, of an exact carbon copy, a perfect image of the thing copied. God expects His people to be an exact copy of the example that Jesus left for us to follow. If we are to comprehend the fullness of God in our lives, we must follow in the same steps that Jesus walked. We must leave behind all things that hinder, alter, or distort the pattern given in any way. We must become the exact carbon copy of the life of Christ, the exact image of the perfect.
When we begin to consider the task of following in the steps of Jesus, we wonder and ask, "What is the first step?" Jesus spoke to the Jews when they accused Him of making Himself equal with God. Jesus informed them:
"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39
If we are to find the way that Jesus left for us to follow, it is necessary for us to search the Scriptures, not just read them, but search and search deeply, if we are to find the way that is pleasing to the Father. The word search means "to examine into". We need to examine the Word, for in them we think we have eternal life.
The word think is DOKEO and means "to believe strongly". Most are content to listen to the preacher or what someone else has spoken or written about the Word. This is not following God's commandment of being obedient to search the Scriptures for oneself. Words spoken from the pulpit or written by someone may open up or help guide us in our search of the Scriptures, but it does not excuse, nor is it a substitute for what God will reveal unto us in our personal search of the Scriptures.
Jesus informed the Jews that the Scriptures testified of Him. Many today think all they need to read is the New Testament, and perhaps Psalms and Proverbs. When Jesus stated that the Scriptures testified of Him, He was not referring to the New Testament, but to what is referred to as the Old Testament. The Old Testament reveals Jesus as well as the New Testament. We need to search all the Scriptures to discover the revealed way that Jesus left us to follow.
God has recorded a clear picture of the life that we must live in His Word if we, too, are to sit on the right hand of the Father. Jesus lived that life, and when He finished what the Father had given Him to do, He sat down in His place on the right hand of the Father. As Jesus was our example of the Father, so we must become the example of the Son in the earth. By Jesus' words we can know the example we must become.
1 MEEK AND LOWLY
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29
Jesus gave us an example that we must follow; that of being meek and lowly in heart. This is totally opposite of what the world is desiring to follow. Many are looking for the big, goodlooking, charismatic character who can tell them what to do. Unfortunately, this is also what many of God's people are looking for in the pulpit. One of the greatest leaders in the Bible was Moses. It was said of Moses,
"Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3
When the people came against Moses, he fell prostrate before the people, praying for God to spare them. This is not the world's, nor the church system's image of leadership. Yet Moses prophesied:
"The Lord thy God will raise up to thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like me; to him ye shall hearken;" Deuteronomy 18:15
Moses spoke this concerning the coming of Jesus. Moses declared that Jesus would be like him, "meek and lowly in heart". We need to learn from our example of being meek and lowly in heart. Paul learned this lesson early in his ministry. He wrote to the Romans:
"For, through the grace given to me, I say, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3
We are not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. We need to be meek. The word meek means "gentle and mild in all we think and do". We are to be lowly or humble in our mind. The life we exalt is not our life, but the life of Christ that lives in us. When people look upon us, they should see Christ in everything we do or say.
Jesus spoke to the multitude in His day, and He was speaking to the multitude in our day when He related:
"And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Matthew 23:12
Those who will not abase themselves, God shall abase. And those who will abase themselves, God shall exalt. James recorded:
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." James 4:10
God will exalt His people, but only those who humble themselves. James further stated,
"But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." James 4:6
God resists the proud in heart and exalts the lowly. God revealed His plan to those He will exalt:
"For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15
The High and Lofty One will inhabit eternity with those who have a contrite (broken and crushed) and humble spirit. He will revive the heart (mind) of His broken and crushed ones. These have the promise of eternal life dwelling in them. God has made another promise to the meek and lowly in heart:
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5
Many who are high and lifted up in themselves are proclaiming that they will be rulers and reigners with Christ. The Logos Word reveals that it is the meek who shall inherit the earth. God will resist those who are proud in heart and think more highly of themselves then they ought to think. He will resist those who have not followed the example that Jesus left. Today there are many proclaimers, but God's house will be built by the obtainers, those who have come into the image and likeness of their example.
Peter, by the inspiration of God, gave us a list of some of the attributes in Jesus' life that we must follow if we, too, are to inhabit all eternity with the High and Lofty One, Christ Jesus our Lord. Peter revealed that Jesus:
" ... committed no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." I Peter 2:22
Jesus committed no sin because there was no guile found in His mouth. The word guile means "deceitfulness". Deceit is that which is false in our lives and does not produce life. The writer of Proverbs informs us:
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit of it." Proverbs 18:21
When man sins it is generally with his mouth. James informs us:
"The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire from hell." James 3:6
The uncontrolled tongue defiles the whole body, setting on fire the course of nature. Fire speaks of God's judgment and also of the cleansing power of God in our lives. Our tongue determines the course of nature that God will act upon. Does our tongue bring the judgment of God in our lives, or does our tongue release His cleansing power that will cleanse us from all unrighteousness?
There was no guile found in Jesus' mouth. Sin was not given a place in the words that He spoke. The word sin is HARMATRIA and means "to miss the mark". The mark is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. If we are to hit the mark that God has set before us, we must put a guard on our tongue. David, the Psalmist, wrote:
"I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me." Psalm 39:1
The word bridle means "muzzle". We need to muzzle our mouth, not allowing the old nature to be displayed before the wicked. We need to take heed to our ways that we sin not with our mouth.
"Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?" Ecclesiastes 5:6
We must not allow our mouth to cause us to miss the mark of the high calling of God in our lives. Jesus gave us a warning when He spoke to the Pharisees:
"But I say unto you, That for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36
The idle words are the barren words that do not produce life. These are words of discouragement, not encouragement. These are words that tear down, not edify. These are words that destroy and not build up. Deceitful words that are empty should be given no place in the lives of those who are striving to follow Jesus, their example. Peter recorded the words of the Father:
"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him restrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:" I Peter 3:10
We need to ask, "Do we love life, or, are we satisfied dwelling in death? Do we desire to see good days or the judgment of God in our lives?" We need to follow our example and declare, "There shall be no guile in my mouth. Those things in my life that will cause me to miss the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus are no longer acceptable in my life."
The prophet Zephaniah spoke of the overcoming remnant of Israel (God's people), when he declared:
"The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid." Zephaniah 3:13
God has an overcoming remnant who will enter into God's rest because they have ceased from their own labors, Hebrews 4:10. These have ceased from building their own kingdom. These have ceased from the things that please the flesh. These have entered into His rest to do what God desires them to do, and become what God desires them to be.
"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;" II Corinthians 10:5
Every thought must originate in Christ and bring glory to the Father. This is coming into the image of the example who made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, Philippians 2:7. We may be in the likeness of men, but we too, can come into the image of the invisible God. We have the assurance of the Spirit of the Living God who inspired Paul to write:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
God gave John on the Isle of Patmos the revelation of those who will come into the image of their example. This is the "first fruit company" unto God and the Lamb. It was said of them:
"And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Revelation 14:5
God is raising up that "first fruit company" who will inhabit all eternity with the High and Lofty One. These have overcome the flesh and have ceased from their own labours and come to the realization:
"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." Romans 11:36
2 REVILE NOT AGAIN
Peter gave other attributes of our example when He proclaimed:
"Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:" I Peter 2:23
The word revile means "to reproach, to rail or to heap abuse upon". When Jesus was reviled, He reviled not again. Today we refer to reviling and railing as "getting even". A popular saying we hear today is, "I don't get mad, I get even." When we are harmed, verbally or physically, getting even is the most basic of all human emotions. When we are hurt, the old carnal nature rises up to make the person who hurt us, hurt as badly as we do, and even worse. Jesus, our example, overcame this natural emotion with a supernatural will. Jesus' whole life was one of overcoming the human nature and will.
When the Pharisees were trying to proclaim their righteousness before Jesus, they accused Him of being born out of wedlock:
"Then said they unto Him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." John 8:41
The Pharisees were ignorant of the virgin birth. In their hearts, they thought that Jesus was conceived illegitimately. This would not only bring shame upon Himself, but also Mary, His Mother. Jesus did not defend or try to explain, but rather spoke the truth; that the Pharisees were serving their father, the devil. This accusation of being born illegitimately stayed with Jesus His whole life. The Jews, like many today, could not see beyond the Law, which stated:
"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:2
The Jews considered Jesus less than nothing. But He reviled not back. When the fullness of time came for Jesus to fulfill the Father's will in His life, Jesus would be taken and sacrificed for the sin of all mankind. At this time the hostility of the religious system would be released in all its fury against Him, and yet He would not revile back. The prophet Isaiah foretold this time:
"I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting." Isaiah 50:6
Not only did this religious hatred lay His back open by the cat-o'nine- tails, they pulled out His beard by the handful as the spit ran down His beaten and bruised body. But He reviled not back:
"As many were astonied at thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men:" Isaiah 52:14
His looks were so marred he barely looked human. Their hatred was so displayed that they could not leave off the beating. But He reviled not back:
"Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands," Matthew 26:67
And yet He reviled not back. The Lord suffered the pain and the shame to become our example to follow:
"And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!" Matthew 27:29
He was not only mocked, beaten and scorned by the religious system, but He was mocked, beaten and scorned by the government. Yet he reviled not back, nor did He threaten. Jesus knew that in less then forty years Jerusalem would be totally destroyed and their religious systems would be totally dispersed and brought to nought. Jesus also knew that the Roman government was in rapid decline and would soon fall in ruin and disgrace. But He reviled not back:
"And they spat upon Him, and took the reed, and struck Him on the head." Matthew 27:30
They took a reed and hit Him on the head, driving the crown of thorns deep into His scalp. There was no letup in the pain they could afflict on our example. Nothing was too vile, nothing was thought too harsh because the hatred of the righteous was complete. Luke recorded:
"And many other things blasphemously they spoke against Him." Luke 22:65
And yet He reviled not back. His only words were, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do," Luke 23:34. The writer of Hebrews brought it home to us when the Spirit inspired him to write:
"For consider Him that endured such contradiction by sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." Hebrews 12:3
We need to consider Jesus who left us many examples for when the contradiction of sinners would attempt to destroy all conviction of righteousness in our lives. If we do not look upon our example when these same contradictions from the religious system come upon God's people, we could faint (become weary) in mind. The writer of Hebrews proclaimed:
"Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Hebrews 12:4
Our example resisted unto blood, striving against sin. God's people, who are walking in the footsteps of the Son, will also resist unto blood striving against sin:
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10
Just as the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, so will the many sons that He brings into glory with Him be made perfect through suffering. We must become the example and, when suffering comes, we dare not revile back.
Many of those who call themselves by His name are arming themselves with the weapons of the world. They justify this, using Jesus' Words:
"Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his script: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36
Those who use this scripture overlook Jesus' Words when He stated,
"It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life." John 6:63
Jesus' Words were Spirit and they were life. Prior to this time, Jesus had explained to His disciples:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34
The Sword that Jesus sent upon the earth is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. This is the only Sword that God has put in our hand. When Peter used the sword of the flesh and cut off the high priest servant's ear, Jesus told Peter:
"Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Matthew 26:52
Jesus repaired the damage that Peter inflicted and allowed Himself to be taken by the angry mob, knowing His end. When standing before Pilate, Jesus proclaimed:
"My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." John 18:36
Jesus, our example, would not allow the sword to be used to save His life, and those who use the sword of the flesh to save their lives will perish by that sword. The only sword that God has placed in our hand is the Sword of the Spirit (the Word). We can be assured that all the kingdom of this world will fall by that sword.
Another example of our Lord was when He was on His way to Jerusalem. A certain Samaritan village would not receive Him:
"And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" Luke 9:54
Two of Jesus' most trusted disciples had not learned the purpose for which Jesus came; to bring life, not destroy it. Instead his disciples wanted to call down fire and consume the whole village.
"But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." Luke 9:55
What kind of spirit are God's people today, who would destroy life to protect their own? These have taken their lives out of the hands of God. These hold their own lives more precious than the life of the "Giver of Life". These believe their protection is resident in themselves. Jesus simply related to His disciples who had a zeal for vengeance:
"For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Luke 9:56
Jesus reviled back in none of these things. Jesus made us many promises. One of those promises had to do with our suffering. Jesus revealed unto His disciples:
"These things I have spoken to you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
This is our example. Jesus has given us the power to overcome the world in our lives. This overcoming can only be accomplished when the Sword of the Spirit is given free access in our lives.
Paul was a man who had many lessons to learn in the overcoming realm. Paul's enemies stirred up trouble for Paul everywhere he went. Paul was stoned and dragged outside the city and left for dead. But Paul returned to that city:
"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
We can only enter into the kingdom through much tribulation. And yet many today are preaching "No Tribulation". Their message proclaims that Jesus did it all for us. There is nothing for us to do. Once you accept Jesus, you are "home free". This is a lie. This is why the church is weak, anemic and failing to fulfill the mission of God in their lives;
"Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth," II Timothy 3:7.
When the slightest disagreement comes, it brings separation and a reviling that encompasses all those around them, and the whole body suffers. When we fail to follow in the footsteps of our example, we have totally ignored the inspired Word that flowed from Peter's pen:
"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." I Peter 3:9
We need always to consider our example, so that when we suffer persecution we will not faint (become weary) in our minds and revile back. The popular teaching in the religious system today is that the saints will suffer no persecution; that before any judgment comes, God's saints will be removed, and they will suffer none of the persecution that is coming upon the world. One would wonder why Jesus left us an example of suffering and overcoming. Paul wrote to Timothy:
"Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." II Timothy 3:12
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us:" II Timothy 2:12
Peter did not have the understanding of God's saints being miraculously delivered, when he warned:
"But, and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled." I Peter 3:14
When we suffer for righteousness' sake we need to remember our example and revile not back. This also must be remembered in our everyday walk with our Father. When we are reviled at home, on the job, or in the fellowship, if we are to be pleasing in the sight of God, we cannot revile back. We have Jesus' Word that He spoke in His Sermon on the Mount:
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." Matthew 5:11
Peter recorded that when our example was reviled, He reviled not again. When He suffered, He did not threaten, but He committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously. Today many fear God's judgment. Our Father's judgment is righteous. He is a God of grace and mercy. We need to consider our lives and ask, "What is it in our life that God can judge?" Peter wrote to us when he declared:
"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;" I Peter 4:1
The suffering that God allows in our lives is to bring us to a place where we cease from sin. We must die to the old, fleshly nature and our whole desire must be to serve the Creator. Peter went on to declare:
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." I Peter 4:19
We have God's assurance that when our desire is His desire and our will is His will, that He will judge us righteously. Our Faithful Creator left us an example that we must follow if we are to come again into His image and likeness. Those who come into His image and likeness will enter into His presence to dwell for all eternity. Peter wrote of our example:
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" I Peter 3:18
We, too, must put our flesh to death; our fleshly desires, attitudes and our basic emotions. Our desires, attitudes and emotions need to come alive in the Spirit. By Jesus' Words we know:
"It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life." John 6:63
The Spirit brings life. There is no profit to our God in our flesh. We must let the Spiritual, life-giving Word have free reign in our lives. If we are to be as our example and bring glory to the Father as Jesus did, then our fleshly desires, attitudes and emotions must be put to death and allow the Spirit to have free reign in our lives.
There are many other examples that Jesus' left us. This is not the end, but only the beginning of our learning process if we are to become our example, the perfect copy of God's only begotten Son.
Spiritual Growth II
What Do I Need To Put Off
Alphabetical Titles Link Page
Separate Us From God?
Man Of Sin
The Two Nations of the Mind
The Enemy of God
Pulling the Lion's Teeth
Blessings and Cursings
Harden Not Your Heart
Thorns and Thistles
Sowing and Reaping
Kill Off, Put Off, and Put On
Revile Not Again
Do No Violence
Purged With Hyssop
The Unfulfilled, Unhappy Life of Solomon
Weighed in the Balances
For Further Discussion
* Revelations of the Face
* Jesus our Example
Not a Reviler
* Areas to Overcome
Deceitful Lying Tongue
1. List the inner most feelings of mankind that can be seen in the face?
2. List 3 Spiritual meanings of "water" in God's Word.
3. Today man searches for wisdom,knowledge and the deep things of God without what? I Corinthians 2:10
4. All the fullness of the Godhead dwells in the of life, who was the of the Father.
5. If we, too, are to be filled with all the fullness of God, we must begin to... Ephesians 3:17-19
6. List the ways discussed in which we must become as our example Jesus Christ, if we are to enter into the fullness of God.
7. If we are to find the way that Jesus left for us to follow, it is necessary for us to .
8. The High and Lofty One will inhabit eternity with those who have a and Spirit. Isaiah 57:15
9. The defiles the whole body. James 3:6
10. Idle words do not . Matthew 12:36
11. The word revile means .
12. When Jesus was reviled, he . I Peter 2:23
13. A popular saying today is, "I don't get mad, I .
14. Jesus' whole life was one of .
15. In what ways did Jesus overcome reviling?
16. The sword that Jesus sent upon the earth is the .John 6:63
17. Those who use the Sword of the to save their lives will .
18. In John 16:63 and Acts 14:22 what promises do we have?
19. We need to always consider our example, Jesus, so that when we suffer persecution we will not .
20. We, too, must put our , our , our ,and our to death.
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give