Wealth, Walk and Warfare

The Wealth, Walk and Warfare of the Christian by R. Paxson is a classic devotional exposition of the Epistle to the Ephesians. Here is an excerpt:


The Saint in Christ

2:1. ” You [were] dead. ” 1:20. ” Christ [was] dead.”

“You [were] dead.” – How can a dead man be made a live? “Christ [was] dead.” What an amazing answer! Christ, the source of all life, even life itself, dead! This is the almost unthinkable thing that grace has done. It has put Christ, the sinless One, in the sinner’s place. “The wages of sin is death”; “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” [Rom. 6:23; Ezek. 18:4,20]. The penalty must be paid, and there was no other way to do it. He bore the sinner’s sins by taking the sinner’s place.

2:5. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.”

Believing upon Christ as his Saviour and receiving Him into his heart, the sinner becomes the possessor of eternal life and is made one with Christ. Shall a live man remain in a grave?

1:20. “Christ raised from the dead.”

2:6. “And hath raised us up together with him.”

The grave could not hold Him that was alive. Neither can it hold the quickened sinner. The grave of sin is no place for a saint. An evangelist said in a meeting, “We shall never be anything but sinners saved by grace, with one foot in sin and one foot in grace.” Never, oh! never, according to Ephesians. If 2: 1-10 teaches anything, it is the exact opposite of such a statement. True, the sinner is saved by grace, and by grace alone, and this fact should ever be kept fresh in his memory, that he may forever praise God for His wondrous goodness. But it is equally true that through God’s grace the believer in Christ has left forever the old position in sin, and has come into a totally new position in Christ. Indeed the sinner has become a saint. God lifted him altogether out of that awful pit of sin and placed both feet on the solid rock “in Christ” wherein he is to walk in the future, as in times past he walked “in sin.” How could a saint walk worthily (4:1) with one foot in sin and one foot in grace? It is just such teaching and such practice that excuses the and inconsistent walk of many a Christian. Being raised together with Christ, the saint is now to walk in newness of life. To do this Christ must become the Life of his life.

But God’s grace is not yet exhausted, nor His redemptive plan completed. Wherever Christ is the Christian must be, for he is now bound together with Christ for all time and eternity. Christ and the Christian are eternally one. The earth could not hold the risen Christ any more than the grave could retain the dead Christ, for His redemptive work demands something more.

1:20. “He set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”

2:6. “He made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Dare we believe this glorious truth that He who went down to the very deepest depths of sin for us now carries us up to the very highest heights of glory with Him? That is hardly the way to put the question. Dare we not believe it? God has written both of these truths in His Word and, if we do not believe the latter, we do not really believe the former. God has said it, and to disbelieve is to make God a liar.

“Made us sit together.” – Seated; how restful and relaxed it sounds! Yet how many of us are most of the time anything but that, but rather buzzing around in a fretful, feverish fashion which is far more earthly than heavenly in the impression it makes upon the world about us.

” In the heavenlies in Christ.” – Yes, at home in the heavenlies, where our citizenship really is (Phil. 3:20). Not visiting this glorious place from time to time as trial, sorrow and conflict drive us to a higher plane, but settling down in the heavenlies in possessive and permanent occupancy as our abiding-place…

Download the exposition of Ephesians 2:1-10 here (PDF): 825_The_Creation_of_a_Christian

Grace Is Greater

This free audio book (for May) addresses important themes for leaders and those they shepherd: “Bestselling author and pastor Kyle Idleman wants everyone to experience the grace of God. Through the powerful medium of story, Grace Is Greater leads readers past their hang-ups toward an understanding of grace that is bigger than our mistakes, our failures, our desire for revenge, and our seemingly impossible situations.” https://christianaudio.com/free/

LifeCoach Discipleship

Although there are many discipleship resources available through GFI and other publishers, we try to stay alert to new developments. A month ago I came across Brandon Park’s video on 2 Timothy 2:2 multiplication:

This led to me getting his workbook LifeCoach Discipleship. Amazing plan, organization and production quality. He is currently a pastor here. http://connectionpoint.tv/lifecoach
LifeCoach Discipleship is also available in a church-wide campaign kit. It takes the discipleship course, app and videos and expands them to a church-wide campaign of sermons, small group studies, drama, and social media promotion. The kit is half price this month and is worth having even if it is not implemented as a full campaign.
-JBW

A God-Centered Legacy

An author that taught the message of union with Christ with a God-centered perspective was DeVern Fromke. Books such as The Ultimate Intention are on the required reading list for Network220.org counseling ministries. I appreciated some personal calls and correspondence with him in his later years. Brother Fromke went to be with the Lord a couple of years ago. Author Frank Viola posted his respects for Devern Fromke’s ministry at Frank’s popular blog:

“One of my mentors has gone to be with the Lord. A treasured spiritual luminary has left this earth. DeVern Fromke is now with God. He was 93.

“I met DeVern in 1993 along with Stephen Kaung (disciple of Watchman Nee)… Fromke ministered in conferences with the man who has had the most influence on my life, T. Austin-Sparks–though Sparks left this realm before I ever heard his name. All of these men gave me my foundation in the Eternal Purpose of God. And I still marvel at the depth of revelation whenever I read Sparks…

“He, along with Kaung and Sparks, were pioneers of God’s Ultimate Purpose. I’m grateful for his life and legacy. Beyond everything else, he showed me how to carry the Lord’s highest message without being egotistical or high-minded. DeVern was a portrait of the humility of Christ in a gifted vessel.”

Posted by Frank Viola, October 29, 2016 https://frankviola.org/2013/02/22/devernfromke

DeVern Fromke’s books for adults and children are still available at https://fromke.com/

-JBW

My Dad in Heaven

“When children are little, they are happy to boast about their dads … how big they are … how strong they are … My Dad Is The Best Dad In The Universe is my best attempt to boast in the same way about my Heavenly Father.”

“Each line in this 12 minute video was inspired by a Bible passage … Over 150 in total!
This video can be downloaded for free along with the audio narration and text.”

When you visit AbbasKids.com, download the free video, Cartoon Gallery and PDF books by Barry Adams. They are full of visual grace-and-truth for children of all ages!

Abide Above

The beginning of a new year in a important opportunity to prioritize our personal devotional life. We have a page on this site of helpful free resources arranged in daily readings. Not only is this convenient for the pastor, it is helpful to recommend to the disciple. Here is a sample article from None but the Hungry Heart: “Tranquil Trust”
 
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).
 
Restful trust is developed not so much by what the Lord Jesus does for us, but by who He is to us—and that necessitates fellowship.
“It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus’ company, that we can be tranquil about everything. You will often find that it is the one of the most anxious temperament who finds most in Him, when such an one begins to know Him. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, ‘I will fear no evil,’ ‘my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.’ In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. We all say that He is enough, but it is quite a different thing to know it practically. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent on him.” -J.B.S.
 
“What do you need? Ask your Father about it. Instead of harassing your mind about it, present it to Him; and it is not said that He will necessarily give you what you ask, but He gives you His peace. You put your cares into His heart, and He will put His peace into yours.”
 
“Our Father’s purpose is an ‘eternal purpose,’ from eternity, embracing an eternity to come. He does not shape His thoughts according as circumstances arise, but the circumstances are controlled by His thoughts and plans. How blessed to know that He is absolute Master in all things; that even ‘He maketh the wrath of man to praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He restrains.’ It is the only thing that can give the smallest comfort in the midst of such a scene of confusion all around us.” -F.W.G.
 
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
 

Just Be a Friend

Just Be A Friend / Out Reach Groups
is a collection of articles dedicated to providing Evangelism & Discipleship helps to local churches to encourage their congregations to get out into their communities to share Christ wherever the need.

The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20, is the New Testament Church’s Call to Service and to Faithfulness. This collection of articles is concise, brief and to the point. It’s purpose is to get a church’s congregation out into the community to just be a friend to others in Jesus’ Name through small outreach groups

It is extremely important to realize that this is not a campaign. Campaigns are good in that they cause us to carry out and practice what we should be doing and need to be doing for the sake of the Great Commission. But they are literally close dated … What we do justbeafriend.org has realized much more as a success for the Glory of God and His Kingdom’s Work as we make these truths a daily practice of our church’s daily walk 365 days a year every year. This emphasis has to come from the top down. From the pastor to the congregation.

https://justbeafriend.org/