Be United Spiritually, Mentally, And In Purpose

Philippians 1:27–Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.

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Stand fast–This means to be firm, loyal, and devoted in and to our unity.  God has united us together in one spiritual body; the body of Christ.  On the night Jesus was betrayed as He prayed to the Father, He said,  “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:21-23).

Stand fast in one spirit–United spiritually.  We are to all walk in the Spirit which is the source of our unity. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).  If some are walking in the flesh then we cannot keep the unity.

Stand fast in one mind–United mentally.  God seeks to renew our minds that we might have the mind of Christ and so to transform our lives and thereby cause a unity.  As God renews our minds we will have unity in the decisions we make.  We are to be united in the faith and God’s will for us as the body of Christ.  “We should have the same care one for another (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).

Striving for the faith of the gospel–United in our purpose.  We are to put forth great effort to defend and to spread the gospel.  Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mathew 10:16).  We are to be wise in the way we defend and spread the gospel and do it in a way as to bring no harm to others in the process.

A Gathering Together

Ephesians 1:10–In the dispensation of the fullness 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.

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In the dispensation of the fullness of times–God, in dispensing and ordering the events or periods of time ultimately brings them to full completion.  First there was the ordering of events during the Old Testament times wherein God had a physical people.  When these times reached full completion under the divine authority of God, He began the New Testament times; referred to as the church age wherein God has a spiritual people.  This New Testament was initiated “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).  There are future times wherein the events will be ordered by God, but for our examination of this scripture we will not get into them.

He might gather together in one all things in Christ–God the Father is working by Christ, to carry out His will and good pleasure through the body of Christ which is the church.  Those that are in Christ are a part of the spiritual church of which Christ is the head.  Right now part of the body of Christ is in heaven and part of the body of Christ is on earth.  At the end of this dispensation (the church age) everything in Christ will be gathered together in one.  “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).  The spiritual body of Christ will be gathered together in one and we shall ever be with the Lord.  What a reunion this will be as we are gathered together with all our friends and loved ones.

I Am Crucified With Christ: Nevertheless I Live

Galatians 2:20–I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live–”We are dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4).  “We are dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).  When we were baptized into Jesus Christ we were baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3).  “We were buried with Him by baptism into death and raised to walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).  He died to the physical life and was raised to the spiritual life.  We also must die to the physical way of living and live according to the spiritual way of living.  We were buried with Him and raised to walk with Him in the Spirit.

I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me–The Holy Spirit of Christ lives in us.  We must decrease and He must increase. We must yield ourselves unto Him who lives in us.  We must yield our mind, our will and our emotions.  We must yield the members of our bodies unto Him; our eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet.  We must let Him be Lord of our lives and put Him in control.  He will teach us and guide us into all truth.  He will renew our minds, and transform our lives.  His character (the fruit of the Spirit) will be manifest in our lives and His power will be manifest in our service to God and our fellow man.

The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God–We must walk in faith trusting the Christ within to lead us.  We must trust Him in the decisions we make.

The Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me–He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13); and then he died for us.  He died for us that we might live for Him.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

God’s Grace, Peace, Mercies, And Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:2-3–Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.

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God’s Grace–Grace is an expression of God’s love for us.  It is not based on our works or merit but on the divine character of God.  It is not because or our goodness but it is the result of the goodness of God.  It is free and universal. It is for everyone regardless of our position in this life.  It is for the Jew and the Gentile as well as the rich and the poor. Praise God it is for me and it is for you.  God’s grace is expressed through what he does for us.  Here we see three expressions of God’s grace–peace, mercy, and comfort.  Let us examine these and see what God wants to do for us.

God’s Peace–God’s gives us a freedom from conflict and strife, bringing harmony and concord in our life.  It is also a state of mind and emotions.  Being God’s peace, it is supernatural, exceeding that normal peace which man experiences, and it passing all understanding.

1. It is a peace related to our relationships with God and with others. He gives this peace that our relationships will be harmonious; that they will be orderly and pleasing through the unity of our feelings, thoughts, ideas, and interests.

2. It is also related to our inward feelings. It is an experience of calmness, quietness, and serenity beyond anything we have experienced naturally. It is a freedom from fear, anxiety, and worry. It is a peace given to us by God; it is God’s peace.

God’s Mercy–Mercy is an expression of God’s kindness and blessing in excess of what we might expect.  God’s mercy has two aspects.

1. What He feels for us–He is touched by the feeling of our infirmities, suffering, and misfortune because of His deep love for us. He has sympathy and empathy with the misery we are going through. Because of His love for us there is an intellectual and emotional identification with us on God’s part.

2. What He does for us–He is MOVED to act on behalf of us because of the compassion He has for us. It is the outward manifestation of His pity for us. He ministers to us to take care of our needs. And his resources are more than adequate to meet our needs.

God’s Comfort–God soothes us during our distress and sorrow, bringing relief and ease of mind.  He does this in two ways.

1. He does this through the awareness of His presence. God’s presence has a calming effect on us that brings relief from that which is bothering us.

2. He also does this through His word; both the written word and that which the Holy Spirit speaks to us and brings to our remembrance.

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

On What Does Your Faith Stand

1 Corinthians 2:5–Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

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Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men–The wisdom of men is limited.  Man’s wisdom is not all encompassing and perfect.  Man’s wisdom is not always in agreement with the wisdom of others.  The wisdom of men is always changing from generation to generation.  Our faith needs to stand on a more sure foundation.

Our faith should stand in the power of God–God’s power is constant and unlimited.  God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and His power is the same.  God’s power created everything that exists, both that which is seen and that which is unseen.  God’s power can calm storms, multiply food to feed thousands, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out evil spirits.  God’s power can protect us from the forces of nature, and from the evil of mankind and the devil himself.  God’s power can supply all our needs.  Our faith needs to stand upon this sure foundation.  This faith is received and strengthened through our interaction with God and His word.  Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).  “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).  This happens when the Holy Spirit speaks the word to us directly or when the word of God is presented under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Let us place our faith in the power of God and we shall not be disappointed.

Letters From God–Book of 2 Peter 1:12-15

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My child, It is My desire that all My children would always remind each other of the things I have said in My word and of the many exceeding great and precious promises I have made to you all.  Share with each other My plans and provision for all of you.  This will strengthen your faith, bring much hope, stimulate a close fellowship and be a great encouragement to each and every one of you.  2 Peter 1:12-15

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Receiving Things From God

Romans 8:32–He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

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He spared not His own Son–God did not keep His Son, Jesus, from the pain, suffering, agony and death but handed Him over to endure all of this for us.  In doing this He spared us and kept us from paying the wages of our sin.  He did this because He loved us and will always love us.  He counted us worthy of such a sacrifice.  If He loved us so much and sacrificed so much for us shall He not with Jesus freely give us all things?

He shall with Jesus freely give us all things–Our Father along with Jesus will give us all things.  “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (Psalms 34:10).  “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him”? (Matthew 7:11).  How do we receive all these things?  We receive them the same way we receive salvation; by faith.  We receive these things by praying, and asking the Father and believing He is going to give them to us because of His love and grace.  We don’t get them by hoping but by faith.  Hoping is future faith is now.  Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).  Believe that you receive them–now in the present and you shall have them–in the future.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  Faith is the spiritual substance and the spiritual evidence of the things yet to be seen.  So we are to pray for it, tell Satan to get his hands off of it in the name of Jesus, and believe that we have received it.  “All things” refers to what we need now in this present world and in that heavenly world of our future.

Mortify The Deeds Of The Body

Romans 8:13–If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

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We are to mortify the deeds of the body–We are to put to death the deeds of the body causing them to be inactive in our lives.  This includes the misuse of our eyes, ears, hands, feet, mouth, mind, etc., and all the desires in our old nature.  This is a spiritual warfare and cannot be won in the flesh.  It must be won through our spirit and the Holy Spirit that dwells in our spirit. The more we put to death the deeds of the body the more our bodies become the Spirit’s temple.

We shall live–When we put to death the deeds of the body we shall live out the spiritual life we possess while we are in this world and will be transported into the heavenly world upon death.

Love Without Dissimulation

Romans 12:9–Let love be without dissimulation.

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Let love be without dissimulation–As Christians, our love is to be without hypocrisy.  Our love is not to be a superficial display of acts, but is to be an expression from our heart.  The deeds that we do are not to be done for show or to gain the respect or goodwill of others.  Our love is to be a pure love with no ulterior motives.  “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Fellowship and Cleansing

1 John 1:7–If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

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If we walk in the light, as he is in the light–The word “if” expresses the possibility that some might not walk in this light. Some Christians walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit. To walk in the light is to walk in the Spirit and in the light of God’s word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. To walk is to live our lives according to the Spirit and God’s word. Then we can experience the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). To walk in the light is to follow Jesus who is not only in the light but is the Light.

We have fellowship one with another–The Bible says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). If we are to have fellowship we have to be in agreement with each other in the way we believe and live. If one is walking in the flesh and the other is walking in the Spirit there can be no fellowship “for the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other” (Galatians 5:17). Therefore these two people will be contrary the one to the other and not able to have fellowship.

And the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin–As the hymn says, “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus”. It cleanses us from ALL sin and brings us into fellowship with God and with one another.  Walking in the light brings us to the cleansing blood of Jesus.

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