I really like the theological forum at www.GraceCentered.com. It gives me an opportunity to share with others the good things God has taught me. But there is a problem. Some people do not believe that God teaches us anything at all, so they don’t think I’m sharing what God taught me. As a result, a great deal of our discussion does not focus on the things that God teaches us, but on defending the fact that God directly communicates with us.
This is from the sixth chapter of New Life in Christ Jesus…
Let the Mind of Christ Be in You
The apostle Paul said:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:5–13)
Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)
Though He was God in the flesh, Jesus did nothing unless He saw God the Father do it first (John 5:19, 30; 8:28–29). He did not teach anything unless God the Father taught Him first, and He did not say anything until God the Father authorized Him to say it (John 7:16–18; 8:28–29, 38; 12:49–50; 14:10). He did not use His own judgment, nor did He seek to do what He Himself wanted, but He depended on the judgment of God, and He did God’s will (John 5:30; 6:38). Everything Jesus did while He was on this earth was because He knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Father wanted Him to do it (John 8:29). In fact, He did not even come to earth on His own authority, but He came because God the Father sent Him (John 7:28–29; 8:42).
Jesus is the anchor of our souls. To Him we have fled for refuge from the wrath to come (Hebrews 6:18-19). But when we waver in our confidence in Christ, our confidence that we will escape God’s wrath always wavers also. When we waver in our confidence in Christ, we do not lose our salvation as some claim, but we lose some of our confidence that we are saved.
This is from the seventh chapter of New Life in Christ Jesus…
I learned of the doctrine of progressive sanctification in the early 1980’s. One of my former pastors believed in it, and he taught it to me through his sermons. To the best of my recollection, he presented progressive sanctification this way:
Every person comes to the point in his life when he must decide whether to accept or reject Christ. From that point of decision forward, each person’s life changes progressively depending on the choice he makes concerning Christ. If his decision is to receive Christ, then from that point forward, God changes him to become more and more like Jesus (this is progressive sanctification). If he rejects Christ, then from that point on, God hardens him, and he becomes more and more like the devil.
This is from the second chapter of New Life in Christ Jesus…
The cornerstone of the covenant that God made with the children of Israel in the desert of Sinai was the Ten Commandments. God wrote that document into tablets of stone with His own finger (Ex. 31:18). But the cornerstone of the new covenant is the living Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Eph. 2:19–22), who comes to live in our hearts when we first put our trust in Him (Eph. 1:13–14). When Jesus comes to live in our hearts, He indelibly writes His passions and desires (and everything else about Himself) onto our hearts. Now that Jesus lives in our hearts, the Word of God lives in our hearts.
This is from the fourth chapter of New Life in Christ Jesus…
When Jesus left earth and went back to heaven, the paradigm for knowing God shifted a bit. While He was on the earth, knowing God and knowing the Spirit were by means of knowing Jesus. But starting at Pentecost, when the Spirit of the living God first took up residence in the hearts of men, knowing God and knowing Jesus were by means of knowing the Holy Spirit. In some regards, this is only a superficial distinction, because God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one (1 John 5:7). But on the other hand, it is not merely superficial because our experience with God and our interactions with Him are by direct and intimate personal contact with His Spirit. We know God the Father because we know His Spirit. We know God the Son because we know His Spirit.