The Fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control . . . (Galatians
The Christian life begins with a great exchange. Jesus Christ took
your place, and died on the cross for you. All your sins were placed upon
Jesus Christ, and He died in your stead. In the great transaction Christ got
all your sin and you were clothed in his perfect righteousness (2
Corinthians 5:21). Salvation is by grace through faith for all who will
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nothing robs the vitality of the
Christian life like legalism. It kills grace. "Christ lives in me; and the
life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God."
Yesterday's grace is totally inadequate for the burden of today. Christ
gives the believer a daily supply of grace that never runs out.
Written for the thinking person to stimulate your spiritual appetite and
focus on Christ.
Do you sometimes wonder if
someone is looking straight through your keyhole? It is probably the apostle James!
His letter contains
some salty encouragement for authentic Christian living.
"If you want to have
power in your life and to be blessed, go straight to the Sermon on the Mount. . . .as you
do so the promised blessings will come . . . it is a description of what we Christians are
meant to be . . . " (D. M. Lloyd-Jones).
The book of Joshua beautifully illustrates with graphic word pictures some great
New Testament principles on Christian living. Have you wandered around in a spiritual
wilderness long enough? Let's go across Jordan and conquer some new spiritual ground in
Canaan in this series of messages.
Our spiritual life from beginning to end is grounded in our
vital union with
Christ. If you are a believer you are in Christ and He is in you forever.
The person who has accepted
Christ as his personal Savior
is identified with Christ in all that He has
accomplished. The believing sinner is joined to Jesus Christ in His death,
in His burial and His resurrection. This is our vital union with Christ.
This is the means whereby we walk in the newness of eternal life.
Most people want a life that is
meaningful and fulfilling. We want to be free from conflicts and stress. Even more so we
want to be less frustrated in our walk with the Lord. Immature believers are filled with
turmoil and spiritual stress and struggle.
Christ in you the hope of
glory . . . that we may present every man complete in Christ" (Colossians
God doesn't use beautiful flasks
to house His fragrance. He has chosen to put the treasure of His fragrance
in clay pots. He uses earthen vessels, not the fine china. He takes simple
clay pots and fills them with His glory. Fragile and flawed, cracked and
leaky clay pots are His choice vessels.
He uses clay pots so He alone can get the glory.
Most of the time these old pots have to be broken before they emit the
sweet fragrance of His grace. God does it through the pressures that come in
The apostle Paul writes: "We are troubled on every side, yet not
distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not
forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (4:8-10, KJV).
The NASB reads, "we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down,
but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
that the life of Jesus also maybe manifested in our body. For we who live
are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life
of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh" (4:8-11).
God's power is perfected in our weaknesses. When we die, He lives. When
we lose, He wins. When we are weak, He is strong. When we are dependent, He is powerful.
When we are tempted, He is triumphant.
Bible Institute Courses by Extension
Pray for the Lord's guidance as we seek to provide a
cost effective, high quality, professional education experience for rural
pastors, evangelists and church workers in Honduras. These humble,
financially deprived, dedicated servants of the Lord have had little, if
any, formal training at a Bible college or seminary level...CONTINUE
in the Light of Life
Jesus Christ is not only human; He is God. “God is light,
and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Jesus said, “I am the
light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall
have the light of life” (John 8:12).
How do we cultivate and maintain a daily fellowship with
Jesus Christ? What is the secret to abiding in Christ? How do we live in the
light, and not stumble around in spiritual darkness?
The individual who has put his trust in Jesus Christ as his
Savior may be in personal fellowship with Him all the time. The eternal purpose
of God in Jesus Christ is to give us this new relationship with God (John 3:16;
6:37, 39; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21). “In Him was life; and the life was the light
of men” (John 1:4). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to
the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead and is now in His
glorified body in heaven, and is God, omnipotent and omnipresent, as close to
the believer as any human companion on earth could ever be. Colossians 3:4 says,
“Your real life is Christ and when He appears, then you will appear with Him and
share His glory!” (GNT).
Giveth More Grace Perhaps
nothing was more frustrating for the apostle Paul than his "thorn in the
flesh." But God had an eternal purpose in the giving to Paul his thorn. That
savage pain caused Paul to grow in God's grace. He learned that if Christ is
Lord and Master of his life then He knows what is best for His servant and
He has the right to chose the thorns. If Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives
then we can well afford to let Him choose the thorns because He gives us
grace to grow through these painful experiences. He has an eternal purpose
in what He chooses for us. God's power is perfected in our weakness. Power
is continually increased as the weakness grows. Our weakness opens the way
for more of Christ's power and grace. Christ is limited only by the measure
of our availability to all He makes available to us.
The Believer's Eternal Security
is "one of the greatest
pieces of sound theology you can embrace," wrote Charles Swindoll. "He who
started something will bear the pressure of it and will bring the results exactly as He
planned for His greater glory. . . . The happiest people I know are the ones who have
learned how to hold everything loosely and have given the worrisome, stress-filled,
fearful details of their lives into God's keeping." Like F. F. Bruce said, "Salvation
is God's work from first to last; therefore, where it has truly been inaugurated, it will
certainly be completed." God never starts something He does not finish. He is
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from Glory to Glory
God is pursuing an ever-growing intimate love relationship
with each of us that never fades away.
Who is adequate to be all that God wants us to be in the
Christian life? The apostle Paul declared, "It is Christ who is
all–sufficient who has made me sufficient for this task." He always thought
of God as making him adequate to live and minister the Christian life. Only
the Holy Spirit can change our human nature, therefore God calls us to an
intimate relationship with Himself. The new covenant we have with Christ
produces in us a greater splendor that will never fade. It began the day we
put our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and it will not be
finished until the day we stand complete in the presence of God when Jesus
Can you imagine
for a moment Christ in all His glorious riches actually dwelling in you
through His Spirit?
God's goal is to make us in all respects just like Christ.
God is at work, and He is busy changing our lives. The way He does it is a
The majestic secret of God with us is
"Christ in you the hope of glory."
Christ comes into your life through the new birth you want to see and experience more and
more of Him than ever before. Such a person never outgrows Christ. Once we have an
intimate love relationship with Him we grow in our need and
desire of more of Him.
Christ dwells within us for the purpose of presenting us complete to the
Father. It begins the moment we put our faith in Christ and are born
spiritually. The new birth is the beginning of a process that continues
throughout the Christian's life on this earth. The growing believer longs
for Christ alone. All progress in the Christian life takes place only as we
come to understand and put into daily practice the great mystery of "Christ
secret of the Christian life
is to know more intimately
the Christ to whom the soul is bound forever. Christ will share with us every spiritual
blessing that He possesses because we are by grace united with Him. Everything that God
wants to give His people is given too them in Christ. Our spiritual life from beginning to
end is grounded in our vital union with Christ. If you are a believer you are in Christ
and He is in you forever. He admits us into a joint participation with Him. He invites us
to come and receive all of the riches and fullness of this communion with Him.
One of the ways our vital union with Jesus Christ is
illustrated in the Scriptures is by a marriage relationship. We have a
Marital Union with Christ.
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Alive in Christ
"I have everything I need for joy!" Everything!
If you have risen with Christ, you have everything. How do you know that? You are in
Christ. You are united with Him. Therefore, everything that has happened to Christ has
happened to you. You have died with Him, you have been crucified, you are buried with Him.
Yes, you have also risen with Him. "If you then be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God." "For you
are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall
appear, then shall you also appear with Him in glory."
We should start every day of our lives by saying to
ourselves, "I am a child of God, I died with Christ, I am dead unto sin, I
am risen with Christ, I am in this new realm.
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears
much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5)
Jesus picked up a cutting and turned to His disciples. "You know
how Israel is pictured as a vine which is to produce refreshing fruit. Well, she failed. I
am the authentic Vine. I am the true and genuine Vine as opposed to a mere copy or symbol.
I am the fulfillment of all that this symbol suggests. I am the Vine, the true One."
the Father has
made provision for every need in your daily walk with Christ. Ever since the day you were
born spiritually, you became a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are heirs
of the throne.
How sad to think we go through
selfimposed spiritual poverty and cheat ourselves out of the riches of God's
marvelous grace. The riches are there whether we enjoy them or not. God has provided you
with everything you need to live the Christian life.
Wil is a graduate
of William Carey College, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and
Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the
U. S. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry heard in over
100 countries for ten years. He and his wife served as missionaries in
Ecuador for 20 years. He served as Field
Director for the Honduras Baptist Medical Dental Mission in Tegucigalpa,
Honduras, C.A. Wil and his wife Ann have three
continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world
Scriptures from NASB used by permission. Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the