by Mike Ratliff
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:4-7 ESV)
We are told not to fear earthly things or other people no matter how evil or violent they are. However, we are told to fear God. Much of the fear Christians have, however, is not based in their fear of God, but in the fear of their own failures being exposed or their own spiritual deficiencies being exploited by the devil’s seed. Of course some of that fear comes from the spirit of fear that dominates some Christians.
Some time this afternoon the hits on Possessing the Treasure exceeded 100,000 since inception on March 31, 2006. The posts on this blog that date from earlier than that were migrated over from my old blog, Walking the Walk by Faith. In any case, what does this mean? I’m not sure except that I am in total amazement every day that God uses my little talent for the furtherance of the Kingdom. I pray that He will continue to inspire me and use me for His glory alone. Soli Deo Gloria!
You cannot receive Christ as your justification only, and then, later, decide to refuse or to accept Him as your sanctification. He is one and indivisible, and if you receive Him at all, at once He is made unto you "wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." You cannot receive Him as your Saviour only, and later decide to accept or refuse Him as your Lord; for the Saviour is the Lord who by His death has [bought] us and therefore owns us. Sanctification is nowhere taught or offered in the New Testament as some additional experience possible to the believer. It is represented rather as something which is already within the believer, something which he must realise more and more and in which he must grow increasingly. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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by Mike Ratliff
This morning I logged into Possessing the Treasure to process the comments that came in overnight as usual. I always approach this with a sense of anticipation. However, awaiting me were two comments from one person who had a huge problem with the fact that I moderate comments using a set of rules that is publicly displayed on my blog. He wanted free reign to say whatever he wanted to say without any control by me whatsoever. Our flesh says that that sounds reasonable. However, this person’s comment was couched in bitter anger. He called me a fascist. He insinuated that I should allow people to say whatever they wanted to say any way at any time. Why? Why would someone demand that on a private blog? My response was that to comment in rebuttal on Possessing the Treasure will only be allowed from arguments from scripture alone. Why? We are proclaiming the truth from God’s Word. We are not proclaiming another way to be religious. Instead, we are attempting to proclaim the way to walk before the face of God in full submission to Him because He is the source of our spiritual life. Therefore, rebuttal arguments must be based within the same foundation that we use, which is scripture. Why? This forces those who desire to contend with what is said here to not respond in hot anger, but instead, calm down then go to the Word of God to seek the truth. I contend that if people will do this, many of their perceptions about our faith will be shown for what they really are in that they are contrary to what the Word says.
Humility is a something we all desperately need. Arrogance, self-righteousness, and self-absorption are fruits of pride. Christians should be constantly on guard against the manifestations of this evil in our hearts. That evil is there, but we don’t have to play ball by entertaining what our wicked hearts desire. The following article was written by John Newton in 1762. He is the hymn writer of what we call "Amazing Grace." He was a former slave trader whom God saved in a miraculous way. Eventually Newton repented of being a slave trader and became a Pastor in the Church of England. He was a prolific hymn writer as well. In the last years of his life, God brought him to the place where he saw the wickedness of the slave trade. It broke his heart. In that brokenness, he wrote a pamphlet that was used by Abolitionists to influence the English Parliament to abolish the Slave Trade. Newton knew about the sin of pride and self-sufficiency. He, like us, was just a human who, even though God had saved him, he still had a heart full of all kinds of evil. – Mike Ratliff