Psalms 73:24

“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” — Psalms 73:24

The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God’s counsel should henceforth guide him. A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend’s arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the all-seeing God. “Thou shalt,” is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it. Be assured that thy God will be thy counsellor and friend; he shall guide thee; he will direct all thy ways. In his written Word thou hast this assurance in part fulfilled, for holy Scripture is his counsel to thee. Happy are we to have God’s Word always to guide us! What were the mariner without his compass? And what were the Christian without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the quicksands of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped and marked by one who knows all the way.

Blessed be thou, O God, that we may trust thee to guide us now, and guide us even to the end! After this guidance through life, the Psalmist anticipates a divine reception at last-“and afterward receive me to glory.” What a thought for thee, believer! God himself will receive thee to glory-thee! Wandering, erring, straying, yet he will bring thee safe at last to glory! This is thy portion; live on it this day, and if perplexities should surround thee, go in the strength of this text straight to the throne.

WALK IN THE LIGHT

“We may be in the light as God is in the light for quality, but not for equality.” — John Trapp

Our unbelief and our sins are the cause of our lack of spiritual power

‘‘If we but study the conditions in all sincerity, we will have to acknowledge that our unbelief and our sins are the cause of our lack of spiritual power, and that this condition is one that places us guilty before God and grieving God’s Holy Spirit.’’

Murray, A. (2002). Living a prayerful life. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House.

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Servum Arbitrium

And Three Meanings of the Servum Arbitrium at Martin Luther
AUTHOR(S)BANDOL, Radu

PUB. DATE August 2012
SOURCE Philobiblon: Transylvanian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research; 2012, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p402

SOURCE TYPE Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE Article

ABSTRACT
The present study aims at analyzing several aspects of the concept of will from the perspective of Saint Augustine and Martin Luther. The authors are “classical” sources of the free will issue, the former in asserting it, the latter in coming to doubt it with regard to the “superior” choices. The actuality of the theme resides not only in the fact that it is profoundly transdisciplinary and that it continuously pursues a balance between what depends on the deliberating agent and what influences it in action from the outside, but also in that the authors we are dealing with were frequently investigated, resorted to and quoted in their age about the matter of the assertion and negation of free will. In the case of Augustine we take into consideration the relationship between arbitrium and voluntas, the former as a faculty of judgement and free consent, the latter as a complex of inclinations or dispositions. In the case of Luther three hypostases are identified in which arbitrium is slave (servum): an enslavement due to its impossibility of removing the aversion to God, an enslavement due to its impossibility of responding to God’s grace and the last one towards the sovereignty of God’s governing of the universe. The theological theory of will has the “advantage” of relating to a superior, perfect, modelling Will. Our attempt is to notice the essential anthropological aspect in which Luther distances himself from Augustine and the effect it has on understanding the arbitrium.

Teaching how to pray

3. The absolute necessity of using this means, if we would receive any gift from God, yet farther appears from that remarkable passage which immediately precedes these words: “And he said unto them,” whom he had just been teaching how to pray, “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and shall say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves: And he from within shall answer, Trouble me not; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you.” (Luke 11:5, 7–9.) “Though he will not give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” How could our blessed Lord more plainly declare, that we may receive of God, by this means, by importunately asking, what otherwise we should not receive at all?

Wesley, J. (1999). Sermons, on several occasions.

We have only to consult the oracles of God; to inquire what is written there

And, in fact, he hath not left us undetermined; he hath shown us the way wherein we should go. We have only to consult the oracles of God; to inquire what is written there; and, if we simply abide by their decision, there can no possible doubt remain.

Wesley, J. (1999). Sermons, on several occasions.

ye are restored to the favour and image of God, not for any works, merits, or deservings of yours, but by the free grace, the mere mercy of God

6. So little do they understand that great foundation of the whole Christian building, “By grace are ye saved:” Ye are saved from your sins, from the guilt and power thereof, ye are restored to the favour and image of God, not for any works, merits, or deservings of yours, but by the free grace, the mere mercy of God, through the merits of his well-beloved Son: Ye are thus saved, not by any power, wisdom, or strength, which is in you, or in any other creature; but merely through the grace or power of the Holy Ghost, which worketh all in all.

Wesley, J. (1999). Sermons, on several occasions.

Every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit but in Christ alone

4. We allow farther, that the use of all means whatever will never atone for one sin; that it is the blood of Christ alone, whereby any sinner can be reconciled to God; there being no other propitiation for our sins, no other fountain for sin and uncleanness. Every believer in Christ is deeply convinced that there is no merit but in Him; that there is no merit in any of his own works; not in uttering the prayer, or searching the Scripture, or hearing the word of God, or eating of that bread and drinking of that cup. So that if no more be intended by the expression some have used, “Christ is the only means of grace,” than this,—that He is the only meritorious cause of it, it cannot be gainsayed by any who know the grace of God.

Wesley, J. (1999). Sermons, on several occasions. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

the hatred of the Holy Ghost all that is not in keeping with God’s holiness

The love of God at work in me makes me hate with the hatred of the Holy Ghost all that is not in keeping with God’s holiness. To walk in the light means that everything that is of the darkness drives me closer into the centre of the light.

Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin so that God Almighty can see nothing to censure in me

If I walk in the light as God is in the light, not in the light of my conscience, but in the light of God—if I walk there, with nothing folded up, then there comes the amazing revelation—the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin so that God Almighty can see nothing to censure in me.

Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

the impartation of His absolute perfection

It takes the last reach of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, the impartation of His absolute perfection, to make a man know what sin is.

Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

thank God for what grace you have; praise him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained

Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation

Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her

Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators.

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

30 Essential Ways to Express Worship to the Holy Spirit

Few Christians actually address the Holy Spirit in prayer. Sons and daughters of God often approach the Father with the statement, “Holy is Your name” (out of the Lord’s Prayer). Then, one by one, they celebrate the names and titles attributed to the Almighty. Or they use a similar method in lifting up the Son of God as they enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and praise. But rarely do believers use the same method toward the Holy Spirit (adoringly and prayerfully declaring His many names and titles).

The following prayer, given to me while I was in prayer, showcases over 30 names and titles attributed to the Spirit of God. I would urge you—don’t just read this as an article, but pray these prayers yourself, and you will surely sense, in a much greater way, the power of the functions of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Holy Spirit, You Are …

Holy Spirit, You are GOD (1 John 5:7);
I would be ungodly and godless without You.

Holy Spirit, You are my COMFORTER (John 14:26, KJV);
I would be devastated by the pain of this world without You.

Holy Spirit, You are my HELPER (John 14:26, NKJV);
I would be helpless without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the PARACLETOS (the One who stands by; John 14:26, original Greek);
I would be alone and defenseless without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the WIND of heaven (Acts 2:1-3);
I would succumb to this arid wilderness of sin without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the BREATH OF GOD (Gen. 2:7; John 20:22);
I would die of spiritual asphyxiation without You.

Holy Spirit, You are RIVERS OF LIVING WATER (John 7:38);
My inner being would be a cracked, dry, empty riverbed without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the OIL OF JOY and the OIL OF GLADNESS (Is. 61:3; Ps. 45:7);
I would sink into the depths of depression without Your presence in my heart.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF TRUTH (John 15:26);
I would be utterly deceived by this world without Your presence inspiring my mind.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF FAITH (2 Cor. 4:13);
I would be in a prison of unbelief without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF LIFE (Rom. 8:1-2);
I would be overwhelmed by the “law of sin and death” without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF HOLINESS (Rom. 1:4);
I would be eternally contaminated by sin without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF LOVE (2 Tim. 1:7);
I would be utterly bound by cords of anger, hatred, resentment and fear without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF POWER (2 Tim. 1:7);
I would be overtaken by weaknesses without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND (2 Tim. 1:7);
I would not survive the mental pressure of this world without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING (Is. 11:2);
I would make so many foolish choices without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF COUNSEL AND MIGHT (Is. 11:2);
I would be oblivious to my purpose and powerless to fulfill it without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE (Is. 11:2);
I would be so ignorant of the things of God without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD (Is. 11:2);
I would be so lacking in reverence toward God without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF WISDOM AND REVELATION (Eph. 1:17);
I would never be able to understand the mysteries of God’s kingdom without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF ADOPTION (Rom. 8:15);
I would have never become a son of God had You not regenerated my spirit.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF PROMISE (Eph. 1:13);
I would have never seen the promises of God fulfilled in my life without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF GLORY, THE SHEKINAH (1 Pet. 4:14);
I would have never known the manifest presence of God had You not come.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF JUDGMENT (Is. 4:4);
I would have never been able to identify evil without Your discernment.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF BURNING (Is. 4:4);
I would have been cold toward the things of God had You not consumed my heart with Your “consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29).

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY (Rev. 19:10);
I would not be able to testify of my expectations of Jesus without You.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, the SPIRIT OF THE MESSIAH, and the ANOINTING that destroys the yoke (1 Pet. 1:11; Is. 10:27);
I would still be spiritually bound had You not set me free.

Holy Spirit, You are the SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD (Eph. 1:13; Rev. 7:2);
I would have surely slipped back into the darkness without Your preserving grip.

Holy Spirit, You are the GUARANTEE OF MY INHERITANCE (Eph. 1:13-14);
I would not have blessed assurance of eternal salvation without Your abiding grace.

Holy Spirit, You are the ETERNAL SPIRIT (Heb. 9:14);
I would have never broken free from the imprisoning walls of time without Your liberating power.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF GRACE (Zech. 12:10);
I would have never been recovered from my degraded state had You not rescued me through unearned favor and unmerited love.

Holy Spirit, You are the SPIRIT OF SUPPLICATION (Zech. 12:10);
I would have never been able to pray this prayer successfully or find real communion with God today had You not reconciled me to my heavenly Father and granted me access into His eternal throne room (Eph. 2:18).

Holy Spirit, thank You so much for being in my heart and life today. I yield to You. I surrender to You. I praise You. I celebrate You with all my soul and all my might. I appeal to You to be all that You can be in me today!

May I truly fulfill the wondrous calling of being a temple of the Holy Spirit with every precious minute that passes by.

Mike Shreve has been involved in full-time ministry since 1971, sharing the gospel globally. He is the author of 11 books, most recently 65 Promises From God for Your Child: Powerful Prayer for Supernatural Results (Charisma House). For more information, visit shreveministries.org. Copyright © 2013 Mike Shreve

Forgiven Souls Have the Greatest Cause to be Humble by J. C. Ryle

Forgiven Souls Have the Greatest Cause to be Humble by J. C. Ryle

They cannot forget that they owe all they have and hope for to free grace, and this keeps them lowly. They are brands plucked from the fire, —debtors who could not pay for themselves,—captives who must have remained in prison for ever, but for undeserved mercy,—wandering sheep who were ready to perish when the shepherd found them,—and what right then have they to be proud? I do not deny that there are proud saints. But this I do say, they are of all God’s creatures the most inconsistent,—and of all God’s children, the most likely to stumble and pierce themselves with many sorrows. Forgiveness more often produces the spirit of Jacob :—’I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast shewed unto thy servant ;’ (Gen. 32:10.) and of Hezekiah, ‘I shall go softly all my years ;’ (Isaiah 38:15.) and of the apostle Paul, ‘I am less than the least of all saints,—chief of sinners’ (Eph. 3:8 ;—1 Tim. 1:15.) Ah! brethren, when you and I have nothing we can call our own but sin and weakness, there is surely no garment that becomes us so well as humility.”

– J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) Consider Your Ways: Being a Pastor’s Address to His Flock. 10th Thousand, Revised and Adapted to All Seasons, 1849.

There is no grace which should distinguish the Christian so much as humility. He that would be great in the eyes of Christ, must aim at a totally different mark from that of the Pharisees. His aim must be, not so much to rule, as to serve the Church. The desire of the Pharisee was to receive honor, and to be called “master.” The desire of the Christian must be to do good, and to give himself, and all that he has to the service of others. Truly this is a high standard, but a lower one must never content us. The example of our blessed Lord, the direct command of the apostolic Epistles, require us to be “clothed with humility” (1 Peter 5:5). Let us seek that blessed grace day by day. No grace is so beautiful, yet so despised by the world. No grace is such an evidence of saving faith, and true conversion to God. No grace is so often commended by our Lord. Of all His sayings, hardly any is so often repeated as that which concludes the passage we have now read, “Whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

~ J.C. Ryle Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 300. {Matthew 23:1-12}

Humility may well be called the queen of the Christian graces. To know our own sinfulness and weakness, and to feel our need of Christ, is the very beginning of saving religion. It is a grace which has always been the distinguishing feature in the character of the holiest saints in every age. Abraham, Moses, Job, David, Daniel and Paul were all eminently humble men. Above all, it is a grace within the reach of every true Christian. All have not money to give away. All have not time and opportunities for working directly for Christ. All have not gifts of speech, tact and knowledge, in order to do good in the world. But all converted people should labor to adorn the doctrine they profess by humility. If they can do nothing else, they can strive to be humble.

~ J.C. Ryle Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 2 , [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 152, 153. {Luke 14:7-14}

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