A. W. Tozer


3014 Christ Permeating You

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

At Lamb of God: A Three Streams Church, we talk much of the indwelling Christ who is present in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our Christian growth comes by trusting the Christ who lives in us. Jesus is grace in us–a person not a quantity. Christ in us is freedom from performance-driven Christianity. The question is not what would Jesus do if he were here, but what is Jesus doing in us at this moment. Jesus is the moment-by-moment, minute-by-minute, constant, conscious presence of God. Christ in us is the freedom to enjoy God now in this life at this moment in this very place.

Again, Christ lives in our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. All that Christ is in the gospels, all that Christ is as the second person of the Trinity, and all that Christ is as Lord now lives in us as believers. Since Christ lives in us, we are never alone. Since Christ lives in us, we have the power to live holy lives. Since Christ lives in us, we can respond (not react) to every life situation according to the will of God. Since Christ lives in us, we can daily experience Him intimately and powerfully. Therefore, we desire all of Him in all of us all the time.

Unbelief says: Some other time, but not now; some other place, but not here; some other people, but not us. Faith says: Anything He did anywhere else He will do here; anything He did any other time He is willing to do now; anything He ever did for other people He is willing to do for us! With our feet on the ground, and our head cool, but with our heart ablaze with the love of God, we walk out in this fullness of the Spirit, if we will yield and obey. God wants to work through you!

A. W. Tozer, The Counselor  (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1993), 122.

 

 

the old paths Pray on. Fight On. Sing On.

I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.

Joel 2:28 NLT

We are a passive generation, we are easily discouraged and depressed by our circumstances. In the following quote, A. W. Tozer calls on us to be spiritually determined to press into God. He encourages us to get past our difficulties and thank the Lord in the midst of our trials. Tozer reminds that as we seek God in the pressures of life, we will experience a fresh and ever deeper revelations of God.

Pray on, fight on, sing on. Do not underrate anything God may have done for you heretofore. Thank God for everything up to this point, but do not stop here. Press on into the deep things of God. Insist upon tasting the profounder mysteries of redemption. Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment. If you thus “follow after,” heaven will surely be opened to you and you will, with Ezekiel, see visions of God.

A. W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous, Chapter 15.

 The Saint and Gods Goodness

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.

Nahum 1:7 NLT

What does it means for God to be good? It means in him, there is nothing deceptive, misleading, evil, or impure. All of God’s motives are honest, loving, grace-filled, and kind. In him, we can trust and find a place of security, rest and peace. As we place all of all reliance on him, he is pleased and he responds in sympathy, mercy, provision, and blessing. A saint is not one who has achieved great spiritual heights, but one who trusts in the simple goodness of God even in the darkest of nights.

That God is good is taught and implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity.

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: Harper & Row, 1961), 88.

The saint is not one who tries hard to be good, but one who surrenders to [God’s] Goodness.

E. Stanley Jones, In Christ (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1980)

Glade 002 Things Deep and Mysterious

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Rom 11:33 ESV

I’m a amateur theologian, I enjoy theological discussions as much as the next amateur theologian. However there are times when discussions need to end and worship should begin. Theological discussion is only helpful if it leads to awe-inspired adoration, mind-exulting praise, and heart-searching holiness for our Lord Jesus Christ. God is deep and mysterious and to think that we might ever figure him out goes beyond human pride and self-deception.

Important as it is that we recognize God working in us, I would yet warn against a too-great preoccupation with the thought. It is a sure road to sterile passivity. God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination, and the divine sovereignty.

The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, “O Lord, Thou knowest.” Those things belong to the deep and mysterious profound of God’s omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints.

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Camp Hill, PA: Wingspread, 1982), 64.

Let the man go to the grammar school of faith and repentance before he goes to the university of election and predestination.

John Bradford

z134477535 Get Still to Wait on God

Hearing God Through His Word

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.

Psalm 119:50 ESV

As believers, we enjoy the God’s personal presence through the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we can and should experience an on-going conversational relationship with God: speaking to God and being spoken to by his Spirit. The normal Christian life is God speaking, directing, and guiding us by his love and care. In turn, we can respond in delight by honoring his leadership through obedience to his will. This process of being led, guided, and directed by the Holy Spirit in the affairs of everyday life is called hearing God (John 10:25-30). God’s guidance does not usually involve an audible voice, but the Holy Spirit leading through a nudging, gnawing impression in our spirits.

It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferably with our Bible outspread before us. Then if we will we may draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak to us in our hearts.

I think for the average person the progression will be something like this: First a sound as of a Presence walking in the garden. Then a voice, more intelligible, but still far from clear. Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which had been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend. Then will come life and light, and best of all, ability to see and rest in and embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and All.

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God: The Human Thrist for the Divine (Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, 1982), 76.

Masacc12 Why Were Ananias and Sapphira Judged?

Judgment and Grace Simultaneously

Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Acts 5:9-11 (NIV)

Recently, I was asked an excellent question. In regard to Acts 5:1-11 and the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira: “Why did God judge Ananias and Sapphira so completely when the New Testament period is supposed to be an age of grace?” “Is not judgment an Old Testament characteristic of God?”

First, we need to avoid dividing the various and seemingly contradictorily attributes of God between the Old and New Testaments. The Marcion heresy of the early church taught that the Old Testament God was a god of judgment and wrath, but in the New Testament, Jesus is a god of grace and love. Today, we often fall into the same post-modern trap in our thinking. Some teachers contrast the mean and angry god of the Old Testament with Jesus meek and mild–the friend of all–in the New Testament. Anglican pastor, John Stott notes:

God is not at odds with himself, however much it may appear to us that he is. He is ‘the God of peace’, of inner tranquility not turmoil. True, we find it difficult to hold in our minds simultaneously the images of God as the Judge who must punish evil-doers and of the Lover who must find a way to forgive them. Yet he is both, and at the same time.

John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1986), 131.

The Holy Trinity is the same God in both testaments: a God of love, grace, mercy, judgment, and wrath. Read Jesus’ statements in Mark 13, Matt 23, and the Rev. 1. He is the God of justice, holiness, and righteousness in the New Testament as well as the Old. I am currently reading The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. Tozer comments that God’s attributes are the same in both the Old and New Testaments.

We should banish from our minds forever the common but erroneous notion that justice and judgment characterize the God of Israel, while mercy and grace belong to the Lord of the Church. Actually there is in principle no difference between the Old Testament and the New.

In the New Testament Scriptures there is a fuller development of redemptive truth, but one God speaks in both dispensations, and what He speaks agrees with what He is. Wherever and whenever God appears to men, He acts like Himself. Whether in the Garden of Eden or the Garden of Gethsemane, God is merciful as well as just. He has always dealt in mercy with mankind and will always deal in justice when His mercy is despised.

Thus He did in antediluvian times; thus when Christ walked among men; thus He is doing today and will continue always to do for no other reason than that He is God.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1961), 97.

New Testament scholar, Ben Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles,  comments about Acts 5, “Luke’s [the author of Acts] view is that the God of the Hebrew Scriptures is the same God Jesus and the disciples served, and so one should expect continuity of character and action.”

Second, we often misinterpret John 1:17, “For the law was through Moses: grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” We commonly think that the verse is pitting grace against law,” The Law is judgment and it was in the Old Testament, it was bad, and needs to be discarded, because in Jesus we now have grace.”

However, the Apostle John was not contrasting grace against law. John believes that the law is good: the Law (Torah) is the promises of God, and Jesus is the fulfillment of those promises. Grace and truth are covenant terms which designate God’s loyalty and faithfulness. John declares that in Jesus, the Lord is fulfilling his promises and covenant commitment found in the Law (Torah).

Third, Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was very grave. Giving was voluntary in the early Church. However, Ananias and Sapphira lied about giving all the proceeds for the sale of their property.They “kept back” (v.2) which in the Greek implies the utmost dishonesty and secrecy. Not only were they lying with conspiratorial intent, but that lying was Satanically inspired (v.3). Satan was using their flesh to corrupt and divide an early church which was just beginning its witness to the world. God’s judgment of their sin had be swift or the early church would lose its witness and unity.

Again, New Testament scholar, Ben Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles, states, “In Luke’s view this couple is guilty of secrecy, collusion, and attempting to lie to the Holy Spirit. What is at stake here is the koinonia of the community which the Spirit indwelt. One act of secrecy and selfishness violates the character of openness and honesty which characterized the earliest community of Jesus’ followers.”

Lesson to today’s church: The God of the New Testament is still concerned about the holiness of his people.

johnzack God Is Good

Every Page of the Bible Teaches It

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and He knows those who trust in Him.

Nahum 1:7 NKJV

That God is good is taught or implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God.

A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1992), 128.

No society resents God like our society. We feel that we are owed a good life free from trouble negated of suffering full of prosperity. If our lives do not meet our expectations, we resent God, and question his goodness. Constantly intellectuals are confirming our offense. We have been mistreated by God and everyone should know our pain. Therefore, we live our lives as victims of the injustices of the Almighty God.

Biblically, God’s goodness is affirmed and glorified. God is gracious in that he reaches out to us in a world scarred and marred by our sin. God is good for he always tells the truth, keep his promises, and loves us with a love that surpasses any human love. God is sovereign, he is wise, and he is loving.

God in his love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.

Jerry Bridges, Trusting G0d Even When Life Hurts (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2008), 17.

4438596095 b347027c7c z The Gospel Actually Makes Them Free

Free Indeed

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36 NIV

We often sell the gospel short. We don’t believe that God can really change a life: freedom from sin, healing from brokenness, and transformation of character. God loves us as we are, yet God loves enough not to leave us as we are. He can free us and others from the sin that so easily binds us.

For sin’s human captives, God never intends anything less than full deliverance. The Christian message rightly understood means this: The God who by the word of the gospel proclaims men free, by the power of the gospel actually makes them free. To accept less than this is to know the gospel in word only, without its power.

A. W. Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: Wingspread, 1950), 27.

waterfalls How Badly Do You Want Him?

The Command: Be Filled With the Spirit

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.

Eph. 5:18

How badly do you want the Holy Spirit to work in and through you? How badly do you want his blessing, presence, and power? Do you really want the complete anointing of the Holy Spirit in your life and ministry? If so, yield all to his Lordship: no reserve, no holding back, no secret sins, no self-protection. We complain that God is not blessing us, could it be that our heart is the problem? To have the fullness of the Spirit is to be fully given to God.

Are you sure you want to be filled with a Spirit who, though He is like Jesus in His gentleness and love, will nevertheless demand to be Lord of your life? Are you willing to let your personality to be taken over by another, even if that other be the Spirit of God Himself?

If the Spirit takes charge of your life He will expect unquestioning obedience in everything. He will not tolerate in you the self-sins even though they are permitted and excused by most Christians. By the self-sins I mean self-love, self-pity, self- seeking, self-confidence, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, self-defense. You will find the Spirit to be in sharp opposition to the easy ways of the world and of the mixed multitude within the precincts of religion. He will be jealous over you for good.

A. W. Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: Wingspread, 1950), 131.

carry.cross.christ.jesus What Does the Bible Mean by Worldliness?

Not Merely External

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

Gal. 6:14 NLT

Worldliness is being in love with the things of this life as opposed to the trust and affection for our Savior. The spirit of the world is embodied in the love of money, hunger for unbridled sex, and thirst for power. A worldly attitude is an arrogance that takes pride in our accomplishments, status, and rank over and above the majesty and glory of God.

Worldliness is any passion, craving, or hunger for the pleasures of sin while simultaneously desiring to receive the approval of others for our poor choices. Worldliness uses and misuses people for personal satisfaction, political influence, and fleshly pleasure. Worldliness is an organized scheme of humankind that uses our flesh (i.e., sin nature) to draw us away from an intimate relationship with God. Worldliness is a heart attitude intrinsic to being born in Adam and living in a fallen world. The solution to breaking the world’s all-pervasive grip on our lives is the Cross of Christ ( 1 John 2:15-17, Gal. 6:14).

The Christian is called to separation from the world, but we must be sure we know what we mean (or more important, what God means) by the world. We are likely to make it mean something external only and thus miss its real meaning. The theater, cards, liquor, gambling—these are not the world; they are merely an external manifestation of the world. Our warfare is not against merely an external manifestation of the world. Our warfare is not against mere worldly ways, but against the spirit of the world.

For man, whether he is saved or lost, is essentially spirit. The world, in the New Testament meaning of the word, is simply unregenerate human nature wherever it is found, whether in a tavern or in a church. Whatever springs out of, is built upon or receives support from fallen human nature is the world, whether it is morally base or morally respectable.

A. W. Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man (Camp Hill, PA: Windspread, 1950), 124.

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