Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Self-Improvement a Snare

A buddy of mine told me to read "Self-Improvement a Snare" by J. B. Stoney (New Ministry, Vol. 8, pp. 397–402). I did, and I'm passing it on.

Thus the question is, not as to whether you are improved or not, but whether you are in Adam or in Christ; if in Christ you can say, I have "crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts", (Galatians 5:24) and you not only know that He lives in you, and that thus you are governed by a new Person, but as you behold His glory - the very beginning of the gospel - you are transformed into His image, and you are the expression of Him here, whether in your individual circumstances, or in the circle of His interests. (p. 401)


HandWrittenWord said...

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
(Galatians 2:19-21)

Susan said...

You never can become suitable to Christ but by being in His company. It is the Bridegroom that makes the Bride; and you must acquire from Himself what best suits Himself.... It is company that teaches manners. If you are not in His company you may read the Scriptures as much as you like, be able to describe from them dispensations and so on, but it will all end in affectation, not in Christ's ways. . . . . Accustom yourself to being in the presence of Christ; and the effect of that presence is to demand the entire removal of everything that is not of Him.... The reason we see so little of it in people is that they have been so little beholding the glory of Christ. This was just what made the difference between Martha and Mary. Martha was occupied with the human good thing; Mary was learning, by being in company with Himself, what suited Him. Children are very often like their parents, because they keep their company so much.... It is only as I am with Himself that He gives me power from Himself to be what is suited to Him. J. B. STONEY.

Robert said...

"It is to be feared that many Christians settle down to a life of outward propriety not very different in its features from that of a good moral man in the world . But to live piously in Christ Jesus we need the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the continual operation of its blessed 'law'. If we are to live an order of life which is entirely different from the life which we had in Adam, there must be power to do so, and the power has been given. There is very little excuse for us if we have the power and do not use it....on earth man, at any rate, has proved it a reality for Paul says, 'it has set me free' . The same power is adequate to set every other believer free." CA Coates An Outline of the Epistle to Romans

Susan said...

If your heart is set on Christ you will have the enjoyment of Christ before He comes and you will meet Him with joy. The Father's thought is that as Christ is there absolutely for us, He will have us here absolutely for Him. Do not pick up things around you, i.e., curiosities out of the gutter; but say "through His grace I will work out what He has worked in, I will live to Christ, whose eye is looking on me and I will manifest to others the One to whom I live."

Susan said...

Robert - more thoughts on "power":
If we do not digest what we hear we shall have light without power. "Scripture Quarterly"

HandWrittenWord said...

Susan quoted from J.B. Stony:

"If you are not in His company you may read the Scriptures as much as you like, be able to describe from them dispensations and so on, but it will all end in affectation, not in Christ's ways..."

The very heart of the matter under consideration. Thank you, Susan.

You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,
that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectually works in you who believe.
(1 Thessalonians 2:10-13)

Susan said...

The power that works in us:
"His presence in our hearts changes everything." JND