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Daily Bread - September 18, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Sunday, 17 September 2017 21:00
Romans 8:29 - Who knowing beforehand, and having predestined us to be
conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among
many brethren.

The calling and purpose for which God has predestined all who will believe
is to be in every way just like Jesus (Isaiah 60:1; 2 Corinthians 3:18;
Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Galatians 1:15-16; John 17:22, 1:16).
Jesus is the express image of the Father; and we were created in Christ
Jesus to be conformed to His image (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus is the pattern Son.
He is God's example that is set before us, and we are called to live and to
overcome even as He did (1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 John 2:29, 3:7, 4:17;
Revelation 3:21).

It is the Spirit of the Son that has come into our hearts and imparts the
divine power and authority to walk in the image of the only begotten Son,
Christ Jesus. God desires absolute conformity (1 Peter 1:15-16) -will you
participate (2 Peter 1:3-11)? All we must do is yield to the Spirit of
Grace, and God will do the work (Philippians 2:13, Colossians 1:29)! Being
conformed to the image of the Son is the work of Grace that is realized in
the new creation when we were born from above (2 Corinthians 5:17;
Ephesians 4:24; John 3:6).

Today, speak it out with your mouth and believe in your heart that you are
conformed to the image of the Son (Galatians 4:6; John 1:12; Romans 8:14,
10:9-10)!
 
Daily Bread - September 16, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 16 September 2017 11:54
Jude 24 - Now to the One Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and
present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

God is the Maker of our salvation. It is Jesus Who is the Author and
Finisher of our faith. All we have to do is to be willing; for should we
only be hungry and thirsty, He will fill us. If our hearts leap like the
priest Zachariah at the announcement of the Savior, knowing that now we can
live without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives,
then we will discover that God will both will and do of His good pleasure
in us (Luke 1:74-75; Philippians 2:13).

We must learn to depend upon Him, and to receive all that He supplies. Once
we have been born of the Spirit, then we can receive all of those things
that are freely supplied to us by the Spirit (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians
2:12). When we consider that His grace supplies us with those things that
reach beyond what we are able to think or ask, according to the power that
works within us, we should be able to be confident of His perfecting power
in our lives (Ephesians 3:20-21; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Psalms 18:32; Hebrews
13:20-21; 1 Peter 5:10-11).

Jude says that He will keep us from stumbling. Although there are many
translations that use the word 'falling', the difference between the two
words is demonstrated for us in Romans 11:11. He not only will keep us from
falling, but will also keep us from stumbling; so that we may be faultless
(Colossians 1:22; Ephesians 1:4). Peter also revealed this truth to us at
the outset of his second epistle, and made it clear that since we have been
born of God and made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4), if we
would now give ourselves to the eight pillars of divine success that he
named in 2 Peter 1:5-9, then we would never stumble!

The one transition that seems hard for many to make is the transition from
human effort and discipline, to relational dependency upon Jesus. We will
never be able in our own ability to walk so perfectly before our God; but
there is One Who will work in us by His power, and will keep us from
stumbling. All we must be willing to do is to learn how to be led. If we
are going to learn how to be led by the Spirit, then we must learn how to
yield to Him (Romans 6:13, 16, 19, 8:1-14). Jesus made it very clear that
without Him we can do nothing; but if we dwell in Him, then we can do all
things through the strengthening power of Christ Jesus (John 15:1-5;
Philippians 4:13). How do we learn to yield to Him and rely on Him? Through
a love relationship where we, as the redeemed, adore the Redeemer. It is
here we discover the very meaning of our life, and the exceeding greatness
of His power that is at work in us (Ephesians 1:17-20; Colossians 1:29;
Philippians 1:11; 2:13, 4:13; Philemon 6). It is through this relationship
that we receive from Heaven, and learn to yield to the Holy Spirit, Who
teaches us all things; and shows us how to make the transition from human
dependence and self-reliance, to a dependence upon Him (Jeremiah 17:5-8;
Romans 8:14).
Transition today from all human dependence to entire dependence on God!
 
Daily Bread - September 15, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 14 September 2017 18:21
1 John 3:3 - And everyone that has this expectation in Him purifies
himself, even as He is pure.

It is of the utmost importance that we recognize how a person is purified.
It is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that one is made pure (1 John 1:7,
9, 2:2). The word 'hagnizein' is a rare word in the Greek New Testament. It
is used in the Old Testament for ritual purification, one example being in
Exodus 19:10-11. God commanded Moses to make the people pure, because the
Lord was going to appear before all of the people. The Levites also had to
purify themselves before going into the presence of the Lord (Numbers
8:21). The concept of ritual purification is further emphasized by the
following word used to describe the ritual purity of Jesus, 'hagnos'.

The idea being related is that once a person is made pure by the blood of
Jesus, then they are to continue in that purity, even as we are to be holy
because he made us holy (1 Peter 1:13-17; Ephesians 4:17-32; 2 Peter
1:3-11). We are called to live consecrated lives so as not to be
contaminated by yielding our members to sin; for he was manifested to take
away our sin, and in Him is no sin (1 John 3:5). As Paul said in a parallel
verse of Scripture, "Having these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse
ourselves from the filthiness of the spirit and flesh, perfecting holiness
in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 7:1). What is important to recognize is
that Paul said this in light of us being righteous, not unrighteous; light,
not darkness; Christ, not Belial; the Temple of God, not the house of
idols; and the sons of God who touch not the unclean things (2 Corinthians
6:14-18).

The word describing Jesus' purity here, 'hagnos' (ritually pure), is never
used in the Gospels to describe the purity and holiness of Jesus. A closely
related word, yet distinctively different, is 'hagios' (holy). The first
time that 'hagno' appears in the New Testament is in 2 Corinthians 7:11 to
describe the true heart and repentance of those at Corinth. Paul used it in
2 Corinthians 11:2 and elsewhere in the context of that which is pure or
chaste (2 Corinthians 7:11, 11:2; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 5:22; Titus
2:5). The way that it is used by both James and Peter also denotes that
which is chaste, being of pure thoughts and clear of any immorality (James
3:17; 1Peter 3:2). We are called to walk in the same obedience and purity
that Jesus walked in (1 John 2:6, 1:7; 1 Peter 2:21). The blood of Jesus
purified us from all sin and iniquity, and now we are to remain pure and
chaste -free from the contamination of immorality and unholy behavior (1
Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter
1:14-16; Matthew 5:48).

Perfect Holiness in the fear of God!
 
Daily Bread - September 14, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Thursday, 14 September 2017 11:46
1 Corinthians 6:11 - And this is what you were (vs 9-11); but now you are
washed, but now you are sanctified by the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by
the Spirit of our God.

Without the active work of the Holy Spirit, the redemption of Christ Jesus
and all its effects would not be realized by anyone. But, by the Name of
the Lord Jesus and by the Holy Spirit, we have received all of the benefits
and blessings of being made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians
1:17-18). The Ethiopian could scrub his skin night and day, but his color
would remain the same (Jeremiah 13:23). A garment once dyed with the stain
of scarlet and crimson will always remain red -no matter how it is washed.
The leopard may wish away his spots and the man of flesh may hope for the
life of the Spirit, but the nature of it will always remain the same.

Preachers and those who have perfected the art of religion may toil night
and day to change flesh into spirit, but their efforts will not produce one
measurable change; for that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and it
cannot come into the Kingdom (John 3:3-6). However, one touch of Jesus and
the sinner will be made a saint. Just as Jesus touched the blind man who
immediately received his sight and the leper who was immediately cleansed,
the life of a sinner is washed, justified, and sanctified by the power of
His Name and the power of the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Holiness of heart and life is not the perfection of human nature, but the
holiness of the divine nature dwelling within (A.B. Simpson). Men vainly
attempt to perfect themselves to make themselves better and worthy of
something more from God, but all such efforts are futile. The righteousness
of men is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Man does not know the way of
righteousness; the holiness of God is completely out of reach. It is only
by the mercy and the love of God that the miracle of salvation can come,
and the Holy Spirit can become our guide to show us the paths of
righteousness and teach us the ways of God!

What we all need to understand -very clearly- is that unholy,
unregenerated, and unsanctified men will not dwell in the presence of a
Holy God. We must be changed; and that change takes place not by the
efforts of religion and ritual, but by the miracle touch of God. God made a
way for us to step into this miracle by providing us with the blood of
Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22; John 10:9, 14:6). By Christ Jesus we enter into a
realm where the Spirit of God comes and overshadows us, and the divine
nature is created within (Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Peter 1:4; Titus 3:5; Colossians
2:11). The new creation, created in righteousness and true holiness, and
washed from all the filthiness of the flesh and spirit, must then be
willing to submit to obedience unto God and the leadership of the Holy
Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:23-24; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Romans
8:14, 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-11). The former manner of life, with all that
belongs to the world, must not be allowed to come and ruin and mar that
which has been made new in Christ Jesus (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Corinthians 7:1;
Galatians 5:16,25; Romans 8).

Oh, dear saints, the riches of God are so precious that we must give all
attention to making our calling and election sure! (2 Peter 1:3-11; Hebrews
2:3; Ephesians 1:17-18, 3:8-21)
 
Daily Bread - September 13, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 10:24
Matthew 7:23 - And then I will announce to them that I never knew you; get
away from Me you workers of iniquity.

Today, there are many people in the United States, and in the rest of the
world, who do not want to be associated with Jesus. Even within the church,
there are those who do not want to be associated with His holiness and
righteousness, and His demand for godly living. These people consider
godliness, "legalism". However, no matter what state men are in, Jesus
continues to reach out and plead with them to turn from their sins. One
day, however, the tables will be turned. These workers of iniquity are
going to want to be associated with Jesus, but it will be too late; and He
will command them to "get away". Why? Because sin and iniquity are a great
offense to God; and men who refuse to stop practicing such things will face
the judgment (Matthew 13:41; Romans 1:18, 2:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 2
Peter 2:13; Colossians 3:6; Ephesians 5:6). Righteousness and holiness are
the only alternatives to sin and iniquity. Sin and all the works of
iniquity have already been condemned to eternal death. The gift of
righteousness and holiness has been made available to all who will receive.
Those who refuse to learn to hate sin as God hates sin, and who will not
turn from their works of iniquity, will only have a fearful judgment before
them (Romans 2:4-11; Colossians 3:25; Hebrews 10:26-27).

There are those who have used this passage in Matthew 7:21-23 to point the
finger of accusation against sincere and dear souls who, following Jesus,
pray for the sick -men and women who have lived holy and pure lives before
God and men. Meanwhile, those who were pointing the finger of accusation
were practicing sin, and whose confession was that they sin every day.
Well, the assumption of being bound to sin every day describes a worker of
iniquity. John was very pointed and absolute about this when he said those
who sin are of the devil (1 John 3:8-9). Paul said, "If while we seek to be
justified by Christ, we are found sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin?
Certainly not!" (Galatians 2:17). Therefore, if we practice sin, then it is
evidence against us that we are not in Christ. Those who are in Christ have
ceased from sin (Romans 6:2,6; 1 Peter 4:1). If we desire to be justified
and declared to be righteous now and on that day, then we must be doers of
the Word, and not hearers only (Matthew 7:24-27; James 1:22-24; Matthew
7:20, 12:50; Mark 3:35; Luke 8:21; John 15:14; Hebrews 5:9; 1 John 2:17).
Through the gift of God, we can be undefiled in the way, and learn to do no
iniquity (Psalm 119:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:19; Romans 6:1-2,19). If we will walk
in the Spirit of Holiness and yield ourselves to God, then He will preserve
us blameless; and He will present us holy, unblameable, and unreproveable
in His sight! (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Colossians 1:22)

Walk in the Spirit of Holiness and yield yourself to God!
 
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