Prayer To Live In Newness Of Life
pray for us
Pray that as the forum men read Paul Tripp’s daily devotional, “New Morning Mercies” and as they marinate on the corresponding scriptures, that the Holy Spirit would illuminate their minds and search their hearts.
Pray that more and more FLM men would have an answer to this question: “Who is your man and what isyour plan”?
Pray that God would put pairings together for the Fall GRIP season. Pray for the GRIP Planning Team as we tweak the GRIP discipleship tracks for this fall.
YTD through April 2019, our shortfall revenues to expenses is 27% ($25K). We look to God for his provision and we praise Him for our donors’ partnership with us in the Gospel! We joyfully live within the means God is providing and seek His wisdom for stewarding these provisions.
Pray that the outreach emphasis of this past GRIP season would bear fruit this summer as men step out in faith to share their lives and share the Gospel with their friends.
With Karl Reed on board, our staff team will take a two day retreat June 8-9 to allow God to knit our hearts together and to discuss a whole spectrum of topics.
Karl Reed and Sinclair Salters minister the Word in Clinton at a boys group called AMI
6/24 – 6/18
David will attend a continuing education training in Atlanta (Coaching Mastery Certificate Program)
David Andes Preaches at Columbia Crossroads (Eph 3:14-21)
German Wright preaches at Daily Living Ministries
Perry – It has been a long, fulfilling year of ministry since last August. As the cowboys in the old western movie say….”Ma bones are weary.
” Pray that this summer would be refreshing to my soul, restful to my body and restful to my heart/mind. Pray that I would feel the freedom to focus fully on my beautiful bride and grands amidst the teaching and ministry responsibilities.
Writing is hard for me and I have a ton of it to do in preparing our Men's Forum curriculum for the 9 Men's Forums which we host.
The theme will be “the Making Of A Man” and we will be looking through the Old and New Testament at the lives of 40 of the 3000 men named in the Bible. (How the Lord showed them His grace, got their attention, pointed them to the cross and made them more Christ!
Janet – I desire to praise and thank God each day for His love, mercy & faithfulness to walk me through each person and situation in which He calls me to “fearlessly believe” His sovereign will IS at work. Speak less and listen more!
- Parenting teens! Lulu turns 13 in July! We’ve already had to deal with mean girls on the soccer team. So wisdom and groundedness in the Gospel to navigate the more subtle yet more intrepid nuances of teendom.
- Sibling rivalry… “they will know you are Christians by your love” means family too!!!! Pray we can preach the Gospel of loving your “enemy” in the bunk below!!!! (If we can’t love the one we CAN see, how can we say we love God whom we CANT see?!)
- Eddie’s niece in Paraguay just delivered her second child in April with complications. The baby was sent home with a feeding tube and trach thingy. The doctors confirmed that she is missing a chromosome and has some heart valve and sinus structural issues (pallet, septum) but the cognitive element is yet to manifest!! Her name is Veronica and her parents are Dalila and Sergio and they need continued prayer!
- Local Church –
We just joined a local PCA church plant and are part of a missional community group that is “adopting” Lulu’s middle school. We’ll be gardening and painting bathrooms; encouraging believing and unbelieving teachers and shining our light before the principal. We are excited but want wisdom and grace and overwhelming love as we set foot in the school.
Megan & Marc – Praise for Marc finishing his Ph.D. at MSU.
His dissertation focused on how Christian young adults learned to find purpose, meaning, and value in their lay work (“Closing the Sunday-Monday Gap: Narratives of the Vocational Transformation of Christian Young Adults”).
Please pray for a restful/rejuvenating summer (as Megan also winds down her 15th year of teaching art), and for wisdom as the Hunsakers prayerfully consider where God is calling them for this next season of life.
David and Katherine – Our main focus this summer is to make a decision about Austin’s future. We are exploring 3 different transition services and we need discernment as to which one(s) would be the right fit for this season in his life. We would him to start this new rhythm in July.
Austin(21) – We praise God that Austin has completed his public schooling (graduating on June 1st!). Pray that he will adapt well to whichever transition service(s) he enrolls in.
Praise God for His past provision of competent, caring, believing respite care workers (Kyle Lambertson moved in May after serving us for 3 years!) and His current provision (Graduate student, Jon Reynolds, started in May)!
Cameron(16) – Cameron had a wonderful academic year and enjoys school! He has also taken steps in his friendships. He auditioned for and was selected for the SC Youth Philharmonic orchestra playing the violin. He will be working at “Camp of the Woods” in the Adirondack mountains for the summer. Pray that the godly influences around him would impact him at a heart level.
German – Physical energy, strength and health. Wisdom for stewardship of household and ministry.
Sandra – Prayers concerning pressure in the workplace due to two vacancies in my department. The process in getting them filled; wisdom, guidance and favor in the interviews and selection.
Growth in ministry support and membership at Daily Living Ministries.
- Please keep praying that Jessica and I will continue to find our strength for our marriage and parenting in Christ.
- Pray for Jessica as she makes the transition back to being a stay at home mom with 2 toddlers and an infant.
- Pray for me as I expand my relational ministry, that my heart would remain tethered to Jesus and my ministry wouldn’t be in the flesh, but led and directed by the Holy Spirit.
Part 3: Newness of Life — Resurrection With Christ
(The following is the third in a series of excerpts from Pastor Stam’s classic work on true spirituality. Since this book never appeared as a series in the Searchlight, many of even our long-time readers may not be familiar with these selections.)
“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
THE NEW BIRTH AND NEWNESS OF LIFE COMPARED
While the Old Testament Scriptures do employ the figure of resurrection in connection with Israel’s conversion and future blessing in the land (e.g., Ezek. 37:1-14) this figure that of the new birth, is used with fuller, deeper significance in the great Pauline revelation regarding Christ and the members of His Body.
Also, the doctrine of our resurrection with Christ to a new life is an advance on what even Paul, by the Spirit, has to say with reference to the new birth.
Birth speaks only of a beginning; it does not contemplate the past.
When Nicodemus asked: “Can [a man] enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” our Lord was quick to explain that in using the phrase “born anew”1 He did not mean being born again in the same way, but being born again in a different way.God does not undertake to improve the old nature or to induce the “old man” to begin all over again for, as we have seen, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (John 3:6; Rom. 8:8).
No matter how intellectual or cultured or religious, “the flesh” is still that which has been generated by a fallen begetter and therefore cannot please God.
Hence, “that which is born of the flesh” needs, not merely to be born over again and given another start; a new and different nature must be imparted; an entirely new life, begotten of the Spirit of God. This new life is separate and distinct from that which was generated at natural birth; in fact, is “contrary” to it. The conflict resulting from this will be discussed in a later chapter. Here we emphasize simply that the new birth speaks only of a new beginning and does not contemplate the past.
The new birth is the spiritual counterpart of natural birth. We do not speak of a new-born infant’s “past.” As an individual it has no past. It has barely begun to open its eyes and look about, unable even to focus its vision upon any particular object. Thus the new birth speaks simply of the beginning of a new life.
But now we go a step further and find that we receive this new life by identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and the doctrine of our resurrection with Christ does contemplate the past. Resurrection presupposes a former life and death.
2 The identity of the individual is preserved throughout. The individual who lived a certain kind of life, and died, is now raised to live a new life. Now, raised from the dead, he is the same person, yet not the same.
Thus the Apostle Paul could say: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” (Gal. 2:20).It is true that Ephesians 2:1 teaches that we were already “dead in trespasses and sins” before ever having become identified with Christ in His death, but this does not change the picture, for even in that passage we go on to read that “in time past” we “walked according to the course of this world,” etc.
the woman described in I Timothy 5:6, unbelievers are dead while they live, and can be quickened from their death in trespasses and sins only by identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, for the simple reason that He came to identify Himself with us in our death to bring us through with Him to resurrection life.
THE BELIEVER’S RESURRECTION WITH CHRIST
But how can one become thus identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection? How can one die to the old life and be raised to walk in newness of life?
The answer is: by grace through faith. What Christ has done for us by grace, we must accept and appropriate by faith. He, by an act of infinite grace, identified Himself with us, dying our death.
We, by an act of simple faith, must identify ourselves with Him, confessing: “I am the sinner. It is my death He is dying. I will accept His grace and commit myself to Him for salvation.
” The moment this is done we become one with the once-crucified, ever-living Christ.
Mark well, Calvary is the meeting place, the place where the identification is effected. No man was ever made one with Christ without being made one with Him in His death.
“Know ye not,” asks the apostle, “that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3).
And it is for this reason that we are buried with Christ, by that same baptism, and raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Ver. 4).
What a tragedy that the sublime truth of this passage has been obscured by the injection of a water baptism ceremony into it! As though water baptism could ever bring the believer today into any relationship to Christ! As though it could really bury the old man and help us to put on the new! Those who have fallen into this error have taken a ceremony which never did speak of burial but only of washing (Acts 22:16, etc.) and have confused it with our actual baptism by the Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Little wonder the apostle cries, with reference to this very subject: “Beware lest any man spoil [rob] you….Ye are complete in Him…In whom also ye are circumcised…Buried with Him…risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead” (Col. 2:8-12).
How perfect and wonderful is the divine plan! In grace Christ died our death. In faith we acknowledge it was our death He died, and trust in that death to save us. And there at the Cross we become one. The response of faith to grace has united us inseparably and eternally together.
THE REALITY OF OUR RESURRECTION WITH CHRIST
The judicial, or positional aspect of this truth is, of course, most important. We read that our Lord was “delivered for our offences, and was raised again for [on account of] our justification” (Rom. 4:25). In other words, His death paid the whole penalty for our sins and procured for us full justification.
Therefore He was raised from the dead. And since His death was ours, the penalty for our sins, and we have appropriated this by faith, therefore the justification and resurrection life is ours also.
As we recognize Christ’s death as ours, God reckons us one with Him, as having already died for and to sin, and having been raised to walk in newness of life.Now this judicial, positional aspect of our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection is far from mere theory. It is fact. It is vitally real.
God’s just condemnation of us for sin was real. Christ’s suffering and death for us was real.
And we had to exercise real faith in Christ’s finished work before God justified us and pronounced us righteous, counting us as having already died for and to sin.
It is on the basis of this judicial transaction that the apostle argues that we have no right to continue in sin.
The sins we are so prone to commit after having been justified belong to the old life, not to the new which we have in Christ. Therefore we have no right to go on in sin.
“How,” he asks, “shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2). And pointing to the fact that Christ “died unto sin once,” but now “liveth unto God,” he goes on to say:
“wise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:11-14).
But the judicial or positional truths we have been considering are only part of the whole doctrine of our baptism into Christ, for while these positional realities affect our experience as we appropriate them by faith, our baptism into Christ is also in itself a practical and experiential matter.
When the sinner acknowledges Christ’s death as his own and trusts Christ for salvation, not only does he receive a standing before God as having been crucified, buried and raised with Christ, but the Spirit seals the transaction, uniting him in a vital, living relationship with Christ. Thus the believer actually becomes a partaker of Christ’s resurrection LIFE. There is more than justice in view here; there is the need and the impartation of life and this life, while spiritual in its nature, is none the less real.
Once more we ask: Was not Christ’s death real? Was not His death really our death? Then just so real is our resurrection life! In the first place, when we accept Christ’s death as our own and become identified with Him, we actually die to the old life in the sense that we can never again go back to our lost estate. That condition is past forever.Furthermore, we now become partakers of the resurrection life of Christ, which we can never lose (Rom. 6:9) since it is His life. As the Father has raised us from the dead judicially, so the Spirit has raised us spiritually, in the sense that He has actually imparted spiritual life.
It is now ours to appropriate and enjoy the fullness of that life by faith.
In Romans 8:2 Paul speaks of this impartation of life by the Spirit as a law which operates in every believer:
“For the law of the Spirit, [that] of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
And then the apostle proceeds to show that what the law of Moses “could not do” because of the character of “the flesh,” God sent His own Son to accomplish:
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).
Thus, besides the moral reason why we should not continue in sin, there is also a very practical reason: the new life which the Spirit has begotten within us. This the apostle emphasizes in Romans 8, as he goes on to say:
“But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [give life to] your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Vers. 11,12).
This passage is sometimes supposed to refer to the future bodily resurrection of the dead, but note that the Spirit, who dwells in us, energizes our mortal (not dead) bodies.
Thus we are debtors—not to sin, but to God.
We cannot excuse ourselves by saying, “I am only human after all,” or “the flesh is weak,” for we have the Holy Spirit within to strengthen our mortal bodies and help us to walk in newness of life.
The judicial and practical aspects of our resurrection with Christ are, however, closely intertwined. Ephesians 2:4-6 seems to refer to both at the same time:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Thus the believer’s position is already in heaven, and by faith, through the power of the Spirit, he may occupy that position and enjoy its blessings experientially. This is why the apostle opens the Ephesian epistle with the doxology:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
And this is why he challenges the Colossians:
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1-3).
- Lit., “from above,” but used to express: from the top, from the start, from the very beginning.
- We are aware of the fact that the Greek word for actual resurrection (anastasis, lit., standing up) is used almost exclusively of bodily resurrection. The words, zoopoieo, to quicken or reanimate, and egeiro, to awaken or rouse up, are the ones mainly used in connection with our present subject. This does not mean, however, that resurrection is not here contemplated, any more than that quickening or awakening are not contemplated where bodily resurrection is concerned. It is simply a matter of emphasis, for in the doctrine we are here considering, the impartation of resurrection life is mainly in view. All three words: zoopoieo, egeiro, and anastasis are used in I Corinthians 15 with reference to the resurrection of Christ.