Beginning With Christ

    Jesus Christ said, "Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Rev. 3:20). Coupled with this wonderful truth is the statement in His Word that " many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." (John 1:12).
    If you have to the best of your knowledge received Jesus Christ, God's Son, as your own Savior, according to the Scripture quoted above you have become a son of God in whom Jesus Christ dwells.
    Altogether too many people make the mistake of measuring the certainty of their salvation by their feelings. Don't make this tragic mistake; believe God. Take Him at His Word: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life..." (1 John 5:13).
    It is impossible in this short space to go into all the wonderful results of the transaction that took place when you received Christ. A child may be born into a wealthy home and may become the possessor of good parents, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, but at the time of his birth the main point is not that he be informed of all these wonderful things. There are other important matters which must be taken care of first. He must be fed; he is hungry and needs to grow. He must be protected, for he has been born into a world of many enemies. In the hospital room he is handled with sterilized gloves and kept from outsiders that he might not fall victim to any of the myriads of germs waiting to attack. It is the knowledge of such enemies on the part of the doctors and nurses which enables them to take measures to protect the precious new life.
    You have become a child of God; you have been born as a babe into His family. This is a strategic moment in your life. It is our desire to impart to you two or three simple truths that are not difficult to understand, but the knowledge of them will strengthen you for the battle ahead and keep you safe from the whiles of Satan, the enemy of your soul.
    In I Peter 2:2 you will read, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby." In Acts 20:32 you will read, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up..." His Word will now serve as food for your soul and will build you up in the faith. Doubtless you have a New Testament. If not, by all means procure one and begin to read it faithfully daily. It is most important that you have time set aside, preferably in the morning, to read and study the Word of God and pray.
    Now we want to be even more specific with regard to partaking of the Word of God. In the 9th and 11th verses of Psalm 119 we read, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word," and then the Psalmist speaks to the Lord saying, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." So we challenge you to hide it in your heart - to memorize it. Accompanying this booklet we have prepared a few passages with which you may begin.
    But we have spoken only about food for your soul. Let us consider for a moment this new and deadly enemy whom you face.
    In the past you have not been viciously attacked by Satan, but now he has seen you make the step which angers him more, perhaps, than any one thing in all the world. You have left him and joined the ranks of those who believe and trust in the Son of God. You are no longer Satan's property, but you belong to the One Who has "bought" and paid for you "with a price," the price of His own shed blood on the cross. You may be sure, then, that Satan will attempt to trouble you. His attack assumes many forms, but we wish to speak of some of the most common ones and give you help on how to resist him successfully.
    We can overcome him only as we use the weapon which God has provided. Ephesians 6:17 says "Take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." Not only is the Word of God spoken of as the sword of the Spirit but it is that through which faith comes as a shield to ward off the darts of the enemy (Rom. 10:17, Eph. 6:16). The Word of God, then, is your weapon of defense as well as your weapon of offense.
    To illustrate, we would like to point you to the fact that our Lord was tempted by Satan in three ways, and He met each temptation with Scripture, saying, "It is written..." (see Matthew 4). If our Lord Jesus Christ deemed it necessary thus to meet Satan, how much more we need this mighty weapon, the Word of God. How much more we need to be prepared to say to Satan, "It is written" or "Thus saith the Lord..."

    The four passages of Scripture to be memorized will equip you for your first few encounters with the enemy. His first approach is often to cast doubt upon the work which God has wrought in your heart, and although you will not hear his audible voice he will whisper to your heart:
    "You don't think you are saved just by believing and receiving Christ? Surely that is not enough to have your sins blotted out, to be born again, to gain entrance to Heaven!"
    What will your answer be? Your only hope to withstand such an attack is to resort to God's Word. What does God say about the matter? That is the important thing. And so teh first one of the four passages, I John 5:11,12 entitled "Assurance of Salvation," says

And this is the record, that God hath
given to us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son. He that hath
the Son hath life; and he that hath not
the Son of God hath not life.

    When this passage has been written on the table of your heart so that you are able to use it every time a doubt arises during the next few days, and when, on the basis of this "record," you are thoroughly convinced that you now have the Lord Jesus Christ and with Him eternal life, you will have overcome in one of the first tests. This attack may recur, but now you have the Word of God in your heart with which to meet it.

    The second attack of Satan may be along this line. He may whisper to your heart of hearts:
    "You have life, all right, but you are a weakling, especially in the case of this or that."
    He will remind you of some sin which has gripped you throughout the past years of your life. He will point to something of which you are keenly aware, and say:
    "You are weak; you will not be able to stand against this particular temptation. Perhaps you will be able to stand against others, but not this one."
    How will you answer him? Will you attempt to reason? Will you attempt to produce your own arguments? Will you run to see what this person or that one says, or will you resort to the invincible Word? The second passage, I Corinthians 10:13, is chosen especially to meet this attack of Satan:

There hath no temptation taken you
but such as is common to man:
but God is faithful,
Who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make
a way to escape,
that ye may be able to bear it.

    This gives the "Assurance of Victory." God promises victory. It belongs to you as a child of His. Believe it and you will see that those things which are impossible with men are possible with God. It will thrill you to see that chains of lifetime habits are snapped by His mighty power. Memorize this verse; write it on the table of your heart.

    We now come to the third attack of Satan. Although victory is rightfully yours, you are likely to see failure at some point. Sin will suddenly crop up and immediately your enemy will be on the job to say:
    "Now you've done it. Aren't you supposed to be a Christian? Christians don't do those things."
    Nevertheless, God makes a provision in His Word for the failures of His children, and so the third passage speaks of the "Assurance of Forgiveness," I John 1:9.

If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins, and to cleanse us from all

    Here He not only promises to forgive us but also to cleanse us. What a gracious provision!

    The three preceding assurances have been given to meet the principal attacks of Satan. However, there is one more. Your needs for the future warfare, for living the life, for witnessing, along with all your personal needs, will doubtless be many. God assures us that in answer to prayer He will take care of every need. Hence, the fourth verse is the "Assurance of Provision," John 16:24.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my
ask, and ye shall receive, that your
joy may be full.

    When you are able to quote the first verse, tackle the second in the same way and review the first. Then, when you are able to quote these two, tackle the third. When you can repeat the three verses perfectly, start on the fourth.
    By all means remember that the secret of successful memory work is Review! Review! Review!
    After you have memorized these four verses and applied them according to the instructions, you will be aware of the strength and blessings that come from hiding God's Word in your heart. You man continue a systematic memory program capable of producing growth in your Christian life by obtaining either or both of the following:

1. The "Going On With Christ" Pack
    Some of the secrets of the fruitful Christian lifeare unlocked as the "Going On With Christ" Pack presents eight significant passages in convenient form to memorize, along with instruction for applying them to your life. Especially helpful to young Christians, it is also a valuable aid to the more mature.

2. The Topical Memory System
    The Navigators Topical Memory System is designed to help you develop a personal systematic memory program

Note: "Beginning With Christ," is from the booklet of the same name published by The Navigators. It is used here with their permission.