Going On With Christ

"...instruction in righteousness"

    Without a doubt you have experienced some of the temptations that confront new Christians, and we hope you have met them through God's appointed means, His Word. In I Peter 5:8 Satan is described as a "roaring lion" and it cautions us to keep alert for his subtle attacks. Only as you meet each temptation by effectively using God's Word will you be able to overcome the enemy.
    We cannot too strongly emphasize that His Word is the source of daily victory for you. To describe fully the part that the Word plays in your daily walk, work and worship, this chapter would have to become a volume. Let us consider a few of them, however.

    It is through God's Word that -
      He directs your paths (Psalm 119:105);
      Your faith is strengthened (Rom. 10:17);
      You are fed (I Peter 2:2,3);
      You grow (Acts 20:32);
      Joy is brought into your Christian life (John 15:11);
      Obedience is made possible (John 14:21);
      You have the means with which to witness (Proverbs 22:17,18).

    Second Timothy 3:16 sums it up by saying that the Scriptures were given to you for "instruction in righteousness."
    Privilege is accompanied by responsibility, and so the Bible points out what God expects from us as a result of what He does for us. Many of His promises are given unconditionally, but most of those which have to do with growth, victorious living, fruitbearing, fullness of joy, and the like, may be appropriated only by obedience to the known will of God. In this chapter we have considered the responsibility aspect and have selected passages which will play an important part in the foundation for a strong, productive life.
    The eight passages to be memorized show some of the first and most important things you should incorporate into your Christian life. Get them into your heart and on the tip of your tongue, so that you may be able to carry out His orders readily. "...The Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it" (Duet. 30:14).

    God promises you victory at all times. To the Corinthian Christians the Word was: "...Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 15:57). To the children of God at Thessalonica the promise was: "...The Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil" (I Thess. 3:3). Through His servant Jude He said, "...He is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24).
    Is this the experience of all Christians? Unfortunately, no. Not because God does not desire it, but because so many do not realize their part in heart preparation and in appropriation of these wonderful promises. What does God's Word teach as to your part in the victorious life? The answer is seen in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament, and the passage we recommend for your memory is Psalm 119:9,11: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." As you memorize this passage, you will more clearly understand how the Word of God strengthens you life and enables you to be kept from sin.

    God promises to provide for every need of your life. The Philippian church was assured: "...God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). Christ, in preparing His disciples for times of hardship, told them that their Heavenly Father was already aware of their needs: "...For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him" (Matthew 6:8). In Psalm 37:3,4 we read, "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
    How does this apply to you? As you determine to know Him better - putting Him, His will and His work first - you will find that there will be no cause for concern about any of your needs. In memorizing Matthew 6:33, remember that the promise is dependent upon your obedience to the first part: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

    The God of all power, whose child you are, assures you of strength for your daily life. Seeming failure on your part to carry out God's desires could be used by Satan to discourage you. You may feel totally inadequate to live the victorious Christian life, yet to you come the comforting words of II Corinthians 12:9: "...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness..."
    Many years ago God said to His children - and the promise is just as clear and sure today - "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isa. 41:10).
    When the Lord Jesus was with His disciples the last night, He said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). In that very sentence, He indicated that with His presence in their lives they could accomplish anything. And so we direct your attention to Philippians 4:13 as one the deciding factors in the strong, yielded life: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

    Love is without a doubt the strongest force in the universe. It was love that caused God to deliver His Son as a sacrifice for our sins: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). It is His love and compassion for His children that underlines His tenderness and mercy in forgiving them their sins: "...Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back" (Isa. 38:17).
    Besides being one of the greatest themes throughout the world, love is a subject to which an entire chapter is devoted. This chapter, I Corinthians 13,* does not reiterate the great truths of God's love for you as much as it challenges you to let love be the motivating force in your life. He knows that if love is the controlling factor in your life, the greatest problems of living for and working with other people will be solved. That is why He enjoins fervent love for others: "And above all things have fervent love* among yourselves: for love* shall cover the multitude of sins" (I Peter 4:8). This was so essential that the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34,35). Write this great truth on the table of your heart and ask God to help you demonstrate it in your daily life.
*The word "charity" means "love."

    God's appointed means of establishing the believer in the Christian walk and life is the church. Here the Christian will receive "instruction in righteousness" through the Word that is preached. Here God's appointed men will feed the newborn Christian with the "milk of the Word" (I Peter 2:2). He has said, "...I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jer. 3:15). In Ephesians 4 we read, "And He gave...pastors, and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ" (vss. 11-15).
    At the same time, association with other believers and those of like mind is extremely important, because it is in the church that His children have "fellowship one with another." In fact, we are commanded thus to meet in Hebrews 10:25: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." We are sure that as you realize His will for you, your response will be like that of David: "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord" (Psa. 122:1).

    God gives grace equal to every job He asks you to do. Second Corinthians 9:8 assures you that "...God is able to make all grace abound toward you: that ye...may abound to every good work." You were not saved by your works, but one of the great objectives God has in mind is that your life be filled with good works: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works..." (Eph. 2:10). Paul's ernest prayer for the Colossian Christians was that their lives might be acceptable to God and then, as a result, be fruitful in every way. "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col. 1:10).
    Faithfulness in maintaining good works is your part. Each command you have learned from God's Word is for you to obey. As you learn others, put them into practice. His direction in Titus 3:8 is: "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." Not only will God be glorified, but you - and others through you - will profit as you seek to carry out His orders.

    God's inexhaustible riches are available to you. As His child you are an heir to all that He possesses, both spiritually and materially: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ..." (Rom. 8:17). It was for this purpose that Christ left His glory in Heaven and came to earth: "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (II Cor. 8:9). His willingness and eagerness to enrich your life is indicated in Romans 8:32: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also give us all things?"
    You undoubtedly will want to know how you can bring joy to our Lord in gratitude for what He has done. Here is one important way and one that will also have its effect in helping others. To see in you the same spirit of joyful giving will delight His heart. So we recommend that you write this passage upon your heart: "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Cor. 9:7).

    The greatest of God's marvelous provisions for man is seen in His plan of salvation. By taking our place, Christ paid the full price for our sins and their inevitable results: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us..." (Gal. 3:13). Your eternal life was made possible at a tremendous cost to our Lord: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things...but with the precious blood of Christ..." (I Peter 1:18,19). Because of this, you have been liberated from Satan's power and forgiven of all sin. Ephesians 1:7 shows us that in Him "...we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."
    What does God expect of you in response to what He has done? The Scriptures say that "...whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?..." (Rom. 10:13,14). The gospel story must get out. He needs you to tell this wonderful news to others who have not heard. To you who have been bought with a price He says, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hat hredeemed from the hand of the enemy" (Ps. 107:2).

    (Verses to be memorized are Psalm 119:9,11; Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:13; John 13:34,35; Psalm 122:1; Titus 3:8; II Corinthians 9:7; Psalm 107:2.)

After this Packet...What?

    Now that you have begun to see the tremendous value of hiding God's Word in your heart, you will undoubtedly want to continue. Scripture memory is more than simply learning verses. There are many problems along the way. These problems and ways and means of overcoming them have been carefully considered in what is known as the Navigators Topical Memory System. Learning the "how" of Scripture memory as well as the "what" is also part of this book. This book is available to help you continue to learn and use the Word of God.

    (Note: "Going on With Christ," is from the booklet of the same name. It is copyrighted by the Navigators and used with their permission. "Beginning with Christ" and "Going on With Christ" are printed with memory cards and handy carrying cases. Order from your local Christian bookstore or directly from the Navigators, Colorado Springs, Colorado.)