Spending One’s Self in a Worthy Cause

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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

[Editor:] I am entreating you, then, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called – Paul, the Apostle, Ephesians 4:1, CV

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
Speech at the Sorbonne; Paris, France, April 23, 1910
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Prayer Likened to Breath

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The act of breathing is not our constant concern. We need not worry about what it is. We need not worry about what it ought to be. We need not worry about when it should be made. Just as breathing is the obtaining of pure air and making use of it, so prayer should be a natural occupation of the new nature. …. It does not need any artificial helps and props. It need not be put on. It should be a spontaneous function …

Oscar M. Baker (1898-1987)
Truth for Today, December 1956
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“Maturity” Has Now Come

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Even Paul could speak of a time when his knowledge was based on an “installment” yet later he was able to recognize the facts. Even while writing this epistle he could say:

At present we are observing by means of a mirror, in an enigma, yet then, face to face. At present I know out of an instalment, yet then I shall recognize as I am recognized also (I Corinthians 13:12).

But now maturity has come:

Unto the end that we should all attain to the unity of the faith and of the realization of the son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the complement of the Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
“Material Mirrors of Spiritual Truth”
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 48 (1957)
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Fragmentary Revelations and the Path of Transcendence

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The path of transcendence which we now tread does not merely “discard” the signs of the coming eon, as languages [tongues] and powers and healing, but also abrogates prophecies and the gift of knowledge. The reason given is that these were but “installments” and, in the impending era (in which we now dwell), such fragmentary revelations will be unnecessary because God will have given a full-orbed prophecy embracing all knowledge. Such we have in this Ephesian epistle.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 64
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Embracing Suffering

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Life is a game of suffering that ends in death, and all of the things that you acquire throughout life in an attempt to flee from the suffering will wither away in their graves along with you. The secret of this game is that the only things from this life that you can take with you – the only things that will rise from the grave with you – are the intangible things that are acquired as a result of embracing your suffering and fighting through it. Meet your suffering head on and wear this duty as a crown; for in life, the things that you acquire from this battle may be invisible, but when you rise again you will see them as they are: riches far beyond any Earthly value.

Aaron Locker
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Doctrine Not Now a Test of Fellowship

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[In II John] Doctrine is made a test of fellowship (:10) because the miraculous gifts of knowledge and discernment were still with them (I John 2:27; 4:1), and divergence of view meant a parting from the teachings of the spirit. Doctrine is not now a test of fellowship.

F.H. Robison (1885-1932)
Are Bride And Body Identical?
Bible Student’s Press
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Faithful to Our Home Government

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We are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land and in the usurper’s kingdom; and if faithful to our home government, we will not be very welcome nor popular in the enemy’s country.

Our citizenship is in the heavenlies (Philippians 3:20).
Our blessings are in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:3).
Our position is in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6).
Our warfare is in the heavenlies (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Paul was an ambassador in chains (Ephesians 6:20; Colossians 4:18). He told us to hold forth the Word of Light and Life (Philippians 2:16). We are to be as sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, shining as luminaries in the world (Philippians 2:14-15). We serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:24), Lord of Heaven and Earth (Colossians 1:16), Who will put all under His feet (Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:10).Therefore we fight from victory and not for victory.

God’s Word prepares and fits us for every good work (which God makes ready beforehand, that we should be walking in), for every trial and temptation, and for every assault of the enemy (Ephesians 6:17). If we study it, and rightly divide it, we are skillful workmen and approved of God (II Timothy 2:15).

Dr. George Ames Barrett (1869-1942)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 13 (1922)
(edited excerpt)
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The Whole World Is Lying in the Wicked One

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Many seem to be somewhat surprised and enamored when they see evil all around us. Sometimes it is more apparent than at other times, but the simple fact of Scripture is that “the whole world is lying in the wicked one” (I John 5:19, CV). After all, this is the “present evil age” (Galatians 1:4, REB).

God is absolutely sovereign, and having created evil (Isaiah 45:7) He is presently using it to accomplish His purpose that will eventuate in the good of His whole creation, and He is doing so with the utmost precision.

Only the eye of faith can see this now. To all others it is hidden, resulting in multitudes being captivated and distracted by the various “sides” of causes and movements, depending on their own limited perception about the “knowledge of good and evil.” All of this, of course, results in endless agitation, anger, hatred and strife. This is why “the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing” (Psalm 2:1; Acts 4:25).

All the while, the “God of peace” (Romans 15:33) has “called us in peace” (I Corinthians 7:15), and it is to be arbitrating in our hearts (Colossians 3:15, CV), manifesting itself in a model of pacific life.

To be calumniating no one, to be pacific, lenient, displaying all meekness toward all humanity (Titus 3:2, CV; cf. I Timothy 3:3).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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The Mature Mindset

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Paul’s prayer was that Father would “open the eyes of our hearts” (Ephesians 1:18, CV) to the majority mindset – that we’d move from immaturity to maturity. It is from this vantage point that we can see that we bear “the deficiencies of the afflictions of Christ …” (Colossians 1:24), through our earthly sufferings because we are the Body of Christ, and as we suffer, so must He also as we are “joined to Him as one spirit” (I Corinthians 6:17). He is the Head, we the Body; thus we are one, and the afflictions truly are Hisi.e., we never suffer alone! Praise the depth both of the wisdom and knowledge of Father God!

Mark Peters
(adapted)

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The Despotism of Grace

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The absolute despotism[1] of Grace is set forth in the startling suggestion of Romans 6:1 that if we should be persisting in sin, grace would increase. While the following argument [in the passage] is against persistence in sin, it confirms the sovereignty of grace. Let us not deny this marvelous doctrine. It will give us rich, exultant liberty, ridding us of the thralldom[2] of Sin, and giving us power to avoid the very sins which unnatural logic supposes we would eagerly follow, now that there is no condemnation even if we should sin.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 102 (July, 2011)
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[1] [Editor:] “The exercise of absolute power.” – Oxford Dictionary
[2] [Editor:] “The state of being in someone’s power.” – Oxford Dictionary

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