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God’s Keeping

 

Divine Protection

        The story has been told of a believer, Frederick Nolan, who was fleeing from his enemies during a time of persecution in North Africa. Pursued by them over hill and valley with no place to hide, he fell exhausted into a wayside cave, expecting his enemies to find him soon.

        Awaiting his death, he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes, the little bug had woven a beautiful web across the mouth of the cave. The pursuers arrived and wondered if Nolan was hiding there, but on seeing the unbroken and unmangled piece of art, thought it impossible for him to have entered the cave without dismantling the web. And so they went on. Having escaped, Nolan burst out and exclaimed:

        “Where God is, a spider’s web is like a wall,

        Where God is not, a wall is like a spider’s web.”

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

GOD, peace of

In my late twenties, a bunch of my friends and I decided to sail around the world. I have to admit, though, at the time I was a bit worried. I hadn't even sailed before. I was uneasy and anxious. So I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and praying about it, until it dawned on me that God was whispering, "Tim, I'll give you peace if you read some books on sailing. The reason you're anxious is not due to lack of prayer, but to your lack of sailing knowledge. "I wasn't unprayerful; I was unskilled. So I took a step I needed to take to "let" God work his peace in my heart. I began reading about sailing.── Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 63.

 

GLORIOUS PROTECTION.

We may take the meaning of the names of the Cities of Refuge as illustrating the protection that Christ is (Num.35.; Josh.20., 21.)

. “ Kedesh.” Kedesh means holy or separated. Christ is a Holy Refuge, and He is made such to His people (1. Cor.1:30).

. “ Shechem.” Shechem means shoulder, or strength. Christ is a Strong Refuge. No shot of the enemy can pierce Him, He is impregnable ( Ps.18:2).

. “ Hebron.” Hebron means company, or felloowship (1. Cor.1:9).

. “ Bezer.” Bezer mans strong, or a stronghold. Christ is a Secure Refuge. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:39), no one can condemn us (Romans 8:34), and no one can take us from our hiding place (Col.3:3).

. “ Ramoth.” Ramoth means high, or high places. Christ is a High Refuge. We are made to sit with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

. “ Golan.” Golan means a circle, or enclosed. Christ is a Perfect Refuge. The Lord has hedged His people in, on every side (Job.1:10).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

HIDDEN.

“ Hid” (Hebrews 11:23)

. Under the blood we are hidden in safety from the judgment of God’s wrath against sin, as Israel was in Egypt (Ex.12:13).

. In the Lord’s hand we are hidden from all danger (John 10:28,29).

. In His tabernacle we are hidden in secrecy for communion with Him (Psalm 27:5; 91:1).

. In His presence we are hidden for protection from our enemies (Psalm 31:20).

. Under His wings we are hidden for comfort (Psalm 61:4).

. In His Word we hide for victory and assurance (Ps.119:114).

. In His quiver we hide to be used (Isaiah 49:2).

The hiding of Moses was an act of faith, as we are told in Heb.11:23. The parents of Moses had confidence in God, and therefore hid their child in opposition to the king’s commandment. If we would have the hiding that the Lord’s able to give, we must put implicit confidence in Him at all times.

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

KEPT.

Peter was kept by sixteen soldiers (Acts 12.), but was not kept safely, but the four quaternion power of Christ that keeps us is—

. His finished Work in its fourfold aspect.

   A.  Godward. God’s claims met and God glorified. “ I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work” (John 17:4).

   B.  Satanward. Powers of hell defeated. “ That He might destroy the works of the devil” (1. John 3:8).

   C.  Worldward. Separation from it. “ Be not conformed to this world” (Rom.12:2).

   D.  Selfward.  Crucified and dead. “ I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20).

. His continual Work and Presence above.

   A  He is our Representative in whom we are represented. “ To appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb.9:24).

   B  He is our Intercessor to plead on our behalf. “ He ever liveth t make intercession for them” (Heb.7:25).

   C  He is our Advocate to look after our interests. “ We have an Advocate with the Father” (1. John 2:1).

   D  He is our Saviour to preserve to the end. “ He is able also to save them to the uttermost” (Heb.7:25).

. His Gifts and Grace.

   A  His bestowed life. “ Given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” ( 1. John 5:11).

   B  His sufficient grace. “ My grace is sufficient for thee” (2. Cor.12:9).

   C  His mighty hand. “ Kept by the power of God” (1. Peter 1:5).

   D  His garrisoning peace. “ And the peace of God……shall keep your hearts and minds” (Phil 4:7)

. His Promises.

   A  To be with us to the end. “ Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt.28:20).

   B  To be with us by the Spirit. “ By His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom.8:11).

   C  To be for us at all times. “ If God be for us, who can be against us” (Rom.8:31).

   D.  To come again and receive us unto Himself. “ I will come again and receive you unto Myself” (John 14:3).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

KEPT AND KEEPING.

We do the trusting, and the Lord does the keeping. We hold Him, because He holds us. We cannot trust without Him, and yet, if we do not trust, it is our, not His fault. Ralph Erskine sweetly says on this point—

“ Mine arms embrace my God. Yet I

Had never arms to reach so high;

His alone me holds, yet lo

I hole, and will not let Him go.

 

“ I do according to His call;

And yet not I, but He does all;

    But though He works to will and do,

I without force work freely too.

 

“ I take hold of His cov’ nant free;

But find it must take hold of me.

I’m bound to keep it, yet ‘tis bail

    And bound to keep me without fail.”

 

Ⅰ. Purity and Preservation. “ Keep thy tongue from evil” (Psalm 34:13). “ Keep the door of my lips” (Psalm 11:3). “ All God’s commands are God’s enablings,” and in the first Scripture we have a command in reference to the tongue; it is a little member, but it may do a great deal of mischief. It is the little foxes that spoil the vine. It is a little leaven, that leavens the whole lump. It is the little back-bitings and evil speakings that do harm to our own souls as well as to others. Let us by a definite act surrender our tongue to the Lord that He may keep the door of our lips, thus our speech will always be with grace.

Ⅱ. Patient and Possessed. “ Keep thy heart with all diligence” (Prov.4:23). “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3). Keep the heart rest, for perfect trust in the perfect keeping power of Christ bring perfect peace.

Ⅲ. Prayer and Provision. “ O keep my soul” (Psalm 25:20). “ He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalm 91:11). We receive not because we ask not ,and very often we ask and receive not, because we ask amiss; some known sin indulged in or unbelief will keep back the answer. There is provision for all our need in Christ. The soul has two hands, the empty hand of prayer, and the receiving hand of faith.

Ⅳ. Practice and Promise. “ I have kept the faith” (2. Tim.4:7). “ Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation” (Rev.3:10). Christ has given us His word to keep, and we are to keep it at all costs; to keep it , and to be kept by it; to live it, and live by it; to preach it by life and lips; not to compromise or yield one iota. What God wants of us is faithfulness, even as a lady writing in the fly-leaf of a Bible given to an evangelist, said, “ Do well, suffer for it, take it patiently, till you hear the Master’s well done.

Ⅴ. Power and Power. “ Keep yourselves from idols” (1. John 5:21). “ Kept by the power of God” (1. Peter 1:5). The first is the power of a separate walk. “ What is self-surrender?” asked a young lady recently. “ It is the surrender of self,” was the reply, and it is only those who have surrendered themselves to Christ who know anything of His keeping, subduing, and sanctifying power.

Ⅵ. Protected and Protection. “ Keep my words” (John 14:23). “ Peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep,” c.(Phil.4:7). Obedience is the source of constant joy, implicit trust is the source of constant peace. If we would be protected from the wiles of the devil, and overcome him, we must keep the words of Christ, for Satan cannot stand before the charge,” It is written.” And if we would have our hearts and minds guarded as with a military guard, and thus have thorough protection, we must be careful for nothing, prayerful about everything, and thankful for anything, then the peace of God shall garrison and keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Ⅶ. Privilege and Perseverance. “ Able to keep” (2. Tim.1:12). “ That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost” (2. Tim.1:14). “Keep yourself in the love of God” (Jude 21). God’s love has been perfected in our unworthiness, and His strength is perfected in our weakness. If we would know the power of God, we must trust Him; if we would know the guidance and power of the Spirit’s presence, we must recognize Him; if we would realize the warmth of God’s love, we must abide in Him.

Let us ever recognize the two sides of truth, for it is only as we keep ourselves in the power of God that we know His power to keep.

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

KEPT BY THE LORD.

2. Samuel 22:44.

The king of Israel acknowledged that the Lord had kept him in the position he occupied as the head of the nations. God does not promise to keep the believer in earthly honour and position, but He is keeping us for Christ (Jude 1 R.V.), and the inheritance that shall never pass away (1. Peter 1:5).

Ⅰ. He keeps us as a garrison, securely (Phil.4:7).

Ⅱ. As a gardener, attentively (Isaiah 27:3).

Ⅲ. As a treasurer, carefully (1. Peter 1:5).

Ⅳ. As a parent, lovingly (John 17:11).

Ⅴ. As a shepherd, guardingly (1.Peter 2:25).

Ⅵ. As a casket, secretly (1. John 5:18, R.V.).

Ⅶ. As the eye-lid the eye, instantly (Psalm 17:8).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 
Guarded By The Power Of God
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Reviewing what we have seen thus far in this series, a Christian...
   a. Is "a person reborn", living in newness of life
   b. Now "belongs to the Lord", God's special child sojourning in this
      world as a pilgrim
   c. Is "living by faith", trusting in the Lord and desiring to be a
      trustworthy servant
   d. Is "consecrated to God", set apart by the Spirit to pursue 
      holiness
 
2. This does not mean being a Christian is easy...
   a. The world in which we sojourn does not encourage godly living
   b. There are powerful forces that are bent on our spiritual 
      destruction
   -- Of course, this is true whether we are Christians or not
 
3. But the significance of being a Christian includes help that others
   do not have...
   a. From our Father in heaven, who is concerned for the child that
      now belongs to Him
   b. His own special protection, available to those who remain
      faithful to Him
 
4. Peter writes of this protection in 1 Pe 1:5...
   a. He refers to how we are "kept by the power of God through
      faith..."
   b. He employs a military term meaning "to mount guard as a sentinel;
      figuratively, to hem in, protect" (Strongs)
   -- Therefore we can rightly say that a Christian is "Guarded By The
      Power Of God"!
 
[To appreciate the need for such protection, the nature of it, and how
we may ensure it in our lives will be the subject of our study.  We 
begin by noting...]
 
I. SATAN'S GOAL:  OUR DESTRUCTION
 
   A. OUR ADVERSARY...
      1. Satan is like a roaring lion - 1 Pe 5:8
         a. On the prowl
         b. Seeking whom he may devour
      2. He often appears as an angel of light - 2 Co 11:14
         a. Working through his ministers - 2 Co 11:15
         b. Misleading through false doctrines - 1 Ti 4:1-3
 
   B. THE CHRISTIAN'S NEED TO BEWARE...
      1. Some say there is no need to be concerned
         a. E.g., "once saved, always saved"
         b. E.g., "the impossibility of apostasy"
         -- But this would make all the warnings in the Bible pointless
      2. The Bible warns about the danger of becoming hardened - He 3:
         12-14
         a. Hardened by "the deceitfulness of sin"
         b. Who better equipped to harden us than he "who deceives the
            whole world"? - Re 12:9
 
[Because the danger is real, the need to "resist him" (1 Pe 5:9) who
seeks our destruction is very real!  But we are not alone in our
resistance; "the God of all grace" (1 Pe 5:10) stands ready to assist
us.  This leads to our next point...]
 
II. GOD'S PROVISION:  OUR SAFEKEEPING
 
   A. GOD IS OUR HELPER...
      1. He provides Jesus Christ:
         a. As our Mediator - 1 Ti 2:5
         b. As our Advocate - 1 Jn 2:1,2
         c. As our merciful and faithful High Priest - He 2:17-18
         d. Whose blood cleanses us from our sins - 1 Jn 1:7-10
      2. He provides other blessings designed to keep us safe:
         a. Our public assemblies and mutual edification - He 10:24-25
         b. Our daily mutual edification - He 3:12-13
         c. The Scriptures - 2 Ti 3:16-17
         d. Prayer - Ph 4:6-7
      3. He therefore provides a way of escape:
         a. In some cases, to avoid temptation altogether - Mt 6:13;
            26:41
         b. In other cases, to bear up and overcome the temptation 
            - 1 Co 10:13
 
   B. GOD IS OUR VICTORY...
      1. Our confidence comes from God's power, not our own - Ph 4:13
      2. He provides power that is greater than Satan - Ep 3:16,20; 
         1 Jn 2:13-14; 4:4
 
[Yes, it is God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ (1 Co
15:57)! By His grace we are "Guarded By The Power Of God". But that
such grace might not be received in vain (cf. 2 Co 6:1), we need to
remember...]
 
III. OUR RESPONSIBILITY:  REMAIN FAITHFUL
 
   A. THE CHRISTIAN'S SECURITY...
      1. The Bible teaches the security of the believer
         a. No one can snatch a believer out of the hand of God - Jn 
            10:28-29
         b. Nothing can separate a believer from the love of Christ 
            - Ro 8:35-39
         -- But note carefully:  these promises are for one who is a
            believer!
      2. The Bible also teaches a believer may become an unbeliever 
         - He 3:12
         a. A believer can develop "an evil heart of unbeliever"
         b. In so doing, such a person "departs from the living God"
         -- When a believer becomes an unbeliever, the promises of 
            security for the believer are no longer applicable!
      3. This explains the many warnings in the Scriptures to remain
         faithful - e.g., Re 2:10
 
   B. THE CHRISTIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY...
      1. Take to heart the many admonitions in Scripture:
         a. To take heed - 1 Co 10:12
         b. Gird up the loins of your mind - 1 Pe 1:13
         c. Discipline yourself - 1 Co 9:27
         d. Root yourself in Christ and His love - Ep 3:17; Co 2:7
         e. Put on the armor of God, that you might stand - Ep 6:10-18
         f. Be strong in the grace of the Lord - 2 Ti 2:1
         g. Stand fast in the faith - 1 Co 16:13
         h. Resist the devil - Ja 4:7; 1 Pe 5:8-9
      2. Take advantage of activities conducive to remaining faithful:
         a. Daily prayer
         b. Daily Bible study
         c. Frequent association with fellow Christians
         d. Attendance at the congregational assemblies
         e. Development of personal usefulness to the Lord        
         f. Involvement in the work of the Lord
         g. Acceptance of correction, and repentance as necessary
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. Yes, the significance of being a Christian is that one is "Guarded
   By The Power Of God"...
   a. In the spiritual warfare that we face, we can stand strong "in
      the power of His might" - Ep 6:10-13
   b. In resisting the devil, God will "perfect, establish, strengthen,
      and settle" us - 1 Pe 5:9-10
 
2. But never lose sight of the importance of our faith...
   a. Our resistance must be "steadfast in the faith" - 1 Pe 5:9
   b. We are "kept by the power of God THROUGH FAITH" - 1 Pe 1:5
 
If we seek to enjoy being "Guarded By The Power Of God", then let us
not forget the admonition of our glorified Lord:
 
   "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
                                                     (Re 2:10)
Are you remaining faithful to the Lord?

 

--《Executable Outlines