In Christ Alone.
Our Daily Living with God.
John R A Smith.
Before you read this book, I apologise in advance for grammatical errors, dyslexia, is a cruel and often unrecognised disability, at least it was for me in the days of my schooling. Yet I have refused to allow it from preventing me from reaching my desired goals, and this book is but one of them.
Now before I start this book by quoting the lyrics to a beautiful Holy Spirit inspired song. I have it on my heart to impart a message from God.
Wake up old fogies you have lost your way, it is no wonder the younger generations are leaving the churches in their millions, bring yourselves alive in Christ, and heap burning coals into the furnace of your heart and come alive in your worship and way of life.
(Explanation to follow towards the end of the book)
It was also pointed out to me that certain older readers of my books are unable to read the smaller print, so I have increased its size for this publication.
Song in Christ Alone.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! - who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty.
As I spend my quiet times with God the Holy Spirit helps and guides me and draws me nearer in my desire to know him better. And in my calling and yearning to learn and write, he, the Holy Spirit guides in in a special way revealing to me scriptures I possibly have read hundreds of times over the years.
Yet in these times it is as if a veil has been removed and the words from the scriptures take on a new meaning, and taking root in my heart and I feel God through the Holy Spirit wanting me to share what he has, and is showing me, and to share it with others.
Incredibly time seems to have no meaning when I am writing and immersed in these times of study, and I have found eight to ten hours a day can pass and it was as if they had not existed, such was the depth of revelations that God has been sharing and showing to me, and note please, I am but a humble uneducated person born in the foothills of the great vast Alberta Alta, Canada, but now nationalised British.
My early education was in a school where broken shards of glass was cemented on top of walls, teachers were assaulted by pupils, and discipline was enforced by a cane, yet it rarely worked and in this environment of gangs and survival, my dyslexia went unrecognised.
I have been privileged in and by God and know that nothing I could do could deserve such Grace and love.
Yet God considered my repenting heart and saw something there, what I know not, other than a deep love for Christ my Lord and saviour, and an earnest desire, a longing that I cannot even put into words as my education has not equipped me so.
Yet in God’s grace he took a broken vessel who had lost his way, broken in heart and wounded countless times in this vast spiritual war of heaven and hell, good and evil.
And he has rebuilt me, pruned and cut away the dead dying parts and nurtured new growth within me, so I can be a vessel that He can use and work through to build bridges of friendship and shine the unconditional light of Christ pointing the way to Jesus, my Lord and Saviour.
John R A Smith.
Let us begin.
I have learned a valuable lesson that in my strength I can do little, but in God in this vast journey of life ahead of each of us, all things are possible. And while we walk with God through Christ Jesus and guided in our anointing with the Holy Spirit, we face multiple choices in which direction to take in a secular world that is full of countless distractions, and seducing us and tempting us to take our eyes away from Christ Jesus and take the path that leads us back into sin and separation from God.
We can and should learn from our past mistakes, and as we grow in love and the reflection and light of Christ grows within us.
We become equipped by the Holy Spirit as the fruit within us develops and God the ever-faithful loving Spiritual Father, like the analogy of a gardener, prunes away the bad branches, leaving and encouraging what is left to produce in us a reflection of Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Our old self dies and we put on a new higher spiritual self, a life embedded in God through Christ Jesus.
Look at John 15:1-17 (NIV)
(“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.)
It matters not where we are at the time of reading this book, if you have repented and taken Christ as your Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit is with you and is a seal, a promise to us that we now belong to God.
Look at Ephesians 1: 13-14 (NIV)
(And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.)
It also becomes a means in which God can guide us and lead us to his living Words in the scriptures within the Holy Bible, and we also have the gift of the Spirit of truth walking not only with us, but in a sense God living within us.
Look at John 16:13-15 (NIV).
(But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”)
Look at these scriptures: John 17: 20-21 (NIV).
(“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.)
And please, please understand that there is nothing we can do which is good enough to give us entry into heaven. There is but One Way and that is through Christ Jesus. And it was Christ Jesus who in (Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) gave us the great commission.
Look at the verse below.
(Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”)
Not only are we to make disciples, returning to the analogy of the gardener, some of us in our actions and behaviour plant seeds with the Holy Spirit working through us. While others reap the harvest, again, through the Holy Spirit within us. We are but vessels in which God can work through and build bridges of friendship in unconditional love while remaining in the world but focused on God through Christ Jesus.
Yet in all cases we are told we reap what we sow. Look at Galatians 6:6-10 (NIV) (Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.)
Do not however confuse this with earning your way into heaven as some interpret this verse. It is by God’s GRACE alone through the atoning sacrifice of Christ our Lord and saviour who shed his blood on the cross of a tree so that we could have a means of becoming adopted into God’s family and unite heaven and earth as it was originally intended, but through Adams sin it was given away by his turning from God’s perfect will.
To my understanding, Christ Jesus represents the second Adam and united us back to His Father once and for an eternity, paying and purchasing us by and with his blood in an act of unimaginable Love and Grace.
This love devotion to us as we were still in sin, is the very underpinning and cornerstone of our hope in Christ. In obedience and love God Christ reached out to unite us again to himself our father and God, and in turn blessed us in every heavenly blessing in Christ.
Look at Ephesians 1: 3-14 (NIV)
Where we can learn in the Holy Scriptures of our standing in Christ Jesus.
(3-14) (Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.)
As we persevere ever pressing forward guided in the righteousness of God through the Holy Spirit, we are accepted not by our good works, but by God’s grace, the gifts given to us so we may grow in our service to God, reflecting the light and love of Christ in all of our actions and deeds.
The problem is (DO WE?)
So many fail, myself included, yet God in his infinite mercy provided a way for us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and start again.
You only fail God when you give up totally and turn away from him. Incredibly it is never too late to repent and like the prodigal son return in humility to a loving father who is constantly watching out for your return.
Look at the crucifixion, two others were crucified along with Jesus, one recognised his sin and repented before the cross of Christ and he did it almost at the point of his death, which was only a very short time away.
Look at Luke 23:39-43 (NIV)
(One of the criminals who hung there, hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”)
As Christ Jesus himself told us, he had not come to abolish the law or the Prophets; he had come to fulfil them.