Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 6 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.

Title: Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 6 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.  


Announcements / opening prayer:


In Rom 8:29-30, the glorious story of the saved is told in five words, "foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified."


In foreknowledge God knew who would believe and designated them to the position of a saved person with all the limits and blessing that come with that position.


Heb 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it [passive: drift by us].


Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience [failing to hear] received a just recompense,


Heb 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect [attitude of indifference] so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,


Heb 2:4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.


Do not neglect [be indifferent, have no concern for] your predestination.


This brings us to the underlying subject of temptation. It is expressly laid down as a trial and the word of God tells us that it is essential to man.


Man's nature is progressive and he will grow in knowledge. However, the knowledge he chooses is vital. He may choose the wisdom of man, which is based on the flesh and the world system, or he may choose the knowledge of truth that only comes from God by the free exercise of his will.  


Man's appetites and passions tend to their objects, simply and unreservedly. This need or conflict constitutes a trial in which, if the divine conscience prevail, the spirit of the believer receives strength and growth; if the conscience be overcome by the flesh, the lower nature tends to predominate, and the man has fallen away.


The self-will in every man delights in independence of action and sees it as its high privilege. This self-will has many faces, acceptable and even esteemed in a society filled with self-wills or unacceptable to the current trend.


The need of giving up the individual will, freely and by conviction, so as to be in harmony with the will of God, is the believer's great trial.


In this trial of life there are many momentary trials or temptations and we succumb to many of them, but it how deal with our failures that dictates our success or failure in the trial of life. If failures lead to more failures and more failures and sinfulness becomes a conduct or lifestyle until death then the believer will fail the trial of his life.


This trial of life carries with it the reward of still greater spiritual progress if we sustain it, or the punishment of a subtler and more dangerous fall, and therefore loss of the Christ life in time, if we succumb. In its struggle the spirit of man can only gain and sustain its authority by that constant grace of God, given through communion of the filling of the Holy Spirit, Who is the breath of spiritual life.


Satan is a very real adversary whose main goal is to put distance between the believer and God's plan for his life. It is the flesh that gives scope to Satan's evil action.


Satan is called the "tempter"; Mat 4:3; 1Th 3:5. He has power (as the record of Gen 3 shows clearly), first, to present to the appetites or passions their objects in vivid and captivating forms, so as to induce man to seek these objects against the law of God which is to be written in the heart; and next, to act upon the false desire of the will for independence, the desire "to be as gods, knowing good and evil." Gods knowing good and evil is practically judging and determining for ourselves rather than on God's standard.


It is a power which can be resisted, because it is under the control and overruling power of God and since the surpassing power of God is in every believer, the power of Satan over the flesh to go after that which is outside of God's plan in delighted independence can be resisted.


1Co 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.


The power of temptation can be so resisted only by yielding to the grace of God, and by a struggle (sometimes an "agony") in reliance on its strength.


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