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Spiritual Growth Series. Matthew (III)
Loren Simons    [email]   ( United Kingdom ) 2012-07-07     Views : 1363     touched : 332
Book Review
Spiritual Growth Series. The Gospel of Matthew (III)

Praise and thanks be to God, my Father, who has begotten me as His own child, through the Salvation bestowed upon the whole world by His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, by obeying the Will of God the Father, took upon the sins of the world by the laying on of hands baptism He received from John the Baptist at the Jordan River. Then bearing the sins of the world, He went to the Cross, shed His Blood, died, and rose from the dead again, by the Word of the Father.

I am so blessed to have access to the Word of God, both in my heart and through the Bible and Books. My Book Review is on Paul C Jongs Spiritual Growth Series, The Gospel of Matthew (III).

The first chapter (14) is entitled ‘The lips of spiritual priests must keep the knowledge of truth’. It draws on the example of John the Baptist who fulfilled his role unto death. As a born again, our role is to also do the same. We cannot fear the world. We have a job to do and we must do it.
The Author refers to the age that we are living in (p.14) and explains that people are uninterested in the Word of God and that it is our duty to therefore, point out their sins as they are unaware that they are constantly sinning. This is the difference between the spiritual priests and the religionists of the world. The spiritual priests do the Will of the Father and are mindful of spiritual things. Whereas the religionists focus on money, building bigger churches and their own worldly prosperity. The example of the five loaves on p.35 also explains to us how important faith is in order to serve the Gospel. We cannot afford to be without faith. We have to believe that everything will be fulfilled according to God’s Word.

Chapter 15 (p.55) tells us how the born again, after serving God for a while, can become complacent and deluded. We may start to think that we have put in too much and are getting too little back from God. But if we serve God wholeheartedly, then this does not happen because we see our whole existence as a blessing regardless of what takes place as we know it is the unfolding of Gods Will in our life. The very fact that God has enabled us to become His children is a blessing that should keep us truly happy for all eternity. I thank God every day for the life He has now given me.
Chapter 16 speaks to the born again of self denial and being mindful of Gods Work first. Page 73 reminds us that the flesh must be denied to do Gods Work. God’s workers are discerned by the earnest desire they have in their hearts for the Will of God to succeed. Even if the Will of God is not fulfilled right away, such people set their goal to do His Will and even labour and sacrifice themselves for it and run toward this goal. They take joy just from being allowed to serve him, regardless of the outcome.
How to receive the Holy Spirit, chapter 17, talks about the Old Testaments sacrificial system and the fulfilling of the New Testament with Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. Correct faith and belief in the whole and complete salvation of the water and Spirit, is the only way one can receive the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 18 explains why our faith has to be like that of a little child. After walking with God for a while it is easy to become complacent with your own knowledge of the Truth and forget your first love, which is the preciousness of the Gospel. So we have to be as little children and never lose our love for God and His Church. The same zeal and happiness we first experienced should continue to grow within us as we walk and support others who have just come to hear this Gospel.
The last two chapters warn us of the dangers of being rich in our own righteousness/deeds and how we should live wholly for the Gospel. It is easy to sometimes forget the life we had been saved from and then start to think that we are good people, once we have been born again for a few years. But we have to remember that we are wretched human beings who need the constant love and Grace of God just as much as anyone else. If we ruminate on how blessed we are every day, we will draw closer to God and give our lives to Him for Him to use us as His vessel of righteousness here on earth. What a blessing this is.

I thank God for His perfect salvation and for giving me and all His children, everything we need to continue in our walk of faith.
May we all deny ourselves and faithfully follow the Lord.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24, 25.


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