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The Promise of the Father

June 7, 2005

Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,

Salvation. Itís all about getting back to the Father. When Adam willingly believed a lie, acted upon another word, turned to another source of life and blessing, and became a covenant-breaker, he plunged humanity into an estate of sin and misery. Fellowship with the Father was lost, the relationship broken, the communion (common union) severed. So God, the God of all grace, the Father of Mercies and Infinite Love, gave the first promise of restoration in Genesis 3.15. His design? Return to Me, and I will return to you. I will be your God, and you will be My people.

Salvation, immortality, eternal life would not come through partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, human wisdom or philosophy, but through sacrifice. That sacrifice, the only acceptable sacrifice, would be God the Son, Jesus Christ. And as Jesus, the Incarnate Word, came from heaven to earth to live a life of righteousness pleasing to the Father, to die to pay the penalty for sin and to satisfy the debt note of sin, and to rise again from the dead, He promised to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gave us a parable about the importance of asking, seeking, and knocking. At the end of that parable, He made His main point. "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11.13)

The Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father. (Acts 1.4; 2.33) The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. He is the seal of the covenant of grace, the guarantee, the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1.13) He is called in scripture, the Spirit of life, the Spirit of prophecy, the Spirit of glory and of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, the Spirit of burning and judgment, the Spirit of Grace and Supplications, the Spirit of Faith, the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter or Paraclete, the Spirit of Holiness, that Eternal Spirit, the Spirit of God.

You see, comfort and joy, life and blessing do not come through the world or the things of the world, but through Christ. Many, however, think otherwise, and seek comfort and joy from sources such as wine, narcotics, addictions, forbidden fruit, etc. Their god is their belly. They have eyes full of adultery. They lust and do not have. Their flesh wars against the Spirit. They are friends of the world and so are enemies of God. Life and blessing do not come through such sources, but through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, through right standing with the Father. (Ephesians 5) "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14.17) Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Luke 4.4) Jesus also said, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4.34) Jesus had the Father as His Source of satisfaction, destiny, power, and purpose.

Today I see many grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit, spurning the love of the Father and His great gift to His children. Many have drifted, doubted, and grown dull of hearing. They have turned away, though they were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit. They tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, but then fell to the side, insulting the Spirit of Grace. Instead of pressing toward the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ, these stand still and so stagnate in their relationship with God, or worse, live like infidels.

If you or someone you know and love are in this position, beware. We are not to receive the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6.1, Galatians 5.4). Itís possible to have very uplifting, reforming, and exhilarating experiences of the power and truth of the gospel, to come into close contact with the supernatural forces operative in Godís kingdom of grace so as to give appearance of true salvation and yet never truly be regenerated (1 John 2.19; Matthew 24.10, 12; 1 Timothy 1.19, 4.1: 2 Timothy 4.10; 2 Peter 2.20-22). It is possible to have the emotions touched and the will affected without the heart being truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

We need a firm root, to be rooted and grounded in Christ (Ephesians 3). If someone truly belongs, they believe. Jesus said to some that they didnít believe, because they didnít belong. (John 5) We are to make our election sure, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Are we to crucify the Son of God afresh? Hebrews 6 warns that in such a case it would be impossible to renew such a one again unto repentance. The Holy Spirit is Godís seal to the soul. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit. (Romans 8.14-16) Assurance of salvation is alone to be found in true fellowship with the living Jesus in love and obedience. (1 John 1) God grants us grace, including the grace of repentance, in order that we might obey through faith working by love. He is faithful. Be faithful.

You cannot lose the salvation that comes as you are born out of God. If you could, it would be impossible to get it back again. While a true believer is crucifying and putting Jesus to an open shame, however, that person could not be brought to repentance while treating Jesus in such a shameful way. The warning of Hebrews 6 is clear, but the author intends to draw us forward into faith and perseverance.

We insult the Spirit of grace by not believing the gospel. And how do we know when we are not believing the gospel? When our lives and daily choices make a mockery of the cross. Did Jesus die for your sins and set you free from the power of sin? Then live like it. (Romans 12.1, 2; 1 John; James)

Recently I heard a man speak of his salvation experience as a young man. He knew his sin and he knew the power of Christ to save. He could recite the gospel. But his choices put Jesus to shame. At first I was made happy by his testimony of how Jesus had saved him. Later, I grieved as I saw the testimony of his life.

We are all guilty of hypocrisy, and we all disappoint God and others at times, but beyond that Paulís warning is clear.

Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not
Inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor
Adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
Themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor
Covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
Extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
(1 Corinthians 6.9, 10)

God is not into lawlessness. God is holy, and He gives us the Holy Spirit just as He promised to do. Salvation that is real brings and bears fruit, the fruit of righteousness, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Part of the evidence of that fruit is the desire to press on to perfection, to follow Jesus who is bringing many sons to glory, and to obey Godís will. Those that bear thorns worthy to be rejected and burned call the things of Christ worthless and use the gifts of God in lawlessness and unrighteousness, mocking the means of grace. We are to discern what is truly good for us and what is truly out to destroy us. We are to be holy as God is holy.

It takes the grace of God to acknowledge the Word, to align with the Word, and to abide in the Word. We limit grace by much complaining and failure to return thanks (Psalm 78). We limit grace by not partaking of the means of grace. What are some of the means of grace? They include: baptism, communion, reading the Word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, witnessing for Christ, ministering to God and others, worship, humbling yourself before God, returning thanksgiving to God, and giving our tithes and offerings to God.

The Holy Spirit is given that it might be said of us:

Do you want the fullness of all God has for you in Jesus? Then ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit. Ask that the Holy Spirit be poured out upon you, in you, with you, and working through you. Ask God to grant you repentance to the acknowledging of the truth that you might recover yourself from the snare of the devil who holds you captive at his will. Humble yourself before the mighty hand of God. Submit yourself to God and resist the devil. Ask God to forgive you for all the ways you may have grieved the Holy Spirit, resisted Him, lied to Him, quenched Him, limited Him, vexed Him, offended Him, insulted Him, and mocked Him. Ask to have faith in the working power of God, faith to overcome sin, self, Satan, and the world system. Ask, seek, and knock.

The Father desires to bless you, to live in fellowship with you, to be known by you as you are known by Him. He loves you. Let the Holy Spirit shed that love abroad in your heart. Let Him fill you with Himself. He is the incomparable gift of Christ. He is the Source of comfort and joy, satisfaction, power, purpose, and your destiny. He is the promise of the Father. It cost Jesus His life to redeem you and give you this precious gift. Donít blow it. Come to your senses, and then help others come to theirs.

Susan Smith and I leave on a mission trip to Eastern Europe June 24th. Do you share our passion for souls? You can help. Pray about what the Holy Spirit might lead you to give. You can designate your gift for "world missions." Your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries enable us to bring Jesus to a hurting world as we share the gospel of grace to the lost and war in the spirit for the elect.

Honoring the Promise,

Mary Craig

P.S. You can now order books and make donations online through PayPal®. Just go to www.marycraig.org catalog section. In the area? Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays, at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. After the service, join Rev. Jim Craig to discuss the message or have prayer with Dr. Mary Craig. Visit www.craighouse.org for a map and more events, including our new series "Covenant: Godís Way of Relationship."

Repent and be baptized every one of you
In the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children,
And to all that are afar off, as many as the Lord
Our God shall call. (Acts 2.38, 39)


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P.O. Box 4610
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33338-4610

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