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THE BEAUTIFUL PURITY OF THE LOVE OF GOD
You would, perhaps, like to do something. Your motive is pure - as far as you can see. Of course, there are such and such additives which could be pleasant, no harm in them, and diverse results which are undoubtedly attractive; and yet, perhaps, it could be said that your mind is set on pure kindness...
Really ? In that case, let us REMOVE the additives and the diverse results, and equate them to zero. Are you still a) willing to do it and b) happy to do so, and c) finding your joy in it no LESS ?
Christ in Psalm 40 is seen to DELIGHT to do the worst job any one could have: to become a sin offering*1. Love drive, mercy impels, His Father is concurrent, and He, the word of God eternal (Micah 5:1-3, John 1:1, 8:58, Hebrews 1:3,8), is carried on in the beauty of holiness to this end.
Would it be LESS desirable,
even, if ALL other things were removed ? NO! It is, says John 3:16, the case
that GOD SO LOVED the world THAT He gave His only begotten Son so that ...
IF it were the case that such and such elements were intrinsically attractive, as well, then it would NOT be true that He so loved the world. It would be a complex motivation, a diversified inclination.
If there were ANY other considerations which were impelling, then these would FALSIFY the assertion of His love being as depicted.
Thus IF other purpose were
present, and combined with this one to render either the doing of it or the
spirit of the doing what it is, then this would PRECLUDE, REMOVE, BANISH the
declaration of John 3:16; it would prevent the specification of degree of love
as stated. It would be rather that God so loved the world PLUS some other
things correlative or concurrent or to be obtained in the same expedition,
THAT... This is not stated.
A MATTER OF DEGREE
Rather what IS stated is this: that the degree of love ('so') is such that the giving is the direct consequence, the embraced consequent. It is not merely the sufficient cause of His action, but the total impulsion. That, it is purity. This is true of the love of God. This is part of the reason why it is a thing of beauty, this love of God. Like sparkling snow water coming into the sunshine as it descends, blue and crisp in colour, yet soft in texture, it comes without residue or addition; yes and more than this, for if snow had some speck then it is impure to this extent, but the love of God has no speck. He SO loved that He GAVE.
Yet this is not all. He SO loved that He gave HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. What did He love ? The world, the kosmos. As Luke tells us, the Holy Spirit was to overshadow Mary so that that holy thing which was to be born would be called the SON of God. The love was such that not only did God give, but He gave the only begotten Son into a format of man, coming through a womb to the light of day.
That is not finished. He SO loved that He gave His only begotten Son SO THAT whoever believed in Him would have eternal life.
There is a purpose, there is a method, there is a format which matches the purpose and the impulsion, the love; there is a NAME which comes from the source of the format, and there is a RESULT which is part of the gift, since it is the waters, if you will, through the conduit of faith, which bring eternal life.
There has been, of late, some talk of a pastor of one of the traditional denominations in this country, who did not consider the degree of his own sins to justify the death of Christ for him. This is of course a heresy so profound as not to relate to Christianity, Biblically defined, at all. IF ONE DIED FOR ALL, THEN ALL DIED, that those who live should live no more to themselves, says Paul in II Cor. 5:14-15. In fact, he puts it in full in this way:
so that there is a correlativity. JUST AS HE DIED, rendering Himself an offering, as I John 2:2 tells us, on behalf of all (not of course in their place, since that is for "many" as in Matthew 26, and those whose place He took have ALL things, as in Romans 8:32), SO there are those Christians (past, present and yet to be) who became such ONLY because they died WITH HIM. As Paul puts it in Romans 8:10: if you are in Christ then your body is DEAD! That is how, in Romans 6, it is that we find this:
IF you are Christ's, THEN you have died with Him, and the former nature which was yours, has been crucified. That is doctrine, but the doctrine of God is the word of God, and in this case, the word of death to carnality, not as if we were perfect (Philippians 2:8-14), but the action is so radical that the results are deep and lasting (Colossians 3:1-2). If you are too good to require this, then Christ is not for you and that is all there is to it.
Further, if you are Christ's, then your old nature is in a perpetual state of crucifixion with Him as in Galatians 2:20, where the perfect tense signifies just that. It is not only FATAL to your own life to be born on this earth through mankind, it is justly so and it is permanently so, so that your ONLY hope and you ENTIRE deliverance comes from His donation of eternal life, and your death with Him, who Himself, died in your place. It is entirely personal, entirely peremptory and entirely final. The love is unlimited, the redeemed are delimited, the operation is reciprocal: His death for you and your death in Him.
Those concerned in salvation through Him, indeed, not only DIED as the due and just end to the reign of their sinful natures, so that He died "the just for the unjust to bring us to God" (I Peter 3:18), but we are "the children of wrath" (Ephesians 2) and this includes Paul himself, by nature, being delivered from this condition by being saved BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH. Alienated from the life of God is the condition of the unbelieving mind (Ephesians -19, Romans -20), and there is not one who escapes this condition, being so generated from the Fall in the first (Romans 5:1-11), and so needing regeneration as real as the death and resurrection of Christ, in the last (Romans 6). "Children of wrath" is the status of man on earth, until he finds the Lord and His salvation. Hence the Lord BORE that wrath for those who come to Him in faith and receive Him and His salvation (Isaiah 59:1-2, 53:6-11, Mark , Galatians 3).
Crucifixion, burial and planting with Christ are a triad of figures of the radical character of this remedy (Romans 6), when the redemption reality is applied to the estranged heart of man. It is not a question of its mode of experience, but of its reception in result. You do not have to understand the feeling in the labouring hands of those who drive the piles into the earth to secure the foundation; but you do need to have them there, and when it is YOUR OWN foundation that is there, you need to realise its presence! (cf. I Cor. 3:11, Romans 10:9, II Timothy 1:12, Luke 13:1-3, John 6:50ff.).
NONE is exempted either from the condition or the cure. It is as deep as life, as sure as death, as requisite as a miracle on inoperable cancer.
These things have been clear for millenia, and the heresy as reported, is not worthy of much consideration except as a sign of the times.
However, when we find that this same religious person is also talking of the atonement in terms of humiliation of various powers (which is indeed a result of it as in I Cor. 2:8, and Colossians 2:15), and of finding new aspects of it, this is growing more serious. Now the undoubted fact, so often stressed on this site, that the LOVE of God is profound and pure, so that there is NO ONE excluded because of any limit to it (as in I Timothy 2 and Colossians 1), although the results are sure and certain from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), even depending not at all on works of flesh, but on God, whose love however is as stated (Romans 3:23ff., 9:1-18): this does NOTHING to diminish the sovereign jurisdictive power He has in His own gift. It does not in any way contribute to any pollution of any other word from God.
It is emphatically NOT the case that WE can take one part of the word of God, and then another, and use it, like a child asking first mummy and then daddy, in order to secure a subtle synthesis of disobedience apparently AUTHORISED! EVERY WORD which proceeds out of the mouth of God is what we who are His LIVE BY and what ALL MUST live by, whether they rebel or not. That is the authority, the standard and the case (Matthew 4:4). THAT is the word of Christ to the devil in this experience of trial, and you can take it as read...
That is so, apart from this case: that you choose to deal differently with the devil, use different principles of combat, and so follow a different leader with a different Gospel (for Christ is the ONLY Saviour as in Acts 4:11-12, IS the salvation - Luke 2:30-31, so that varying from Him makes a different Gospel also, as in II Cor. 11:4). However, speaking of Christians, this is the way the thing is, the position, the regime and the regimen.
The LOVE of God is sui generis, without admixture from other considerations of the carnal heart of man, the surmising philosophy of man or the adventurous putations of man. It is not to be diminished as is the way of some.
The SOVEREIGNTY of God is
final and total; and it likewise is not to be diminished or varied by man. The
ATONEMENT of Christ is provided as sufficient for all and available for all,
but effective for some, indeed many, who are its impact area. OTHER results of
the atonement affect all this not at all. They cannot even become part of the
MOTIVATION of God, merely the consequences in that enormous perfection, and
total symphony of grace whereby, as one put it to me recently, it all fits into
THE TWO GROUNDS
This we know, then on two
grounds. First, what is written is to be lived by, and thought is part of life.
Second, what is written is not to have addition, and this we know by Proverbs
30:6; no, and not subtraction, for how would it be by EVERY word of God that a
man lives, if he lived by LESS!
The second ground ? It is that God STATES that HE SO loved that HE GAVE SO THAT ... This, if added to, if admixed in any way whatsoever with considerations of enticement or result IN THE FORM OF MOTIVE, would remove the truth of the statement in which the degree of love is made to be represented by the act of giving and the result of that giving in the area stated. To be sure, there are many delectable results, such as a new heaven and a new earth, and the earth being burnt up with all its all but innumerable evil works, the end of the harassments of hate and the endorsements of evil, as man constantly judges that which is abomination in the sight of God to be honourable (Luke 16:15).
This however is not an
element in the relationship between the LOVE which is of SUCH a kind and degree
of intensity - as expressly stated, explicitly designated, precisely esteemed
by the word of God Himself, talking ABOUT Himself - that the result of giving
into a format as stated, for a purpose as declared, is its index! TRUTH is not
only what God speaks, but what He IS. "I AM the way, the truth and the
HUMAN PSYCHIATRISTS ?
If however one wishes to INSTRUCT God, and tell him something like this, what then ?
One might declare in his glory:
Now look here. One realises of course that you try to be clear, but one has to think for oneself. Now let us take for example your statement about so loving that you gave your only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might be saved, rather than perish, the actual alternative.
We realise that you may have been slightly carried away, or imprecise. What you MEANT of course was this: that you so loved the world that you gave your only begotten Son for this purpose, and that you had in mind motivationally various other things like humiliating the evil powers and redeeming the earth and all that; so that we can really SEE as new 'light' breaks upon us, that you REALLY meant much more in terms of this statement of resolve and purpose. NO! emphatically do NOT apologise, we all have our little moments...
The two 'nows', at the start of this imaginary discourse, are a 'give-away', an exposure are they not! It is clear that this is a psychological examination, a psychiatric attempt to assassinate the word of God, through a NICE approach.
THE THIRD GROUND ...
and a few more grounds, indeed there is an estate!
No, when God declares His motive, it is best to believe Him. Here is a third ground. EVEN WHEN we talk to one another, it is an extremely risky, or sometimes presumptuous thing to ASSUME we know better than the speaker. If we are going to use the evidence of the speech of our friend or acquaintance, to assess his/her soul better than known to its very subject, we are at a great disadvantage. Literally millions of facts are not known to us, which may be known to the other party. We are acting on the basis of a selection of the speech of that person, directed to ourselves, with all the dangers of human beings, all sinners, of failing to communicate accurately or aptly, either on purpose or by defect of capacity or its use. We are interpreting with this backlog of disadvantage and still telling the other party all about himself, herself!
Certainly this may be. However, in a moment it looks like a profundity of presumption. In some cases, we might even be right, but with what danger of misrepresentation, what inelegance of method, what imprecision of data, what secondary involvement in the facts, known in most things in a primary way to the experient, but not to ourselves, except where they were shared in some adventure à deux. But even then, the other person has other eyes and other ears, and other perspectives, perhaps, and other motivations, so that there is a need for intense examination, that is not lacking in the shared experience case.
If however we try this sort
of thing with God, there are a number of ultimates which become involved. In
the ordinary human case, we are in the gravest of dangers of presumption in
adjusting the statements of another about HIS/HER OWN MOTIVES. With God,
however, there is ZERO possibility of error in communication, of failure in
clarity of utterance, in confusion of concepts, in ignoring some element which
is relevant and so on. What made the possibility to exist, even if remote, that
of correction of the other person about the devices and movements of his/her
own heart, from our lips, is now excluded. There is NO POSSIBILITY of this in
the case before us.
Again, man is finite, and God is infinite. This is not a ground for dismissing His capacities, but of limiting our own!
Thus with God, such an adventure into philosophic adjustments of His statements is nothing, if not rebellion. When it involves addition, it is presumption (Proverbs 30:6); when it involves subtraction it is attack on the instructor's explicit rules (Matthew 4;4). When it involves CHANGE, it is plagiarism or rebellion or both.
If YOU were God, you COULD
conceivably change your OWN word. Since it is however NOT the case that any man
other than the incarnate Christ, is God, then such a province is excluded.
Further, there is another ground. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE HIS WORD. When it is
stated at any level, it is His and continues, abides for ever as Peter tells us
(I Peter -25). Indeed, NOT ONE JOT OR TITTLE (cf. SMR Appendix D), not the smallest letter or the
smallest difference between letters in words of God, will fail till all is
fulfilled, said Christ. This is NOT to say that the largest letter or the
largest difference between letters can be changed. Far less is it to intimate
that the letters may have whole bunches of the things added or subtracted at
will, whim, caprice or in the philosophical splendour of man, talking of new
light, and making it ... his own.
We have already noted that it is indeed true that certain things result from this magnificent expedition of God, in sending His eternal word into a human format, so that being justified in the spirit (I Timothy 3:16), He might ascend back to God, having in the process justified the pardon which comes to all who receive it, and covers the same, and no more, for as Christ put it, "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins," and again, "You do not believe because you are not of My sheep," (John 8:24, 10:26).
The overcoming of evil has the result of the prevailing of good, and the prevailing of good reduced the haughty aspirations of evil to the level of the ignominious, NOT ONLY as corruptive of beauty, that of holiness, but as weak and pathetic as well, beaten in strength, inglorious in defeat, which loved to parade as paragons of strength!
This is very delightful and very good, because it expresses reality at last, after the tests, which enable such parades at all, were and have been allowed to let faith take the strain and humanity, one by one and each, to become drawn like iron to magnets, or be assuredly faithful to the truth (cf. I Peter 1:5-7, Psalm 11:4-5).
It is not however part of the reason, in terms of MOTIVATION, for God's sending His Son into the world, as Saviour. THAT involves the "so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." It is not a society which is to believe in terms of 'whosoever', nor is it a mockery of the evil powers, which is to believe, or the evil powers themselves who, being so ashamed in their invasive rebellions, are cast down. The designation of this love of God which sent the Christ and gave Him is defined in a format*2, a purpose and a result. Its integrity is its declaration. Its declaration is its integrity. The sending had this aim, and this motivation, with this result. It was not other. It was this.
The activating purpose, then, was a love to individuals, just as the results from His crown and for His kingdom accord with His power and His wisdom. This, it was not merely the sufficient cause, but the efficient cause, the proficient and purposive cause, indeed the entire domain of essential enterprise, the commandeering of power and the thrust of the atonement. The fort secured, the agriculture could flourish. The life removed from the treacherous waters, the health could flourish. ONLY then were the expansive questions to arise; and if in divine wisdom these too were already resolved, as becomes infinite understanding (Psalm 145:3), yet they were the aftermath of battle, the aggregation of triumph: until then, there was nothing else but what is stated in John 3:16, for here the depths were reached, here was the height of the love, of the giving, of the atonement.
Neither redemption of this world - to be destroyed - nor exposure of evil forces - is the ground of action; but the former is to be burnt up, the latter of necessity, exposed in the confrontation in which grace bounded to and abounded for the lost, and secured those who are His. The cosmos is not to be saved; but souls are; and a new heavens and earth are for them in Christ cf. Revelation 21:2, 22:3-5. Such wisdom and vision are wonderful; but they are non-additives to the force of love, or the action of the gift. They accumulate in their place, but do not motivate as spurs. They congregate but do not send. Deliverance from death and its fear is a part of granting of eternal life. The clothes of culmination are apt; but it is the souls which are essential.
The amendments from the atonement are not the same as its nature or its motivation.
Again, we can go further; for it is also true that part of the wonder of the redemption's RESULTS, is this, that the church shows to the powers and exalted personages at the natural and supernatural levels alike, the wisdom of God (as in Ephesians 3:10). This tutelary assignment is a moving and profound thing; but it is not part of the motivation of God, as love culminating in the action of sending His Son so that one here and one there should not perish but be saved; for that is statedly directed to the point that its correct account is this: that this result was the whole portent, push, thrust, nature of the case.
It is not at all hard to comprehend. If your daughter is currently in the power of some man, whose love is suspect, and of some gang, whose motives are not known, and she is brain-washed as it appeared young Hearst was, then does the thought of her companionship, or the exposure of these people and so forth, really come to be PART of your MOTIVATION IN LOVE, for the deliverance of your daughter. Assuredly not. These may be delightful results, even intimate correlatives; but they are not worthy of comparison with your heart's desire to DELIVER YOUR DAUGHTER, from the fate which encroaches, to life!
How beautifully, again, does Luke 15’s account express just this. Fatted calves are great to eat, no doubt, and a ground of great rejoicing; and work in productivity is great too; but what is ANY of it compared with the securing of the lost life to the found faith of the children of God, personally, essentially, in spirit and in truth, in faith and in reality!
Such is love, and so does God love.
It is therefore no good trying to re-write the book of the Lord, or re-write the motivation of God, or put your own in place of His. In any case, this world and its works are to be burnt up, and it is quite in vain to pretend that this REALLY means that it is not going to be burnt up. Peter in II Peter 3 gives considerable detail on the method, and it leaves nothing to the imagination, and nothing as residue!
There are results in many
directions of salvation, as you see in the case of Onesimus, in Philemon.
People must change their ways; but it is the PEOPLE and these ONE BY ONE, who
are so to do, and the results must never be confused with the cause. Otherwise,
your love diversifies from that of God, and your program is not His. Indeed, to
take the extreme example of Romanism, it can even seek to DOMINATE the world,
just as some Protestants seek to MODEL it on their plan. Both are in error. It
is good to do good, and to seek good, and to help; but delusion is no part of
THE BEAUTY OF LOVE AND
THE LOVE OF BEAUTY
There is always something spectacularly lovely, in its thrust, and yet quietly unobtrusive in its nature, about love. It is magnificent, when it is pure, unalloyed with self-interest of any kind, self-fulfilment and so on. Those things have a feeling perhaps of goodness, but are selfishly inclined. It is the fulfilment of the purpose, plan and desire of God, who made you, which is pure because HE IS, and since HE is love, it is this which is most loving. He made individuals, He understands them, He works in and through them as He will, and builds thereon how He will; but He does not build in secularity, but in spirituality. HE is personal, and the personal is the commencement, is never to be dismissed or compounded, compromised or annulled; no, not for this good reason or that; for there is nothing good in subversion.
WHEN all this is secure, there is leisure.
Indeed, when we love God and keep His commandments, says John in I John 5, it is THEN that we know we love the brethren.
The horizontal does not
define the vertical, and man does not define God; and if man could learn that,
then his rigours would cease - provided he could put the lesson in practice!
It is God who made man, who defines man, his duty and his place, the order of things and the priorities. The salvation is bound to express itself in the habiliments of love (as in Isaiah 58), but these are preceded by the motivations of love (as in Isaiah 57:15 and 66:2). The heart comes before the hand, and the worker before the work. The desirability of redeeming the lost allows nothing but holiness to intervene, and this it does not merely in PROCEEDING to act for the end in view, but in ACTING ONLY in the way which neither jolts justice nor defiles truth: Psalm 85:10ff. is a marvel of expression in this regard! (cf. Romans 3:26, II Cor. 5:17-21, Galatians 3, Isaiah 53-55).
The beauty of His holiness in utterly unselfish nobility, in intense and intensive grace, in fearless and uncontrite compassion, in going to the uttermost for the least, in being concerned to the point of death for the ruined; and in seeking to give beauty for ASHES (as in Isaiah 61), it is the paragon of wonder, the seat of glory. If however Christ emptied Himself of divine form (as in Philippians 2) in order to accomplish the work of love, in salvation, by grace alone (as in Ephesians 2, Romans 3, Galatians 3), He did not annul His own nature.
A change of form is not a change of fact. It is an alternation of the medium of expression, nothing more. He remained as He was careful to stated, the "I AM", whose timeless capacities ever rove beyond the time-limited world of man (as in John 8:58 cf. John 3:13,31).
The love of God is pure,
says the song. One still remembers one well-volumed throat of a fellow
seminarian expressing this fact in the quiet halls of the seminary, one day! It
is true. There is nothing like it; there is nothing like God, either in heaven
or on earth (Psalm 89). That is simply a fact.
Thus is the depiction, the doctrine and the decisive character of that intensely and intensively practical thing, the love of God (cf. Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Chs. 9, 10, 11 and 12). The teaching is coherent, cohesive and like the flashings of the fire of diamond from many facets, essential in its intricacy, simple in its integrity, integral in its nature.
It fits like the foxglove on its stem, the violet in its fragrant profusion, upon its bed:
What He secured, we receive. What He did, is in our format, exposes our dysfunction and achieves our restoration.
Man is not to be found at peace in purity and power, with his jealousies and envies, his emulousness and aspirations for self, society and the race, for nation and sect, for worldly church no properly so called, and braggart international this and that, elevating its tower to the heavens as in Babel of old (Genesis 11). Give them wealth and they war; give them morality and they pride their nation on it; give them scholarship and they use it for weapons or the dreams of lore like the goddesses of yore, the mere excrescences of thought, contrary and contrary to fact; give them understanding and the utilise its results for self-elevation, oppression and the love of power. Let missionaries arise and the nation often follows to enslave, domineer or direct. Repeatedly, in the world of time, the evil seeks to swallow up the good, for the darkness does not comprehend the beauty of holiness, the life of the Lord, and mucks its shoes in the mire of illusion. Then it curses God for failing to make them clean, even when it wallows in much
From this comes confusion,
and even fission and fusion as power assists, as man seeks to master the very
elements in order to have power. If it starts for defence, it continues for
The beauty of holiness, this draft of the Lord, this component of the design for man, this image-bearing resultant for man, this path of peace (Isaiah 35), where a man, though a fool, WILL NOT STRAY, it is despised, or segregated for the 'saints' as if Christians were other than these, or this were some height of aspiration given to only the few. Yet it is the ONLY WAY, for it is written, "BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY" (I Peter 1:16, Leviticus 11:44), and it is precisely to "the saints" that Paul writes (Ephesians 1:1). It is not "try to be holy" or set it up as a matter for special people to be determined by pope or society. It is BE IT!
The endued vitalities and energies, potentially peaceable and pure procedures available to man, these misdirected erupt, and these misused corrupt. When however the realities are followed and the energy of GOODNESS, even as was noted earlier, INNOVATIVE GOODNESS (It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 8), is turned in goodwill to holiness, in which man loves his neighbour as himself, and brother meets brother in the faith of truth, and the peace of the faith in the ONLY GOD there is, then there is a productivity which, were it but released, would cover the earth with the cleanness of salt, with savour and wonder.
It is not to be, without Christ. This dismal dismissal daily VERIFIES the prescription by its omission in the life of the 'patient'. The world contorts, aborts and rorts, builds its tinny forts, bellows and rages, becomes to the pleasure of some, more of a 'litigious society' as if this were some sophisticated benison, not a blight of beguiled spirits and aroused carnality, a spiritual squalor and a lustful licence.
War becomes a way of life, and a scene of death. Distrust is a dynamic of desire and a Last Post for peace. Subtle plans are met with increasing subtlety, and the game goes on with wiliness and deceit, lying becoming more and more an assumption for any nation in its international accords or assertions, intelligence work or political pronouncements. The immoral are lauded. Peace is not afforded. It has to be so, because there is no NATION ON EARTH which even begins to look Christian.
The prescriptions being denied, the mortality rate is high, and this not only in body, but in mind, so confused that loud music is an anodyne, and ugliness on stage is the raving rejoicing of the youthful heart for thousands whose 'release' in 'excitements of the mind' through the noise or drugs, becomes a relief to be desired. The spirit of millions is seized, seduced and induced to follow the flow, which is like that of lava to the sea. Meaningless moments of exultation lead only to more degradation of spirit; and the assumptions of emptiness or delusion, of hypnosis of the heart or else cynicism of the mind (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix 1, Scoop of the Universe 51, Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 83) come into force that deletes man as a going concern. It makes of him a gone one.
If this is not all there is
on earth, yet it is assuredly a motif of ultimacy in a groaning earth. Some
erupt, some hide, some wish for better things and accept the worse; for some,
ambition blights morals, for some privilege thrusts out thought, and for
others, desire for a quiet life absconds from what it requires, with hidden
life or its residue in the dungeons of incarcerated spirituality. Accepting the
dominion and lordship of whatever is in the throne of iniquity, with quiet
voice, it suffers it, perhaps groaning inwardly, or perhaps with resignation,
while it occupies itself in trying not to be detected as dissatisfied lest the
mood ricochet and it suffers, or seeking to secure some scrap from the
He tries; and the centuries expose his failures; for without Christ, his feet are bound to wander, as a car with incorrect alignment.
His head is made; the cap
is made; there is no other combination.
This is doctrine; it is experience; it is verification. It is simply the truth.
However it is better than that. It is also the beautiful truth, the blessed fact, the natural necessity; for look, is not the prescription clarity itself: the supernatural is needed for the miraculous transposition of the personality of man back to its base and back from its so ravaged ruins to its regenerated realities, found only in its base and source ?
To be sure, but what it GIVES is what man IS and MUST be, in order to be NATURAL. The supernatural surgeon brings back the natural reality of man. Naturally, this involves a supernatural relationship, for man was made for God, and God made him. But this, it is what man by his very composition IS. He merely returns to what he should be (Colossians 3:10). The operation is restorative, not some strange strangling or artless suppression. Indeed, it brings life more abundantly (John 10:10), for it removes the constrictions of the arteries of life, and the plaque of the pollutions of life, and restores life to the Person who made it, and the purity in which it was begun.
are they who follow this prescription to the operating table of regeneration;
and in whose hearts is the unconquerable desire for the invincible Christ,
before whom even death could only quail, like some ailing fielder, who just
could not take the catch, and keep it (Acts 2:24 cf. Joyful
Jottings 7, 11 and 25,
SMR Ch. 6, Acme, Alpha and Omega
Ch. 11, Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital
Millenium Chs. 5 and 6).
*1 See Joyful Jottings 22.
It focusses however, on but One, and in Him, the centre - "the blood of the Cross" (Col. 1:19), became fitting as cover for those whose form He took, as Hebrews 2:10ff. and in particular 2:14-15, declares.
It was thus that eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12ff.) was obtained. It then, by "means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament," operated effectively so that "they which are called" come, and receive "the promise of eternal inheritance".
The "heavenly things" which are to be purged, we learn in Hebrews 9:23ff., are those covered by His having entered into the holy place on behalf of those whose sins He bore, since He "appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" - Hebrews 9:26. As to that ALL of mankind, except the Saviour Himself, God incarnate, were universally condemned (Romans 3:19). Thus Hebrews 9:23 is followed by "FOR". The heavenly things were covered because He brought relief to the ledgers in heaven, proceeding "to appear in the presence of God for us". In what light did He do this ? This came from ONE offering, and again "FOR" - otherwise often would He have suffered, but now, the case is other. Just ONCE He suffered for sin, the just for the unjust (I Peter 3:18) to bring us to God.
In this way, God was satisfied in His justice, mercy and peace were replenished in the broken cisterns of those saved, as many as came, the brilliance of the Gospel brought peace in unity, and unity in peace, so that all heaven could rejoice in just one single repentant sinner, receiving this choicest of constructions, this breach of disorder, this death to death and eternal life to the living.
Thus does the word of God
in all, as always, concur.
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