Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, September 22, 2008

Faith Revisited 2

It is dangerous to suggest that arriving at God's truth, appropriating God's wisdom, having knowledge of God, is the end result of a journey of discovery, the result of much investigation and study. God is not so unloving or so unjust as to have given the salvation of man to only those who excel in academics, to those who are members of the intelligentsia.

"God is not so cruel as to have left us in the miserable plight that the most saving and necessary truths have to be laboriously assembled for himself. We are not a lot of amateur detectives on the hunt for clues in a cosmic whodunit. For that would be an abandoned world, a world on which God had virtually turned his back - a world in darkness from which God's light had been withdrawn. Men have need to fabricate neither their creed, nor their moral code, nor their picture of the purpose of the universe. God chose not to leave his world in darkness. He chose to lay open in it the revelation of himself. That is what Christianity is all about. ...Christian Faith is not a human fabrication but a divine gift. When people encounter the Church and her message, they do not come up against the opinions of men; they come up against the word of God."

I have on many occasion had to drive at night. There have been instances when there has been no moon and on those occasions the night can be as black as black can be. I have had occasion to drive in winter at night with the illumination from a full-moon reflecting off the snow covered countryside. The contrast is night and day. The light of the moon although not necessary for safe travel, provided by its illumination such enhanced visibility that on occasion it was possible to turn off the headlights and still be able to see clearly. The Church like the moon is not a instrument of man, but a creation of the Divine mind, it is before us. God could have devised another method of salvation, a more pleasant means of restoring man's fellowship with God, but speculation of other means of salvation, like speculation about the moon or the Church, only destroys the intent and purpose of God and diminishes the Church as the manifestation of the fellowship of God's people claimed by Jesus as His own. Matthew 16:18, "...and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We are not to be concerned with what God could have done or what He did not do, but, with what He did.

The Church as an object of illumination and purpose of the glorification of God is not enhanced nor diminished by the operation of man. This statement may be met with opposition. Faith not only believes the promises which God has given to His saints individually, but also lays hold of those given to the Church collectively. Faith must lay hold of this promise, "When the Enemy shall come in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19).
Psalm 147:2, "The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
Zech. 6:12, "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the Lord;..."

On the rock of ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded,
Thou mayst smile at all thy foes.

The rock that gave out water for the thirst of Israel was a type of Jesus. (Num 20). They ‘did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ’ (1 Cor 10:4). This rock was a representation of Christ in four things—
It gave drink to the people in the wilderness when they came out of Egypt; Christ gives drink to them that forsake the world for him.
The rock yielded water by being struck by Moses’ rod; Christ gives us drink, even his blood, by being struck by Moses’ law (Num 20:11; Isa 53).
The water out of this rock was given to the thirsty— Rev. 21:6, "...and He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
The water of the rock in the wilderness ran after the people; they drank of that rock that followed them— ‘He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out, they ran in the dry places like a river’ (Psa 110:7). "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ" (1 Cor 10:4).

Matthew 16:18, "...and I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

The true meaning of "the Rock," in this passage, is the declaration of the truth of our Lord's Messiahship and Divinity, which Peter had just confessed. It is as though our Lord had said, "You are rightly called by the name Peter, or stone, for you have confessed that mighty truth, on which, as on a rock, I (Jesus) will build my Church." "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
The meaning of this promise is,--that the power of Satan shall never destroy the people of Christ. He that was the instrument of the introduction of sin and death into the first creation by the temptation of Eve, shall never bring ruin on the new creation of the believer by overthrowing the faith and hope held in the promises of God. The mystical body of Christ shall never perish or decay. Though often persecuted, afflicted, distressed, and brought low, it shall never come to an end: it shall outlive the wrath of 'the tolerant', the politicians, and the persecutors; it will outlive the false teachers, the false prophets,and the false doctrines; it will outlive all change, ebbs and flows of each age and vocabulary; because its very foundation is the unchanging God. Hebrews 6:17-20, "Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability (unchanging essence) of His counsel (wisdom, purpose, volition, object), confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever...."; the true Church never dies. Like the bush that Moses saw, it may burn, but will never be consumed. Every member of it shall be brought safe. In spite of falls, failures, and short-comings,--in spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil,--no member of the true Church shall ever be cast away. (John 10:28.)


Drive it like you stole it!

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