“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Christ's voice of authority

“Because they received not the love of the truth, …but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:12).

Truth is an intangible that manifests itself in the heart and mind, and then in the character. But, more often than not, truth is manifested in what we didn’t do right, rather than in what we do right. This is a sad fact of life in a world of sin.

Joy-filled exhortation of righteousness was experienced by the servants of Solomon.

“Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.” (1Ki. 10:8,9).

To the disciples of Christ, a Greater than Solomon revealed the beauty of holiness.

“They joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” “This shall be with burning and fuel of fire.” (Isa. 9: 3,5). “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” (Lk. 24:32).

But, rather than wonderful teaching attending their correction, too often God’s children have heard rebuke attending it. Correction is a necessary part of existence, and joy-filled exhortation is full of correction; but this is easy correction, as joy makes everything light and easy.

But if an individual chooses not to participate in the exhortation and receive the correction under blessed circumstances and a new life, then that individual will have to face correction under less favorable circumstances—sin, failure, reproof, and then finally correction. They didn’t have the will to do right in good, easier times; but they have the will to do right in hard, difficult conditions.

In either case, we must be corrected; if we will follow the Master Teacher, discipline will be a requirement. Without discipline there is no development and growth; and without development there is no life. Correction and growth and life are beautiful; while pride, degradation, and death are horrible.

But sin has interrupted this beautiful gift of improvement from our Creator. Pride, stubbornness, and rebellion refuse to be corrected. They refuse to admit weakness or error. Sin has a strange infatuation with self. It has lost sight of the glory of God’s character of love and cannot be consoled by His forgetfulness of self, nor have faith in His righteousness. Sin looks only to self, to serve it and to please it; its fondest hopes and desires gravitate on self; sin and depravity is being stuck on self.

Sin cannot be humbled; it cannot receive reproof. “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:20,21).

We, from the highest to the lowest, are in need of correction and the humbling. What can Jesus teach us unless He first humbles us in order to make us teachable?

Is it easy for Jesus to hurt our pride? No, in all our pain He is pained. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”( Isa. 63:9). Look at the youthful Samuel and behold the character of our Savior and High Priest in Samuel’s lowliness, meekness, and loving-kindness.

Samuel was filled with fear and amazement at the thought of having so terrible a message committed to him [from God against Eli, his surrogate grandfather, and high priest and judge of the nation]. In the morning he went about his duties as usual, but with a heavy burden upon his young heart. The Lord had not commanded him to reveal the fearful denunciation, hence he remained silent, avoiding, as far as possible, the presence of Eli. He trembled, lest some question should compel him to declare the divine judgments against one whom he loved and reverenced. Eli was confident that the message foretold some great calamity to him and his house. He called Samuel, and charged him to relate faithfully what the Lord had revealed. The youth obeyed, and the aged man bowed in humble submission to the appalling sentence. Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 582.

Even though it crucifies Christ to see us suffer under reproof and punishment, yet He must be just like His Father and uphold the law of His Father’s kingdom. He must, and He will. But He carries a heavy burden, as He brings out of His heart the weighty work of blending divine mercy and justice upon every sinner.

He feels our pains. He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (Heb. 4:15). He knows our suffering, because He felt it all on the cross. There, He experienced what it is like to be a sinner reaping divine instruction and discipline.

He knows how crucifying it is for His wayward children to humble themselves and receive the powerful language of rebuke. They are His children whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren, because they follow Him in death to self and resurrection to new life.

We hear Paul sigh this in deepest desires. “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:10,11). “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1Cor. 15:31).

Paul isn’t tooting his own spiritual horn. He’s revealing his own private life, a life that has faced the convicting, burning presence of Christ and had his own self-centeredness boiled away. Paul bared his soul before his friendly and not-so-friendly followers because humility reigned in him with Jesus present; and also so that we today could know what Christ’s true standard is, to be naked and open, without hypocrisy and insincerity.

Satan loves the environment of stubborn rebellion against God. He is the “king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34). The more populous his kingdom of pride, the more extensive the comfortability for him. His final wish is to walk up and down over the whole earth, gloating over the coldness, selfishness, and ignorance, to ensure that iniquity abounds, and thus see “the love of many … wax cold.” (Matt. 24:12).

And what a subtle insult this brings at God as he “blaspheme[s] His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven”! (Rev. 13:6).

But Christ perseveres in bringing up His children out of the morass and slime of Satan’s kingdom. His people respond to His mercy-filled reproofs, a little here and a little there, greater and deeper, until He can come in with full force and purge them of sin and willfulness and pride.

Simultaneously, those who steadfastly follow Satan and refuse the mercy-filled reproofs and exhortations of the Prince of heaven, finally arrive at the point of full force rebuke, and they fail out of it. They receive the mark of the beast and eternal doom. “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” So, they are brought to one last test: Will they destroy God’s people to silence His voice to their conscience. “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:10-12).

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25:46).


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

Thank you, Brother David, for the work that you do. You have taught me a lot of things that I would not have known otherwise. You've helped me to make the Bible come alive by seeing the big picture in this great controversy between good and evil that is raging fierce. May God continue to bless your blog posts.
In this particular post, I can see the time of trouble before us.
Its the reason I want to devote more time in Evangelism than any other thing

4/04/2011 6:30 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hi brother. I'm glad you gain something from what I write. Blessings to you and everyone in Uganda.

4/04/2011 9:53 AM  
Blogger David said...

And Victoria looks very pretty. :)

4/04/2011 9:54 AM  

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