Monday, January 30, 2017

CP 274 'See' the glory, that surpassing glory, know the truth, live that call...

CP 274 ‘See’ the glory, that surpassing glory, know the truth, live that call…
Today I’ll start with some stuff you know, and then show you something that, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why so many Christians don’t seem to be able to get into their heads, let alone their hearts.
So, let’s begin with why God gave the law in the first place. Which well taught Christian doesn’t know the SOS… the law ‘shows our sin’? Of course it does. Check these two texts below:
·         ‘I would not have known what sin was without the Law…’ (Romans 7:7)
·         ‘The purpose of the Law? It was added because of sin… until the Seed had come.’ (Galatians 3:19)
The bottom line is that the Lord God Almighty gave the commands to Moses to teach to Israel, but, and this is important, he did not give the Holy Spirit with it so that it could actually be fulfilled. Did you get that? The Law was given, but the Spirit was not given with it!
The Law is good. The Law is holy. The Law is, as Psalm 119:105 tells us, a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. Above all, the Law is / was a revelation of our Lord’s glory, which we can measure by what was happening to Moses’ face. It was so transformed that the Israelites couldn’t bear to look at it. Too bright, too holy, too revealing.
The truth about themselves got exposed in the revelation given to Moses. Their sin was revealed, and its ‘wage’ was death. Period. Rightly understood, such exposure is a call to repentance, and inside the repentance was the continuing call to live according to those commandments. That’s where it stays for most Christians. ‘Yes, your sins are now forgiven, so go and live your new life according to the commandments. That’s your standard, that’s your guide, that’s your rule, that’s what the Lord requires of you.’ Think all ten commands, or even the two: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.’
Now, given all that, I want to shift your thinking, shift your will, and get a much larger truth into your newly-created heart. Consider this text I’m sticking under your nose:
“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:7-10)
My challenge question is this. Which glory will more powerfully and deeply show the truth of human sin? The fading glory of the Moses revelation, or the lasting glory of the Son of God / Son of Man who dwelt among us, who lived, suffered and died sacrificially among us, and who was raised to life and is at the right hand of the Father? Think contrast. Picture the difference between a 40 watt bulb lighting a filthy shed and a 10,000 watt globe doing the job! Or perhaps, shining a bright light on your hands in the dark and seeing the redness, compared to the extraordinary X-ray vision that servicemen saw in their hands when the first nuclear bomb was exploded at Woomera in the 1950’s.
Are you gripped by the Moses-type glory or the Jesus Christ, Saviour Lord and Redeemer revelation of glory? Truly the latter, the marvel of being in the presence of the holiest, holiest, holiest, reveals the truth which cannot be hidden. Surely, now we can’t help but admit, with our mentor, the Apostle Paul, that, ‘I know that in me, that is, in my flesh there dwells no good thing!’ (RSV Romans 7:18) Right here you have my personal testimony. The longer Jesus has known me, the more he has shown me insights about himself, who he is, what he did and does, the brilliance of what Paul names as ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ found only in Christ, the more profoundly the truth of myself has been made clear. The glory of Christ reveals my sin in a deeper, inescapable way. And I don’t mind one bit. I’m glad beyond words. The glory of Christ reveals a forgiveness which can’t be withdrawn, and a status as child of the Father which is liberty in my body, soul, mind and spirit. It’s all grace, it’s all gift, it’s all mind-blowing and it is established in my heart with unshakeable comfort. And it has one final challenge which I love…
I have the call to live this extraordinary glory, and I can! His glory covers everything in Moses’ commands and much, much more, but I can! He says to me, ‘Follow me’, and I can. He says to live as he lived, to love as he loved me, and I can! I hear him call, ‘Take up you cross and come with me,’ and I can! The Father  me to ‘Listen to Him!’ and I can! He declares, ‘I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done for you,’ and I can!
Really possible? Yes! How come? Simple really. He has built into me a living trust that he is the one the Father sent. He has given me this faith through his Spirit. I know what I know that I know. And inside that faith and gift of righteousness he has given me not only Jesus’ heart, but also his mind, his Spirit and his strength. I couldn’t keep the law to bless myself, but I can live the glory of Christ because its truth and power is within me, and his Spirit constantly lifts me up.
And by the way, when I dip it, fail, crash, miss the mark, bomb out, I always hear his voice, ‘It’s forgiven already, let’s keep going, I’m here.’ Freedom!
Be blessed this week…

Fred

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