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Friday, September 28, 2012

God's Supreme Interest In Man # 3


The apostle Paul made a terrible declaration as to the effect of the Law. He said it has only brought to light man's weakness, impotence, helplessness. It has not done anything to save man, but it is rather to condemn him.

Paul writes in Romans seven and speaks a whole chapter in these terms: "The good that I would do, and I would do it with all my heart, I do n
ot. And the evil that I would not do, I do, and with all my heart I struggle and I strive and I labor and I groan not to do these things, the evil that I would not, that I do. Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me? How ever did I know that the thing was right that it should be done? How ever did I discover that the thing was wrong that I should not do it? The Law made me know right from wrong and left me paralyzed, utterly incapable of rising to it, either to say: No! or to say Yes! Oh, wretched man!" Isn't that frustration? And isn't that the history of man right up to date? Well, that is the Law of Moses.

You and I, dear friends, are living in a time in the world when there is not a law which can cope with human nature as it is. Oh, what a time of lawlessness, which is only another way of saying, man's utter inability to answer to the law. Or, shall we put it this way: the law's utter inability to cope with man. There is this schism in human nature, this dividedness in personality, in constitution that works out in utter frustration. That is a word today - frustration. My word, what a lot is covered by that word today.

Schism and Frustration In Every Realm

And how real it is in every realm and, yet, personal. As I have just cited in Romans seven, the "I"- "O wretched man that I am!" - what I would do, I do not; what I would not do, that I do." It is all so personal, this division, this schism in me, in the personal realm. Also, this schism is in society. Oh, I need not dwell extensively upon each of these things. Society: - what a disruptive thing human society is! What an unstable thing it is! What a restless thing it is! The competitiveness - oh, there it is, it makes you heartily sick to see how in society no one can show something new or fresh without the other person eyeing it and going one better or trying to outdo the other. Oh, the many-sidedness of this conflict in the social order among people.

Likewise, this divisiveness is in the economical realm. And we are not here to talk about economics, but let us just put another word in the place of economics - it means money. The realm of money - surely the love of it is a root of all evil. It is the cause of conflict, of strife, of rivalries. It is the cause of everything that speaks on the one side of schism, divisiveness, and on the other side of frustration. Never before in the history of this country have people had so much money! And never before has there been so much dissatisfaction and grasping for more! Day by day, the papers are just full of this grasping, this scheming to have money, and more money. What does it lead to? Well, it does not lead to rest and peace and satisfaction. Not at all, it leads to more and more frustration. How divided human nature is. You would think if they had so much they would be content, and human nature would settle down and say, "I have go all this, let me be satisfied," but it just works the other way. All this is in the economical realm.

No matter how far man goes, whether to the moon or to the planets, he will never come to rest. This is something in him that defeats him; and when it has got so far, he is still a restless being, driven on and on and never satisfied. Sometime, at some point for some reason, human nature became disrupted and disintegrated and schismatic. It became divided in conflict, even in the individual. We all know the conflict in ourselves. It happened.

The Bible opens with a picture very different from that conflict and opens where everything is beautiful. God Almighty, Who is meticulously perfect in His requirements, utter in His standards of satisfaction, the Infinite God was able to look at all things and say, "It is very good." My, it is something that the Lord can look upon one little bit and say, "It is very good." You and I would feel very happy if there was one little thing about us that the Lord could say, "That is very good." But looking on all things and saying, "It is good" - it is very good," that is the opening picture of the Bible. Then something happened, disrupted the universe, shot through the universe, and there became this schism and this resultant frustration.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 4)

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