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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

God's Supreme Interest In Man

(this will have to be in installments but I feel the need to get this posted. Sometimes it is extremely important and satisfying to go over things we have learned in the past and in a more in-depth way. Hope you agree. I will try to post a new "installment" each day, and each installment will be titled: "God's Supreme Interest in Man # 1, or 2, or 3, etc. I'm sure you will be amazed as we get i
nto the next installments!)

God's Supreme Interest in Man

(Colossians 3:8-11)

May I say, dear friends, as we approach the message that is in these words, my real and very strong concern is that we shall touch reality at this time. My concern is that we shall go beyond theory, beyond teaching as such, and meet the Lord at the point of deep reality, where His need in us is really met and our need in Him is met. We are in times when the building up of Christian truth, teaching, and knowledge is immense; and, yet, the corresponding reality in life is by no means equal in measure. There is a margin, a gap, between what is known and what is lived. And we want to get into that gap as the Lord may enable us, and close it up, or let Him close it up, so far as we are concerned at this time, in order that truth and life shall come close together, and, indeed,become one. And that is the object which is in my heart at this time - not to say so much more, however true it might be, but really to touch very vital issues. Now there may be a lot said at this conference, but I have one thought and object that is governing everything that will be said. All will be gathered around just this one issue, which I trust will become increasingly clear as we go on.

Having said that, let us look at this fragment of the Word which we have just read in verses eight through eleven in the third chapter of the Letter to the Colossians. Here we will analyze it, break it up, and note the five very distinct points that are touched upon by the Apostle in these words.

First of all, there is retrospect to the Creator and the created, where the Word says, "being renewed ... after the Image of Him that created him." That is a throwback to creation and the Creator. Just note it, for we are going to take up each of these points separately. But number one is this retrospective touch upon the beginning of everything in the Creator and the created. It says, "The IMAGE of Him that created."

Second, there is the pattern and purpose of the Creator in the creator, "being renewed ... after the IMAGE of Him that created him." There is a pattern, the image, the purpose, the renewal of that IMAGE.

Thirdly, we will see the real nature and the effect of the crisis in the life of Christians. Something has happened in the life of Christians, which marks the beginning of a process, a process indicated by these words, "being renewed, made anew, made over again." There is a crisis in the life of the believer when something happened: "ye put off... and ye put on." That is the nature and meaning and the effect of the great crisis in the life of the Christian.

Fourthly, there is the occupation and energy of the Holy Spirit Who is doing this renewing work, this "being renewed." Well, we are not doing it, either for ourselves or for other people, and other people are not doing it for us. This is the occupation and the energy of the Creator's Spirit. He, Who brooded over the chaos and brought out of the chaos the Divine Order, is the same Spirit now occupied with His own energy in making anew, renewing, according to the IMAGE. This renewing is the activity of the Holy Spirit.

And in the fifth place, there is the exclusiveness and the inclusiveness of Christ. Notice the last statement, "where there cannot be." That is the right kind of exclusiveness, or exclusivism. A whole realm and system and order and nature is excluded: "There cannot be ..." But the inclusiveness is just Christ, where "Christ is ALL, and in ALL." That is the analysis of these verses. This is very simple and to the point, but how very comprehensive and how very important and meaningful. Well, let us begin to take them up, one at a time.

(continued with # 2 ' "The Creator and the Created")

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