Born of God (continued)
The Coming Test of Our Standing
I have sometimes wondered - maybe wrongly - whether the enemy is not very pleased with putting countless multitudes of people in a false Christian position, because he knows the day is coming when the winds will carry them away; and for a Christian to fall away is a greater reproach to the Lord perhaps than anything. Oh, how we do need to get our roots down; how we need to be grounded in the truth, and in the truth of our very nature as children of God. That is why we come to this message. The day is coming when our standing as Christians will be deeply and terribly tested - there will be a great shaking. The Prophet Ezekiel is very up-to-date; I believe these words will have perhaps a larger fulfillment in a not very distant future, than they had when Ezekiel uttered them: "I will overturn, overturn, overturn ... until He comes whose right it is" (Ezekiel 21;27). There is going to be a great overturning of what is not true - of what is false. This judgment must begin at the House of God. So you will understand this present emphasis.
We begin here. As with Christ, so it must be with every child of God: they must, at the very beginning of their Christian life, be the result of a Divine intervention in human history, in their own human history, in their human life. But that is the great basic fact. Thank God that there are many who understand that, and know what it means. They are able to say: "God intervened in my life; God broke into my life; God came out, even, as it were, from Heaven, into my life." If we have the experience, we know the truth; but it is sometimes helpful to have it defined. This is it: When you and I were saved, God broke out of Heaven - nothing less than that. It was as though God Himself came out of His Heaven into a human life; broke into its world, and interrupted its course of history. Things could never be the same after that.
Not Only A Newness, But A Difference
That is perfectly clear, is it not, in the case of the Lord Jesus? An angel indicated this intervention of the Holy Spirit from heaven - and it is no less than that in principle and fact with each new birth. But the next thing that is clear in the case of the Lord Jesus is that this was something different; it was not only something new that had not happened before, but it was something different. This birth is different from all other births. We cannot dwell too much upon the details of the account, but that is what it amounts to. The angel made that perfectly clear, and Mary knew it; that was her problem, her perplexity, her wonder - How? How? It was the perplexity of Nicodemus, his great question - How? This contains profound mystery which constitutes a deep, a mighty difference. This is not the common thing; this is not the usual thing; this you cannot find, except here; it is different.
(continued with # 31)