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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Stewardship of the Mystery # 41

The Heavenly Man As the Instrument (continued)

1. The Word Presented

We go back to Luke, for Luke enlarges upon what John says. John compasses it all in one statement: "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us ..." It is Luke who gives us the fullest description of the Word being made flesh, the birth of Christ. We will not read the whole story, but we mark first of all how that the angel went to Mary, and began to present Mary with a statement. He made his statement to her, and then waited. In her perplexity she asked a question. He recognized her question, and again waited. Then came the response: "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word" (Luke 1:38). First of all the word offered: that is the first step in His birth, the word presented, the statement made. Then the angel waited. What are you going to do with it? How are you going to react to it? The word presents a challenge; always a costly challenge. That word is going to lead outside of the world, and is to bring the liberty of the world. Mary weighs the cost while the angel waits. The battle is fought, the storm for a moment rages, and then it is over, and in calm deliberateness, she responds, " it unto me according to Thy word."

Do you see what it means to be begotten of the word of God? The first step in this new birth, the first step into this heavenly life, is our attitude toward the presented word of God, and that will be found to govern every step in the heavenly life. Such is the nature of the first step, and it is equally that of every subsequent step. All the way through the Lord will be presenting us with His Word, and with it a challenge, a cost, a price to be paid, and there will be conflict over it: Are we prepared to go that way? Are we prepared to accept that word? Are we prepared for what the word means, for what it involves? On the response to what is presented depends our knowledge of the heavenly life from beginning to end it is like that.

That is why the Lord never first explains everything to unsaved people. Doctrine followed for believers but was never given for unbelievers. Clear, concise statements were made to unbelievers. To them there was a presenting of facts, boldly and deliberately. 'This is God's will. This is God's word. This you must do. Explanation will come later. Now, heaven is going to remain closed, or is going to be opened; the the balance as you decide what is to be your response to God's word. You will be born of that word, if you respond to it, begotten by the word of truth.' So the first thing is the word offered, and then, after some difficulty and conflict, accepted, received, surrendered to: "... be it unto me according to Thy Word."

2. The Word Germinating

What is the next step? The Spirit makes the word to germinate within. The Spirit generates within by means of the word. That is the second thing to be noted in the case of Mary, the Spirit generating, or implanting. Not until the word was found a response can that word become a living thing within. That is why an unsaved person can never know the meaning of the Word of God. The meaning of any word of God demands the inward work of the Holy Spirit to make it live, to make it germinate, and response to it opens the way for the Spirit.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 42 - (3. The Word (Christ) Formed Within Initially and Progressively)

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