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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Glory of GOD #6   T. Austin Sparks

Started Sep-17 by PAULFROMNYS; 104 views.
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In this chapter we are dealing with the ultimate things, the primary things and the eternal things. I am going to say what may perhaps be a very difficult thing for you to accept, but it shouts at us and we cannot get away from it, much as it hurts us and we do not like it. The attitude of the Lord Jesus towards the situation and all concerned with it is God's attitude towards human life as it is. Here in this chapter you find human life represented by a number of different aspects. You have the Jews, the scribes and the Pharisees. Well, you are not perhaps surprised at God's attitude towards them, but move on into the heart of the chapter. Here are these dear sisters, and there is this man Lazarus, as far removed from scribes and Pharisees and ruling Jews as could be, humanly. You would say that they are lovely people, but what is the attitude of the Lord Jesus? He is non-committal, holding a reserve. It says that He stayed where He was for two days, and that when He came at last Lazarus had been dead four days. Four days had elapsed between receiving the news and arriving there, and, as you know, they mentioned to Him the state of things which naturally would have prevailed. WHY did He let Lazarus die? He could have raised him, for He had healed many others and raised other dead. Why this one who was so beloved? Why did He allow the sisters' hearts to be broken, torn with this sorrow and this distress? Why this attitude? This is God's attitude to humanity at its best in Adam as well as at its worst. This humanity at its best is something that in Adam God has set aside, and He is not going to patch it up. He is not going to give it medicine to cure it. He says: 'It must die!' The only possible thing is resurrection, a new life altogether, something different from the natural and earthly even at its best.

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   Do you think I am exaggerating, or going too far? I want you to pick up this Gospel and read it from end to end. Why the marriage in Cana of Galilee? Why did He attend, why did the wine fail and why did that terrible predicament arise? "They have no wine", says His mother, in a kind of appeal and expectation that He would do something. Consternation is over the whole thing. There is no resource left. It is an end of the very thing that makes life. "Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come." It had been the appeal in a predicament, the appeal of an opportunity, the appeal of a mother's heart, the appeal in a difficult situation, but, no, He would have none of it, for there is something more in it than just patching up this feast. There has to be something that is above the natural, and that is newness of life, and not the old thing patched up. This old thing MUST die, and then resurrection alone is going to be the answer. That is the explanation - something different. God's attitude is that the old creation is bankrupt, and the only prospect is a new creation life. "This beginning of his signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory" (John 2:11). Glory is the end of God's ways. How? In something that is beyond all natural possibility. Cana is the beginning and Lazarus is the end of the story.

In between - I cannot stay with them, but I will just remind you of some of them - there is Nicodemus, with all his religion and all his learning, to whom Jesus said: "Art thou the teacher of Israel and understandest not these things?" (John 3:10). All the religious knowledge, learning, position and tradition are bankrupt. 'You must be born from above. This natural life of yours, though it be all like that, will not get you through.'

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   There is the man at the pool of Bethesda. He was for thirty-eight years lying in that position, struggling every day to get on to his feet and into the water. Try that, perhaps a dozen times every day for thirty-eight years, and see whether you have much hope left at the end! Without the use of the pool and without any artificial aid, He who is the resurrection and life comes on the scene and there is another sign, another showing of how hopeless the natural is until Jesus comes in, but He comes in with another kind, another order of life.

Then we come to the woman of Samaria at Sychar. What a story of moral bankruptcy that is! "Go, call thy husband... I have no husband... Thou saidst well, I have no husband, for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband." Everything has been exhausted in that realm, "but the water that I shall give shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life" ... "Sir, give me this water" (John 4:14-15).

So John goes on with his Gospel until we come to Lazarus, and there in one chapter all this is gathered up, showing that the glory of God is the end - "Thou shouldest see the glory of God."

The glory of God is not something that God can do in human life, for He is not going to patch that up. Men can do that. You call in the doctors and they may help to keep this thing alive for a time, but God says: 'No let that die. The glory is not in that kind of thing. It is something absolutely new and different.'

The end of all God's ways is like that. I do trust that you will interpret everything in the light of this. Have you suffered? Have you been knocked about? What are you doing about it? Are you putting it merely and only into the category of things common to man? No, the end is glory, and when you come through you will see the glory of God in the newness of resurrection life.