Bible talk

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 Testimony of the Christ #8   T. Austin Sparks

Started 10/22/21 by PAULFROMNYS; 83 views.
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This man built in that sense an immortal family, but he had to know death in a very deep way, but in a particular way. He had to know death in the realm of a very strong self-hood in order that there might be a spiritual family. Spiritually it became the family of Israel, not Jacob. Israel was his spiritual name after the Cross had been applied in figure. "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel" (Gen. 32:28), and it is the house of Israel, a spiritual family. It is a type. In order that that might be, that self-hood had to be smitten at its very core; the strong self-assertiveness.

There is no doubt about Jacob's self-assertiveness... a scheming disposition, resourceful, artful, evasive and tremendously active... all motivated by this self-hood, to get an advantage, to possess, to be the upper man. He would sidestep anything that was not very convenient. If there was a chance of an advantage by being cunning, he would be cunning, and principle could go to the wind. Active, alert, but all to his own ends. And there had to come that drastic crisis in his own ability to get away with it. He got away with it, it seemed, quite a few times. He got away with it over his brother Esau, over his uncle Laban, but now he meets God at the brook Jabbok, and Jabbok is a tributary of the Jordan and Jordan is always a type of the Cross.

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but now he meets God at the brook Jabbok, and Jabbok is a tributary of the Jordan and Jordan is always a type of the Cross.

He meets God and he has to learn he cannot get away with it there. All that he is, all that he has, and all he has been building counts for nothing now. He cannot get away with it here. Oh no! It is no use trying to drive a bargain with God here. It only wants one touch with a finger of God, and he is a lame, maimed man for the rest of his life. A crisis in his strong self-hood. Do you remember how he summed up his life? You get his own summary of his life in Gen. 47:9 - "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years: few and evil have been the days of the years of my life." What a different tone and tune from the old Jacob. He thought he was getting on very well at one time, everything was coming to his hand. But this is the ultimate verdict from his own lips - "few and evil have been the days of the years of my life". Jacob had to be destroyed and he had to find this other thing: that God and God only was his life, God only was his life. It was not in himself. At last he discovered that it was not in himself.

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All this is not Bible story and exposition. This is for present immediate application. Everything that I have said about these men and the content of the Cross of the Lord Jesus in which we are included, the Lord Jesus died to all that and because of all that. That in Adam, that in Cain, that world of Abraham, all these things were included in His death and they necessitated His death because these are not strange people who lived so many thousands of years ago about whom we read in old stories of the Bible. These people are up to date. We are reading our own inner life. It is all true about us naturally. That we should be saved from this, Christ died; that we should live in another realm than this, Christ rose again.

Did He follow this course on the Emmaus road? I do not know, but I know they are the principles lying behind all He would have said, because they are the principles of the whole Bible; the New as well as the Old Testament. They are the principles, these are the truths. Oh then, if we are to know this wonderful thing that these two men came into on that evening walk to Emmaus, if you and I are to know the wonder of His resurrection Life, we have to accept the meaning of His Cross as our death to all that. We may be the passive Isaac or the active and positive Jacob. We may be any of these. It has to go to the Cross, to come under the Cross. We have to accept the Cross as delivering us from it in order that we might live by that other glorious Life. It is a matter of again quite definitely saying:

"Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.

That is a hymn and an utterance for Christians as well as for others.