Saturday, December 17, 2011

From My Utmost for His Highest: December 17th

Redemption Creates The Need It Satisfies
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him."  1 Cor. 2:14
The Gospel of God creates a sense of need of the Gospel.  Paul says -- "If our gospel be hid, it is hid"-- to those who are blackguards?  No, "to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."  The majority of people have their morality well within their own grasp, they have no sense of need of the Gospel.  It is God Who creates the need of which no human being is conscious until God manifests Himself.  Jesus said --"Ask, and it shall be given you,"  but God cannot give until a man asks.  It is not that He withholds, but that that is the way He has constituted things on the basis of Redemption.  By means of our asking, God gets processes into work whereby He creates the thing that is not in existence until we do ask.  The inner reality of Redemption is that it creates all the time.  As the Redemption creates the life of God in us, so it creates the things belonging to that life.  Nothing can satisfy the need but that which created the need.  This is the meaning of Redemption -- it creates and it satisfies.
"I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me."  We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened by it.  If once Jesus Christ is lifted up, the Spirit of God will create the conscious need of Him.  Behind the preaching of the Gospel is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men.  It is never personal testimony that saves men.  "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."

This reminded me of a sermon I heard at Epicenter a while back, on grace.  It is only by God's grace that we can even feel repentance.  Conviction is something we have to ask for.  That is just staggering to me: that is only by grace that we even see our need.  And how merciful God is in tearing away our blindness enough that we can ask for Him to save us.  I like this picture of "creative" redemption too, creating a need in us that it alone satisfies.  That sounds like growing and depending more on God's work in me -- creating, making all things new.  Utter dependence, which is scary but beautiful and fully worth confidence.
Thanks Oswald.

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