Wednesday 24 July 2013

Yes I Am 11 - The Eye Opener About Our True Selves

Yes I Am by Norman Grubb
Chapter 11

We shall now turn to the subject of the restoration of us humans to our true being, to the condition in which the Living God, as love, is naturally operative in us and we are "without blame before Him in love," as God originally intended (Eph. 1:4).

The first problem is our blindness. How can that be removed? A basic necessity is to recognize that the whole human family has always had its being in God. We were created in God’s image and likeness and are only Satan’s stolen property; and for that reason we all instinctively know that we should be living in the likeness of our Creator people of love as He is, love which fulfills all law. We all know the law inwardly before we come to know it in its outer written form. Genesis tells us that Noah was "a preacher of righteousness" in the years when "the wickedness of man was great upon the earth" - and this before the giving of any written law. Joseph, when tempted to commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife, answered her by saying, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" He, too, knew God’s law inwardly.
all men "know in themselves" what may be known of the invisible God

Glimpses of the reality of eternal law are in the writings of men of history like Lao Tse and Confucius of China; in the Vedas and Upanishads of India; in Buddha’s precepts; in Zoroaster and Jalal al-Din of Persia; in Heraclitus, Socrates, and Plato of the Greeks; in Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus of the Romans, and countless others lost in the mists of time. Paul puts it in one word in Romans 1: that all men "know in themselves" what may be known of the invisible God by His visible creation, but "have held down the truth in unrighteousness" and so are without excuse. All the great religions of the world legalistically demand that their followers adhere to certain standards by their own self-effort. This is a total impossibility, for it is in direct contradiction to man’s fallen, self-loving nature, the nature of that spirit of error in the children of wrath, "fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind" (Eph. 2:3). So whether it is by Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or by Marxism or any other secular philosophy of life, we humans who know what we ought to be are more confirmed than ever in our blindness of heart by these self-effort religions and philosophies. We build up our own righteousness and call it the righteousness of God, while in fact it is only this same Satan-indwelt self-loving self producing its convenient good-and-evil fruit of the fallen self.

In Romans 2, Paul mentions both "the law written in our hearts" and God’s external, written law given through Moses. What was God’s purpose in giving us the Mosaic law? It was to prepare a way by which man’s blindness can be removed. In that unfathomable wisdom of His, He uses the pronouncement of an outward law not to falsely establish fallen man in a phony self-righteousness (as though he might keep it - a slave to Satan keeping God’s law!) but for a totally opposite purpose. The law was given to expose the deceit of man’s self-righteousness, thus stripping him naked of any righteous grounds for standing before God, outside of grace. So the sending of the outer law by Moses was actually part of God’s approach of grace to man! Paul’s inspired understanding focused Mosaic law to this.

We will follow this through now, both in its preliminary effects on us and to its ultimate completion. This makes Moses the greatest of the law age, to be replaced, as he foretold, by one "like unto himself," yet greater than he, as the son is greater than the servant in the house. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The outer law, given as a code of ethics on that mount to Moses, was not God coming in fullness of grace to His people, but was inserted as a necessary preliminary. God came to them at Horeb precisely as He eternally is - as the One who rescued them from bondage and brought them out "as on eagles’ wings" to be His peculiar treasure. But, even though they were His people, through the Passover and Red Sea deliverance, many of them were like carnal Christians today: they did not know the Lord in their inner consciousness as Moses did. These people, therefore, not yet realizing the exchange of deity in themselves, were wide open to the lying controls of Satan, their former indwelling deity, and thus "carnal, sold unto sin." So to expose their blindness to their Satanic slavery, God added the necessary demand which is the purpose of the outer law. God said to them through Moses that they would be His special people if they would obey His voice and keep His covenant - the very thing they couldn’t do, but this they did not know. And so they gaily responded, "Of course we will keep it." They had to respond like that, for this first claim of the law on them was precisely to expose their still unrecognized and therefore uncrucified self-reliance, which was Satan’s nature in them.

So the famous law followed on its tablets of stone... but significantly it was not given to Moses directly by the Lord Himself on the mount, but by angels (Gal. 3:19), because God Himself is the law lived as person and not in a demanding code with no power given to fulfill it. (It was later, in his second forty days on the mount, when Moses saw God’s glory pass by, that the "merciful, gracious, longsuffering, forgiving" nature of the Lord was revealed to him in its full reality - and no wonder his face shone!)

Now the years were to follow in which a few always saw through to grace - many thousands more than the record shows, as we can surmise by the seven thousand who were preserved by God’s enabling in the days of dark apostasy under Ahab. If thousands then, maybe tens of thousands in better days. But for Israel in general, sin was now exposed as sin by the law, and it is Paul who brings out the truth that "by the law is the knowledge of sin" and "sin is not imputed where there is no law." Under other dimmer codes, wrong might be recognized as against the doer and society. But only by God’s law through Moses did wrong have its total exposure as sin against God, leaving man on the eternal death-road unless there be some way back to total alignment with God. Only God’s law through Moses makes human wrongdoing totally serious. How significant it is that in these our days, wrongdoing is never acknowledged or confronted as a moral destruction, but only as a social inconvenience or human mistake. No secular nation calls sin by its true name, and that is why the only true light that can still come to our modern world is by the "holy nation," the church of the redeemed who still proclaim the total word of Scripture, and who are the only true nation there is.

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