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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2758
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 The Church - Instrument of The Eternal Purpose

Jesus as the heavenly Man, was born here in time. So also is the church, the corporate heavenly man, to have a birth here in time. That birth must be on the same principle of Christ's birth. Since that is true, we look at Christ's birth. The Word was presented. That is the first step. John compasses it all in one statement; "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us..." (John 1:14). The Apostle Luke gives a fuller detail. He tells how the angel came to Mary and presented her with the statement, "...Blessed art thou among women..." (Luke 1:28). Then he broke the startling news upon her, that she is going to have a baby. Once He made the statement, the angel waited. In her perplexity, Mary asked a question. "...How shall this be, seeing I know not a man." (Luke 1: 34). He answered her question and waited again. 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 is offered. That is the first step in His birth. The angel waited. What are you going to do with it? How are you going to react to it? The word presents a challenge; all now depends upon what is done with the word presented. Do you not see what it means to be begotten of the word of God? The first step in this new birth, this heavenly life, is our attitude toward the presented word of God. These principles will govern every step in the heavenly life. It is not only the beginning, but it governs every single step in this heavenly life. This is the nature of the first step, and is equally the nature of every subsequent step. All along God will present us with His word and with it a challenge, a cost. There will be a conflict over it. Are we prepared to accept the word? Are we prepared for what that means and what that involves? When that conflict is settled, and only when it is settled, can we proceed on with God. Our knowledge of the heavenly life depends, from beginning to end, on our response as to what is presented to us by the word of God. That is why the Lord never explains everything to unsaved people.

To the unbeliever God makes clear concise statements. "This is the will of God." "This is God's Word." "This you must do." The explanation will come later. Heaven is going to remain closed, or it is going to be opened by your response or lack of response to the word of God presented. You will be born of that word if you respond to that word. The first step, then, is the word is presented; then after much conflict it is accepted, and surrendered to. "...Be it unto me according to thy word..." (Luke 1:38). The word is presented, the word accepted, then comes the word germinating. In this, see how the heavenly Man came into being; and that in the same manner is the One New Man the church has come to be. The word presented, the word accepted, the word germinating.

The next step is the Spirit making the word to germinate within. The Spirit germinates within by means of the word of God. Now not until the word has found a response can that word become a living thing within us. 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 our response to it opens the way for the Spirit. The Word, or (Christ), formed within, initially and progressively is the third step in bringing into being this new man, the church. It is very simple when presented this way, but this is the way into eternal life. Note carefully, this is something other than of Mary, her race, and her nature. By the Holy Ghost there was a complete coming in between of all that Mary was by nature and that Holy thing. When Christ was born of Mary, there took place in Mary something altogether above nature. Mary, as you know, had a long natural lineage, and in that lineage there were all sorts of people, including several harlots. When the Holy Spirit formed Christ in her, He cut all of that off. That blood never came into Christ.

It is important to note that in the exact same way we are born anew. The same miracle that took place in Christ's birth by the Virgin Mary takes place in all of us who are birthed by the Holy Spirit. The Virgin birth was no greater miracle than when you and I were born again by the Spirit. The same Holy Spirit overshadows us, and implants us with the seed of Christ, The Word of God. That new creation is brought into being by the Holy Ghost, and all that we were is cut off from the new. There is nothing of this human nature in the new creation. The new man was born delivered. Christ in us is something other than ourselves. That is what makes us heavenly. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Only that which is of Christ will inherit that kingdom. We must ever make a difference between what is of Christ and what is of ourselves. All that enters the kingdom must go through the test of death. All that is subject to death will die, and this old creation is nothing but that. Christ is not subject to death. This, then, is our only hope of glory; "...Christ in you, the hope of glory..." (Colossians 1:27).

-B.H. Clendennen

Ron Halverson

 2009/3/22 16:19Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1099
Germany NRW

 Re: The Church - Instrument of The Eternal Purpose

What a wonderful insight into the mystery of the new birth. He expounds it far beyond the realm of our personal salvation.

 2009/3/22 19:56Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3546

 Re: The Church - Instrument of The Eternal Purpose

I heard a teaching by T. Austin Sparks that lays out the same similarities to the Word becoming flesh and the new birth. Thank you for posting this teaching.



 2009/3/22 21:25Profile

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