A Concrete Reality

 

Unless God has become a concrete reality in Jesus Christ, He has no meaning for us at all. Jesus nowhere said, “He that hath seen man hath seen the Father”: He emphatically states that He is the only medium God has for revealing Himself. The trend of thought at the heart of all the modern ethical movements is based on the idea that God and Humanity are one and the same. Jesus nowhere taught that God was in man, but He did teach that God was manifest in human flesh in His Person that He might become the generating centre for the same thing in every human being, and the place of His travail pangs is Bethlehem, Calvary, and the Resurrection.

“I and My Father are one.” Do we accept Jesus Christ’s thinking about Himself? According to His own thinking He was equal with God, and He became Incarnate for the great purpose of lifting the human race back into communion with God, not because of their aspirations, but because of the sheer omnipotence of God through the Atonement. The life of Jesus Christ is made ours not by imitation, but by means of His death on Calvary and by our reception of His Spirit. Our Lord’s marvellous message for all time is the familiar one: “Come unto Me, … and I will give you rest.”

“The wayfaring men, yea fools, shall not err therein” (rv). When a man does err in the way of God, it is because he is wise in his own conceits. When the facts of life have humbled us, when introspection has stripped us of our own miserable self-interest and we receive a startling diagnosis of ourselves by the Holy Spirit, we are by that painful experience brought to the place where we can hear the marvellous message—profounder than the profoundest philosophies earth ever wove, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Until this experience comes men may patronise Jesus Christ, but they do not come to Him for salvation. The only solution is the one given by Jesus Christ Himself to a good upright man of His day: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”[1]


[1] Oswald Chambers, Biblical Ethics (Hants UK: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1947).

 

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