Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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God has manifested His light to man

"But God, in the revelation of His light, has surpassed all His works of creation and wonders of providence, and even of His word, in THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. The Son of God is the great revelation of God's light. In Him God appears not in profile or in dim twilight, but in express image and in full-orbed light, softened, indeed, and toned to our visual organs, for no man can see God and live, seeing that He dwells in light which no man has seen or can see; yet so full, clear, and resplendent as to be "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person." Herein our God is light. Christ is the "Sun of Righteousness," and every truth He revealed, and every promise He spoke, and every invitation He issued, was a radiant beam flowing from God through Christ His Incarnate Son.

How fully does this statement accord with the Old Testament Scriptures of truth. The prophet Isaiah calls the Savior a "Great Light," the "Light of Jehovah," the "Light of the Gentiles." With this perfectly agrees the teaching of the New Testament. John, Christ's forerunner, styles Him the "True Light." It is true, Christ testifies of John that he was a "burning and a shining light"- a lamp, a candle, as the original expresses it, but his light was kindled by Christ, the true Light. Our Lord's own declarations on this point are decisive. He speaks of Himself as the "Light of the world," and as the "Light of life." This He is, as He represents and reveals the Father. God is light, but because He is essential light, no created eye could look upon Him. But God, in the fullness of His benevolence, would so unveil and manifest Himself to the eyes of His own created intelligences, angels and men, as should permit them to gaze upon Him and live.

The mode was in all respects worthy of Himself; it was such a mode as could only find its conception in a Divine mind. And what was the mode thus conceived and adopted? "Let us go even to Bethlehem, and see this thing, which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us." What thing? The most marvelous, unheard of, and glorious the universe ever beheld- the Incarnation of the Son of God, "God manifest in the flesh."

Here is the mode by which God has manifested His light to man. We go to Bethlehem, and we behold in Christ "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person." "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has ''shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Thus, Christ is the light, or revelation, of God. Hence He said to the inquiring disciple, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." Behold how God has subdued, and softened, and toned down the splendor of His essential person to the gaze of mortal man! True, in gazing upon Christ, we gaze but upon the rays of the Divine Sun; nevertheless, we accept the invitation, "Look unto Me, all you ends of the earth, and be you saved; for I am God, and there is none else;" and in so looking in simple faith, we are saved. We look upon God, revealed to us in the Son of His love, reconciled, pacified towards us, and behold, we live!

We learn from this subject the NECESSITY AND IMPORTANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'S ILLUMINATION. If, as we have endeavored to show, we only really see God's light as it is revealed in Christ, it follows as a truth equally conclusive, that we only truly know Christ as He is made known to us by the Spirit. Veiled and subdued as the glory of Christ is, it is yet too pure and resplendent for the visual intellect of man, unillumined by the Spirit. The natural man sees no glory or beauty in Christ. He is as a "root out of the dry ground, having no form nor loveliness." How truly is this confirmed by God's Word! "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Behold, then, the essential importance of praying to the Holy Spirit for His Divine illumination.

If it is the office of Jesus to lead us to the Father, it is equally the office of the Spirit to lead us to Jesus. We only spiritually and savingly know the Father through the Son, and the Son by the Spirit. And thus we learn the existence and necessity of the Trinity in the economy of grace. No system of theology is complete, and no hope of salvation is sure, that excludes this essential doctrine of the Christian faith. If its existence is essential to God's plan of mercy, and its belief is absolutely necessary to salvation, then, if it be ignored and rejected, we ask, By what other means can the rejecter possibly be saved? To illustrate this statement: if, as a drowning man, I thrust from me the plank that would have floated me in safety to the shore– or, if resolved to reach it by some expedient of my own, I persistently refuse to enter the life-boat launched for my rescue, it follows that I must inevitably perish, and most righteous and deserved will be my doom.

There is but one divinely-revealed way of salvation– faith in Jesus. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." Jesus has said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." If, then, I walk not in Christ the Way, believe not in Christ the Truth, and accept not Christ the Life– in other words, if I deny His Person, ignore Atonement, reject His offered salvation- I must inevitably perish in my sins, and every perfection of God will approve and countersign my fearful yet most righteous, condemnation.

Betake yourself, then, in prayer to the Holy Spirit, earnestly imploring Him so to enlighten your understanding, and to convince your heart of sin, and to renew you in the spirit of your mind, that you may henceforth walk in the light of the Lord. Remember God's order: Christ leads you to the Father, and the Holy Spirit leads you to Christ."

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