« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
portion in Christ in the heavenlies, will you suffer yourself to be deprived of the present enjoyment of them?
I would just ask you, in closing these remarks, to observe the seven mentions of walk in the Epistle to the Ephesians, and see how heavenly truth touches our walk, and all the relationships of life. (1.) “Ye walked according to the course of this world [or age],” &c. (Chap. ii. 2.) This is what characterised us in the past, when we were unsaved and earthly. (2.) "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (or marked out], that we should walk in them.” (Chap. ii. 10.) This is what is to (listinguish us that heavenly men. (3.) “I.... beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” (Chap. iv. 1.) The vocation is unfolded in the second chapter. (4.) “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk.” (Chap. iv. 17.)
o Be ye,
Their walk is to be our warning, and Christ's walk our pattern. Our blessed privilege is, henceforth to live not unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us, and rose again. (5.) therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us. ... (Chap. v. 1, 2.) Here the heavenly walk of tho heavenly Man is presented to us for our imitation. (6.) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord : walk as children of light.” (Chap. v. 8.) The grace of God, and redemption-work of Christ, have brought us into the light; and we are there, according to the nature of God. “God is light,” and “God is love." Light has opened the way into love, and love keeps us there; our walk now, is, to be according to God's manifestation of Himself in Christ as light and love. (7.) “See, then, that ye walk circumspectly.” (Chap. v. 15.) God describes the whole scope, or circle, of heavenly walk in these seven mentions of it.
Heavenly truth reaches down to the very dust of earth, and tells me how I am to walk upon it. It touches the tongues of the formerly untruthful, and says, “Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another.” It touches the hand of the one who used to live by thieving, and says,
“Let him that stole, steal no more ; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” It teaches the wife to submit, the husband to love, and the children and servants to obey. Oh, how holy and practical is heavenly truth! God give us a state that shall better answer to our standing--a condition that shall be a more truthful echo of our position. H. M. H.
THOUGHTS FOR THIS DAY :
CARE FOR THE CHURCH. In order to care for the church, we must first be in simple rest of heart in the Lord as to our own place with
Him. We can never understand what the church is to Him until we have learned individually the nature of His love to us and consequent interest
The order of growth to this is very interesting. We first know His love in dying for us, and then, like Jonathan, whose "soul was knit with the soul of David,” we are in heart bound to Him, for the great and eternal service which He has rendered to us by His death
Next, in all our trials and difficulties He is so necessary to us, and He becomes so endeared to us, that like Ruth, we can leave our natural place to follow Him to His place : we cannot live without Him. Then we are ready for the truth that we are united to Him, and entranced with it. Then at length we are fully settled, restful : all our own interests perfectly secured; and now communion is the crown of joy to our hearts.
Our union to Him would be only a title if we were not in communion with
Him to enjoy the reality and closeness of our alliance. In communion with Him we share in His interests, and are occupied with them as He pleases. It is only as we are in His secret, His
friends," that we can truly understand how to care for the church. We learn, as I have said, in our own individual experience, the nature and depth of His love and interest in the church, and then we find that His heart “doth safely trust” in us. We are called to share in His interest and care for the church according to the ability which
There is, I may say, preliminary to any right service, a measure of knowledge of two things, with regard to the church : one, as to what it is in the mind of God, and the other, what it is now in the hands of man. If we do not know what it is in the mind of God, and how it came forth from His hand, we of course cannot see how much it has suffered in the hands of man ;
and if we only see the church as it is in the mind of God, we are