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In His Image
"And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:8-11
A Sermon By Dr Charles S. Price
| We HAVE often looked upon the life of Jesus and, perchance, have viewed it as one
having great authority and liberty. This is only partially true. As our look lingers upon
that wonderful Person of the Christ, we see that the Son of God was found in the FASHION
of a man. He was, in truth, as the original Scriptures portray Him, "WHO BEING AN
EFFULGENCE OF THE GLORY AND AN EXACT IMPRESS OF THE SUBSTANCE.. " He was "AN
EXACT IMPRESS OF THE SUBSTANCE" the substance of God Himself! (Hebrews 1:3 Emphatic
We may view the channels through which Deity in the flesh was privileged to operate and we see that, in no instance, did He choose His own choice! Persistently, and determinedly, He turned His back on all suggestions that He should rule the world though His own choice and through a "deal" with satanic powers. HE WAS ABLE ONLY TO RULE THROUGH HIS DEATH! He was content not in "something like Himself" as was Adam. Even gazing into the sweet face of His Mother did not change His course. He turned away and chose GOD'S CHOICE.
At an early age, He declared with Divine authority that it was necessary for Him to be about HIS FATHER'S BUSINESS. He was never content in mingling with the thoughts and opiniations of men of the earth-form. His was the SINGLE EYE, knowing no choice other than that to which He had steadfastly set His mark, that He might have this testimony, THAT IN ALL THINGS HE PLEASED THE FATHER!
How different, by contrast, do we see the choice made by our fore-parents in the Garden. Our Lord Jesus Christ chose only GOD'S CHOICE; Adam chose his own choice. While the Christ was the EXPRESS IMAGE of God Himself in flesh - Adam was created in the image and likeness. From the single eye, and union and communion with the Father, he deviated from the path and pattern, choosing the tree of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. It was not all evil; in fact it was good as well! But it was DUAL and not SINGLE! Originally all was GOOD! After the Fall and separation from the Divine choice, there was GOOD AND EVIL ___a duality; a mixture. There was also the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden! Both trees stand today in the Garden of God as mankind walks in the cool of the evening: the tree of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL (duality of choice and purpose) and the tree of LIFE (union with the Divine). The Beloved Son knew only one choice; the Will of the Father. Our fore- parents departed into the land of wandering, having chosen their own choice, knowing both good and evil. When we begin to have the wandering eye looking back to yesteryear and its privileges, we find separation from that SINGLE EYE and we as they of old, deviate from that God- directed way. Sometimes, we wonder at the severe judgment that befell Lot's wife, as she looked back to Sodom after God had commanded and prepared the flight of deliverance for her. It seemed a very little thing for her to look back where once she dwelled in the permissible Will of God. However, now GOD HAD CALLED HER TO THE MOUNTAIN WHERE SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE TO SOJOURN TO THAT LONELY, HIGH SPOT IN GOD!
The Upward Look
We have wondered, too, why the messages flowing at this hour seem to be so singularly straight for our feet; but we are again reminded that THERE IS DEATH FOR THE LOOK BACKWARD, just as there is LIFE for the UPWARD LOOK! God has called us to the SINGLE EYE. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, WITH WHOM IS NO VARIABLENESS, NEITHER SHADOW OF TURNING." James 1:17 With Him there is not the muddy vision of the eating of the tree of good and evil but He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity! Union with Him brings the single eye and the clear sight of partaking of the TREE OF LIFE! Our Lord Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God SLAIN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. He was slain POSITIONALLY before His first advent but He was ACTUALLY to become the Word made flesh and dwell among us. He was IN VERY FACT AND EXPERIENCE to bear the trinity of temptation as to the ultimate force that would rule the life that the Father had given Him for His journey in the earth. He was in REALITY to be slain upon Calvary's tree to bear the sins of the world! Why is God calling to such a narrow, close walk in this hour? Can anything but a COMPLETE AND PERFECT SURRENDER satisfy the longing of the Father's heart, the One that knows no variableness neither shadow of turning? There is ever that possibility of choosing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil rather than the TREE OF LIFE in which there is no choice but HIS CHOICE. We are CHOSEN IN THE BELOVED! Sealed unto the Day of Redemption! Called from our pilgrim journey to enjoy that security in the Rock Christ Jesus, knowing that in Him dwells no sin at all. In Him is access to the Father! In Him we are made ONE WITH THE FATHER! We may have been content in seeing Adam made after the image of God and we may have thought that would be good enough for us that we, too, be made in the image and likeness of God. We may have called ourselves, "God's perfect child"; but, alas, even in such an image lies the power of volition and choice, outside of Christ. We are safe only IN HIS COMPLETENESS, choosing rather God's choice, as Moses "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith, he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE!" Heb. 11:25-27
In the Scriptures we read, "I am crucified with Christ: NEVERTHELESS I LIVE; yet NOT I BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20 It is the CHRIST- LIFE we now live, plainly showing, positionally, our standing in Him. We are complete in Him. We have been called from the foundation of the world to stand complete in Him. Many are called, the Lord spoke to us at one time, "BUT FEW QUALIFY!" Such qualification for being chosen is that choice offered to Jesus of choosing God's choice rather than the choice of the earthly life; to choose that life of power and direction of the Father rather than be the "popular Saviour" such as was offered Him in ruling the kingdoms of this world and the ability to make stones into bread. Though the offer was of such magnitude, our Lord kept His eyes steadfastly fixed, and His face "set toward Jerusalem" and Golgotha! Though He was crucified from the foundation of the world, he went forth in the will of His Father to His place upon the Cross of Calvary! How it must have gladdened His heart when, at the consummation of His earthly pilgrimage, He heard the Voice of the Father, "This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased."
It has not been the sovereign will of God that any of us poor mortals be found with the same sinless frame of our Christ and, yet, our completeness is in Him! How truly dead should we recognize our earthly choice apart from His choice being wrought in us! We have been privileged, many of us, to feel that glorious union and hear that sweet communion in the inner chapel of our heart, after we have been stilled by the Spirit of the Living God, and after the earth sounds have faded away. What joy and rejoicing at His having passed beyond the vale of tears and into the Glory of the Father! We have experienced, in part, that wonder of being seated with Him in those heavenly places, far above all principality and power. We have known, as it were, the joy and victory before the consummation of the battle!
0, beloved, let us not seek out the paths of our own choosing! Men of state and men of authority in the world spend nights in conference. Would to God they knew the Some one to whom they could go for counsel! And yet these promises are for us - God's simple children - for they are YEA AND AMEN IN CHRIST! There are those who, once and for all, will lay all their life's pattern at His feet, knowing He has finished it! The work is done; the victory won; and now we may rest in His triumph! How dare we utter such words in such a time of trouble as now faces the world . . . "there remains there fore a REST.. ." Such rest may not be in circumstances or in temporal surroundings but a REST IN GOD. After our day of labor is over, and we rest in His finished work, we find that earth's day of toil for us is, in truth, passed. We begin to know that Rest which was consummated by the Father's "Well Done!" after Salvation for human souls was completed. Yes, enter into the joy of thy Lord! There is great peace for those who love His law and nothing nothing nothing shall offend them! 0, let us keep that single eye upon Him who has said, "I will guide thee with Mine eye, and receive you in Glory!"
While we are walking this human vale, we hear much of the brother hood of man and it is now brought to world-wide attention in "Brotherhood Week" in which the world is trying to unite black, yellow, red and white. Yet how can blind men see what color each may be? God would have us know man not after the flesh but after the Spirit. How can we commemorate "Brotherhood Week" when we are so "weak" in the Spirit that we cannot discern between our right hand and our left! Our God would have us live in that communion with Him that we could say, with the Son, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, THE SAME IS MY BROTHER, AND SISTER, AND MOTHER." Matt. 12:48-50
If we keep that SINGLE EYE, though we be in swaddling clothes or beyond that in our union with Him, we may know that glory of being in the Hallelujah Chorus such as the souls are privileged to enjoy who sit in those heavenly places enjoying completeness in Christ! What a Saviour! He has accomplished it all for us! 0, beloved, who is sufficient for this hour when nothing will satisfy the demands of our Father nothing but completeness in the Son, made in that EXPRESS IMAGE of the God head bodily! We are now members of that glorious Body, standing in our union with the Father and Son and we can enjoy that knowledge which is ours, above the dickering of human contentions; above the earth where the battle is raging. Only with our eyes shall we behold the reward of the wicked! For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it! We are confident that the BATTLE IS THE LORD'S. And so shall we ever be WITH THE LORD! Upward and outward we go in the flight of the Spirit until as our blessed Lord, it seems a cloud will receive us out of sight even the cloud of the Shekinah Glory! How wonderful is our God! We are feasting with our King!
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Thursday March 03, 2011 05:05 PM -0500