|He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear|
That We Might Know Him
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God." I Corinthians 2:12
A Sermon By Dr Charles S. Price
| IF there is one thing the Bible teaches, without any evasion or
ambiguity whatsoever, it is the glorious truth that we can commune directly with God.
Perhaps herein I have implied that some things are ambiguous. I intended that you should
draw such inference, for one cannot read the Word of the Lord without becoming convinced
of that truth. There are certain things about which the most sincere and deeply spiritual
Biblical scholars disagree. There are other things that are put in language so clear and
so plain that we would have to distort the Scriptures and thwart the purpose of the Holy
Spirit were we to place on them any other interpretation than the one which is directly
The fact of the possibility of the communion of man with God is-not only stated by the apostle Paul, but were you to take away the possibility, then the whole of the Pauline Epistles would collapse and be robbed of their meaning. What a glorious thing it is that you and I, poor mortals, should be able, not only to come into the Presence of the Lord, but actually to talk with Him. We can hear the things He has to say and, in the light which streams from the Throne divine, we can see things which the human mind and heart can receive in no other way.
There is a tremendous antagonism between the spirit of the world and the Spirit of the Lord! The minute one begins to talk about "divine revelation" or begins to affirm that the Lord said this" or led us to "do that," immediately, the wisdom of man rises up in its antagonistic incredulity and declares such things are impossible. In the second chapter of Paul's Epistle to the church at Corinth, this antagonism between the Spirit of the Lord and the spirit of the world is very clearly revealed.
True wisdom is not based so much on how' much a man knows, as it is on what he knows! I know a lot of wise men who are very foolish and ignorant, in spite of their asserted wisdom. One of the difficulties with the human race is that it has ever sought knowledge without seeking counsel of the Lord. The fall of man came because our forefathers sought knowledge apart and separate from God. They wanted to eat from the tree of knowledge; and, because of their desire to understand knowledge apart from God, the whole creation was plunged into the gloom of the Fall and the darkness of despair.
All heathenism had its origin in the desire of men to know apart
from God. Refusing to accept the wisdom which came from above, they fashioned gods of
their own creation who represented human desires and fulfilled human purposes. It was in
knowledge that the Greeks sought their glory; and, disdaining the wisdom which comes from
heaven, they followed after human philosophies, most of which were formed after the
fashion of human understanding and apart from the revelation of the Lord.
Yet, when Jesus came, He Who is the Wisdom of God, He Who is the Word of God made flesh both Jew and Gentile combined their forces to reject Him and to repudiate the idea of a supernatural revelation. In the natural man, we find not only the heart alienated from God, but the mind is also darkened. Jesus was not only the Revelator of God, but He is the One - the Only One - through Whom human communion is possible with the Divine Father; and it is impossible to understand the Lord, or to know Him aright, unless the darkened mind be illumined by a direct act of the Light of the world Himself!
Just think of it, my friends! Is it not the marvel of marvels and
the wonders of wonders that we humans can come into the Eternal Presence and commune with
God even as a child communes with its earthly father? We can carry on a spiritual
conversation which will lift us above every doubt and fear and place us in the realms that
are so far above the world that the difficulties and troubles which beset worldly people
lose their power over heart and mind and life. This is not an
Paul was not the "discoverer" of this great, spiritual reality, but he was a participant! Jesus Himself told us of the glorious possibility of heart communion with God, and Paul walked right into the heart of the experience without any equivocation or any doubt or fear whatever. In his marvelous conversion, in the dirt and dust of the Damascus Road, he talked to God and God talked to him. From that time on, the whole question was settled and he accepted it as a matter of fact.
Were he living in these terrible days of unbelief and apostasy, I presume he would marvel at the multitudes who belong to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and who profess His Name but who repudiate the possibility of this glorious privilege and heap ridicule upon the people who profess that they hear the Father's voice.
The colossal failure of the world in this present evil day is to be attributed to the trust of man in his own righteousness and his reliance upon his own wisdom. What a mess he has made of things! To what abysmal depths he has sunk as he has attempted to establish a government in which God is put on the coin, but seldom found in the heart. How tragic it is for us to know that in spite of the river of tears and the Niagara of sorrows and of heartaches, mankind still insists on trusting in its own wisdom, and leaning upon its own righteousness. "Why not go to God," thunders Paul, "Why not go for wisdom to the Throne of In finite Wisdom; and why not trust for righteousness and salvation in the merits of the Saviour!"
In the letter to the Corinthian church, Paul deals with the
futility of man's wisdom; and in his letter to the Romans, he upsets the generally
accepted belief in the efficacy of man's own righteousness. However, the iniquities of man
have never been able to rob the saint of God of his glorious privilege!
If you lack wisdom, you can ask of God and He will impart that
wisdom to you who have ears to hear, but when the noise, the din and the hubbub of a
war-torn world is sounding in our ears and we hear nothing but human philosophies with no
time to listen to other than platitudes of human wisdom, how can we catch the whisper of
the Voice Divine? Mankind has ever been like that. We will listen to the voices from
beneath Dumbarton Oaks and forget the Voice that cried beneath the trees of Beth- page! We
try to manufacture peace around a peace-table, for getting meanwhile that the Prince of
Peace has been appointed by the Creator of the whole Universe and we can but pray that the
Day is not far away when we shall reign with Him in righteousness and equity over a world
at last at peace.
Until Shiloh Come
Until the coming of Jesus, the whole truth of God was a hidden mystery. That being so, then only a spiritual revelation can bring to light the spiritual mystery! No wonder Paul said that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. How do you think that you can know them? Merely by a study of the Bible? I am not deprecating that, for I believe we should give a lot of time and attention to the old Book; but even in that regard I cannot forget that our Lord Himself said, "Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have Eternal Life and they are they which testify of Me, and you will not come to me that you might have Life."
We must of necessity have a divine revelation. I preached from
the Old Book for fifteen years but never knew Christ as I know Him today. I passed
examinations. I studied under competent teachers. I listened to the greatest of the great
and assimilated all of human wisdom that my mind could apprehend and my reason could
grasp; but the greatest day of my life was when I made the discovery that these things are
not primarily apprehended by the application of one's mind and brain to study. Rather do
they come like a flood light of glory, even as the sun bursts over the Eastern horizon and
reveals the beauty of a world which has been shrouded in darkness. You will have to make
that discovery, my friend, and until you do, you are missing so much of the joy and of the
glory of Christian experience.
Not so very long ago I was taken to task by a woman who thought that I was casting aspersions upon the Word of the Lord by my declaration that one needed more than Bible study to know God. The old Jews prided themselves on their attachment to the Word and more than one of them could have looked into the eyes of Jesus and said, "All these things have I kept from my youth up . . ." More than one of them could have been like Paul, the strictest of the sect of the Pharisees, living up to the letter of the law, and yet how much they missed.
The letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. I will even go so
far as to say that the letter itself is dead
The Christ of Calvary not only atoned for your sin, my friend, but He is the Door through which you may enter the most beautiful Garden your spiritual eyes have ever beheld a place of communion with the Father! There God talks with you and you talk with God!
We need another Reformation! The marvelous revelation which came to Martin Luther, as he climbed St. Peter's steps of yore, rang around the world and is generally accepted today by our Protestant churches. Fundamentally, it was the gospel of the insufficiency of man's righteousness. It was the glory of the story that "the just shall live by faith!" Our salvation has been taken out of the realm of conduct and placed where it belongs on the Cross of Calvary!
In the days of the Reformation. Christendom began to accept, as a
general rule, the insufficiency of man's
The doorway through which the Church went to the Philadelphia era
was the door of "the acknowledgment of the righteousness of Jesus Christ."
People were willing to put all of their hope of salvation and their faith in God on the
atoning work of Jesus on Calvary's Cross; but when that same Church came to the place
where it was called upon to surrender its own wisdom and look to the Lord for the wisdom
which comes from above, it was not willing to do so,
As for me, the thought of losing this privilege of communing with
God is anathema to my soul! It is far more than formal prayer. It is more than the
establishment of a ritualistic family altar. This is more than devoting a certain hour in
the day to the duty of "waiting upon the Lord." It is a stream which flows from
the throne divine. This is a walk of fellowship; travelling along spiritually adventurous
highways into realms of glory and
There can be no other way, for this is God's way! Regardless of the difficulties, the cares and the sorrows, no matter how complex the problems and how difficult the questions, the Spirit will reveal the Way; and the wisdom of God will be given, as the Lord reveals Himself unto you.
Wisdom from above is the need of the hour! It is in truth the message for this day. That is what Paul meant when he said he was not preaching with man's wisdom. No wonder he came to them in fear and in trembling lest his super-education get in the way of the revelation of the Holy Spirit. When one's journey toward God is motivated alone by the wisdom of man, his experience is dependent entirely upon that limited source. How ever, when one is enlightened by the wisdom which comes down from above and receives an experience in conversion as the result of a divine illumination, that glorious experience is not only perpetuated but grows in the light that streams from the throne of God.
A very despondent lady came to me just a few days ago, in the midst of her bewilderment and perplexity, asking for advice. Regretfully she said "I have been here, there, and everywhere in my search for help, and one of my friends advised me to come to you." I told her frankly that I could not help her; that there was not a man on the face of the earth who could! However, I must testify that she went from the house happier than she had been in all her life before. She was as free in her spirit as a bird on the wing! It was not I who helped her other than to the place where help can be found!
There was not a single fault to find with what she believed; but as we talked, the Spirit revealed to my heart the condition of her mind and experience and so I interrupted her and said, "That is your trouble, my sister, you have been a believer, but not a receiver!" Then I told her of the fullness of God and we walked with Paul through those superlative description adjectives in which he emphasizes the all-sufficiency more than enough; to meet every need of body, of soul, and of spirit. As I led her into the Presence Divine and bade her "Take take take; take and take," like a flower opening its petals to receive the kiss of the morning sun, she then commenced to drink in the fullness of the Presence divine! Therein is the victory of the Christian! That is the answer to your question. It is the solution to your problems and is your sanctification. There is wisdom all you need for Christ is all and in all! Oh that we might see and know experimentally that when Jesus died to become the Saviour, He became our Elder Brother, and we are members of God's family. Should we not, therefore, walk and talk, think and act as beloved children of our Heavenly Father!
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