Sunday, 10 January 2010

LUKE (Chapter 3) - Wanting to live in a continuing disposition of repentance


The active effect of the Word unto repentance.
In this chapter we will study the Word of repentance active in us. We have looked at it in its "before-state"; we have studied it in its birth, and now in its active working in the life of the person who is willing to open up to this purifying and justifying power which is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The power of repentance must first of all be active in our personal life, and then also in the Church for it to be effective outside; for it to bring this word of repentance to outsiders.

It goes without saying that there has to be an interaction: We must be willing to repent, to accept Him as the Prince of our further life; We must be willing to conform to the word of repentance; We must be willing to turn our back to the powers of sin; We must be willing to resist the urge of worldly lusts in our flesh and the worldly standards and requirements; We must now turn more to God and His Word; We must now ask: "Lord, what are your standards, what do you want me to do?" Then He will give us the strength to actual repentance which is in Jesus Christ.

This word is directed to all, but in particular to the young people of these last days wherein satan works in an extraordinary measure. In our days the (strong) inclination is seen to shake off standards of life, while these standards have mostly come from the Holy Scriptures. One regards as hypocrisy the keeping of these standards. One wants "the truth", and in the case of sinful man: letting oneself go in sinful lusts and desires, while man should comply to the will of his Creator instead. Let us realize the situation, especially the young ones among us. It is only when man is willing to comply to God's standards, that God can give him what He wants to give him: strength to continue to choose His will, and above all a sharing of Himself!

Luke 3 verse 1-2: "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tuberous Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch (prince over one quarter of the Roman province of Palestine) of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness."

Here we get to know a working of the Word of God. Precisely determined, measured in time, the Word of God came to John. John had already been called by God, but... had not yet been sent out on an actual ministry. Now, at that exact point in time, the power of God's Word came over and in John, and took control of him, because he was a spiritual channel, which had been fully prepared to receive this divine Word; to be taken over by this Word. John then became the personification of that "living word unto repentance!" Glory to God! And if this Word of repentance has completely "taken over", filled us completely; when we have become the personification of this Word, then, it is true, we have become insufferable for the world, but irresistible for those who are willing to repent. Then we will pull them out of the world's pool of sin, out of God's fiery judgment! To God be the glory!

Luke 3 verse 3-6: "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As is written in the book of the words of Esaias, the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God."

Here we see the divine working of the Word to repentance. Once it is in us, it is irresistible, and it does not need any propaganda. For this divine Word then is like a light in the darkness, as a fire which consumes the dry wood. The appearance of John, in the valley of the Jordan, worked like a bright flash of lightning in those areas. It was seen by everyone, everyone came to him; drawn as it were by a magnet.

No propaganda is necessary for the Spirit of God if He is active. A true Holy-Ghost revival was going on here, which was powerfully effective in that area. Without any "propaganda" the whole country knew John the Baptist in no time at all. So was the Lord Jesus Christ's action too. Therefore, beloved, if you want a Holy-Spirit revival, pray and beg for it, and be willing to be cleansed, sanctified and used by Him yourself. Seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and offer yourself to become His instrument; let Him be, and remain, your Master so that God's anointing work through you. Pray earnestly about this. It may cost you everything; you must dare to pay the price for it. Let God work, give Him a free hand and you will see that the anointing of God will make an instrument of you and me which will bring many out of this world unto voluntary repentance and subjection to God. Beloved, let us seek this, for the end-time (= the end of times or the last days) requires such laborers; laborers who allow God's anointing to work through them. Then you will see that, in a short time, the work will surpass that of many years. Be sanctified in Him that the anointing can work freely through you; that the anointing will not be hindered by our hobbies, pet subjects, habits (good and bad). If we then have allowed this Word of repentance to work in us, we will see that God's power in us, as an introduction to His full grace, will prepare the way hereto: namely to the union with His anointing, with the full Word of God, with the living God Himself, Who is a consuming Fire, but also an enchanting Love-fire. Then all valleys – the sinful pits in our being – will be made smooth; all mountains and hills – all stubbornness and proud desires – will be made low by God's powerful and recreating Word. Then the crooked ways in our life will be made straight. Let Him do all this in your being; long for it. However strange this may sound, but in this light it is understandable: Long for the cross...; love your cross... Long for it, that all works of the flesh, which, naturally, are always sinful, be killed by the works of the Spirit (Romans 8:13); also praying for His strength to undergo all this. This "Way of sorrows", it is true, is a painful affair for our flesh, but He will be with us, and will make this sacrifice of our flesh a joyful, holy feast after our spirit. Remember, that the Israelites had to travel three days out of Egypt to offer the Lord a sacrificial feast there (Exodus 5:1-3). For us, too, this sacrifice of self will be a spiritual feast of joy and peace and justice in Christ Jesus!

So all flesh shall see "the salvation of God". If we are prepared to bring this sacrifice, then we will receive this promise we have read about in verse 6. All flesh that had "itself crucified" will see and taste the salvation, the glory of God. Let us be willing to be purified from al the old and sinful in us by the Word of repentance, so that we will be different people, NEW CREATIONS of God, new men, new women, Jesus-men and Jesus-women, who have truly and completely given up the old life, who have been found willing by God to pay this price. Glory to God!

CLICK HERE if you want to read this study (Chapter 3) – that is to long for the Blog – further.[1]

By E. van den Worm

[1] For Chapter 1 and 2, see our Blog at 10 November and 10 December 2009.