It Is An Understanding of What We Have Come Into When We Have Come Into Christ
Before we come to our message this evening, I want to say one or two preliminary things. I am quite alive to the fact that even in a small company like this, a very wide range of spiritual experience and history is covered. On the one hand, there are quite a number who only recently have come to the Lord, and who have not, as yet, a very full knowledge of the Lord's things or perhaps even of the Bible itself. And from that early point right onward, at various times, we might almost say numerous stages of the Christian life, this company is found to a fairly mature and rich knowledge of the things of God. This all constitutes, of course, some difficulty for a speaker and necessity of trusting the Lord really that no one shall be left out.
But let me just say this word or two of a general character to indicate exactly what it is we have as our object at this time. I think I could cover it all by putting it this way: it is an understanding of what we have come into when we have come into Christ, or when we have become Christians, what we have come into. And for those who are well in, what it is we are really in. We shall never come to the point where we do not need to have that kept before us - exactly what it is that we are in.
Now the beginners may have very little knowledge of what they have come into, but I think some people who are very far on sometimes do not know exactly what they are in or what it is all about. And it will always be helpful if we can have it shown to us, at any time, what we are in.
Now as to our method, we want on the one hand, to be helpful in the matter of knowing the Bible. it is a most important thing that we know the Bible. We shall never know it fully, however long we life. But to have a knowledge of it, and an ever-growing knowledge of it, is a most important thing for Christians. And so we do proceed along this line, with the idea of helping everyone to know what is in the Bible, and what it is all about: A very big undertaking.
On the other hand, it is not just to know the Bible, which we all need to know it better, it is that we shall get the message for our own lives; that the Bible shall speak to us personally in a spiritual way, that it reaches further down than our heads and really get into our lives, interpreting God's ways with us, God's dealings with us, with a view to bringing us where God wants us to be. And then, you will not be able to grasp all that is set forward. I am quite sure that already you will feel helpless in the presence of what is in front of you, and I also feel helpless about it. But what we shall aim at mainly and shall be satisfied with very largely, is that we get an overall impression, an overall impression of what God is after, not necessarily being able to understand or explain everything, but getting an impression. If we can only go away from these gatherings really impressed with what God is after, that will justify our being here.
Now, having said that, just a word about what is on the chart in front of you. It is possible that you will not even be able to read it from every point where you are. But let me say this: that it is not my thoughts or intention to work through that outline point by point, detail by detail. It is put there as something comprehensive in which we shall work to get its message.
(continued with # 8)
[the chart will come tomorrow - as well as I can type it]