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Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Cross and the Eternal Glory # 39

What We Have Come To (continued)

You could not have a better commentary, an exposition of the story of Ruth than that, true to the letter, "unto a people whom thou knewest not heretofore"; unto the people of the Lord, you, you now, the people of God. And when you come to look at that from which I have just read, that whole letter, you have some wonderful things said about this people of the Lord, not of the Old Testament, but now, to which the majority of us here tonight belong, who have our citizenship in heaven, who have been born from above, who do form for God His new nation, His new spiritual people. Wonderful things said: the first thing is that this people, is an elect people from all eternity.

Now Israel is a nation, was an elect nation. God chose Israel from among all the nations, He elected Israel. Ah, but the election of Israel is only, is only a shadow of this greater election of the Church. The election of Israel was a time matter after all, but here in this wonderful document from which I have just read, we are told that this people, to which you and I, and most of us here tonight belong, and to which the Spirit of God is urging everybody else to belong, this people has been chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). It is a wonderful thing to think that, that simple act upon an undefined and unexplained urge of the Spirit of God involved that you come afterward to see that your decision, as it is termed, as it is put, your decision, rather your response to this constraint, this constraint of the Spirit of God was involving you in something which God had already planned and marked out before ever this world was.

A wonderful thing, it is not just something of the moment of your lifetime,something in itself, you decide for Christ, you decide to give yourself to Christ, you decide to be a Christian, however you may put it. What you really decide to do is to fall right in with the eternal plan of God; and you do not know that when you make your decision any more than Ruth did. She made her decision simply because she found eventually, that she was right in and a part of a covenant people, an elect people, with whom in the next place, the covenant of God was the covenant of God.

You see, in my translation I did not read it as it is translated. The word "Lord" is "Jehovah." Jehovah every time, "Jehovah recompense thee... under Whose wings ..." The God, the Jehovah of Israel, and that Name is: The Name which implies and means the covenant God. It is the Name which has to do with man. When God created things: heaven and earth and these things, He was called by another name, "Elohim" creating things; but when it comes to dealing with man: His Name is changed, and He is called: "Jehovah," it means, "The covenant God." And she had come, not knowing it, right into the realm of the Divine covenant. God made a covenant.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 40)

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