What We Have Come To (continued)
And you know, that covenant is the tremendous thing even with Israel. In the prophecies of Jeremiah a very, very strong way is taken of indicating what His covenant was with Israel, He said, 'Look at the stars, look at the moon, if you can, if you can cause to cease the ordinances of the heavens, the sun, the moon, and the stars, then My covenant will cease with Israel. It shall be as long as the sun, the moon, and the stars' (Jeremiah 31:35, 36).
Well, what are you going to do about that? But even so, even so, it is not like the covenant made in the blood of Jesus Christ with you and with me, this is an eternal covenant of another order. I cannot state, even if I were able to explain that, all I am trying to say is that here is something tremendous that she had come into - into an elect people and into the place of God's covenant. And that is all in the direction of this constraint of God's Spirit, if it is upon you. And dear friends, those of us who have come in response, this is what we have come into. It is something very great.
Going further in this letter from which I have read, this people is not only an elect people, and the covenant people of God, it is a people called with a great vocation. There are people here who know this letter to the Ephesians, know what I am talking about here, that it is made known, that this people stands in relation to God for a very great purpose, a great vocation, a heavenly vocation. I have often put it here that when we really come to the Lord Jesus, one of our first senses is that we have come into the very purpose for which we have a being, a sense that now there is a purpose in life. Whereas that was not so before in this way, now we know that there is a purpose in life. But oh, what is it? What is this tremendous vocation with which the Church is called? The apostle here says, "Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called" - a great vocation! (Ephesians 4:1).
Now in the case of Israel, among whom Ruth came, of which she became a part, well Israel was raised up to be a nation by which God should be made known to all the nations, what kind of God He is: 'a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and plenteous in lovingkindness" (Psa. 103:8). What kind of God He was, he raised them up as a nation for that vocation. But here this people, this people to whom you are being urged, and of which we are a little part, are called with a great heavenly vocation, not an earthly one, an eternal one, not a temporal one, to serve the purposes of God in this universe, as this letter has it, "unto the age of the ages" (Ephesians 3:21). How little Ruth suspected all this, in that day when she said, "I will."
And you are going, dear friend, when you respond to the constraints of God's Spirit, to find that right on to the end of your life, no matter how long you live, that it is one continuous discovery of how much there is in Christ, to Whom you have come. That is how it should be and that is how it can be. "A people which thou knewest not heretofore."
(continued with # 41)