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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Faith Unto Enlargement Through Adversity # 24

Faith in Relation to Life (continued)

The Evidence of God Is Life (continued)

We will now take a look at what we will call some of the "evidences of God." Let us say at once that the inclusive evidence of God is just life. The evidence of God - the proof, the testimony to God, and the testimony to what is of God - is life. Let us go back to that original criterion in the symbolism of the beginning: the tree of life. It is perfectly clear that that tree of life, and what it represented and symbolized, held the whole issue of whether God was going to continue with man or not, whether man was going to continue with God or not, whether their relationship was going to remain intact. The "evidence" of God was centered there.

Now that tree evidently represented another and different life from what man already possessed. God had brought in the living things. The waters swarmed with living creatures; the air swarmed with the living fowl; the earth was full of living creatures and living vegetation. Then man had been created, into his nostrils then had been breathed the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7), and he had become an animate being. He had what we all have by nature - this natural life. It was after the imparting of that kind of life, and man becoming a living soul, that God pointed to the tree of life, and made that issue of life and death. It was not the life that was in man that was the issue of life and death, because man did not forfeit that life which was in him when he disobeyed. The tree evidently represented and symbolized another life than that which God had already breathed into him - a different life altogether.

Divine Life Forfeited

 Death, therefore, came to mean two things. In the first place, it came to mean a change in man as he was. Although he would continue as an animate being over a tenure of years, a change took place in him. We will not stay to analyze that change, but by disobedience he became different even in his own natural being. Secondly, he forfeited his right to this other and extra and really true life, as represented by the tree. he never inherited that, he never possessed that. It throws a little light upon John's words about the Lord Jesus, that "to as many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). You see the whole question of faith coming in relation to the right. It is the right, in other words, to this other, Divine Life, which is through being begotten of God. The right to that life was forfeited by Adam through disobedience, or un-faith. The right to that life is restored through faith in the Lord Jesus.

Now satan said, "Hath God said, Thou shalt surely die? Thou shalt not surely die!" What a categorical statement! Now note: Adam apart from his known rupture in fellowship with God through his disobedience because of unbelief, probably was not conscious of what had happened. True, a frown and a shadow came over the face of God; there was no longer the light and the clearness of fellowship; but man went on living. He did not there and then fall dead and perish. He went on living quite a long time, when on growing, developing, enlarging. When you see the tremendous enlargement after its kind that came from that man - his children, family, tribe, race - it looks very much as though the devil was right. "Thou shalt not surely die." God was wrong, the devil was right. [oh, what a good lier satan is! Oh! how easy it is to be caught in his lies!]

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 25 - (The Delusion of a False Life)

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