W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for this Volume What is New
A Broad Man Still has Height and Depth
and Man has Height and Depth as well as Breadth:
Defiled without Deity,
Disentangled by Redemptive Design
Adventure into the realm of spirit,
scene, scenario and significance
THE SPIRIT OF MAN
Spurgeon once declared that he thought no man could say what spirit was, just what it was not. Yet it is not too hard if you follow the word of God, and consider empirically what man doesdoes (cf. SMR pp. 348ff., It Bubbles... Ch. 9, Life, What is it ?).
The body of man is clear, and its various integrated organ structures, such as liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, and their communicative and nurture devices, such as blood vessels, heart pump, nerve tissues and connections, and its DNA commands, all are not too difficult in principle to fathom.
The mind of man is not too appalling a topic to consider. Its power of analysis and observation, correlation and concatenation, its capacity to move into unseen premises and project, inspect and consider, is not a problem. To be sure, it is often subordinated to various lusts, whether spiritual, moral, physical, social or academic, in kind; but the presence of disease, although it may be personally distressing, is not a problem with the nature of mind as such.
The spirit of man is that invisible competency which surveys thought and realms, rule and dissidence, disposes love, hatred, acceptance and rejection, investigates ideas, ideals and truth, inspects motive and morals, ponders desire, scans ambition, estimates objectives, imagines possibilities, esteems certainties and moving through will, resolves issues which the mind and the body can then pick up, like the bill for a meal, and implement.
Again, it is of course true that the spirit of man may be pathologically oppressed, and one of its main depressions, obsession or concessions, is this, that it fails to recognise that it exists. It is precisely for this reason that much modern psychology is forever in the rumble of contention, error and failure; for it is difficult to amputate or for that matter, seek the cure of a leg if you do not believe it to be there, and it is not less so when you fail to know you have a spirit and try to correct its pathology.
It is by the spirit of man that morality is considered, systems are opted and indeed, MAY be opted, or declined; for it has this power in general, this being its field, not least. It can become obsessed, it is true, with hatred or prejudice, or inflamed with ideologies both obscure and ridiculous, and it appears empirically sound to say, that this pathological pittance which the spirits of many take instead of truth, is normal (cf. SMR Chs. 1,4, 5, 10). When pathology is normal, as if it were the case that most had lung cancer or syphilis, then obviously there is a problem for the race, which might destroy it. That is so here. However, destroyed or not, while it remains extant, the spirit of man is able to subject itself to folly no less than the body of those who break speed limits around dangerous corners, or fail to discipline their minds, and so become ignoramuses, liable to vulgar betrayals by rogues.
It is by the spirit of man that love is resolved, and pursued, or hatred, whether of persons or ideas, scenery or cultivations, landscapes or people. It is that invisible multi-functional entity in man by which he is distinguishable on the one hand from angels, which are not tied to an operating system for their support, in physical format, one which can be organically injured, and from beasts, which do not have this consciously resolving power of what is analytically presented and ideologically surveyed.
By the spirit of man, also, there is the approach to God. Man may become so resolved on his admittedly marvellous systematics, and integrated systems, both those of bodily parts and mental contrivances, and the spiritual liaison itself, in an integral whole of one total project type and facility, conceivable and indeed operable as a unit, that he forgets the necessity of logic. He may become nescient rather than merely forgetful in advanced cases, ignoring the aspect that their source must have all they have and more, or else their first of all material, and then, mental and then spiritual capacities would neither be nor be integrated, nor controllable nor subject to intelligible thought without residue.
In the arena of causation and origination, getting what lacks the power, a nothing to become something, a something to become something of a different order by no known power, and so on for the next is mere magic. Without from the first, all that is to be developed to the last, an adequate power, provenance and procedure, able to plan and to inspect, there could be nothing of this type at the end.
Figs do NOT, repeat not grow on thistles, and in the first place, ANY system needs its source and a system able to produce what it lacks in KIND and what is beyond it to the point of sharing some of its powers for constructing, is merely misnamed, for a system of matter is systematically limited, in a way that mind and spirit are not, and diverges in operation from both of these. Chance is merely the name for a lack of known purpose intrusive into or operative within a system, for without purpose there is no way to estimate the existence of possibilities or the presence of what is to be deemed able to happen, beyond the criteria apparent (cf. Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs. 9, 13). Systems are what they are, and the idea that they in some germinal way possess what they lack, is a prime example of begging the question.
Moreover, any thought that the intensely cumbersome and inordinately complex method of installing a power to invent subsequent systems, as an over-ride and burden on a given system behind a form of life, or that some body would be drawing the thing up from a sort of engineering-magnetism and programmatic telecast, is counter-productive and contra-evidential.
What IS this invisible force, drawing up ? It is of course able to comprehend, to telecast, to envisage and to have such enormous competence that it can both envisage and control the given systems of amazing complexity, by adjusting their internal systematics, and adding inventive advances, not jarring, but jiving, in sympathetic, empathetic correlation. THAT is of course merely increasing the requirements for the Creator, in a contra-evidential way, both as to the observable interstices of life, and the exhibits of INCREASED information in upward moving systems, which it NEVER has been seen to display. The program, the thrust, the action to creation is OVER. That is the empirical fact.
Invent for such a creation in its old age, a non-inventing inventor, or invent an overlay of coming design deliverances in a given design, in both cases contrary to all evidence, both as to result and as to existence indeed, and you merely wag an excited tail, like some hunting dog who desires NOTHING but to go, and that now, on the hunt. The thought of using verification for theories arising from observation, as in scientific method, is so far away that metaphysics must frown at the wholly anti-scientific approach, just as logic can only smile at such contrived oddities and empirical science wash its hands. Theologically, it simply requires the creation of this upward drawing thing as well. This time it is merely an atmospheric additive to what is to the point, a non-moving actuality!
Logically, it is to postulate contrary to evidence, what does not act, in order to explain why it does!
Thus in the March-May 2006 edition of CREATION, we find on the back page a reference to the thought of a Nobel laureate, Szent-Gyõrgi. On the topic of cleaner shrimp entering the mouths of carnivorous fish, such as the Oriental sweetlip and the coral rock cod, and proceeding unharmed to clean around tongue, gill chamber and teeth, he admits himself "unable to approach this problem" (that is, evidently, on naturalistic, reductionist grounds) "without supposing an innate drive in matter to perfect itself." That the need of the gorger, for the forager to help, could co-exist in a way which allows simultaneity of desire, design and consequence is beyond him. It is a kind of situational-irreducible complexity, indissoluble integrality and imaginative collation of designable components easy for design, abhorrent for technical contrivance and its allegedly slow devolvement into being.
It would form that process of illusion by which something is seen ‘easily’ to happen, perhaps by depiction of slow motion film of imagined action, but which lacks the causative components to make it to do. The film, moving slowly, deludes the uncritical mind into thinking that because it is slow, and each step is small, that the directedness required and the operational immediacy involved can be assumed. It is like making a packet. There is ‘nothing in it’ except of course imagination and intelligence. Paper does not act like that. It needs mind. Hunger does not in immediacy cease to eat what is in its mouth, nor does fear cease to move in fish not desiring to be eaten, nor does tolerance stretch for thoroughness, in a moment. That is magic, and Disneyesque and funny; not real or actual.
The imagined 'drives' are therefore on such a basis, simplistic for the matter in hand, and the imagined capacities ornate, and so the matter fails. It deserves to do so. It is not thus that life either is or proceeds, it being not of itself, but of what is adequate other than itself, like books from authors, machinery from man and thought from mind and effect from adequate causation. Neither does matter make mind nor mind spirit in theory, not in practice; nor can you assume the facilities of one in the other on your way ‘up’, without exposing your whole sham shame and shambles to its own intrinsic belaying of question begging binding, and waylaying of thought.
In fact , there is NO observable move of matter to perfect itself. Systems of matter do their thing, advance into the recesses of the system as its systematic nature, in ingredients, composition and capacity, stimulus internal and external allow. They do not invent other systems, because no part of their system is to be a system innovator. There is no evidence of this in STRUCTURE, or FUNCTION, or OPERATION. It is as invisible as spirit! It is as unorthodox in terms of scientific method to suppose what is empirically barren and systematically absurd, as to imagine that the spirit of man, which is manifest in boundless operations, does not exist. Matter shows no such glory, and systems do not leap to ascend to greater things that their interstices compose (cf. SMR p. 80).
It is to this sort of wayward hoax, alas played often not by the intent of the subject, but ON him, that makes evolutionary propaganda, the modern naturalistic idol, so ludicrous, so discredited and so defeated. Only magic remains. Logic is forgotten. They are foraging in the dust bin for the cause of the Rolls Royce. The dust-bin, the empty fronds of dissolute thought, is not where Rolls are made. It is rather where they end, when their parts are finally deprived of the form, features, purpose-driven integrality and multi-functional totality with which they were poured out from imagination into operation. This is the nature of system, its aetiology, its observable origin and end, its movement and its framework.
There is, then, something to consider, when we open our eyes and cease to be bewildered, fascinated, deluded or concussed by the remarkable creation that we are, and consider what we really do, and what to call what does this and that within us, instead of considering what things really do NOT do, and calling the absence by fancy names, although there is nothing to address for what does not in fact happen. There is a necessity for man to realise the operation of what is directing much of his work and way, rather than to ignore it. It is always dangerous to be culpably negligent about what is your own!
Man, then, in his spirit (you could call it his hou, if you wanted to, but spirit has the advantage of being known as to its signification) in addition to merely going along, as he might without it, has the power to SURVEY, as to outline a scheme or schema, both, and to see incisively what are the components, what the immediate totality and how one thing relating to another, leaves the totality in need of or liable to estimate as to its significance.
He also has the power of PERSPECTIVE. That his perspective may be wrong, is neither here nor there at this point, just as it is not to the point when discovering his MENTAL powers, to note that some of his sums are wrong. He has the CAPACITY to do them, and to correlate the results with care, remarkably, and meaningfully, and this is the current concern. He can see in what way things are laid out, in what format they have relationships and with what powers they are endued and what are the conditions of working, limits and liabilities. If this is not given without labour, it is still just as irrelevant to note this here, as to note that he cannot build a damn by waving a hand, but must work for it. The CAPACITY is the point. Its conditions of working represent a mere detail. It works meaningfully and effectively; and although it may be ludicrously misled, it may also be most brilliantly executed.
With this is the spirit's additional power of OVERVIEW. In this way, a series of systems, of ambiences, of sheerly diversified dynamics may be considered in their integral operational MEANING, so that trends and inputs can be discerned, and outcomes evaluated, relative to an arena of thought, and a ground of understanding.
Indeed, it is UNDERSTANDING itself that comes next into view. In this, it is not a mere matter of seeing systems and outcomes, inputs and outputs, of estimating causes and consequences, but of seeing what is the nature of the whole, which so operates, how one relates to it oneself, and to what beings, powers, dynamics, wisdoms and ways all this is to be conjoined, so that one sees at length, not merely the patchwork on the quilt, but the fact that the quilt acts as a cover for a bed on which a man lies, for example.
Naturally, as with all the other facilities of that great integrated series of capacities, partly operationally automatic, partly semi-automatic, and partly voluntary, there is scope for folly and for wisdom. With wisdom there is the lead to TRUTH. This is virtually universally ASSUMED. Those who say there is no God, are stating that this is true; agnostics are stating that it is true that He cannot be known or something of this kind; theists are stating that it is true that He is there; deists advise of his operational grandeur without knowing Him (per se), while declaratory theists state it to be true that God both is and has spoken to man.
The disentanglement of these contentions, like that of any other system of man's endeavours, means work and care. As with any other effort, there are good and worse results. When ALL criteria are satisfied, whether observational, of understanding, of implication, of verification and validity, of consistency and of cumulative consideration of consequences vis à vis actuality, where thought and deed conflux, then and then only may truth be said to be present. When the validity is confirmed in the case of what follows that reasoning ability which man uses in all his works and ways, including his discernments of the ways of the universe, by the presence of verification at the theistic level, and in terms of assignable and confirmatory declaration, then the matter is closed, as shown in SMR, and other groups of works, such as
The gods of naturalism have no go!
Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host,
Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation,
REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER,
The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy.
This at once resolves the amazing question: Why does man differ to the uttermost, sometimes in the most ludicrous passions, about his meaning, origin, destiny, morals and aims, not only as to what ought to be, but even about what is, and yet still cling to the idea of TRUTH, each telling it, as the deplorable idiom has it, 'like it is'!
The answer is simple when understanding arrives, and being duly validated in terms of truth, is pondered. SINCE man is ABLE to act, but prone to error, both voluntary and involuntary, both vicious and inauspicious, there is great facility for error. Since man has will, there is vast weight for passion. Put these together and you have the beginnings of the account of empirical history. When you have God as well, so that man for all his WILL has an overlord of such uncontainable dimensions that there is no question about wisdom or power, then dissidence as a form of error becomes possible. In empirical fact, it is demonstrable that this is far the most common course in the arena of understanding, once the Bible as above, is shown the standard of truth.
When man is erring by ignoring, deploring his Maker, or seeking to engage in deicide, or to cut off understanding for devious, twisted, truncated motives, or simply to be autonomous in theory, if manifestly in view of birth and death, not so in reality, then a furore of flags and wags, terrorists of mind and body, the deluded and the murderous is to be expected. It is found. Ludicrous claims of truth where it is demonstrably absent, not meeting truth's criteria, become passionate as so often in man, because they are wrong, cannot be shown to be true, and DESIRE wants them in anyway. At times, desire is not just for the deluded individual, but for a deluded party or even nation or race!
If a party opts for delusion, it is not prejudice that notes its error; if an entire race (which would be most rare), it is not racism which transcribes the error; if a nation, it is not nationalism which announces or denounces the folly. Wherever truth is not, truth exposes the error in its own name, and in empirical fact, as shown above, this is in the name of God, of the Lord, of Jesus Christ, the Way, the Life and the Truth.
This is sometimes heeded, but sometimes instead, denied, made a subject for killing people or capturing children, as in the Sudan, which though utterly appalling, is readily understandable. It is part of the nature of the disease that it should be so. This is an advanced, but comprehensible phase of the pathology involved.
As, then, we move to the operations of man's spirit, we find that susceptibility to systematic pathology is no less possible than is the case with the body and its organs; and this may manifest itself at any point, as in the body, whether in the logic of the mind, the desire of the spirit or the passion which replaces truth, by mere vehement effrontery.
Past all this, we then come to providence. This is of course, by definition, not a function of man's spirit, or of man at all, but of what is beyond Him, of God. How then does this relate to man's spirit and to its definition ? It is this: man is not only in dynamic interchange with his own body, and mind, and spirit, but with the outer circumstances and powers. It is PART of the NATURE of the spirit of man that this should be so. It is a non-autonomous, semi-independent personal entity which meets in its varied environments, physical, mental and spiritual, impacts and systems, directives and contacts, impacts and resolutions with which it must deal, or by which be dealt!
PROVIDENCE represents the designate and determined decisions of God. Thus when man in his spirit finds that by providence he has been dealt a weak heart or a bad home, or a good one, this is part of what the spirit of man must understand in its survey, and see in its perspective.
In reaction or response to providence, the spirit of man will become bitter or happy, exuberant or obsessed, weak or strengthened; but it a matter of interchange as much as if he were born in a boat, and had to find the way to live there.
When and if man finds the God whose providence it is, then he also finds the power of God and that this God has the capacity to PUSH, not being subject to circumstance, but able to supervene and perform either direct miracle, by addition of His power to a given system, or at the personal level to meet any phase whatever. Thus providence and push together help to define man's spirit, and to limit or amplify its operations, depending on his use, or non-use, of what is provided by the author both of system and of the spirit of man, with its understanding and capacity for personal relationship.
In the midst of this, man meets PRECEPT, another of the facets of God in His work for man, commands indicative of what defiles man and what proceeds in harmony when God elevates him to fellowship with Himself. This is the ordering side of things, but there is also the COVENANT side, which is systematic truth, given by God, and providing pathways of knowing Him, loving Him, for finding Him indeed, and for fellowship with Him, on a stated, secure basis, so that just as the body has its ways for health and vitality, so here is that for body, mind AND SPIRIT. This suffuses the inherent incertitudes of man, as a creation by evil, error and will, without his Creator, and hence makes of him, and of his spirit, something definably different from the case where the covenant has not been taken, received and accepted.
Then man not only knows the God of miracle, but of minding, of shepherding, of friendship and delight, for which his spirit is made. It is only in this communion that the spirit of man becomes fully operative: for now it has both depth and height, for the very depth and height of God Himself is at work within him, for him and through him, and his part in the superior strength of an entire corpus or body of those who believe like himself or herself, becomes an additional feature of his spirit, of its environment on the one hand, and functionality on the other.
ANALOGY NOT FOR ARGUMENT BUT ILLUSTRATION
Man because of his elevated construction, and especially because of his spirit, is able to imagine that it is all provided for him, and that all he has to do is find means of living, methods of securing these, means of enjoying himself, invent morals and follow them, subject to re-definition as the case may require, for example.
However, this is like imagining that in your car, all you have to do is get petrol, pay the mechanic, and keep driving. There is always the little matter of direction.
As shown, there is for man, platform, plan, structure and purpose, meeting the idiosyncrasies of genius and need. To take the platform is helpful, the structure even more so, the purposive elements of the whole, better yet; but to consider where it is all to go remains unanswered. You have perhaps a map ? an objective for the entire vehicle and all it contains ?
It is the same with a canoe, drifting or even being vigorously oared down the rapids of some great river. The questions of WHY to go down, WHY NOT to choose another river, and WHAT to do when you get there, and with this, where 'there' actually is, these remain.
With an aircraft, the case does not differ. You are to remain airborne, since a crash ends the career on this earth. You are to impart fuel, have someone able to steer the thing away from other aircraft and to meet airport regulations and so on. Yet where are you going, and WHY! Where else could you go and why would that be ?
To leave these questions unanswered is like owning a farm, and declining to know its dimensions, capabilities, resources and possibilities, continuing merely in some subsistence fashion, because you stay alive in it. This is truncated truth and absenteeism of spirit and mind both!
Man is neither however the recipient of mere directives, nor the butt of simple forces.
He operates at an entirely different level, both of understanding and of purpose, will and liberty. As to the last, it is a function of man's spirit, that is available, for one reason and one only. BECAUSE man is a product, he will either be bound to his system, which with its facilities and impacts from within and without, controls him, or he will relate to the spiritual works of others, or his own creations, and follow these by option, perhaps in marked antithesis to the ruling concepts of his society, by decision, or thirdly, he will find his Maker and relate according to the Model Plan.
That is, it is the plan for the model called man.
If he follows any of the merely secondary provisions, he is, to be sure, acting in some sense as a man; but it is only when he comes to the Maker that the liberty reaches its fulness, so that it may indeed without reservation, be CALLED liberty. That is, when by the grace of the covenanting God, a man is called, and comes to the Lord of glory, then it is a free coming; for God does not force, being love, and love has restraint. Thus in Colossians 1:19ff., it is simply obvious that God would like all men to be reconciled to Him, just as in I Timothy 2 it is clear that He would like all to repent and to come to the knowledge of the truth, without which, of course, there can be no freedom, for error is a mere vexation, and deletes the realities necessary for freedom as distinct from reaction.
AND THE WORD OF GOD, THE MEANING OF MAN
AND THE BEAUTY OF LOVE
Liberty arrives WHEN and only when God calls people and they come freely. Certainly sin obscures the matter as in John 15, Romans 9:16, John 6, but though obscured to man, realities are not obscured to God, who being love, chooses in truth with the heart that WOULD have all, and takes what it will on its own terms, so negativing nothing, and enabling all ... and leading to such scenes as Luke 19:42ff., and such atmosphere as in Ezekiel 1-17, with its repetitive offers.
Thus in freedom coming, man in liberty remains, being then changed so that as an orange tree does not have to TRY to be one, but is, so a man does not then have to TRY to be regenerate, but simply is (I John 3:9). NOTHING separates such persons from the love of God, just as MUCH may be done to chasten those who having come, have to learn how to walk in the light (as in Romans 8:38-39, John 10:9,27-28, I Thessalonians 5:9-10, Ephesians 1:11, II Timothy 1:9-10, Hebrews 12).
This then becomes the acme of the spirit of man, in its functionality. It is no more at all DETERMINED by imposed heredity or environment, since it has a new heredity, and is now fully exposed to the environment which previously, was obscured to it, that of the God who made it.
Where man was bound, it was because his communication with his Designer was cut. Where this is so, man is like a riderless horse, able to start at any surprise or surmise, perceptive but without real understanding, as far as his status and function is concerned. It is not least, for this reason that man likes at times of utter irresponsibility, to rampage about being determined and to a significant degree, he then is, despite his rambunctious disorder; for though this is in no small measure voluntary, its pathology like that of cancer, invades and brings decease to this or that facility, before the end comes.
Thus, when man is in such a negative state, both of mind and of ontology, he readily degenerates either into a frustrated, pseudo-autonomous demi-god (cf. Ezekiel 28:9 and Psalm 2 for the divine irony for such a case), or a worshipper in unstable folly at the shrine of what is merely some other creation (woman, money, power, social prestige, dynamic, ideology, false prophet), or perhaps a cynical residue, avoiding but not voiding guilt by pretending that a ruptured circuit is neither his responsibility nor there at all (in more advanced cases). His own disruptive powers in such cases he greatly underestimates, the brooding, moodiness, abhorrences, distastes, vanities, asinities of thought, reactions rather than responses, inoperable hatreds and insolent attitudes as if possessed, which in some cases, he then is.
In this sort of dilemma of desire against reality, he may imagine fretfully that there is validity in the thoughts that rest on restless surges of the unknown, which oddly is investigated by reason but does not conform to it! or that the rational is real in a milieu which was never governed by it, nor knew it, being mere force and thrust amidst non-system, which came for no reason at all, into being and then matured into other things, with nothing the aberrant and vacuous base.
In some spectacular way, he is liable to see that things ... having abandoned nothing in some spectacular fashion, managed to invent order (though to be definable 'things' or as things, they would need it at the first, but let us proceed into the maelstrom regardless), system, due consequence, structure, genius, understanding of a truth which was never there, because no one could comprehend the absolute reality, amid the merely relative, nor could it be, this truth, since no perspective could escape the world of whirling events in order to assess it, all being in thrall to inner construction and outer dynamics.
His confusion is then absolute, and not merely relative.
This is one of the better evidences of the work of spirit, that such utter confusion not only exists in ANYONE, but that people teach such alogisms with efforts at the appearance of reason, and without being drunk! There is, biblically, a certain drunkenness of spirit, which as with the rest of the human thought, the mind, can make the purpose and thrust of man's performance wholly irrational, even while vestiges of reason remain. It is when your leg aches that you may be driven to investigate what it is, what it does; and if you do not, you may lose it.
Man is a specialist in spirit in losing it, the world for which he is made, in the interests of the mere situation in which he is placed. In the process, of course, vast gulfs of purpose open up, and millions go down and drown in them in sundry wars for this and that purpose, sometimes as now, with Islamic militants, for specifically religious purposes, not excluding world domination, or that of much of it, as shown from the first in the case of al Qaeda (Lord of Life Ch. 8, *1).
When truth is present, all is explained. When you come to God Himself, of course, it is He who shows His heart, purposes and programs, covenants and call; but this too, it is so reasonable as to delight the spirit of man, and so elevated that even though like the appearance of space to the earthly eye, it is a soaring vastness, yet it is suffused with a comprehending light, and identified with propositions both clear, competent and comprehensively consistent.
Man has spirit, but God IS Spirit! There is the relationship, and it is seen in John 4, where Jesus tells the woman at the well that God is a Spirit and indicates that the time is coming when those who worship Him will worship neither in Jerusalem nor the mountain others may desire, but IN SPIRIT. It is in this way that He MUST be worshipped. Man has spirit, and this is his overseeing, scanning, surveying, grasping, willing identity as a person; if he does not worship in spirit, he is merely fooling.
Similarly, we see in Genesis 1 that the Spirit of God is brooding (you could say 'hovering') over the waters. There the topic is the incisive operation of God by command, executing by word what is His desire, as man when given power, to a point, may do; and it is the Spirit of God which is moving with manifest formative influence on the scene being developed. In Ecclesiastes 12 we see that as to the Maker of man, it is He to whom the spirit of man returns, when his body being aged and gone (as in Ecclesiastes 11), no more offers a site for display, decision and deployment. It is then that the spectacular woes and admirable wisdom to which man may alike turn, having had their day, give place to the supervening action of the Maker Himself!
Not only so, the relation of the Lord to the spirit of man is seen in Proverbs 20:27, where the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord by which He examines the thoughts of man's heart and his goings. It is the spirit of a man which can mind his mind, that is consider it and concern itself with it; and God Himself, in whose spiritual likeness man is made, in His own Being, knows what is the mind of His Spirit (Romans 8:26-27), and operates in concerted totality.
Man in this sphere of divine environment, added to the merely mental and that of his own spirit and its internal and external surveys, thus comes to meaning, for without this, there not only IS no meaning but CAN be none, for the parameters that avoid, admit none. You invent a godless whatever (nothing, something, system, whatever else you want to cheat logic by 'having' free), and into it plomp man, so that he remains what he is, a plomp, a dump, a derelict deposit with special internal combustion features. Then you get one. HOW you COULD know this is the unanswerable question: without absolute truth there, you certainly do not gain access to it, and in the interstices, you cannot escape them, being participant and under control.
Thus meaning comes with truth, and responsibility with both; so that neither is man an autonomous god nor a mere derelict of determinism, even though the mind determined by what is not mind is by definition not valid as mind, being subjected beyond itself.
Thus the endless crusades of the autonomous projects and the determinist nonsenses disappears, both mere end results of ignoring reality, and hence, each having a gleam of the thing, at a distance, relentlessly determined to freely seek their own way. It never works. Nothing is to be seen until the light is on, the environment in all its phases, human and divine is understood; and it is only when the God of the Bible is found, that the ultimate answer is even possible, just as it is declared.
This, as we have seen, is that omnipotent love, in the God of creation, seeks all, knows all, has foreknowledge indeed (as in Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:28ff.), and takes those who however incapacitated, He knows to be His, freely. In this freedom, interpreted for God and by Him, who in love would LIKE to have all, they then subsist. It is their desire, it is His, it is a fulfilment but the objective is truth, and the way is past the hill of repentance and through the gate of Calvary, where the price of just such freedom is paid.
Without Him, there are phases and ranges of partial freedom, when conscience and the spirit of man, and sometimes the work of the Spirit of God, being operative together, show reaches of truth before the stunned eyes of the nearly finally subverted. There are phases of horrendous determinism, when sin has leashed the very upper reaches of the spirit, so that desire and delusion rule, making the cynic have something for his money. Yet none of it explains all of it, and thus they never agree; nor CAN all have all they have seen, until the truth of the Gospel of omnipotent freedom coming in genuine love, authentically transmitted, is taken. Then as in all else, mist is gone, and irresolvable problems are impossible to find.
It is when you do justice to the whole range of the empirical, and moving in the rational, find the theological, a datum more obvious then than the Grand Canyon (see list of references above), that the once more empirical result is found. There is neither problem nor mist which remains, but a sharp definition for every phase of life and meaning (cf. SMR Ch. 5, Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host, and Repent or Perish Ch. 7, in particular). Then neither are the realities of will subsumed, the fire of guilt evaded, nor is the realisation of reality obscured - but the higher level of perspective and the greater breath of knowledge with the vaster depths of grounding give meaning to man, basis for the truth he is forever trying to tell you, and ground for life which has not only the power to resolve things*1, but to give man peace.
If the Lord also gives commands which may, for a season be ignored, a facet of freedom, then blessing or cursing, chastening or relief, obstinacy or cure, redemption or reprobation may come in due course, whether directly, or with many preliminaries in which the spirit of man may be in the crucible, the pastures, the wind-tunnel of test or the ambit of adventure. The result from the Lord who is invisible, is anything but invisible, in His rule, and the first mark may well be in the spirit of man, whether as with Lady Macbeth, an emotional extravaganza, bordering on and then investing insanity, or as with King David at the hand of prophet Nathan, in the form of a stricken spirit.
In the latter case, it went as in Psalm 51, to the source of mercy by the strength of covenant, and in the wisdom and grace of God, found yet peace. Nevertheless, the results for chastening were cumulative, and what had been a relatively free spirit, became overlaid with some scars as first one son committed fornication (for reasons insalubrious, as did David earlier, commit adultery in one inglorious and costly spree), and another committed murder in revenge for the impudence (just as David had needlessly put a solider into peril, with the same result).
Here lies another phase or facet in spirit for man. When God operates on His own people, it is as a Father, and discipline can be astonishing, sometimes delayed in hope, at others severe in simplicity, or even ironic in rebuke (as in Psalm 2). Man, given understanding of his heavenly as well as terrestrial environment, can absorb these messages and freely profit, comprehension being assisted by the Spirit of God, and His word, as in Proverbs, where wisdom walks with spiritual legs.
It is unfortunate, and a good trial for the spirit of man, when some catch the sovereignty aspect of God's dealing (He ALWAYS knows His own mind - and foreknows events ... Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:29ff., Isaiah 46:10), and ignore the love-liberty aspect; and no less so, when others take the latter to the detriment of the former. It is quite useless as well as common to become impaled on this or that horn of what is not even a dilemma, as if inventing one and using it in absent-mindedness, in such cases.
Thus in fact the sovereignty of God is quite as absolute as Calvin insisted (Romans 9:16), and quite as sensitive to man's spirit as the Wesleyan doctrine of divine love observed. There is no need for conflict or camps. God KNOWS His own, and does not send some to hell because of this or that circumstance, for, being Almighty and WISHING all to come to Him, He certainly achieves His desire. That all do NOT come does nothing in the least to frustrate Him, although it is grievous to His love. That is self-control, that is understanding, that is the beauty of holiness, as the romance of man and woman so often show, where the response is part of the totality.
Love does not force (I Corinthians 13). On the other hand, the protests that man CANNOT choose God, being unspiritual is utterly correct (John 1:12-14, I Corinthians 2), and undeniably scriptural. God it is who chooses (as Christ declared in John 15), and none CAN come unless the Father GRANT it (John 6:65). It is, said Christ, the Spirit which gives life: the flesh is wholly unprofitable. It is the reality of the REASON for His death which counts, to cover, conquer and pardon sin where repentance works and faith seizes the gift. Messing with masses or imagining physical eating to be a source of life is ludicrous; and hence it was specifically rebuked here by Christ, after His reference to Himself as the bread of heaven, a little earlier.
If then God WOULD LIKE all to come (as shown in detail in Predestination and Freewill, SMR Appendix B and The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4), and sovereignly ENSURES that those chosen DO come, and yet does not force, rather weeping that the city did not realise in that its day of visitation by Him, what belonged to its peace, and so would be destroyed (Luke 19:42ff.), and foreknows, not in terms of this point, who is to do this or that, but who are His own (Romans 9 makes this categorically clear): then it all depends on the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. WHOM He foreknew, says the scripture, He predestinated (Romans 8:28ff.). That is what is written.
If then God foreknows who are His, would like all to come, man is paralysed from the RELEVANT choice (I Corinthians 2:14, Romans 9:16, John 15), and so God determines the matter in view of His knowledge and desire alike, what is the problem ? Some simultaneous equations are surely not much less difficult to solve. It is all there, it all fits. Love does not seek its own, it does not force or compel, but invites, as in Proverbs 1, yes incites to love, yes appeals, yes remonstrates and demonstrates, as love may do (Matthew 23:37ff., Psalm 78:30-39, 106:43-44, Ezekiel 20:8ff,14, 18ff.), and the love of God repeatedly as in the earlier chapters of Jeremiah, in Ezekiel and in the Psalms, is seen to do, and does.
Man is inept because of sin, being alien and alienated; so the Lover chooses the Loved (Romans 9:16, John 6:65), from all those whom He would have liked, yet not so as not to force (Isaiah 5,Mark 12!), into some pseudo-salvation, one as surely alienated from truth as man was before (Ephesians 4:17-19, 2:12, Isaiah 65:1), and again, not so as to distort. Instead, the gracious Lord acts so as to realise what He knows.
That is what He says in Romans 8. He acts from this foreknowledge, FIRST in predestination and THEN in justification.
It can be put that God can see past sin, and foreknows, so that it is before Him as if a given person had not sinned; and the sinner is viewed in such an abstracted mode, as if not set in sin, and God knowing this, acts where the man cannot, but WOULD! That harmonises all and is in accord with the knowledge, power and stated love of God, and His insistence that for all His own sovereign action, yet it is because in the very face of His coming NOT to condemn, but to save the world, man's preference it is that brings his condemnation. It is NOT God's anterior condemnation, in view of His delight in mercy, it is man's posterior sin against grace.
If this precise formulation in some part is not desired, and it is provided simply to show the simplicity of the harmony, then the fact remains that all is rational, reasonable, and God gets precisely what in the dimension and depths of His love, He desires, neither more nor less, and having heart, laments for those who in the end are foreknown as not His own. He does not force them out, He is prodigious in His lament on the contrary and insistence in His appeals as well, and deep in His depiction as in Luke 15, of His desire, as of a father. He extends it to the utmost degree in His propositional revelation as in Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2, giving in principle what is continually shown in episodes, throughout His entire word.
Nevertheless, He recognises they will not come in, and says that THIS is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and some will PREFER darkness.
It is this DESPITE the fact*2 as in John 3:17 that Christ's mission in coming was NOT that the world might be condemned, but saved. Nothing could be clearer. Yet He does not save by force, for what kind of salvation is that which distorts the 'saved' person into a love alien to the very nature and essence! Moreover, if you should choose to regard it as what the person WOULD have willed, before sin imprisoned him or her, then in that case there IS no superiority or inferiority in the person, but in truth in the person, the image of God is seen within the context of reality, so that the response to divine mercy and invitation becomes NOT that some are MADE that way, but that in the liberty of their creation, this is their freedom, to reject. God ensures that it is so. Their preference is the criterion, His sovereignty is the judge, His knowledge is the axis of action.
Grace is the entire coverage, for man does not even WILL his way to heaven, but RECEIVES it wholly gratuitously; nor is his reception his superiority, as of kind, for this too is something GIVEN (as in Ephesians 2:8, where the whole operation, being saved by grace through faith, is asserted to be NOT of yourselves but of God). When thus you BELIEVE and RECEIVE what is written, you likewise find the entire solution to freedom and determinism, not only the aspects of each side, steadfastly adhered to, but the provision of the meaning of man, neither exalted nor demeaned, but in an environment, thanks to God, which provides for the most intense meaning. That, let us add, is ONLY in the very presence of the God who is INFINITE in understanding, perfect in purity, delights in mercy, seeks no payment (Isaiah 55), and does not indulge Himself, needing nothing (Psalm 50), but does express Himself in the domain of love with the dynamics of payment at Calvary, that simple fact that speaks, and tells and shows.
Clarkianism*3 may tell us that good and bad are DEFINED by God, and that His decisions are per se right; and this much is true; but it is not the whole truth. The other part is that God, who so defines, also gives His own nature definitively in Christ, and propositionally indicates its essence in scripture. It is His DELIGHT in mercy which is attributed without impediment to Him (Micah 7), and it is His WORD that the reason for CONDEMNATION in the FACE of the desire NOT to condemn, but to save, is that man prefers darkness to light. This also therefore DEFINES what is good, for this is God and this is both His will and His way. He says it in episode repeatedly, in survey, in proposition as in Ezekiel 33:11, passionately yet with brilliant coverage and comprehensibility, not merely of a race, as in Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, but being no respecter of persons, of any race, of the world*4 (John 3:16-17, Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2), and of all in it; and though the foreknowledge is always known, and its results (as in Romans 9), yet so is His love, and its results!
God having spoken, therefore, the work of good or evil is in terms of what HE has said about HIMSELF, and not some philosophical sovereignty into which God supposedly must fit. He is the sovereign of sovereign, and GOD IS LOVE! This simple fact seems altogether overlooked by many, whose respect for His majesty is altogether admirable, but whose response to His word is yet deplorable in this.
It is HE HIMSELF who declares, and it is high time to listen! The purity of the love is as Wesley depicts in what at this point is a glorious letter to Whitefield (cf. Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah Ch. 8), and the sovereignty of His actions in saving is as Calvin depicts in his five points - the total depravity of unsaved man (he cannot EVEN choose God, being too far gone!), the irresistible grace, the unconditional election, the limited atonement and the necessary perseverance of the saints - that is, of those once Christians.
If then only, instead of having useless camps of contention through ignoring multitudes of scripture, these partisans were to follow ALL that is written, what glorious harmony would there be, not only between all of scripture, at last realised by more, though always present, but between the campers! Perhaps as the end comes nearer, the sort of moderation towards which Spurgeon went no small distance, will become a panoply of grace (cf. Predestination and Freewill, Section 2).
When then we follow what is written in the Bible, thus does God make meaning for liberty, resolution for guilt, reality for responsibility and only thus does love guarantee by truth, that neither do the limits of man, made dysfunctional by severance from God through sin, nor does the mere preference of the Love, leave God responsible for human sin: for its inception, for its continuance or for its irremediable result when this applies. Nor, then, is man for lack of love, exile from love divine, on the part of Him who defines Himself in this, as love (I John 4:7ff.), nor is there short-circuit of liberty of life and truth of heart. God came in a divine initiative unspeakable in magnitude of grace, and unsurpassable even to thought (Ephesians 3), NOT to condemn, but that the WORLD might be saved; and what then IS to be condemned, is what before God and in His total knowledge and indeed foreknowledge, PREFERS darkness.
This is what He says and this is the sequence in which He says it, these are the stated grounds of His action, and of His evaluation. It is good, when dealing with God, to be willing to be DEALT WITH, and when handling His word, to let it handle you, and to be most precise that you do not, in involuntary or voluntary mode, handle it 'deceitfully' as Paul puts it.
In this way, the heights of divine wonder scaled by God, indeed internal to Himself and known, are released and realised for man, the depths of sin are scanned and subdued, the breath of experience is quietly overseen and explained, and the beauty of truth, fairer than any maiden, more masterful than any man, more innocent than any child, shows its ineffable glory.
And that ? It is crystallised, localised and realised in the Cross of Calvary. This, as befits its unique and elegant, and in some respects brutal simplicity and profundity, is predicted as to date, as to meaning, as to mode, as to cause and as to consequence! (Psalm 2, 16, 22, 40, Isaiah 2, 7, 9, 11, 49-55, Zechariah 12, Daniel 9, Micah 5-7, Hosea, Ezekiel 44-47 cf. Barbs... 17, TMR Ch. 3, Joyful Jottings 22-25, More Marvels ... Ch. 4).
Simple, this yet fulfils the
agonising, it yet interprets and
brings triumph over pain;
intimate for man, it yet declares
itself in the ultimate of public performance;
at one moment or day, effective
(Hebrews 9:12-28, 10:10,14),
and remains the singularity of the
sovereign, to the end
(Galatians 1:6-9, Ephesians 1:10, Philippians 2, Revelation 5, 21-22).
ON PREDESTINATION and
LIBERTY and NECESSITY,
RESPONSIBILITY, DUTY and CREATIVITY
It was at Westminster Theological Seminary that points of this order were made in an examination sermon. So great was the adverse, but irrational reaction of the one in charge, bound by tradition, that he not merely arose in intemperate assault on the sermon, but went out of his way to advise that failure had been avoided only by a whisker. In a Public Speaking address, however, he had given this author first class honours! (For further detail, see Question and Answer 7, *1 ).
Such is the passion of man which,
when allied to camps and contentions, acts out of character.
It is ALWAYS best to adhere to WHATEVER the Bible says, and not to divert or distort, ignore or explain away its diction. When God speaks, the proper place of man is to LISTEN. God did NOT come to condemn, but that the world might be SAVED. If then man does not receive Him, he fails; and THIS is the condemnation, that God having so acted with a breadth of motive as declared, man prefers darkness. This, simply written, scripturally plain in John 3 in a series of sequential propositions deploying the dictates of God, by its simple contradiction made the unhappy distortion which in an examination setting struck the author, who despite all this, was down but not out! The word of God is not changed by attacks on those who present it.
The truth of Colossians 1:19ff., one had already been shown in detail in a non-examination setting, and the corollaries of its ignoring, and this in the place where it was most fitting, namely the theology Class under John Murray. To this there had come no answer, nor did answer ever come: the fear of the Lord is a wonderful thing, and there are those who fear to meddle with his diction by their own contradiction, arguing about words, not meanings, philosophy, not truth (cf. II Timothy 2:14). The word of God does not BEND! God knows what He is about, who He is and what He does and why, and SAYS SO. Whatever the depths and dimensions we all stood to learn, yet on this one basic point, there was no mistake! It is written.
It is theory which must become humble before the word of God, and the sophisticated systems of man, however excellent in many respects, as in the 5 points of Calvin, MUST not change the data to which they are directed. It is that, as has been shown, which unfortunately Calvin did in addition to the 5 points, so making for the great divide which was never there from the first, but was made by man, on this side and on that.
The error of Calvin in this regard (which must be seen in the light of the excellent merits which go with it) is shown in :
The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4,
Predestination and Freewill Part 2 ,
To Know God ... Ch. 1, *2,
Repent or Perish Ch. 1, incl. *1 ,
Tender Times ... Ch. 2 End-note 1,
The Biblical Workman Ch. 8, esp. pp. 124ff.,
NFF 4 (News 112),
Cascade ... Ch. 9,
The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 1, 3
(and regeneration, the love of God, Calvinism, Wesley and the nether options,
with special attention to John 3),
... Chs. 7, and 9,
and The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4; ;
Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 9;
Three Anzas ... Ch. 6;
Light ... Ch. 1,
Trust God ... Ch. 6,
Marvels of Predestination Ch. 6,
Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah Chs. 8, 9
It should be noted that this display on the part of one of the teachers was widely diverse from that of the rest of the Staff encountered at Westminster who, though diverging on this point presumably, yet were willing to take considerable efforts to hear and to be just, fair and reasonable with this or other matters arising. Professor E. J. Young was in this quite outstanding, and John Murray, when confronted with Colossians 1, did not even attempt an answer, then or later.
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 6, T
he Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 1,
SMR p. 291
A Sermon of the author, at the Australian Bible Church, one exegeting the word of God, deals with this topic, and is provided to the point.
I John 4:7-8, I Corinthians 13
I John 4:7-8
When I John 4:8 declares that God is love, it is not asserting that He is not truth, wisdom and life. It is not adding the word 'only' or 'alone'! However it is asserting, as a minimum, that He is utterly, essentially, continually, uncompromisingly, in quality and in procedure, love. It is not episodic or uncertain, wavering or rash, given to impulse: it is characteristic, unimpedable, undepressible, clear of all contrary content.
If there is any question that He will damn someone because He did not love enough, to the uttermost, this is nonsense. He FOREKNOWS His own people (Romans 8:29ff.), and predestinates them, nothing fooling Him, beguiling Him or corrupting Him. Desiring that ALL repent, and having made peace through the blood of the Cross (as Colossians 1 STATES), it pleases Him, is good in His sight to reconcile ALL things to Himself, yes whether in heaven or on earth (cf. I Timothy 2, Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff).
To be damned, you have to fulfil the biblical criterion: EVEN THOUGH God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, and though He came not to condemn that world, but that the world through Him might be saved, YET there is a way to be damned. In John 3:19, He immediately declares it. If in the light and face of all this, God’s intent, plan, purpose and action, you prefer light to darkness, if this remains your choice, then chosen it is. God does not force, is no dictator, does not threaten to blow you up if you do not believe - does indeed warn you of the folly of not providing for His protection (Proverbs 1, Ecclesiastes 11-12), since this is true, but does not make force an implement of faith. Leave that to the religions of vile violence. In His case, HE is the One to die, HIS is the sacrifice, and HIS is the payment for the way back for man, to come to God (I Peter 3:18).
Judgment must occur, and it will - but God has offered Himself, a prelude and a peace-offering, sent His only begotten Son, incarnate from His eternity, expressed His love in this offering.
Yet the world is like a stray colt, now grown to become a stallion, tossing its mane, shaking its proud head, indomitable and proud of it, thinking whatever wild thoughts or dreams have its approval, and pursuing them like children with no heads on their shoulders, by will, determination, the clatter of power and the clutter of culture.
It runs into walls in its frightened self-assertive dashes, and never learns. It has an end, as II Peter 3 declares, and Christ also, in Matthew 24:35 - in fact as Isaiah 51:6 made so simple and clear.
It has to have an end; some things are so foul, their stench so offensive, their griefs so manifest and manifold, that it is a kindness that they end. Moreover, when you abuse some things, there is an end of the tolerance of the design to such treatment. It HAS to end.
Civilisations, like those of Egypt in its imperial grandeur, have forever been humbled (Ezekiel 29:14-16):
"And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt,
and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros,
into the land of their habitation;
and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms;
neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations:
for I will diminish them, so that they shall not rule any more over the nations.
"And no longer shall it be the confidence of the house of Israel,
but will remind them of their iniquity, when they turned to follow them.
"Then they will know that I am the Lord GOD."
The same is true of the forsaken Tyre, summarily dismissed from its place (Ezekiel 26:12,14,20-21), and it was fulfilled by Alexander the Great, mainly); and as to Babylon (Jeremiah 50-51, Isaiah 13), the ample ruins of that vast megapolis are to be seen lying in vast rubble to this day, mute testimony to the divine word.
Jerusalem had the same result (predicted in Luke 19:42ff., happening in AD 70, at the hand of Rome and Titus); but in this case, its restoration was also predicted (Luke 21:24), as were the great triumphs (which occurred visibly in 1938, 1967, 1973 likewise – Zechariah 12). In its case, there is a future, after many tribulations, but it is in return to the Lord!
For the rest, their end was predicted and has duly been fulfilled. Love bore long; but it did not become indulgence! It has offered the Cross of Christ, and to repentance, it offers a way.
It offers it to one, to all, to every race, place, face (John 3:16, Colossians 1:19ff.): and the preference of any for darkness is known to Him (John 3:17), like the place for grace, foreknown without man's works of any kind (Romans 9); and this is implemented by the One who works all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11), knowing what fallen man cannot know (I Corinthians 2:14).
This counsel applies meanwhile to the blessed work of salvation.
By grace alone, He acts, fulfilling His stated volition that all might be brought to repentance and knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2). This sublime wonder is worked by His own hand (John 6:6:65). Predestination has merely fulfilled beforehand, the realities of the case, and these are sure: love secures its target (John 3:16-19), purity has paid (Hosea 13:14), and He looks from the travail of His soul (Isaiah 53), and is satisfied.
(See Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 11, Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Chs. 7, 9.)
With such solemn intent, irrevocable grace, wholehearted love, the God who ransomed, has acted.
I CORINTHIANS 13
God is love, and ends the frustrated turmoil of those who ruin successive generations, waiting long before the end (II Peter 3:9), but warning of it, and entreating, while paying the price of return, as for a voyage back from another country, covering enough for any, assigning it to those who come.
I Corinthians 13 shows how YOU are to show love. It does NOT say: Love is pushy, but that it is patient; not, love is irritable, but suffers long; not, puts up with nothing and imposes its will, but bears all things; not, is surrounded like an island with water, with the depths of its own self, but does not seek its own; not, it is canny, but it is kind; not advertises its wares, but does not parade itself, is not puffed up; not, grabs its thing and gets it, but does not behave in an unseemly fashion; not, ponders evils and manipulates them, but thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth; not, keeps itself uptight and cranky, but believes all things, hopes all things; not, gives up and redirects its efforts when it is too hard, but love never fails; not yaps for ever, but leads on to knowing God face to face.
Love is indispensable; and its lack is the lack of all. Have your money, or give it up, have your great knowledge or give it up: it is all one. Have love or be nothing of any value! It is the pre-condition of life in godliness, and the coin of commerce in heaven, the wallet for earth and the witness of truth: indeed love "rejoices in the truth." If therefore you do not rejoice in the truth you are not loving. How could you be, if the source, original, basis and Father of all love, you ignore, or His work, despise! Is love a vagrant, then, an officious formulator of gods, and not in the heart for its Maker!
In truth, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself and has given to us the word of reconciliation, that He made Christ to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Just as Christ became a sin offering, and bears the sin of all who deposit it, not in the bank, but on Him and His death (Colossians 1:22), so those who receive Him and accept His dynamic by faith, receive His righteousness, even that of God, as a gift, and life as children, bought back, redeemed, adopted (Ephesians 1:5-7,12-14), sealed by His Spirit and inhabited by Him (Colossians 1:27). All things follow His word, and the return of the Lord’s Christ draws near! (Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Love rejoices in that, that God is good in practical things, and is to be found in a practical work, that of Christ, in a practical way, by entrusting your sin to Him for pardon, and your life for direction.