Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Time-Transcending Salvation

Genesis 3:24 says, "(God) drove the man out, and at the east of the garden of Eden He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned in every direction to guard the way to the tree of life."

The Tree of Life


When God created man, He placed man in front of the tree of life so that man may partake of it and receive the eternal life. Yet man chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Consequently, sin entered into man and became one with man. In his fallen condition, man's body became flesh, his soul became the self, and his spirit was deadened.

This is why God blocked the access to the tree of life after man's fall lest man would partake of the tree of life while in sinful condition. Sin and eternal life cannot co-exist within man because God Himself is that life; how can then God and sin be hand-in-hand?

The Cherubim, The Flame, and the Sword


There is a more thorough elaboration on the significances of these three items guarding the tree of life in Genesis 3:24. In brief, the cherubim signifies God's glory, the flame is God's holiness, and the sword is God's righteousness.Thus it was God's glory, holiness, and righteousness that closed the way for man to partake of the tree of life. These are the requirements that need to be fulfilled for man to contact God.

Christ is the Fulfillment of God's Glory, Holiness, and Righteousness


Christ's redemption fulfilled all the requirements above: glory, holiness, and righteousness. In Christ alone, we can thus contact God and partake once more of the tree of life, which is essentially God Himself in Christ as the eternal life to us.

In Hebrews 10:20, it is clear that Christ's blood has opened a new and living way for us to enter into the presence of God, into God Himself. This is awesome!

Abel, Enosh, Enoch


Now let us continue on. The accounts of Abel, Enosh, and Enoch in Genesis chapters 4 and 5 immediately followed after God's dealing of the fall of man. These three men's lives were written in the Bible in such a particular way.

Abel was famous for being the first victim of murder, but actually, the highlight of his life was the fact that he offered a well-pleasing sacrifice to God. He took God's way of redemption, which was through the shedding of blood. If you pay more attention, later on the children of Israel had to present their offerings in the same way that Abel did. Abel's offering was a type of our offering of Christ to satisfy God's righteous demand. 

Enosh means frail. In Genesis 4:26, it was mentioned that at his time, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. When you call on someone's name, you get the person. In the same way, when we call upon the Lord's name, we get His person. Enosh realized the frailty of human life, thus he partook of another life. He became a partaker of the divine nature. By calling upon the Lord's name, Enosh was constituted with holiness itself because only God is holy.

Enoch walked with God in Genesis 5, then he was not because God took him. Enoch lived with God as his Partner, his Companion. Enoch was taken up in glory. 

Abel, Enosh, and Enoch were constituted with Christ as righteousness, holiness, and glory-- the very same requirements that barred man from partaking of the tree of life.

Although in time, the event of Christ's redemption had not taken place yet. In a real sense, the experience and enjoyment of who Christ is and what He has done to bring man back to the tree of life, back to God, had been applied to Abel, Enosh, and Enoch's lives.


Time-Transcending Salvation


It is rather divine and mysterious. How can the people of God in the Old Testament experience God's salvation in and through Christ? I shall not try to explain how, nevertheless I'm awestruck by the fact that immediately after the fall, God had provided salvation. In other words, beyond the context of time, there was not any delay in the application of God's salvation. In fact, Revelation 13:8 shows that the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world.

God's salvation is mind-blowing. We can stop analyzing and simply begin experiencing the thoroughness of God's full salvation. Aren't we convinced yet that our God is fixated on bringing us all back to Himself to be one with Him?

We shall follow the pattern in Psalms 116:12-13.

12 What shall I return to Jehovah For all His benefits toward me?
13 I will take up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of Jehovah.

For further reading:

Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Genesis. Ch. 21, Sect. 7.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Christ is Primary or Luxury?

I know I always have the same excuse, but more than ever, recently I feel like I've been buried in paperwork plus all sorts of other responsibilities on top of that. I don't mind being busy that much but I think the Lord is putting me to a stop for a bit. I'm sick with a cold and two injured toes. So FINALLY, I have time to blog!

About two weeks ago, I flew to California to visit some Christians who are attending a Biblical Truths and Character Training. During my time there, I had a conversation with one of them, a good friend of mine. It all started with a question, something like, "Katherine, being in the training is like living in a special bubble. It is very easy to enjoy the Lord here, but when I go home, I feel like there are so many distractions, many things I used to enjoy doing that I wouldn't mind going back to." Then she sighed.

In a sense, her question encompasses all of our questions. We do love the Lord, but it's very difficult to love only Him, especially when our environment is rather treating us well.

When she asked that question, inwardly I actually asked myself the same question. First, I realized that no matter what I do, my love for the Lord Jesus consistently fell short. Then the Lord changed the paradigm by bringing forth this question, "Katherine, am I a luxury to you?"

pearl

What a convicting inquiry because in essence, a luxury is an accessory. Your life is better if you have it, but you can still live on if you don't have it.

Oftentimes we are worried that we would leave the Lord behind to chase after other things. We are worried that the Lord Jesus Himself would not be enough. We are worried because we do not trust ourselves. These are all legitimate fears of God-fearing people.

However, at the end of the day, we must come to the Lord to genuinely consider our lives and consider who He is and has been to us. We must pray with an honest heart:

Lord, who are You to me?
Can I give up You as my food, my water, my shelter, my clothing?
Can I live without You?

I don't know about you, but every time I pray such words I come to my senses. Deep down, I truly know that:

The Lord Jesus is my Primary need, 
that my heart yearns for Him, 
that He is all I really want, 
that I cannot live without Him,
that I do love Him.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Andrew Murray on "Christ Our Life"

Yesterday I went to my favorite bookstore and found Andrew Murray's Absolute Surrender. As I was flipping the pages this morning, I found a striking portion on pages 101-102 within a chapter called Christ Our Life.

Andrew Murray
"And then comes the last thought: Christ in us as our life and our strength. That is the crown of all. The young convert ordinarily understands very little of that. Many a believer has lived long in some experience of Christ with Him as Guide and Helper, but has never yet come to realise what this other means: Christ in me, my very life and my very strength. And yet that is what the Apostle Paul tells us is the great gospel mystery, the mystery that was hid for ages and generations, but has now been revealed; the mystery of God's people, of which has says "the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you." Christians, the riches and glory of our God in heaven are manifest to you in this -- God wants you to have Christ His Son living in you. Oh, may we come to that today -- not to ask for a little blessing, a beginning of blessings, but to have our whole life opened up to the indwelling, to the control, to the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ.

We speak to workers. Our great thought has been that of work. What is needed if God is to bless all these workers in London who have gathered together here? How is God's power to come and to work? Beloved, Christ is the power of God, and we want more of Christ, we want the whole Christ, we want Christ in every one of us revealed by the Holy Ghost, and then the power of God will work."


These are words of life to me. How about you? Andrew Murray lived from 1828 to 1917, but his experiences of Christ are relevant to us: real, deep, loving, and honest. I know this post may not have much content from myself but I'll still have to continue with Murray's thought of a church so filled with the Holy Spirit that the Spirit could say to that church: Set apart for Me the men that I have called for My work. Yet his question: How can each church be brought to this condition?

He answered, "Did not Jesus say, 'He that believeth on Me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water?' And is not this by faith, by believing, that Christ comes and dwells in the heart, and becomes Himself the Fountain out of which the Holy Spirit flows?"

He also quoted a verse from Revelation 22:1-

"And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God -- and of the Lamb in the middle of the street."

I have little confidence in paraphrasing this brother's words, so I'll close my post with another good portion of quote from Murray's book. It's rather long but by all means inspiring and faith-infusing.

"Yes, the Lamb went and sat down upon the throne of glory, and the river of water of life flowed out. It is the Lamb who must lead you and me to the fountains of living water, and give them within our hearts, so that we shall have power to work among men -- not the power of reason, not the power of human love, and zeal, and earnestness, and diligence, but the power that comes from God.

Are you ready for that power? Are you ready to surrender yourself absolutely to God and receive it? Can you truly say: Lord, I am utterly given up to Thee. It is done feebly, tremblingly, but, Lord God, it is done. I have received but little of what I know my God can give, but as an empty vessel, cleansed and lowly, I place myself at Thy feet again, day by day, and moment by moment, and I wait upon my God?...

Our Convention will profit us very little unless it lead us closer up to God, and to have larger expectations from God, and closer fellowship with God. How can that be? Christ Jesus can do it for us. Christ is our life. He will live in us the same life He lived upon the earth. Shall we not expect Him to do it in the fulness of His promise? Shall we not come with every sin and every hindrance and every shortcoming and everything that causes self-condemnation, and cast it all at His feet, and believe the blood cleanses, and Jesus gives deliverance? Do believe, and then expect it and accept it, that God Himself will reveal Christ within us in the power of the Holy Spirit. God grant it to every beloved worker gathered here."