Sunday, August 3, 2008

The King's Business

[King's business, 1 Chron 4.23 - Father's business, Lk 2.49 - his own business, Matt 22.5]

Matthew 22.5

'But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.'

Those invited to the marriage feast spurned the invitation. They were not willing to come, because they were busy with their own business. They were caught up in their own affairs; they were motivated by their own selfish interests.

Luke 2.49

'And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

Joseph and Mary were anxiously searching for Him. His mother said, "Son, why have You done this to us?" They couldn't imagine that He would neglect His earthly family. But He had a heavenly Father, and He had to be about His Father's business.

I remember how Luke 2.49 convicted me sharply, many years ago, when I neglected God's work to attend to my own work.

1 Chron 4.23

'These were the the potters and those who dwelt among plants and hedges; they dwelt there with the king for his work [or business, or service]'

The posterity of Shelah, the son of Judah, seem to have been talented craftsmen and workers. In verse 21, we have the linen workers of Ashbea. In verse 23, we have the potters and gardeners. It seems from this passage that they served the king in his business. They worked for the king. Wherever they lived [be it Netaim or Gederah or some other place], their labour and service was for the king. It was a royal calling; they were in the king's service.

As Christians, we have a high and holy calling. We are here to serve the King of kings; we are ambassadors for Christ. That is our calling. Whatever we put our hand to, whatever we do, is for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 10.31. We are here to glorify Him. This is a great responsibility and calls for great & careful preparation. Without yielding our bodies and souls to Him, Rom 12.1, we cannot really enter into divine service.

John 16: 8-11

Last night we were reading John 16 in family prayer and these words struck me with a deeper emphasis than normal: "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged." John 16.8-11

Our Lord is talking about the work of the Holy Spirit. He will convict us on three counts. First, our unbelief. Many have refused to believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world. Many have refused to accept His sacrifice for our sins on the cross of Calvary. Sin is refusing to accept the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is being preached all over the world. Whoever rejects the gospel is sinning against God. May God open their eyes to this truth. Sin is unbelief. Sin is refusing to believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Second, righteousness. Here Jesus is talking of Himself as righteousness. He is my righteousness; the Lord our Righteousness, Jehovah-Tsidkenu. Jesus Christ has become to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Cor 1.30. Righteousness is a Person. Jesus Christ by His Person and Work fulfilled the righteousness of God. He came into this world to save us from our sins by the shedding of His precious blood on the cross of Calvary. He paid the penalty of the Law, which condemned sin. He paid the price for our redemption. In His life and death He fulfilled the righteousness of God.

Third, judgment. On the cross, Satan, the ruler of this world, was judged. On the cross, a great battle was fought, but our Lord obtained the victory. The death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross swallowed up death; through His death He rendered powerless the one who had the power of death, that is, the devil.

But what a great price our Lord had to pay! We note that in His resurrection body were the imprint of the cruel nails and the horrid spear-thrust. He died for us, for our sins, for delivering us from sin, Satan and death itself, in order to grant us eternal redemption and to bring us into a gloriously loving and inseparable fellowship with God Himself .

There is no way to heaven but through Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 1 Cor 2.2

Redemption by the Blood

I believe you must read this book by Andrew Murray; it's called 'The Power of the Blood'. In his chapter on Redemption by Blood, he says:

1. It is because the life [or soul] is in the blood, and because the blood is offered to God on the altar, that it has in it redemptive power?In that blood dwelt the soul of the holy Son of God. The eternal life of the Godhead was carried in that blood (Acts 20.28). So the power of that blood in its various effects is nothing less than the eternal power of God Himself!

2. The blood of Jesus has a marvelous power for removing sin and opening heaven for the sinner, whom it cleanses and sanctifies and makes fit for heaven.

3. The blood of Jesus has opened the grave. Heb 13.20. The blood of Jesus destroyed the power of death, the devil and hell; His blood has opened the grave?Where the blood is, there the resurrection power of God gives entrance into eternal life. The blood has made a complete end of all the power of death and hell; its effects surpass all human thought.

4. The blood of Jesus has opened heaven. Heb 9.12. Just as it has broken open the gates of the grave and of hell to let Jesus out - and us with Him - so it has opened the gates of heaven for Him - and us with Him - to enter. The blood has an almighty power over the kingdom of darkness and hell beneath; and over the kingdom of heaven and its glory above.

5. The blood of Jesus is all powerful in the human heart. 1 Pet 1.18-19. The word 'redeemed' has a depth of meaning. It particularly indicates deliverance from slavery by emancipation or purchase?The word 'redemption' includes everything God does for a sinner - from the pardon of sin, which it begins with, to the full deliverance of the body by resurrection (Rom 8.23; Eph 1.14, 4.30)