Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, May 27, 2016

Brokenness, another neglected doctrine

There is only one thing that causes grief or pain to our God: the sins of men. The penalty for sin is death. Always, forever, no exceptions. We see the promise of this penalty spoken to Adam and Eve in the Garden prior to their rebellion and sin. And we also see that God kept His promise for in the very moment that Adam ate the forbidden fruit he died, not physically, but his spirit died (Eph.2:1). God sent judgment on the entire human race (excluding Noah and the other seven members of his family) in Gen. 6 and yet we find that this very judgment grieved Him (v. 5 & 6). The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they would turn and repent and live (Ezek.33:11). As the Lord is pronouncing His righteous judgment on Israel in Ezek. 6 we find this statement in verse nine: "...I am broken with their whorish heart." What? God broken? Yes, over the sins of His people. Broken, grieved, hurt, in anguish. For all the pain our sins cause God, He does not just wink at them and let them pass by without consequence. If He did, then He would be just like a man. Gone would be His Holiness; gone would be His Righteousness; gone would be His Mercy and Forgiveness; and gone would be His Love.

But He did not flinch, and wink, and walk away. Instead, He met the sins of His elect head on when He "laid on Him the iniquity of us all" Isa. 53:6. We find other words in Isa. 53 to describe the actions of the Father upon His Son as "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"---2 Cor. 5:21---all of which carry the same connotation as 'brokenness.' Verse 4, "...stricken, smitten by God." Verse 5, "wounded, bruised, chastisement, stripes." Verse 7, "oppressed, afflicted" and verse 10, "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand." Christ was indeed broken for us, hence His words "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Mark 15:34. He paid the penalty, the death penalty, for the sins of the elect. It was the ultimate example of brokenness, the God-Man humbling Himself in order to suffer death, even the death of the cross---Phil. 2:8---so that He may bring "many sons to glory"---Heb. 2:10.

So where do we stand with this thing of "brokenness?" Those that have been born from above know full well what it means to be broken before the Lord. They have 'fallen on that stone' and happily so (Luke 20:18), and now understand that the real knowledge of the Mercy and Love of the Lord is afforded only to those who have laid their heart bare before Him and repented of their sins. Without brokenness before the Lord the concept of His Attributes of Mercy, Love, and Longsuffering are nothing more than words on a page or noise in the ear. It is impossible for those who are steeped in their rebellious pride, who refuse to fall on that stone (Luke 20:18) and be broken before Him to muster anything but a cheap (exceedingly cheap) imitation of salvation and all it's attending benefits.

God is broken over the "whorish heart." Christ, broken and humiliated provided the remedy for our whorish heart. So what about us, are we broken before Him or are these words just "hot air" in a cold and whorish heart? Believers know that to have their own sins exposed to them is a great blessing in the long run; they will be forgiven, restored, and lifted up. But the fakers run and hide, afraid of the God of Love and Mercy and Justice and are more interested in proclaiming their own brand of "righteousness" which is nothing but filthy rags in the God, their Creator. Being broken before the Lord is an untold blessing.

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