#117 "REJOICING WITH CHRIST" (part 1)

"REJOICING WITH CHRIST"

"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou has hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight"-Luke 10:21

Though we may search the scriptures diligently, there will be few occasions we find the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief in the posture of rejoicing.  As the beautiful rainbow pierces the dark sky between two storms, Christ's rejoicing colors the darkness of the wrath to come that hovers around Him.  A delightful, yet rare occasion.  I am sure the Father rejoiced to see the smile upon His Son's face, the beloved Son He would soon bruise for the sins of His people.  Let us rejoice with Him!                              

OUR REASON FOR REJOICING

When Jesus rejoices we have reason to rejoice as well.  For us to join Him we must see what His spiritual eye perceived.  If you will notice, Jesus is thanking the Father for spiritual blindness on one hand and for revelation on the other!  By His divine wisdom the Father has chosen to hide the person of Christ and His truths from the "wise and prudent" as He reveals the significance of Christ and His cross to "babes".  This is divine sovereignty!

THE WISE AND PRUDENT

Who are the wise and the prudent?  Are they people who make an income over a particular level?  Are they those who have impressive diplomas hanging on their wall?  Are they people who possess brain power, such as Einstein?  No.  The Bible does not describe them in this way.  Saul of Tarsus was a wealthy and learned man.  He was made a "babe" by the power of God.  Here is his description: "for the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent"-I Cor. 18,19.  Paul carefully delineates between God's wisdom from above and man's wisdom(James 3:16).  The wise and the prudent are those who view the cross of Christ as foolishness(silly and absurd).  Atonement means nothing to them.  Their sins have never come up before them, there is no need for a cross; no fear of God before their eyes; no love for their Saviour; no evidence of grace in their lives. They despise "Babes" and hiss at their Lamb.  Unknowingly, they are slaves to their dark master as they endeavor to tear down every thing that exalts Christ and His cross. They are above such nonsense, yet they place themselves beneath such wisdom(Mat 11:19).  

In his book, "THE PLEASURES OF GOD", John Piper writes, "..what offends human wisdom about the cross is that it humbles man and exalts the free grace of God.  It makes humans look dependent and helpless and infantlike and makes God look all-sufficient and all-providing and free in his giving salvation to sinners"(p.276). On page 285 he sums up our thought, "..the terms 'wise and intelligent' and 'infants' in Luke 10:21 do not correspond simply to "educated" and "uneducated."  Jesus is not saying that uneducated get the grace of revelation and the educated don't.  To put it another way, there are "infants" among the educated and there are boastful among the uneducated."  Their behavior as babes, their utter dependance upon Christ is brought about not by man's wisdom, but by revelation.  Whose camp are you in?  What does the cross of Christ mean to you?

–to be continued-

Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church.  Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00.

By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr.,  Pastor

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