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3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Here is "the knowledge of God," in which are contained "exceeding great and precious promises," the understanding of which is able to make a man wise, and a "partaker of the divine nature."
Now although these hidden things have been clearly made known they still continue to be styled "the mystery," not because of their unintelligibility, but because they were once secret. Hence the things preached unto the Gentiles, and by them believed, are styled by Paul "the mystery of the faith," and "the mystery of godliness," some of the items of which he enumerates, such as "God manifest in the flesh, justified by the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory" (1 Tim. 3:16).
Thus an intelligible mystery characterises the once hidden wisdom of God, and becomes the subject matter of an enlightened faith.
This, however, is not the case with regard to religious systems which are not of the Truth. Unintelligible mystery is the ultima ratio for all difficulties which are insoluble by the symbols of ecclesiastical communities, whose text of universal application is, that "secret things belong to God, but the things which are revealed, to us and to our children." This is true; but then those things which were secret in the days of Moses have been revealed by God to the apostles and prophets for our information.
Elpis Israel 1.1.
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
When the truth, therefore, dwells or tabernacles in a man, the Deity dwells there. Hence, an ecclesia of such men is the Deity's Tabernacle preeminently.
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
What does it mean? Surely a more comprehensive and sublime statement could not be made! Consider the magnitude of the thought! "Filled with all the fullness of God"!
How all our smallnesses and pettinesses and impatience and foolishness and selfishness and thoughtlessness stand naked and ashamed before it! How mean and sordid does every fleshly thought seem under the brilliant light of its transcendent glory!
What would it do to our characters and our course of life from moment to moment if we could but keep this glorious conception constantly in the forefront of our minds? We must keep these things before our minds. It is only those rare few who make these things their constant meditation who are the subjects of this marvelous Spirit transformation.
Bro Growcott - Filled With all the Fulness of God
Grow! Develop! Expand your mind! Fill it with reality. Fill it with the eternal things and people of the Purpose of God.
Eliminate levity. Eliminate shallowness. Eliminate interest in present, passing, meaningless things. Don't drift! Don't drift for a moment! Be constantly MOVING toward a glorious goal. Use every precious moment of life productively, moving toward eternity. Be solid and consistent all through to the core. Be totally and permanently permeated with God. Don't be just a surface shell of meaninglessness and emptiness. Arise to the flooding realization of the greatness and wonder and joyfulness of the divine call to God-partnered, eternity-destined fulness and holiness.
We must be "FILLED with the FULNESS of God." Anything less is not living, but is mere drifting aimlessly to eventual death. Be something real, something total. We are not here just to amuse and occupy ourselves with trivia, while life and opportunity speed away so swiftly to the end of our brief span. Seize the passing present to lay hold upon God with all your love and interest and attention and effort. Nurture its growth until it completely obsesses you, night and day. Keep your mind on the things of the Word, and get rid of all the time-wasting toys of your past, outgrown fleshliness and immaturity.
Really LIVE, and really ENJOY life. Every moment can be a Divine experience: one step closer to Divine perfection. We have no time to waste on folly: and ALL else except this IS pitiful, blind, self-destructive folly.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
IS that power working in us? ARE we being (as the Spirit through Paul says we must be) gradually changed into the image of Christ, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord? Do we find ourselves - by this Divine power (for if it is happening it is certainly not of our own natural, evil selves) - gradually becoming gentler, kinder, more patient, more zealous in the service of God, of deeper spiritual understanding, sensing more fully the overpowering beauty and loveliness of the Divine Word, bonded more and more closely to those who are undergoing the same glorious, exciting transformation, freer from the empty foolishness of the natural mind and passing things, more able to detect and overcome the deceptive motions of sin within us, more keenly hungering and thirsting for the spiritual food of the Word of God, more anxious to put away all that is of the world?
If not, the fault lies with ourselves. If this Divine power of the Holy Spirit is not working these things in us from day to day, then it is the most important and urgent thing in the world to find out why we are being left out of this great Divine operation, for the time will soon come when the Bride will be assembled in all her beauty of holiness, and if God has not been working in us by His Spirit, we shall not be there. James says-
"Draw nigh unto God, and He WILL draw nigh unto you."
It is a definite promise, an absolute guarantee. It is entirely up to us. We draw near to God by conscious, mental effort, by turning the mind and attention and affections toward Him, by constant prayer, by consistent, persevering study of His Word which He has glorified above all His Name, by endeavoring to serve and please Him in all we do, by striving to realize and comprehend the height and depth of His great purpose in Christ.
This latter aspect-the key to the whole-is why it is so indescribably sad when some concede defeat and failure before they really begin at all, by saying that parts of God's glorious message to His children are "too deep" for them to try to understand.
In all these things we must clearly realize that natural ability and natural education mean nothing, that none of our own efforts mean anything-except that it is such efforts that draw God to work within us by the mighty power of His Holy Spirit.
Our feeble and puny efforts to seek Him merely establish the contact. It is the limitless power that flows freely from Him that accomplishes the transforming marvels within us-that all the glory and accomplishment may be clearly of God alone.
Bro Growcott - Filled With all the Fulness of God
21 Unto him be glory in the ecclesia by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Paul paints an inspiring picture of their unique and exalted position, chosen of God for the working of His purpose and manifestation of His glory -- selected as the clay which the mighty power of God should slowly mould to His likeness, and then, at the last trump, transform into His very spirit substance.
And this final glorious manifestation, gradually brought to birth through the travail of the ages, will be in its completeness and unity of the SON OF GOD, born of the flesh according to the will and power of the all-pervading Spirit. It will be God's creation -- HIS glory -- the greatest example of the handiwork of His wisdom and omnipotence. *
We are the clay in the hand of the Potter. We are the material. He has made us as we are, and He will make us into whatever we shall be. We ask then, Is anything expected of us? Does God just pick some here and there haphazardly for His purpose? We do not entertain that idea for a moment.
Something is expected even of the potter's clay. It must be suitable material. First and above all, it must be workable. Not stiff and hard and crusted. It must yield itself to the hand of the potter. Clay that was satisfied with its present shapelessness and resisted the Potter, or wanted a shape of its own, would be useless.
Then it must have sufficient consistency to hold the shape into which the Potter forms it. Flabby material is no good. "God hath no pleasure in fools" (Ecc. 5:4). He knows our possibilities and will not be deceived, though we deceive ourselves.
Then, to fill a useful role, the clay must pass through the fire. It must be hardened -- not too much fire or it will forever be destroyed -- but just that degree that is necessary to achieve the best results. The All-wise Potter knows exactly how much each vessel needs, and exactly how much each can stand.
The first half of this epistle describes God's work in us, and Christ's work for us -- the glorious temple God is building -- the great redemption that Christ has wrought and God freely offers to us because of the "love wherewith He loved us."
* Bro Growcott - Holy And Blameless In Love