The Tongue - No Man Can Tame It
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TO FIT YOU FOR THE SERVICE OF THE LIVING GOD."
by Andrew Murray
"How much more shall the blood of Christ cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." - Hebrews 9:14
We must not regard the cleansing in the blood of Christ as the end, the final aim, of redemption. It is only the beginning, the means to a higher end - the fitness for the service of the living God. It is the restoration to the fellowship of Him who has life and gives life. The blood gives cleansing from dead works, the works of the law and of self, with its own efforts; it brings into a living relation to the living God.
God and His fellowship, a life in His love and service, the living God and the enjoyment of His presence - this is the aim of redemption.
The Living God - this name was used in the Old Testament as a contrast to the dead idols of the heathen. In the New Testament it points us to the danger of our forming an image of God, not in wood or stone, but in our mind and imagination - a thought-image, in which there is neither life nor truth. What we need first of all in religion is that we believe that God is, that our faith realize Him as the living One, who is all that He is, in the power of an infinite life and energy.
He is the living God! He speaks and hears. He feels and acts. He has the power to make us know that He is near to us, and that He receives us when we come near to Him. The knowledge of the living God is the ground of a living faith, a living fellowship, a living service. As the living God, He is all, and does all and fills all - the ever-present, ever-working God.
To serve the living God! The glory of the creature is to serve God, to be a vessel in which He can pour His fullness, a channel through which He can show forth His glory, an instrument for working out His purposes. This was what man was created for in the image of God. The whole object of redemption is to bring us back to a life in the living service of God. It is for this the Holiest of All was opened to us by the blood as the place of service. It is for this our conscience is cleansed in the blood, as the fitness for service.
A life in the Holiest of All is a life in which everything is done under the sense of God's glory and presence, and to His glory; a life that has no object but the service of God. It was thus with the priests in Israel. They were set apart by the sprinkling of blood (Ex. 29:19-20). The object of this was to fit them to stand before the Lord, to minister unto Him, to bless in His name (Deut. 10:8). One great reason why many Christians never enter into the full joy and power of redemption, into the life within the veil, is that they seek it for themselves. Let us beware lest we seek the access into the Holiest, the joy of unclouded fellowship with God, the power of the blood to cleanse, only for the sake of our advance in holiness or in happiness.
The whole appointment of the sanctuary and the priests was that there might be men who could come before God to minister to Him, and then go out and bless their fellowmen. Christ entered through His blood within the veil, to go and serve; to be a minister of the sanctuary in the power of the blood, by which He could cleanse others and admit them to within the veil. To know the power of the blood to cleanse and admit within the veil, and give us part in the priests' ministry of blessing men: this will come as we seek it as fitness to serve the living God.
"How much more shall the blood of Christ cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
"How much more shall the blood of Christ cleanse from dead works."
- Andrew Murray, from The Holiest of All
The cleansing is for service. There was a great difference between the people in the outer court and the priests within the tabernacle. The former saw the blood sprinkled on the altar, and trusted for forgiveness; the blood was not applied to their persons. The priests were sprinkled with the blood; that gave them access to the sanctuary to serve God there. We still have outer-court Christians, who look at Calvary, and trust for forgiveness, but know nothing of the access to God give by the more direct and powerful application of the blood from Heaven by the Holy Spirit. Oh let us give ourselves to be priests, wholly separated to the service of God, wholly given up to God, for Him to work in us and through us what perishing men need. Our consecration to this service will urge us mightily to claim an ever mightier experience of the blood, because we shall feel that nothing less than a full entrance into, and a true abiding in God's presence, can fit us for doing God's work. The more we see and approve that the object of the cleansing must only be for service, the more shall we see and experience that the power for service is only in the cleansing.
Additional Note: "The blood contains that which makes white (Rev. 7:14). Not only the man, but his garments are made white. This is more than cleansing. It is the word used regarding Christ's transfiguration garments (Matt. 17:2); the angel robes (Matt. 28:3); the heavenly clothing (Rev. 4:4); the judgment throne (Rev. 20:11), whiter than snow, white as the garments of Christ. What potency, what excellency, what virtue does this blood contain! How it beautifies. How it glorifies."
- Horatio Bonar
Before I speak I should ask myself:
Before I begin my day I will ask the Lord to "set a guard over my mouth and keep watch over the door of my lips?" –Psalm 141:3
May the Lord bless our tongues!
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