Growing in Grace Studies: IV.Out of and Into

Theology Girl Studies

GROWING IN GRACE STUDIES
Blogging with TheologyGirl & ReformedWomen
Fall 2009
BOOK: The Deeper Christian Life by Andrew Murray

IV. OUT OF AND INTO

And He brought us out from thence, that He might bring us in, to give  us the land which He sware unto our Fathers.” –Deut. 6:23

I have spoken of the crisis that comes in the life of the man who sees
   that his Christian experience is low and carnal, and who desires to
   enter into the full life of God. Some Christians do not understand that
   there should be such a crisis. They think that they ought, from the day
   of their conversion, to continue to grow and progress. I have no
   objections to that, if they have grown as they ought. If their life has
   been so strong under the power of the Holy Ghost that they have grown
   as true believers should grow, I certainly have no objection to this.
   But I want to deal with those Christians whose life since conversion
   has been very much a failure, and who feel it to be such because of
   their not being filled with the Spirit, as is their blessed privilege.
   I want to say for their encouragement, that by taking one step, they
   can get out into the life of rest, and victory, and fellowship with God
   to which the promises of God invite them.

   Look at the elder son in the parable. How long would it have taken him
   to get out of that state of blindness and bondage into the full
   condition of sonship? By believing in his father’s love, he might have
   gotten out that very hour. If he had been powerfully convicted of his
   guilt in his unbelief, and had confessed like his prodigal brother, “I
   have sinned,” he would have come that very moment into the favor of the
   son’s happiness in his father’s home. He would not have been detained
   by having a great deal to learn, and a great deal to do; but in one
   moment, his whole relation would have been changed.

   Remember, too, what we saw in Peter’s case. In one moment, the look of
   Jesus broke him down and there came to him the terribly bitter
   reflection of his sin, owing to his selfish, fleshly confidence, a
   contrition and reflection which laid the foundation for his new and
   better life with Jesus. God’s word brings out the idea of the
   Christian’s entrance into the new and better life by the history of the
   people of Israel’s entrance into the land of Canaan.

   In our text, we have these words: –“God brought us out from thence
   (Egypt), that He might bring us in” into Canaan. There are two steps:
   one was bringing them out; and the other was bringing them in. So in
   the life of the believer, there are ordinarily two steps quite separate
   from each other; –the bringing him out of sin and the world; and the
   bringing him into a state of complete rest afterward. It was the
   intention of God that Israel should enter the land of Canaan from
   Kadesh-Barnea, immediately after He had made His covenant with them at
   Sinai. But they were not ready to enter at once, on account of their
   sin and unbelief, and disobedience. They had to wander after that for
   forty years in the wilderness. Now, look how God led the people. In
   Egypt, there was a great crisis, where they had first to pass through
   the Red Sea, which is a figure of conversion; and when they went into
   Canaan, there was, as it were, a second conversion in passing through
   the Jordan. At our conversion, we get into liberty, out of the bondage
   of Egypt; but, when we fail to use our liberty through unbelief and
   disobedience, we wander in the wilderness for a longer or shorter
   period before we enter into the Canaan of victory, and rest, and
   abundance. Thus God does for His Israel two things: –He brings them
   out of Egypt; and He lead them into Canaan.

   My message, then, is to ask this question of the believer: –Since you
   know you are converted and God has brought you out of Egypt, have you
   yet come into the land of Canaan? If not, are you willing that he
   should bring you into the fuller liberty and rest provided for His
   people? He brought Israel out of Egypt by a mighty hand, and the same
   mighty hand brought us out of our land of bondage; with the same mighty
   hand, He brought his ancient people into rest, and by that hand, too,
   He can bring us into our true rest. The same God who pardoned and
   regenerated us–is waiting to perfect His love in us, if we but trust
   Him. Are there many hearts saying:–“I believe that God brought me out
   of bondage twenty, or thirty, or forty years ago; but alas! I cannot
   say that I have been brought into the happy land of rest and victory?”

   How glorious was the rest of Canaan after all the wanderings in the
   wilderness! And so is it with the Christian who reaches the better
   promised Canaan of rest, when he comes to leave all his charge with the
   Lord Jesus–his responsibilities, anxieties, and worry; his only work
   being to hand the keeping of his soul into the hand of Jesus every day
   and hour, and the Lord can keep, and give the victory over every enemy.
   Jesus has undertaken not only to cleanse our sin, and bring us to
   heaven, but also to keep us in our daily life.

   I ask again: –Are you hungering to get free from sin and its
   power?–Anyone longing to get complete victory over his temper, his
   pride, and all his evil inclinations?–Hearts longing for the time when
   no clouds will come between them and their God?–Longing to walk in the
   full sunshine of God’s loving favour? The very God who brought you from
   the Egypt of darkness is ready and able to bring you also into the
   Canaan of rest.

   And now comes the question again: –What is the way by which God will
   bring me to this rest? What is needed on my part if God is really to
   bring me into the happy land? I give the answer first of all by asking
   another question:–Are you willing to forsake your wanderings in the
   wilderness? If you say “We do not want to leave our wanderings, where
   we have had so many wonderful indications of God’s presence with us; so
   many remarkable proofs of the Divine care and goodness, like that of
   the ancient people of God, who had the pillar to guide them, and the
   manna given them every day for forty years; Moses and Aaron to lead and
   advise them. The wilderness is to us, on account of these things, a
   kind of sacred place; and we are loath to leave it.” If the children of
   Israel had said anything of this kind to Joshua, he would have said to
   them (and we all would have said):–“Oh, you fools: It is the very God
   who gave you the pillar of cloud and the other blessings in the
   wilderness, who tells you how to come into the land flowing with milk
   and honey.” And so I can speak to you in the same way; I bring you the
   message that He who has brought you thus far on your journey, and given
   you such blessings thus far, is the God who will bring you into the
   Canaan of complete victory and rest.

Next week:  ARE YOU READY TO LEAVE THE WILDERNESS?

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One comment on “Growing in Grace Studies: IV.Out of and Into

  1. Commentary: Matthew Henry:
    Deu 6:17-25
    Here, I. Moses charges them to keep God’s commandments themselves: You shall diligently keep God’s commandments, Deu_6:17-19. Note, It requires a great deal of care and pains to keep up religion in the power of it in our hearts and lives. Negligence will ruin us; but we cannot be saved without diligence. To induce them to this, he here shows them, 1. That this would be very acceptable to God: it is right and good in the sight of the Lord; and that is right and good indeed that is, so in God’s sight. If we have any regard to the favour of our Creator as our felicity, and the law of our creation as our rule, we shall be religious. 2. That it would be very advantageous and profitable to themselves. It would secure to them the possession of the land of Canaan, prosperity there, and constant victory over those that stood in their way. In short, “Do well, and it shall be well with thee.”

    II. He charges them to instruct their children in the commands of God, not only that they might in their tender years intelligently and affectionately join in religious services, but that afterwards they might in their day keep up religion, and convey it to those that should come after them. Now,

    1. Here is a proper question which it is supposed the children would ask (Deu_6:20): “What mean the testimonies and the statutes? What is the meaning of the feasts we observe, the sacrifices we offer, and the many peculiar customs we keep up?” Observe, (1.) All divine institutions have a certain meaning, and there is something great designed in them. (2.) It concerns us to know and understand the meaning of them, that we may perform a reasonable service and may not offer the blind for sacrifice. (3.) It is good for children betimes to enquire into the true intent and meaning of the religious observances they are trained up in. If any are thus inquisitive in divine things it is a good sign that they are concerned about them, and a good means of their attaining to a great acquaintance with them. Then shall we know if thus we follow on to know.

    2. Here is a full answer put into the parents’ mouths to be given to this good question. Parents and teachers must give instruction to those under their charge, though they do not ask it, nay, though they have an aversion to it; much more must they be ready to answer questions, and to give instruction when it is desired; for it may be hoped that those who ask it will be willing to receive it. Did the children ask the meaning of God’s laws? Let them be told that they were to be observed, (1.) In a grateful remembrance of God’s former favours to them, especially their deliverance out of Egypt, Deu_6:21-23. The children must be often told of the deplorable state their ancestors were in when they were bondmen in Egypt, the great salvation God wrought for them in fetching them out thence, and that God, in giving them these peculiar statutes, meant to perpetuate the memorial of that work of wonder, by which they were formed into a peculiar people. (2.) As the prescribed condition of his further favours (Deu_6:24): The Lord commanded us all these statutes for our good. Note, God commands us nothing but what is really for our good. It is our interest as well as our duty to be religious. [1.] It will be our life: That he might preserve us alive, which is a great favour, and more than we could expect, considering how often we have forfeited life itself. Godliness has the promise of the continuance and comfort of the life that now is as far as it is for God’s glory. [2.] It will be our righteousness. Could we perfectly fulfil but that one command of loving God with all our heart, soul, and might, and could we say, “We have never done otherwise,” this would be so our righteousness as to entitle us to the benefits of the covenant of innocency; had we continued in every thing that is written in the book of the law to do it, the law would have justified us. But this we cannot pretend to, therefore our sincere obedience shall be accepted through a Mediator to denominate us, as Noah was, righteous before God, Gen_7:1; Luk_1:6; and 1Jo_3:7. The Chaldee reads it, There shall be a reward to us if we observe to do these commandments; for, without doubt, in keeping God’s commandments there is great reward.

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