MAN THE VEHICLE FOR EXHIBITING GOD'S PERFECTIONS.
From: How to Live a Holy Life
Man was created for a purpose, and that purpose was to glorify his Creator
(Isa. 43:7). But man sinned and came short of the glory of God. The Lord,
that he may yet be glorified in the man, provides a way of redemption.
Through the redemption we have in Christ we can live to the glory of God.
This is God's purpose. The whole of life should be such as will glorify
the Creator, and all that we do should be done with that end in view. God
help us. Living for God, honoring his Word, magnifying his name--this is
the duty of man. Awful responsibility! Oh, what carefulness it should work
in us. What vehement desire! what earnest seeking after God! that we may
live such a life.
Jesus was here in the world and was the light of the world. He had a human
body and in that body lived a life that glorified God. That was an
exemplary life. Such a life, and such a life only, is to the glory of God.
We must fashion our life after his if we would spend life as we should. To
know how Jesus lived is to know how we should live. Every life that is in
the likeness of Christ's life is accepted of God. No other life can be.
While Christ was here in the body, he was in the express image of the
Father. The true, holy character of God was revealed through Jesus' human
life to a lost and sinning world. God had done all he could to reveal his
true character to man by laws, ceremonies, and ordinances; but these were
only the shadow of the true life that was to be the light of the world.
Christ was both God and man. Having a physical form, which is visible, he
could set the holiness of God in plain view before the world. If you would
know the true life, look to Jesus.
But his life could be perfect only as it was given in sacrifice for man.
His life was holy because it was a life sacrificed to God. No life can be
possessed by God and used to his glory, that is not sacrificed to him.
Jesus gave himself as an offering and sacrifice to God for us (Eph. 5:2).
This left him without a body or human life through which to demonstrate
moral principle to the world. But now comes the command to man, "I beseech
you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your
reasonable service." Rom. 12:1. God would have this human life of ours
offered up in sacrifice, so that we are no more ours but his. When we do
so, there will be a change, a great and wonderful change. That life will
no longer be worldly or in the course of ordinary earthly-minded men. It
will be a transformed life, a life in which God can live and do his will.
Through the sacrifice of Christ, God will take the sacrificed life of man
and possess it by his Spirit and again demonstrate moral principle to the
world. O man, that is your calling in life. You are the vehicle to convey
the perfections of God to an unbelieving world. Only an empty vessel for
God to fill with himself and use to his glory.
O man, consider thyself, and know thyself, the purpose for which thou wert
created, and the place which thou dost occupy in creation. Thou art no
mean creature. Thou art highest of all. God condescends to walk and talk
with thee. He upholds thee in his hand. Angels minister to thee. When thou
passest through the waters, God himself will be with thee so that they
shall not overflow thee, and when thou walkest through the fire, he will
walk with thee so that the flame shall not kindle upon thee; because thou
art precious in his sight and honorable, and he has set his love upon
thee. Thou art so precious to him that he gave his only begotten Son to
die to ransom thee.
In the vast created universe, what place does man occupy? He stands out as
a creature that bears the stamp of the divine image, a creature that is
endowed with eternity. The heavens shall pass away, but man shall be
forever. He was made capable of holding communion with the Creator. He
occupies the relationship with God as child with parent. Being made in the
likeness of God, he steps out upon the stage of the mighty universe to
play the highest and noblest part in the entire drama of created
existences. The songs of the morning stars as they sing together, pouring
their anthems into the ears of God, are not such sweet music as is the
voice of praise and adoration from the holy soul of man.
Man was created for the very highest purpose in the mind of God. He is
chosen to represent the divine character. On the stage men and women
represent certain characters. Man upon the great stage of life is selected
to represent the holy character of God. Oh, that he might play his part
well! He who occupies the highest and most responsible part in this
wonderful play of the universe will sink to the lowest shame and disgrace
if he fails. The eyes of earth, heaven, and hell were turned upon man as
he stepped out to play his part. A garden eastward in Eden was selected as
the ground of exhibition. It was whispered throughout the corridors of the
universe, "Will he succeed? Will he play his part well?" Ah, the sad
story! He failed and he fell, bringing a world into shame and disgrace,
causing angels to weep and God to repent that he had ever made him.
But heaven's love was set upon him, and God sought a way whereby the
fallen man could be lifted from his low, degraded plane to the high
position he once occupied. After searching heaven through, God found but
one way for man's redemption, but one price to pay. Would he pay it? He
called his Son, his only Son, and pointed out to him the fallen condition
of man, and how He was robbed of glory and devils were rejoicing. The
Father said to his Son, "Only thy entering into that lower world in the
likeness of sinful flesh and suffering and dying can redeem man." The Son
replied, "I will go. I will suffer. I will lay down my life that man may
be restored to his former position, so that he can again take up the part
he was to play." The price was paid; the plan of man's redemption was
effected; the divine image was again stamped upon the man, so that in
Christ Jesus he could again come out and in his life's play reveal the
character of God to the world.
Reader, this brings us down to your day and mine. We have our part to play
in life. That part is to display the divine perfections. Through Christ
this is possible. Oh, what responsibility! Will we play our part well?
Again the eyes of earth, heaven, and hell are turned upon us. The apostle
says, "We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."
1 Cor. 4:9. "Men" includes both good and bad; likewise the term "angels"
includes both good and bad angels. So, as I have said, earth, heaven, and
hell are spectators. To live life as it should be lived is to act out our
part upon the stage of life in such a way as to honor God and demonstrate
his character before this mighty host of spectators.
Such is man. Through him the righteous character of God is made visible to
the world. God himself is invisible; but since he comes into our heart and
life, and since our life is physical and visible, his holiness becomes
visible in our holy living. This is how to live. He who lives on a lower
plane than perfect holiness is not living to God's requirements.
God did not redeem man at such a great price merely for man's sake. He
redeemed him for his own glory. Redeemed man is God's purchased
possession, that 'he should show forth the virtues of him who hath called
him out of darkness into his marvelous light' (see marginal reading of 1
Pet. 2:9). Here again we learn that the mission of man is to show forth in
his daily life the true, holy virtues of his Maker and Redeemer. This
should be the first business of our life--living solely, purposely, and
earnestly for God. We are beings in whom God dwells and through whom God
is to display his own holy perfections. This is wonderful; this is
weighty. There is, I repeat, great responsibility on man. But unless he
feels it, he will never fill to the full the measure of life. Oh, how
delighted is the loving heart of God to find in this world a being in whom
he can dwell and through whom he can reveal his own beautiful life! Shall
we yield ourselves to him? Shall we invite him into our hearts? Shall we
consecrate our lives to him that he may hide our life in his life? Yes,
dear Lord, we are thine, wholly thine, now and forever. Take full
possession; live in us; reign in our hearts; use every faculty of our
beings to thy own glory. Thy will be done in us and with us as it is done
Jesus will gather his holy angels before him and address them thus: "Do
you behold Brother--? He is a pilgrim and stranger down there in the
earth. He is my child. I have washed him in my blood and clothed him with
the beautiful garments of salvation. His heart is pure and full of love.
He is dead to sin and the world. He loves my will, and his daily meat and
drink is to do it. He loves my Word and has hid it in his heart. He keeps
all my commandments. He seeks my glory. He often communes with me. He is
fervent in spirit and zealous in good works. His good deeds and prayers I
bottle up here in heaven, See that beautiful mansion yonder with its gates
of gold and walls of jasper, its floors of transparent glass, its
corridors of chalcedony, and colonades of topaz and beryl. That mansion is
to be his home when his pilgrimage in that under-world is done. By his
holy walk and devoted life he is now confessing me before men, and I take
great delight in telling you that he is my child and in confessing him
before you and my Father on his throne. Just as I have said in my Word, he
that will confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father and
the holy angels."
Redeemed man is a light in the world. In the darkness of this world he is
a dispeller of gloom. His life shines, shedding its peaceful rays of light
wherever he goes.
Man's life, when meeting the fullest purpose of God, is used as a
magnifying-glass through which others may look and see the beauties of
divine perfections. Alas! it is to be lamented that the life of many who
profess to be followers of Jesus is such that it blurs the perfections of
In concluding this chapter, let me give you a few rules for daily living--
rules which, if followed, will make your life a conveyancer of light,
peace, and holiness from God to the world.
Live such a life that the pure and devoted will be pleased to have you
Live so near to God that every man that meets you is made a little better
by having met you.
Live such a life each day that the world can see in you the true way of
Be such a light that others can see the way to walk.
Next: SOME USE TO JESUS.
Previous: HOW TO KEEP THE WORD OF GOD IN THE HEART.