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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 11, 2013
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THE IDEAL RELATIOSHIP I CHRISTIAITY- SOS OF GOD By Robert J. Drummond D.D. ' How shall I put thee among the children ? ' — JER. iii. 19. ' Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God. . . . Beloved, now are we children of God.' — I JOH iii. I, 2. CHRISTIAITY is a revelation in Christ of the God of salvation and of the salvation of God. It is the history of how God made man, of what man made of himself, of what feelings this excited in God's heart, and of what measures God took and what lengths He went to retrieve the situation. The result for man is described in a great variety of ways. What has been called Christ's programme of Chris tianity puts it in one way. It is healing for broken hearts, release for captives, sight for the blind, liberty for them that are bruised, the acceptable year of the Lord. The Beatitudes put it in another. It is blessed ness, and that guaranteed even in the most unlikely situations and for the most unex pected persons — the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the persecuted. Ex- 149 150 FAITH'S CERTAITIES perience, Christian experience, describes it as
finding in Christ wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. It is the realising of the enjoyment of an unchallenge able position, predetermined by God, — * whom He did foreknow, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son; and whom He foreordained, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified ; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.' You may call the result of God's efforts on man's behalf justification, or his reinstatement in his proper relation with God. You may call it sanctification, or the generation and de velopment of the character that should corre spond to this. But all of these simply de scribe different aspects or stages of the one grand result, and no one of them is more important than another. o one of them describes it in its entirety. The result that God aimed at and achieved through the work of His Son among men and upon the Cross was the restoration of man to his original and ideal relationship with Himself, namely, that of a son with his Father. If you ask me for a theological name for the process, the word I THE IDEAL RELATIOSHIP 151 like best is adoption. But I am not concerned about a theological term. I prefer it in picture as it is given by Christ in His match less parable of the returning prodigal. All the shame-struck, conscience-smitten penitent dare venture ask for is forgiveness and a servant's place. But the father will not listen to it ; ' Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet, and bring hither the fatted calf and
kill it, and let us eat and be merry, for this, my son, was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found.' It is so much more than forgive ness, or even forgiving and forgetting, and a magnificent blotting out of the past. In Christ, God ' . . . takes away Our sin and gives us righteousness instead.' 1 It is even more than that. God reinstates the man who accepts His offers of salvation in the old relationship of a child of God. It was from that man fell ; it is to that he is restored by the work of Christ our Saviour. That is the most comprehensive way of speak ing of the result achieved by Christ. Every- 1 A. H. Clough, Mari Magno, the Clergyman's Tale. 152 FAITH'S CERTAITIES thing else finds its place within the scope of the restoration of this fundamental relationship. It is this relationship which it is now proposed to study. From what has already been said in previous chapters of the measures taken by God to redeem the human race from its fate, there is no need to demonstrate the fatherly attitude of God toward men. one but a father, one bound to men by closer ties than merely those of Creator and Creature, one who was linked to them rather by ties like those of kindred and affection, would alone take such pains to save them. What men do need to study is their own position. They need to be clear in what

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