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THEOLOGY > Bible > Spiritual Life > Double Confrontation    


In the experience of grace, man is confronted with God. The lost sheep cannot find the fold, therefore, it is the Shepherd that looks for the sheep and finds the sheep, carrying it home on His shoulders (Lu. 15:4-7). Because of his state of sin, man is “estranged from the womb” (Ps. 58:3) and does not search for God (Rom. 3:9, 11). He is lost in the wilderness of sin, without ability to rescue himself from his plight (see: Man’s Disobedience and The Character of Sin).

God confronts man; He takes the initiative. To Paul it was on the road to Damascus; to Peter it was beside the Sea of Galilee; to the eunuch it was while he was in the chariot reading Isaiah; to Augustine it was in the prayers of his mother and the preaching of Ambrose; to Luther it was when he was seeking salvation through self-abasement and the study of the Scriptures; and to me it was while I was reading Murray’s book, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied. The Shepherd calls the sheep by name and they follow Him because they recognize His voice (Jo. 10:1-5).

The point is that those who are chosen are not left alone to their own devices, their own wills, but are confronted by Him who has set His affection on them. He has determined to bring them to Himself.

As man is confronted by God, he is confronted with himself. In fact, man has no vantage point by which to evaluate himself, until he views himself from the perspective of God. For no man sees himself until he sees God; no man knows himself until he knows God. Man does not realize he is man until he realizes God is God. In the Truth of the Biblical Revelation man finds God and, as a result of that miraculous discovery, finds himself. He finds the thrice-holy God high and lifted up and then sees himself as sinful and others as sinful. This only happens when the eyes see the King (Isa. 6). Thus, part of the phenomenon of Scripture is that in finding God, man finds himself.

This two-fold encounter,
God to man (God revealing Himself)
and man with God (man finding himself),
thrusts upon man the dynamic nature of revealed Truth.

Though the Truth is complete, it is not static. Though it is written down, it is living and active; it is living in that it brings to man the living God, not just something about God, but God Himself, the Personal God; it is living in that it makes God real to the individual, by creating within man the capacity to know God.

The purpose of Revelation is not that there might be a Revelation, but that through the Revelation God might be revealed; that is, the Revelation is not an end in itself.

The telos of revealed Truth has been realized
when man finds the God who has found him.

Man comes to know, not only what is true, but also Him who is true. In this way the Truth is living—it brings God to man and in bringing God to man, it brings man to God! Life is imparted to the reader, the one who through the reading and hearing is Embraced by Truth, and then in turn embraces the Truth. This is the mysterious and spiritual phenomenon of Scripture.

Rejoice with me,
for I have found my sheep which was lost.
Lu. 15:6

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