Archive for the ‘Not of this world’ Tag

We Are Sojourners and Pilgrims On Earth   4 comments

sojourners-and-pilgrims-on-earth-whiteraimentdotwordpressdotcom

This is from the blog White Raiment:

First of all, however, let us remind ourselves that the Word of God reveals that there is a spiritual pilgrimage. Peter said: “Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:11), and the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews put it in this way: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things make it manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own… But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly” (Hebrews 11:13,14,16). You see what that says: They all died in faith not having received the promises. They had seen them and greeted them from a long way off. All these heroes of faith mentioned in that eleventh chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews are still looking for a country, that is, waiting for their inheritance, and chapter twelve makes it quite clear that although they have left this earth, they are one with us in ‘looking’. They “all died in faith, not having received the promises… God having foreseen some better thing concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect”(Hebrews 11:1,40. R.V. margin). So Abraham is still ‘looking’ with us for the heavenly country.

There is a whole group of New Testament words which describe the believer as a pilgrim and a stranger, and these many Greek words relate to people in the Roman Empire who had no settled abode anywhere. They were just visitors to the place. They had come to stay for a night, for a week, for a month, or for a year, but no matter how long they stayed, they did not belong to the place. They had no permanent residence there, and our New Testament is built upon that truth. All these Greek words are taken over and applied to Christians. When Peter said: “I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims”, he did not say: ‘Be pilgrims and sojourners’ but ‘You are‘.

The first five books of the Bible are books of a pilgrimage. The Bible opens with man at home. God had made a home for man, and he was there with God in that home. It was called ‘Paradise’; but man lost his home, was driven out from it, and he became a stranger, a homeless stranger, a displaced person. He was a wanderer in the earth and a foreigner to God’s home, all because he was out of friendship with God. When that friendship broke down, man lost his home, and he has been a pilgrim and stranger in the earth ever since. There is no restful home for the soul of man in this world because the world is no friend of God. That is how the Bible begins, and then that truth is broken up, firstly in the case of Abraham. All through his life Abraham was a pilgrim. We are told that he lived in a tent, and he moved up and down the land with that tent. You may think it is all right to be in a tent for a week’s holiday (although that depends upon circumstances) but I doubt whether there is anyone here who would like to spend their whole life in a tent. Abraham was one of those of whom it is written: “They are seeking after a country of their own” – a place which they could call ‘home’.

We pass from Abraham to Israel, who for forty years of their life were pilgrims and strangers in a wilderness. God had promised them all a home, a rest at the end of the journey, but they never received that promise in their lifetime – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises”. Even when they went into the land of promise they never had rest. Why was this so? Because they were in a world which God had rejected and repudiated, a world with which God was not in friendship, and a world which was no friend of God.

T. Austin-Sparks, Oneness With God In The Repudiation Of This World

Distinctiveness   2 comments

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This is from the blog White Raiment:

“If you are a called one, then you are a called out one. If God has called you at all then he has called you to live in spirit outside the world system. Originally we were in that Satanic system with no way of escape; but we were called, and that calling brought us out. True, that statement is a negative one, but there is a positive side also to our constitution; for as the people of God we have two titles, each of them significant according to the way we view ourselves: If we look back at our past history we are ekklesia, the Church; but if we look to our present life in God we are the Body of Christ, the expression on earth of him who is in heaven. From the standpoint of God’s choice of us we are ‘out of’ the world; but from the standpoint of our new life we are not of the world at all, but from above. On the one hand we are a chosen people, called and delivered out of the world system. On the other we are a regenerate people, utterly unrelated to that system because by the Spirit we are born from above. So John sees the holy city coming down ‘out of heaven from God’ (Rev. 21:10). As the people of God, heaven is not only our destiny but our origin.

“This is an amazing thing, that in you and me there is an element that is essentially otherworldly. So otherworldly is it indeed that no matter how this world may progress, it can never advance one step in likeness to that. The life we have as God’s gift came from heaven and never was in the world at all. It has no correspondence with the world but is in perfect correspondence with heaven; and though we must mingle with the world daily, it will never let us settle down and feel at home there.”

–Watchman Nee