austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

April 6

6 APR – The Loss of Distinctiveness

From the history of Israel and the history of the Church one thing springs into light and is unmistakably evident, that is that there is no substitute for light once given by God.

Unfaithfulness to light once given by God results inevitably and unavoidably in confusion, weakness, bondage, limitation, and tentativeness.

These are clearly the features of Babylon in Israel’s case, and of the Church’s case in the twentieth century.

Someone has said that

“The Church of the first century was power-conscious.

The Church of the twentieth century is problem-conscious.”

We could not improve on that, but we might paraphrase it by saying that

The Church of the first century was PURPOSE conscious.

The Church of the twentieth century is perplexity conscious.

‘Ezekiel’ is peculiarly the Old Testament book of God’s reaction in judgment to lost distinctiveness of purpose. ‘Revelation’ is its New Testament counterpart, with many similar characteristics in symbolism.

When anything becomes something in itself, turning, in doctrine and practice, into a circle instead of a way and a means, confusion, frustration, and bondage become its characteristics; limitation and powerlessness will mark its existence. It becomes a matter of lost distinctiveness.

That distinctiveness of life and testimony is demanded by God is self-evident in the whole Bible. A word frequently used to express God’s thought as to His people is the word ‘peculiar’.

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