"A Serious Neglect" - Part 4 - by Dr Ern Baxter.
When you write my biography you will stop at my death, that's all you know about me. Because I don't have immortality. Neither does anyone else. There is only one Immortal Man in the universe this morning - only one. Christ the firstfruits. He is the only glorified Man - the rest of us must wait for the great Resurrection at which time, we too will put on immortality. Until then we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. He is our goal! I shall be like Him. I am not going to be like the pre-Cross Jesus, the pre-Resurrection Jesus. I am going to be like the post Resurrection immortalised Man. Jesus of Nazareth! Don't get that all mixed up with Jesus who is God. I am not trying to confuse you.
But you must hold the orthodox doctrine of the two natures of Jesus who is Christ. You must understand that His value for us was the Incarnation - it was His Manhood. He laid hold upon our humanity! He who was God of very God became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth and He is God Man at the right hand of God and His glorified Manhood is my future. Let me check something right here. If you don't understand that our goal is not Godhead but glorified humanity, you are in trouble. I will never be Godhead. But I will be glorified Manhood like Jesus of Nazareth. Let him that hath ears to hear - hear! That will save you from a lot of trouble. A lot of people don't understand that difference and are holding out false hopes and false claims and people are acting stupidly. I am quite content someday to be like Jesus of Nazareth, the patterned Son at the right hand of God, Mary's boy! Ern Baxter someday is going to be like Jesus of Nazareth. Not Ern Baxter like the eternal Logos, the Second Person of the Triune God. How many heard me? How many understand what I am saying? Good.
Why is the life of Christ so important? Let's take another tack now shall we? Because I am moving towards the whole concept of largeness - Kingdom! The divine Government - the ultimate reality - the nature of divine destiny revealed. There is no place in here for philosphical guessing. Philosophy is man at his lost best trying to figure out the mystery of life. And if you read philosophy you finish up still with the mystery. They just go round and round and round. They all modify each other and correct each other and they are all dumb. Why? Because lost men go in circles - that's just a fact. Man is lost - he goes in circles. The whole philosophical concept of history - the philosophy of history of the fallen philosopher is the Grecian concept of an eternal circle. God broke into that in Jesus Christ. In fact it was His intention from the beginning. So the Christian history is not a circle - history is a straight line from Alpha to Omega. From beginning to end! I am not going in a circle. I am on my way to Omega! You want to go in circles? Go ahead! For me I have joined Christ! Who broke into the circle and is going from Alpha to Omega!
Let's say hallelujah! Every once in a while I go back and read philosophy to have fun. I like to watch people go in circles! Why is the life of Christ so important? One of the great revelations given to Paul is the revelation of the two Adams. When you come to the fifth chapter of Romans from verse 12 you read about the two Adams. The first Adam was a progenator of a race. He was the type of One that was to come who was the last Adam who was the progenator of a race. The first Adam lived for 930 years and he died and left to his progeny - death. The last Adam lived for 33 and a half years, died and rose to immortality and now lives and His gift to His progeny is eternal life! The only thing is that we don't enjoy that because we never get Him out of the grave! All humanity is related to either on of these Adams. I need to draw this to a close, and you are aware I have been picked my way through but I want to say something very quickly to you about transition.
Here is our problem.
Impeccable life -
Vicarious death -
Victorious Resurrection -
Triumphant Ascension -
Permament Enthronement -
Outpoured Holy Spirit -
High Priestly Ministry -
Now this is a sequence. Are you listening? This is a sequence that occurs in history. Leave out the Second Coming for a moment because that is yet future to us. There was a time when Jesus was a nine month foetus in the womb of a little peasant girl - He was born and suckled at her breast like any other Jewish infant. But the mystery is that He was not only Mary's boy but He was God's boy and in the mystery of the Incarnation those two natures in that one marvellous Person nestled at the bosom of a woman. Now I am going to sound offensive to some of you. But Jesus is no longer a baby. Jesus was a baby for as long as it took Him to be a baby. Come Christmas I don't worship the babe! Now if you've been to Rome like I have several times and walked through the Vatican, Jesus is the eternal baby. Mary is always holding Him in her arms. You would swear He never grew up! Jesus was a baby for as long as a baby is a baby when His babyhood was over He became a young man full of of the emerging excitement of a Jewish kid who has been taught by His parents about the marvel of the great city of the King - Jerusalem and at the early age of a young boy in our day in a Jewish family and He took His first trip to Jersualem and when He came in sight of the city, His little Jewish heart just thumped because this is what mother Mary and Joseph had taught Him - because this is the great city and there is tradition, the city of the King - Jesusalem!
He could hardly wait to get there and He went into the temple and wandered around it's vast expanses and looked at the bearded rabbis and He was amazed and astounded and 'oohed' and 'aahed' like any 13 year old kid would do. The time came to go home and the Mary/Joseph party got together and went a couple of days down the road and Mary said to Joseph, "Joseph - I haven't seen Jesus since we left Jerusalem!". "Well maybe He's over with cousin Elizabeth. I'll go see". So He wasn't there. "Maybe Uncle Aaron and his bunch". He came back and said, "Mary I can't find Him". "Oh no we left Him back in Jersualem". So they headed back and went to the Temple and He was sitting there - a precocious kid talking to the rabbis. He wasn't just talking - out of His pure mind came insights that were unsullied by fallenness. So right from the begining He had a purity and was asking the rabbis questions. He honoured them. They were the teachers of Israel and they would answer a question and He would carefully and respectfully say, "Rabbi - thus and so". The teachers would look at each other and say, "Who is this kid?!". Mary came up to Him and said, "Son why did you do this to us?". He said, "You don't understand - that I must be about My Father's business". Mary tucked that in her heart with a whole lot of other stuff and said, "Who is this kid?!". (*laughter*).
Very quickly now. Celebrate the Incarnation for what it is but don't camp there. The impeccable life- oh man, give me an hour on that! This magnicificent Man - this Man after God's own perfectionable demands. This Man who walked gently across the stage of time. Talk about evolution! He didn't evolve from any human strain - He was the projection of impeccable Manhood and He turned to a crowd one day and said, "Which of you convinces Me of sin?". There were hundreds of people that would have loved to have convinced Him of sin but their mouths were shut. Did you ever wonder why the Father gave Judas to Jesus? Jesus was praying all one night and the Father said, "Son I want you to have 12 men to be with you because I want to perfect your humanity and your humanity can't be perfected unless you get rubbed around by other human beings and I am going to give you 12 that they may be with you.". "Okay Father - you want to tell Me who they are?". "Yere" He said, "Peter". "Peter? Father - you are sure about Peter? He's a bit mouthy and makes a lot of mistakes". "Son listen to Me - Peter". "Judas". "Which one Father?". "Iscariot". "Father - there's something funny about him". "I want you to have him". So the next morning Jesus came to the bunch of disciples and said, "The Father spoke to Me last night and He has given Me 12 of you and I am going to read out the names". So the 12 men came with Him and became the Twelve and one of them was a devil. He was a dyabolical spy.
The Bible says he was a devil from the beginning. And Jesus deliberately gave him the purse and made him the treasurer. The Bible said he picked a few coins for pocket money. But he watched Jesus. Jesus was a bit careless about women - Jews didn't talk to women yet Jesus did. Jewish gurus didn't have women in their group yet Jesus did. Judas watched for some misbehaviour and couldn't find any. He watched Jesus with money. No indiscretions at all. He watched Jesus in His temparament - perfect poise - perfect mixture. And when the time came for Him to die, he screamed in his agony, "I have betrayed innocent blood!". That's why the Father put a devil in the circle - hell had to admit that Jesus Christ was the impeccable, spotless Son of God! (*applause*).
I love His life. I love Him more every time I read the Gospels. He challenges my own humanity - but I don't live there. I come to his vicarious death and I mourn at His agony and I am influenced by His passion but I don't live there. I am with them in spirit on Resurrection Morning and oh, that's another hour. But I don't live there. I stand with them and watch Him going into heaven. They'd be still standing there if two men in white hadn't come and said, "Why stand ye gazing?". "Get out of here!". He will be back - now go do what He told you to do! Thousands of evangelicals are still guilty of standing gaping. That's why we are not getting anything done!
Now we are dependent on revelation - He went up and was made a King. And He was crowned and as the Father came over with the holy anointing oil and anointed this newly crowned King, and it poured down, down, down to His waiting disciples in the Temple and as Jesus was crowned with the authority to be the God/Man/King the whole redeemed community shared in the holy coronation oil. We have missed this in Pentecost! We thought Pentecost was to give us goosebumps, and to beat our tambourines and jump and dance. All of that too - but the baptism of the Holy Ghost is your enablement to reign. But still don't stop there! I now have two dimensions to my life. I receive the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit enables me to see Him and what He is doing now.
What is He doing now? Someone said, "He's just sitting". "Okay He is just sitting - but what is He doing? Making intercession for me, He is my High Priest!". I get in trouble and He says, "Father, our boy is in trouble. My bleeding wounds received on Calvary, they bleed effectual prayers - they strongly plead for him. Now let that righteous sinner live". And the Father out of faithfulness to the Son, immediately forgives my sin. I like that arrangement! Every time I sin, my attorney goes straight to the Father and sorts it out for me. Yes but you have got two attorneys. You have got a Paraclete at God's right hand and you have got a Paraclete in God the Holy Ghost who lives right here. So the minute you sin, that Paraclete sorts it out with the Father right now! And now you have trouble - you know you have done wrong but you hear a knocking. "Yes who is it?". "It's the Holy Spirit". "What do you want?". "I want to talk to you". "Well what about?". "You know what about". "But I don't want to talk about it right now". "Why?". "I'm ashamed. I don't want the Father to know. What? He already knows? Oh my. I think we better talk about it". "Couldn't you come back in the morning?". "No - I think you'd sleep better if we talked now".
Now those two in tandem are my life. Jesus at the right hand of God and if you can receive this ahead of time - the existential Jesus in my heart by the Holy Spirit.
End of Transcript.