King's Business - 1940-12



December; 1940

"Said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be . . .? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy G h ost. . . " (Lk. 1:34, 35 ).

By T H EO D O R E M . B A M B E R * Peckham, London, England

Mary s Query, and Ours

P ROTESTANTS h a v e probably ailed to do justice to Mary. We have failed in this respect because of our hatred of/all the falsehoods per­ petrated by Rome concerning her. We cannot admit that she is an intercessor for us. We declare that there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that we may in­ voke her aid in securing blessings from our Lord. We insist that while she is the mother of Jesus, she is never in Scripture declared to be “Holy Mary, the mother of God.’’ John, to whose home she went after thé crucifixion, never mentions her after that event. Peter makes no reference to her, al­ though those who claim to be Peter’s successors make much of her. From all this false teaching the Protestant shrinks with horror. At the same time, we must be careful that in our proper reaction to such heresy as this we do not fail to do Mary justice, and I rather think we have. She must have been a woman of beautiful faith and character. Indeed, this is proved in the Scripture record. She is “highly favored” and “blessed . . . among women,” and she stands out in all the Scriptures as a wo­ man full of faith and devotion. We see her at the great and critical moment in her life. Doubtless she shared with the women of her country the hope that she might be the mother of . the Messiah. With her the desire would be peculiarly strong because she moved among those in whom the Messianic hope was strong. True, the circle was not a large one and certainly not im­ portant. There were Simeon and Anna, frequenting the temple in expectation

shall endeavor to imitate Jesus, who shall claim Him as a great Example and seek to emulate His deeds. To do that would be to adopt the policy of the frog who aspired to become as large as the ox, to his own destruction. It is not the imitation of the life of Jesus that God asks for, but for the manifestation of His glorious life. Paul addresses the Galatians: “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (4:19). Paul was aim­ ing not at imitation but at manifesta­ tion. The question for the believer is not, “How shall-1 attempt to imitate Jesus?” but, “How shall the divine life of the Lord Jesus be manifested in me ?” And the answer from God is, “The Holy Ghost . . .” In the Person of the Holy Ghost is to be found the secret of how the divine nature may be found in us. Paul in the same Epistle to the Galatians (4:4-6) outlines the wonderful program of Beth­ lehem and redemption. He shows that out of- redemption there is adoption, for we take the same relationship to God as the One through whom we have re­ ceived life. And because we “are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son” into our hearts whereby We cry, “Abba, Father.” All the , beauty o f Jesus in serenity of life, inward peace, purity, love, truth, holiness, gentleness, meekness; and faith can and will be manifested in us as we trust the Hply Spirit. We may feel, and rightly, that out of our carnality such a life as this is impossible. As we perceive the divine commission and recognize our utter deadness and weakness, we may whole­ heartedly rely upon God in His Word. To our feebleness, dismay, and wonder, He brings the fullness of blessing in the answer: “The Holy Ghost.” And next?

inspired by a strong faith that they should see the Lord’s Anointed.* So far as,the record indicates, no similar reve­ lation was given to any of the great ecclesiastics of the temple, but God had spoken to these two trusting ones. God takes the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty. And thus it was that the commission to become the mother of the Messiah came, in God’s inscrutable wisdom, to this young woman of little account among men, but highly favored in the divine estimation and blessed among women.- She faced two great issues, which, in a spiritual sense, are to be dealt with by the present-day believer as well. For every sincere Christian there must be at least two questions. We may not always see them precisely in the way of Mary’s seeing, but in principle •they are in the forefront of our per­ petual and earnest quest. They repre­ sent in us both the longing and the questioning of Mary, and they are just as critical in their way for us as for her. The first is: How shall the divine nature be formed in me ? . And the second, is: How shall the divine purpose be fulfilled through me? Consider these questions prayerfully. T h e D ivine Nature in the Christian How shall the divine nature be formed in me? The divine nature is seen in its . beauty, grandeur, and excellence in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will teach us from the Word that what we see in Jesus, and indeed all that Jesus is in the perfection of His holy charac­ ter, is precious and pleasing ■to God. God wants to see that likewise in us. God is not seeking men and women who

* Minuter , Rye Lane Chapel and a speaker at the well-known English Keswick Convention.


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