IYP

Irvine Young People

 

This excerpt from Romans Life Study Message 3 is provided in repsonse to question submitted via the "Ask a Serving One" page of the website on 3/25/05.

1. Knowing God by His Creation


The first item in the way of restriction is knowing God by His creation (1:19-20). The invisible things of God, His eternal power and divine nature, can be apprehended by His creation. The heavens and the earth manifest the invisible things of God. Approximately 20 years ago, the brothers in Taiwan collected biographical material on the famous scientists of the past centuries. They discovered that only a small percentage of these leading scientists said they did not believe in God. The distinct majority of them believed in Him. I once read an article in which Einstein was asked whether or not he believed in God. He replied, “Your question is an insult to me. How could a scientist such as I not believe in God?” If you study science, it will tell you that there is a God.

Although I do not know science, I know a little about our human body. Many times, as I preached to people about God, I have asked them to consider their bodies. I told them, “Think how wonderful you are. Who made you?” All the hair on our physical bodies, both inside and outside, grows downward except for the hair in our throat, which grows upward. This is very meaningful. If the hair in our throat grew downward, we would die because phlegm could not be discharged. Who made us this way? Furthermore, consider the marvelous design of the human face. The mouth has been properly positioned. How awkward and how terrible it would be for our mouth to be placed between our eyes! Also, have you ever thought about the function of our eyebrows? They function as breakwaters, keeping the perspiration out of our eyes. Who designed us this way? Recently I had two operations on my right eye. The surgeon showed me an artificial eye, especially pointing to the lens and the retina. Immediately I saw that this was an exact replica of the best camera. No one can make a camera to match the human eye. Who made these things? Our teeth are also marvelously designed. Our front teeth, the incisors, act like two knives, cutting whatever is placed in between them. Then the tongue sends the food back to the molars which are like grinding stones, grinding the food into a digestible substance. As the molars grind, saliva is secreted to liquefy the food. This is marvelous. Who made it? We must say, “Lord, thank You. You are my Creator. You have made me in such a wonderful way.”

When we behold creation in general and the human body in particular, how can we say there is no God? Even an atheistic medical doctor has to confess there is an Almighty One who created the human body. Therefore, by the things made we can apprehend the eternal power and the divine nature of God. When we see God in the beauties and wonders of His creation, we have to worship and glorify Him. Knowing God by His creation is the first aspect in the way of restricting evil.

HYMN STORY— Just As I Am

Composer:  Charlotte Elliott

 
The story of Charlotte Elliott's protracted struggle against the oppressive power of sin provides a helpful lesson to Christians and non-Christians alike. At an early age, Charlotte began to be aware of her sinful nature and of her impotence to resist sin's enticements. Growing up, Charlotte felt herself increasingly unworthy of God's grace and incapable of facing a perfect and righteous God. She visited many churches and solicited the help of many pastors, all of whom counseled her simply to pray more, to study the Bible more, to perform more noble deeds, and to resolve to do better. However, all the advice she received was unavailing. For seven or eight more years, Charlotte continued struggling in vain against sin, all the while mired in self-condemnation. She experienced at length the despondency of the human condition described in Romans 7:18: “I know that in me…nothing good dwells; for to will [the good] is present with me, but to work out the good is not.”

 After some time, Charlotte Elliott met an eminent preacher named Dr. Caesar Malan. This encounter would prove to be a great turning point in Charlotte's life. She asked him, as she had asked many others, how she might be saved. Sensing the enormous burden weighing upon her conscience, Malan responded compassionately, “Go to God just as you are.” Charlotte asked him incredulously, “Do I not have to do better, make more progress, and improve more before I believe in the Lord Jesus?” Malan simply repeated this simple, priceless phrase: “You must come to Him just as you are.” These few liberating words of fellowship had a deep and indelible effect on Charlotte Elliott and would later inspire the composition of her best-known hymn, “Just as I Am.”


 Just as I am, without one plea,
 But that Thy blood was shed for me,
 And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee,
 O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

 Just as I am, and waiting not
 To rid my soul of one dark blot;
 To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
 O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 Just as I am, though tossed about
 With many a conflict, many a doubt;
 Fightings within, and fears without,
 O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
 Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
 Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
 O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
 Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
 Because Thy promise I believe,
 O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 Just as I am, Thy love unknown
 Has broken every barrier down;
 Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
 O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 Jesus Christ came into the world as the great Physician to call and save sinners (Mark 2:17). And it is when we are the most ill that we need our Physician most desperately. Adam's secondary mistake, following his initial sin of disobedience, was to hide from God's presence, thus forsaking the only Person who could offer him salvation. Maybe aware of this tendency of fallen man, God exhorts us to come forward to Him with boldness that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help (Heb. 4:16). Furthermore, if we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7). Therefore, any feelings of condemnation or unworthiness following a sincere confession which cause us to fear God's presence originate from Satan, "the accuser of our brothers," who accuses us before God day and night (Rev. 12:10). We must realize and believe that our loving Savior sympathizes with the feeling of our weaknesses, for He Himself was likewise tempted (Heb. 4:15). God sees, God knows, God understands, and God has provided a complete solution for our sins through His Son's shed blood. God is waiting for us to come to Him just as we are.

 Nee, Watchman.  The Christian (1934-40). The Collected Works of Watchman Nee. Vol. 21. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1993. pp. 92-93.