Address Four God Manifested in the Flesh

March 28, 1941

We will turn to the 3rd Chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verses 15-22, and Chapter 4:1-13. We have the servant John the Baptist preceding his Lord and Master in His wonderful ministry, and God was mightily using him to stir the nation up. They had long fallen into a state of very great indifference as to Jehovah. For hundreds of years, they had lapsed more or less into dead formality and routine; God’s service had become a mere piece of religious machinery, and now God raised up John the Baptist to go before the Messiah and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, and we know how marvelously God used His beloved servant. The devil thought the very best thing he could do was to get rid of him, and he was put into prison and afterwards beheaded. It was not until after John was put in prison that the Lord Jesus took up His ministry.

Now we are to get what we have never had before in the world’s history—a revelation of God Himself in the Person of the Son. We are told that God in His essence, in His essential glory, cannot be seen, “Whom no man has seen or can see, dwelling in the light which is unapproachable,” and now, for the first time, we see God manifested in the flesh, God come in human form that we might see Him, hear Him and know Him. “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels”—the first time that angels ever saw Him really in His moral glory. They had seen certain kinds of displays and manifestations of divine power; but God in the revelation of His own blessed Being and Person had never been seen before. Now the Son is here to reveal the Father, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” God, so to speak, has been out of view and now the Lord Jesus comes to reveal Him.

John had been baptizing the people in the River Jordan. Thousands of people flocked around him to have the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Do not confuse that, dear friends, with Christian Baptism. It was the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. All kinds of people went and took their place in the waters of death. That is what John’s baptism represents—figurative of death and judgment. They went into it and John baptized them.

When they were all baptized, the Lord Jesus came along. They did not follow Him in baptism; He followed them. It says so here—“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, the heavens were opened.” I need not say to Christians here, He had no sins to confess, but He identified Himself with those who had. That is what is meant in another part where it says, “Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness.” What He meant was—These men are doing a right thing by going into the place of death and judgment, and taking their place in the River Jordan, and I am going to identify myself with them in it. That is fulfilling righteousness— doing the right thing. Their sins and their condition brought them there. I am going, the sinless One, to identify Myself with them.

Then, beloved friends, for the first time in the whole world’s creation, the heavens were opened upon a man. When the blessed Lord went into the waters of the Jordan, the heavens were opened. They were never opened before. There had been pictures of it in the book of Ezekiel, but never really in effect. When the heavens were opened and the Lord Jesus stepped into the River Jordan, He was the delight of God in heaven; God was glorified in that Blessed Man. To show He is different from all the rest, the heavens were opened. They went into it because of their real condition before God —guilty and unrighteous, confessing their sins: He went into it to associate Himself with them, and as He stepped into those waters, God wanted to let them know, very particularly, they were not to confuse Him with any of the rest. He is One, all apart by Himself, and the heavens were opened to Him; and what was open to Him is open to you and me, dear friends. To those others who went in, hell was wide open for them.

He is different from all the rest. He is what the learned people call “sui generis.” He is one by Himself—He belongs to another class; a real Man, a holy Man, God and Man in one Person. The heavens delight in Him.

They all went in confessing their sins and God wanted to distinguish Him from all the rest, and as He went down into those waters which pre-figure death and judgment, He took His place in association with them.

God tells of His delight in Him. The heavens are opened. The opened heavens, I take it, means—“A man on earth in perfect acceptance in the glory of God.” Glory salutes Him. God tells us that He delights in that Blessed One.

Then the next thing was—“The Holy Ghost came down upon Him.” He needed no blood put upon Him before He had the Holy Ghost given to Him, the reason being His sinlessness. We never get the Holy Ghost till we rest in the precious blood of Christ. We must have the blood first. But here, as in the type, the consecration of the first high priest (Lev. 8:12), is One who needed no blood put upon Him. He will shed His blood for others and make atonement for them, but not for Himself; but He Himself is anointed, not baptized, with the Holy Ghost. The Lord Jesus never had to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. He said He would be anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, and sealed with the Holy Ghost. Sealing means that this is God’s Blessed Son. I appropriate Him to myself. I delight in Him, and so the Father’s voice is heard next: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

What has He come here for? He has come here to reveal the heart of God. He has come here to vindicate God in respect to sin. He has come here to annihilate the hosts of evil; He goes down to those dark waters to identify Himself with those who were confessing their sins.

I want you to notice, beloved friends, there are two things brought before us, the literal and the figurative, in this wonderful act. The literal is, the Lord was baptized—the heavens were opened to Him and the Father’s voice was heard saying: “This is my beloved Son.” The reason for this was that Christ, personally, was absolutely pure, absolutely holy, absolutely sinless, absolutely perfect, and the glory of God, I say, was opened upon that blessed One. Such a thing never happened before He came into the world. Now, it is not only personal, but it is representative; it is not only a real fact, but it is a figure of something else. The real fact is that the Lord Jesus was baptized and took His place among those people who were doing the right thing. Then the Father’s voice saluted Him and the Holy Ghost came down upon Him. These three things are now ours, in a lower sense. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, beloved friends, the heavens are opened for you. Of course, if you are in your sins, the mouth of hell is open for you, but if you are a believer in Him—just as the heavens were opened for Christ because of His personal perfectness, they are opened for you because He has been to Jordan, the place of death and judgment. It is not only a fact but a figure. The fact is, our Lord went down and He came up again—a figure of His own death and resurrection, and as the heavens were opened for Him because of what He is essentially, personally; they are now open for you and me. We are “accepted in the beloved.” He is accepted—the heavens are open for Him. I do not mind repeating it, it was because of His personal perfectness. “In Him was no sin.” “He knew no sin.” “He did no sin.” He could not commit sin. He was the absolutely sinless One. Now we are brought into His place before His God and His Father. That is the figure of the thing. Tonight you are “accepted in the Beloved” and the heavens are open for you if you are a believer; and I trust, friends, you will enjoy that, and that you will bask in the unclouded light of the glory of God. If He was there in divine favor because of His blessed personality, we are now in Him, accepted in the Beloved. Hear the Father’s voice—“This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased,” and see the heavens opened for Him. Beloved, they are open for you. O, drink it in; bask in the blessed sunlight of it.

I once knew a man who was paralyzed almost completely from head to foot on the one side of his body. He was a wonderful Christian. He said to a friend one day, “Do you know John’s nine monosyllables all in a row are my joy and delight whilst down here below?”

“No,” replied the friend; “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Well here they are: ‘As He is, so are we in this world,’” answered the sick man. Is He free from judgment? So am I. Is He in divine favor? So am I. Are the heavens open for Him? So they are for me and that is true of every Christian here tonight “As Christ is,” we are told in John’s Epistle, “so are we in this world.” It is not when we die and get to heaven; not when we pass out of this world, but, “so are we in this world.” His nearness is our nearness; His favor is our favor; His relationship, our relationship. Not as the Eternal Son—no one ever shares that, but He is more than the Eternal Son, He is also the Son of God born in time and He has brethren. “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren.” “The firstborn among many brethren.” That is a wonderful relationship, dear friends. In a certain sense, there is nothing higher than being the brethren of Christ. This means we partake of the life and nature of the blessed One who came into the world, the Son of the Father. He accomplished redemption, and that is pre-figured by His going down into the Jordan and coming up out of those waters of death and judgment, and standing firm on resurrection ground. I repeat, His relationship as the firstborn among many brethren, is our relationship. His nearness is our nearness. His acceptance is our acceptance. Do we enjoy it? Don’t think you are wasting your time when you sit down a moment or two, or stand, if you like, and bathe yourself in the boundless, measureless love of the blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and I repeat, if the heavens are opened for Him, they are wide open for us. Not because of anything we have done, but because of what Christ has done. His blood has made it possible that we should not only have access into the light of the glory of God, but that His Father is our Father. “This is my beloved Son.” He did not need to be redeemed to be made a Son; He is a Son by virtue of who He is. “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee,” refers to Him being born the Son. “Thou art”—This is My beloved Son, “this day have I begotten Thee.” Put the two things together—He is both the Eternal Son and the Son of God, born in time, born in a manger, born of a virgin, born by the power of the Holy Ghost. So, beloved friends, appropriate to yourself that which belonged to Christ inherently. What is His by right and title is now made ours by the redemption work. We stand on resurrection ground. His Father is our Father, His God is our God, but never till the Lord rose from the dead could He say those words.

He said to Mary Magdalene when she wanted to clasp Him by the feet (John 20:16-18): “Touch Me not. I want to teach you Christianity; your holding Me by the feet is Judaism. Keeping Me down here is Judaism.” He would not let her clasp His feet.

You say, “What has that got to do with Judaism?” Judaism is a system of material things. Holding Him by the feet. We have not come to the mount that might be touched—we belong to a divine system, a heavenly system, a spiritual system. She wanted to touch Him, that beloved woman, to throw her arms around Him, but He said, “Don’t touch Me. I am not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren, and tell them I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”

There are three things then:

    1. The opened heavens,

    2. The Father’s voice,

    3. And the coming down upon Him of the Holy Ghost.

May I say once more, beloved friends, the Lord Jesus was never said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. No individual man was ever baptized by the Holy Ghost. It is a collective act “By one Spirit, we are all baptized into one body.” In Acts 11:15 Peter in defending his actions in the household of Cornelius said, “The Holy Ghost fell on them (that is, on the Gentiles), even as on us at the beginning.” On the day of Pentecost, the Jews as a company of believers were all incorporated into the Body of Christ, and in the household of Cornelius, the Gentiles came into it; and now by one Spirit, “we are all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free.” There is a tremendous lot of cloudiness about the baptism of the Holy Ghost. No individual man as such, I say again, was ever baptized by the Holy Ghost—not even the Lord Himself. What is baptism? It is a burial—to put out of sight. Buried with Him in baptism into death. Something to be put out of sight! Was there anything in Christ to be put out of sight? No; certainly not. No; He was not baptized with the Spirit, He was anointed with the Holy Ghost, sealed with the Holy Ghost, full of the Holy Ghost, but never once was He said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, because, I say, baptism means something to be put out of sight, and there was nothing in Him to be put out of view. He was the Holy One of God. Baptism is not for power; baptism is for unity. “By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free.” Every believer in Christ shares in all the operations of the Holy Ghost. May I repeat, baptism is a collective act, not individual. We share in that baptism because, individually, we pass into it.

Supposing, for instance, a man gets saved tonight, trusts in the blood of Christ. He is then sealed with the .Holy Ghost. He passes individually into that wonderful unity which took place at Pentecost and in the household of Cornelius, when they were all baptized into one Body. Now he is brought individually into it—a member of Christ’s body.

The three things that belong to our Lord Jesus in this chapter are now ours on the ground of His redemptive work. He has gone down into those waters of death. He has come up out of them again and says, “My Father and your Father—now go to My brethren.” “He that sanctifieth and those that are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them”;—Body? Bride? No; but “brethren”—because all share His life and nature. My wife does not share my life and nature. My boy does. We have one life. I don’t want to puzzle you, dear friends—one is union and the other is unity. Unity of life and nature! The brethren of Christ all belong to that, whether it is Christ the Head and the Body, or the Bride and the Bridegroom—it is all made into one—two made into one. It is Christ and the heavenly Bridegroom—the two made into one. We are in this blessed One—brethren of His. Here then—“He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:11).

I walk down the street in rags. I see my brother coming along. He is a multi-millionaire. When he sees me, he doesn’t see me. You know what I mean—he does not intend to see me; he looks in that shop-window. What do I say to myself?—speaking after the manner of men. “I am as good as he is any day. I haven’t got as many dollars, but his father is my father; we come of the same stock. We are in the same unity.” It is the same with all Christians on earth—all the brethren of Christ. “He is not ashamed to call them brethren”—a unity of life and nature!

Now we pass from the scene of His baptism where He identified Himself with those who went into the Jordan. He is come out of it and now He is going to face the enemy (Luke 4:1-13).

While we are at this point, I would like to ask the higher critics, Who saw the Lord Jesus Christ tempted of Satan? Who saw it? Luke did not see it. Matthew and Luke give to us the details of our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness at which we are now going to look.

He is come from the Jordan where He was baptized and the heavens were opened for Him and the Father’s voice saluted Him, and the Holy Ghost came upon Him, and now He has come out of that to face the enemy in the wilderness. It was necessary for Him to face the enemy. The devil had been the victor up till now—he had won all along the line. Now he is going to meet one Man in the wilderness. No doubt that Man is God as well as Man. He reaches up to all the infinitude of the Godhead, but is really and truly Man; and now He is in the wilderness, not the Garden of Eden, but here He is the Last Adam, the Second Man, facing the enemy, not in the beautiful Garden of Eden where there were all those lovely things round about. The wild beasts are there, the devil is there, and he is going to tempt Christ for forty days. Forty implies the full term of testing. Israel was in the desert, as you know, for forty years. Moses was twice in the mount of God for forty days. Christ has to be tested. If He loses the battle, I am damned for ever. If the enemy wins the day—if our Lord is defeated here in the wilderness facing the enemy, we are all lost for ever. It is the way of the cross. If the enemy defeats Him in the wilderness this disqualifies Him for Calvary. What a sight. Heaven looks on at this wonderful Man alone in the desert, tempted by the enemy. Satan says “If Thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.” The Lord is hungry. It says, “He was afterwards an hungered.” The devil knows he has got an assailable point. Mark my words very particularly, the enemy knows he has an assailable point, not a vulnerable one, but an assailable one. He knows He is hungry. He says “If Thou be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.” Christ’s answer amounts to this— I say it reverently:—“I am not here to command, I am here to obey.” “He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” When He was there with the Father from all eternity, He commanded everything, He ordered everything. The angelic hosts waited upon Him, but now, He is here, the dependent Man on earth, facing the enemy. How will He face him? His blessed words are, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh from the mouth of God.” Let me ask you, dear friends, have you ever been hungry? If I were hungry and could turn stones into bread, wouldn’t I do it? Of course; anyone would. Well, He wouldn’t do it, for the simple reason that He waits for God. He does not act because He is God. He waits for His Father’s voice—“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God.”

Putting it morally, we all have stones here. Wouldn’t you like to change them into bread? Wouldn’t you like to change your circumstances? I am bound to say when I really search myself honestly, I am afraid I would. I would certainly wish to change things. I smart under them. I would like to turn that hard stone into soft bread, and change my circumstances. Well, He would not, for the simple reason He waits for God. If it is His Father’s will, of course, then He would say, I shall turn the stone to bread. I will do it if it be His pleasure, but not because I am hungry. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God.” Every word—that is what the Bible is—that comes out of the mouth of God. Let me put it to you kindly. Wouldn’t you like to change your circumstances? Of course; anybody would. I tried to change mine for seven years. If I could only get out of this into that, I thought, I would be able to serve the Lord better.

And it is yourself at the bottom of it, and I believe there are those here tonight who say, Yes, if I could only change my conditions, alter my circumstances, make them better than so and so, I certainly would do it. I say again, He would not—He waited on God.

He did at one time, as we all know, turn the water into wine, but that was His Father’s pleasure, that was His Father’s will, but He would not turn the stones to bread. He was a dependent Man. He was the most dependent Man that ever walked this earth, yet He created everything. The sun, moon and stars were created by Him, the five continents were created by Him. He will not turn stones to bread unless it is His Father’s will. It would save us a lot of trouble if we only would stop trying to alter our circumstances unless we find it is the will of God. Don’t change your circumstances for the sake of changing the condition of things around you.

So the Lord’s first temptation brings out His dependence upon God.

Now the devil, we are told here, takes Him to a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. You ask how could the devil do that in a moment. I don’t know how, but I know he did; that’s all. “He showed Him all the Kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” I believe everything that is in that Book.

In these three temptations, we exhaust all the temptations that there are. The first temptation is natural—turning the stones to bread. The second is worldly. He showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them.

Satan says, “I will give you everything if you will fall down and worship me.” The Devil is a most wonderful being. His description in Ezekiel 28, is marvelous. We are there told that he had been in Eden, the garden of God. He had those wonderful stones which described his great glories, and yet he was the great enemy of God and man. Satan says to the Lord here, “All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them; for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” What a most marvelous being he was! I think he was probably the most wonderful being God ever created. He says to the Lord, “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.” The Devil, dear friends, can give us a very great deal. He dazzles our eyes with the glittering tinsel of a poor empty world. Here is One who is his master, and He did nothing that you and I cannot do. The Lord could have banished him in a moment, removed every difficulty, but no, He is teaching us a lesson. In Luke’s third chapter He is before the Father, His Father, our Father, His God, our God, and the heavens are opened. In the temptation in the wilderness, He is our pattern on the pathway through this world—in the presence of the Devil. The Devil will never let us alone to the end. He will be after us to the very last hour. Don’t think that because you are converted thirty, forty, fifty years that you have got beyond the power of the Devil, or that you are at the end of his testings. I have heard of men praying, “Lord, keep me from being a wicked old man.” I can quite understand a man saying that. The Devil always hopes to make you a backslider, to lure you in some way into the world. Here he is trying to dazzle the eyes of this Blessed One—All the kingdoms of “this world” and “the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me.”

It is not wrong for you to have a few dollars, as far as I can see. The wrong is indicated in, “They that will be rich fall into a snare.” God may give you material prosperity, and the Devil will keep his eye on you all the time. One day he hopes to lure you, to dazzle you. “I will give you that,” he said to the Lord. What does He say to him? He says, “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” He is the theme of our worship, and not all the glitter and tinsel of this poor Christless world can be compared to Him; but remember, the Devil could bring it before us at any time; he could give us all the things that lure the eye. If we are catching the bait he lures us, but here is One who is invincible. We say He is invincible in the first instance, because He is dependent upon God; in the second instance, He is devoted to God. “Thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God, and Him only.” Do you mark your Bible? Mark that word “only.” Him “only” shalt thou serve. His whole heart is devoted to God His Father. Here He is doing nothing, saying nothing, that we cannot do. In the first instance, depending upon God, saying “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God.” Beloved, what wonderful Christians we would be if we only followed Him.

What I am saying is that the enemy can give to us all kinds of things to lure and seduce, to make us worldly, and we are worldly enough. “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15, 16). We lust for what we have not and we are proud of what we have, anything that will distinguish us from anyone else. We think, I must get that. There are only two things in the whole material world, lust and pride, wanting what we have not and pride in what we have. The Lord answers Satan completely: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Shall we not choose that? It is the highest peak, dear friends, we can ever reach—worship and service. There is the enemy dazzling my eyes, seeking to lure me, to seduce me, to get me into the world, into his ways. The devoted one says, “Give me worship and service.” Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.

Now the Devil takes Him, not to a high mountain this time (ver. 9) but to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple and said: “If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence, for it is written, He shall give His angels charge over Thee to keep Thee. The Devil left out the words, In all Thy ways’.” He is subtle, “He shall bear Thee up lest Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.” The Lord answers and says, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Satan took Him to a pinnacle of the temple, the highest religious position. Now we are in danger on a pinnacle of the temple, a great brother, a successful evangelist, eminent something, this and the other; now I am getting on a pinnacle of the temple—a religious place.

Don’t you know, beloved friends, we may escape the Christless world, and then we want to be something among the people of God? We make that our sphere to be something there, something on our own account. “He set Him on a pinnacle of the temple.” He was on a religious pedestal, the highest place. It is a blessed thing to be used of God; but there is another aspect, and the Devil took him up there, to a pinnacle of the temple. It is not the world in this case; it is religious position, and the enemy can so work upon you and so seduce you in that way that you may fall into snares never dreamed about.

Wherever you find anything in connection with the pinnacle of the temple, and we want to rise to the top, there we get dizzy. We centre in ourselves. We have lost our true centre. Who should be my centre? Christ!

You remember that, in the first chapter of John’s Gospel, Andrew found his brother Peter and brought him to Jesus. They stayed the day with Him, and the next day Andrew goes on his missionary work, but he had got his blessed centre. Have you already got your centre right? “They came and saw where He dwelt and they abode with Him that day.” Christ was their centre. If Christ is my circumference, my centre will be all right. Then I will not get dizzy by any religious position I may get into.

Here where the Devil has put Him on a pinnacle of the temple as told by Luke it is the last temptation, but it is not the way it happened. Matthew tells it as it happened. Luke gives it to you in the moral sense, and he puts this temptation last, because it is the most seductive of all; the most subtle of all—religious position. Am I wanting it? Am I assuming airs in it till I get dizzy with my self-emulation? Satan said to the Lord, “Cast yourself down from here, God says He will take care of you; you won’t be hurt.” His answer was superlatively divine. His blessed answer amounts to this—“You tell Me that God will take care of Me; if I cast Myself down I won’t get hurt. I know Him so well I won’t put Him to the test.” “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord Thy God.” If a man really knows his wife will he put her to the test? Do you put your mother to the test? I would call that moral brutality. You do not put one to the test whom you know in your heart of hearts. You say, “I am going to put God to the test, He will preserve me from being hurt.” That is why I shall not put Him to the test. I know Him so well, and know His heart so well, I won’t put Him to the test. “Thou shalt not tempt”—that is, you shall not try Him to see if He is as good as His word—“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

These three temptations, beloved friends, exhaust the Devil of all that he has to use, all his artillery, all his schemes natural, worldly, and religious. If he can’t get me in one way he will try to get me in another. What do these temptations bring out as regards our Lord?

His dependence upon God.
His devotedness to God.
His confidence in God.

Here, now, is the Lord “in the wilderness.” Every word in the Bible has a meaning. The Lord could have left out those words in the third chapter of John, and you could leave out, “in the wilderness,” but it is in the wilderness we are tested.

“’Tis the treasure I’ve found in His love
That has made me a pilgrim below,
And ’tis there, when I reach Him above,
As I’m known, all His fulness I’ll know.”

Beloved friends, it is here we have temptations—natural temptations, turning stones into bread; worldly temptations—all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of the religious temptation—when I want to be there and shine on the top of the pinnacle. Only as judging that shall I really set forward and advance in the power of the Holy Ghost.

In the third chapter of Luke, we see the Lord Jesus under the eye of the Father, living under His blessed eye and the heavens opened, and we are brought in by redemption. Now I repeat these three-wonderful things:

The opened heavens.
The indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
And God calls me one of His sons.

They were not children merely, they were sons. Look at that little fellow on the floor. Can he say “Daddy”? You would give the world to hear him say “Daddy.” He is the most helpless thing. But you say, “He is alive, but he is not a grown-up son.” We are born again by the operation of the Holy Spirit. We get the new birth—born of the Spirit. “Sons” mean that you are grown up, you are developed, have reached full age.

“Even so…when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive sonship. And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father.” In chapter three of Luke, we have our blessed Lord under the Father’s eye. In the next chapter, we have Him under the eye of the Devil in the temptation for forty days. He wins the day. He wins every battle; the enemy is completely routed. Natural temptations, worldly temptation and the spiritual temptation, all fall flat before Him. But, beloved friends, do not forget that we ourselves have Him for our example. He is our pattern in this world—under the eye of Satan. He is the pattern of our place before the Father in perfect love. He is the pattern of our pathway through the world and the temptations of the world, when the Devil and the flesh all beset us. How can we win the day? By keeping our eye on that Blessed One. As we hear Him say, “I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do, and now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory I had with Thee before the world was/’ May we say it and mean it, dear friends:

“Oh, fix our earnest gaze
So wholly, Lord, on Thee,
That, with Thy beauty occupied,
We elsewhere none may see.”