"Written Not With Ink"
by T. Austin-Sparks

Meeting 6 - God Has Shined into Our Hearts

24 February 1957 at Taichung, Taiwan.

Reading: 2 Cor. 4:1-12.

From what our brother has just said, it sounds as though he is doing me a great favour in letting me talk... those people who know me best know that when I really do get going the clock ought to be stopped, because it does not matter how much time I have, I still go on!

Well now, if I am going to add a little word this evening, it really does require all that I have said earlier today in order to understand it, but I will try to give you just a little word without going over all the ground I have just covered. I think that the word which sums up all that the Apostle was saying to the Corinthians in his second letter is this: "God has shined into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ". Into those words can be gathered everything that the Apostle was trying to say. Those words were really the heart and the sum of this message, "God has shined into our hearts".

What is the result of God having shined into our hearts? The Apostle said that it is to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now, what does that mean, "the knowledge of the glory of God"? If a writer uses one word many times, you have a good idea of what he is talking about. And in these two chapters (chapters 3 and 4), the Apostle referred to one thing fourteen times, and that one thing to which he referred so many times is "glory". You may like to read these two chapters sometime and put a mark over the word "glory". You will find out that the word fills the whole chapter. So we ask, what is the glory of God? I will give you four illustrations from the Bible.

You remember that God gave to Moses on the Mount the pattern of the tabernacle, and He said to Moses, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown here on the Mount". And Moses made everything according to the pattern God gave him. With all the details, God left nothing to Moses to think of how he would do it, or would need to plan for it. God was very particular in giving him every detail. And so Moses made it according to the pattern and when the tabernacle was set up completely according to God's pattern, then we are told that the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. That is our first illustration.

Just keep that in mind and pass on to later in the Bible, to the great desire in David's life to build a house for the Lord. And the Lord gave him the pattern of the house in every detail. The Lord showed David how the temple was to be made, then when the temple was finished according to the pattern, the glory of the Lord filled it.

Now, much later, Peter, James, and John are going up to a high mountain and Jesus is being transformed before them. He suddenly became glorious in His appearance; He became a glorified Man, and the voice out of heaven said, "This is My beloved Son". That is our third illustration.

Keep that in mind and pass on to the end of the Bible. In the last two chapters of the Bible you have this: the angel of the Lord carried John away to an exceeding great and high mountain and showed him the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, having the glory of God.

Now we have got four things: the tabernacle, the temple, the Lord Jesus and the City, New Jerusalem and in every case the glory of the Lord filled them. Why would the glory of the Lord fill them, every one? Because they wholly and entirely answered to the mind of God. God had said, "This is My mind, this is what I want, this is the thing that will satisfy Me," and then when God had that which wholly satisfied Him, He filled it with glory.

Now you see the meaning of these words, "God has shined into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." This is glory in our hearts; God's glory in our heart. Why? Because He is satisfied with us, because His Son is in us and He is perfectly satisfied with Him. God's glory is in His Son because His Son wholly satisfied Him. If the Lord Jesus is in us, then God is satisfied with us and that is the glory of God in our hearts, but we have got to understand that in this way.

I said this afternoon that if we are occupied with ourselves, there will be no glory. If we are occupied with other people, there will be no glory. If we are occupied with this world, there will be no glory. But when we look on the Lord Jesus and see that God is perfectly satisfied with Him, and I make room for the Lord Jesus in my heart, and I see that Jesus in my heart satisfies God, then I at once come to rest, I come to joy, I come to peace. And this joy, and this rest, and this peace, is the glory of God in my heart. It is the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Here the "face of Jesus Christ" simply means Jesus Christ Himself. You don't know who a person is until you look them in the face. You may think you know who they are as they are walking away from you, but to know surely that that is such and such a person, you must see their face. The face is the person. Well, that is what it means here. The face of Jesus Christ means the Person of Jesus Christ and God's glory is in the Person of Jesus Christ. If His Son is in us, then the glory of God is in us. We come to rest when we behold Jesus as our satisfaction to God.

There can never be any joy in life until we know that God is perfectly satisfied. Well, God is not satisfied with us, but there is One with whom God is satisfied and God has given that One to us and has said, "Look here, if you will accept My Son, then I will be perfectly satisfied with you. I make My Son to be what I want you to be." And when we realise what the Lord Jesus is to us as the satisfaction of God, that is glory.

I wonder if you understand what I am trying to say. You see all through the Bible, God is looking for that which will satisfy Him. In the Old Testament it was a sacrifice without blemish; it was a type of the Lord Jesus that had to be offered for God's satisfaction, but God puts it into the hands of man to offer to Him. So as man offered that sacrifice, that was just offering that which satisfied God. When we lay our hand on the head of the Lord Jesus and say, "He represents us" then God is satisfied and we have peace and joy and rest in our hearts.

Well, if you have not understood what I have said, do think about it. God has shined into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and you see that becomes the testimony; that it is that joy, and that rest, and that peace that has got to be seen in us. So the Apostle goes on to say, "See, we have this ministry." What is this ministry? It is the shining out of what God has shined in. It is the showing forth of the glory of the Lord Jesus. May we all have that ministry.

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