Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The School of Christ

I was taken to the school of Christ where I sat in the classroom of Paul the apostle and listened to his lecture on grace and on God’s sovereignty. I saw sitting with me that renowned Augustine and close by was Calvin and right at the front was Edwards with John Piper and R.C Sproul. The small figure spoke with light in his eyes as he dwelt on the effectual grace that had freed his heart from slavery. He spoke excitedly and then stopped to watch how the same light shone in the eyes of those who loved his Lord in the same manner. Then looking at me, he drew near and asked me a simple question. "For whom do we count it all as loss, dear boy?" Breathing in a short breath I said, "Saint Paul, it is Christ for whom we all count it all as loss. It is all for Christ." Behind me came a rousing voice delighting at my answer at which I turned to notice that it was no other than Spurgeon, that prince of preachers. Then to his left was seated one to whom pleasure and happiness was what he loved to ascribe to God's glory, namely C.S Lewis in as much as I have understood his writings. He glanced at me with a twinkle in his eyes ushering me to listen carefully on what the apostle was going to say next.

"Once upon a time," speaks the apostle, "We were all dead in our sins and transgressions. There was no life about our goodness. Our best work was filthy rags. If God was to commend men according to their walk in the manner of the flesh, then I was exceedingly beyond many in that world. Circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;  as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But in all these I was following the course of this world, carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and was by nature a child of wrath. But God, o do not miss this sweet chord, But God - O I dare ask, who else but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love which he had for us saved us. O and how great was that love? It is exceeding great that he called us his children. Such was the divine love and grace, that even when we were dead in our sins and trespass, he made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with him, in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. O what a sweet tender love."

The apostle, now turning his sparkling eyes again towards me, asked me, "Dear boy, have we any reason to doubt God's love towards us? Have we any reason to doubt it in our worst sins?"

"No we have not" I said, "For it was in our sins and trespasses that he showed us his greatest mercy. He loved us when we were bad."

I noticed assuring smiles coming my way with many being pleased at my answer, and then I heard a familiar tune from one who sat just across me. He was repeating a part of a well known hymn. 'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I was once lost, but then I was found, was blind but now I see."

Every one joined in and at this point a friendly arm came enthusiastically around my neck smiling ever so cheerfully to say that the man repeating those words was John Newton himself and that he himself was no other than William Wilberforce.

I saw many others in the room who counted themselves small in their own eyes and counted Christ as the chief end of their souls. They gladly spent for his sake. Every one sang jubilantly with Mr Bunyan reciting some parts of his pilgrim progress and tender Mr Loyd-Jones clapping his hands ecstatically. I watched this redeemed crowd and among them were names I had never heard of. Every one sang of the Father's amazing grace until a presence which we all felt made us all go quiet. I heard chattering voices coming from the hall and something in my heart began to burn. It appeared that the same was happening in everyone's heart. An awe filled us all and then I saw George Whitfield walk in in the most happy disposition, and behind him John the apostle, and then him who made us all bow in reverence. His light filled the room and at once he bid us all to rise and come with him as a friend would ask a friend.  

Then he walked towards me. My knees trembled. My heart paced as the raging sea fearing the condemnation that would come my way due to my lack of sufficiency and righteousness. In thinking this I caught the Apostles eye who had been speaking earlier on grace and mercy. At once I remembered that it was all of grace and that it was the blood of the lamb that stood before me that made me worthy. 

Them him who wore light as a garment touched my lips, smiling and said ever so sweetly and affirming to me. "My friend with you I am well pleased."

O what a happy day I thought. What a happy day. 


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