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1 john 3:2 sermon

(Canon Scott Holland. To others a great teacher and nothing more. And oh! These two blessed changes are so vitally related to each other that one is a pledge and forecast of the other. The manner of our seeing God in this life is either by a long train of consequences, by climbing up gradually from the effects to the cause, from the things that are made to the invisible things of the Maker, even His eternal power and Godhead; or by way of eminence, by inferring that the perfections we see in the creatures must of necessity centre all more eminently in the Creator; or negatively, by denying everything of God we conceive unbecoming the Divine nature, for at present we rather know what God is not than what He is; or else we see Him by faith, by believing upon the testimony He has given us of Himself by Moses and the prophets, Christ and His apostles. (3) The present transfiguration is gradual, whilst the future is instantaneous. Behind the fumes of drink, behind the cloud of crime, each may have made his start and fought his fight, and have proved the possibility, and have manifested some germ of possible growth. From the nature of our communion with God in heaven thus explained, I proceed more particularly to the blessed effects of it. We shall speak of our Lord's manifestation without doubt. "Amidst all the mistakes on the part of the world we are nevertheless really now the children of God," however unworthy we may appear and however little we may be appreciated. 'It was not her own look that was in her face. The limit of physical development may be reached, but the mental and moral development may go on long after, and, for aught we know, forever, and the fact that we draw our life from God makes it probable that it will be so. THE ACTUAL PERSONS — "we shall see Him as He is." To which I answer, that if such knowledge will add to our happiness we shall surely enjoy it. In ways unknown to us these assimilative forces work deep down amidst the elemental mysteries of life. But then it will not be to improve us, it will be to perfect us, when we see Him there. The clay particles, left to follow their own instinct of unity, become a clear, hard substance so set that it can deal with light in a wonderful way, and gather out of it the loveliest blue rays only, refusing the rest. We walk here by faith. "We shall see Him as He is," and pass at once into the distinctions of His sovereignty. "We shall see Him as He is," and pass at once into the distinctions of His sovereignty. "For we shall see Him as He is." The life dawning in that birth mediated through the Spirit is alone susceptible of these sublime modifications and perfectings; and in the heavenly transfiguration there is the same parallel or analogy. "(Quoted by Dr. As to the first of the three thoughts, it is plain enough that the true disciple of Christ is misunderstood, and must be misunderstood by the world at large, and just because the world cannot possibly put itself at his point of view. was the apostrophe of an ancient confessor. Be children of God!" God is appearing all the while to those who have eyes to see Him. Behold this world in all its magnificence and beauty, appointed to be his habitation, and to minister to his improvement and happiness. O heavens! (1)He will be manifest upon this earth in person. Reeves, M. In that life of unknown blessedness there will be scope for ever-enlarging knowledge, strength, dignity of nature; but men will rise at once into participation with the privileges of Christ's enthronement and conformity to His Divine kingliness.8. But are thy grey hairs full of sin? Man has a capacity for endless improvement in moral excellence or holiness. St. John had experienced this change under the influence of Christ — a change so great that he can scarcely realise what he was at the beginning. THAT STRONG, UNAPPEASABLE DESIRE, THAT LONGING AFTER A HIGHER GOOD THAN THIS WORLD AFFORDS, WHICH SEEMS INHERENT IN THE NATURE OF MAN, POINTS TO SOMETHING GREAT AND GLORIOUS IN HIS FUTURE DESTINY. Crown Him!" The mist will melt away, and all be made plain when Christ appears. We shall know Him, because He will be so much like the Bible Jesus, that we shall recognise Him at once. The text says, "We shall"; and can you and I put our hands on our hearts and know our union with Jesus? You shall see Him. Here, too, how dimly we see Christ! But are thy grey hairs full of sin? In the vision reserved for the heavenly Jerusalem there will be nothing dark or enigmatical, nothing of cloud, or representation, of faith or reasoning, or intermediate ideas to inform the understanding, nothing between God and the glorified soul, the knowledge intuitive, the vision naked, full, and perfect according to the quality of the recipient, and the mind directly irradiated from the fountain of light, from the Divine essence itself.III. It is the unborn babe which is responsive to the image presented to the brain of the mother, rather than the mother herself. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Probably in our present condition we have no symbols by which the future glories could be revealed unto us. We shall then be as manifested and as clearly seen as He will be. I have made you children of God. but we shall shout — "All hail the power of Jesu's name," etc. But you will say, How is this so great a privilege to the godly, since the wicked shall see Him? Turn next to the wonders of redeeming love, and see how, from age to age, God has been operating for the salvation of our race.IV. I am sure you will all confess that this strong desire has arisen in your minds concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall speak of our Lord's manifestation without doubt. Here, too, how dimly we see Christ! There is such a sense of disappointment when we, perhaps, have succeeded in obtaining a goal, and then have to discover that the moment the end is touched it has already begun to change, to move, to go further. We should have feared lest He might not overcome. Now, if men by projecting themselves into moods of abstraction discover new powers of mind, find unknown fires begin to burn within them, and rise into worlds of spiritual ecstasy, what change, think you, ought to effect itself within us if with the same steadfastness we contemplate the personality of Him who is the Leader and Consummator of our faith? Job said, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and though worms devour this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God": that was his desire. This sight is either ocular or mental.1. Let us not think meagrely on such a subject, but under high analogies. Our political fabric is to us precious and sacred. What is the explanation of that perfect likeness? Our political fabric is to us precious and sacred. THAT WHICH IS CONFIDENTLY ANTICIPATED. I must tell the rest in her own words. Origin in an infinite being is a pledge not only of an infinite life, but of endless development in the direction of the unattainable source. For then, then alone, are just men completely blessed, when their spirits are made so perfect that they clearly contemplate all truth and fully enjoy all good; that is, when the whole orb of the soul is filled with perfect light and perfect love. These two blessed changes are so vitally related to each other that one is a pledge and forecast of the other. The New Testament You have looked down to see the city and the streamlet below; you could just ken yonder steeple and mark that pinnacle; but they were all so swathed in the mist that you could scarcely discern them. Guard unhurt the germ. What is the explanation of that perfect likeness? THE GLORIOUS POSITION. All we can say is that the holy city of the saved world, the new Jerusalem of the perfected humanity, is slowly but steadily coming down from God out of heaven, and will in time appear four-square upon the earth. (b)The ebb tide reveals the secrets of the sea, but many of our rivers no gallant ship can then sail. That is human life in the believer's eye, in its best and wisest form — still the child life, wistful, prophetic, marvellous, suggestive; a child life so full of strange dreams, but with all its achievements yet to come, to come in that great after world for which the whole round of this age long story of man is but a nursery, but a preparation, but a rehearsal, but an education. That is the use to be made of such events as they touch us. I bear my Master witness, I never saw Him yet without being profited by Him. (with 2 Corinthians 3:18): — The transfigurations of Moses and Christ were events that did more than accredit their Divine missions. St. John had experienced this change under the influence of Christ — a change so great that he can scarcely realise what he was at the beginning. Thus God can and does transform the vilest sinners into pure and shining jewels fit for His home in heaven.Transfiguration by sight of ChristAmong some reminiscences of the sweet singer, Jenny Lind, communicated by Canon Scott Holland to Murray's Magazine, occurs the following: — "She had gone to look on the face of her friend, Mrs. Nassau Senior, after death. A. That was almost the only revelation to which he gave much heed; the effect of it was the only spiritual effect of which he was conscious. and doth lust tarry in thy old cold blood? How, then, shall we not turn to this poor life of ours with hope, with zeal, with tenderness, with love; how shall we not clasp it tight and fast, and cling about it, and busy ourselves with its services? We shall be sure it is He; for when we enter heaven we shall know Him by His manhood and Godhead. "WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM." (2) In the first transfiguration the Spirit is the agent of the change; in the second the ministry of the Spirit is superseded, or at least falls into the background. Sheathe the sword; the battle's won.II. You must sympathise with a man in order to be able to understand him. (1) The first transformation is brought to pass by contemplating the reflected image of Christ; the second, by contemplating the direct glory of His essential nature. Under natural conditions character does not show a tendency to change its type or direction; it simply grows after its type, and sets steadily in its native direction and toward some permanent form. H. Spurgeon.I. When I begin the day, I have not only to keep on in the good habits of yesterday, but I have fresh choices to make. 2. Our last point remains yet untouched. Let me go into the mint house and see heaps of gold, and I am never the richer; let me go to the pictures and see goodly faces, I am never the fairer; let me go to the court, where I see state and magnificence, and I am never the greater; but oh, Saviour! It sets before us the duty of ourselves striving to make these changes. if we ever should be sundered from those we love so dearly when the last day of account shall come! Having a body like His body: sinless, incorruptible, painless, spiritual, clothed with beauty and power, and yet most real and true.2. There is rapture in devotion. THIS CHANGE IS PREPARATORY TO ANOTHER IN A FUTURE STATE OF EXISTENCE. We shall never see Him thus; Bethlehem's glories are gone forever; Calvary's glooms are swept away; Gethsemane's scene is dissolved; and even Tabor's splendours are quenched in the past. Origin in an infinite being is a pledge not only of an infinite life, but of endless development in the direction of the unattainable source. The manner of our seeing God in this life is either by a long train of consequences, by climbing up gradually from the effects to the cause, from the things that are made to the invisible things of the Maker, even His eternal power and Godhead; or by way of eminence, by inferring that the perfections we see in the creatures must of necessity centre all more eminently in the Creator; or negatively, by denying everything of God we conceive unbecoming the Divine nature, for at present we rather know what God is not than what He is; or else we see Him by faith, by believing upon the testimony He has given us of Himself by Moses and the prophets, Christ and His apostles. It is because of this fact that the different parts of our common life at least match themselves into a congruous and harmonious whole. We cannot look with sympathy upon His moral loveliness here, or with worship upon His glorious majesty hereafter, without realising some amazing approximation to His likeness.6. If we could see Jesus as He was, we should see Him with great awe. Now are we the sons of God, now are we the germ of what we shall find ourselves in that fair land. Love, obedience, fellowship, are sweetest flowers of earth, but they all look heavenward. We may trust that in some way the sisters, Service and Meditation, will interchange gifts, and be perfectly at one when they reach His higher presence. The one would have been astonishment, and horror would have succeeded it; but when we see Jesus as He is it will be astonishment without horror. Young man, you have got a mother and her soul doats upon you. And it also seeks to produce them. It must satisfy the most enlarged desires of the immortal soul to be assimilated to Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords. The best believer only gets half a glimpse of Christ. Spurgeon. The nervous system seems curiously responsive to the environment, and accommodates itself to the forms and hues that predominate in it, In a stream near Ivybridge, into which white clay was poured, the fish soon became perceptibly lighter in colour. Behind the fumes of drink, behind the cloud of crime, each may have made his start and fought his fight, and have proved the possibility, and have manifested some germ of possible growth. A new creation; born again; a son of God; transformed — these phrases are too weak to express it. We shall be sure it is He; for when we enter heaven we shall know Him by His manhood and Godhead. We call it then a diamond. I begin with the perfection of our knowledge. First, that there is something difficult to comprehend about the present spiritual position of the believer. Our great business will be to love what we see, and our great happiness to have what we love. See that the law of approximation to Christ is at work in all the occasions of common life. And yet these natural changes in the past ought to teach us that as great changes may await us in the future, and also that there may be spiritual changes and developments corresponding to the physical changes. How much better that sight will be than what we have here! Munger. And in the spiritual realm this fact has its counterpart. T. WHEREIN THE HAPPINESS OF THIS BEATIFIC VISION DOES PRINCIPALLY CONSIST. It fixes a central home for our nature — we shall be where Christ is. The best believer only gets half a glimpse of Christ. There is personal identity. First, the Holy Spirit is now given but in part, in proportion to the exigencies of a state of trial, and consequently our communion must be in part also; but in heaven, the place of reward, we shall all, to the utmost extent of our capacity, so be filled with all the fulness of God, and most perfectly joined to the ever-blessed Trinity in a most intimate, immediate, and ineffable union. In the purity of our souls. 1. OF THAT SUBLIMER CHANGE THE PRESENT ONE IS A VERY IMPERFECT SPECIMEN AND PRESAGE. But when we see Him up there it will be triumph without suspense. (3) The present transfiguration is gradual, whilst the future is instantaneous. THE POSITIVE NATURE OF VISION. And therefore it begins with a call to regeneration. Where are my children? I see no reason to doubt this — that great changes are still to go on in us under the transforming power of Christ. It pulls the pliant stuff into its own range, and then refines and exalts it into those living organisms that are the glory of the earth.2. If we are absorbed into Christ, and Christ into us, when He is manifested we also shall be manifested with Him in glory. We shall see Christ again, and see Him as He is; see Him with clearer eyes than we now have; and so mightier transformations will take place within us; we cannot tell nor even imagine what we shall be. It is only a little while we get a glimpse of Christ, and then He seems to depart from us. I see no reason to doubt this — that great changes are still to go on in us under the transforming power of Christ. We are not to think that this transforming process belongs only to the life beyond. )What we shall beCanon Scott Holland.Surely a wholly new interest creeps over this poor human world of ours if we once see in it the germ of possibility, the suggestion of all we shall be hereafter. Just as sometimes, when you are looking in your looking glass, you see somebody going along in the street. A boy running wild in the streets — untaught and uncared for, and in danger of utter destruction — is adopted into a benevolent and wealthy family. Christ had come into his life; and from a mere child of this world, a simple fisherman, he had been made a veritable son of God. I do not so much pant to see the glorious Saviour you have spoken of; I want to see that very Saviour who did the works of love, the suffering Saviour; for Him I love." Come, let us divide that "we" into "I's." These two blessed changes are so vitally related to each other that one is a pledge and forecast of the other. Oh! And plainly there is much force in the argument. So seen, it is no aged and weary traveller tottering slowly down to his end; but it is a child still, with the fascination of a child all about it, the fascination of a life which is feeling its way forward by start, by gleam, by sudden intuition, by experiment, by tentative trial, by flashes of insight, by glances, by glimpses — yes, and by stumbles and falls and shocks and jolts, from out of which it still pulls itself together and runs on yet ahead. To others a great teacher and nothing more. It gives a hint, a shadow, of that heavenly citizenship which shall complete all that is well begun here: we shall find it all there. "The child is father of the man"; the bud foretells the flower. Spurgeon. Almost as far off as the farthest star! Guard unhurt the germ. The best believer only gets half a glimpse of Christ. The son of her friend had shown her the stairs, and pointed out the door of the room where the body lay, and put a candle in her hands, and left her. First, that there is something difficult to comprehend about the present spiritual position of the believer. Who knows what is going on in secret behind those very failures in others which most provoke us? to which all others are penal and despicable! we shall know Him well enough when we see Him. See how Christ has transformed the world; how His spirit has stolen into the hearts of nations; how civilisation has taken on His name and is doing His work. Now see how Christian requirement works in with regeneration and helps it on. Could your mother come to you this morning, she might take hold of your arm, and say to you, "John, we shall 'see Him as He is'; it is not I, John, that shall see Him for myself alone, but you and I shall see Him together; 'we shall see Him as He is.'" There we shall see Christ entirely, when "we shall see Him as He is."3. And plainly there is much force in the argument. Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. Having such dignities and glories as He wears: kings, priests, conquerors, judges, sons of God.IV. I see no reason to doubt this — that great changes are still to go on in us under the transforming power of Christ. But the chief points of the apostle's teaching are the same whether, we translate, "if it" or "if he shall be manifested.") It may be good or evil fortune, the birth or death of love, a loss or a gain; all such things are revelations of God, for God is in our lives and not outside of them; but when He thus appears it is for purposes of transformation. Suddenly the wind has blown away the mist from under you, and you have seen the fair, fair valley. Men will not be the failure for good purposes supreme affection us no room be doubt, we. Not equal with God. ( C not ashamed. ( R would be unsatisfactory enough if this in. These go down into the swift kindling splendour of the soul when it the... 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