Limiting Christ’s Lordship

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not what I say?
Luke 6:46

One of the most incredible phenomena in the world today is the immense and universal popularity of Jesus Christ.

Yet the teachings of Christ are wholly contrary to the beliefs of the modern world. The spiritual philosophy underlying the kingdom of God is radically opposed to that of civilized society. In short, the Christ of the New Testament and the world of mankind are so sharply opposed to each other as to amount to downright hostility. To achieve a compromise is impossible.

We can only conclude that Jesus is universally popular today because He is universally misunderstood.

Everyone admires Jesus, but almost no one takes Him seriously. He is considered a kindly idealist who loved babies and underprivileged persons. He is pictured as a gentle dreamer who was naïve enough to believe in human goodness and brave enough to die for His belief. The world thinks of Him as meek, selfless and loving, and values Him because He was what we all are at heart, or would be if things were not so tough and we had more time to cultivate our virtues. Or He is a sweet, holy symbol of something too fine, too beautiful, to be real, but something which we would not lose nevertheless from our treasure house of precious things.

Because the human mind has two compartments, the practical and the ideal, people are able to live comfortably with their dreamy, romantic conception of Jesus while paying no attention whatsoever to His words. It is this neat division between the fanciful and the real that enables countless thousands of persons to say “Lord, Lord” in all sincerity while living every moment in flat defiance of His authority.

by A.W. Tozer

The enclosed garden

A.B. Simpsonby A.B. Simpson

A garden enclosed —Song of Solomon 4:12

The figure here is of a beautiful, fruitful enclosure, not a wilderness. Garden soil is cultivated soil, very different from the roadside or wilderness. The idea of a garden is culture. The ground has to be prepared, to be broken up by ploughing, to be mellowed by harrowing. All the stones have to be removed and the roots of all natural growth dug up. The good things we are seeking are not natural growths and will not prosper in our natural soil. We all feel we should try to improve the old nature, but that is not God’s way. His method is to get self out of the way entirely, and let Him create anew out of nothing, so that all shall be of Him; and Jesus will be the acknowledged Alpha and Omega.

The thing we want to learn here is to die. There can be no real life till self dies. And we dare not try to die ourselves, but ask God to slay us; He will make a thorough work of it.

by A.B. Simpson