The Declaration of Faith
“And it came to pass,
that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child;
and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.”
Convention and tradition are the nemesis of every generation. Without the impetus of the fresh inspiration of God men would cling to the forms and methods of previous generations. We see Elizabeth’s strong reaction to the assumption of their friends:
but he shall be called John.”
To which they replied:
“And they said unto her,
There is none of thy kindred
that is called by this name.”
The “coming one” brings change to everything that would bear His Name. Even the forerunner must of necessity break with tradition. Christ alone is the new order and by the power of His life men undergo revolutionary transformations. No man can touch Him and remain the same. Tradition and stagnation are the very tombstones of a generation out of touch with the scope and atmosphere of His life.
Those who bear His nature within are aware of the lethargy of our current condition. The status quo is the means by which the “business” of Christian interaction is carried out today; the sheer lack of the wonder and majesty of His being should compel us to a heartfelt seeking of Him.
The verdict on our generation could be summed up in one simple, succinct statement.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
The Church today is not in need of new methods or programs. She is not in need of more technology or stratagems. Her ONE NEED is to be IN Christ. It is in Him that the dynamic of His life is known. It is in Him that the selfish ambitions of men are crucified.
This is the declaration of one who carries within her own womb the touch and call of God to higher things. “Not So” is the cry from one who knows and feels deep within heaven’s fresh and invigorating breath. “Not So” has graced the lips of all those who sought nothing on earth and have become pilgrims of the same faith which inspired their father Abraham. For he sought out a city whose builder and maker is God. He was a sojourner even in the land of promise because his heart had been captured by heavenly realities; he could not and would not settle for the buildings and cities of men. Long he tarried in the plains of Mamre (Vision) not having the slightest inclination to join his nephew in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. His vision was clear and his heart resolute in the pursuit of this “one thing”.
How little our generation perceives that revelation follows sacrifice. Abraham, in the offering up of his own son of promise, “sees” the true offering of God and declares “Jehovah Jireh”! “God will provide”! Such a name had never been known in the earth nor had there been such an obedient heart. The two are inseparable.
“Not So” is the declaration of all who bear within their hearts the effervescence of the living Christ. While men still work and sweat to raise up edifices and organizations in the name of God, the verdict of God stands.
“Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool:
what house will ye build me? saith the Lord?”
The man who uttered such things was stoned to death by the malice and hatred of the religious people of that day. Living truth is ever an antagonism to the religious. Past and future truth may be acknowledged; present truth is what is hated and maligned.
Man is the dwelling place of God. The early church owned no real-estate, did not request any special status with the current government, it sought no earthly accreditation and expected none.
“For as it is in heaven”
so was she in the earth.
“And I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb
are the temple of it”
Declared the Pilgrims of Faith
“These all died by way of faith, not having received the promises, but seeing them from afar, and being persuaded, and having embraced and confessed that they are aliens and tenants. For those saying such things make clear that they seek a fatherland. And truly if they remembered that from which they came out, they had time to return. But NOW they stretch forth to a better, that is, a heavenly land. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, for Him to be called their God; for He prepared a city for them”
“For here we do not have a lasting city,
but we are seeking the city which is to come.…”