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Author Topic: A.W. Tozer, Bible studies and sermons  (Read 51168 times)
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« Reply #750 on: March 12, 2009, 04:02:16 PM »

The Tyranny of the Customary
By A.W. Tozer

      In the Old Testament, the enemy that threatened Israel the most was the dictatorship of the customary. Israel became accustomed to walking around in circles and was blissfully content to stay by the safety of the mountain for a while. To put it another way, it was the psychology of the usual. God finally broke into the rut they were in and said, "You have been here long enough. It is time for you to move on." To put Israel's experience into perspective for our benefit today, we must see that the mountain represents a spiritual experience or a spiritual state of affairs. Israel's problem was that they had given up hope of ever getting the land God had promised them. They had become satisfied with going in circles and camping in nice, comfortable places. They had come under the spell of the psychology of the routine. It kept them where they were and prevented them from getting the riches God had promised them. If their enemy, the Edomites, would have come after them, the Israelites would have fought down to the last man and probably would have beaten the Edomites--Israel would have made progress. Instead they were twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the customary to keep on being customary.
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« Reply #751 on: March 12, 2009, 04:02:51 PM »

The Unchanging Need of the Human Heart
By A.W. Tozer

      We of the twentieth century have exactly the same basic needs as the people of the first century. We feel the weight of sin and mortality just as they did. We long for peace and life eternal exactly as they did. We are tortured by fears, stunned by losses, grieved by betrayals, hurt by enmities, made heartsick by failures, scared by threatening death, chased by the devil and frightened cold by the thought of coming judgment. They sat in their simple houses and worried by candlelight. We speed along in sleek, shiny cars and do our worrying between stoplights. But the end result is the same for everybody: slow progress backward toward old age and the grave with no place to hide and no friend to help.

      God called His Son's name Jesus because He knew the human race needed deliverance from sin; and He sent the angels to announce "Peace on earth" because He knew the world needed deliverance from the gnawing tooth of inward fear. And nothing basic has changed. We today need Jesus, and we need Him for the same reasons they needed Him 2,000 years ago. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
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« Reply #752 on: March 12, 2009, 04:04:04 PM »

The Unending Chapter
By A.W. Tozer

      That next chapter after the last is the source of all the Christian's hope, for it assures us that our Lord has put death in its place and has delivered us from the ancient curse. Death did not end the activities of our Lord; it did not even interrupt them, for while His body lay in Joseph's new tomb, He was preaching to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18-20). And after three days, His spirit was reunited with His body and the new chapter began, the chapter which can have no ending. Had Christ not risen from the dead, His life, beautiful as it was, would have been a human tragedy. Since He did in fact rise, His life has been shown to be an unrelieved triumph. The blood, the pain, the rejection, the agony of dying, the cold, stiff body and the colder tomb--these belong to the former days. The days that are now are days of hope and life and everlasting freedom. What is true of Christ is true also of all who believe in Him. How many saints since New Testament times have lived and hoped and labored and worshiped, only to grow old and bent and to drop at last, weak and helpless, into the open grave. If that was for them the end, then we Christians would be of all men most miserable. But it was not the end. For all of God's true children there will be another chapter, a chapter that will begin with the resurrection and go on as long as eternity endures.
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« Reply #753 on: March 12, 2009, 04:04:34 PM »

The Union of Faith and Works
By A.W. Tozer

       Just as in eternity God acted like Himself and when incarnated in human flesh still continued to be true to His holiness in all His conduct, so does He when He enters the nature of a believing man. This is the method by which He makes the redeemed man holy. He enters a human nature at regeneration as He once entered human nature at the incarnation and acts as becomes God, using that nature as a medium of expression for His moral perfections.

      Cicero, the Roman orator, once warned his hearers that they were in danger of making philosophy a substitute for action instead of allowing it to produce action. What is true of philosophy is true also of religion. The faith of Christ was never intended to be an end in itself nor to serve instead of something else. In the minds of some teachers faith stands in lieu of moral conduct and every inquirer after God must take his choice between the two. We are presented with the well-known either/or: either we have faith or we have works, and faith saves while works damn us. Hence the tremendous emphasis on faith and the apologetic, mincing approach to the doctrine of personal holiness in modern evangelism. This error has lowered the moral standards of the church and helped to lead us into the wilderness where we currently find ourselves.
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« Reply #754 on: March 12, 2009, 04:04:58 PM »

THE UNITY OF ALL THINGS
By A.W. Tozer

      If we are humble and sincere Christians, this should be one of the most welcome thoughts we have ever considered: the work of Christ in redemption will achieve ultimately the expulsion of sin, the only divisive agent in the universe! When that is accomplished, God's creation will once more realize the unification of all things. We who are men and women, though redeemed and regenerated, are submerged in time; therefore we properly say that prophecy is history foretold and history is prophecy fulfilled. But in God there is no "was" or "will be" but a continuous and unbroken "is." In Him, history and prophecy are one and the same. God contains past and future in His own Being. It is sin that has brought diversity, separation, dissimilarity. Sin has introduced divisions into a universe essentially one. We do not understand this, but we must let our faith rest on the character of God. The concept of the unity of all things is seen in the Scriptures. Paul said that God will reconcile all things unto Himself, whether they be things in earth or in heaven!
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« Reply #755 on: March 12, 2009, 04:06:15 PM »

THE WALK OF FAITH
By A.W. Tozer

      There are spiritual lessons for every Christian believer in the life of godly Enoch, seventh generation from Adam through Adam's third son, Seth. We are impressed that he could resist the devil and find fellowship with his Creator-God, for he lived in a worldly society headed for destruction. Enoch's daily walk was a walk of faith, a walk of fellowship with God. The Scriptures are trying to assure us that if Enoch could live and walk with God by faith in the midst of his sinful generation, we likewise should be able to follow his example because the human race is the same and God is the same! Beyond that, Enoch reminds us that the quality and boldness of our faith will be the measure of our preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to this earth. We walk by faith as Enoch did, and although it is now 20 centuries after Christ's sojourn on earth, we hold firmly to the New Testament promise that our risen Lord will return to earth again!
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« Reply #756 on: March 12, 2009, 04:07:40 PM »

The Way to God is a Person
By A.W. Tozer

      When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, read the terrible words, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things . . . who changed the truth of God into a lie. On and on the devastating words flow, mounting in intensity till no one with any conscience left or any fear of moral consequences can stand to look the Judge in the face, but must cast down his guilty eyes and cry, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Apart from the Scriptures we have no sure philosophy; apart from Jesus Christ we have no true knowledge of God; apart from the inliving Spirit we have no ability to live lives morally pleasing to God. How wonderful that Christ could say, I am the way, the truth, and the life. For this we can never be thankful enough.
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« Reply #757 on: March 12, 2009, 04:09:02 PM »

THE WINSOME SAINTS
By A.W. Tozer

      Much of Christianity overlooks the fact that if we are led by the Spirit of God and if we show forth the love of God this world needs, we become the "winsome saints." The strange and wonderful thing about it is that truly winsome and loving saints do not even know about their attractiveness. The great saints of the past did not know they were great saints. If someone had told them, they would not have believed it, but those around then knew that Jesus was living His life in them. I think we join the winsome saints when God's purposes in Christ become clear to us. We join them when we begin to worship God because He is who He is! Brethren, God is not a charity case-He is not some frustrated foreman who cannot find enough help. Let us remember that God has never actually needed any of us-not one! But we pretend that He does and we make a big thing of it when someone agrees "to work for the Lord." God is trying to call us back to that for which He created us-to worship and to enjoy Him forever!
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« Reply #758 on: March 12, 2009, 04:09:59 PM »

The Witness of the Spirit
By A.W. Tozer

      Knowledge by spiritual experience is not mental, it is intuitive. It is consciousness, it is acquaintance with something or someone by direct awareness. It might help the reader to understand what we mean by such words as ?awareness? and ?consciousness? if he were to ask himself how he knows he exists, how he knows he is himself and not someone else, how he knows he is alive and not dead. The answer is simply that he ?knows? these things by conscious awareness of which reason is no part. Let him attempt to prove to himself that he exists, for instance, and he will find that the ?he? who is doing the demonstrating must first be aware that he exists before he can begin to prove that he does.

      When the French philosopher, Descartes, sought to get to the root of all knowledge he thought away all accepted facts, went back till he found the one irreducible element of knowledge that could not be challenged and came up with his celebrated Cogito, ergo sum, ?I think, therefore I am.? But let no one imagine for a moment that with his little syllogism Descartes went all the way back. He did nothing of the kind. The truth is that he was by intuition aware of his existence before he ever began to notice that he was thinking. His self-knowledge antedated thought and all he did was to prove to reason that he existed by proof that it could understand: ?I think, therefore I am.?

      This illustrates but does not explain what we mean by religious knowledge by direct spiritual experience. Stated in other language this means simply that there is at the root of true religion an inward witness, an awareness of God and Christ at the farthest-in core of the renewed Christian?s spirit given to him by the Spirit of God. This experience results from faith in and obedience to the Scriptures. It is the end result of Bible doctrine but it is not that doctrine. It is a consciousness of God and spiritual things too deep and wonderful to utter or even think.
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« Reply #759 on: March 12, 2009, 04:10:46 PM »

The Wonder of God
By A.W. Tozer

       Moses took us back to the beginning of all that we see, all that we call the universe. He took us back before the stars and moon were, before space was and before time was, and said, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). So Moses said that the One who calls us to Himself has a right to do so because He antedates time, He transcends space, He fills His universe and He is God. . . . David, in Psalm 103, showed that this God is not only a God who makes mountains, hills, rivers and streams, who rides upon the wings of the clouds, but He loves His people. "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him" (v. 11). "But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts" (vv. 17-18). David tried to impart the incommunicable, tried to tell what cannot be told of the wonder of God.
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« Reply #760 on: March 12, 2009, 04:11:19 PM »

THE WONDER OF REDEMPTION
By A.W. Tozer

      My brethren in the Christian faith, stand with me in defense of this basic doctrine: The living God did not degrade Himself in the Incarnation. When the Word was made flesh, there was no compromise on God's part! It is plain in the ancient Athanasian Creed that the early church fathers were cautious at this point of doctrine. They would not allow us to believe that God, in the Incarnation, became flesh by a coming down of the Deity into flesh, but rather by the taking of mankind into God. That is the wonder of redemption! In the past, the mythical gods of the nations were not strangers to compromise. But the holy God who is God, our heavenly Father, could never compromise Himself! He remained ever God and everything else remained not God. That gulf still existed even after Jesus Christ had become man and dwelt among us. This much, then, we can know about the acts of God-He will never back out of His bargain. This amazing union of man with God is effected unto perpetuity!
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« Reply #761 on: March 12, 2009, 04:12:34 PM »

THE WORD MADE FLESH
By A.W. Tozer

      I have given much thought and contemplation to the sweetest and tenderest of all of the mysteries in God's revelation to man-the Incarnation! Jesus, the Christ, is the Eternal One, for in the fullness of time He humbles Himself John's description is plain: the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. I confess that I would have liked to have seen the baby Jesus. But the glorified Jesus yonder at the right hand of the Majesty on high, was the baby Jesus once cradled in the manger straw. Taking a body of humiliation, He was still the Creator who made the wood of that manger, made the straw, and was Creator of all the beasts that were there. In truth, He made the little town of Bethlehem and all that it was. He also made the star that lingered over the scene that night. He had come into His own world, His Father's world. Everything we touch and handle belongs to Him. So we have come to love Him and adore Him and honor Him!
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« Reply #762 on: March 12, 2009, 04:13:50 PM »

The Word of God
By A.W. Tozer

      Of course we of this generation cannot know by firsthand experience how the Word of God was read in other times. But it would be hard to conceive of our fathers having done a poorer job than we do when it comes to the public reading of the Scriptures. Most of us read the Scriptures so badly that a good performance draws attention by its rarity. It could be argued that since everyone these days owns his own copy of the Scriptures, the need for the public reading of the Word is not as great as formerly. If that is true, then let us not bother to read the Scriptures at all in our churches. But if we are going to read the Word publicly, then it is incumbent upon us to read it well. A mumbled, badly articulated and unintelligent reading of the Sacred Scriptures will do more than we think to give the listeners the idea that the Word is not important. We do not, however, concur in the belief that because the Word has attained such wide circulation we should not read it in our public meetings. We should by all means read it, and we should make the reading a memorable experience for those who hear. Every man who is honored with the leadership of public worship should learn to read well. And do not imagine that anyone who can read at all can read well. Even learned men break down here. We are all familiar with those public figures who can talk fluently on almost any subject but flunk out miserably when they try to quote the Scriptures. Reading the Bible well is something not picked up overnight.
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« Reply #763 on: March 12, 2009, 04:19:22 PM »

The Wrong Kind of Teachers
By A.W. Tozer

      The newborn Christian finds himself alive with a sweet, enjoyable kind of life that he accepts naively, almost unconsciously. To him everything is simple and immediate. He knows no intermediary. Christ is to him on an infinitely higher level what its mother is to a baby--warmth, nourishment, protection, rest and an object of satisfying affection.

      Right here is where the wrong kind of Bible teacher can do his damage. The first thing he does is to destroy the new Christian's simplicity. He introduces something between the Christian and Christ. He makes him Biblo-centric instead of Christo-centric. (And there is a difference, let no one deceive you.) The Spirit-anointed Bible teacher will so teach the Word as to keep it transparent, so as to allow it to be what it always should be, a kind of burning bush which God indwells and out of which He shines in awesome splendor. The beholder sees the bush, it is true, but the object of his interest is the Presence, not the bush. The wrong kind of teacher gets so technical about the bush that the fire dims down and the light ceases to fall on the Christian's face.

      That is what the gentle cynic meant when he said "before he has met too many Bible teachers."

      As for "too many church members" spoiling the new Christian's happiness, it is the result of disillusionment pure and simple.
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« Reply #764 on: March 12, 2009, 04:20:03 PM »

The "Exegete" of the Father
By A.W. Tozer

      Elsewhere I have said that we cannot know God by thinking, but that we must do a lot of thinking if we would know Him well. This sounds self-contradictory, but I am sure that the two statements are in full accord with each other. The inability of the human mind to know God in a true and final sense is taken for granted throughout the Bible and even taught in plain words in such passages as these: No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. The world by wisdom knew not God. The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. God's nature is of another kind from anything with which the mind is acquainted; hence when the mind attempts to find out God it is confronted by obscurity. It is surrounded with mystery and blinded by the light no man can approach unto. A consideration of this truth led some thinkers of the past to conclude that since it is impossible for man to discover God by means of any faculties he possesses, God must therefore remain not only unknown but unknowable. What these men overlooked was that when God desires He can and does reveal Himself to men. The Spirit of God is able to make the spirit of man know and experience the awful mystery of God's essential being. It should be noted that the Spirit reveals God to the spirit of man, not to his intellect merely. The intellect can know God's attributes because these constitute that body of truth that can be known about God. The knowledge of God is for the spirit alone. Such knowledge comes not by intellection but by intuition .
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