Vision and Vocation 

The gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11,12 NIV)

I wonder what Paul would think... were he to come back today and look over the literature of the past many centuries upon his letters, the systems of truth, of doctrine, the wonderful organizations men have made of the things which he said in a moment of inspiration and need I wonder what he would say. I think he would look at it with blank amazement, and say, "Well, that ever they could have made that out of what I said! That ever that could have resulted!" I am not sure that he would recognize his own teaching. I am quite sure that he would be very doubtful as to whether it was the right outworking of what he said. I simply raise that as a question, and yet include it as something upon which to reflect. Does not a systematizing of truth result in limitation, in a setness which breathes death? The New Testament themes are far, far too big for our molds. You cannot systematize the Cross of the Lord Jesus, you can only go on your knees and worship, conscious that you see something really far beyond your power to compass. But immediately you have boxed it in a system of truth, you have reduced it from its divine and eternal dimensions, and robbed it of its power, and brought it into a realm of death in that measure. The Person of Christ, the resurrection of Christ take any one of the great themes of the New Testament when you have so wonderfully brought together all the fragments and organized them, and put them into a manual, a textbook, you have killed the thing....

When the Lord Jesus came, and in Himself gave some interpretation to the law, some light upon the law, which did not fall within the compass of their system, there was no room for Him, there was no room for God in His own law. There must be room left for God!

Open Windows messages have been selected and compiled by Austin-Sparks.Net from the works of T. Austin-Sparks. In some cases they appear in abridged form. The introductory verse and its associated Bible version have been selected by the editor and did not always appear within the original message. In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given and not sold for profit, and that his messages be reproduced word for word, we ask if you choose to share these messages with others, to please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of any changes, free of any charge and with this statement included. Print books can be ordered from Emmanuel Church free of charge.

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