Frank Hitchens - Redeemed of God - Glencoe - 1975

I feel very glad of the privilege of being here, and I was searching my heart to see what is our real purpose of meeting together here.  I would like God's purpose for us to be my purpose, and to be everyone's purpose, and that our attitude would be one of yielding to Him, bowing to Him, and seeking the things that are vital to our soul's welfare.  The wise men came with a real vital purpose.  They said, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”  They knew the need of their heart. They knew they needed this King in their lives, and they came seeking Him, and God, in His great faithfulness, led them to the altogether lovely One, the One He has purposed should have the throne of our lives, the One He has purposed we should learn to love and serve with all that is in us and about us.  These men knew God had revealed to them the real purpose of life, and they were not happy until they came in living touch with their Redeemer and their Saviour.

In thinking of our Creator, Jesus was with the Father, and He is with the Father. There was nothing made that is made, without Him.  He is our Creator, and to think that He humbled Himself in obedience to the Father's will to become our Saviour, to shed His precious blood for us, that we might know an open door into Heaven, into the presence of God.  It was precious blood because it opened this door and took away the awful barrier of our sin that separated us from God. There is everything in our lives, and in this world, to separate us from God, from being in living touch with Him.  It is like the thin edge of the wedge, the God of all is trying to separate us.  We have to be desperately in earnest.  This vital purpose is born in our hearts to get in living touch with the One who has redeemed us.  It was precious blood to our first parents, because a life was given that they might have their sins covered, and it was precious blood to the children of Israel, because outside that protection and provision God had made through the lamb slain, there was only death and corruption and awful powers against the soul.  It was precious blood to them, and today we want to value this precious blood that was shed for us, to value it with all our hearts.

Those around the throne in Revelation 5 were singing, "Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood."  If we had not John 19, which describes the trial and death of Jesus Christ, we could not have those words the redeemed were singing. "Thou wast slain..." They were not saying anything about what they had done or what they were.  All their praise was to the One who had redeemed them; the One who humbled Himself and came to this world in love for your soul and mine.  Now they were singing redemption songs because of what He had done for them, and they, in their lifetime, had valued this above everything else. They had been willing to suffer for His sake, and every step they took making Him Lord and King in their lives, giving Him the place He had purchased with His own blood, and if we can do that, we won’t have any regrets.

I was thinking about God, His deep and great interest in us, because we are in a pathway that is full of danger.  He has made provision though His Son that we need not fail.  In Revelation, God spoke to the churches.  God was correcting their lives, not condemning them.  Some very searching things were said, not condemning them, but correcting them in love.  He was showing them where they were.  Like the captain of a ship when it gets off course, He looks at the compass and charts and corrects it.  He wants it to get to the desired haven, that is why He corrects it, and that is why God corrects us.  He does not condemn us.  It is ourselves that condemn us, and the enemy of our soul wants to condemn us, but it speaks of those who overcame him, that awful enemy, by the word of their testimony; by the word of their testimony, and by the blood of the Lamb.  They were clinging to Christ.  All their life was filled with Him, and God was correcting those people in love.

It was said to the first church, "You have left your first love..... Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen."  They had fallen a great way, fallen badly, left their first love.  They had zeal.  We can believe about this way of God, its meetings in homes, and the way the Servants go, the way He has planned, and so on, but there is this vital thing of His love burning in our hearts, being in touch with Him and bowing to His will every day.  It speaks about God's righteousness. Christ is our righteousness.  The only right thing for us is when we are at the feet of Jesus, when we are yielded to Him and He is given the place He has purchased in our lives.  That is the only right thing in God's sight.  I am for the correction as a child in my natural family.  If we don’t learn to obey our parents and those who have the rule over us, we won’t want to obey God later on.  In Proverbs we read, "Withhold not correction from a child."  Correcting him won’t kill him, but you will save his soul from hell, and I am glad of correction in the natural family, and in this great family of God, His correction in love for our souls, to bring us up to the mark and make us to be sensitive to Him.

A little boy once wanted to play truant.  He lived in a several-storied house so he went out onto the verandah and slid down the verandah post to get away.  At the bottom his father was there and said to him.  “Where are you going son?”  He said, “ Straight up that pole again.”  He knew his father and what the safe way for him was.  It is being sensitive to our Heavenly Father because we have got a heart that is desperately wicked and is out to wreck and ruin our lives, and we have to come under the correction of our Heavenly Father and give His Son the place His Father has purposed He should have, bowing to His will, giving Him the throne of our lives, the first place.

Thinking of these vital things, we heard last night, if we have not the Spirit of Christ we are none of His.  Having His Spirit, that is the vital thing.  It is not an important thing what we are saying today, but being conformed to the image of Jesus that is so vital, and His Spirit, dwelling in our hearts, the spirit that God loves, the spirit of submission that Jesus had, the spirit of obedience to all the Father's will and the spirit that He did not justify Himself.  He bowed to the will of God.  It is easy to justify ourselves.  That is human nature.  But Jesus did not. Meekly He suffered.  He is the Lamb of God.  I have often felt very ashamed when watching sheep and lambs being handled, sometimes pushed about roughly, and the spirit they show.  They do not hit back nor retaliate like other animals, nor even cry out.  Meekly they suffer.  Meekly He suffered, and this is the spirit that is so vital for us to have.  God is wanting to put in us, and wanting us to be possessors of this spirit of Christ.

The vital thing is having His guidance, His correction, every step of the way in our lives.  The world is rushing on, out of control, and we would not want to grieve our Heavenly Father by manifesting we were out of control, but be under His control, knowing His correction.  Our brother Willie (Donaldson) has often told us that the path of correction is the path of perfection.  He brings us to perfection.  If we don’t get corrected, we could never attain to anything, only go the other way and lose out.  This Spirit of God that He loves so much, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," is what the Lord is anxious to put in us. Do we cling to Him with all that is in us?  Those in Hebrews who had faith, this tenacious quality in the face of tremendous opposition and forces against them, they had this faith that linked them to God, in living touch with Him.

Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, because he was in living touch.  He gladly suffered for the Lord's sake, because He could see what He had suffered for him.  He kept the passover.  It is this living touch that is so vital to us.  The spirit of a little child, Jesus said we must have, that is vital.  We cannot enter into the Kingdom of God without it, the spirit of a little child.  Little children have spoken to us all.  There was a child we knew, and I used to wish I was like that little child in this great family of God, an adopted child, but so easily taught, easily corrected and with a loving heart.  He had a loveable heart towards his parents, was always grateful for his little place in the family, and brought great joy into that family.  He never justified himself but when corrected always came and said, "I’m sorry."  That was the spirit of a little child.

I would covet to have that self-effacement, but valuing all that has been given to us by our loving Father.  Where would we be if it had not been for Him?  How do we prize that?  I would like to prize it with all that is in me, and every step that we take, that we would value it more, and seek to be more under His control, learning from Jesus how to submit and yield to the Father.  We are always safe if our vision is filled with Him and we are striving to be in touch with Him.  He keeps His hand upon us that we do not turn to the right hand or to the left, but we are not safe if we are trusting to the dictates of our own hearts and thoughts.  We only get led into great trouble and disappointment.

Having His hand upon us, striving to be in touch with Him and the Spirit of Christ is so vital to us for the guidance of our lives, correcting and helping us on. That little child knew the comfort of the father and mother, because of being a dear child.  To the Ephesians, Paul wrote to be followers of God as dear children, knowing the comfort of the Father that we need so much, and knowing His closeness and fellowship is so precious to us.