Welcome to Realync for your spiritual well-being and your ministry overflowing. Have you ever heard a majestic organ play and fill the room with music that pulsates from the deep bases to the high, the organist pulls out the stops and the whole cathedral the auditorium shakes.
I grew up in a church where the organ was played, our organist was a faithful man, he was a gentleman but he was a strict man, none of us kids were we allowed to get into that organ cubicle. The structure where the organ was kept. Only he and his organ pumper the gardener whom doubled up. The gardener, let me repeat, the gardener who doubled up as the organ pumper would show up and play.
They will maintain the organ, they will clean the organ, they will practice on the organ. And just before the service of course, a prelude will welcome us, every hymn was led by him. On the organ there was an offertory which was beautiful and the concluding three-fold Amen. Where the choir would join him and we would all join in concluding service.
Now, In the organ world, there are very few pipe organs left, let alone hand pumped pipe organs. They’re expensive to maintain, hard to repair, can’t get the parts anymore. In the middle ages as organs began to develop, their names of builders and creators of the organ were very well known. Their functions were separated from the cleaner of the organ, the tuner of the organ, the repair of the organ, the pumper of the organ, and the player of the organ.
But in the spiritual life, God is the builder, God is the cleaner, the tuner, the repairer, the pumper too. For without the pumper there is no sound regardless of how well you play and without the player there is no music. You are the player. We do not want to deny or negate, or dismiss the fact that there is an I. Is the egotistical prideful I that we wanted to downplay and dismiss.
That I which was crucified with Christ as Galatians 2, 20 says, it is no longer I who lives. But Christ lives in me. Who is that I? Paul goes on to say in Galatians 2, 20. The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God. There is a personal I, a psychological I, that’s you. It is I. In the formal life you used to be both the organ pumper and the organ player, and that failed you, that nearly killed you.
You have to be self powered. And that left you drained and exhausted, and dead. Instead at the point of the cross, the point zero. You moved to a new zone a new element a new state a new sphere. You transferred. You not only came into a new jurisdiction but you had a new spirit, Christ lives in you by his spirit. And in this new sphere you live by faith in the Son of God.
We look at that part for this short episode, what does it mean? That you live by faith. It could be that that’s the means by which you lived, Amerians say that. Is by having faith or it could mean the sphere in which you live in the element of faith, it could be the reason you live the faithfulness of the Son of God on your part.
So we listen to the glomerulus here and they tell us that Christ is the reason. We live Christ’s faithfulness on our part. And our faith is the response. The sphere of faith, the element of faith by which we live. The emphasis is a Son of God’s faithfulness to us. He’s not using the verb here, which is the usual way by which we say we have faith in God. We’ve exhibited and exercised faith in God. This is a noun his faithfulness to us, which stimulates our faith in him, in the Son of God.
That’s really the argument of the whole episode, we live by faith, not by works. So for the rest of our life, our human life in the flesh. In all its weakness and corruptibility, we live in response to Christ’s life in us, we live by faith in response to Christ’s faithfulness to us. Recently I had a birthday and during a birthday you take stock.
I wrote down three F words, more vulgar more offensive than what is used in public discourse because these are realities about me. One is finitude, the reality of mortality evidenced by death all around me and you. My first message on my birthday was a friend who passed away. The last message on my birthday was another friend who passed away.
The second F word is my frailty. The theme of my weakness, especially evidenced by the physic– Let me repeat that line. Especially evidenced by the physical frailty we must face eventually by aging. No more speedy as you could be, an agile as you could be. The third F word is my fallenness. The theme of my sinfulness. The older I get, I’m even more aware of how fallen and sinful I am. Especially evidenced by inner sense of pride and other sorts.
But to talk about these themes of reality of finitude and frailty and fullness, I also added two more F words. One what I don’t want and second what I do want. I don’t want to be fickle fickleness because I’m in a new sphere. My passport has been stamped. I’m in a new structure, new system, Christ lives in me. I don’t want to go back to living by the law in this beautiful system of grace.
I must hold the fact that grace is enough and Christ is enough. What I do want is another F word faithfulness. Christ’s faithfulness to me as evidence and anchored in his love that he gave himself for me, which stimulates my faithfulness to him. I live by faith and in faith. Is not unlike another phrase, the love of Christ. Where the apostle Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 5. He says, love of Christ controls me. Is he talking about Christ love for him or his love for Christ? That cannot be decided by sheer grammar or exegesis.
We have to add a theological dimension and a spiritual dimension to it. If Christ loved Paul and Paul did not love Christ back, do you think it would have been a compelling constraining love? No. There was the initiation by Christ and the response by Paul is the same way with this faithfulness of Christ. He initiated it by the cross. And my response in interaction is faith in him.
I read the story of the former gild of organists of pipe organ is, where this little boy who used to be paid $0.25 for each organ recital had now grown up to be the player. The celebrated organist was applauded at the end of a concert tumultuously says this man. From this old story and filled with his ego. He says, and I will conclude with the afternoon of a fond. Debussy’s French composition. Began to play new music came.
And the boy who was pumping the organs stuck out his head out from behind the curtain and he yelled. And now we will play the afternoon of a fawn. It’s we. Christ living in me, Christ powers me. He is the organ pumper. You and I we are the organ player. He is the power we provide. Let me do that again. Again, he provides the power, we present the willingness. The secret of our welling is his indwelling.