Notes of address by Wm. Huggins at Hawick, 1/1/1898.
The good pleasure of God's goodness is presented from God's side in 2 Thess. 1:11. It is the privilege of every christian in the world to be for that. The question may well be asked "for what are we here?" We should be able to say that we are here for the good pleasure of God! The Apostle's statements were not legal prescriptions or enactments, but the expression of exercises in the soul of the Lord's servant. The Spirit of God would so minister Christ to our hearts that they would be made good in us in a practical way. We require a deeper apprehension of the One who was here perfectly for God's good pleasure. Luke 2:14 speaks of God's good pleasure in that One when born in Bethlehem's manger and the heavens burst forth in glad acclamation. Near the close of His pathway in Luke 19 we see a sample of earth joining in that acclamation. Man had been 4000 years on earth and God had not found his good pleasure in any one. When man was set up at first in innocence in the Garden of Eden God pronounced everything very good, but man's disobedience led to an unhappy sequel of sin and corruption in the human race. It was necessary that a man of a totally different order should be disclosed, viz., the second man, the Lord out of Heaven; in whom God could find His good pleasure. He was the centre of His purpose and His pleasure. The first man was morally set aside when the Lord Jesus was born and at the Cross he was judicially set aside. Finally at the Great White Throne there will be a complete blotting out of his remembrance! Consequent on the Lord Jesus going into death, rising therefrom, and being placed above everything the Holy Ghost has come down to make good the truth of God; a living reality in our souls according to the purpose of God. That is no mere mental assent, but the Spirit forming us in the divine nature. The result will be that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in us. That is not only light but a deeper acquaintance with His love and of the Person Who is crowned with glory and honour. John 8 says, "We shall know the truth and the truth shall make us free." That liberty will not be to do our own will but to be here for God's good pleasure!
Phil. 2:12 speaks of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. How many stop short at that! It is quite scriptural, but only part of the truth. The next verse goes on to say, "that it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure." We are to work out what God is working in. The consequence on the practical side will be "that we shall be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom we shine as lights in the world." While He was here the Lord was the perfect answer to what we have read. There is no question about the particular nation to which we belong. All are in the nationality of fallen man. The only light shining in this dark world comes out in the bodies of the people of God. The light is to shine out in the christians holding forth the Word of Life. That is not a question of preaching but of practice. It is the privilege of every christian to be in this verse. Preaching would shut out all our sisters and many brethren, but the Lord is the great administrator of the word of God in the pleasure which is worked in us. We have a responsibility as lampholders to display the light. God lights the candle. Paul said to Timothy, you have fully known my doctrine and manner of life. They were in accord with each other. He lived as he preached. He went on to adjure the young man to take heed to himself and the doctrine. He was not merely the depositary of God's revelation. I do not believe that there is anything going on in our hearts if it does not come out in our bodies. We may have much in our heads and little in our lives. We are to be living exponents of the truth! May the Lord deepen the work In everyone who has been taken up by sovereign grace and the love of God.