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Friday, May 11, 2012

School of Christ - Part # 19

The Altar

Thus you notice, coming back to 1 John, the truth is here set forth in a representative way. It is more fully and clearly developed later in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit has come for that purpose - He has come to take up what Christ has said and lead it out into its full meaning - but in 1 John, long before you reach the House of God, you have this word reiterated, "Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Before you can get to the House, you have always to come to the altar. That is how it is in the tabernacle and temple. You can never get into the sanctuary, into the House actually until you have come to the altar. The Lamb, God's Lamb, and the altar, stand and bar your way to this passing out as us. We are identified firstly with Christ in His death. His death as our death. Then in virtue of His precious Blood which is sprinkled all the way from the altar right through to the Most Holy Place, in virtue of that precious Blood there is a way of life. It is His Blood, not ours; not our remedied life, not our improved life, not our life at all, but His. It is Christ and only Christ in the virtue of whose life we come into the presence of God. No High Priest dare come into the presence of God, save in the virtue of precious blood, the blood of the Lamb, blood from the altar. Behold the Lamb of God! That stands right across the path to the House, the death in judgment, what we are. Well, these are hints from which you are seeing a great deal more, I expect, than I am able to say.

But what is particularly in view at this moment is this matter of being in Christ, and therefore being in God's House. The House of God is Christ, and if we speak of the House of God as being a corporate or collective thing in which we are, it is only because we are in Christ. Those who are in Christ are in the House of God, and are the House of God by their union with Him. They have come into the place where God is, and where God speaks; where God is known, and where the authority of God is in Christ absolutely, and we are carried in thought at once into Colossians, to Paul's word - "He is the head of the church." We see the Body and its head, Christ's Headship means the authority of God vested in Him for government.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with Part 20 - "Baptism")

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