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Monday, August 13, 2012

God's Spiritual House # 6

God's Rest in His Son

Assurance comes from heart rest. Here again let us mark and how full of truth, exactitude, the Scriptures are everywhere - that it was no accident or chance or happenstance that Solomon, the man who was chosen for this position, had the name of Solomon. Solomon means "rest". Now you notice Stephen referring to Solomon, says a rather interesting thing in Acts 7:47-49: "But Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands; as saith the prophet. The heaven is my throne, and the earth the footstool of my feet: what manner of house will ye build Me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of My rest?"

Then Solomon had another name "Jedidiab," "Beloved of God." That is what we read in Ephesians - "hath made us accepted in the Beloved." You see, the Lord Jesus takes up Solomon on both his names. He is God's rest, "the place of my rest"; and He is the Beloved of God, the Beloved of the Father. So that, in the very first place, God gets all that His heart is set upon, with regard to what His house is to be, in the Person of His Son, and it is out of this that the house corporately, of which we are parts, takes its rise. It is built upon that heart rest which God has in His Son.

Now, you and I have to come to the same place as God in regard to the Lord Jesus before we can really be an expression of His house. We are His spiritual house: "Whose house are we." But that does not mean that God just puts us together as bricks. He must have  living stones, and that phrase "living stones' implies, as the context shows in First Peter 2:4-5, that it is by a living relation with the chief Corner Stone that the house is built: "unto whom coming, a living stone ... ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house." The parts are one with the Corner Stone, all of a piece, so far as their nature is concerned, one with Him in what He is. As the building, we have to take our character from that Chief Corner Stone which God has chosen. "I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious." God works to Him and from Him. You and I work to Him and from Him. But what is this that gives the House its character? It is God's full and perfect satisfaction in His Son which gives Him rest. God rested from all His works on the seventh day, and God beheld all things which He had made, and they were very good.

Now, carry that right through in this spiritual connection with God's house, and long, long after you hear this word: "that he might present it [the Church] to himself  glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." That is only saying, It is very good! The thing which first of all satisfies God's heart is that His Son has answered to all that He has ever required in a spiritual and a moral way. That is God's rest, and the exaltation of the Lord Jesus is God's seal to the fact. God is satisfied. God is at rest. Thus it is that, as the Lord Jesus is just about to step out on that last bit of the journey which is to see Him crucified, He says, "Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). Glorify thou Me! Yes, that is coming almost at once by the darkest part of the road. It is the way to the glory. This last step, the Cross, is the final stage and summing up of all that has been in the satisfaction of God's heart.

The Value of the Blood of Jesus

What I am coming to in all that I have said is this, that it is by His precious Blood that God's absolute rest in the Lord Jesus i secured. Oh, beloved, you and I need ever more and more to apprehend the supreme value of the Blood of Jesus! The value of the Blood of Jesus is the great factor at the end time. It is the supreme factor in heart rest, and heart rest is the only ground of victory; and therefore satan is always seeking to rob the children of God of heart rest on spiritual matters. I am going to make this appeal to you all at this time, although something more will have to be said at some other time about it; but I do want to make this appeal to you, that we ought to be at the place where the matter o our relationship, is an absolute thing now. We must not allow the other side of our spiritual experience to cross that dividing line and come into the realm of our assurance. I mean, there is that other side where the Lord is conforming us to the image of His Son. He has a great work on hand in us, and, as He takes it in hand, we discover as never before what a work it is. We discover ourselves, discover the depths of iniquity that are to be found in our fallen nature. It becomes a terrible thing to us. But never allow that which comes to light by God's handling of us to cross over into that other place of our acceptance, our standing, our peace with God.

So many people fail to keep that line clearly defined and they accept all kinds of accusations from the enemy because the Lord is dealing with them in this way. They feel so bad, so worthless, so useless, so utterly impotent and evil, and suppose therefore that their relationship with the Lord is interrupted, and the Lord is not pleased with them, and all that sort of thing, and they lose their rest. I believe that is why a lot of people have turned strongly against the subjective side of God's working, because they have seen many Christians altogether break down in their assurance under it. You come to a place where you know the Lord has accepted you and that you have peace with God; your sins are forgiven, and you are blessedly at peace, enjoying the Lord. Well, you are there for a time, and then you come into touch with something that has to do with spiritual progress and fuller life in Christ, and all that is bound up with that. Now many, as soon as they begin to touch that, lose their old basic assurance and joy, and because of that, there are those who have turned, not only against simple salvation and rejoicing in the Lord as Saviour, but all that is beyond besides. They will not have anymore. They will not have what is subjective. That does not justify their position, but it does say that we have to be very careful about this matter; and we have to stand up to this thing. We have to take this position, and no doubt some of you have taken this position - 'Well, I know I am beginning to know something of the depths of evil in my own nature; I am coming to see what I never would have believed to be true of myself. I have never had worse times about myself, the hopelessness of myself, that I am having now. I am seeing more and more that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing! and soon, but... but that is the Lord's matter. That is for the Lord to deal with. I am not going to allow that to encroach upon my absolute acceptance with God, my basic standing before God. I am not going to allow all the problems of sanctification to come over and destroy the great assurance of justification!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 7)

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