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Saturday, September 29, 2012

God's Supreme Interest In Man # 4


And what is the ultimate frustration? The ultimate frustration is death. There is nothing that speaks more of frustration than death. It says defeat, it says imperfection, it says nothing finalized in this life. The final frustration is death. For death has a date with every mortal being, and you will never defeat that one. It is defeating you all the way along. 
And while it is possible to have a long life with the blessing of the Lord, length of days is no guarantee of happiness. But it may be very much the other way, when men long to die all the more because of conditions. Well, be that as it may, the point is that the final consummate outworking of frustration is death.

And when we have said all this about this schism and frustration in every realm, to where do we trace it? e trace it to mam himself. It is just man! It is this that has happened in man, this devastation in human nature and human life. Indeed, the original image has gone. It has been lost. Well there is the dark, the miserable side, but it is so true. And we have to note it before we can get on to the other side, the positive side.

In Colossians 3:10 and 11 where the scriptures turn us to the other side: "Being renewed after the image of Him that created him," the reintegration, the reunification in the Creator, in Christ. "Christ is ALL, and IN ALL!. You notice every schismatic element is touched upon in Colossians 3:8 and 9. Every schismatic element is touched upon in man's nature inverse eight. Then, at the end of the paragraph, there are all the racial divisions, Jew, Gentile, and so on. Yet, every disintegrated element is excluded in Christ, the Unifier and the Unification of all, beginning in the individual and ultimately manifested in a whole race, beside which there will be no other race, because you cannot have something extra to all. If you come to all, then there is nothing more. There is nothing more at all. And how we underlined that phrase in all these passages which we read, "all things." In Colossians 3:11, it says "Christ is ALL, and IN ALL." That is final, consummate, everything reunited.

This Son of Man Is a Unity In Himself: There is No Schism In this Person

Now, I pick up that point as we begin the great positive revelation of the meaning of Christ. And we light upon the real significance of the Incarnation, the Son of God becoming man. Says Paul, "Made in the likeness of man." Himself man. And the Lord's own favorite, chosen, cherished title for Himself, the "Son of Man." He loved that name. He constantly used it in preference to every other title. His Person, His Incarnation, the very object of His coming out of eternity into time, out of eternity into history, the very meaning, purpose, object, and explanation of Himself having come from glory, is found in this word, MAN.

And that is not just a proper name, Son of Man, that is a purpose, a purposeful title. That is a meaning, that is an explanation, that is a definition: MAN, the Man Christ Jesus; and this Son of Man is a Unity in Himself. There is no schism in this Person, in this Humanity, He is One, nut dual, but One. There is a Unity, an integration in Him.

Do you know the Lord Jesus in all His life here never suffered from conscience? I do not mean He did not have a conscience. Conscience is a part of the full personality, but Jesus never for a split second suffered from conscience. If He had done that, He would not have been a Unity in His personality, in His nature, because conscience is always a divisive element. It suggests strife, conflict, two things. Paul says it either accuses or it excuses. Whichever it does, the conscience speaks of something to be combated within the person concerned. Oh, do we not know all about conscience? it is this conscience that is accountable for ninety percent of our misery. Is that not true? "Oh, my conscience, what a time it gives me." Jesus never suffered from conscience, not for a moment. There was no duality in His nature; it was single. It was One, a Unity; there was no fighting in His nature. No, if there is perfect obedience, there is no place for an accusing conscience. There is no place for conscience to trouble a perfectly obedient life. And He was able to say, as no other part of the human race could ever say, "I do always those things which are well pleasing unto Him." "I do always" - what a claim, what a statement in a world like this, a Man in the human creation standing up before heaven and earth and hell and saying, "I do always those things which are well pleasing to Him." There is no schism in Him, because of perfect obedience.

And now do you begin to see a little more to your own heart's satisfaction, why the Apostle was always using one little phrase, "in Christ," and what he meant by it?! What this phrase meant to him, and how heart ravishing it was to him in its meaning, "in Christ." "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ." Here the conflict is gone. The conscience is redeemed in Christ. In this matter of condemnation - which carries with it more than anything else frustration - in Christ that is gone. There is no condemnation in Christ. And when Paul uses that phrase, it is always, "We are in Christ": "we," in Christ.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 5)

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