What is the faith? The faith is this, that Jesus is the Son of God. But that is something more than a personal, objective relationship. That is a spiritual reality which has to come into expression through Him in the Church, in His members as representing the heavenly seed, coming to the fullness of Christ; which being accomplished, is to supplant and oust all this other seed which satan has introduced into God's universe. That is the faith. The faith comes down to this, namely, what we are spiritually in God's universe. That is the faith.
What are we intended to be? We are intended to be in our experience, in our spiritual life, in our presence here, a living proof that Jesus is the Son of God; not just to declare this as a tenet of our faith and creed, but to be here as children of God growing up into sonship, by which sonship His sonship is put into expression. Do you follow what I mean?
Oh it is over this that there is all the conflict, and I say again, the conflict get right in inside, among godly people, godly men, devout men. Why? Because some are so held by their traditions, by their fixed system, by the thing established here in Christianity. Somehow or other that very thing gets in the way of what Paul calls here in the Galatian Letter "the liberty of sons."
The Liberty of Sons
I wonder what that phrase means to you, what it is becoming to mean to you - the liberty of sons. Oh, if you have known bondage to legal Christianity and the Lord has led you in any measure into spiritual liberty, that is a very cherished phrase - the liberty of sons. It is a great, great position to be in. You are not being brow-beaten in your conscience for a moment about what you must do or must not do, this whole tremendous, colossal system of Shalts, and Shalt nots that has come into the midst of Christianity, making Christianity into something that is put on you. They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be born, and lay them on men's shoulders (Matt. 23:4). That is what the Lord said about the Jews, but that is what many Christians are doing, and it is very easy for us to slip into the position where our Christianity and the Christian life becomes a burden almost grievous to be born.
To be emancipated from that into the liberty of sons; what does this mean, and how is it brought about? You go after the Lord, that is all. It is not a thing, a system, it is Himself, Christ. Run through this Galatian Letters and put your pencil mark under every mention of the name of Christ, and you will get a surprise; and you have got the message of the letter, for it all resolves itself into this - it is the Lord, not Judaism, not Christianity, not a system at all; it is the Lord. And if it is the Lord, you are emancipated; you need not worry about anything else. You will not go wrong on any of those thousand points, if it is the Lord upon Whom you are set. You are bound to go right, if you are after the Lord. That is liberty, and that is deliverance!
You see the nature of the conflict. The fight of the faith is not fighting with modernism in the first instance, nor standing for the virtues of the Christian faith. It may work out that way, it may at times have to do with that, and doubtless it does include that, but there is something very much deeper than that. Right in the innermost part of our being we know that is a spiritual conflict going on, and that spiritual conflict has to do with whether we are going on with the Lord, and that going on with the Lord is the development or outworking of sonship, it is coming to the consummation of sonship. That is where the challenge is, and anything the enemy can bring in to stop that, he will. The Lord give us light on all this.
(continued with "Revelation In Relation to Sonship")