His All-sufficient Provision In The Beloved
Conformity To the Beloved
What is God doing with us in Christ? Inclusively, He is seeking to conform us to the image of His Son in terms of love. What is your idea of the image of God's Son? He is the Son of His love, and very word "Son" is a love term, than which there is no higher and fuller, and in the revelation of God, Son, Sonship, is the embodiment and exhaustion of love. "Conformed to the image of His Son" in terms of love. I am putting something on you and on myself when I say these things, but there it is. Yo must ask the Lord to write the force of this in your heart and do not just take it as an address. The Lord will have to help us after this, for there will have to be some very real dealings with Him. We are going to be challenged and found out on this. It is well that we are very much occupied with the word "grace." "Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be." We love that word. Do we realize that is only the other word for love, and that it speaks of the initiative of God in this whole matter? In grace He chose us. The initiative of God was in love.
Then what is true of our position in the Beloved is put upon us as our obligation, and when we are bidden to love one another we are bidden to show to others the grace that God has shown to us. In 1 John 4:19 there is a fragment which is so often quoted - or misquoted when it is quoted from the Authorized Version - "We love Him, because He first loved us." It is a misquotation because the "Him" should not be there, and to put it in really does not make sense with the context. "We love, because He first loved us." That is the whole of John's argument in that letter. "If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11). "God so loved"; He gave the all that He in heaven possessed. We therefore love one another, because He loved us first.
That is a tremendous test of the reality of our being "in Christ," and a tremendous challenge, and we need something with which to meet and answer that challenge. Paul says that provision is all in the Beloved. That does not get us close enough. It is not as though the beloved Christ is a kind of sphere and God has put everything inside there. It is Himself. "It is no longer I, but Christ liveth in me." Christ is the supplier. Oh, how much Paul dwells upon that! Right through to the end, to the ultimate realization - "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). If there is anything beyond what I have said, it might be summed up in that word "glory." "... hath called us unto His eternal glory" (1 Peter 5:10). But what is the glory? There is no glory except the glory of perfected love. Perfected love is the glory of God. The glory of God is His love.
Well, if you forget all that has been said, do get the impression upon your heart of the one thing - "His great love wherewith He loved us." This whole matter of a Christian's life is gathered into that. That love in us is the satisfying answer to the heart of God. It is not how much truth and doctrine we possess, how much teaching we have or give; it is not a matter of the mysteries of the Gospel; it all resolves itself into this - the love of God shown to us and then shown by us; that is all. The Lord help us!
(continued with # 1 - "Love Serving")