One final word with reference to the glory of Jesus Christ as God's Son. The Divine prerogative of government is vested in Him. The third prerogative of God is government. In the last issue, the decision is with God in all matters. Over and above all things, God is: He rules, and He rules in the kingdoms of men and among the armies of heaven. He governs, but He has now vested that government in His Son. "Neither doth the Father judge any man, but He hath given all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22). This Divine prerogative of government, therefore, is vested in Christ.
What does that mean for us now? "The gospel of the glory of Christ." "We preach Christ Jesus as Lord." That is in substance one statement - the glory of Christ, Christ Jesus as Lord. I think I must leave a great deal of the detail and leap right to the end of that. The glory of Christ is only recognized when He is Lord, but it is recognized when He is Lord. I mean that God is satisfied when His Son comes unto the appointed place, and God can never be satisfied in any one direction without the one affected being aware of it. There is always an echo here of something in the heart of God which affects us. I mean that if heaven rejoices over one sinner that repenteth, that sinner will never fail to have the echo of heaven's joy. The joy which comes to a repentant sinner is not just his own joy, it is the joy of heaven, it has come of what is going on above. When the Father is well-pleased, it will be witnessed in the one in whom He is well-pleased. "This is My beloved son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). The Son knows in His own spirit, His own heart, the delight of the Father. "The Father loveth the Son:" He can say that without any conceit or presumption: and when the place to which the Son has been assigned by the Father is given to the Son in any life, or in any company, or in any place on this earth, then you may take it that the heaven is opened there, and the Father's gratification will be registered there. You never get through a struggle and battle on some question of His Lordship without knowing a new Divine joy and peace and rest in your heart. A struggle has been going on over a matter of obedience to something in the will of God, something the Lord has said: there has been a battle over it for a long time and at last you get through - "My stubborn will at last hath yielded" - and you are through. The Lord's Lordship is established, and what is the result? Rest, peace, joy, satisfaction. You say, What a fool I was to keep that up for so long. What is it? It is not just a psychological relief, that you have got past a difficult place: it is the Spirit of God bearing witness within. It is the Holy Dove lighting upon your spirit. It is the Father's good pleasure witnessed to in your heart, the Lordship of God in Christ established. We can never in reality believe in the absolute Lordship of God and not give Christ His place. That is a contradiction. For the Lordship of God to be a reality, Christ has to be Lord in our hearts. We need to see that.
The Practical Issue
What I really want to leave with you in this last word is this: do pray for the Lord to open your eyes to the meaning of the Lordship of Christ. You know, beloved, all our troubles circle around that issue. Other lords have had dominion over us. What are those other lords? There are lords many. Our own souls may be having dominion, our own sentimentalities, our own likes and preferences and judgments, our own dislikes and antipathies, our own traditions, our own teachers: these may be governing us Oh, the lords are so many, and they may just be governing. Th Lord is desirous of bringing us into a larger and freer place, and a place of an opened heaven: something is still tyrannizing: we are in the center, the natural self-life is on the throne, we have a horrible way of drawing everything to ourselves. Immediately anything is raised, we step into the center of the arena, the self-life ruling on the throne: and what kind of life is it? Well, it is a life of shadows, to say the least of it; it is a life of limitation, of variableness, up and down, of weakness and uncertainty. If we want to come right out into the light, the full light, to go right on in the full light, in the glorious liberty of the children of God, all those other lords have to be deposed, and Christ has to be Lord.
Now, while I am saying that, you agree with me absolutely. You say, Yes, of course we want Christ to be Lord, we want nothing more than that Christ should be Lord, and we know He has to be Lord: we know that God has made Him both Lord and Christ! We assent. Beloved, that is all right, but what about it? When we have assented, when we have agreed, are we still going to assert our own judgments, are we still going to meet
others and things in our own strength? Are we still going to be in the picture, are we still going to allow those old domination's to influence us? This establishment of Christ as Lord is a thing which can only be done, not by assent, not by agreement, although that may be required: - it can only be done by our being broken down, and we have to say to the Lord, Lord, You break down everything that You find in the way: take in hand whatever is that obstructs Your absolute Lordship.
"The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from Thy Throne
And worship only Thee."
There may be something very dear, a part of our very being, and it is in the way: our very life, our very self. There is something to be done right in us, but oh, that we should see how much hangs upon the place and significance of Christ in the Divine economy of things, Christ as Lord. What hangs upon that? It is the glory of Christ.
Have you ever got through to a new position with the Lord where His Lordship has been established in some new way, in some new matter, in some new sphere? Have you ever got through and been miserable about it, felt you have lost everything? You know to the contrary. The experience may have been a very deep and terrible one, but when you are through, you glorify God. When the Lord is dealing with things that are in the way of His Lordship, it is a dark time, full of suffering, but you are going to come to the place where you thank God for every bit of it. How can that be? If the Lord should make windows in heavens, might this thing be? That is what we feel when we are in the process, but I am certain, and experience in some degree bears it out, that when we are on the other side of that and the Lord has a new place in our lives, we thank Him for the depths, and we say, You were right, faithful and true. You can say that as a bit of your faith, but it is a great thing to say it as a bit of your experience. Faithful and true!
The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the glory of Christ, the gospel of the glory of Christ as Son of God is all brought to us in terms of life and light and Lordship - the three "L's" of the glory of God's Son. The Lord lead us into that.
(continued with - "Seeing The Glory of Christ as Son of Man")