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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Measure of Christ # 2

The All-Inclusiveness of Christ

Spiritual service, vision, vocation, glorification, have no existence apart from Christ; they are not things as things, and cannot be had except in the Person of the Lord Jesus.

To many salvation is as a thing. It is detached and regarded as something by itself; to be given by itself, for the good of those who receive it. Sanctification is wrapped up in the same way. So often we think of salvation and sanctification in relation to the persons in view, and so some thing for them, but it is Christ Himself Who is salvation. He is sanctification, and He is within as these.

It is the same with service and vocation; these are often seen only in regard to the persons themselves. "Saved to serve" is only part of the truth and is a dangerous slogan, for the motive, so often, is the service itself and not the Lord. You may be so driven with the service that He is left out. We have detached the thing from the Person, and we find we are gripped and wrapped in the claims of "service"; it becomes the drive of service, and in the end it breaks us. And again, when service becomes hard and difficult, we say we will give it up, we will resign, thus showing we have separated service from the Person, and have been occupied, day in and day out, with it, the work, and not with the Lord Himself.

And so with glorification; yes, this stirs us, we love to sing hymns about our glorification; but God means it to begin now and it must begin now. What is glorification? It is the full manifestation of Jesus Christ in us. God regards salvation, sanctification, vocation, service, glorification, as related to His Son, and of no value apart from Him; He is salvation, He is sanctification, etc.

Salvation and sanctification are often held up to people a things to be received for their good; the object being for them to benefit from something received; often it is salvation for salvation's sake. God has not saved a single soul for salvation's sake. God is not after salvation as an end in itself, but for the sake of the Saviour, for the glory of the Son It is not salvation that is in view, but the Saviour. If people are rejoicing in salvation merely as something received for their own benefit, the full end will be hidden by the first step. Is not this the cause of arrest and hold up?

The worker has to be brought, by the way of seeing no deep fullness of result from his work to the place where he cries out, "I can do nothing." So he comes to see the true nature of salvation, and that to save another soul is utterly beyond him, and is the work of God. So he comes to see God's object in salvation, which is the glory of His Son. Salvation is not "something", it is the mighty incoming of a Person; "He that hath the Son hath life"; (1 John 5:12). "To as many as received Him" (John 1:12).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 3

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