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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sin and "Selfhood"

Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 NIV).

What is the sin of the world? It is pride. You may not think so; you may not see it: but I would ask you to consider again and see if all that is called sin cannot be traced to this, if it is not this in some form of expression. For what is the root of pride? What is pride? It is selfhood come to life, risen up, active – that is the root of pride; and the branches and the fruit – how many they are! – jealousy, covetousness, wrath, and all the rest. How is wrath pride? Well, wrath, if it is not holy, purified, blood-purged wrath like the wrath of the Lamb, if it is wrath which is actuated by ourselves and our interests, is the wrath of selfhood. So often our anger is our self-preservation, our reaction to some threat to our interests or our likes. Rebellion, stubbornness, prejudice, and much of our fear, are all traceable to pride. What are we afraid of? What are we fearing? If we examined our fears, why are we afraid? If we were utterly severed from the personal interest – that is, if we could hand entirely over to the Lord and get out of the picture ourselves – would not a lot of our fear go? And so we might go on: but we do not want to indulge in a wholesale analysis of human nature or of pride. We have mentioned enough to show that pride is the root and that there are countless fruits traceable to that root....

So may this be a word of interpretation as to why the Lord is dealing with us as He has and does – on the one hand, overcoming this evil thing, breaking, emptying, grinding to powder, until there is nothing of us left in the matter of self-sufficiency; on the other hand, giving Himself, increasing Himself. Now this is not a word, perhaps, of great inspiration, but I feel it to be a word of very great importance. This must be true of us individually. There must also be a corporate humility. This is the way along which the Lord will commit Himself. He will never give us anything to feed our flesh, to enlarge and strengthen our natural life. He will hold us to the way that keeps us safe where that is concerned. How wonderfully the Bible becomes alive when you look at it in this way!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

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