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Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Stewardship of the Mystery # 49

The Heavenly Man as the Source and Sphere of Corporate Unity (continued)

Dwelling Together in Unity (continued)

There is nothing very profound in this, but it is of no less importance on that account. It is yet another way of bringing the Lord Jesus into view, of showing Him as the center, as supreme. But, oh, it is a call from the Lord, a serious and solemn call from the Lord to our hearts. The way of fruitfulness, the way of blessing, the way of freshness, the way of joy is to be in this way that is under the blessing of the Lord, because we have found our rest where He has found His, in the Lord Jesus; because the object of our hearts, for which we have set aside all lesser objects, all personal interests, is the object of His own, even His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. There the Lord commands the blessing, even life for evermore.

May He be able to do that with us. Oh, that it might be said in days to come as never hitherto "...there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore," because of these two great governing realities, both of which are centered in the Lord Jesus.

The Heavenly Man and Eternal Life

It is Christ as the Heavenly Man that is our consideration at this time, and we have been seeing that the main spring of the being of the Heavenly Man is eternal life. "In Him was life..." (John 1:4); "...as the Father hath life in Himself, even so gave He to the Son also to have life in Himself..." (John 5:26). It is eternal life, Divine life, life from God, a special kind of life; not merely extensiveness of life, but a nature of life. The main spring of His being as the Heavenly Man is eternal life. The Lord Jesus, as the Heavenly Man, was ever appointed to be the Life-giver. From eternity that life was in Him for creation.

Eternal Life In View From Eternity

The words in the Gospel of John, used by the Lord Jesus, that it was given to Him of the Father both to have life in Himself, and to give that life unto whomsoever He willed, carry us back again into the "before times eternal." Here they relate to redemption, but that is not where the matter of life-giving, of God's intention with regard to life begins. We are shown in a figurative way that right at the beginning,  before there was any fall, and therefore before there was any practical necessity for redemption, God's thought was eternal lie, and when from fallen man He shut off the tree of life, He is seen to do so on this ground: "...lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever..." (Genesis 3:22). Now God had made that provision. Eternal life was there in the thought and intention of God, but this eternal life was for a certain kind of man, and the Adam that came to be, as separated from God, ceased to stand in God's view as the being in whom eternal life could reside, and so that was reserved. It was maintained in the Son; for the tree surely is but a figure of Christ. When we get to the end of the Scripture the tree is seen again. Christ is the "tree of life." Christ is the repository of that life, and here He comes forth in Man-form as the last Adam, as the kind of Man in Whom that life can be.

Through union with Him now by redemption, that life that is in Him is deposited in the believer himself; not as apart from Christ, but in Christ in the believer. It never departs from Christ. The Apostle states that this life IS in His Son, and was given to us. We have eternal life, and this life is in His Son. It is Christ resident within in the Person of His Spirit in Whom the life is, and it is never possessed apart from Him.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 50)

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