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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 1

The Ultimate Meaning of the Cross

Philippians 2:5-11

I feel that there is one big question which it is imperative that the Lord's people should face in these days, and if we can answer that question in a living way and enter livingly into the answer, very great spiritual values will be secured. The question is this - What has God revealed as His supreme objective resultant from the Cross of Christ? The question which springs out of that is - how has God revealed that the objective shall be secured and expressed? Probably it will be that subsidiary question which will occupy us largely in these meditations, leading to the answer to the main question.

As we approach this main question, we may do so by a series of inquiries. Is the supreme outcome of the Cross of Christ found in there being so many Christians enjoying the knowledge that they are saved? Further, is it found in so many saved people seeking to get other people to the same position - enjoying the fact of being saved? Further, is the answer found in having so many saved Christians mainly occupied with their own sanctification, the way of victory, and a fuller life? And, yet again, is it to have so many Christians devoting themselves to the knowledge of deeper things, the deeper things of God? And if we put all the four together, have we got the objective, that is, God's full objective, in the Cross of Christ? All the things that I have mentioned certainly are part of it; but when we have them all - salvation, soul-winning, sanctification, education - does it end there? Are any, or all, of these the end? Will that satisfy God? Will that fill up His desire and expectation and be an adequate outcome of Calvary? Well, that is what we are going to look at, as the Lord enables.

The circle drawn by all the things which we have just mentioned may still be a limited circle in two respects. Firstly, all that may still resolve itself into something personal - my salvation, my service, my sanctification, my spiritual education. Secondly, it may all resolve itself into something very largely, if not entirely, earthly, having to do with life here on this earth - being saved, getting others saved, growing in grace, increasing in spiritual knowledge. It may be quite an earthly thing, although, of course, leading to heaven and having heaven ultimately in view. But is not that, after all, still a circumscribed position? Again, does it represent all the meaning of the Cross?

Now all of these phases that I have mentioned are seen in the New Testament. Indeed, in a certain sense, we may say that the New Testament in sections deals with these respectively. Romans may, in the main, deal with the first - our salvation. Corinthians may deal with the second - our sanctification. The New Testament does definitely provide for each of these in quite a specific and definite way, but what we ought to recognize is this, that we can never, by means of any one section of the Word of God, see the whole purpose of God. We need all the  Word of God for all the purpose of God.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 2 - (A People To Express Christ's Lordship)

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