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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 3

The Ultimate Meaning of the Cross (continued)

A Conscious Spiritual Relationship, The Fruit of the Cross

Breaking that up further, what does it amount to? Well, in other words it is this. Firstly, believers living in a conscious, spiritual relationship which is the fruit of the Cross. That is the first fragment - a conscious spiritual relationship which is the fruit of the Cross. It cannot be anything but a spiritual relationship. We cannot live in an actual, personal, physical, conscious relationship with all believers. We do not know them. We know but a mere fragment of all those who exist. We cannot organize this thing, bring it within the compass of an organization, a society, or anything of that kind. It can only be a spiritual relationship, but it can be a conscious spiritual relationship. That it is spiritual does not mean that it has to be unconscious, abstract, nebulous, imaginary, something somewhere but undefined. No, a personal conscious, spiritual relationship with all believers; though they may be scattered to the ends of the earth, yet something has been done by the Holy Spirit which has constituted those concerned people of a related consciousness with all other believers. That is absolutely essential to the ultimate - the expression of the Lordship and Headship of Jesus Christ. That is no abstract, ethereal thing. That is very positive and very practical, and if the whole cosmic realm is to feel the impact of that Lordship, this conscious, spiritual relationship is absolutely essential.

All those powers which occupy that cosmic realm, which have their government there, have no interest in, or concern with, doctrines of Christian unity; but they have a great deal of interest in actual, spiritual relatedness; so much so, that they have never ceased, from the day of Pentecost, to make it one of their primary objectives to divide the people of God in their spiritual consciousness. If they cannot get in between them in other ways, they will try to set up a sense of distance, of unrelatedness or disturbed relatedness, because of the tremendous importance of this matter of a living, practical, real, conscious, spiritual relationship between the people of God - something more than mechanical and organized, something spiritual.

Then, we spoke of this relatedness as being the fruit of the Cross, because this can never be brought about apart from all the tremendous meaning of the Cross of the Lord Jesus in the realm which is now rent and torn and shattered to fragments so far as spiritual relatedness is concerned. This is a universe which has been broken to pieces, endless pieces. Its harmony and unity have been completely disrupted, and those cosmic powers are the forces which have done it, and are doing it. That hardly needs to be argued. We know it within ourselves - the battle for forbearance, for longsuffering, for endurance, for kindness, for patience, for love, for consideration - all those are very practical matters in the Christian life. Look at the way this breaking up is at work, these endless discords in the whole creation, in the whole universe. There is nothing to meet that but the Cross of the Lord Jesus; and that is one of the primary meanings of the Cross to which we are getting at this time - a people in a living, conscious, spiritual relationship which is the fruit of the Cross in them and in this universe. That is why we read those words in Philippians. The goal is His absolute sovereign Lordship and Headship. How do you reach it? "Have this mind in you ..." And what is the contextual implication and application? "I exhort Euodias, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the same mind in the Lord" (Phil. 4:2). "Have this mind ..." - one mind intervening to overcome two conflicting minds, and the only mind that will do it is the mind of Him Who went to the Cross and let go His own personal and individual position and rights for the sake of others. The Cross alone will meet this situation. Yes, the need is for believers living in a conscious, spiritual relationship which is the fruit of the Cross.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 4 - (A Spiritual Position Above This Earth)

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