The Ultimate Meaning of the Cross (continued)
Ever-Increasing Spiritual Fullness
Thirdly, the need is for believers who, because of this living, conscious, spiritual relationship, the fruit of the Cross, and because of this spiritual position above the earth, are characterized by ever-increasing spiritual fullness; for when the Lord gets people like that and in that position there is no stagnation, no limitation. There is constant, increasing, spiritual fullness. They have resources, and they have plenty, and far more than they can consume upon themselves. That is not fiction, that is fact. The whole word of God bears down upon this, that the Divine thought is also a though of fullness. Wherever you find God reaching His end, it is all by way of fullness. Is it the tabernacle or the temple? - then it is filled with His Glory. Is it the river of God? - it is full of water. Is it the trees of the Lord? - they are full of sap. Is it the water pots? - they are filled to the brim. Is it the Church? - then it is "the fullness of Him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:23). So we could go on. The Divine thought is always along the line of fullness. And I said, this is not ultimate in time, this is for now - a people who have more than the ordinary, more than just enough to make ends meet or hardly that. The fullness of Christ - that is God's end by way of the Cross, and to be known now.
The Rule of the Heavens Expressed
Then fourthly, and finally for a moment, there is need of believers who, because of the three things already mentioned, are showing that the kingdom of the heavens is a spiritual reality and who are extending its range actually - showing that the heavens do rule, and that they rule through the medium and by the instrumentality of a people, a heavenly people, after this kind. The bringing of the impact of that supreme rule of the heavens to bear upon the cosmic forces of this universe is the vocation of the Church of which we are speaking, of a people like this; and that is the meaning of the Cross ultimately. Where does the Cross lead to? Your salvation, my salvation? Yes, of course. Is that all? And then that I should be busy to get other people into that position? Oh, yes, of course, without question. And then that you and I should be growing in grace progressively, in sanctification, being conformed to the image of His Son? Oh yes, a hundred times yes, without any question. And that we should be increasing in the knowledge of Him, growing in our apprehension of the things of God, that our spiritual education should go on uninterruptedly? Yes, all that is in the will of God. But is that, or are all those things put together, the end? No, the end of the Cross is that the whole realm of evil spiritual powers and intelligences should meet the impact of all that - that there should be a practical registration of it all objectively.
I said that this can all be personal after all - my salvation, your salvation; my sanctification, your sanctification; my life of victory, your life of victory; my education, your education. it an all be very largely individual and personal, and it can all be something here, so that people gather into little groups on the subject of sanctification, others on spiritual education, others on soul winning. Oh no, that is God's meaning ultimately in the Cross of the Lord Jesus; but He intends that by all those means, along all those lines, this end should be reached - that the whole system of darkness and evil and wickedness should be cast down and brought into subjection to the absolute Lordship and Headship of Jesus Christ; that every knee should bow to Him. And that should have a very real beginning now where you and I are concerned in this spiritual relationship. It should be a practical thing now, extending and expanding, so that this kingdom of the heavens, expressed through this people, should be registering itself and occupying widening territory so that the power and dominion and evil of the evil one is being more and more limited. That is the thing for which the Cross of Christ really stands. It brings in the individuals in every stage and phase of the spiritual life, but it goes beyond. It is this cosmic impact that is the ultimate justification of the Cross of the Lord Jesus.
(continued with # 6 - (The Needed Discipline of the Cross)