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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Cross, the Church, and the Kingdom # 15

The Kingdom of satan and Its Overthrow (continued)

God's Quest - Spiritual Personality In Terms of Christ

Well, then, that means one thing. It means that God is after persons. It is persons that are needed - not first preachers, teachers, "workers", ministers, missionaries, in the technical sense, but "persons". Oh, what a false position we may find ourselves in by these titles! How many a one is called a missionary who is no missionary at all, or a minister who is no minister! There is something much deeper than the title. No title makes us what the title represents, and we can have the title and the uniforms and not be the person. No, it is neither official people nor things that God is after - not exponents of some spiritual ideology, teaching, system of truth, but persons, just persons. We have to learn anew to draw lines of distinction. There is all the difference between a church in the New Testament sense, and a congregation. There is all the difference between praying and a prayer meeting. You can have a prayer meeting without praying in the true spiritual sense. There is all the difference between living testimonies on the one hand and ordinances and rites on the other; and there is all the difference between people who officially represent something, and personal embodiments of Jesus Christ. Yes, the main feature in our spiritual training is the person being trained; not the subjects being studied, but the persons being trained.

You see, there is a principle in spiritual training, the training which God is trying to carry out in your life and in mine, and that principle is spiritual personality. And that personality is Christ: not your personality or mine, but Christ's. That principle underlies everything in the Word of God. It is so clear, right on the face of the Scriptures, that God's view of the race is that - it is personal. It is a man. It is Adam.

That is the very principle of representative people in the Bible. Take the priest. The priest is the personal embodiment and representation of the whole nation of Israel. It is a priestly nation, and the priest is the one upon the nation. When the priest is right, in a right position and state before God and functioning according to Divine prescribing, the nation is right, and God meets the nation on the ground of the priest. When the priest is wrong, corrupt, polluted, be sure the nation is that, and that is how God sees the nation. It is all gathered up into the one man, the priest. So also with  the king: as king, so people. He is the inclusive representation of the nation. It is as though the nation were but one man and that man the king; what the king is, the nation is. You do not need to look very deeply for proof of that. Look at Saul and see the state of the nation when Saul was king. Look at David and see the state of the nation when David was king. And so with prophet. The prophet was the personal representation of the people. He was called upon to do all sorts of extraordinary and strange things, sometimes very degrading and humiliating things, in order to portray to the nation God's view of themselves. What about the very name - Israel? It is the name of a man, of an individual, but it is again the name of a nation; a man's name for a nation. That is the principle, you see; God views the race as a man, as a person.

Now, carry that over to Christ and the principle holds good. Thank God! He does not see us in ourselves. It is Christ Whom He sees when our faith has been reposed in His Son. We sing a tremendous thing when we sing: 

What though the accuser roar
Of ills that I have done;
I know them well and thousands more;
Jehovah findeth none!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 16)

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