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Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 16

The Kingdom of satan and Its Overthrow (continued)

Spiritual Personality Secured By the Cross

Now then, this matter of spiritual personality - which resolves itself into a matter of bringing Christ into events, and that primarily in the spiritual realm - how can it be? And the answer is - only by the Cross, but surely and truly by the Cross. It is the Cross which stands between those two men, the first Adam and the last, representatives of two races. It is just there that the Cross has its place, between the two.

Before we can know what the Cross means, we have to know what those two men really are, what headship in both cases really does imply and mean; for there is a headship on either side. On the one hand is the body of sin; that is racial, the whole race. There is one head to that body of sin. In its own sense and meaning, that head is head over all things to that body of sin. satan is head over the whole body of sin, the whole race of the first Adam. Christ, the last Adam, is head over this other Body, and head over all things to that Body - "to the church, which is His Body." We have to understand what headship really means in both cases, and in understanding that headship we shall know what the two men are; and we must understand in order to know the meaning of the Cross.

The Root of Sin Dealt With By the Cross

Remember, then, that the Cross goes right behind all that is secondary to what is primary. Sins are secondary; sin is primary. Sins always have been secondary, they are the result of sin; and, while God has made a provision, comprehensive and conclusive, for sins, He has gone right behind and done something very much more in relation to sin. The point in making that distinction is this - you and I must be perfectly clear on this point that, until the primary thing has been dealt with, there is little hope of the secondary being dealt with. Are you struggling against sins? Well, you will go on struggling. The key to the sins is sin. You have to get behind your sins, to where God has gone. What is sin? Well, sin is satan's kingdom in principle. satan's kingdom is not some organized, official system, something literal and temporal, objective. satan's kingdom is within us, just as, for us as believers, the kingdom of heaven is within us.

The Origin of Sin

How is satan's kingdom within us by nature? It is satan's nature in us that is his kingdom, and his nature is sin. It is a working power, like an evil disease - you may call it a toxin, a poison - permeating the old creation, actively at work in the system of the race. That is sin, and that is satan's kingdom. Now we have got to deal with that side. You will at once see the other side, but we are not on the other side of the Cross yet. We can begin now here - the Cross and sin, the primary thing. We call it "original sin." What do we mean by original sin? Well, we mean something that goes right back to the beginning and follows through from the beginning continuously and is with us as from that far, far distant beginning.

Where was that beginning? The beginning was not only far, far back in man's history, but it was far, far back beyond man's beginnings. Sin commenced with satan, and there are two factors in original sin where he is concerned: firstly its immediate and close up relationship to God, and secondly its seat in the exercise of the will.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 17)

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