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Monday, January 4, 2016

The Cross, The Church, and The Kingdom # 39

The Significance of the Death of Christ (continued)

The Result of Independence

a. Enmity Against God

What is the effect, the result, of all this which we have summed up in this word "independence"? It is firstly, enmity, so far as our relationship with God is concerned. All that is the sum and the essence of enmity with God, and there is enmity on God's part toward it. Any form of independence on our part where the Lord is concerned is a positive factor of warfare with God. Perhaps that needs a word adding to it, because probably no one here will deliberately take a line independent of the Lord. If it came to the immediate issue of the Lord and you, you would not do it. But there is a good deal of independence about us that does so often seek to evade the Lord. The independence may show itself in various directions. The Lord therefore has constituted His  house in such a way that the test of our willingness to rely upon the Lord, to trust  Him, to commit our way unto Him, is found in relationships, in matters of the House. We cannot say that we trust the Lord, that we commit everything to Him, that we depend upon Him, and then perhaps take an independent course where another child of God is concerned. That is a contradiction. "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar" (1 John 4:20). The proof of your love for God is your relationship to your brother. So in this matter of independence, it is tested out in many practical ways in the Christian relationships of the house of God. I speak of 'the house of God' as a spiritual thing - the relatedness of all believers. That by the way.

Now this all comes to be something positively set against God - enmity. If this is satan's nature, then satan is enmity against God. That is in us. There is the innate enmity against God in us. We have only got to be put to the test in a suitable situation and it comes out. I have only to ask you, have you never in your life been put into a situation in which you have found it difficult to yield to the Lord? Have you always, in all circumstances, at all times, in all conditions, in every trial and difficulty, found it perfectly easy to say, Yes, to the Lord? Have you? But here we are, we are put to the test in numerous practical ways as to whether, after all, there is not something in us that has got to be overcome in this matter of natural enmity against God.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 40 - (b. Distance From God)

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