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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Cross, The Church, and The kingdom # 46

The Triumph of Righteousness (continued)

These fragments, surely, are sufficient to bring us right up against this fact, that power over the whole power of satan is found centered in the first place in meekness. It says that all that mighty power of sin, all that mighty kingdom which satan has set up, into which he has drawn all the sons of men by nature - his kingdom is to be undone by meekness; that meekness is a greater power than that.

b. Yieldedness and Obedience

We use another word here in this connection - yieldedness. The actual word does not occur often in the Scriptures, but what it means fills the Scriptures. We saw that in lucifer's rebellion, and then in the great betrayal of Adam into his hands, the thing which influenced and governed the enemy and Adam was possessiveness, drawing to self - 'I will, I will, I will' - and all satan's force was bent upon having and holding and not letting go; so his kingdom stands upon that. Does that need any argument? Look around today - the grab, the acquisitiveness, the stretching out of the hand to have, to take, to hold, to dominate by possession. Over against that is the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of the Son of God's love, and the characteristic of Christ and of His kingdom is yieldedness.

It is again a significant and impressive thing that in the Letter to the Philippians this matter of yieldedness arises, though unfortunately the actual word itself is not used in our translation. We know what that letter contains. Euodia and Syntyche were evidently standing for their own rights. Somehow or other, they had got across one another. One of them perhaps had been the offender, and the other was standing to have her own rights established. 'You must apologize to me, you must ask my forgiveness, you must restore what you have taken from me.' Then, as his means and method of meeting a situation like that (which you might think is, after all, only a little private quarrel between two people; why make so much of it?) Paul brings in the greatest argument that it is possible to find. By implication he goes right back, before this world was, to that scene we have depicted earlier, where the covering cherub, walking up and down midst the stones of fire, the most glorious created being, next to the very throne of God, said, "I ..." - and all the mischief started. And in Euodia and Syntyche, two people on this earth, away there in Philippi, the very same thing is being expressed. Here is division because of pride and personal interest and personal possessiveness. It is exactly the same thing, and it divides. So the Apostle appeals. He says, 'Because in principle it is the same thing and therefore in outworking it will have the same effect of rending the Church, see how it has been dwelt with and adjust yourselves. There was One Whose right it was to be equal with God; He did not grasp at that equality, He emptied Himself and became obedient unto death, yea, the death of the Cross.' In our previous meditation we saw something of what that means - obedient for the sake of rescuing this disintegrated universe from the thaldom of satan.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 47)

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