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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Cross, The Church, and the Kingdom # 50

The Triumph of Righteousness (continued)

The Effects Of Sin Negated By Righteousness

What is the result of all this meekness, yieldedness, obedience, dependence, selflessness? Well, just the opposite of what sin was on the other side. Sin was enmity against God; the result here is love, the love of God in Christ shed abroad in our hearts, destroying the enmity. Sin put at a distance; this nature of Christ brings nearness and likeness to God. Instead of impotence comes power with God and the power of God.

The Issue of Righteousness - Life

Now if you turn to the Book of Revelation - where all things in the Bible are brought to a consummate expression - you find there that the end of movements in the cosmos is the hurling from his height of  "the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and satan"; hurled down at last, with all his, to his destruction; and then the coming down out of heaven of the New Jerusalem to take his place. But how has it come about? "The Lamb shall overcome ..." (Revelation 17:14). John at one point said he saw in the vision a book sealed with seven seals and he heard a voice saying, "Who is worthy to open the book...?" and there was none found to open it. And he said, "I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book." But the angel said, "Weep not; behold the Lion that i of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome to open the book." And John turned to see this Lion, and being turned, he beheld "a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain" (Revelation 5;1-6). You are familiar with that. A Lion? - power, majesty, dominion? Yes, all that. Where? - "a Lamb ... as though it had been slain"; a slain Lamb, the embodiment of all the features of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 12:11). Oh, there is spiritual meaning in all that! It ought to find us out, it ought to pierce our hearts! How shall the enemy be overthrown? How shall his kingdom be destroyed? By the nature of the Lamb being so developed in us, the people of God, that all that other kingdom of satan is undone in principle. And the power of this kingdom, which is an everlasting kingdom, is the power of the nature of Him of Whom it is said, "Thy kingdom ..." It is His nature. "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore ... " And this is life triumphant over death; and when the Lamb has made war and has prevailed, and the Church has come into the good of that in fellowship with Him because of the blood of the Lamb, because of the word of their testimony, having loved not their own lives unto the death, they the way is opened for the final scene - the new-Jerusalem; and from the midst of the city issues the river, the water of life. That is life!

What is life? It is letting go to God; it is meekness, it is all this that we have been speaking of, it is Christ, the Life. We are not dealing with things - although there may well be a very liberal side to all this and it is not simply all principles and abstract ideas: yet behind all else there are spiritual features. We are not thinking of going to heaven until heaven has come to us. We are not thinking of a kingdom which is going to be given to us until that kingdom has already been constituted in us. All that depends upon what the Lord does inside us now and our intelligent cooperation with Him in what He is after.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with #51 - (The Kingdom Established Within By the Tests of Faith)

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