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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Cross, the Church, and the KIngdom # 57

The Triumphant Christ and His People (continued)

Believers In the Sphere of His Triumph

There is a third thing to be mentioned - a multiplied seed. This is His way - a corn of wheat passing its life through death into a hundred, a thousand, other corns, multiplying and multiplying. That is, the union, the organic and vital union, of believers with Christ by which is fulfilled in a spiritual sense the ordinance - "Be fruit fulled in a spiritual sense the ordinance - "Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:22); by Divine life transmitted through His death, a multiplied seed. That is the way to the undoing of the kingdom of satan, that is the vessel set in the midst of the whole universe scene.

a. Triumph In a New Life Imparted

Now what is true of Christ is true of believers, because we have simply passed from His personally to Him corporately. We have to see that, just as much in our case as in His, we are set in that cosmic setting. Our lives as believers, as children of God, are set in and given that universal significance. What is the meaning of new birth? We have reduced that and limited it far too much to a matter of our personal avoidance of hell and entrance into heaven, of escaping the misery of our sins and coming into salvation and therefore into peace, and when we have got there, well, perhaps we shall learn a few things and grow in grace a little; but it remains very largely for a multitude of people quite a personal matter - their salvation and the salvation of a lot of other persons as such - and it all ends with the persons. But is that all? What is new birth? Well, it is what we have just been saying: this new life, which cannot be overcome of death, introduced to a new organism - "quickened"... together with Christ ... and raised ... up with Him" (Ephesians 2:5, 6) - a new organism with a new life, this Divine life, imparted. And then the battle starts. Why do we not understand the elementary conflicts of a newborn child of God? It is not until a child is born that the battle starts; and the battle starts inside. Why? Because with the birth of the child, it is set in a world of other relationships where it is no longer just an individual with a world to itself. It is now set in another world; there must be other wills and other ideas; and it finds itself up against something more. Its own life comes into conflict with the life of that world. If you try to perpetuate the conditions of the life of the newborn child afterward, and make the whole world belong to that child, you will ruin it. We speak of spoilt children; what do we mean? We mean that we have made them the center of the world, as though the world was created for them and they are to have everything they ask for, and to be denied nothing. By such treatment we are countering the whole principle of life in a child, that of responsibility.

Carry that over to the spiritual, for it is only a parable. When we are born anew, and that Divine life is found within, we are introduced into a world which is a world of conflict; that life in us is at once thrown out into a realm of conflict, of contending wills, and our spiritual education begins along that line and that life has got to find its own inherent, natural potentialities of overcoming. That is exactly why satan has been left here. You may ask yourself often why, when the Lord Jesus met him in the Cross, did He not utterly wipe him out? If only He had done that, look what a lot would have been prevented! Look at all the centuries of trouble for which he is responsible! Why did not the Lord Jesus finish him there and then? The answer is that in doing as He did the Lord is going to get much more than He would have done by finishing him. He has given us a chance of proving the tremendous potency of Divine life, even to the point where that life is ultimately triumphant over all the power of death. It begins a new birth. Birth from above is a tremendous thing in all it points to and includes.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 58 - (b. Triumph In Transformation of Character)

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