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Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Cross, the Church, and the Kingdom # 58

"The Triumphant Christ and His People (continued)

b. Triumph In Transformation of Character

We go on to transformation. What is the transformation of the believer? In a word, it is simply breaking down on the one hand and building up on the other. In the physical realm that is going on in the body of everyone of us. There are two things going on, one breaking down the food we eat and extracting the food properties. This is called katabolism. The other activity is the positive building up of the body by means of breaking down of the food compounds and the liberation of their potential energies. This is called "anabolism". The word which covers both of these processes is metabolism, which means, change of life. We all know how changed we feel after healthful food when the body is needing it. It is like that spiritually. Transformation in the Christian life is like that. This life process in us is breaking down and getting rid of what is poison and not required; saying, 'No, that is not good, we do not want that, that must go'; on the other hand, there is the inward witness, "This is what we need, what we want, this builds up.' If Christians do not know and are not bearing consciously what is good and what is not good for them spiritually, there is something wrong with their spiritual health. If the life of God is having its way in us, those two things are going on. We are getting more intelligent to things that will not help us, and we cast them off, on the other hand, we do know what is good, what is of value spiritually, and we say, 'That is what I am after.' It is spiritual intelligence, and by this twofold process of breaking down and building up we are being changed. It is a life action. The transformation of believers comes along that line.

c. Triumph In Learning Christ Through Trial

And you gather into that all the New Testament has to say about spiritual understanding - being "filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." Our Christian education, then, lies in that direction, but it comes along the line of testing, trial, adversity, suffering. If we know anything at all, we have learned it through suffering, through trial, through adversity. If we know the Lord, how do we know Him? Well, our real knowledge of the Lord is NOT book knowledge, but just what we have learned in the fires, in the trials. We come to knowledge when we have been really up against things with the enemy.

d. Triumph in Manifestation of Secret Victories

We pass on for a word on the manifestation of believers. What do we mean? I am putting this all in that fuller, higher, spiritual realm. The manifestation? - well, Romans 8 tells us all about that. "The earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God" (8:19). When the education is complete and the graduation takes place, that which has been going on unsuspected by even those nearest at hand - all those conflicts in which we have to get away alone and seek the Lord for grace, victory and strength. The whole cumulative conflict of the spiritual life, though so largely hidden from view, has been having an effect, it has been doing something, it has been changing us, making us different, making us more Christlike, more gentle, more humble, more dependent. It has all come out of the secret education, but it is still going to be manifested; sons are going to be manifested, and with their manifestation it is going to be found that that is what the whole creation has been waiting for. Why, the creation was made for this, for a people to occupy it who are like the Lord - full of His glory. And when that is wrought out, then the creation's meaning is explained, and the creation itself is delivered from the bondage of corruption. That brings us to our final word - glorification.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 59 - (Triumph In Glorification)

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