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Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Cross, the Church, and the Kingdom # 59

The Triumphant Christ and His People (continued)

e. Triumph In Glorification

I pass over this very rapidly and in a general way. After all, glorification is only the manifestation of that life in fullness. It is the very nature of that Divine life brought out to fullness; and with that, the great cosmic battle ends. When we are manifested with Him in glory the fight is finished, the war is at an end, satan has no more ground and no more place, and the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven.

That is a lot said. I am only concerned that our breadth, expansiveness of thought, and many words, may not take away from the immediate challenge and import. That is the thing that we are in now. It is a grim business. There are tremendous issues hanging upon this whole matter of our setting - from our spiritual birth to our manifestation in glory; tremendous things hanging upon our spiritual life - upon what is going on in us, how we are learning, how we are growing, how that life is having its way, how we are coming to know the Lord, and how we are counting in the unseen. True value does not attach to us merely as people belonging to a religion called Christianity, who believe and do certain things, but our real value is as living men and women who count, just as our Lord counted, out there in the realm far beyond this earth surface. If we do not count there it is all a caricature, it does not mean anything at all. The Lord make us count for Him in that way!

The Crowning

2 Timothy 4:7, 8; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 1 Peter 5:4; Hebrews 2:9

The above passages bring into view and sum up practically all that we have been dealing with in our earlier meditations. Three words compass all - righteousness, life, glory. You will notice that there are said to be three crowns at the end - the crown of righteousness, the crown of life, the crown of glory. Of course, what is meant by "crown" is the sealing of a course in triumph, with honor, with exaltation, the crown being the symbol both of victory and victorious honor.

Crowning In Relation to An Ordeal

You will notice this common feature in all the passages - in every case the relationship was to an ordeal. The Apostle Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith"; an ordeal expressed by three metaphors - a fight, a race, a trust - all indicating that something very serious was at issue. The other two passages, from James and from Revelation, suggest an ordeal, a time of severe trial and testing. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation (trial)". "Be thou faithful unto death." And similarly also with Peter. You know that Peter's writings can very largely be summed up in the words "suffering" and "glory." It is he who writes so much about the trial of faith, but he also writes much about the glory after the trial. Here it is in Peter - the crown of glory. " "When the Chief Shepherd shall be manifested, ye shall receive the crown of glory."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 60)

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