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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Secret Revealed # 6

Further, the blessings of believers are now, not as under the old economy, temporal, material, sentient, but "Spiritual." "The riches of His grace"; "the riches of His inheritance"; "the riches of His glory"; "The unsearchable riches of Christ," etc. - these are all phrases in Ephesians. These blessings are for a Church and its members who have - through union with Christ in His death and resurrection - been spiritually delivered and emancipated from "this present evil world" as the sphere of their natural life, ambition and resource, and whose hearts are 'set on things above" (Col. 3:1-3). If you have really come into the good of such "riches," then you have proportionately come into the heavenlies. While we are right in mentally conceiving of "the heavenlies" as being a realm, we must not confine the idea to geography. Like "the Kingdom of Heaven," it is a sphere or realm in which spiritual factors, principles or laws and conditions obtain and take preeminence. That is why we used the word "proportionately." Geographically we are, or we are not, in a realm, a country; but spiritually we can be more or less in the nature, character and good of that realm. It is not a matter of definition of terms, but of spiritual accord, harmony, adjustment, agreement. In a time of great blessing we can just say, "It was as though we were in heaven." It is a spiritual position in oneness with spiritual realities. While it seems so difficult to explain, it is really only the fact and development of that which every truly born again believer knows without explanation; namely, that something has happened by that new birth which has changed their consciousness of belonging and gravitation,so that a break has taken place in them with one realm and what belongs to it, and a union has come about with an entirely new realm and its content. They sense that they belong somewhere else and that there is a spirit in them which gravitates there and to those things. The New Testament has all the language and words for this, but it is the inward awareness that is the ground of learning the meaning. The development of that "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8;2) by discipline - maybe trial and error - or triumph, is the way of the "transforming by the renewing (making anew) of the mind" (Romans 12:2). It is the Church's  and the believer's normal course.

But we have not yet brought the present aspect of Paul's revelation into sufficiently clear relief. So as not to overload this chapter, we will divide it, and continue in a separate one.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 7 - "The Mystery Revealed - continued")

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