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Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Gospel According to Paul # 37

In His Letter to the Colossians (continued)

Go down by the seashore. The tide is right out, and all the breakwaters are naked, dividing up the whole coastline as it were into sections. But as the tide comes up, the breakwaters, the dividing things, begin to disappear. You come back at full flood tide, and you see nothing whatever of those dividing breakwaters. The rising tide has buried them all. And when Christ is "all, and in all," "in all things having the preeminence", all those thing which belong to the low tide of spiritual life, the ebb-tide of spiritual life, will just disappear. The proof is in the Church.

We had a little taste of it during the recent visit to this country of Dr. Graham. There was one consuming passion to bring Christ into His place at the beginnings of life; all the different sections were found concerned with that. Where were the barriers, where were the "breakwaters", where were the departmental things? They had gone, buried under this high tide of concern that Christ should have His place in lives. Why should that be for three months only? Why should it be experienced only in a convention lasting a few days one a year? No, this position is God's thought for always. The key to it is just this - CHRIST ALL IN ALL.

Perhaps we can see now why mention of the gospel in this letter is confined to one emphasis - "the hope of the gospel". Yes, the only occurrences of "gospel" or "good news" are in that connection - "the hope of the good news". The hope of the gospel is in Jesus Christ being all and in all. HOPE IS A PERSON, not an abstract nature in us - "being hopeful" - which does not amount to much more than a periodical, variable optimism. HOPE HERE IS A PERSON. The hope of the good news is: He in all things having the preeminence. That is where the hope lies for you, for me, for the Church, for the world, for the universe. That is the hope of the gospel.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 38 - (In His Letters to the Thessalonians)

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