It Is An Understanding of What We Have Come Into When We Have Come Into Christ (continued)
The Rift In The Glory (continued)
So the whole creation is bound up with this purpose concerning a people. Does it sound a little too much to say that you and I, such ordinary people as we are, such poor creatures as we are in ourselves - yes, we might well apologize for our very existence, we are of such poor stuff. Nevertheless in Christ, the whole creation waits for us. That is what it says here in Romans, the whole creation waits for us. I do not mean just for us here; be careful how you broadcast that will you? But for us and for such as we in Christ, the whole creation waits until we come to Glory and waits for its Glory until then. But it is coming. This Scripture says: 'When we come to Glory.' It is a tremendous thing that we have come into.
Did you ever think of the Christian life being like that? When you walked out of the Wembley Sadium, did you think that was what you were walking out into when you received Christ as your Saviour and Lord, is that what you saw? No, of course not, none of us did. We are all only learning about this, but I am trying to tell you that we have come into something tremendous. In Christ we have been called unto His Eternal Glory, for which the whole creation waits. And when we come to that Glory, the creation will leap out of its bondage, out of its corruption, for corruption is the opposite of Glory - into Glory - incorruptible Glory! What a tremendous thing we have come into. What a great thing it is to be a Christian!
Well the rift, the shadow, the dark chapter, we know the rift in two aspects, we are taught by the Scripture that this rift in the Glory began in heaven. We are told of one who had a very exalted place and a very glorious place in heaven, he may have been second to Christ for all we know. He may have been partaking of and sharing in the Glory of Christ, but he is described in very, very glowing and glorious terms, "lucifer, son of the morning!" (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19). But somehow, here again is something that is not a disclosed mystery; it remains a mystery of how in such a realm, evil could enter into the heart of a created being. But somehow it seems he came to this point where he was not content to receive glory from Another second-hand. he must have the place of that Other, and be the glory himself. Have it as his own, independently, separately, and not derived glory. Not derived glory, he aspired to have the place at God's side in equality with God. We need not dwell upon that, it is so well known, unless for you who do not know the Scriptures, but there it is, this is what they tell us about the beginning of this rift. The result! He was cast out of the Glory, cast out of the Glory, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O lucifer, son of the morning!" (Isaiah 14:12). Jesus said, "I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18). Cast out, but not before he had influenced a large number of angelic beings and drawn them into his conspiracy, into his net, inoculated them with his own unlawful ambition (Revelation 12:1-4). And so we are told in one Scripture, "The angels which kept not their first estate ... he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6). It is a hint, a terrible hint, of this rift in the Glory. We mention it and leave it, but it was not the end.
The other aspect of the rift as we know from the Scriptures was how - not content with drawing angelic beings - he determined to draw God's creation of humanity away on the same line. And so we have the scene in the garden: the temptation, the victory, the surrender of man, and the rift in the Glory. God had pronounced upon His creation, "It is very good" (Genesis 1:1-3). It corresponded to God's mind, it must have been very glorious. We have hints of that, hints of it in creation, but there is nothing in the present creation that really corresponds to what it must have been like before any sin blighted it, or death had power over it.
The whole thing is now captured by this enemy of God, and he, with his legions - his legions. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians tells us that they are innumerable, countless, he says, "hosts of wicked spirits" (Ephesians 6:10-12). How great must have been the entail (the accompaniment) of satan's action in heaven. Now he sets out upon this great campaign in human history to draw away from God. man yields and the glory is broken, the glory of the creation, and the glory of man, such as it was then. All we do is to state what the Bible tells us. We note some of the elements of that rift that is necessary because of what we are really getting at. We cannot understand all this meaning of Christ and the Cross and redemption and new creation and all these things until we get to understand exactly the nature of that rift from the inside where first of all it was not only an act, it was a spirit, a spirit of rebelliousness.
(continued with # 12 - (A Spirit of Rebelliousness)