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Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Cross and the Eternal Glory # 16

The Spirit of Glory: The Medium of the Glory

I want us to read the third chapter of the Second Letter to the Corinthians. Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter three, verses 1-18.

We do not make a great deal of the ecclesiastical calendar as such, the special times and seasons of the year, because it is a part of our religion, but sometimes it is good and well to dwell upon the great epochs which lie at the very foundation of our faith: such as the birth of our Lord, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and the coming of the Spirit. Today that latter is in many minds, the day of Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit. And I think, dear friends, nay, I am sure that we, the Lord's people are always in need of both reminders and of fuller instruction as to what that really means. For it was indeed a great, a great thing that happened. The whole dispensations turned upon it. Up to the time of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the conditions of one dispensation obtained. From that day the whole dispensation changed, and entirely new conditions came in. I say today we need to know the greatness of the change, and the changes which have come with the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The chapter which we have just read, as a portion of a much larger argument or setting forth of truth, ought not to be confined or restricted to the verse marked by chapter three. This chapter embodies something momentous and tremendous of that very change of dispensations, from Moses to Christ. And from Moses to Christ ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit. And the difference is marked by the prevailing word throughout the chapter: "Glory. "Glory," underline it: verse 7, three times, verse 8, one time, verse 9, two times, verse 10, one time, verse 11, two times, and verse 18, three times. In eighteen verses, the one word occurring twelve times, really indicating what this is about. And then lay beside it the word or the Name, "Spirit." You find that this is the governing and ruling matter: "The Spirit and Glory." And the argument of the apostle is just this: that there was a glory which faded, which went out in the Old Dispensation; and that dispensation resolved itself into a dispensation which was anything but glory. But by the coming of the Spirit, a dispensation of Glory came in, and a Glory that never was before: a new Glory, a fuller Glory, and a Glory with a new meaning.

To just analyze and sum up this chapter, we may put over it the statement that the theme here is "Glory." Let that be said. The medium of Glory is the Spirit. He is clearly set forth here as the Spirit of Glory: the medium of the Glory.

The instrument of the Glory: the Word of God. The Word of God becoming alive by the Spirit and producing Glory.

As we shall see, the sum of the Glory is Christ, "when it (the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (2 Cor. 3:16). The Glory breaks out, or if we pursued this a little further than the mark of chapter three, we come unto this, "...God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). The sum of Glory is Christ.

The place of the Glory is the heart of the believer: "has shined in our hearts ... has written on hearts ... tables of flesh" (2 Cor. 4:6; 3:3). The place of the Glory is the heart of the believer.

The effect of the Glory in the heart is transformation. We are being transformed as we behold  "the Glory ... into the same image from Glory to Glory" (2 Cor. 3:18).

And the power of the Glory is liberty. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is (or where the Spirit is Lord), there is liberty" (2 Cor. 3:17).

That is the chapter in brief, in outline. Do not think that I am going to take up all of that and comment upon it, it is simply a statement: that with the coming of the Holy Spirit, the way of glory has been opened up, and the Glory has come in.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 17)

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