The Great Transition From One Humanity To Another # 14
Corinthian Questions, continued -
In this letter, the apostle uses a word which I am sorry that the translators have left out and put another one in its place. The word they have used is "edification," and, of course, if you give a very strict explanation or definition of the Greek word for "edification," you will get the true meaning of the apostle's thought. What Paul did say and mean was "for building up." For building up what? - the increase of Jesus Christ. Are these things ends in themselves, wonderful as they may be? Are they leading on to a greater measure of Jesus Christ? Are they building up the Body of Christ? That is the challenge of every gift. How does it minister and effect an increase of Jesus Christ?!
Now they had every one of these things at Corinth and over against them was this low moral level: this poor spiritual standard. Here at Corinth they had the gifts and came behind in no spiritual gift, but where is Christ, where is the increase of Christ? Paul had to say: "I have to speak to you as babes." What the Lord looks for, what must be, is the increase of the measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ. The question is, after all, how much of Christ is in the individual, in the assembly? How much of Christ, and not the obsession with things even though they be the supernaturals, but the captivation of Jesus Christ - because He hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man Whom He hath ordained. It must be just the Lord, the kind of Man that He is, the kind of Humanity that He is.
Conformity To His Son
Some of you, and some of us, have gone through deep deep waters, dark waters under the Hand of God. We have cried out and asked, "Why should this come to me, Lord? Does this come to other Christians? Why? - Well, I have only one answer. "He is working all things out to the counsel of His own will" - conformity to His Son. And on the one side, the side of the Cross, this is getting rid of something, breaking down something, emptying you of something; you were too full, you had to be emptied on the other side. You may not see it, but Heaven knows a bit more of the Lord Jesus in your softness, in your patience, in your sympathy, in your understanding, in your heart going out for others and for the Lord. And I suppose I ought to say that the most perilous thing that the Lord could allow for us is for us to know how good we are getting. Is that not true? I will have something more to say about that later on. Shall we pray....
Our Lord, there is so much here; it does need Thy covering, and Thy handling, Thy protection. It will need grace in Thy dear people, much grace. Give them that grace to receive, to understand. Protect us all as to just how much it is Christ, not even, not even Christian things. He is our Object and Goal. Be it so for Thy Name's sake. Amen
(continued with # 15 - The All-Governing And Dominating Vision: The Seeing of Jesus Christ Our Lord