The Great Transition From One Humanity To Another # 18
(2) HIS SON - The End of the Old Economy and the Introduction Of An Entirely New Economy, continued -
Now some people have seen the principle, and they have tried to put it into effect by putting on a certain kind of raiment and becoming a sect who wear that kind of raiment. They have seen the principle all right, but you cannot fulfill a principle in that way. It is the Spirit that comes out and expresses itself. The end of an economy, its consummation and then the transition to an entirely new regime, the regime of the Man perfected and installed in glory as God's Model for this New Humanity. "According to Christ" is the phrase so often used. It is "according to Christ" or "not according to Christ." That is the test, the challenge, according to the perfected Man and Humanity installed in Heaven, God's Pattern, to which He is working.
He is working, and here we come back again to the place of the Holy Spirit in the Letter to the Corinthians, especially the First Letter. As we look through the letter, what is the full, ultimate, supreme function of the Holy Spirit? - "Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels...though I give all my goods to the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, I have nothing." The supreme work of the Holy Spirit is the Character of Jesus Christ, not love as a thing. You can put on love as a thing. You can put that on,and it can be a pretension, a way of behaving and speaking.Beloved, people can come and put their hand on your shoulder and be treacherous behind your back by pointing out your faults to someone else. It must be "unfeigned love' the apostle says. "Unfeigned, unhypocritical, love of the brethren": it is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Are you not surprised when Paul has finished his letters, and he says, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ..." (this benediction has become so common-place and lost so much of its contextual significance as applying and relating to the whole Corinthian situation). What is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? "...though He were rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich."That is the grace of the Lord Jesus,self-emptying. Paul will later say that to the Philippians.
The benediction what is it? " The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ." It is Jesus Christ all the time. "The love of God." How do you know it? In Jesus Christ only, never in any other way can we know the Love of God. "The fellowship of the Holy Spirit": the communion, the unity, - the removal of those divisions and that divisive spirit, ("I am of Paul, Apollos, Peter, and so on")
"Have I Not Seen Jesus Our Lord?"
"He was pleased to Reveal His Son in Me"
Now time does not permit me to start this morning on that next great thing: how seeing Jesus is the Source, the Character, of all ministry in this dispensation. But let us hold what we have heard this morning quietly before the Lord because it challenges us. How far are we here able to say with the effect of it, the revolution, the transformation, the transition: - "Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?" - "He was pleased to reveal His Son in me." And when that happened, my word, what a lot went. It just went and what a lot came. How different! I have called this section:
The All-Governing And Dominating Vision - The Seeing Of Jesus Our Lord
Go and ask Him to do that with you, and let me just say this, it is not something that is going to be all done at once. Oh, no, some of us after many years are seeing more today of the significance and meaning of Jesus our Lord than we have ever seen all through our lives. It has got to be like that, thank God, it has got to be like that. We always have a margin, a plus, an extra right to the end. As one brother has said, "All ministry should have such an overflow that no man ever finishes his sermon," and you know what he meant. When you have come to the end of your time, you have got far more than your time will allow you to go on with. And it ought to be like that over the Lord Jesus. Oh, how much more I see than I have ever been able to say or could say today. I see He is so vast, so full, so immense. We are here, dear friends, not to talk about the greatness of Christ as a subject, but to be the expression of it! - It may defeat us. We may go to the grave (if He does not come) feeling, "Oh, we haven't begun yet," but it should be like that. He is so great, so Wonderful. And may the fiat take place, if it has not. But if it has, and our eyes, the eyes of our hearts, have been enlightened, we have begun to see something of Him. Remember, there should be no stalemate over this, no arrested progress as at Corinth, no undue babyhood. Yes, it is all right to be a baby when you are a baby; but it is a horrible thing to be a baby when you have the years of maturity.
That is how it was at Corinth. Growth was stunted, it was arrested, because of what? They had really failed to see the Lord Jesus. They had heard the teaching; they knew what the apostle was talking about, but he has to come back with this: "The eyes of our heart be enlightened." He has to come back with this Second Letter to them: - "The veil taken away," and we all with unveiled face see Another Face, "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," and "are changed into the same image from glory to glory." Shall we pray...
So, Lord, we can only say that with the presentation of the truth Thou would go beyond, take us beyond, and grant that every life here may stand in the good of the unveiled face of Jesus Christ - the glory therein... may stand in the good of having seen Jesus our Lord. O make that true of everyone of us, very true, wonderfully true, and growingly true, until we finally see His face. We ask it in His Name, Amen.
(continued with # 19)