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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Alpha and the Omega # 5

"Christ: First and Last in Redemption (continued)

And there is no end to it! Just as there is something more being added every year to the dictionary, so it is in the Christian life. I am not exaggerating. My experience through the years, and perhaps especially in recent times, is that Christ is just inexhaustible. There is more and more and more coming, all the time, that we did not know before. But it all began when we began with Him, and it has gone on ever since, and it is going on for eternity; for the Word says: "Of the increase of His government ... there shall be no end ... upon His kingdom" (Isaiah 9:7). No end! What a kingdom of fullness His is! But we have to begin with Him, we have to make Him our beginning before we can have any of it. He has got to be our "Alpha". But when once He is that, I say again, a new world opens up; a new fullness - and such a fullness! - begins to disclose itself. It is all in Him as our Redeemer.

This is what we have in the first chapter of the Revelation: titles of the Lord connected with Him in resurrection. And then we have words about what He has don in redemption. He "purchased unto God with His blood ..." (Revelation 5:9); He "loosed us from our sins by His blood; and He made us a kingdom, priests unto His God and Father" (ch. 1:5, 6). It is the work of redemption which has opened up everything new - wonderful fullness! He is the Alpha of Redemption.

"The Author ..."

Christ is not only the Beginning: He is the Beginner. It says here "the author"; "looking unto Jesus, the author and perfected ..." (Hebrews 12:2). He is the Beginner - the One who takes in hand this matter of beginning all over again and bringing us into a world that we have never known before. He is the initiator of t: it is in His hands: he does it. He has taken the initiative in our redemption; that i the point. I am so glad of that - so infinitely glad of that. With all that may be said about our quest - man's quest for God, man's search for God - that is nothing compared with God's search for man. What Jesus has come to reveal, and has revealed, is that God is the Seeker. Those wonderful and familiar parables about lost sheep, and lost pieces of silver, and lost sons (Luke 15), and other lost people: they are all meant to show us that God is the Seeker, that the initiative is with God. "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

Yes, He began this thing: you and I would never be rejoicing in salvation if He had not begun it. He said: "Ye did not choose Me, but I choose you" (John 15:16) - and that is why we are now numbered among His saved ones. And if we are now among those that belong to the Lord, it is simply because He sought us. Whether we were seeking or not, He was the Seeker;He was the Beginner; He began. No one else can begin to redeem us; no one else can save. There is no other given under heaven whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12); only His Name. There is no beginning of redemption without Him.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 6 - "...and Perfecter")

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