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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Union With Christ # 40

5. Functional Union (continued)

Unconscious Functioning A Sign of Health (continued)

And when there is this unconscious registration, if anything does go wrong, what has been registered in the spirit within begins to make itself felt outwardly, and we become aware of the symptoms. We know there is something wrong. It has come up somewhere from the depths; something is not right. What I am saying is that there is a fact of things before there is an understanding of things. Before there is a mental apprehension, there is a fact, the fact of function before we understand. We said in an earlier chapter in this series that sometimes there can be a true living, beautiful expression of the real meaning of the Body of Christ without any of the teaching or the technique. That does not mean that teaching becomes unnecessary; but the right order is that the thing should be there first, and that you should come to something more by understanding what is there: whereas if you put it the other way and get all the teaching and technique and then try to get reality, it does not work - it is the wrong way around.

Christ's Headship

I am going to close with this, the key to all - and there is a great deal more than I have said: you know how much we could say about the Body of Christ and its function, it is just full of wonderful Divine meaning - but the key to all is Christ's Headship expressed in every member, in every part. There is a sense in which our heads, physically, naturally can be said to be present in every part of the body to the farthest extremity - and how do you sense it? You know it in your head, you register it there. In a healthy body, the head, if it is free to function and is really functioning, is in touch with, and as it were represented in, every part. In the same way the Headship of Christ - His absolute Headship, Lordship, sovereignty, call it what you will - being expressed in any and every pat of the Body and in every function, is the key to everything.

This means, of course, simply that every one of us, howsoever many we be, must be immediately and utterly under the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ if the foregoing is to be true. The expression of Christ demands the Lordship of Christ, the manifestation of Christ demands that He have His place as Head in every part.

Now do take that as the sum of everything; but do remember, do believe it - for you are going to prove it - you are going out or you are going on, you are going down or you are going up; we are all either going to make spiritual progress or we are going to retrogress. There is no standing still in this. We are on a slippery slope, and the only way is to keep going up or else we shall go down, and it is going to be like that all the way. Have no mistake about it. We are not just going to be stationary. If we do not go on we are going to lose ground. It is a fact which is born out by the experience of every one of us, that we just cannot cease to be positive. It is a most perilous thing to cease to be positive in the Christian life. Lack of fervency of spirit uncovers us, it takes our defences away, and we shall be steadily undone, steadily disintegrated, steadily made to lose out. This matter of the Body of Christ as a living organism, with relatedness and interrelatedness and interdependence, is no theory or technique. These are vital relationships connected with the increase of spiritual life, the enlargement of the expression of Christ, the justification of our very existence. But they are necessary things. You let your fellowship with the Lord's people suffer and you let your own spiritual life suffer. If you in any way become detached and isolated in spirit, in mind, in action, you cut the very vitals of your own spiritual life. It is like that. This functional union with Christ in His Body is essential. It is essential to Him, for the fulfillment of His purpose. It is essential to u in the fulfillment of our very life as Christians.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 41 - (6. Vital and Organic Union)

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