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Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Cross of Calvary # 10

The Cross of Calvary # 10

For crucified with Christ is Paul's invariable declaration, and from whichever point of view he speaks of the results of the death of Christ, he uniformly keeps Calvary as the basal fact; in all his unfolding of truth never going beyond the radius of the Cross. The Greek word which the Apostle uses in Galatians 2:20, signifies "To crucify together", and "crucified together with Christ" must be the fact upon which our faith must rest, if we are to know continuous deliverance, for the eyes of the heart must be focused upon the crucified Christ, and not be turned inward upon the subjective experience.

"Looking unto Jesus" is the way of deliverance as every stage of the spiritual life. We "look" at the Christ upon His Cross, just as the Israelites looked away from their dire condition to the serpent lifted up in the wilderness - look away from ourselves in the death of sin to Calvary, and as we look we live. Again we "look" and see ourselves crucified with Christ, and in the faith which unites us to Him, we reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, and cast away every known sin, refusing to let it reign over us, and - in so far as we honestly desire and expect the victory - the Holy Spirit seals our faith with real deliverance.

Once more we look to Calvary, and see that we have died to the law, for God no longer says, "Thou shalt" to those who are in Christ. As we yield obedience to the law of Christ, He sends forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, whereby we cry "Abba Father", and learn to look to Him to supply our every need.

Again, we "look" to Calvary, and with clearer vision see ourselves - "I" crucified with Him. As the Spirit illuminates the message, we marvel that we did not understand the wondrous secret long before. We have but to make way for the Living Christ, by taking His Cross as ours, and He will manifest Himself through us.

And is that all? Nay. As He Who died and rose again occupies the throne within, in His light we shall see light, and as new departments of our complex beings are brought into the searchlight of His Presence, we shall discover every deeper depths of our need, and find Calvary again and again the place of life.

"Crucified with Christ!" His Cross is mine. I am there with Him. I consent to share His Cross, and meet all things with "No longer I!"  "I have no longer a separate existence. I am merged in Christ," so He the Living One, will move forth through me, working in me that which is well-pleasing in His sight.

The Cross and the Living Christ

"He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe" (1 Thessalonians 1).

"I have been crucified with Christ ... no longer I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).

"It was the good pleasure of God to reveal His Son in me," writes the Apostle earlier in his epistle to the Galatians. The "mystery which hath been hid from all ages ... now manifested in His saints", he writes to the Colossians; a mystery which God is pleased to make known to His children; "the riches of the glory of this mystery ... which is Christ in you the hope of glory."

This is the end, or purpose of the Cross. We are crucified with Christ, to make room for Him to dwell in our hearts by faith, and this indwelling of the Lord Christ is called a "mystery" - a word signifying "secret", something hid from our understanding until revealed to us.

This mystery was not made known under the dispensation of law. Then every man stood by his own "works" before God, except a few like Abraham, who in the Spirit foresaw the "day" of Christ, and were glad; they saw the promises afar off, and embraced them. But during the dispensation of grace it is God's purpose that the "mystery" should be proclaimed to all nations, that those who are "obedient" to the faith" may share its glory.

Paul said he was made a minister to "fulfill the word (or purpose) of God, even the mystery; and his burden of heart was that others should "gain in all its richness the full assurance of understanding; truly to know the mystery of God", which "by revelation was made known" to him. Especially the eternal purpose of God that men of every tongue, and tribe, and nation, were to share in the unsearchable riches of Christ. Paul said it was a special gift of grace to him, that he should be chosen of God to bear among all nations such glad tidings, and to bring "light to all", that each might behold the "stewardship of the mystery" - the trust given to each to whom it is revealed to carry the message to all people, "to the intent that to the principalities and powers" in the heavenly realm (who are watching the dealings of God with a fallen creation), may be made known "through the Church" the manifold wisdom of God.

The revelation of Christ in Paul was given that he might "preach Him", he declares to the Galatians, and he precedes his testimony, "Christ liveth in me", by the words, "I have been crucified with Christ", showing clearly that the revelation of the mystery of Christ living in us depends upon a true and real planting into His death.

~Jessie Penn-Lewis~

(continued with # 11)

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