austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

October 2

2 OCT – Have You Come Out of the Ground of the Natural Life?

There is the issue of Christ’s death and resurrection into which we are placed by faith, what we have called identification with Christ in death burial and resurrection; for that is what Paul laid down in calling upon the disciples to be baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. All the doctrine of identification with Christ in death and resurrection is gathered up in baptism. Dear believer, even though it be at a late hour in your life, you must get off the old ground of the old natural life. If that is governing, if that is controlling, if that is your main or sole sphere, you must get out of it, and you can only get out of it through death and resurrection.

The death of the Lord Jesus was His exodus. “Moses and Elijah… spake of his decease (his exodus) which he was about to accomplish” (Luke 9:31). What an exodus! Emancipation, release from all the limitations of this life as to time, space, and everything else! All those limitations broken down by His Cross! We are released by the Cross. If we really know the Cross as an experience, as something into which, by faith, we definitely stand for the end of the control, government, and limitation (as well as of all the evil) of the old natural life, and if by faith we lay hold on Christ risen, as being ourselves risen in Him, we are released.

Oh, is not that the need of so many Christians to be released, to be loosed, to be set free inside? They are tied up. We have to say of certain people, ‘They are all tied up in themselves’. The Holy Spirit comes upon the ground of resurrection-union, and all the rest follows. Let us challenge our own hearts. Are we in the realm of those still tentative, still suspended, still tied up, still governed by our natural life and make-up? Then there is something wrong; and it may be in your case, as it was in mine, that after a good many years of believing, of being the Lord’s servant, the thing happened. I am always hesitant to say that I received the Holy Spirit then, because that would be to state a kind of doctrine to which everybody else ought to conform; but I know the thing happened. The day I apprehended in a new way the meaning of Christ in death, burial and resurrection, the Holy Spirit followed on that and did something in me. It has been going on increasingly ever since and still has to go a very long way, but that was the turning point.

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