austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

April 16

16 APR – The Corporate Body Which is the Church

The Architect is God the Father.

The Builder is God the Son.

The Custodian and energy is God the Holy Spirit.

Here, again, nothing in conception and planning is left to angels or men. If man interferes, insinuates himself, and tries to organize or run the Church, so much the worse for the man, as the New Testament both shows in results and declares in words. Nothing but confusion, frustration and shame can follow man’s hand upon that which exists wholly for the presence of God.

The last chapters of the Bible must be read in the light of all the immediately preceding chapters. There we see the progressive judgment in every realm beginning with the churches of everything unsuitable to the presence of the Lord. The end is all that removed and a state symbolically represented which is suitable to Him, and “the Lord is there”.

What a challenge all this is: to the Christian to “walk in the Spirit”; for the Church and the churches to be governed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

The hand of man is a defiled thing. Only “he that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” can “ascend into the hill of the Lord”. We may not put our hand on one another for judgment or control. We may not put our hand on the House of God. We may not (like Uzza) put our hand on the ark. Woe to Uzzah, to Ananias and Sapphira, to Diotrophes, who touch the holy things of the Lord’s presence with fleshly hands of natural strength, ambition, and pride!

How safe it is to be where the Lord is if, through the Cross, we are made suitable. How dangerous it is even to draw near without taking off the shoes of association with the cursed world!

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