austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

April 26

26 APR – Christ Loved the Church

When Adam and Eve followed Satan’s counsel, their union with the Lord was broken; it brought an end to the communion; it marred the likeness and made impossible its full expression; independence came in for theirs was an independent act: Satan had tempted them to act on their own, without any relationship to God at all and that all meant that faith in God was destroyed. It was something that happened in the nature. It was not just an act, but something that entered into their very nature; and so that is how we find the race.

The Lord lays His hand upon those who are to form the bride of Christ. He brings them to the place where they have to make this decision and take this position ‘I die to all that which happened long, long ago; I die to broken union, to interrupted communion, to spoiled likeness, to all independence and unbelief. I repudiate it, I put it all away; I say that belongs to a creation which I hate, and I want that to be done with, dead and buried. In Christ union is restored, communion begins again, the likeness, conformity to the Son, is taken up by the Holy Spirit; I am from this time utterly and wholly dependent upon the Lord, not to live unto myself but henceforth “unto him who for their sakes died and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15), and henceforth my faith is in Him.’

“Christ loved the church,” and He gave Himself, for one thing, to purchase her; for the other thing, to effect that death of herself, on her behalf. We cannot kill ourselves, but the Lord Jesus has done it for us. He has died to all that other condition for us, and has risen to all this thought of God for us. So that in His death we died to all that happened in Eden, and in His resurrection we rise to all that God ever intended that bride to be. “Christ… loved the church, and gave himself up for it… that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing.”

That brings us to this further stage, that we are together as the Church, as the bride, on resurrection ground, and ours is no longer an independent life, even as Christians.

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