austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

January 19

19 JAN – The True Nature of Christianity

“We… are transformed into the same image” (that is: ‘We pass from one form to another’) 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Well now, what is the point of focus here? “We are transformed…”, and it is the present active tense: ‘We are being transformed’; ‘We are in a process of transformation, passing from one form to another.’ There is a sense in which that fragment, that condensed verse put into those few words, touches the heart of the whole New Testament and explains everything.

The process of transformation talks of a former state and a latter state. Transformation is built around two contrasted words mentioned in this second chapter. Those two contrasted words describe two different types of humanity, two different manhoods, and between the two, firmly and squarely the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is planted.

There is a cleavage cut by the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ between those two which separates them and makes them two different species of mankind. That truth follows right through this Letter. The Apostle here speaks about a foundation and a building. He says: “Let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ”, and then he drives the wedge of the Cross right into the superstructure and speaks of one kind of work or works, which are the product of one type of man, or Christian, and another kind of work, or works, which are the product of another kind. The first will go up in flames and will never be found in eternity. It has gone forever. The second will abide. It will abide the fire of judgment and the test of time, and be found in the ultimate structure, or building of God. These are not non-Christians. What an immense amount is being built upon Christ that is going up in smoke! Every man’s work will be tried by fire, and its real value and its endurance will be determined by and will depend upon where it comes from, that is, from which of these two types of manhood. The two words which define the two types of manhood are “the natural man… he that is spiritual.” There are the two words: the natural and the spiritual. CHRISTIANS–the natural Christian must be transformed into the spiritual Christian by the Cross of the Lord.

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