austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

January 13

13 JAN – God’s Mind about the Church

In the Divine scheme of things it is the Church which is the intermediary, that which stands between and has the ultimate effect in the spiritual realm. I mean that individual Christians, though they may be born again, as individuals will not get very far in touching that outermost realm of spiritual forces. There, a real registration has to be a corporate one. It will be the Church eventually which will be the instrument of Divine government in this universe.

Here spirituality means what the Church is in God’s mind. When we come to contemplate the Church in its wholeness and entirety, of course, we come mainly to the letters to the Ephesians and to the Colossians. There we find God’s mind about the Church. We must realize the necessity for our seeing and apprehending what the Church is in God’s mind, not as we find it in the churches, not as it actually is here; and we must stand on that ground, or we shall be helpless in this matter of spiritual impact. I mean that if we are going to accept what we find in the New Testament as to the churches as being the expression of all there is, we are very soon going to give up the fight, and shall not get very far.

Dr. Campbell Morgan has remarked that there is often heard the word ‘Oh, let us get back to the New Testament church!’ But, he said, ‘God forbid!’ And went on to say that you will look a long way today for a Christian church that will wholly correspond in its defects to the church in Corinth. When you come to think of it, there is some truth in that – a church in which there is incest and all that you find in Corinth! God forbid that we get back to the New Testament church if that is it! God forbid that we should say that we have made no progress from that! If we are going to accept that as the standard, we are going to be crippled, and the measure of our spirituality will be very small indeed, and therefore the measure of our impact likewise. The Apostle who was mainly responsible for these churches coming into being repudiated their condition, would not accept it, was fighting against it. Why? Because he had seen God’s mind; that was his position, his vantage ground, his strength. If he had never seen God’s mind and only saw this, what a disheartened, disappointed, despairing man he would be! He had seen God’s mind about it.

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