When you touch the beginnings of Christian life in the New Testament you are touching vision. But when you touch the continuance of Christian life in the New Testament you are also touching vision. The continuance of Christian life is the development, the increase, the progress, which means the greater fullnesses of Christ; and whenever you touch some fuller meaning of Christ in the New Testament, whenever you come to some progress, some movement, some advance, some development, some increase, you will always find it is by fresh vision or revelation. It is a further unveiling, a fuller revelation. It is a new heart apprehension of something presented, and something seen by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. It is so different from merely an intellectual grasp of Christian doctrine, which may fall altogether short of that dynamic power of enlarging the spiritual life. True progress as we find it in the New Testament is on the basis of a fresh revelation, a fuller revelation, a new vision. So that the true, living believer marks his or her progress by being able to say, as at the beginning, I have come to see the Lord in a new way, in a fuller way; and that with the eyes of the heart being enlightened.
What is true of the initiation and the continuation is true of the consummation of the spiritual life. If you touch the consummation of the spiritual life in the New Testament you find it has to do with an unveiling of Jesus Christ. What is the consummation of the spiritual life? It is His appearing, and with His appearing there is closely and inseparably linked the completing of our spiritual progress.
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God.” That is the initiation.
“It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when he shall be manifested we also shall be manifested with him… we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” That is the consummation of the spiritual life.
We shall be like Him because we shall see Him. There is a marvelous changing power in seeing the Lord from the beginning to the end.
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