austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

April 25

25 APR – Features of the True Church

The Father appointed all things for His Son. Those ‘all things’ were to be the joint inheritance of His Son and His Son’s bride, the Church. That comes out very clearly in the New Testament (Eph. 5:25-27). That bride was in the race of mankind, created as we are told in the book of Genesis. That bride would have to be of a certain order, a certain character, a certain kind, to be suitable to that Son. She would have to be a very special bride, she would have to be made for Him most suitable.

Then we have the story of Adam and Eve, and we know what happened through their surrender to Satan. Something spiritual happened in them, a change took place in their very nature. God had made them, firstly, for union with Himself; then for communion with Himself; and then for likeness to Himself; and in dependence upon Himself; leading to the last thing, absolute and implicit faith in Him. Those are the five things which characterize the Church according to God’s mind:

(1) Union with God, vital union, the union of one life;

(2) Communion with God, intercourse, fellowship, oneness of mind;

(3) Likeness to God, in His own image and after His likeness, taking character from Him, He giving His character and His nature to the Church; then

(4) Dependence upon Him so complete that there is no life apart from Him. (It is one of the great tests of marriage union and I should say, taking it from a man’s standpoint, a most difficult one for a wife to be absolutely dependent upon a man for every penny. There is a revolt against that in our times, but God meant it to be like that with His Church, just absolute dependence, having nothing apart from Him, drawing everything from Him.)

(5) Perfect faith in Him.

Those five things must characterize the bride of Christ.

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