austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

July 9

9 JUL – Only Spiritual Value Counts with God

When we come into the ‘Ephesian’ position, we are at once introduced to the pre-eminence of spiritual values. That is what ‘in the heavenlies’ means – how things are viewed from above; not what they look like and seem to be from the earthly standpoint, not how we weigh and measure them down here on this earth, but how they stand from heaven’s viewpoint, how the ascended Lord looks at them. That is what governs all the way through this letter, at every point, spiritual value; not numbers, not what men call success, not all these things which are of such importance to people here, but just that which weighs with God; and that is spiritual value.

“…Hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing,” or, more properly and literally, “every blessing of the Spirit.” We saw how Paul sought, with both the Corinthians and the Galatians, to get them away to the place where the Spirit was the great, dominant reality. Now here that realm is brought fully into view, where the spiritual matters more than anything else. So if we want spiritual enlargement, if we are really coming to that greater fullness, we shall have to forsake these earthly standards and judgments and interests, and get to the place where, after all, nothing matters but spiritual value. How far is a thing of value in the Lord’s sight? We may take it as settled that only spiritual value counts with God.

Christ is in heaven. We must know Him now only in a spiritual way, and no longer after the flesh. We do not know Him as men know one another on the earth. He truly said, “The world beholdeth me no more; but ye behold me” (John 14:19). For the moment, that raised a problem for His disciples: they could not understand Him. They said “What is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” They came afterward to understand that perfectly well. Christ can be known truly now only in a spiritual way; He is in heaven. So here again the great phrase is “in the heavenlies in Christ”; that is, the great spiritual values are Christ, known in a spiritual way. Enlargement is a matter of knowing Christ. “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Paul tried to make the Galatians see that. His epistles are full of the name ‘Christ’ – the Galatian epistle as much as any.

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