by T. Austin-Sparks

First published in "A Witness and A Testimony" magazine, Jul-Aug 1956, Vol. 34-4. Unstated author, believed to be TAS.

The supreme and pre-eminent factor in the testimony of Jesus is resurrection life.

This, in turn, is the most important and essential element in the Church's life and experience.

While true and sound doctrine is indispensable, it has been no uncommon thing in the history of the Church that, while orthodox and conservative in belief and practice, she has been without vitality and impact. The Lord has repeatedly to confront the Church, not with absence of "works", "labour", "patience", consistency in belief, etc., but with 'a name to live, but - dead'. Every new or fresh movement of God in the history of the Church is a resurrection-movement. Something has died. It is possible to have the truth in large measure and then to 'box the compass', or close the lid, as though all were possessed - 'we know it all', 'we have it all', 'no one can teach us more than we know'. It sounds terrible when put into words, but the spirit and suggestion of it can be all too patent.

God's new movements have been in two or three connections.

1. They have been to recover lost truth in vital form.

2. They have been to recover Scriptural principles and procedure in a living way.

3. They have been to force into greater fulnesses when an untimely or too early stopping-short has taken place.

Spiritual death is the great enemy of all that is of God. Therefore God must be known predominantly by resurrection. The key to the Bible is spiritual principle, and the greatest of all principles is "the power of His resurrection".

This applies to the beginning, continuance, and consummation of the Christian life. What is true of the individual believer is true collectively or corporately, i.e. of the Church. Paul's life is a wonderful example of this principle: at his conversion; in his continuance; and in his hope. He surely was a representation of the revelation which was, in so much greater fulness, entrusted to him - that of the Church.

The above is a test and a testimony; the statement of a demand, and the declaration of an assurance.

God is the God of resurrection, and, amongst other things, this means that there is no end with Him, but ever new beginnings.

John Robinson, three hundred years ago, caught this light when, addressing the Pilgrim Fathers at Delft Haven, he said:
"I am verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word."

We might add: The Lord has yet more life to impart by acts of resurrection in sinner and believer.


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