Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

September-October, 1968

"Christ! I am Christ's! and let the name suffice me,
Ay, and for me He greatly hath sufficed;
. . . . . .
Yea, thro' life, death, thro' sorrow and thro' sinning
He shall suffice me, for He hath sufficed:
Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning,
Christ the beginning, for the end is Christ."    F. W. H. M.

Few words more aptly express the motive and object of the ministry which this little paper has sought to express through these many years. As we get nearer to His coming, and the conclusion of the ministry, there is an increasing burden and urge to bring Him more and more into view. We believe that the books of the last things, e.g. 'Revelation' and John's Letters, indicate that, with the coming of Anti-Christ the Spirit's movement will be a concentration and intensification of focus on Christ Himself. Surely this is the deepest movement of the Spirit today! So many of God's people are feeling, if not saying: 'We do not want systems of teaching, nor your techniques and particular forms; we do not want your orientations of Christianity; but "we would see Jesus"!' They are using the word 'Reality', but what they mean is Christ! The non-Christian world is turning out and repudiating Christianity as a system. But it cannot turn Christ out where He is a life and a spiritual power. The Church began by a 'seeing of Jesus', and its apostleship and expansion was essentially through that spiritual vision and seeing. The chief Apostle based his whole life and ministry upon his having had God's Son revealed in him. If there is to be, what so many are praying for, revival, we are convinced that it can, and must, only come by a new seeing of Jesus; a new apprehension of His significance in the Divine economy. If individuals are to come into an enlargement of spiritual life, and if the Church and churches are to recover, or enter upon, a state of fuller life and power, unto more effective testimony, it will only be by a new and fuller seeing of Christ unto a new captivation by Him.

The writer of the poem quoted at the head of this editorial has a stanza which contains the essential feature of this 'seeing':

"Oh, could I tell, ye surely would believe it!
Oh, could I only say what I have seen!
How should I tell or how can ye receive it, How, till He bringeth you where I have been?"

If it is true that 'Christianity is Christ', and that the Church is Christ in corporate expansion, then, not from without, by forms and organization, by human efforts, but by a Holy Spirit work of inward eye-opening and inward revelation of Christ will Christianity be what it really is in the mind of God. We cannot do this, but our labours may, and must, be to provide the Holy Spirit ground to work upon by seeking to 'present' Christ in His greater fulness to the Lord's people in these serious times. This will we do, by His grace and enabling. So help us, Lord!

Do pray that this ministry may be maintained in this vision and vocation until the Lord sees that its need is no more. We are much exercised about the continuance of the ministry, when the present personal channels are called to 'higher service', and we would ask your prayers concerning this. 'He takes His workers, but carries on His work.'

Thank you for your wonderful co-operation and fellowship. We often feel that we would like all our faithful helpers to share the many letters from far and near telling of the help received through this ministry. This is not possible, but we want you to know that "your labours are not in vain in the Lord".

May He bless you yet more!

Yours in His grace,

T. Austin-Sparks.

In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given and not sold for profit, and that his messages be reproduced word for word, we ask if you choose to share these messages with others, to please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of any changes, free of any charge (except necessary distribution costs) and with this statement included.