Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

July 1926

Beloved of the Lord,

Our word this month is "Universality": in simpler English, "everywhere." We are thinking of the range and compass of our service. How far shall we go with the gospel, and what shall be the sphere of our contentment in labours?

This must be determined by our conception of the gospel; the Person, His Work and Purpose. He said, "This gospel of the Kingdom (the Reign, the Sovereignty) shall be proclaimed in all the habitable world for a testimony unto all nations." His triumph over the usurping prince of this world concerns every nation, and the challenge of it must be heralded to the powers behind the nations. His deliverance of all souls from the tyranny of sin, death, and satan, must be proclaimed to every creature. These are the King's commands, but they are the behests of His love. Every creature has a claim to know Who Jesus is, and what He has accomplished in His Cross. "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" is the simple gospel, but it is universal in its significance and the scope of its power.

But for this ministry we need the Universal Spirit, the One Spirit, the Eternal Spirit, even the Holy Spirit of God in Christ. The gospel is the power of God, but it can only be proclaimed by the power of God. Therefore the successful proclamation of this universal message is only possible "by the Holy Spirit sent down from Heaven. How shall they preach except they be sent? Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would thrust forth labourers into His harvest." Men must go upon this errand under the mighty constraint and anointing of God. This is the great crying need for this day, men sent of God. The vision will be but vanity unless there is the empowering to serve.

But service so empowered is always universal. It has no parishes, no boundaries. Men with the narrowest mental horizons, the most limited intellectual culture - according to the flesh - when thus anointed, become filled into the fulness of God, and thus become universal factors. They transcend the limitations of the natural. They count in every realm. Men know them as Christ's; and so do devils. What a marvel is that thrusting-forth of our first brethren! "They went forth, and proclaimed everywhere." This was because of the character of the Spirit upon them and in them, the burning spirit of God's zeal in our Christ. So Paul also was ever being thrust beyond present boundaries, beyond the line already reached.

Brethren, have we the "everywhere" of the Lord Jesus in our hearts? Do we compass the world for Him in our prayers, and do our eyes thus look as sons of God upon the lands and peoples where His Light of Life has not yet dawned, and where satan disputes the Victor's cry, "It is finished"?

We feel the Spirit of God is strongly pressing this boundlessness of the church's ministry, "every nation; every creature; everywhere." But what about the equipment? What is required to make men competent ministers of the New Testament type?

Yours, sharing the burden of this cry to God,

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.