Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

September 1928

Beloved of the Lord,

"The glory of the celestial is one; and the glory of the terrestrial is another." There is a glory of the spirit and a glory of "the flesh": spiritual glory and psychical glory.

To the Church which is the Body of the Christ of God belongs the celestial glory: its members rejoice upon the hope of the Glory of God.

But this means the forsaking of every less glory, and thus indicates the range of the operation of the Cross. It was so Jesus the Christ of God on earth entered into that exceeding glory of the Godhead as the Infinite Christ of God far above all heavens yet still the same Jesus!

The glory of the Only-Begotten was not effulgent here on earth in His fashion as a man, except through revelation to the "twelve" in the "signs" He wrought, and in the Mount He was, as it were, hiding His face from us. It was not seen then as it is now by the Spirit - the Face of God! Nevertheless, the celestial glory was there, though veiled. He was in the similitude of sinful flesh yet to the discerning there was revealed a glory full of grace and truth. Ultimately, as we have seen, He was manifestly glorified in the glory of the Godhead, the Being of the Father; and this as MAN: but on earth the glory was hidden from the eyes of men, and He so humbled Himself in all the obedience of the faith of His Passion that every aspect of terrestrial glory was so far removed from Him that none of the princes of this world knew Him.

Beloved, we have to recognise that this is going to be the "form" of our life now: hidden with Christ in God, celestial, it is also hidden in our hearts and from men, being found only as grace and truth in us. Present grace is celestial glory. Are we content to shine in a way that never glorifies us terrestrially? To be unrecognised of men, in lowliness and impoverishment of all things that men hold in honour, yet known of God, and shining celestially! Witnessing now to principalities and powers the beauty of that VEIL, His Flesh, Glorified, into which we are being inwrought by the Holy Spirit as members! This is the "embroidered wisdom of God" made manifest in the heavenlies as grace, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Church.

The Lord is seeking such as are prepared to suffer the loss of all things that He may give them the riches of His celestial glory. "Go, sell all that thou hast!" It is sufficient that the disciple be as His Lord, poor on earth, rich in heaven. A conformity to the Glory of that MAN in the Throne means a conformity to His death here upon the earth!

The strong cry of our hearts these past days has been "THAT I MAY KNOW Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death, if by any means....!"

Thank God, His Spirit in us lusts against the flesh. We can through the Spirit put to death the doings of the body. We can die daily, bearing about in our bodies the "deadness" of the Lord Jesus, and all the while the celestial glory is being manifested as the Grace of God. We sigh for glory in our weaker moments; we already shine in glory in our times of His instrengthening.

Yours for His Glory in the Church,

T. Austin-Sparks.

T. Madoc-Jeffreys.

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