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(Thankful to be back after a short food-threat that forced my family to temporarily move most of our things. It appears that we will not return to our residence until July, which is when the threat should expire. Thank You God! NC)
Man’s only contribution to Christianity is to the naming its title. All that it is in content has its origin and operation solely in the Lord Jesus. It must be a separate system, unlike any that will ever be, in order that it, and He in it, can provide the only available source as an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb 6:19). NC
Originally and Eternally Heavenly
Two efforts of the Enemy are characteristic of the present day, and go along together with the humanizing (Jesus had a human body but not the human nature—NC) of the Lord Jesus, and the giving a worldly character to Christianity (Christianity is that which is only from Christ and has nothing from man, but to man—NC). This leads to multifarious forms of human religiousness and of earthly organization, having little or nothing in common but this, that they exhibit practical departure from heavenly principles and grievous independence of the Divine Persons.
It is therefore of no little moment that we should recognize that Christianity in its vary essence is as heavenly as He who constitutes it. Many are they who accept its divine authorship have never adequately apprehended it to be an absolutely heavenly thing, in an earthly locale. But practically we find that the less it is apprehended as heavenly, the less also will its divine aspect be before the soul. For this we may safely predict, that it is impossible to understand its character and its scope, unless in its origin, in its essence, in its operation and in its end, it is seen to be altogether a heavenly product for a heavenly purpose.
Outside a very small circle, how rarely do we meet a saint who understands his parentage, and occupies according to God, his present portion! How contracted and how erroneous are the commonly-prevailing thoughts of what Christianity is. How little it is accepted as the reflection of a heavenly Christ in a heavenly people redeemed from the earth, who are here only for Himself and looking for translation at His coming.
“The first man of the earth, earthly” had been running his carnal and material course for forty centuries here below, before “the Second Man” paid a visit of three and thirty years to the same scene, have been sent into it in grace to “the first.” As man, He was, He is, “the heavenly,” and by this title is contrasted with “the earthly.” In God’s reckoning He was “second Man,” for all before, God counts as one; and He was “last Adam,” for there could be no more after.
But more than this He was “from (or out of) heaven” as the first was “out of the earth, made of dust.” Refused and cut off from the earth, having nothing, He is now the risen Man in the glory of God, and alike in incarnation and in resurrection is He “the heavenly”—there, now and eternally! Further, as is He “the heavenly, such also are the heavenly (ones)” (1Cor 15:48).
What is now before us is a matter of race, and as to this we are born of God, are “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pe 1:4). The One “who lived, who died, who lives again,” has redeemed unto Himself a chosen race of which, as the risen Man He is the glorified federal Head, and this Word—“As the heavenly, such also are the heavenly”—so constitutes Christianity in its very essence. Every bit of it which is a genuine thing before God, expresses in word or in deed, the cardinal truth that man is in the glory of God, and God is glorified thereby. One who was once visible upon the earth, “in likeness of sinful flesh” (sinful flesh; not the body but appearance of the sinful nature, for the body is not sinful, though is used sinfully - Rom 8:3—NC), sits now in a glorified, but no less real, positive human body in the Father’s throne.
From the glory of God, from the throne of the Father, and in the risen exalted Man who fills heaven with His peerless presence, Christianity has its origin; and in the power of the Holy Spirit alone, it has its activities in so far as they are according to God. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right had of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3)—marks its starting-point, both as to time and place. It is thus “the heavenly” gone back to heaven—man in the glory of God—in whom it takes its rise; and it is this fact—the parent truth of Christianity, which imparts to it its distinctive character. It is a divine thing as He is divine; it is heavenly as He is heavenly.
- R Beacon
MJS excerpt (bookmark link for daily reading) for MAY 17:
“There is a great difference between a foe, and; defeated foe. A conquered enemy can be put to valuable use in the hands of the victor, and that is exactly what God is doing with that old serpent. Satan is allowed to sift, and try the believer; he is used of God as a winnowing machine to clear away the chaff in us.” – MJS