"Christ All Things and in All."

"It is written in the prophets, and they shall all he taught of God. Every one therefore that hath heard and learned of the Father, cometh unto Me" John 6:45.

"But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" John 15:26.

So prophetically, before the Son came, if the heart indites a good matter and speaks of the things it has composed, it is "touching the King." And the Spirit taking it up proclaims that it is "To the Son, He says, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows" (Ps. 45, Heb. 1:8-9). Thus the mystery of the Person of the Son stands prophetically announced also.

Truly, "great is the mystery of piety: God was manifest in flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1 Tim. 3:16).*

[*Note: or "that which," for it is that manifested which is presented to the heart. None but God could, of course, he so manifested; but it is what is so manifested, that is "justified in the Spirit," etc.; so again, the mystery of the Person is declared by the Spirit.]

He, then, is the subject of all divine testimony. And then, "He must be everything (or all things) and in all" (Col. 3:11). Hence, the new man, where this is consummated — so far. But He is "the characteristic power, active instrument and end" (J.N.D.) of creation. The Son, thus, shall shine in the manifestation of the mystery of God, in the whole creation. But what is God working now by His Spirit?

He writes Christ, by the Spirit, on the fleshy tables of the heart for new covenant liberty in life and righteousness (2 Cor. 3). The truth stated at its height as liberty from sin and for righteousness, is "If Christ be in you" (Rom. 8:10). For the commission and power of service in the Gospel for Christian liberty and privilege, it is, "But when it pleased God … to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him, etc." (Gal. 1:15-16). This following the Gospel in treatise as "Concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 1:1-4). Further, for authority in His service, as disputed at Corinth, it is, "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me … examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith" (2 Cor. 13:3-5). If we would learn the full power of the mystery and be filled to all the fulness of God, it is by "Christ dwelling in the heart by faith," as "strengthened by His (the Father's) Spirit, in the inner man" (Eph. 3:14, etc.). And here again, it is the Son, the Centre of His eternal counsels. Again, full growth consists in the "arrival at the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God" (Eph. 4:13).

The work of God, therefore, is to assimilate us to these things, He revealing the truth at the height of it according to Him Who lives before His face. But each state and measure of growth is taken up and Christ presented to the saint — a full Christ, but appropriately to that state and measure. But always and everywhere, it is CHRIST, whether as dispelling the clouds of legalism in the Galatians; meeting the carnality and disorder in the Corinthians; the philosophy and Judaism — the principles of the world, religious flesh, in the Colossians. Then, positively, in the full untrammelled declaration of individual blessing for the responsible man set up justified and in Christ down here, the Romans declared the same glorious theme; while in the epistle to the Ephesians, it is the Calling in sonship, on the one hand, and the unity of the Assembly, on the other, in the mystery.

It is CHRIST Who fills it all, determines its character in fullest blessing (how could it be otherwise?), everywhere and always. What blessedness in the God Who can thus act towards us So, surely, if the heart express itself (as it must!) in worship it is:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ" (Eph. 1:3, etc.).

But if Paul (in part) thus, so John, for the circle and wealth of divine love:

"And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and eternal life."

"Children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21).

C. N. Snow.