Our final section in this study will deal with:
IV. THE WAY TOWARDS A WORTHY WITNESS IN THIS MATTER.
Up till now, it has been necessary to major on the seriousness of divisions amongst God's people, and we
have done so against the background of God's great thought regarding His Church. He sees it, and He has
made it, as ONE ORGANISM in union with the Exalted Christ. He has, moreover, infused Christ's own
Life deep into the hearts and spirits, of all believers, whether they realise it or not. Praise God; -He is
there! Some might now be saying, -"Yes, indeed, I begin to see this Great Mystery (Eph.5:32), and I need
to be helped into this New Basis for my Christian living". We would therefore make a few practical
suggestions for any such eager ones.
1. Do not try to "get into Christ". If you are born -again you are already THERE! The trouble is you did
not realise it, and because of lack of vision you were countenancing so many "old ideas which were
robbing you of the true blessed ness of your "new position" (See 1 Cor.1 :30).
2. Take grace from the Lord to "put off" that old man (Adam and Adamic ways) and to "put on"
the New Man (Christ and His thoughts).
3. Make the decision to "change garments" something very definite; -perhaps a solemn heart -ceremony
between you and the Lord; -like a joyous "I will" at a marriage! (See Rom.7:4).
4. Learn a new habit of definitely referring all your inward needs to your New Source of Supply; -Christ
your Living Head. (SeeCol.2:19; Phil.4:19; John 1 :16). As each new need arises, you COULD look up
and say, audibly, Yes, I take that, too, from Christ; -and that, -and that!
5. Actually TREAT your fellow- believers as fellow-members of Christ (whatever may be their view);
-not just as "Christians", or even as "brothers and sisters", -something FAR deeper now; part of the
Organism! The Lord will surely help us to do just that, -and He will be glorified.
6. DO NOT SET ABOUT STARTING A NEW GROUP ACCORDING TO YOUR NEW VISION.
TELL OUT YOUR VISION, AND PRAY. CHRIST MUST BE AUTHOR AND FINISHER. He might
have much to teach you where you are. Just obey HIS movings and HIS timings.
Best of all
7. CLEAVE TO THE LORD HIMSELF, -not just to some new "understanding" that has come to
you!(Acts 11:23; Col.1:18). Nothing must ever compete with a heart -attachment to CHRIST HIMSELF.
Those, we say, are just suggestions, and intended to be treated as such. If it all sounds too difficult, -just
forget it, and only walk on quietly with the Lord. This matter is very much in His hands, and HE will
"perfect that which concerns us" (Psa.138:8). HE wants our Christian lives to be an unmixed joy to us,
and He plans to make them such (See Acts 16:25).
Before we close, we would like to mention what we believe are the two main principles bound up with a
full enjoyment of all that we have been talking about.
The first of these is REVELATION. By this we mean the in -shining, into the heart, of Light from
heaven. We are not thinking here of sensational dreams or "visions", but the quiet entrance of new light
on heavenly things, -in this case, a dawning upon us of the fact and reality of a corporate Christ. (This
usually brings with it both a Hallelujah and a horror, -the horror that we had ever had a thought of
"sectionalising" such an eternally -conceived, and eternity -bound, ORGANISM! ; -how foolish, -how
childish, -and how sinful!)
Such "revelation" usually comes to us from God's Word, -personally read, or expounded to us through
one of God's "seers", but it is always something that brings us to the dust, -as it did with Saul of Tarsus
oh the Damascus road. But, -what a marvel; -I have been made ONE LIFE with the Risen and Exalted
Second Man! All that He has, and is, is there to be shared by me! God has again "opened my eyes"
(Psa.119:18); -the ENTRANCE OF HIS WORD has given Light (Psa.119: 130), and to the "simple"!!
In my own case, the Light was confirmed to me while standing at the departure pier at Southampton (UK)
when a great ocean liner was about to leave. Passengers and friends had said their "goodbyes" at the
quayside, and the passengers then had to climb up the gangway and go on board. Once aboard, -most of
them went higher still to a point not so crowded, but from which they could still look down upon their
waiting (and grieving?) friends. Most of them then produced from their pockets reel after reel of coloured
paper streamers and, holding one end themselves, threw the residue down to their waiting friends, who
were able to catch them al'1d thus retain some "contact" with their travelling friends. Soon the whole side
of the ship was gaily festooned by hundreds of such fluttering paper -ribbons, -quite a sight but familiar,
probably, to most of us. But what an unexpected place for a divine REVELATION! Yet the Lord was
quietly saying to me, -"Your Saviour thus went up on high, -to the very Throne of Glory; then, -from
above, He SENT DOWN HIS RISEN AND EXALTED LIFE, sharing IT with His "waiting friends"
below, and thus establishing an everlasting and ever -unbreakable UNION WITH HIM-SELF- like a
Vine and its branches! You are IN that organism with all your fellow -believers, and that forever. And all
that He has, He is now sharing -out with you!"
I thank God that today I see it still more clearly, and just as simply; the Life -Bond is there, -not a flimsy
colour -tape, but Christ's own LIFE sent down to me from above. And all my brethren are "holding Him"
too, -and there is an equal bond with all of them. That is the church to which I belong, and I know no
other. All this went through my mind there at the quayside. Again we say, what a very strange place for a
divine revelation of that magnitude! Praise God!
The second principle I have in mind is that of CRUCIFIXION; -an accepted crucifixion with Christ, and
an in -working of it by the Lord. Those who would live by the New Resources must obviously abandon
the old. That whole realm of Adam, in fact, is now crucified to us and we to it. That means that the old
"divisions" have gone, too; -we are Jew and Greek no more, -East and West no more. For us, now, all
derives from CHRIST, and all is heavenly. And we find too, that all those old "gaps" and "distances"
have gone, and likewise those old "favourite labels" we may have gloried in! And we are left with the
blessedness of Psalm 133; "brethren dwelling together in UNITY"; -one organism together, -and Christ
Head over us all. All these are resurrection enrichment; -the results of crucifixion emptyings. But we
would say; -blest emptyings; -blest ENRICHMENTS!
As for those old "labels", I know all too well how difficult it can be to be parted from them, -until
we have seen the Heavenly Vision. So we may say, perhaps, that there is a cost, -if we dare to give it such
an exalted name!
Reverting for a moment to that picture of the ship and the coloured streamers, -it occurs to me now that,
more than likely, some of those who caught the streamers may have needed to empty their hands of
"other things" in order to catch the tapes and to hold on to them; -perhaps a favourite walking stick, or a
treasured handbag, -and contents! Appropriating the out poured Life of the Risen and Exalted Christ does
carry "a cost(?)" for us all. But what gains will be ours; -Life -union with our Great Heavenly Friend; -the
Highly exalted Lord of All! Henceforth we are to be "enriched BY HIM" in all things (1 Cor.1 :5).
We also mentioned Psalm 133, and that beautiful picture of "brethren dwelling together in unity", -the
happy result, we said, of being willing to "pay the price". There can be little doubt that that small psalm
(just three verses) is the most beautiful Old Testament picture of New Testament Christian unity, -and
with God Himself "commanding" the associated blessing, -namely, -"LIFE FOR EVERMORE", or, we
could say, a LlVINGNESS that never ends! We have to remark, -"What a simple prerequisite" (brethren
in unity), -and yet, "What a sublime result", -vitality that lasts! That, certainly, is something most
desirable, -as most of us will agree!
The rest of this tiny Psalm suggests that that whole enviable situation can be likened to two things; -the
anointing OIL that flowed down from Aaron's head to the very skirts of his garments, and then DEW that
drifts in from lofty Mount Hermon and then descends upon the (lower) mountains of Zion. It is
interesting to note that, in both cases, it was something coming from above; -the "oil" and the "dew".
That certainly throws light on the secret of Christian Unity today. The oil reminds us of "The SPIRIT of
Life in Christ Jesus"(Rom.8:2), -whilst the dew makes us think of the beautiful freshness from heaven
that came to the waiting disciples once that "oil" came down! Much more could be said, but we simply
say now what a precious little Psalm, and what insights into what was then afar off day.
We trust you will forgive this temporary diversion, but we return now to our theme. We have been
speaking of what we believe are the two main principles bound up with a practical enjoyment of true
spiritual oneness with our Christian brethren, -namely REVELATION and CRUCIFIXION. In other
words, we see the divine plan, and then we pay the needed price for being in it. But both of these are
made possible by the GRACE OF GOD. May He help us and hold us, and bring us right in! And all for