The Sanctuary of God
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 3 - The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Gal. 1:12; 2:2; Rev. 1:1; Ephes. 1:17; 3:3; Ephes. 1:10; Col. 1:28.

A literal translation of Gal. 1:12 is: "...nor was I taught it but through Jesus Christ revelation". That is a key to much that is said by Paul. It is the truth which lies behind the New Testament. All things are summed up in Jesus Christ, and all the fulness dwells in Him.

When God showed Moses the pattern in the mount, He was not showing a number of things as such, but from His standpoint was showing Christ to Moses. All the things shown stand to represent what He is in fulness. The whole life of Israel from centre to circumference was governed by a revelation of Jesus.

The answer to every question is not a telling us of something that we must know as a thing, it is a fresh knowing of the Lord Jesus. The Lord the Spirit is occupied with teaching us Jesus. However much we may have seen of Him there is still more to see, and in order to see the more, all that we have seen must be made as though it were nothing for the time being, while God is bringing us to the place where we are prepared by Him to see the Lord Jesus in a new way.

"That we may present every man perfect (or complete) in Christ" indicates that completeness for man is God's thought. Completeness begins in Christ Himself personally. He wholly and fully answers to God's thought. The completeness for all others is the completeness which is already in Christ.

Adam was created, and then it was God's thought that in a heavenly sense he should be made complete. Adam fell into a state of ruin and the race in Adam is in that state; but, being brought to the Lord Jesus and by faith united with Him, we start again, at a point where we are capable of being made complete, and there are many things necessary unto that completeness. Redemption is the first thing, and it goes right on to the end. God has His eyes upon one Man who is complete, and He says, in effect, 'Your faith in that One brings you on to the ground of that One'. We came to an end in the death of Christ. Men are prepared to accept the end of those very embarrassing sins that they want to get rid of, but to be brought to an end of themselves is not always a happy thing. When it is really an end of everything, then God comes in and it is something new. That is the circumcision of Christ - not a pleasant experience (Col. 2:11,12).

Col. 1:20 speaks of reconciliation in Him. In man's heart there is enmity to God. Faith in Christ Jesus brings on to the ground where there is no enmity; He has made peace by the Blood of His Cross. God is disposed to us in love, favourably. He is for us, not against us.

Ephes. 3:12; 2:13. Here we see that boldness is a factor in Him toward completeness. The enmity is all done away. There is an open way to come right in with perfect boldness and confidence.

Ephes. 2:22: "In whom ye are builded together..." We need a revelation of Jesus Christ in order to see what God's dwelling place is, and that will mean that we see what Christ is as suitable for God's habitation. Stephen before the Sanhedrin said, 'Moses built Him a tabernacle and Solomon built Him a temple, but the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.' The tabernacle and temple were only types. God is so much greater than tabernacle or temple made with hands can contain. Then Stephen presented Jesus to them. What a tremendous revelation! Now the Apostle says here: "In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit". All the suitability that is in Christ is made over to us through faith in Him.

If you have not yet had a revelation of Jesus Christ you will be setting up temples and tabernacles, having ordinances and ritual, and you will attend so often according to arrangement, and you will say of yourself, I am a Church member, I belong to the Church. Listen: God's dwelling place is Jesus Christ, God's sanctuary is Christ and those who are in Christ.

What is true as to our standing, as to what we are, is also true as the governing reality for all movement. It is all a matter of inward revelation of Jesus Christ. God is going to fill this universe with Christ, not with things, not even things about Christ, but with Christ Himself.

The letter to the Ephesians is the revelation of God's full thought from eternity in the counsels of God concerning which He is working. It is brought into this dispensation, but that full thought can only be realised and be fully expressed as the Church comes into it. This is the way: "That he would grant unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him..."

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