"Sovereign Head" - The Unveiling of Jesus Christ

by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 2 - Sovereignty in Creation

"That I may know Him." - Phil. 3:10.

Jesus - the "I Am" in Creation.

"And of the Son he saith... Thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands." - Heb. 1:10.

"All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that hath been made. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him." - John 1:3,10.

"Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they were, and were created." - Rev. 4:11.

"The Beginning of the creation of God." - Rev. 3:14.

"In Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible; whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." - Col. 1:16-18.

"There is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him." - 1 Cor. 8:6.

"For of Him, and through Him, and unto Him are all things," - Rom. 11:36.

"We are Has workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." - Eph. 2:10.

"To bring to light what is the stewardship of the mystery which from all ages hath been hid in God Who created all things... according to the Eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Eph. 3:9-11.

"For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth....
For the creation was subjected to vanity.
The creation... shall be delivered.
The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain." - Rom. 8:19-22.

Having seen Jesus as the "I Am" before times eternal, we now come to see Him in Creation.

The above selection of passages of scripture make certain things quite clear. Firstly, there is the general declaration that it was Jesus through Whom and by Whom all things were created. Then there is the range of that creation and creative activity. Not just this cosmos but far beyond - the heavens - and hierarchies and "principalities," dominions, etc.; "things visible and invisible" (to us).

Following this there is the declaration that it is all for and unto Him, and that in Him it all holds together. This is all said to be related to an "Eternal purpose" which God purposed in Him.

Then there is seen the entrance of that into the creation which made it impossible for the creation to realise the end for which it existed; the deliberate subjecting of the creation to abortiveness until that purpose came through, and with that event the creation delivered.

All this is tremendous in its implications and requires fuller and closer consideration.

The first main and all-inclusive truth is that Jesus is the raison d'etre of the universe. He is the explanation of its existence. Dismiss Him from the universe and the universe ceases to have its motive and also ceases to have its integrating power and intent; it would then fall to pieces. That is why "it was not possible that He should be holden of death." "In Him all things hold together." Jesus is essential and indispensable to the solidarity, continuation, and purpose of "all things."

Then in the universe man is found and he is accounted for in the same way. No man will ever have his life explained until he has come into his place "in Christ Jesus." But when he comes there by the grace of God he discovers a very well-worth-while purpose in his having been born. It is one of the unvarying characteristics of life in Christ that a new sense of purpose is born, and the consciousness of being related to some eternal design and object.

The next thing to note is that not only worlds but ages were created by Him. The movement and purpose of God in Christ gives character and purpose to definite cycles of time and phases of eternity. It is not our purpose to deal with these, but to simply point out the fact that in various ages the one supreme purpose of God is being developed progressively. The basic principles and heavenly laws of the Divine intuition are the same in all ages. Ages represent phases and parts and forms of the whole and entire purpose, but it will be in the "ages of the ages" that the parts and phases will have become one whole and clear thing: everything seen thus to be not two or more things, but one thing, and Christ will be "All in all." To this end was the universe created, and this is the motive of creation. What will be the supreme feature of the eternal ages? We have already in our last issue answered the question. It will be a glorified humanity, sharing one Divine life and likeness. It will be the universal Sonship of God in all its meaning, nature, and purpose; the "many sons" in The Son, sharing the inheritance and fulfilling the yet unrevealed intentions of God in an eternal vocation.

Unto this - let us repeat - all things were created and this earth was brought into being as the sphere and instrument of its literal beginnings and processes. The creation existed for the "sons of God" (the whole creation, not merely this earth), but when that entered into the race by man's complicity with Satan, which made it impossible for that "man" (plural, inclusive) to attain unto that specific sonship the purpose of creation was interfered with, and it could no longer realise its end. Hence it is revealed that God in effect said to the whole creation - you cannot arrive at your wanted end until I get Mine. I subject you to vanity, I cut off your attainment until I have that for which you were brought into being. And yet this is only for such time; it is not for ever and it is not hopeless, we will have our end. So I subject you to abortiveness - but in hope, and you shall be delivered from the bondage - the grip of corruption. I am "the God of hope," the God of "The Hope." That hope is only possible of realisation on the ground of sonship; that men shall be born of Me, and there is no hope for any man otherwise. But I shall have My sons and then all things will find their purpose and their fulfilment. In the meantime I am travailing to bring forth this son race, and the pangs of My travail will be felt in all the creation. There will be an unintelligible ache in the universe and a groaning toward something. My Spirit groans behind the whole creation and specially within those of His indwelling toward this all-vindicating end.

So we put into the mouth of God the things which are implied by the scriptures. Now when Paul cried "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings," he was but recognising that in the resurrection of Christ there is the guarantee of the creation's deliverance in which he would share: that this would only be by "the exceeding greatness of His power... according to that working of His might which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead," and that the "sufferings of Christ" were those mighty travailings toward "the manifestation of the sons of God" which would be His satisfaction, His vindication, and the establishing of the universe in His realised "eternal purpose." So thus that "waiting," that "groaning" is related to that "manifestation of the sons of God." That is, when all who shall be born of God, born from above by resurrection union with Christ shall - with Him - be manifested in glory. These are they who have recognised that His death was their death as a part of the first Adam; that His burial was the eternal entombment of that "body of death," that His resurrection was the birth of the New Man, the "new creation"; and having recognised this have, by faith, accepted and entered into it to walk in that "newness of life" in all its implications. Such, knowing Him and the power of His resurrection to a measure in themselves are called into the intelligent sharing of those mighty travailings and spiritual pangs which are toward the full manifestation of the sons which is to synchronise with the emancipation of the whole creation from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the sons of God. Every "new birth" from above by the operation of resurrection power is vindication of the creative work of Christ. Every such spiritual new birth is related to the universe and is not a thing in itself. Every new born one is constituted a part of the effectual travailing power of the Spirit of Christ "Who maketh intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Much more has yet to be shown as the content and issue of all this, but here our purpose is to show that the instrument, purpose, and consummation of the whole creation is Christ - and Christ inclusive and corporate. Without Christ there is no purpose, no adequate motive, no hope, no goal, no justification, for existence. Without Christ there can be no world, no future, no harmony. All must be aimless, abortive, chaos, inexplicable, mockery, despair. This is the outlook of all that is "outside of Christ." Hence the great emphasis upon "In Christ."

This surely is the "Mystery" so often referred to in the New Testament. It is the mystery of the universe so much explored and speculated about by philosophers, scientists, theologians, mystics. God reproducing Himself in a glorified humanity. Jesus the Archetypal Man. Incarnation is the key to the mystery and Church - Christ's Body - the corporate example and instrument. This explains the universe and gives the secret of all creation. In the light of this we understand why Christ is called the "Logos," and as such He is "the First and the Last," for Logos means Thought, Reason, Power, and the Personification of these.

In the beginning He creates all things. In the end He fills all things.

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