"The best that I can hope is that this has just opened a window, and that as you look through it you are seeing one thing - how superior is Jesus Christ to all else!"
- T. Austin-Sparks
Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
What does this mean? Not that I come before God saying, “I have had pure motives; I have been very honest, earnest and conscientious, and my intentions have all been of the best.” Let us stop talking nonsense. It is utter folly to talk like that. We do not know ourselves. Only God knows the truth about us, and none of that finds a place with Him or counts with Him for a moment. The point is, have I recognized that the Cross of the Lord Jesus was the smashing and ending of me, good and bad, so that I am not holding up before the Lord anything? I am as capable of the worst as any being in God’s creation is. For anybody to take the attitude that they are not capable of the worst is an attitude of the deepest deception. We do not know the power in our beings until we are put to it. If we have never committed the worst, it is because we have never been put to it in the mercy of God, but it is all there. The Lord puts His finger upon it in principle when He says, “He that hates his brother is a murderer.” It is the same spirit. You have only to extend that, provoke that anger enough, put that nature into certain circumstances, and you will discover that you are capable of things of which you would have stood in utmost horror at one time.
You and I have got to come down before God and admit that we are capable of the worst, not standing on the ground of our right. The only right one is Christ from God’s standpoint. The only safe one is Christ, and therefore the only one who stands in God’s eyes is Christ, and it is as you and I, in all the brokenness, frailty, conscious weakness and humility of our own beings, by faith cling to Christ that we shall find the way out, the deliverance, the salvation. We must look behind God’s words to see bigger things than words on the surface indicate. “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at My word.” That statement embodies all that we are saying. To what one will He look? To the one who never says, “I am right!” but to the one who says, “I may be as wrong as ever a man or woman was wrong, there is nothing of which I am not capable; my only ground is Christ; so help me God, Christ is my ground!” To stand on Christ is to stand always in the consciousness and recognition that this other ground, ourselves at any point, is dangerous ground. He is so Other, and there is the great divide, there is no overlapping. Between Christ and us there is a gaping chasm. God never sees that bridged, but thank God He will put Christ into us by the Holy Spirit, and while the two will ever remain apart, the old creation will go one day and that which is of Christ, as wrought into us, will abide.