| Crucified to the Religious World |
Crucified to the Religious World
by T. Austin-Sparks
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).
It is interesting to notice the particular way in which the Apostle speaks of the world here. That term is a very comprehensive term and includes a very great deal. Here Paul gets right down to the spirit of the thing. You notice the context; it is well for us to take account of it:
"For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh" (Galatians 6:13).
What does the Apostle mean? They want to say, "See how many proselytes we are making! See how many followers and disciples we are getting! See how successful our movement is! See what a power we are becoming in the world! See all the marks of Divine blessing resting upon us!" The Apostle says that is worldliness in principle and spirit; that is the world. He sets over against this his own clear spiritual position. Do I seek glory of men? Do I seek to be well-pleasing to men? No! The world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
All that sort of thing does not weigh with me. What weighs with me is not whether my movement is successful, whether I am getting a lot of followers, whether there are all the manifestations outwardly of success; what weighs with me is the measure of Christ in those with whom I have to do: "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you" (Galatians 4:19). Christ formed in you that is my concern, he says that is what weighs with me... not extensiveness, not bigness, not popularity, not keeping in with the world, so that it is said that this is a successful ministry and a successful movement. That is worldliness. I am dead to all that; I am crucified with Christ to all that. The thing that matters is Christ the measure of Christ in you.
You see how the world can creep in... and how worldly we can become almost imperceptibly by taking account of things outwardly of how men will think and talk, what they will say, the attitude they will take; of the measure of our popularity, the talk of our success. That is all the world, says the Apostle, the spirit of the world; that is how the world talks. Those are the values in the eyes of the world, but not in the eyes of the risen Christ. In the new creation, on the resurrection side of the Cross, one thing alone determines value... and that is the measure of Christ in everything. Nothing else is of value at all, however big the thing may be, however popular it may be, however men talk favorably of it; on the resurrection side that does not count a little bit. What counts is how much of Christ there is.
You and I in the Cross of the Lord Jesus must come to the place where we are crucified to all those other elements. Ah, you may be unpopular, and the work be very small; there may be no applause, and the world may despise; but in it all there may be something which is of Christ, and that is the thing upon which our hearts must be set. The Lord gives us grace for that crucifixion. There are few things more difficult to bear than being despised; but He was despised and rejected of men. What a thing is in Gods sight must be our standard. That is a resurrection standard. Now that is the victory of the Cross: "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world".
| 2012/12/4 14:17||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Crucified to the Religious World |
Thank you for sharing this, can I ask what T.A Sparks book this came from?
| 2012/12/5 19:11||Profile|
| 2012/12/5 19:39||Profile|
| Re: |
If you like reading Sparks writings, you would benefit to subscribing to the daily devotional called "Open Windows".
Let us go out to Him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace He bore. (Hebrews 13:13 NLT)
We can organize our movements, lay our plans, and draft our schemes. We can lay it all out according to the New Testament and it can be dead, ineffective.... You see the difference between a traditional system, whether it be Judaism or Christianity, and a living thing coming all the time in a living way out from the Christ Himself by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit Himself doing it. Well, this is going to cost something. See what it meant for these people. At the end of this letter you come on this: Wherefore, Christ also... suffered without the camp. Let us therefore go to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. The camp was Judaism, and He suffered without the camp because He repudiated Judaism and stood for the realization of all Gods thoughts as in Himself personally. He gathered up everything into His own person, I am. It is the Christ who is the full sum and embodiment of all Gods thoughts and ways, and t hat takes the place of Judaism, and He, therefore, repudiated Judaism and suffered without the camp. "Let us go to Him without the camp."
What is the issue? If you are going to take this line you are going to repudiate organized Christianity, going to repudiate Christendom as a traditional system, going to repudiate that order of things which is made, and going, therefore, to suffer reproach and be outside of the camp suffering His reproach. In other words, we are immediately going to come up against that force of antagonism to stop what has come in through the death and resurrection and exaltation of the Lord Jesus, the heavenly thing. Is it not sad that these people met it through Gods historic people, the people who claimed to have the oracles, to be the elect, to be the favored of the Lord? It is always like that. A mans foes shall be those of his own household. Do not narrow that down to the limits of a family where one is a Christian and all the rest are not. That is not the point at all. It is his own household, the Christian household. You will meet the ant agonism to what has come in from heaven as a heavenly thing; you will meet the antagonism amongst those who are the traditional people of God in this dispensation. That is how it will be. That is going to be the cost of a walk in Life with the Lord and not with man, knowing the Lord for yourself.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Kingdom That Cannot be Shaken - Chapter 2
This email is from the Austin-Sparks.Net Daily Open Windows message list. Open Windows messages have been selected from the works of T. Austin-Sparks. In some cases they appear in abridged form. The introductory verse and its associated Bible version have been selected by the website editors and did not always appear within the original message. We encourage you to forward, print and share this message with others. In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given and not sold for profit, and that his messages be reproduced word for word, we ask if you choose to share these messages with others, to please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of any changes, free of any charge (except necessary distribution costs) and with this statement included.
| 2012/12/6 0:10||Profile|
| Re: Crucified to the Religious World |
I consider T.Austin-Sparks to be the greatest Bible Teacher in modern times. He teaches by the Spirit, not the Letter, and consistently and with authentic power delivers insight to the saints WALK with God.
Like Paul, TAS imparts, not merely dissects the Word.
"Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand!"
Most of his books are messages transcribed that he spoke in meetings; recorded from a preaching "flow", not merely from an authors desk. They are powerful and rich with discernment, and have the power to actually feed you.
He has been my mentor for nearly 20 years, and was my friend and Pastor through my lonely walk through the desert.
Concerning the article.
"You see how the world can creep in... and how worldly we can become almost imperceptibly by taking account of things outwardly of how men will think and talk, what they will say, the attitude they will take; of the measure of our popularity, the talk of our success.
That is all the world, says the Apostle, the spirit of the world; that is how the world talks. Those are the values in the eyes of the world, but not in the eyes of the risen Christ. In the new creation, on the resurrection side of the Cross, one thing alone determines value... and that is the measure of Christ in everything."...TAS
I love this article. It cuts right through doesn't it? I have a maxim in my life I try and keep. I "draw a circle on the floor and step inside it" when confronted by truth, so that a ME FIRST conviction would consume me, and I would repent. I read the Word to repent to it, and in this my Pride and hidden flesh motives are revealed.
In this I have learned to hate my life and love His, and this is the crucified, selfless life that TAS is speaking of. In this I see my ugliness face on, and fail so much as I refuse Him, and go my own way for me. But....I get back up again, and cry out that God would count me covered by the blood, and clean. I think that here, humility will find US!..and Glory given to Him. [ I fail so much.]
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." [ Crucified to bear fruit]
" He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."
The religious spirit that TAS is confronting here creates but pride masked as success for others to see. By the grace of God, I too have been delivered, and alas, much of this spirit is found in the halls of the Pastor/Pulpit/Pew/Tithe driven Churches [ house churches included] that honors men.
None of us will make it to Heaven unless we have learned to Walk Alone with God; It is the only way to KNOW Him. Religion says that I have a system to lead you to God; Follow ME!
Jesus has another Way.
Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
" For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospels will save it. "
I offer this as a failure; always struggling to walk fully in the spirit, and for this I mourn....but....I was grieved when I saw the "Commendations" button here on SI appear for this very reason. Who needs the praises of men anyhow?, as TAS pointed out in this article.
The religious spirit always demands this honor.
Thank you Abide-in-Him...you are a man after my own heart...and a brother.
| 2012/12/6 10:09|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: |
Thank you guys for the info.
I didn't realize they had a daily devotional mailing, good stuff.
| 2012/12/6 13:56||Profile|
| Re: Crucified to the Religious World |
was grieved when I saw the "Commendations" button here on SI appear for this very reason. Who needs the praises of men anyhow?, as TAS pointed out in this article. brothertom
No one needs the praises of men save for those men who need them.
I too once thought about the "commendations" button. At the time I too wondered why? That was over a year ago or thereabouts. Since then it has occurred to me that there are many souls who come across this site. How are they to establish even a basic confidence if they like so many have no way to know where to start looking. Those who make commendations are themselves a good place to start. I guess this is its merit and purpose. In any event it is an unworthy thing to say. The whole site is full of substance as to the foolishness of men commending men for the sake of praise. If we commend men for the sake of Christ then we have done no harm and may do a great deal of good to the little children who come nervously looking for succour.
| 2012/12/6 14:08|