By Norman Grubb
We are thankful, by God’s grace, to be members of the greatly enlarging worldwide body of Christ. But we well know, after our own years of struggle and frustration, that the great number of the redeemed by no means “possess their possessions” in Christ, as completed men expressing our Complete Christ (Col. 1:27, 28). Jesus truly said, “Few there be that find it.”
Our calling, therefore, is to share with all what the Spirit by the Word has made plain to us – that “fulfilling of the word” which Paul called his second ministry (Col. 1:24-28). Delivered from that lie of Satan that we humans were ever independent self-relying selves, his deceit of Romans 7:11 and Rev. 12:9, or that as vessels, branches, temples, or body-members, we had a nature of our own. We now know we were Walking Satans, indewlt by him and expressing his nature (Eph. 1:1-3: John 8:44), but now are Walking Christs, indwelt by Him and expressing His nature (2 Pet. 1:4; Phil 1:18). And this is a glorious fact only through our Savior’s double work on Calvary: by His shed blood we are “dead to sins” (1 Pet. 2:24), and by His body death “dead to sin” (2 Cor. 5:14 & 21; Rom. 6:10, 11). Thus liberated from the independent-self illusion (Rom. 7:17 & 20), we accept ourselves with no further condemnation, and shout our liberation from the housetops (Rom. 8:1, 2). We walk free!
But then on to our summit calling – the third “father” level (1 John 2:13) – of being Royal Priests (1 Pet. 2:9) . But again it is evident that not all God’s people accept their highest privilege (1 Cor. 1:8-14). Not all move on by the Spirit from coming to the Cross (John 3:16), being on the Cross (Gal. 2:20), and then voluntarily “taking up the Cross” for others (Matt. 10:38). There is a discipleship preparation with a counting of the cost before we are apostles (“sent ones”) – as Jesus said in Luke 14:26-33.
Then as “sent ones,” in whatever outer condition of life, we move from a simple walk of faith to using the authority of faith (Mark 11:20-24; Heb. 11). We now know that God means and uses evil, not merely permits it (John 19:10, 11; Acts 4:27, 28; Gen. 50:20), and we no longer see two powers, but only one. Then our glory is to be lambs for others, dying that they may live (2 Cor. 4:11, 12), even as Jesus was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” We are intercessors, each called to fill specific gaps (Ezek. 22:30), paying the price in our bodies (John 12:24; Is. 53:12). We never stop till we gain the intercession, and faith is seen as substance (Heb. 5 :8,9 & 7:25) – Commission, Cost, Completion. Thus, we join Paul in his summit calling (Phil. 3:8-14).