Colossians 1: 16
Hebrews 1: 3
John 1: 17 (from “grace”)
Ephesians 2: 5-6
I think it is a very fine time we have had this evening. The words that we have had have pointed us to Christ, wonderful Man that He is, the Man who has accomplished everything for God, the One, indeed, who is the Hope of our hearts. But I read in Colossians 1 because the One with whom we have to do is no less than God, “because by him were created all things”. We find at the beginning of Scripture that “God created the heavens and the earth”, Gen 1: 1. Here in Colossians the scope of that opens out in relation to the workings of God. It says, “because by him were created all things, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth”. It says elsewhere in Scripture, “without him not one thing received being which has received being” (John 1: 3), which brings out the wondrousness of Christ and who He is Himself; He is no less than God. Beloved brethren, the Man whom we know that has saved us is no less than God Himself, worthy of all the honour, and all the praise, and all the glory, and all the worship, that we can give Him; glorious Man!
But then we have in Hebrews in relation to what He has done, “having made by himself the purification of sins”. We have had a word tonight in relation to the Jordan, the priests’ feet touching the Jordan and it standing up in a heap and going away back. Think of this, the wondrous glory and might of this blessed Man as He goes into death, the power that was there in the One whom we know as Jesus, the power that was there in that blessed Man that would accomplish this. This is what was by Him. We have the things that were done by Him in the creating of the world, and we have the things that were done by Him in relation to purification of sins. They could be done by no one except Christ. Here we have, “having made by himself the purification of sins”. What did that entail? Beloved brethren, what did it entail for God that Christ should work in such a manner and exercise His power that there should be “by himself the purification of sins”? What did that entail? It entailed the work of a wondrous, glorious Man who had at His disposal the power, the moral power, to be able to accomplish such a work for God. These were the things done by Him. There are many other things in Scripture done by Him; these are two that have come to me this evening, the things done by Him.
But then we have in John’s gospel what is done through Him. It has often amazed me the way this is put in John’s gospel, and this is true now through Jesus Christ: “grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ”. I think that the way that “through” is used here is distinctive. In relation to Christ, it is the only time it is used and it is an act of power. What comes from heaven comes through Christ. It does not come any other way. Here “grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ”, through that Man who has accomplished everything for God, through the Man who has accomplished everything for man, the One who has exercised His power, the One by whom the worlds were made, the One by whom you are made, the One by whom we are here tonight, the One who has removed your sins, “having made by himself the purification of sins”; through that One grace and truth subsists. It is a wonderful thing to think that the Word comes from heaven. We had a touch of that on Lord’s day in relation to what comes from heaven. Well, I tell you, what comes from heaven is grace and truth, and it comes through Jesus Christ, and it is towards us subsequent to this access that we have. We have many blessings and all these things, such as the light that we have - and we have had a measure of that tonight in relation to the the assembly - , all the truth, all this has come “through Jesus Christ”. Wonderful! What a wonderful Man He is! Not only are things done by Him, but things are done through Him. God operates through Jesus Christ, so that what shines to us shines in that Man. So what you take account of is not theology; it is not something that is just sacraments. It is not creed; it is not any of those things. It is a living expression of what has come from heaven, and it is seen in a Man and enjoyed there. So “grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ”. The note to that is very interesting: the expression ’supposes its continuance’. So it began when Christ was here. When Christ went back into glory the Spirit came. It continued, and it continues all the way to our day, and it will continue to the end of this dispensation, the end of the time in which we are, and we have this word that comes towards us, “grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ”. It is a constant flow that comes from heaven through Him to us. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful!
These things lift us up. We had a reference as well on Lord’s day in the reading to this scripture, “has raised us up together, and has made us sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus”. Now that is different again. We have had what is by Him, we have had what is through Him, but then it is a case of what we are as “in Christ Jesus”. Wonderful thing! You know, the things accomplished by Him, the things accomplished by Christ are outside of us. The things we receive through Christ are enjoyed by us, but where we are as in Christ is ours to understand; that is unalterable. Our brother has made reference to “he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified”, Heb 10: 14. That is an unalterable state of the believer before God, and the place that is also unalterable before God because it is established “in Christ Jesus”. It is your place in the heavenlies in Him, not by Him but in Him. What an area this is! What wondrous blessings have come, beloved brethren. It should quicken our hearts, indeed it should, to think of this wonderful matter. We are established in glory, seated there in Him. He has done everything for us. He has done everything for God. He has established the scene in which we are. He has established the area that God has used to save persons for Himself; He has done that. God has also shone out in that blessed Man - what His own desires are in relation to the blessings of the saints here, and in relation to the opening up of the whole scope of the things that God had in His mind for men. All of that has been opened up through Christ, but then the wonderful thing is, it has set you “in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus”.
Well, may we all be encouraged by it and know our place with Him there, seated “in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus”, for His Name’s sake.
17th March 2009