A Memorial of the Victory of God

Today, I read the fol­low­ing from T. Austin Sparks in the book The Cen­tral­i­ty and Suprema­cy of the Lord Jesus Christ:

We must see that the Body of Christ rep­re­sents a tremen­dous vic­to­ry. That Body comes out of His res­ur­rec­tion, or with His res­ur­rec­tion, and the pre-emi­nent exam­ple of the exer­cise of Divine pow­er in this uni­verse is in the rais­ing of Jesus Christ from the dead, or from among the dead. That rais­ing of Christ from among the dead, rep­re­sent­ing the supreme exer­cise of Divine pow­er, rep­re­sents the mighty vic­to­ry of God in Christ, and if the Body of Christ comes out with and in His res­ur­rec­tion, that Body is a part of an expres­sion of that mighty vic­to­ry of God. Now Eph­esians makes that per­fect­ly clear and says that actu­al­ly: *’… the exceed­ing great­ness of his pow­er to us-ward who believe, accord­ing to that work­ing of the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heav­en­lies.’* The Body of Christ is the mighty vic­to­ry of God in Christ in its realization.”

I love this pic­ture! We, as the Body of Christ, are dis­play­ing the vic­to­ry of God in Christ.

It brought to mind how the Lord com­mand­ed Joshua (in Joshua 4) to have the peo­ple of Israel take up stones from the Jor­dan riv­er as they cross to set up as a memo­r­i­al for what the Lord did for the peo­ple that day.

You can find stone memo­ri­als through­out his­to­ry of the peo­ple of God. Now, think about how God gath­ers his saints togeth­er as liv­ing stones, the build­ing mate­ri­als with which he desires to build his dwelling place:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fel­low cit­i­zens with the saints, and are of God’s house­hold, hav­ing been built on the foun­da­tion of the apos­tles and prophets, Christ Jesus Him­self being the cor­ner stone, in whom the whole build­ing, being fit­ted togeth­er, is grow­ing into a holy tem­ple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built togeth­er into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Eph­esians 2:19–22

…You also, as liv­ing stones, are being built up as a spir­i­tu­al house for a holy priest­hood, to offer up spir­i­tu­al sac­ri­fices accept­able to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:5

We, the saints, aren’t just sup­posed to be the dwelling place for the Lord–although that would be enough in and of itself! No, he’s gath­er­ing his peo­ple togeth­er as his Body and stack­ing these liv­ing stones togeth­er to form a struc­ture that is not only his house, but also a memo­r­i­al of what the Lord has done. The sim­ple exis­tence of the Body of Christ is a wit­ness and tes­ti­mo­ny of the vic­to­ry and pow­er of God, espe­cial­ly wher­ev­er it exists in the form of saints being built togeth­er. We are a tan­gi­ble mon­u­ment of the fact that God has won, that our King Jesus has beat­en death!

And we won­der some­times at the oppo­si­tion we face in the build­ing of his church?

Not only is the church lit­er­al­ly Jesus in the flesh on the earth; not only are the local church­es colonies of the King­dom in a hos­tile land, but they are also sol­id mon­u­ments of liv­ing stones erect­ed in ene­my ter­ri­to­ry that scream out “The Cre­ator has already won this bat­tle! The vic­to­ry is His!”

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