Monday, February 7, 2011

more on introspection versus faith

Dear friends, if any truth has the effect of turning you in upon yourself, making you introspective, self-occupied in a spiritual way, that truth has been wrongly apprehended.  You may assume the position of the most spiritual, but you are all wrong in your apprehension.  This great work which Christ did in His Cross was never intended to make anybody miserable.  Of course, that goes without saying; yet there are multitudes who are miserable after trusting the Lord, miserable over the sin question in their lives; and the number, I am afraid, is increasing...  

I am certain of this, that nothing will ever come to you, however deep, however mighty, however tremendous, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, that will make you miserable.  The revelation of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit—and there is no other revelation—will never make a soul miserable.  There is something wrong if a Christian is miserable on spiritual matters, and it is either failure to apprehend the one great, absolute reality that the victory was God’s and that He won it in Christ, fully and finally, and we are not called to share at all in that battle; or the truth which has come subsequently has been misapprehended and has become something that is a burden grievous to be borne.  The Lord Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:30).

And what was the yoke?  Well, listen again; you will get it in various places in the New Testament where the very word is used.  “They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger” (Matt. 23:4).  What was the yoke, the burden?—the law, ordinances, ‘thou shalt,’ ‘thou shalt not’; the enforcement of this.  “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  He “despoiled the principalities and the powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in (His Cross).”  How?  He nailed to His Cross the whole list of ordinances against us and took the ground of the enemy’s strength and assurance from him.  You know quite well that the enemy has no abstract power over anybody.  It is always concrete, it is always positive.  The devil must have something to make his power felt.  It does not exist, in effect, unless he has got moral ground, and the thing with which he lashes and drives and harasses is this law of carnal ordinances which was against us, against us, against us!

This is an excerpt from a message I received this morning. I thought I would share with you all. Watchman Nee was the first man I read who God used to reveal this precious truth to me. Now T. Austin-Sparks has joined the chorus of those in praise of the finished work of Christ bringing the end to our self-examination regarding our keeping of he law.

What do you think about what he has written? Agree/disagree?


  1. Bobby,

    I do agree with what is being said here. So much of the Christian life is paradoxical: Joy in trials, Perfection in weakness, The first will be last and the last will be first, exaltation through humility. Sparks is dead on when he reminds us what the yoke was the law. Christ reminds us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Compared to what? The law? Wouldn't we rather have a set of rules to follow than to deny ourselves daily, take up our cross, and follow him? Doesn't that sound like a greater burden? How is it that; taking up our cross a lighter burden? We look to Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross! And in the same way we can joyfully take up our cross for the joy set before us, knowing that any affliction in this world is but light and momentary, knowing that we have an advocate with the Father who intercedes on our behalf, knowing that it was and indeed is finished on the cross! Christ was crucified for the propitiation of our sins and it is finished. Likewise we have been crucified with Christ and it is finished. It is no longer I who live but Christ in me. The life that we now life we live by Faith. Yes we still examine ourselves, but we examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). Yes we still sin, but we are no longer enslaved by sin. In Christ, we now walk in newness of life so that even now, sin might be brought to nothing, for sin has no dominion over us because we are not under the law, but grace (Romans 6). This is where the war with the flesh is fought, and why it is fought, not because we must strive to defeat sin, but because it has already been defeated yet it still remains in us in this fallen world. The good news is the victory has already been won. All of creation is being redeemed and will be redeemed. He will wipe away every tear, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away, for he is making and will make all things new. When he appears we will be like him because we shall see him as he is and we will be with him forever in glory!

  2. Amen brother!

    I share in your exaltation of the risen Lord Jesus and walk by faith in his finished work in hope that I will be made more complete in him, by him, and for him. No longer will I look to myself to find what is wrong or lacking but I will look to him in which there is fullness and trust that he will fill me up according to his great plan, will, and purpose. I am satisfied with who I am in Christ because I know that the Father is.


As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.