- Overcomer Literature Trust
There are few more wonderful subjects than the relationship which our Lord has established between Himself and His Church, and this is shown in the responsible position in which He has placed her during His absence.
It was the day of the Resurrection. The men who were to be the witnesses of that Resurrection were all present except Thomas. Jesus had given the blessing, “Peace be with you”. He then repeated the blessing and added the commission, “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20 v21).
Our Lord likens the commission He now gives to His disciples to the commission given to Him by His Father. He was the representative of His Father’s character. In the highest sense, the character of the Godhead could never have been fully understood by us unless Christ had appeared as a Man. But in addition to the display of the divine attributes which Christ lived out, His Father’s name, character and honour were always present, and Jesus preserved and exhibited them in all their purity and attractiveness.
“I honour My Father” He said to the Jews (John 8 v49). It had been predicted of Him ages before, “See, I have made Him a witness to the peoples” (Isa. 55 v4). He was the Representative, the Witness to and the Custodian of His Father’s character in the world. He showed this by His life. His words were full of power, but His life was more powerful still. And so it should be with us.
It is said of the prophet Samuel that “He let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Sam. 3 v19). If we desire the same testimony our actions must be in harmony with our words.
We must be witnesses for Christ and our influence must be felt. This influence is both conscious and unconscious. Conscious in our watchful efforts to speak and act for Christ’s glory, and unconscious as regards our character. As we are, so will be our influence. To be a witness for the unseen Saviour is the high honour put upon us. If we are seeking this we are indeed blessed. It means the renunciation of self in the world, in the Church, in the family and in the workplace.
James, that stern denouncer of the unkind use of the unruly tongue, is scarcely heeded by the majority of Christians today. The words which should be a testimony for Christ are too often spent in judgment of others, which James declares to be speaking evil, and declares, “Do not slander one another . . . there is one Lawgiver and Judge . . . who are you to judge your neighbour?” (James 4 v11).
Let us rise to our high calling in Christ Jesus, neither discouraged by past failures nor by present difficulties. Christ is almighty and His pleasure is to give power to His people. “Be strong and courageous” was the command in the Old Testament (Joshua 1 v6), and, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then” (Gal. 5 v1) is the command of the New.
We are in Christ and we need to believe this. Then our testimony will be positive and pure. His Presence is not a theory, not even in a promise, it is a fact, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’’ (Matt. 28 v20). Where He is, there are peace, light, liberty, joy, power and success. ‘‘As My Father has sent Me, I am sending you.”
From a past magazine.
In these difficult times it is wonderful to remember that Jesus has promised to come again, to reign. He came first of all to die in our place on the cross and He commands us to be looking forward to and expecting His return. Only the Father knows when that will be, but it is certain.
He calls us to be faithful, watching for the signs of His coming, and ready to meet Him in the air, or before that, whenever He calls us home.
My dear friends, remain faithful to the end.
Yours in His precious Name,