By G.V. Wigram
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Eph. 4: 6.
The Son of God is called Son in two senses: one, as Son of the Father, independent of incarnation; another, as Son of the Highest, as born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost. It was in the latter sense He could say, "My God;" He came as a servant -- He took our nature upon Him that He might associate us with Himself and with God. What vast blessedness, dear brethren men in the flesh to be associated with God! But the association Jesus has brought us into with the Father has a deeper range of blessedness, -- my Father; something far beyond "my God." God has revealed Himself in preceding ages as Eloim; then as Eloim Shaddai; next as Jehovah (Ex. 2); but the title, "My Father," carried with it all that range of blessing and glory that Jesus the Son knew from all eternity. The names, Father, Son, are domestic titles. How sweetly they speak to us of home! Contrast with Eloim, Shaddai, and Jehovah, the Father, as He is presented in 1 John 3, in all the constraining power of a love known to us; or as our privilege it won in the first chapter of that epistle, "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ," throwing us into that communion which exists between the Father and the Son -- bringing us into partnership and community! Hence the different kinds of worship. Those of you who are accustomed to watch the workings of your own hearts -- I speak to you -- have you not marked the different character of your worship? In Hebrews God's place of worship is laid open; we are enabled to go in through the rent veil by the blood of Jesus, and stand in the holiest with a pure conscience. Jesus has higher intercourse than that, - that fellowship He has as a Son with the Father. The Son has got a communion far beyond that which He has as High Priest. I call the one heavenly worship, the other divine worship. Even thanksgiving and service connected with this latter are quite different from the former. Col. 3 brings my soul into the relationship between Jesus and the Father. These are the things my heart is to be prying into -- to be connected with.
Again, as to Mediatorship - two distinct thoughts are connected with it: one, of God dealing with a creature; and then three persons present -- God, the Mediator, and those mediated for. Something far beyond Mediatorship is opened in Galatians: God was in Christ - the Church also in Christ; there Mediatorship, but quite another thought. In connection with the mystery, God speaks to us of having died with Christ, being raised up together, and set together in heavenly places in him. Christ hiding me in the clefts of His side is something far beyond Jesus telling me, "I will undertake for you" -- "I will clear you." The blessed mystery leads my soul into different and deeper thoughts than even that one of the great Sacrifice for sin -- the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. It is the mystery of my oneness with Christ that brings me nearer in worship.
Again. Jesus being made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, is very blessed; but still more blessed is the weird, "accepted in the beloved." Christ as the mystery in whom the Church is hidden, presents our case as a very different one from His Mediatorship for the Church. In the one, I see myself as a creature; in the other, the former, as a child. You must get into the mystery; otherwise you have no full liberty, nor full establishment. (Rom. 16: 25.) Without the saints understand the real vital union between Christ and the Church, they cannot enter into their full privilege of liberty and blessing.
We are entitled to look up into our Father's face as little children, and say, Thou gracious, glorious Father!
Every believer is a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus; directly the light has shined into his heart, God says, "There is one of my beloved ones." The thought of my relationship awakened by the cry of "Abba, Father," is by the Spirit's voice within witnessing to my sonship. Now many of you have known the cry of Abba, Father, and can say Abba, Father, but have you God's thoughts about you as His children?
Christ may see many a one of His rejoicing in being able to cry, Abba, Father! but He says, Ah! how little do they know yet of their portion in me!
Abba is a cord stronger than any other.
On the cross we hear first, in the agony of suffering, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani! My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
He really was forsaken of God. God has never yet forsaken one of you as He forsook His own Son. (Ps. 22 and 31) Though God had forsaken Him, one word, 'Father,' remained to Him; and then in fullest repose and confidence He rests there -- "Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit." There was this one thing which failed not when all else was lost, -- the Son of the Father! The heart of a Son was His stay. It is ours. The power of "Abba, Father," in sustaining strength, was above that of "My God."
The thing that God has made the strongest cord to bind His children to Him, men have made scourges to torment themselves. The only proof before God of a man's election, the knowledge of the blood as his, men have perverted, and turned away from that unto themselves, looking within for proof of election. Until they turned to the blood as seen of God on the mercy-seat, believing what God says about the blood, they have never known true peace and liberty. The Spirit witnesseth that we are sons of God -- witnesseth with our spirit -- that gives power. I cannot have faith unless I am resting on the object of faith. Yet, how often do we hear God's children addressing their Father, "Am I thy child?" Such a cry could only have been from the Spirit of Adoption, and with some knowledge of the blood, though not a full knowledge.
Dear brethren, do you recognise the truth of God being your Father with all that fulness of affection He has toward Jesus! The Father above, thinking of you, and all His affections entwined around you. The Son, the Eternal Son, knew that love towards the adopted sons. For this cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Jesus' motives are drawn out of that eternal counsel and purpose of the Father. The Holy Ghost also knows right well our place. It was the apostle's knowledge of this that constrained him in the patient actings of soul we witness toward the Corinthian Church -- those troublesome opposers of the apostle's authority.
The Holy Ghost knows the fellowship we have with the Father and the Son. This fellowship we have not only for our refreshment; it is needed for our counsel and guidance. If this were truly understood, we should see no separation such as we now see. We would not, could not, tolerate anything like those little pens and folds, and those dividings of the flocks, we see now. We should say at once, in such a case, there is no response in our Father's heart. Such dividings! how bitter must they be to our Father's heart, to see His children dividing themselves off, and refusing to sit down at the same table! Oh! how blessed the contrast when we shall see them all gathered at the marriage supper of the Lamb!