Work in the Groaning Creation by T. Austin-Sparks

“Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned: – for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come. But not as the trespass, so also is the free gift. For if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound unto the many. And not as through one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment came of one unto condemnation, but the free gift came of many trespasses unto justification. For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, even Jesus Christ. So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation, even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous” (Romans 5:12-19).

“But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name”(Philippians 2:7-9).

“Who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

“Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he subjected all things unto him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him. But we behold him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace of God he should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:8-9).

“Seeing therefore it remaineth that some should enter thereinto, and they to whom the good tidings were before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:6).

“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body didst thou prepare for me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure: then said I, Lo, I am come (in the roll of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:5-7).

“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:44-49).

These passages will lead us to one other – Romans 8:29: “For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son…”.

There are two great lines, or departments, of revelation given us in the Word of God throughout. One is that of the purpose of God eternally; the other is that which has to do with the whole scheme of redemption. These are two things, although now related. Originally there were not two things, but only one thing, for in God’s eternal thoughts and intentions the scheme of redemption had no immediate place. While being eternal, and always living as much at the end as at the beginning, He would, because of His own omniscience, have that whole plan of redemption present. But it was simply to meet an emergency, and was not in the original purpose. To allow it a place in the original purpose means that you must allow the fall as being a part of God’s purpose, and you must make sin a part of God’s purpose. That we could never do. So that what we have through the Scriptures is the straight line of God’s eternal thought, and then the hiatus, or shall we say the detour, the bend in the road, in which the whole redemptive plan is found. That bend strikes off from the eternal straight way, and comes back to it at the end, and is, therefore, only contributory to the purpose. It is something which has to be, because of something not intended having taken place.

It would seem that the greater part of the Scriptures are occupied with the bend, and it would also appear that primarily the straight line of God’s first and supreme thought is revealed to us through the Apostle Paul. The magnificence, the glory of the revelation which came through that Apostle particularly is that of God’s eternal thought. Paul is particularly used to bring us back into the counsels of God before times, before man, before, therefore, the fall, and to show us the straight line of God’s thought unto its ultimate manifestation in realisation. Most else – not all, but most – has to do with the redemptive programme. But when Paul does bring in his specific revelation, what he calls “My gospel” – and by that term he does not mean something that belonged to him, but something which came through him particularly – he knew that a specific and peculiar revelation was entrusted to him. When that does come in through the Apostle we are able with his key to unlock many doors in the Scriptures and so get the solution to much that is otherwise covered.