A Witness and a Testimony Periodical
Containing Articles and Excerpts from T. Austin-Sparks
and other contributors to "A Witness and a Testimony"
publication from Honor Oak, London, England
With comments, discussion and articles from 
Friends of Book Ministry
Incorporated Into Christ
No. I. The All Inclusive "In" 

THERE is no phrase or formula which occurs with greater frequency in the New Testament than this "In Christ." It sometimes varies in translations when "by "and" through" and "with" are used, and sometimes in the original text it changes in form, e.g., "In Christ Jesus," In Him," &c, but in all the two hundred times of its occurrence the principle is the same. In the whole range of Christian dogma there is nothing more expressive, yet none less understood and appreciated. 
In one consummate declaration we are told that God has summed up all things "in Christ," and that outside of Him there is nothing which has any place in the Eternal purpose and intention of God. The plan, the method, the resources, the times, the eternities, are Christospheric. 

The Creation is in Christ. 
The Life is in Christ. 
The Acceptance is in Christ.
The Redemption is in Christ. 
The Righteousness is in Christ. 
The Sanctification is in Christ. 
The Hope is in Christ.
The Spiritual Blessings are in Christ. 
The Consolation is in Christ. 
The Peace is in Christ.
The Effectual Prayer is only in Christ.
The Strength and Riches are in Christ.
The Eternal Purpose is in Christ. 
The New Creation is in Christ.
The Promises are in Christ.
The Escape from condemnation is in Christ.
The One Body is in Christ.
The Perseverance is in Christ.
The Gathering into One is in Christ.
The Bonds of suffering believers are in Christ.
The "No separation" is in Christ.
The Perfect Man is in Christ.
The Helpers together are in Christ.
There are the churches in Christ.
There are the dead in Christ.
There is the "One New" and "Perfect Man" in Christ.
We are complete in Christ.

The context of this formula ranges from Eternity, through the ages, to Eternity. In Eternity past we were chosen and elected together in Christ. Ephes. 1:4; 1 Peter 5:13.
Through time, by the Cross, this eternal heavenly fact is wrought in literal and experimental form in different terms implying specific progressive spiritual truths, but always the same principle. 

"Planted together in likeness of His death." Rom. 6:5
"Quickened together" with (in) Him. Ephes. 2:6
"Raised together with (in) Him." Ephes. 2:6
"Seated together with (in) Him." Ephes. 2:6
"Gathered together into One." Ephes. 1:10
"Joined together." 1 Cor. 1:10
"Framed together. Ephes. 2:21
"Knit together." Col. 2:2
"Builded together." Ephes. 2:20
"Live together." 1 Thess. 5:10
"Workers together with Him." 2 Cor. 5:1
"With one mind striving together." Phil. 1:27
"Met together into His name." Matt. 18:29

Then comes a climax, at the end of this time when all the foregoing is accomplished and we are
"Caught up together into Him." 1 Thess. 4:17

Finally the Eternity to come looms into view and we see that we are "Glorified together, in Him." Rom. 8:17
Then finally for this chapter on the fact and in prospect of considering the method we call to mind the Pauline couplet, which is not Pauline but of the Divine "Spirit of Truth" namely "In Adam." "In Christ." On the one side of our relation to Adam, the old creation, by nature we see one set of conditions; and on the other by our incorporation in Christ, a new and different set.

"Breathed the breath of lives." Gen. 2:7
"The first Adam, a living soul." I Cor. 15:45
"In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Gen. 2:17
"As in Adam all die." 1 Cor. 15:22
"The law of sin and death." Rom. 8:2
"He has become flesh." Gen. 6:3
"The flesh profiteth nothing." John 6:53
"I" Failure. Romans 7 
"The old man which is corrupt." Eph. 4:22
"The natural man ... the carnal mind." Rom. 8:6
"In my flesh ... no good." Rom. 7:18
"After the flesh ... corruption." Gal. vi. 8. 
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh." John 3:6
"The end ... corruption ... death." Rom. 6:23

"He breathed on them and said receive ye the Holy Spirit." John 20:22
"The last Adam a quickening Spirit." 1 Cor. 15:45
"Newness of life." Rom 6:4
"In Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor. 15:22
"The law of the Spirit of life." Rom. 8:2
"Not after the flesh but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1
"Spirit" Victory. Romans 8
"The new man created in righteousness and holiness." Ephes. 4:24
"The new man." Col. 3:10
"Newness of Spirit." Rom. 7:6
"In likeness of His resurrection." Rom: 6:5
"Have crucified the flesh." Gal. 5:24
"Our old man was crucified." Col. 3:3

All this which is nothing more than quoting scripture will serve to emphasise the Divine inclusiveness and exclusiveness, and help, we trust, to a. recognition of the great fact, that no man can live the Christian life, there is only one, who can live that life and that is Christ Himself. We must have such an experimental incorporation into Him that He lives His life through us as members of; His one Body, so that "For me to live is Christ" and "It is no longer I, but Christ." As the blacksmith's iron is both in the fire and the fire in it, so first we must realise our position through the Cross ere Christ can manifest Himself through us.

PRAYER O Lord, may this, truth be no mere mental apprehension, but wilt thou, for the sake of thy eternal purpose in Christ, quicken it by Thy Holy Spirit in me and me to it. T. A. S.

March 1926 Witness and a Testimony
 2011-2019  All rights reserved. 
T. Austin-Sparks was one of the greatest spiritual figures of the twentieth century. Perhaps no one in the last hundred years gave us ministry that is so Christ-centered. When the measure of a man's ministry is taken as to how much he exalted Christ, then T. Austin-Sparks is without peer. Sparks wrote over one hundred books. The golden chord, which ran through all these works, was the exaltation of his Lord. He has given us more spiritual insight into Christ then perhaps any other man of the last 1700 years...

Sparks' writing speaks little of the Christ of Galilee -- rather he has given us the resurrected and enthroned Lord. He has gone even farther than this, to show us the insuperable Christ who dwells within us. This presentation of his Lord would be enough to make Sparks' ministry unique, but Sparks went on to join head to body (Christ and the church). As surely as his spoken and written ministry exalted the Lord, so also Sparks called forth the almost forgotten centrality of the church. For T. Austin-Sparks, the two were inseparable. Nor did he speak of the church that most men have known and experienced.

A personal word from your host:

Back in 2000, I asked Doug Riggs, pastor of Morning Star Testimony Church, to tell me how to come under the authority and headship of Christ as I was geographically separated from the local church I believed I belonged to. He advised me to acquire as much T. Austin-Sparks material as I could. He wrote:

"I know of no other man since the Apostle Paul that embodies the Mind of Christ like this precious Brother! You are in a place where you can really immerse yourself in this rich spiritual legacy that the Lord has left for His remnant Church. I think Gene Edwards has grasped the value of this ministry left to us by Sparks:"
Doug continues, "I trust this will give you some direction and know that the Lord wants to invest in you His great heart and purpose right where you are, not only for your blessing but for the blessing of the Body of Christ ..."
From A Witness and A Testimony written in 1971 after his death, 
by Harry Foster, another of the leaders at the Honor Oak church: 

Brother Sparks always set great store on "revelation", by which he meant not the original disclosure of truth by inspired writers of the Scriptures, but Spirit-given illumination and insight into what the Word really teaches... Especially in his earlier years, brother Sparks used to lay great emphasis on the need for the inward application of the Cross to the life of the believer. He preached a Gospel of full salvation by simple faith in Christ's sacrifice, but he further stressed that the man who knows cleansing by the blood of Jesus should also allow the same Cross to work in the depths of his soul in order to release him from himself, and lead him into a less carnal and more spiritual walk with God. The Cross is not only painful, it is unifying. Brother Sparks believed and preached that by it the individual believer is not only led into an enlarging personal enjoyment of resurrection life, but also into a true integration into the fellowship of the Church which is Christ's body... It has sometimes happened that Christians most anxious to express this oneness have yet contradicted its spirit by being betrayed into an attitude of superiority towards other Christians, so allowing themselves to be wrongly divided from their fellows in Christ. We here have had to confess our own failures in this respect, realizing that our very eagerness to be faithful to the Scriptural revelation of what the Church ought to be may have unintentionally produced something of a separateness among the people of God. If brother Sparks at times tended in this direction, he certainly moved farther and farther away from it as he came nearer to eternity, being growingly careful to show a proper appreciation of all true believers, whatever their connection. 

Here's the entire article: 'T. A-S.' AN APPRECIATION

www.austin-sparks.net has this to say about T. Austin-Sparks:

Theodore Austin-Sparks was born in London, England in 1888 and was educated in both England and Scotland. At the age of 25 he was ordained as a pastor, however, a few years later his "career" took a decidedly different direction when a spiritual crisis brought him to a place of brokenness and he left the denomination with which he was involved and dropped the title of "Reverend".

Click HERE for the rest of the article.
Comment(s) submitted on "The Ministry"  from our Brother in Christ Jasjit
  BookMinistry.org / Book-Ministry.com
Revelation 3:18 "I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, 
that you may become rich..."
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