Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gazing into the Cross

We do not preach our impressions, or even our experience.  These make but the vehicle, as it were.  What we preach is something much more solid, more objective, with more stay in it; something that can suffice when our experience has ebbed until it seems to be as low as Christ's was in the great desertion and victory on the Cross. We want something that will stand by us when we cannot feel any more; we want a Cross we can cling to, not simply a subjective Cross. That is to put the thing in another way, what we want today is an insight into the Cross.

You see I am making a distinction between impression and insight.  It is a useful part of the church's work, for instance, that it should act by means of revival services, where perhaps the dominant element may be temporary impression.  But unless that is taken up and turned to account by something more, all know how evanescent a thing it is apt to be. We need, not simply to be impressed by Christ, but to see into Christ and into his Cross.  We need to deepen the impression until it become new life by seeing into Christ.  There are certain circumstances in which we may be entitled to declare that we do not want so many people who glibly say they love Jesus; we want more people who can really see into Christ. We do, of course, want more people who love Jesus; but we want a multitude of more people who are not satisfied with that, but whose love fills them with holy curiosity and compels them habitually to cultivate in the Spirit the power of seeing into Christ and into this Cross....Insight is what we want for power - less of mere interest and more of real insight.  There are some people who talk as though, when we speak of the Cross and the meaning of the Cross, we were spinning something out of the Cross. Paul was not spinning anything out of the Cross.  He was gazing into the Cross, seeing what was really there with eyes that had been unsealed and purged by the Holy Ghost.

From pages 67/8 of P T Forsyth's The Work of Christ.
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