Faith In Relation to Life (continued)
I need hardly take you through the Scriptures to see how these two things go together. Much will come to mind as we proceed. I just remind you of the familiar fact that this matter of life bounds the whole Scripture. The Bible opens with the tree of life, and it closes with the tree of life, and that is the great issue from beginning to end. From one angle, as we were saying earlier, the Bible is all about this issue of life as over against death. We find, therefore, as in the case of the other two things - enlargement and establishment - that God has left us in no doubt whatever as to His mind on the matter. He has made it perfectly clear that His thought is life, and life in fullness. So much so that the Lord Jesus, in His coming into this world, reaching with one hand right back to the beginning, and with the other hand right on to the ages of the ages yet to be, declares that He is in that position on one ground and with one purpose: "I am come that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (John 10:10).
Enlargement Depends Upon Life
Now these two things of which we have spoken - enlargement and establishment - are inseparably bound up with this matter of life.
All God's enlargements are by life. We see a parable of this in the work of creation. At the very beginning we find God filling the void, the waste, the emptiness which was the primal state of this world - we find God filling it in every realm in terms of life. His increasing fullness was along the line of life. That is a parable of God's way. Increase and fullness in the Christian life, in the people of God, is always in terms of life. When God adds, it is always additional life. All God's work has the issue that there is more life present than ever there was before. And so progressively, by crises and stages, God is moving with His people - where they will let Him, where they will not waver through unbelief - in the direction of His ultimate fullness on the basis of constantly increasing life.
(continued with # 23 - (Establishment Depends Upon Life)