The New Order

Philippians 2:5‑17  •  13 min. read  •  grade level: 7
HI 2:5-17{I HAVE read this Scripture, beloved friends, because it describes the new order of manhood which distinguishes Christianity: that He who "thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made himself of no reputation, took upon him the form of a servant, and-became obedient unto death." I am struck with the thought, that we do not get on the real ground, until we lay hold of the fact, that God has brought in an entirely new order of things with the second Man.
If, as it is brought out in John's gospel, we* say that " the Word was made flesh," everyone will accept it; but mere acceptance of the fact of the incarnation is not all. As I look at the widespread ruin, what is the sweetest thought I have got about the God with whom I have to-do? It is, that not only Christ has gone to the cross, but that' 'he has made the ruin his own care; that He has met the ruin of this world, and redeemed us to God by His blood. And our proper path, as being one with Christ, is to walk with God in this new order of creation, in the power of resurrection, by the Holy Ghost, with a single eye, and a body full- of light, as new creatures.
Before the-fall, God walked with Adam in the garden in the cool of the day. Before the flood, Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God had taken him. The intercourse may have varied, and the path too; but God would not be alone, nor leave himself without a witness in the midst of men upon the earth. Noah, as " a preacher of righteousness," was brought out into it with his ark, when that world was at its worst.
And, in the world that now is, God has even come closer to men, and called one and another out to "walk before Him," as a proof that He had neither given up the creature nor the creation; but that He might tell them in various ways how He would connect Himself with them in their ruin, and finally establish them in full and abiding blessing, when " the fullness of the time should come " for Him to send forth His own Son.
If I look through the little “hole in the wall," at Sodom, there was an extraordinary man upon the earth at that time-Abraham. If you turn to the eighteenth of Genesis, you read: “I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went towards Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth, do right? And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the plate for their sakes:"
I refer to this, that we may see that God had to deal with sin on the earth; any other dealing than this, as " the Judge of the- earth in. righteous government, will not do. He does not come down to go through the length and breadth of the earth, but He says, I take a sample of it; I just look through a hole in the wall to see what the state of things is in the cities which men have built.
It is important to notice here hew. Abraham speaks of God as " the Judge of the whole earth. Who appeared to Abraham? Stephen says "The God of glory:" Abraham -recognizes the God of glory, to be also the Judge of the earth—of that out of which he himself had been delivered—by-grace and calling, in hope of the coming glory of God.
Will that do for you and me? this Sodom and Gomorrah character of the world, and the man of faith and friend of God outside it? How God loved to have then a man outside a beautiful link for us to the Man now outside it, sitting on the Father's throne, and Head-of the new creation.
The intercession of Abraham, the friend of God, failed to deliver Sodom from the impending judgment. How could-he connect the Judge of the earth, in delivering mercy, with sin and wickedness? Where was the " Day's-man," as an adequate basis? Abraham could see the missing link, and by faith look on to Christ's day; but all the world could not. supply the righteous man. /However in the record of Stephen,. in. the seventh of Acts, he can easily, connect- the glory of God and the Judge of the, earth together, as lie looked through the opened heavens, and saw the Lamb slain, and the Intercessor, in the person of " the Son of man, standing on the right hand of God."
I leave Abraham and at Moses, letting the record of God's ways with man on earth light up the world through which I am passing; just as the rainbow in Genesis took its color from the heavens. It is a blessed thing to know that this earth is going to be for God yet. Well, if I turn to Moses, I find that when God called him to be forty days up in the mount with Himself, He told him that it was what he brought down from heaven that he was to set up upon earth. There was to be a wonderful thing constructed upon this desert earth- "A Sanctuary."
Then when he came down, and looked at that wretched calf, after which the people had turned aside, what could Moses do but the finest thing that ever man did? He says: I break the tables in the presence of that which broke the law; and he takes the tent and pitches it “outside the camp." Then he goes up again into the mount and says, There is the want of propitiation now. Where did he get that thought but from above He says: “Blot me out of thy book." But that would never do the holiness of God is in contrast now with the calf,' just as before the righteousness of God had been outraged by the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But neither the intercession of the friend of God, nor the proposals of Moses on behalf" of Israel can avail. Abraham failed to find ten righteous persons'; and " the peradventure” of Moses, " I shall
make an atonement for your sin," was as useless. So the Word that was with God, and was God, has come down and says, I connect myself with the ruin. And as trace his path on the earth, and on the cross, and hear Him say, It is finished," I sing, “Victory! 'His be the Victor's name!"
And what has this blessed One done for God? —the God Who looked through the heavens down, into the dark places of this earth. Did Christ join -Himself to the ruin?. Not only that, but " God so loved the world that He gave His -only begotten Son." What I seek is, that we may see how God waited; how he came down to see the state of things, first at Babel, then at Sodom; how he followed man on until it came to the time when the Son of His own bosom had to come out, unless God must be known only as the God of judgment-the " Judge of the whole earth." Give the fact its place, and, if you do, give it its place, you will—see what a- mighty place it is-that God has in this way, made the ruin of this-world His own concern.- If it were not so I could not preach the gospel that.," God was in Christ, reconciling the world, unto him- self, not imputing their trespasses unto them."
Now, if you turn to the first of Matthew, you will-see that Christ not only connected Himself with the ruin of creation, but also with the race of man. The man, the woman, and the ground-all of them were under the curse, and at a distance from God. And the grave and condemnation, they never can be set' aside, unless," the Man who is my Fellow," can, come in 'to be death's destruction: But God has connected Himself through grace in Christ with the ruin, in all the extent of it. Just look how the Son of God, by His birth, joins Himself to the human race. These are things that angels desire to look into, and yet we just give a glance at them, and think no more about them.
We read: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham." We get here the two most remarkable persons, upon earth, Abraham and David; and the Son of God made flesh. As Son of Abraham he linked Himself with the descendants of Abraham; and as Son of David He linked Himself with the descendants of David-that David whose " house was not right with God," and which waits for the return of David's Lord to put it right, according to the " everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure."
Is it nothing to us to see this blessed One thus coming down to be linked with Abraham and the promises, and, as the Word made flesh, to charge Himself with all the ruin of the nation, or the throne and the kingdom? There is not a thing, and there must not be a thing omitted or left, now that that blessed One has come in, as the provided Lamb of God. He has not only taken all hindrances away, but He has established blessing in doing so. The One whose thoughts are from everlasting to everlasting says: It has not entered into your hearts to conceive the blessing that I have prepared for you with the Man yonder. Have you looked at that Marl in glory yonder? Nature is beggared, and it ought to be in such a presence!
Thus God connects Himself with the race by the incarnation of His Son, and Christ connects Himself with the ruin by the shedding of His blood. God cannot join Himself to us in delivering power except through the Son of His love. I cannot do without the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost on my behalf for eternal life and glory.
And now, if I come to look at Him, and see what He was as He walked in the gospel of John as the light of the world, it is not " a hole in the wall " by which we look through at the evil in man's city as in Abraham's day, or at " the chambers of imagery " in the times of Ezekiel. It is the heavens which have folded themselves back as a curtain to look down upon the only begotten of the Father, and what a sight that is for us! "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." We get in the gospels the glory of God in the person of Jesus the Christ, in all the ways by which He displayed Himself to the eyes and hearts of men, as He acquainted Himself with their wretchedness and guilt in a ruined world, till He exceeded Himself by going to the cross, that He might bear it all in righteous judgment, and roll it away forever by His death.
As He rises from the grave, and ascends to the right hand of God, He carries up what? A record of our sins? No, but His own blood. It is another order of man that God brings in now, and therefore another order of creation too, for He must have a creation worthy of Himself: He is the beginning of the new creation of God. I get the history too of the man who fell, and the creation which went after him. Who then is to deliver that creation? Who is it who will bring it back to God without so much as a stain upon it? And if there be a tear, only that God may wipe it away!-Are there tears here? Oh think of what it is to have a tear in His bottle-tears the result of suffering for Him in the world which has rejected Him
And now I come to the third point. I cannot get all this “passing out of death into life " in the risen One, without a new revelation from God by the Holy Ghost. As sure as ever the Son goes up, the Spirit comes down to carry out this new testimony of our Lord. God raises Him up, and seats Him at His own right hand, and immediately the Spirit of His Son is sent down as the witness. What for? To join Himself to you as new creatures in Christ. It is not any longer joining Himself to the ruin; but it is God dwelling in those whom He has already brought out of it to Himself, though the cross of His Son. He must put His seal upon the fact; He must send down the Holy Ghost to seal those who are His through Christ. Now God joins Himself to men in Christ; and, thus joining us to His Son by the Holy Ghost, He brings us into oneness with Himself; " He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
In conclusion let me say, that we have in Philippians the new order of man upon earth, and there is no order now for' you or for me, other than this beginning of the new creation of God. The Holy Ghost comes down and joins Himself to the ruin? Not at all! But: I will be the power of the mighty God in you who believe, so that all you have to do is “to work out your own salvation " here where you are; for Philippians especially recognizes us down here.
Now how does power prove itself? If I take the figure of a steamship, how will the power of the engines prove itself? There must be a storm; and, as she makes her way through the waves and the winds; power displays itself; on she goes, and, as I see the spray over her funnel, I say: She is working out her 'salvation; she goes through the storm, and she gets to the port and runs up her flag.
In Philippians we get the mind of Christ coming out in a man on earth; “my God " supplying all his need. If He says He will supply “all my need," it is that I may prove " the riches of His glory" as the unfailing source. And if He says we must have the sufferings of this little while-why, what if flesh and blood do fail? and they will-thank God, nothing else will fail: Christ has joined Himself to the vessel in the storm, " according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
“At that day ye shall know -that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."