Tuesday, December 26, 2006

J.N. Darby on Christ the Heir

by John Nelson Darby

It is on this gathering together of all things unto Christ and in Christ, as their Head (Greek, anakephalaiosis- heading up), that depends the character and the substance of the hope of the church, until God be all in all. In this point of view, Scripture speaks of Christ manifested, as being Heir of all these things, and of the church as being joint-heir with Him. Thus it is written, that God has appointed Christ "heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2); that in Him, "we have obtained an inheritance" (Eph 1:11); that "we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ," Rom. 8:17. This glorious title of Christ- the Heir- has a still more glorious origin. He is "the firstborn of every creature, for by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth... and for him," Col. 1:15, 16. The church, the children of God, are therefore joint-heirs with Christ. How are they such? It is this which we are about to develop. Christ receives the inheritance in His character of man, of risen Man, once our companion in sufferings because of sin, and then the Head, the root and the spring of blessing.

We must first remark that the first Adam, "the figure of Him that was to come," is a type and figure of the Second Adam of whom we are now speaking. He is referrd to in this respect in Ephesians 5:30, 31. Before His manifestation, the last Adam is, as it were, hidden, as the first Adam was buried in sleep (Darby later questioned this analogy- D.F); Eve, who prefigures the church, is taken from his side, and God presents her to him as the help meet for him, to be his companion in the government and the inheritance of all things given to him of God in paradise.

Thus Christ, who is God as well as man, presents the church to Himself, when He awakes in His glory, that it may share that glory with Him and that dominion which He already poseses in title and by the gift of God, "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them," John 17:22.

Adam and Eve, taken collectively, are called Adam, as if they were but one (Gen. 1:27, 5:2), although in a strict sense, Eve was inferior to her husband, and had come after him. So it is with Christ and the church, who are but one mystical body. This type, familiar to those who read the Scriptures, presents, in a most simple way, all the forms of the reality prefigured, with this expression, that the Second Man, being 'out of heaven' (1 Cor. 15:47), is also Head and Lord of the heavenly things.

Taken from The Purpose of God in Collected Writings of J.N. Darby, vol.1, p.268-269

Sunday, December 24, 2006

At a risk of being boiled with my own pudding and having a sprig of Holly skewered through my heart, I am going to say:

Merry Christmas

Or Merry Saturnalia to all you Jehovah's Witnesses and any like-minded extreme KJV-Fundamentalists who want to enjoy having a family holiday but do not want to get tangled in any pagan stuff.

By the way, a lot of people get slippers as a Christmas present. It is one of those things that makes a great present (provided you know the recipient's shoe-size). If you do, please take it as a sign that you really ought to make your home a shoe-free zone. It will certainly make for a more relaxed atmosphere during the holiday season.

Have a clean and godly Christmas this year.