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More Than Conquerors Through Him

We only see history back to the Fall. God sees it from the beginning. There was something in God’s mind before the Fall, and in the ages to come that thing is to be fully realized. God knew all about sin and redemption; yet in His great purpose for the Church set forth in Genesis 2 there is no view of sin. It is as though (to speak in finite terms) He leaps in thought right over the whole story of redemption and sees the Church in future eternity, having a ministry and a (future) history which is altogether apart from sin and wholly of God. It is the Body of Christ in glory, expressing nothing of fallen man but only that which is the image of the glorified Son of man. This is the Church that has satisfied God’s heart and has attained dominion.

In Ephesians 5 we stand within the history of redemption, and yet through grace we still have this eternal purpose of God in view as expressed in the statement that He will ‘present unto himself a glorious Church’. But now we note that the water of life and the cleansing Word are needed to prepare the Church (now marred by the Fall) for presentation to Christ in glory. For now there are defects to be remedied and wounds to be healed. And yet how precious is the promise and how gracious are the words used of her: “not having spot”—the scars of sin, whose very history is now forgotten; “or wrinkle”—the marks of age and of time lost, for all is now made up and all is new; and “without blemish”—so that Satan or demons or men can find no ground for blame in her.

This is where we are now. The age is closing, and Satan’s power is greater than ever. Our warfare is with angels and principalities and powers (Rom. 8:38; Eph. 6:12) who are set to withstand and destroy the work of God in us by laying many things to the charge of God’s elect. Alone we could never be their match, but what we alone cannot do the Church can. Sin, self-reliance and individualism were Satan’s master-strokes at the heart of God’s purpose in man, and in the Cross God has undone them. As we put our faith in what He has done—in “God that justifieth” and in “Christ Jesus that died” (Rom. 8:33, 34)—we present a front against which the very gates of Hades shall not prevail. We, His Church, are “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

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