THE LIE OF THE AGES
BY: NORMAN P. GRUBB
Man was not made to be separated from God, nor indeed from his fellow man. Yet “false separation” is probably the major weakness of God’s people.
Pre-eminently, Man was created spirit to be in union and communion with the Spirit, expressing forth the powers and glories of that inner united life through soul (personality) and body. As created spirit, man was also to be in like union and communion with other created spirits, his brethren, as with the Father of spirits.
But the Fall of man cut the cable. Sin, the fruit of selfishness, broke the communion between man’s spirit and the Holy Spirit, and also between man and man, replacing it with hostility. Man became a self-for-self, fighting for his own ends against other selves, thereby alienating himself from the Father of Selves, God, who is Love, and bond of perfectness. A sense of separation from God replaced a sense of closeness to God; man was henceforward shut in to the puny powers of his individual resources of mind and body, having been seduced by the spirit of disobedience.
Then the Redeemer came, God manifest in the flesh, and made atonement by His outpoured life. He completed the work, taking into His death the totality of sin: root and fruit, the self-attitude along with its consequent criminal acts. Thus Jesus opened the door for all believers to much more than just pardon and reconciliation. It was to our lost heritage of re-union with our Creator that He restored us. It was for the destruction of our sense of separation from God which is the cause of our weakness – that He died.
Jesus gave us the example of the vine and branches to teach us – for the vine and branches are inseparable: one life, one organism. The Holy Ghost through Paul used the further illustration of head and body, which cannot be conceived of as apart. Direct expressions such as “Christ our life,” “Not I, but Christ lives in me,” “Christ is all and in all” bring home the same truth. Each use the strongest language that can be used to define spiritual union and unity.
The error of God’s people stems from Satan’s deception – the lie of the ages. He continues to make it appear to us that there is still this old separation, the fruit of the Fall. God is still away there in heaven, while we are here on earth, whereas the Scripture days that we are raised and seated with Him – in Him in the heavenlies, even as He is in us in the earthlies, a spiritual union beyond adequate description by human language. Satan knows that if he can keep us in the delusion of separation, we are at his mercy, weak in a crisis, wavering in a decision. We feel our weakness and bewail our ignorance, for we see our separate selves and know their limitations and corruption. The best we can do is to call on God to send help from without, and struggle to believe that He will.
If we cast aside the suggestions of Satan, the delusions of our own feelings of separation, the sense of our weakness and ignorance; if we boldly possess our possessions in Christ, draw the sword of the Spirit upon the deceiver, declare by God’s word that we are one with Christ and with one another (one mystic organism, one divine life flowing in and through all): then we are strong by faith, for His strength is in us; we are wise, for His wisdom is ours; and we have love, joy or any other needed grace of the Spirit, for we are permeated with Him. All we need to do is to go forward in this faith, as having and possessing, and we shall find that what is true in the realm o9f the Spirit, through our faith, becomes manifest in the realm of the senses, whether it be power, love, joy, knowledge, or any other needed resource. Christ the head thus becomes manifest in the through His members.
We replace the lie of the ages – false separation from God – with the truth of our realized union with God, which alone is abundant and eternal life.
LIE OF THE AGES, THE [Norman P. Grubb] 1