"Some better thing."

J. N. Darby.

"God, having provided some better thing for us," Christians.

{Words of Help 1927, Vol. 16, p. 203.}

The church is a body, called out during the time the Lord Jesus is rejected upon earth; we belong to a rejected Christ, our lot is cast in with God's Son, whom the world has cast out. This characterises the "better things" referred to by the apostle when, speaking of the Old Testament saints, he says "God having provided some better thing for us" (Heb. 11:40).

The special company to which Christians belong is the better thing. There will be the display of the church in eternity: "That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:7). Whatever place Christ has in heaven or on earth the church has and will have with Him; if He is rejected, as now, she has the place of rejection too; when He shall reign, she shall reign also. A wonderful thing is the better thing as to our standing and state in the glory, but all we can say to it is, that it is of God's sovereign grace!

Now, before the church could exist as the body of Christ, according to God's ways, Christ as Messiah must first have been rejected by His people the Jews, be received up into heaven, and the Holy Ghost be sent down to form the body. It would not have been possible, save only in the counsels of God (Eph 1:4), for the body to have existed before Christ, as the Messiah was rejected.

In the epistles you have clear statements of what the body is and how it is organized. The body of Christ is declared to be one. "For we are members of His body." "The body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ." "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another " "But that the members should have the same care one for another." "We are members one of another." "And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you" (1 Cor. 12).

It is not sufficient for you to be interested in Christ alone, to the exclusion of the church. He is the Head of His body, and you cannot separate the Head from the body; it would he death. God is interested in the body of Christ, and the scriptures tell you what the body of Christ is and how it is governed.

In the present age there is the body upon this earth, forming for the Lord's glory, to be His companion in the glory; and this one body is the church of God; that even as the first Adam had his Eve, so the last Adam has His. "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Eph. 5:32). "The bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 21:9).

In the epistle to the Ephesians the apostle is instructing the Ephesians that they belong to a new family, a family they had never heard of before, a family whose design had been "hid in God. " God had created all things; but there, he tells them, is something which for manifest reasons, had been "hid." The Spirit of God in this epistle, as also in other epistles, brings out the wonderful calling of the church, the wonders of God's resources; "the manifold wisdom of God." It is, therefore, now no longer a mystery, and christians should not be ignorant of the special place and blessing with which God had blessed them.

These, then, are the christian's guides; not the glory in the cloud, or in the tabernacle, or in the temple, as was presented to God's people in the past age; but the Saviour in the glory, and the written word, and the Holy Ghost down here. The real point of the christian's position is that he professes to see the truth of the church of God, that God is visiting the Jews and Gentiles, and gathering out a people to His name - that God is preparing a bride for His Son. The bride, the one body, characterizes the present age, nor is there any excuse for the christian not to own this truth.