G. V. Wigram.
Christian Friend, vol. 8, 1881, p. 127.
What is the character of testimony we have to bear in the present day?
There are certain principles which are alike as connected with testimony in all ages. There has been a testimony of God, and for God, from the beginning. Out of the ruins of the fall there were things that God would take up, and bring out a testimony for Himself. Then arises the question, Who can bear testimony for God but God Himself? And those who are witnesses for Him are those who have learned that "all flesh is grass." There is a certain word that is peculiarly dear to God — SON — the only-begotten of the Father. In Ephesians the Son is connected with the Father's house and the Father's bosom. That Son is to have a certain place which He would share with poor sinners saved by grace.
Look at the Son rejected on earth by Jews and Gentiles; and God saying, "They will not have Him on earth, but I will give Him a place at my right hand, and then I will send down the Spirit by which they can call me Abba, Father." Think of that! I am set here, not to be saved, but to be a witness of the Father's love to me in Christ. Seeing how Christ can say, "Abba, Father," I can say, "Abba, Father." God leaves you down here to show what a son of the Father is, what the Father's heart is, what the Son of the Father is! If I am but to be a witness of the Father's love to me in Christ, seeing how Christ can say, "Abba, Father," I can say, "Abba, Father." God leaves you down here to show what a son of the Father is, what the Father's heart is, what the Son of the Father is. If I am not that, I am short of the mark. Testimony for Christ does not consist in separating from this bit of worldliness and that, but in manifesting the spirit of sons. If I am here as a witness, it is clear that the relationship has existed before. Your starting-point is, that you are inside the house. You are children, those whom the Lord Jesus can call brethren. Directly I begin with that (perfect liberty indeed), I say, Who is sufficient for these things? I have my sonship made known to myself, and every step of the way must be in that spirit of sonship by the direct operation of the Spirit of God Himself. What we have to seek after, what to separate from, what the difficulties of the path, and what the joys, are four points to be considered in connection with this testimony for God. The Lord Jesus was separate from sinners purely and perfectly for God. When God is acting in us, who have bodies of sin and death, all the things around we find against us, therefore we are in conflict.
Testimony or witness is merely what we show out. What we have to show out is, that we have a birthright, and onward to heaven in our path God has to put down the little world SELF, which is making itself comfortable with things around and shutting out God. The testimony for the present day, then, is specially one of sonship; and another thing to be remembered is, that testimony must always be a real thing, because a witness is that which God is showing now in grace what we shall have eternally. We have to show the reality of this life which is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The breaking down we get here as saved ones is all connected with that. To walk in simplicity as a child with a father my will. must be refused. (Phil. 2:13-15.) For me to live is Christ; Paul was a dead man, bearing a living Christ. (Eph. 4:10.) It has been often remarked that a saint rejoices in the value of the blood at the beginning of his career, then he goes on to learn other truths, and the blood is less prominent in his thoughts; but as he nears the end the blood is again the uppermost in his mind, and it is said this shows that the leading truth with which be begins is the one with which he ends, and other truths are spoken of disparagingly. But I believe it is in a different way the blood is looked at in the beginning and at the end of a saint's career. It is my value of the blood at first, it is God's value of the blood at the end, so that there is acquisition of new truth in this case about the blood. G. V. W.