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"Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?"—Matt. 20:22.
"The cup which my Father hath given me shall I not drink it?"—John 18:11.
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion [koinonia, partnership or participation—Strong's Concordance] of the blood of Christ?"—I Cor. 10:16.
St. Paul knew of only two cups—the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils.—I Cor. 10:21.
Did our Lord drink of his own cup? And was it his cup which he passed to his disciples? And is it not this cup in which we must have "participation" if we would sit with him in his throne, and share also in due time his cup of joy in the Kingdom?
If our Lord did not participate in his own cup, but gave it all to us (his Church) to drink, in what sense would it be his cup which the Father poured for him and in which he allows us to participate?
Let no man beguile you from the prize by voluntarily (without reason) submitting to and reverencing as messengers (of Truth those who thus far have given no evidence of teaching ability in that God never sent you any message through them). They are merely intruding into what they admit they have not seen. Their fleshly mind being vainly puffed up they fail to hold the Headship of the Lord and the membership of the Church as his Body. They fail to recognize that "God hath set the various members in the Body of Christ." Hence they fail to see that the "Body" having nourishment, eating of the living bread and drinking of the cup, is knitted together and "increaseth with the increase of God."—Col. 2:18,19.
Some dear friends think that we are laying too much stress on the importance of our drinking of the cup of which our Lord drank. The above quotation shows that our Lord laid similar stress on it. Neither James nor John nor any one can sit on His throne unless he drink of Christ's cup. Our opponents make a serious error in thinking that the Lord's "cup" symbolizes justification. On the contrary, only the justified by faith are privileged to drink of His cup. The cup symbolizes the means of our sanctification, by which we exchange our justified earthly rights for the heavenly inheritance and joint-heirship.
The Apostles, when invited to drink of the cup, were already justified by faith—counted, like Abraham and others of the past, worthy of actual restitution under Israel's New Law Covenant when the due time should arrive. But they could not actually drink of the Redeemer's cup and be "baptised with his baptism" "into his [sacrificial] death" until he as their Advocate should appear in the presence of God for them. Then the holy Spirit at once came upon them recognizing them as Christ's "members"—his "brethren," his fellow or joint-sacrifices, who have a share or participation in his cup.
All the sufferings of Christ are sacrificial. "As he is, so are we in this world." (I John 4:17.) The sufferings of the Head are the sufferings of the Body and the sufferings of the Body are the sufferings of the Christ as a whole. "If one member suffers all the members suffer with it."
Our opponents who are losing their sight on this subject answer, that our sufferings are not like those of our Lord, because his were sacrificial, whilst ours are expiatory or because of our sins and weaknesses. Nay, we answer. St. Peter says that some indeed suffer as busybodies and evildoers; but he declares, "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him glorify God on this behalf." A Christian suffers as Christ suffered, not for his sins, but for his right-doing. Jesus was just, we are justified by faith. He consecrated his just self to death in obedience to God's invitation. We in obedience to the same invitation consecrate our justified selves to be dead with him, to be baptised with his death-baptism, to drink of his sacrificial cup and by partaking of it to become his "members" in glory and participators in the work of his Mediatorial Kingdom.