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judgment, by God's reckoning you through grace one with the Christ that died and was buried; and if you have, SECONDLY, been associated in life with the Christ who dies no more, over whom death has no dominion, who lives unto God; why then, THIRDLY, there is a present acting by you upon this being reckoned of God free from sin and this life together with Christ communicated to you, viz. a life here below, according to the life of Christ Himself—as Paul said to me to live is Christ and cording to the life now hidden with Christ in God; which, when it shall appear, shall alone, without let or hindrance, shine in us, and shine fully. Having already gone elsewhere into the force of this reckoning of ourselves to be dead unto sin, I do not rest upon it now: my subject being, "If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him ” (ver. 8).
I would, however, just notice a few things:
1st. The positive unqualified statement of ver. 13: the hands of the clock are to give the true time; a Christian life is to be manifest to all; not merely right affections, happy thoughts, but a life, outside life, which will speak for God.
2ndly. The positive declaration of ver. 14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” With the fair deduction that the soul under grace is more cut off from sin and shut up to good works than a soul under law.
We do not serve Adam But we serve Christ with with law,
grace, sin, and
obedience, and death,
righteousness. Holiness and fruit-bearing, and eternal life are ours; “Who boast that though the wages of sin is death-the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I cannot here enter upon the chapters vii. and viii.; they hardly fall within my subject, though they are deeply interesting, and throw immense light upon what this life of Christ in us is not connected with, and what it is connected with; and how it works amid all the difficulties found in us and around; difficulties of Satan, and of the world in God's past and present dealings dis
pensationally on earth; and how, too, this life has its own proper range and sphere in Christ, who sits on a throne, under which all the counsels of God for eternity, and heaven, and all the plans and covenants of God for earth and time, roll. Yes; our life is in Him, who is in God; and all God's counsels and plans roll around, and are subject to Him in whom our life is, who Himself is life (happy, blessed people that we are!). He is the object of them all. Oh that the Lord our God would open wide our hearts, to understand his praise, and to taste the sweetness of that place of Confidante which He has assigned to the Church.
In conclusion, I would remark, there is something unutterably blessed, but withal solemn, in the thought of being a vessel, a member, in which the life of Christ is displayed. Is this my present call and work, to display, here below, the life which is in Christ, as to which Christ is the fountain-source, myself but a channel? And what, if Satan and the world oppose, and if the body has to be reckoned dead? Shall I only comfort myself with the thoughts that soon, in the Father's house on high (the Spirit all pervading), this life shall (in how little a while) have free, and full, and perfect course? No. I have more than this; I can joy and rejoice, not only in what the life will be in courts above, but, in one sense, more purely and more unselfishly, and in the most divine and Christ-like way; I can rejoice, I say, in all these wilderness sorrows and conflicts, which the life brings to me with it. It is fellowship with Christ's own self; it is the realization of the best part of the blessing, apart from the circumstances of joy.
“It is a faithful saying: for if we be dead with Him (Christ Jesus), we shall also live with Him” (2 Tim. ii. 11). So much of what has just been said upon the third text applies to this, that little remains to be added. In Romans, the apostle was laying down the theory, the foun
dations of the doctrine of the Christian faith. In writing to Timothy, he takes up the practice, the superstructure of a life so built; and, as the times were difficult, stirs him up to enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. His life we have; with Him we expect to live and to reign when we come home to Him—till then, the world under Satan, and heavenly places preoccupied with foes-assure us of suffering if we walk as He, whose life we have, walked here below.
Ev oủv kakota Oncov thou, therefore, endure hardness, is almost the key-note of this letter, chap. i. 8, 12, chap. ii. 3, 9, chap. iv. 5; and this flows out of the life of Christ, possessed now in circumstances, and amid power strangely contrasted with, and opposed to, itself. The circumstances and the powers around, are adverse to the life; but the life of Jesus Christ is already in and he that has it can say, in the power of it, I choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God and of Christ, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. May we, then, endure hardness, as the good soldiers of Jesus Christ, for the little of that, “yet a little while,” which remains. Even so. Come, Lord Jesus.
If, what the Spirit states by Paul is, that " quickened TOGETHER WITH Christ” (Eph.ii.3, Col. ii. 13), then, clearly, we have one life in common with Him. Not, He possessed of one kind of life, held in one kind of way, and we of another kind of life, held in another kind of way; but one life possessed in one and the same way; for we were quickened together with Himself.
It was a life taken by Himself — upon earth, in the grave — taken by, with, and in perfect divine power. A life not subject to death (Rom. vi. 9, Rev. i. 15), nor in us to corruption (1 Pet. i. 23). That it has been, as yet, comparatively little displayed by and in Himself upon earth, since His taking of it, is true; in Him its chief display has been in heaven. Yet this matters not: in Him it has been seen in action among His disciples, He being upon earth (John xx and xxi., Acts i., &c.).
Now that He has left the earth and abides " the little while” in heaven, He is there as Son of man, and in
terested in what passes down here. He showed it in Stephen's martyrdom, often in connexion with Paul, and does so constantly, as we see at the close of Heb. iv., to the feeblest of His disciples. He will return to earth to show it forth again here, in narrower circumstances, which are to be more limited than those of His present position-more restricted to earth.
In us, it never is separated from Himself. It acts in us down here, but turns us to the heaven where He is; acts in us to make us know ourselves as members of a body, the Head of which is in heaven; acts in us, poor channels of blessing, which it fills as itself ever flowing ceaselessly down from Himself, the alone Fountain-Head. That He is God over all blessed for ever, must never be forgotten: yet we have a life in common with Him as Son of Man, He having taken His life again as man, in other circumstances, and in other connections, than He had it at first.
And what is most peculiar of all to us is, not that the liberty from all condemnation which is His should be ours; not that we should be graced in Him the beloved; not that we should have experiences and prospects in common with Him, but that the objects and motives which influenced Him in His highest acts, are the objects and motives which influence this life in us. As Paul most abundantly shows in Phil. ii. " Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus,” &c. “For it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” &c.
"You tell me I am dying, and urge me to say whether or not I think that I am going to heaven. - What is the heaven you mean?”—“ To be with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and to be with Him - for ever and ever is what I mean by heaven.”
It has been much the fashion, of late, to extol and set forth the peculiar advantages of our day and generation. It has been advanced, that the spirit of inquiry is generally diffused, that objects of utility engross attention, that the industrial classes are advancing in the scale of social improvement, and, in fact, that the world is decidedly and steadily marching onward to a pitch of civilization never yet attained in the former ages of its history.
There are those who seek to counteract this movement, and set up old-fashioned prejudices as a sort of breakwater against them. Men of one idea, which, if threatened with destruction, have no other to replace it with. There are again others who are seeking to combine the old and new together. Men of a past age, who were fast when the world was slow, now find themselves out of breath in the efforts to keep pace with the present. And again, there are others who are going with the stream,
and think they are progressing, because they are going fast, and that they are making good speed, because they are rushing onwards.
That we live in exciting times no one can for a moment doubt; that we live in eventful times will be readily granted, and that there is a fast spirit abroad, and a hurry and excitement in everything is apparent; but we need the word of caution not to allow the times, nor the events either, to be so uppermost in our thoughts as to displace the due consideration of our own conduct in them. A man in a house which was on fire, would be well occupied in seeking his own safety and getting out of it. A man on a plain, threatened with inundation, would do well to make for rising ground. To be occupied with the progress of the flames or the rapid increase