The subject of life is enormous and most interesting. It may be viewed from many different standpoints and in varied relations all of which call for thoughtful consideration. There is, however, one on which I would briefly touch, which has a voice to the child of God, as to no one else. Christ is the life of the Christian. As a man living on earth he has natural life—one which gives character to his condition as such; but beyond that, he is, as a Christian, animated by another life, which, in the very nature of things produces a display of its own special features and qualities, quite distinct from those of natural life. Not that there need be any clash between them, for the natural life may, and should, be dominated by the spiritual, or, rather, by the Spirit of God who is its power.
It is a wonderful thought that, while Christ is the life of the Christian, the Holy Spirit of God is the energizing power of it. We are, alas, aware of the degrading tendencies of the nature common to us all, as fallen—tendencies which are abhorrent to every right-thinking man, and still more so to the Christian who alone has learned, to his cost, that “in the flesh there dwells no good thing,” nor ever can. That nature—“the flesh”—he detests, because he finds that it lusts, unintermittently, against the Spirit, in an antagonism that never ceases, although, thank God, the Spirit wages war—and victoriously, if only we allow Him—against the flesh, so that we should not yield to our natural depravity. Here are complexities which the truly exercised soul alone can understand, though in different degrees they are familiar to all God’s children.
None the less, Christ is our life!
This is largely the theme of the Epistle to the Colossians, and is worthy of study. It is a victorious life, because it is that of Christ risen, and ourselves raised with Him. We stand on the right bank of the river in triumph, while the conquest of the land lies before us. As risen with Christ we are to seek the things that are above—that is our sole occupation—for “You are dead and your life is hid [where?] with Christ [but where?] in God.” That life is therefore perfectly and for ever secure, without the faintest possibility of its being lost; so completely so, that “when Christ, our life, shall appear, we shall also appear with Him in glory”! Solid facts these! Christ risen, victorious, triumphant, all powerful in the life of the Christian!
Well, but what follows? What should inevitably follow? “Mortify therefore your members.” You have a life all powerful—one that should and can put to death—mortify—the uprising of every internal and rebellious power, as assuredly inferior to the power of the Christ who, as life, dwells in us. This will produce the display of the life of Christ—none so exquisite—in all who love and are loyal to Him.
“Oh! teach us so the power to know
Of risen life with Thee;
Not we may live while here below,
But Christ our life may be.”
Scripture unfolds itself when you look to God and study it. There is no true Christianity where Christ is not everything.
It is by the Word that we live in this passing world, and it clearly reveals to us the things that are not passing, the heavenly things.