Notes and Jottings
J. N. Darby.
Take the woman in the city that was a sinner. Christ is revealed to her, and she feels the horribleness of her sins, but she goes to Christ and touches Him. The love of Christ has got into her. If she cannot show her face to a decent person, she can shew herself to One who was the manifestation of the divine.
The Syrophenician woman owns that she has not a title to anything; but she says there is love enough in God's heart to give to dogs. She was a dog in the presence of the One who had come to the dogs. All is out before God, and all is out in her conscience, too.
God does not say, Come to Me because you are a sinner; but, I come to you because you are a sinner.
The first part of this chapter belongs to the former part of the epistle, and it expresses the joy of the forgiveness of sins.
Do you think Christ bore your sins up to the day when you were converted?
The believer has peace with God, but not by believing in his own acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. In preaching the gospel, I never say that the work is done if you accept it. God has accepted it, not you.
When you preach the death of Christ, you are preaching the good of the sinner, but when you preach the Son of God, Jesus Christ, you are preaching the value of His Person; to leave out the Person is to lose sight of the claim of that Person over one.
Ques. "As he is in the light," 1 John 1. What is this?
It means, as "completely revealed"; but mark, it is not there, according to the light.
"In Christ," is individual, in Romans; it is not unity. "He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit" is in individual unity, not in unity at large.
92 As we are all one with the Lord, it results in our unity.
It is a fact that I have died with Christ, and that Christ is as really my life as when I had life from Adam. Faith appropriates it.
Ques. What is the "law of the Spirit of life"?
It is the uniform principle of the Spirit of life, just as you speak of the law of gravity.
In chapter 7 you have a quickened soul; and the more he is in the sense of that, the more miserable he is.
In verses 2, 3 and 11 of our chapter, you have the same word, 'rejoice,' in the Greek.
You do learn by experiences, and when you have been well pulled to pieces by them, then you will be able to say, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
Man's spirit reasons from what we are upward to God, i.e.; from what I am, to what God will be. The Holy Ghost always reasons downwards from what God is.
Suppose you and I had got up to the highest pitch of spirituality, the thing that we should then delight in in God, is His love as shown in His dealings with the vilest sinner that can been found.
When you come to deal with individuals, you will find that there is a due time for dealing with each one.
There is an old proverb that says the man who learns by another's experience is happy; but that the one who learns by his own, is wise.
Do you say, I ought to be holy, and that if I did but strive I should be so? Strive away then, and wretched you will be!
Ques. What of "the law," in chapter 7?
The article 'the' is the sign of abstraction, in Greek, as well as being definite when the thing has been spoken of before. I believe the law to be a perfect rule of life for man in the flesh, and with that I include the sabbath.
Ques. Why does Paul refer to the law in Ephesians 6?
Because he is calling attention to the importance God attaches to the obedience of children. When God is giving directions in this respect, the law comes in there, though now, we have a much higher motive.
We know that the law is spiritual; but when the law says, you must not have a lust in your heart, you must not covet (the same word in Greek), well, then, I may as well give up, for I have lust. You might as well say to me, I must not be a man.
93 The Jews thought the law was all outside, but when Paul's mind is opened by the Spirit of God, he says, "We know that the law is spiritual."
According to the doctrine of the Council of Trent, if lust is in you, and it is not yielded to, then it is not sin!
I want to do what is right, and I have found that the evil nature in me is not "I"; and if it is not "I," it is nevertheless too strong for "I." Then I must get some one to help me. Sin is not "I," and sin is too strong for "I."
Ques. Is not 1 John 5:16 connected with James 5?
It is the same kind of thing. Popery has turned governmental forgiveness into absolute forgiveness. Absolute forgiveness is so little known, even among Evangelicals.
Ques. Could such a case as in James 5 occur now?
Yes, it might happen; only you cannot call them elders of the church in any official sense now.
Ques. Would you use oil?
If they asked for it, not else. Oil was a sign, that is all. It is the prayer of faith that saves, not the oil; the faith of the elders.
Elias teaches us another thing; that was a public act, in faith, and there is not a word about praying in the narrative.
John 15 is connection with Christ on earth. Judas was a branch. It is not members of the body of Christ.
You cannot say that Ananias and Sapphira were not converted, for God came in.
Ques. What might he be "sick" for?
I do not know. Paul got his chastening to hinder him from sinning. It may be to correct carelessness, or a thousand things.
Once, flesh was the only I, and now I do not own it as "I." Then what is "I"? Christ is I.
"Keepeth himself" is, you must be living in the power of the new life objectively. You must have Christ for object.
In the Garden of Eden, there was nothing for Satan to act upon but the fact of man's obedience.
Man got turned out of Paradise into a world of sin; but Christ came out of Paradise into a world of sin.
94 The relationships in which God Himself has set people, He maintains; though sin has come in and spoiled it all; and natural affections have suffered, though they are all right. Still, it is only nature; and if I am with God He owns this, and He has brought in a power which lifts you above them; so that you cannot act rightly in them only when you are out of them.
With Christ before me, if anything would come in between me and Christ, the more horror I have of it.
Law is the measure of the responsibility of the first man.
"We know," is the expression of common Christian knowledge; we Christians know that as a part of Christianity.
Water, blood, and Spirit, in verse 6, are historical, and the water was shewn in His life; but "came by water" refers to His death.