Death is Gain.

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1. The death brought into this world through sin, as the consequence of Adam's fall, separated us from God — from life also, as towards ourselves, our own natural existence — from present peace as moral beings — and from everlasting blessing. Death as the wages of sin, made us personally conscious of guilt before God — of Satan's title over us, wrought out by our actual transgressions, "led captive by the devil at his will."

Death — eternal death in everlasting fire — is the measure of God's righteous judgment against the sinner — the only way by which the majesty of God and the holiness of His throne could be maintained against sin and Satan.

2. On the other hand death, as known in Christ on the cross, has separated us from sin, from a guilty conscience on account of it, and from all fear of judgment from God, for Christ has suffered in our stead, "the just for the unjust." The death of Christ has set aside the whole power of Satan, for through death He has destroyed him that had the power of death, and separated us by it from that nature (the old man), which, before we knew Christ, alienated us in mind and heart from God.

The judicial death of Christ on the cross has glorified God by putting away sin through the sacrifice of Himself, and opened a way by which God has displayed His power in holiness as the raiser of the dead. Moreover, the death of Christ has become the ground of all present grace to the sinner, as well as unto eternal glory between the Father and the Son, God and the elect, Christ and the redeemed, by which the heavens and the earth in the day of millennial blessing will be filled with His glory.

3. Again, the death and resurrection of Christ has changed the whole position of the believer before God, even the Father. We are born out of death, and take life, eternal life, in and with Christ Jesus the Lord, and as joined with Him now — "who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" We are on the other side of death, whether viewed as the enemy's power over the sinner, or as the judgment of God against sin, for we are risen with Christ. God, who made His Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, has made us to be "the righteousness of God in him." We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us, and in the face of sin and death can say, "O death where is thy sting? … thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

4. Our relations to death and judgment, God and Satan, the flesh and the world, are all reversed by the cross of Christ. The death which we feared, and which, before we knew Christ, fed upon us as in the flesh, is what now we feed upon — death is gain, and we "show forth the Lord's death till he come." He spoiled the spoiler, and Satan is defeated by death. But more, the judgment of God has found its full vindication in the death of Christ; and it is now behind us. As to the world, we are not of it, even as Christ was not of the world; and, as regards the devil, "God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."

5. As a consequence of these changes and victories accomplished by the death of Christ, we cannot (for God, any more than for truth or for faith) live in the flesh or in the world, or in relation to any other thing, from which He has redeemed us. "How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not that as many of us as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ?" Our springs are in the risen and glorified Lord; and the soul is in connection by grace with Him there, and from that height we draw our life and motives for manifesting Him below. No power less than the Holy Ghost can work in us according to this new rule of life and death, in order to maintain us in correspondence with the truth about ourselves, "as it is in Jesus," or enable us to be "imitators of God as dear children." J. E. Batten.