A Few Words on Romans 6.

1874 6 There are two grave points on which the word of God speaks to us: one is the objects before us; the other is the state in which a person is as regards competency to enjoy those objects.

The Spirit of God brings before us, far more largely and blessedly than we are aware of, those objects; and, as to ourselves, what the condition and state in which we are able to enjoy these things — objective and subjective truth, as people say.

A good deal has been done as to bringing out the objects before us, but it will be knowledge that puffs up if we are not in a condition for it. The mere bringing out these objectively leaves something wanting as regards the condition of soul.

There being the nominal profession of Christianity, the question arose with some, "Am I a real Christian? Christ has finished the work; now I must know if I have a part in it." Of course these people did not get peace: it was really justification by experience they were looking for. Instead of simple faith in the efficacy of Christ's person and work, it was a conclusion drawn from the state the soul was in. This is not the Christian state: we all go through it in fact.

In natural things I see objects, and then I know that I see: but do I ever think of examining my eye to see if I see?

"Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith;" do not you know that Christ dwells in you? How came He there?

It is not a question whether I have accepted it, but whether God has. People say, "It is all yours if you accept it." That is not the question. If you take the right value of the thing, none of us have learned it. If I have offended God, the question is "Is He satisfied?" Then I find the whole thing is settled, perfectly and righteously so.

Then came in the danger of taking these objects with very little real ploughing up of the subject, ourselves.

Scripture does both. Redemption is all done outside us, done completely and for over, for Christ cannot die over again. Hence the "worshippers once purged "have "no more conscience of sins."

The moment I have got hold of the truth that this work was done by Christ all alone with God, then if I look up to God, and know that Christ is appearing in the presence of God for me, I see that imputation is impossible. If God sees the blood, He must pass over, or He would slight the blood, the thought of which would be blasphemy. That is all perfectly settled; as to its value, nothing can ever affect it, weaken it, or alter it. My soul, if I am a believer, is looking at that, and God is looking at it, and my soul rests. It all springs from the blessed infinite love of God, and I am standing now in divine favour; there we are, as white as snow, resting in God's favour. Then, founded upon that work, and never till then, the counsels and purposes of God before the world was made were brought out to bring us into the same glory as His Son. God, having been perfectly glorified by man though more than man, of course, takes man up into His own glory. The Spirit is the earnest of the inheritance.

Where this is not seen, the soul is brought back in a certain sense into Jewish ground. When they see, they will believe: when Christ comes forth, it will be fully manifested that His work has been accepted. Such is not our case: the Holy Ghost has come out, and before Christ comes out, we know the work has been accepted. "For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Heb. ii. 11.) I know my place in Christ. (John xiv. 20.) That is all founded on the truth that He is "God over all blessed for ever," but as to the place He had taken as man, it was on the cross. Before Christ comes out, the essence of the Christian's position is that the Holy Ghost has come out, and we know He is accepted. All this makes the Christian's position very simple. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." (Titus iii. 5.) Judgment is according to our works, salvation is not. We are brought to the consciousness that we are guilty by our works, and lost because of what we are. The law tells me what a man, a child of Adam, ought to be; it does not tell me a word of what God is. The law of God takes what man ought to be as the measure of its dealing with me. Christ meets that; but there is another thing — the veil is rent and God is revealed. The very thing taught under the law is that man could have nothing to say to Him, we have "boldness to enter into the holiest." When the law was dealing with man, there were barriers about the Mount: now Christ has entered into the holiest, the veil is rent, and we are to walk in the light. The question for us is, not whether we have behaved as men ought to behave, but whether we are fit for God's presence. The law takes up the relationships of man, with God's stamp and sanction upon them, and curses him if they are broken. All fail: all are sinners and guilty, but there is a great deal more than this. If we are to be blessed, God is bringing us to His house; and the question is if I can be in the light as God is in the light. Worldly religion could not be, once you have to do with the holiest: it is then inside the veil, outside the camp. A religion adapted to man in the flesh in this world has nothing at all to do with Christianity. What Christendom pretends is that the truth came down and arranged itself for the earth; and when that is fully carried out, we get the head of the whole body on earth.

How are we to walk in the light as God is in the light?

If I look at my responsibility, Christ has borne my sins and made my peace; consequently (Rom. 5) I can glory in tribulations and glory in God.

All that connected itself with my responsibility as a man and dealt with my guilt: all the world has become guilty before God. In all this there is nothing whatever of my state, nor is there entering within the veil.

You will never get the flesh one atom changed. When left without law, man became so bad that God had to bring in the flood; then Noah got drunk; the Israelites made the golden calf; the priests offered strange fire. I get lawlessness, law-breaking, and then full enmity against God Himself brought out. If we are born of God, then the flesh lusts against the Spirit; if taken to the third heaven, it is no better. Assuming that I am born of God, there is the flesh lusting against the Spirit. Consequently there is another thing, that, Christ having died, the death of Christ applies as much to the flesh as to the sins: my works and my conduct are all put away for ever and ever. Now I have got another thing, not the fruit, but the tree.

There are two mistakes as to this. One is, that we are to go on as in Romans vii., a kind of balance between the two, up and down, up and down. Another is that the flesh is not there at all. But I find that the death of Christ applies to that just as much as it does to my sins. God has "condemned sin in the flesh." Where? In Christ's sacrifice. "What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin "(not sins, mind) "condemned sin in the flesh." There I get sin in the flesh condemned in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. When and how? When He was a sacrifice for sin in death. I get the death of Christ applied to my evil nature for faith just as I do to sins that are put away. "I, through the law, am dead to the law." The law binds down sin on my conscience, because it curses it, and, more than that, it provokes it — no fault of the law, the law is holy, just and good. "When the commandment came, sin revived and I died." I get the condemnation gone, condemnation for sin in the flesh; the very Christ that has died being my life, I say I have died in Christ (as to flesh: I am alive looked at as spirit). I do not merely get a new nature, but, as I have got the quickening and Christ as my life, I get death with Him. Where only we get deliverance is that in the death of Christ God has dealt with my flesh, and for faith I am a dead man. We are never called on to die to sin: the new nature has not it. I do not want the new man to die: well, can you persuade the old man to die! The "second Man" having died before He became my life, I have a right, I am bound, to say, that I have died.

Experience contradicts this, and it is more difficult to get distinctly at it than at the forgiveness of sins. I tell a man "Your debts are all paid," and, if I am a trustworthy person, he believes me: but if I say, "You are dead to sin," he would answer, "I am not dead to sin, I was in a passion this morning." His conscience denies it. The moment I see that I died with Christ, the whole thing is settled. This is what I am baptized to; that the old man is a wholly judged thing, and that God will have nothing more to do with it, as to dealings and reasonings with it. Every present relationship of God with this world closed at the cross. This world, as such, is the world of the first Adam; Satan is its god and prince: the world to which we belong is the world of the second Adam.

In Romans 5:12 the apostle leaves the whole question of guilt and enters on the question of state, Christ, having died, met all this responsibility; and I learn that sin in the flesh has been condemned, and that, as to my place, condition and standing, I have done with it. "Being then made free from sin ye became the servants of righteousness." Romans vi. "Free "has a double sense in English. People say, "that horse is free from vice," that is, he has none at all. But suppose a man had been a slave and he is now free: we are "free from sin" in that sense, He does not say to an unconverted sinner, "Yield yourself to God," but, "Yield yourselves to God as those that are alive from the dead." You have died in Christ: as alive from the dead, what are you going to do with yourselves? Yield yourselves to God out and out. Are you going to do that — yield yourselves to God as set free? God comes in; grace cleanses us from guilt, then He says: "Now you are set free, and you have got the privilege and title of giving yourselves."

There is where you are called to, your sins are entirely and for ever put away. "By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified: "there is no question as to that. But reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin: this is deliverance. In the death of the Lord Jesus Christ death has come to me, and I am alive to God with a perfect title of reckoning myself dead. "But now, being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness." You do get fruit then: you had no fruit from all this sin, no real fruit. I get positive fruit now in walking in the path of obedience, I am walking with God, I know God better, I know Christ better, I get to know the unsearchable riches of Christ; my heart becomes capable of living in and understanding the things revealed to us, that are in our world. If I speak of treading the golden streets, is that all a maze? It is not meant to be a maze. As regards glory it is unfolded, "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit." Having yielded ourselves to God we have fruit. We have got a cataract taken off our eyes, and we have begun to be able to bear the light: we are made partakers of His holiness.

It is a path of obedience, of death to the flesh and all that is in it. "To him that hath shall more be given."

That is where God has brought us in delivering us.

If we have offended, we are pardoned: if we were defiled, we are cleansed: if we were guilty, we are justified: but then we get deliverance. The flesh has no title to me.

Have you yielded yourselves to God?

It is real true deliverance, so that we grow up to Him who is the Head in all things. What a blessed thing it is that God makes us partakers of His holiness! Do your hearts believe in such a deliverance? God may have revealed to us the blessedness, and yet the flesh may not be practically subdued to the measure of what has been revealed. "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father which is in heaven." "Get thee behind me, Satan." The person who was then declared blessed had not the flesh broken down in the measure of the path which belonged to this truth.

What you are called on to do is to walk in the light as God is in the light. If the heart is right, if to will is present with you, remember there is power. Is Christ your only object? It is not that we have not distractions; that is a different thing: distractions are not objects.

The Lord give us to know what it is to "walk by faith, not by sight."