Images de page
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

unsupported faith, and the victory shall be yours; before him, to be lived by unsupported faith alone, for This is the victory that overcometh the world, by believing his way through every obstacle. A new even our faith."

day had indeed dawned, “the clear shining after VII. Now read the next words : “ He blessed him rain"; a new path, even the path of the just, THERE.” Now he has got that which all his life long shining more and more unto the perfect day. he has been looking for, the splendid secret of the “ He halted upon his thigh.” He bears the mark Llessing Now he has that for which he acted of the Hand of God upon him henceforth. He lives falsely at the instigation of his mother. This is by death. Like the risen Lord he bears the death the burden he has borne all his life. How would marks evermore. It must be so. Alucays bearing he think? “I, Jacok, blessed by God, I who have about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that szen God's shining ladder set up from earth to the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our haven at my very feet, the outcast at one end, body." Always bearing about the dying,” that is Jehovah at the other; I, who have seen heaven our side. The other side is God's, and when we do opened and the angels travelling up and down, our part the full torrent of life from Him shall rush nothing between me and it but the Mediator Christ; in and fill every thirsty crevice of our being. It

It is I who could climb the heights of Deity by the for this reason they eat not of the sinew that shrank wounded Christ, I blessed like this, and yet un- unto this day. God would keep us always in the blessed! Why is it?” Jacob, I have more to place of death. God would erect a danger signal show you yet.” God says to him, and to every in the neighbourhood of every besetting sin.

” Jacob here, to every stealer of blessing without a Thus God blesses; thus He fulfils His promises of surrendered will and life, every dishonest appropriator blessing ; may He thus bless every broken, defeated of the promises of God, every purloiner of mercy child of His here to-day. without amendment, “Follow me through these

“ Lame as I am, I take the prey, dark rooms. Follow me first into the place of soli

Heaven, earth, and hell with ease o'ercome, tude and darkness, and through that into the place

I leap for joy, pursue my way, of defeat. Follow me again into the place of des

And as a bounding hart ily home

Through all eternity to prove, peration, and you will find that it opens into the

Thy Nature and Thy Name is Love !'' place of confession, and this will further lead you into the silent room of death. Then rise at my Voice and follow me into the dewy garden of resurrection, and now stand at the spot of unsupported “LORD, speak to me, that I may speak faith. Thou art ready now, Jacob; thou art fit for In living echoes of Thy tone; My blessing now. I bless thee HERE!”

As Thou hast sought, so let me seek “ And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel ; Thy erring children lost and lone. for I have seen God face to face, and my

“Oh use me, Lord, use even me, served.” God called him down these six dark deep

Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where ; steps, and now this is the place He brings him to,

Until Thy blessèd face I see, the place of seeing God, Peniel, the Face of God.

Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share. The blessing is given, then he sees Him face to face. Ho had been to Bethel, the House of God;

“ No service in itself is small, he had been to Mahanaim, and had seen “the hosts

None great, though earth it fill;

But that is small that seeks its own, of God;" but he had never seen Him as now he sees Him. He lives by death now; he sees God by

And great that seeks God's will. death. “No man shall see my face and live," so “ Then hold my hand, most gracious Lord, he dies and sees Him. Jacob is dead, it is the Guide all my goings still ; birthday of Israel now, and as he passes over Peniel And let this be my life's one aim, “the sun rose upon him," the dawn of the glad bright To do, or bear, Thy will." resurrection day. As the great sun leapt out upon liim on the plain from below the ridge of the far horizon a new day began, a new life for ever was

life is pre

BY PASTEUR THEODORE JONOD.

[ocr errors]

CHRIST CRUCIFIED.

Let us look a little further into the subject; and PART II.—CRUCIFIED WITH Christ.

of course we have nothing to do but inquire what the Scriptures say. In 2 Cor. v. we read, “The love of

Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that N.B.- It is of importance that the passages not given in full should bo read in full, at the points in the Addresses

one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for where they occur.

all that they which live shoulıl no longer live unto In speaking of “Christ Crucified” we were re- themselves, but unto Him who for their sakes died minded of the manner in which the Apostle Paul and rose again.” (R.V.) Now here is the new life preached to the Galatians—a manner

so vivid

the resurrection-life. There is not a Christian in that he was able to write to them afterwards that the world who does not admit that we no longer Jesus Christ had been openly set forth, crucified live unto ourselves, but unto Him who, for our sakes, before their eyes.

In the same Epistle we find died and rose again. How are we going to do it ? these words : "I through the law died unto the In this way: by believing what we are told here-law, that I might live unto God. I have been that One died for all, and therefore all died. Not crucified with Christ; yet I live, and yet no longer “therefore, all were dead," or "all ought to die,” but

" . I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now therefore, all died.The Apostle begins with a live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in matter of fact. the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself Let us go on, and it will become plainer still. for me." (Gal. ii. 19, 20, R.V.)

“ Therefore we henceforth know no man after the To have the Revised Version in our hands makes flesh; even though we have known Christ after the this whole subject wonderfully clear. We have not flesh, yet now we know Him so no more. Whereto stop every moment and say, "The translation says fore if any man is in Christ he is a new creature.” this, but the text correctly translated says that ;" (2 Cor. v. 16, 17, R.V.) He knows nobody after which sounds to some as though we said, “ The Bible the flesh-that is, on the old or natural platform. says this, but I say that.” But here we have what He has gone over, as it were, because of the death the Bible does say. Paul writes : “I have been cru- of Christ, into another country; he lives in another cified with Christ; yet I live." What can it mean? atmosphere. And the Apostle adds that what is true We understand that Christ was crucified, but how of himself is true of any body. “If any man is in can another man have been crucified with Christ ? Christ there is a new creation (marg.); the old things Why, my dear friends, every time we say, Christ are passed away : behold they are become new.” died for me,” we say that very thing. We mean “But all things are of God, who reconciled us to that, in the sight of God, everyone who believes Himself through Christ," &c. Mark what comes in Christ is identified with Christ; so real is the next: “We are ambassadors, therefore, on behalf oneness. between the Lord and the believer that of Christ, as though God were entreating by us; we God uses every possible comparison to make us beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to understand it—as, for instance, the bridegroom and God.” Now listen to this, not as to an address, but the bride, the vine and the branch, the body and the as the Word of God to you; you will have enough head,-Christ and His people one. So that His if you just take to heart these words—“Him who death is our death, and His life our life.

KNEW NO SIN, HE MADE TO BI SIN ON OUR BEHALF, And that is true, observe, first of all, as regards THAT WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD forgiveness. It is because Christ took our place, IN Him." Here there is, first, a fact stated—the took us into Himself, as it were, upon the cross, that thing that God has done. Second, there is an we are forgiven, that we escape in Him and through entreaty on the Apostle's part, or rather on God's Him from the penalty of the law. Of course this part through the Apostle, that they should take would have no meaning at all if Christ was not hold of that fact and turn it into an experience. “God manifest in the flesh ;” I admit that. But Since God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto He is God manifest in the flesh, therefore He could Himself, therefore every man in the world should sum up in Himself the sinners for which He came take hold of that reconciliation as his very own, and to die. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world be reconciled to God. As Christ tasted death for unto Himself."

every man, so every man should receive that gift of

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

God in Christ, and not remain exposed to the wrath What are we to do to take possession of this of God.

inestimable gift of God ? First of all, is it a second Now, in this subject of being crucified with Christ, gift of God? It is not a second gift of God in one we find exactly the same order. First, it is a fact, sense ;—for there are not two Christs. But this is that if One died for all, therefore all died. What true, that we are slow to understand, and more slow is the inference? Shall we say then, as regards our to consent. Nobody wants to go to perdition; but salvation, "We have nothing to do; it is all right; many are not yet willing yet to die unto sin. Therewe have all died to sin ”? We might as well say, fore, we find it much easier to understand those pro"Since God reconciled the world unto Himself, we mises that speak to us of being forgiven, than those have nothing to do.” We have to receive and take that speak of being crucified, and thereby sanctified. hold of the message. In fact, the Apostle gives an What, then, are the conditions ? The first conexample of how that truth ought to be treated, in dition is to wish for it. Let me speak of conversion the chapter that was read to us: “If then ye were by way of illustration. No man is converted to raised together with Christ seek the things that are God who has not some desire to have his sins forabove, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of given, who has not begun to feel that he is a sinner, God. Set your mind on the things that are above, and wishes to be at peace. Secondly, you have to not on the things that are upon the earth. For ye believe what God says on the subject. No man can be died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. converted unless he believes what God says about the When, Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, death of Christ. But thirdly, you have to consent, then shall ye also with Him be manifested in glory." which is still another thing. Many want to have peace, (Col. iii. 1-4, R.V.) See how complete the identi- and they believe what the Bible says about peace, fication between Christ and the believer. Christ but it humbles them too much to receive peace and died, therefore you died; Christ rose, He is hidden forgiveness as an absolute gift of the free grace of in God, He will be manifested: so with you. What God--to be converted as paupers. They must bring is the conclusion? "Mortify therefore your members something in their hands. "

As long as they do which are upon the carth.”

so they cannot have peace. They must come to Now, do you not see that we have just to go over this, the very same road that we have travelled once

“I ain a poor sinner, and nothing at all,” before? We have to take hold of what the Word before they will consent to say, of God tells us : in that way we shall in very deed be "crucified with Christ." What is a fact in the

“ But Jesus Christ is my all in all." purpose of God will become a fact in our own When they do that, they have taken the first stepexperience.

namely, to trust themselves to Christ, to be forgiven But the central passage on this subject is Rom. vi. and to be saved. There we read : “What shall we say then? Shall It is exactly the same with reference to this we continue in sin, that grace may abound ? God matter of our evil nature. What are we to do forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any with it? First, we must desire to escape from its longer live therein ?” (Read to end of verse 10.) bondage. Do we desire it? That is a fair question. See the argument. No one questions that Christ There is a great deal in our evil nature that is died once unto sin, and that He lives for ever unto agreeable to the natural man; if it were not, God. “Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be everybody would be converted at once. dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” | loves sin. He loves darkness better than light. Now surely, brethren, we need hardly add any And as long as there is not an honest desire to words to these. I am honestly afraid to add any escape from the dominion of sin, there can be no thing, lest I should make obscure what is so per- true sanctification or deliverance. fectly clear. It is the explanations that are hard In the next place, we must believe what the to understand, not the passage itself. There it is : Bible says about this deliverance. Do we believe God has done all in Christ for you; if He has done it, it? Have we looked at it again and again till we take hold of it; reckon yourselves to have died with were obliged to believe it? or do we explain it ;

? Christ unto sin, and to be alive in Christ unto God. away, so as to leave freedom for our self-will and

But man

1. Done! What do I mean?

.

for our continual sinning against God? Then, do | Sundays ? Was he any better on Monday morning ? we consent to be crucified with Christ? You say it You can do anything you please with the old man, is a figure, a metaphor, a way of speaking. It is, short of crucifying him with Christ, and all to no however, a fact that God has chosen to use such purpose. You may shut yourself up in a dark cell, a way of speaking. Granted that it be, to some and whip him from morning to night, and night to extent, a figure, what is it a figure of? What does morning; that will not drive him off. Only one the comparison imply? That we cannot be sanctified, thing will do it: nail him to the Cross of Christ. except we be crucified with Christ. Crucifixion Take the death of Christ for your death, even as means something humiliating and painful. To be you take the life of Christ for your life. Then this crucified is not to be lifted up with self-conceit. thing is done. To be crucified is not to be agreeable to the world.

Done in such a People listen to an address on that topic, and then sense that you have nothing further to do? go home saying, “It was very nice.” Now it is not You have this to do: to live by faith in the Son very nice to be crucified, if you understand what it of God. And the very instant you turn your means. It is an awful, fearful thing; but it is the eyes from Him to yourself, then you lose the only way of deliverance.

power of His death, and the power of His life. It. Do you consent to that? Will you let the hand is a life of faith, of trust, of watchfulness. It is of God take hold of you and put you with Christ a life of deliverance and of victory—the way of on the Cross, and thus break you off from yourself, dying to self. Do you think Christ just came to from the past, from “ the old man,” which means save us from dying? Surely He did in a sense-to the man that you were—from that old fellow that save us from being separated from God for ever, you hate, and that makes you so miserable? Are to save us from the second death. But He also you willing to do this at the cost of crucifixion ? came to teach us to die, to enable us to die to the Then there remains one thing—that you should world and to the law; that is, it is no longer as a give yourself up, that you should trust yourself to task-master with whip in hand, saying, “ Do this; the Saviour, for Him to nail you with Him upon do not do that, or you will see what you will get His Cross. Ah, brethren, we have often shrunk, That is not Christian living. It is Jewish living, have we not, from giving ourselves up in that way? | and not the highest type of it either. We have understood the subject well enough—| When we say that people are dead to the law we understood it so well that we have kept aloof from do not mean that they are to live in lawlessness. it, because we had a very clear conception that it Not at all. They are under law to Christ, as the was going to put an end to our darling selves. But Apostle says,--the law of liberty, because the law that is the way, and there is no other way.

of love. They are not above the law any more Do you not see, however, that it is the very greatest than under the law. They are in the law, being in blessing we can imagine, and that God has given us Christ, and the law is in them. But from the infinitely more in Christ than we ever thought or old task-master, Christ brings deliverance through dared to dream of ? What is it that troubles a His death, and there is no other deliverance. man when he is in earnest about salvation? I do The master may whip the poor slave who is dead, not mean only his salvation in a strictly personal, but that does not hurt him ; he is dead to that

1 selfish sense,-his escape from the wrath of God -- master. And the Apostle goes on to show how we I mean when he wishes to be a better man, a good have died to the law that we might belong to another, man, a pure man, a loving man, a useful man, a even Christ, and bring forth fruit unto God. Hencepatient man. What stands in the way? You see forth we live by the life of Christ, and therefore the the forgiveness of God in Christ. You even see at old nature cannot hurt us. the end of the road the glory of heaven gleaming I do not think, for my part, that the Bible down upon you. But then you say, What am I to do teaches anywhere that the old nature is clean gone. with “ the old man”? Well, what have you tried It does not teach, either, that we are to be conto do with him? Have you lectured him, and has stantly holding it by the throat and grappling with it done him any good—or any harm, I might rather it. We are to live, as it were, outside of it. Tho say? Have you given him a good scourging on flesh is there, but we are not to live in the flesh,

a

a

once

but in the Spirit, the Apostle says. The flesh is What do I mean then? That you are to deny flesh, and nothing else; it cannot be anything else. yourself every kind of enjoyment, and then set up An illustration may help us to understand the much- for a self-denying Christian? No, not at all; the disputed passage in Rom. vii. Suppose a bar of question is not denying this or that to yourself, but iron—let us say a poker, if you like-were to say: denying yourself. “I am dark; I am cold; I am hard ; I am unbend- It is

you

who have to be crucified. And then all ing." All that would be very true. Now you just things are made new. You enter into a new world ; put it into a glowing fire, and after a little while a world not of death, but of life through faith. People what is it? It is no longer black, it is red; it is white. want to jump at once from the mountain of forgiveIt is no longer cold, it is fearfully hot. It is no longer ness to the mountain of holiness, without going into unbending, it is pliable. But suppose it could the valley of death that lies between. No, you speak, it would still go on saying, “I am hard; I must go down into the valley of death with Christ; am cold; I am unbending. But I am in the fire, then you will rise with Christ upon the mountain of and as long as I am in the fire I am not all that, holiness and joy. but something else. And I do not want to live There are three words that must go together; if outside the fire."

they have not gone together at once they must That is just it. You may say, you ought to say, follow each other afterwards :— Conversion, ConsecraIn me”—the Apostle gives the explanation at tion, and Crucifixion. Conversion is turning round

-" that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." to God; consecration, giving yourself up to God. He goes on to say, “I am carnal, sold under sin,” | We have heard a great deal of these, and we cannot &c. (read to end of Rom. vii.). Very well, how is hear too much, but there is something further to he going to live? Surely not in the flesh and in the say :spirit at the same time. His choice is made : “ There

"Consecration, Consecration !' ever ringing through my is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in

head; Christ Jesus." And here comes something entirely But my pen upon the paper other letters traced instead new—" For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Crucifixion, Crucifixion ! was the word the Spirit said." Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death. Yes, that is the last word-—nay, the last but one. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak Through crucifixion, resurrection and everlasting through the flesh "—the flesh and the law always blessedness, beginning now. Conversion without go together—“God, sending His own Son in the consecration is one delusion; consecration without likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering for sin, crucifixion is another. condemned sin in the flesh, that the ordinance of

(To be continued.) the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

That is deliverance; that is what we want; that is the way to make all things new. Sometimes a " It has been maintained of late that the absence man is very anxious to have things made new. He of a high and consecrated life in these times is to is so perplexed and miserable that he goes to the be traced to vague and indefinite views of religious extent of committing a crime against himself and truth, and to the fact that the authority of theoloagainst God-doing away with himself. “Let gical systems has ceased to sway this generation. anything come, but let me have something new. This cannot be doubted. But the predominating Let me escape from this world and from myself.” cause is in one sentence : Christian persons have Well, there is a better way than that, but it is still a lost conscience as to the imperious necessity of comsuicide! We must kill self. And we cannot do it munion with God in the daily reading of Scripture, except by crucifying it. Nor can we crucify it and by means of private, closet prayer. Herein lay except by accepting the death of Christ as our death. the sources of strength and wisdom in Stephen There is a sense of self-préservation that has kept Grellet. As well expect nature to flourish without many a man from murdering himself. But when it God's atmosphere, as for the soul of man to think comes to the Christian's suicide, self-preservation is and feel rightly when out of fellowship with God." the wrong thing. It stands in the way.

William Guest.

« PrécédentContinuer »