GN vol. 20, no. 12, 1 December 1929
A NEW CREATION.
The necessity of entering a new creation is shown in John 3: 5, where Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God."
"Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature (creation), old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." 1 Cor. 5: 17.
"If any man be IN Christ." How does the word of God show us that we can be in Christ? Gal. 3: 27 says, "For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ; so when we have thus put tm Christ, i.e. by baptism, we are 'in Christ;'" also 1 Cor. 12: 13 says, "For by one spirit are we all baptised into one body"; and Col. 2: 19 tells us that, "He (Christ) is the head of the body."
God hath said, "The soul that sinneth it shall die." Ezek. 18: 20. As all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God, it stands to reason that all are condemned to.. death, Rom. 3: 23. But Jesus died in our stead. He became our substitute and we are justified in God's sight through the atonement which Jesus made on the Cross, and—legally speaking—we are dead, we accept our death in Him.
God has provided a way whereby we can identify ourselves with His burial and resurrection: "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection." Rom. 6: 4, 5.
Thus God has provided for the death and burial of this old nature which is condemned to death because of sin and, as we fulfil the condition, He creates in us a new creature. "Knowing this, that our old man (nature) is crucified with Him." Rom. 6: 6. "Buried with Him." Rom. 6: 4. "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Eph. 4: 24.
A new creation that is righteous and holy is not under condemnation; for "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8: 1. Remember, God's word never changes; and when He says, "The soul that sinneth it shall die": that word could never be changed, but God has made it possible to be dead indeed unto sin. Rom. 6: 11, but alive unto God by our Lord Jesus Christ: to be like Paul, who said: 'I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.' Gal. 2: 20. I believe that only those living ones will be caught away who are indeed new creatures. Psa. 102: 18 says, "The people that shall be created shall praise the Lord." Paul writing to Titus (3: 5) says, "According to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit." It is the dead in Christ and the living in Christ who shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.
Let us press on and have a definite experience, one that measures up to the word of God, so that we will not be among the foolish virgins when the Bridegroom comes. Remember this, The Kingdom of Heaven is something more than conversion, for Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God"; and it is to those that receive Him that He gives power to become the Sons of God. Jesus speaking of John the Baptist said, "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Ba,ptist; notwithstanding, he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven (a new creature) is greater than he." And from the days of John the Baptist the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force. Are we pressing into the Kingdom? Are we taking it by force?
Even Paul realised the necessity of pressing on; thirty years after his conversion he says: "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things—that I may win Christ—if, by any means, I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do; forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (Phill. 3: 8-15.) "And now what is the greatest essential in this new creature? One will say: T have received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and speak with the tongues of men and of angels'; another will say: 'I have the gift of prophecy'; is that enough? No, another will say: 'I understand all mysteries and have a wonderful knowledge of God's Word'; is that enough? No, another will say: 'I have the gift of faith'; and another: 'I give all my goods to feed the poor.' None of these are enough without being coupled with love." Love suffereth long and is kind, envieth not, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth; (1 Cor. 13) and, "We know we have passed from death (old creation) unto life (new creation) because we love the brethren" (1 John 3: 14); not only those we think are brethren but all on whom God has set his seal. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Rom. 5: 5); and "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance" (Gal. 5: 22). "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy (created in true holiness) acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service; and be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Rom. 12: 1: 2.) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification (1 Thess. 4: 3); the new creation being set apart for God's service. We are the branches receiving our life from the vine (Jesus Christ) and bearing fruit for the vine (John 15: 5), letting our light so shine that others may take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4: 13). Walking not in the council of the ungodly nor sitting in the seat of the scornful nor standing in the way of sinners (Psalm 1: 1), taking this word as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119: 105), and looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2: 13). He Whom having not seeing we love. (1 Pet. 1: 8.)
AN INDWELLING CHRIST.
Christ did not send, but came Himself, to save,
He did not lend the ransom price, but gave.
It was noised that He was in the house, Mark 2: 1.
We are all houses whether we will or no.
Christ died, not only to redeem us, but dwell in us.
We are told it was noised that He was in the house?
It got about, although not advertised.
His presence betrayed itself.
If Christ is in the House, He cannot be hid.
There will be a secret power, a savour of ointment.
Men will take knowledge of us, that we have been with Jesus.
It is not what we say or what we do, it is what we are, that tells.