“The great difficulty arises from not seeing that, while the evil principle [sin nature]
still exists in us, it is no part of the Christian’s new status before God. Until
this has been learned the soul must, if honest, be constantly deploring that
he is not what he ought to be; never be bettered. But when he is taught of the
Spirit to look upon the flesh as having only to do with his former state [unsaved]
that death has severed the tie between the old and the new, and that he is set
in a new position before God-alive in Christ BEYOND CONDEMNATION –what
a relief it is! What a deliverance! May this comfort.
“But now comes a practical difficulty. Some troubled one may say, ‘How can
I go and reckon myself dead to sin when I daily find the actual workings of the
flesh within me? What shameful hypocrisy do I find in myself, what pride, what
unworthy motives, what unclean thoughts! How, then, can I reckon myself to
be dead unto sin?”
God does not ask us to feel that “our old man” is dead; for, as an actual fact,
the flesh is still within us, and will be to the end of the story; but He does ask
us to reckon with Him about it, and to remember that He counts it as having
already had its judgment. Now, it is because God reckons us as death with Christ
that we are privileged to reckon ourselves as having died with Him.
‘I need Thee every hour.’
In the moment of need [the believer turns] to Him whom he had learned to know
as his sufficiency. How blessed! Oh that all our ‘outbreaks’ in moments of trial
were of this kind! What praise would redound to our blessed Lord! What joyful
victories for us!
‘As weaker than a bruised reed, I cannot do without Thee,’ should be our constant
cry, as in absolute weakness we cling to Him alone. Thus must be the practical
everyday exercise of our souls before God: “Always bearing about in the body
the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in
our body” (2 Cor. 4:10). The more our souls are set upon this, the more shall
we look forward with joy to the day when our very bodies shall be conformed
like to His body of glory. Then we shall enjoy the “liberty of the glory of the
children of God” (Rom.8:21).
Liberty to look away from self for everything, knowing that all God could wish
for in a man He finds in Christ, and that “as he is, so are we in this world”
(1 John 4:17; John 14:20).
Liberty to regard myself as entirely connected with the renewed nature, the old
“I” no longer, but Christ my life, and the Holy Spirit the power of occupying
my heart with Christ, in whom is all my expectation.
Liberty to know that if the Son has made me free I am free indeed. (John 8:32-36).