From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 7- The Day of Atonement, continued
Here again the history of the Church is positively against us, because we cannot point with positive assurance to any person in the Church age who has really appropriated this blessed condition of holiness in its fullness. However, we are not going to take the history of the Church as our pattern–for it is a sad story of defeat, and worthy of far more lamentation than the weeping prophet ever expressed over Israel. If this glorious victory is declared in the Word, that is sufficient; and thank God, it is. And it shall be attained by the overcomer–not by the flesh, but by the Spirit. The experimental Day of Atonement is at hand for the Church of Christ. The promise, therefore, is held out to us at the ends of the ages, as to no other people in any past dispensation. “To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart…” Let us examine, therefore, some of the Scriptures which clearly promise this victorious, triumphant, overcoming life in the Spirit.
Lev. 16:29-31. “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.”
Matt. 5:48. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
Jn. 17:21. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…”
Jn. 17:23. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one…”
Rom. 6:4. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Notice this passage: the newness of our walk is to be comparable to the very resurrection life and glory of Jesus Christ.
Rom. 6:5-7. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Some would like to believe that the “likeness of his resurrection” refers to a future physical resurrection. The whole passage teaches to the contrary. God is speaking about the righteousness and life that overcomes the “body of sin” so that “henceforth we should not serve sin.” It is the appropriation here and now of the fruits of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Rom. 6:11. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” There is no suggestion here whatever of suppressing the old nature, keeping the “old man” under your feet so that he will not be able to raise his head, or constantly dying out to self. It is a finished work; and just as Christ died and rose again once for all, so those who have appropriated His death and resurrection enter into a new life, a new sphere in the Spirit, a new victory.
Rom. 8:2. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Freedom! And when God speaks of freedom, He means you are “free indeed” (Jn. 8:36). As long as the world, the flesh, or the Devil can bring you into any measure of servitude, you are not “free indeed.”
Gal. 5:24. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
1 Jn. 3:3. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.”
1 Jn. 3:6, 7. “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”
1 Jn. 3:9. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
There is no argument against the direct, plain, indisputable truths here presented. The righteousness which God has in store for us is not merely a partial appropriation of God’s righteousness, or a certain degree of attainment whereby we measure ourselves with others, and we conclude we are victorious because we have ceased from our bad habits, conquered over anger, and no longer harbor ill-feelings against another. As likely as not, such claims of holiness are a sure sign of pride rather than of meekness and contrition of spirit. This life of which we speak is a life far beyond anything the Church has yet seen in her most glorious saints. It is God’s very own: “even as he is pure,” “even as he is righteous,” “he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” GHW
To fully appropriate that we are born of God means that we must fully appropriate that we are dead to self. This is not by trying harder to keep the old man under, as Bro. Warnock points out, but it is a full recognition of the work of Christ’s cross in our lives. In Romans 6:8-11, Paul tells us, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all time; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. So you too, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”