Dead to Sin, Not to Creation: Correction

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
ALL exclusive points are out of place at the Lord's table. It is clear Christ's death is before us; but εἰς τὴω ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιω, or εἰς τὴν ἀνάμνησίω μου does not affect the question as to whether it is a remembrance of Himself or only of His death. One way or the other, ἐμήν is ‘of me;' and whether it be,ἐμήν or, μου, the only difference is that putting before makes it somewhat more emphatic and contrasted. It was not to be done in remembrance of deliverance from Egypt, as the passover was, but in remembrance of Him, “in my memory.”
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When Christ comes again and takes this world, and governs and blesses it, it is as Himself risen. That is true, but you can hardly call this world then the new creation. The link of life in Him with this world was broken. But then I should be a little shy of speaking of His being linked with it at any time, though coming into it as a tried man, born of a woman, for the suffering of death, and partaking (παραπλησίως) of flesh and blood. But He says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” And again, “Ye are of the world, I am not of the world.” “Ye are from beneath, I am from above.” Though it be in death He is symbolized before us, it is Him we remember. But, as an effect, it does imply our having died to this world: for we show forth the Lord's death till He come.
But I cannot admit with this absoluteness, that every Christian is, according to scripture, dead to the old creation. We are waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body. It is held up as desirable that a man should live absolutely in the power of the Spirit and know nothing else. Still “he that marrieth does well.” Of what creation is that? And he that forbids to marry does very ill. I see two things: first, God's part in the old creation as yet fully recognized; marriage as “in the beginning;” children, amiable nature—the Lord loved the young man, when He looked on him; but, secondly, a power brought in wholly above and out of it. If one lives according to this latter, it is all well: but to condemn the former is to condemn God. Sin has come in and spoiled creation; and there is thus hindrance, care, sorrow in the flesh. That is true; but God ordered it in the beginning, and God owns what He ordered, till He brings in something new. Dead to sin, to the world, to the law—this I find in scripture; but not dead to the old creation. And this is the place of every Christian, who is to hold himself so. But dead to the old creation, God does not say; for it is God's creation. Every creature of God is good. Live above it in its present state, all well; and better, if it be given to us. But death to the first creation, and breaking every link with it, is not true, whilst we are in the body. Scripture does not say so, and scripture is much wiser than we are. There is a new creation, and, as in Christ, we are of it—I think we may say, the firstfruits of it, “of his creatures,” at any rate, καιωὴ κτίσις. It is a very singular expression. It is not “he is,” as in English. It merely affirms its existence and character for one in Christ; but then when it goes on to say He died, it is not to the old creation; but He who knew no sin was made sin; and elsewhere, In that He died, He died unto sin once.
It is wise and safe not to go beyond scripture. Fresh truths and mighty power fill our sails—and it is well; but they may carry our minds, if we trust them and consequences we draw, on to rocks hidden underneath the surface. The word of God checks, or keeps us rather, in the right and safe course. The first intuition may be right: but when not so kept, when one's mind is trusted, it may run into open ungodliness—the common result of the human mind trusted with mighty truths, or rather trusting itself with them; and in these days this has to be watched.
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It is a very humbling thing to think how always at the first what God had set up was spoiled. We have only the power of good in the midst of evil, till the Lord comes, when power is not, rest is. But Philadelphia marks our state; and as we find truth spreading, decision in walk and waiting for Christ (not the doctrine merely of His coming) will be the test. Devotedness, heavenly-mindedness—these are what we must look for. The foolish virgins were awake with the wise, but not ready. I have no doubt the doctrines we hold are penetrating widely. It is another thing to have the heart in heaven and to depart from evil on earth.