Dead With Christ; the Effect of the Thought of Death; New Birth

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I did not answer your letter, being laid so low myself as to stop my activities. I am better, and seek gradually to clear off old arrears. Indeed, I did not know for some time after your letter whether I was not going to be taken away from this world. I found it a solemn thing, for it was quite present with me, but a very useful, and, in result, blessed experience. It made me much more feel to belong to the other world, and the Father's love and the Son's love and work stand out with a clearness and real depth it never did before: no new truth, but a different realization of what that truth brought. It has linked me wonderfully more with the sources of grace, but we are poor creatures after all.
As to Rom. 6 of which you speak: it is not out of experience, as redemption—a work done for us, accomplished, and where accomplishment and value is owned of God—Christ has died for our sins and, as to imputation, we have no more conscience of sins. This (Rom. 6) is connected with our state, and yet in one sense it closes experience, that is, the efforts of the soul to get at rest by victory. Chapter 7 is the experience that we cannot succeed; even where to will is present, we have no strength. When fully, experimentally, convinced of this, we find through grace, that as to the flesh we died in Christ's death; that what the law could not do, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin has condemned sin in the flesh—not forgiven, that cannot be; but that the sin I find working in me and distressing my soul, and which I condemn and hate, but is still there, God has condemned in the cross, so that that condemnation is accomplished for me; but that it was wrought in death, so that if I was there, or am now for faith in what Christ took, it is in death—Christ's death, the condemnation over, the death come—I died with Him; so that the condemnation is passed, but I have died for faith. In Col. 2; 3 it is God's estimate of this my state, "Ye are dead:" in Rom. 6 it is faith's through grace; I reckon myself dead, because Christ who is my life died. In 2 Cor. 4:1010Always 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 Corinthians 4:10), you have the apostle carrying it out in practice.
Now, Christ's work outside us, for us, is done entirely outside us and accepted of God; we believe in it and God's acceptance of it. But in being dead with Christ, though it put an end to the experience of my own useless struggles, it is something I reckon as to myself; and while it is judicial (according to Colossians and hence is the way and only way of liberty, as I know God so accounts it about myself, yet I have by faith to reckon it according to what Christ has done once for all. I do reckon myself to have died with Him, and God so accounts me as having Him who did die as my life. Still, it goes on in my heart, and so far is experimental. I believe that the sin was condemned of God on the cross, and that God does so reckon it (Colossians but Rom. 6 takes it up on the faith aide, and I reckon myself—that is not judicial, though based on faith in what is, namely, Col. 3, Rom. 8 Sand I have to carry it out according to 2 Cor. 4
It is then experimental, as that which is the exercise of faith in us, and taking what has taken place in Christ as true of us; not a work done about us and available as accepted of God: it is so far judicial, that it is in seeing the work accomplished, and judicially in Christ, we obtain liberty with God in spite of flesh, and power in the law of the Spirit of life. Conflict remains, because the flesh and temptation are there, vigilance and diligence called for just because we are delivered, to maintain holiness and communion The thought of imputation is gone or acceptance connected with it; till then, even if justification be known, it is a question of acceptance if not of righteousness. That question, as well as that of our sins, was settled on the cross, and we are free, free with God, but free to be holy, and that is real deliverance; we pass from the effort of a captive against his chains, to conflict, with the strength of Christ, against the enemy. Jordan and Colossians have come in, for Romans only insists on death with Christ, not on resurrection; life there is in Christ but not resurrection with Him. Ephesians is another thing, but that would be too large a subject now.
Your affectionate brother in Christ. Croydon, July 28th, 1881.