Extracts From Letters of J.N.D.: The Sealing of the Spirit and Deliverance

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He had been written to with reference to certain recent papers on the "Sealing of the Spirit," and "Deliverance."
There is great general decline on this point, and I have a tract in hand as to it, which I hope to get out as soon as possible. We must not confound manifested salvation and being born of God. We read, "to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins." But before Christ came souls were born of God, but they could not believe that Jesus was the Christ, for He had not come. They might have believed the promises then which referred to Him who should come; "but light and incorruptibility have been brought to light by the gospel." I can now say, "Whoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God." But this is not exactly saying, Whosoever does not, is not. We can say, He that, when He is presented, rejects Him, is condemned, and is in his sins, and a saving work may be begun in the soul by the Spirit of God, when the soul is not clear as to the Person of Christ, but which assuredly leads to it, and which, now that His name is spread abroad, it is almost impossible to separate from it; nor can we ever say that a man has life till he believes in Christ. Still, this remains always true and fundamental, "He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life;" and repentance and remission of sins were to be preached in His name. Conscience and knowledge may be both there without a quickening work; but there may be a work in conscience, in the living power of the Spirit, before the mind is clear as to the truth concerning the Lord. Yet ultimately the testing-point, and the fact of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and dying for us, being universally known, it is implicitly believed, without the passage to real faith being perceived; we see love to the brethren, love to the word, and we cannot help trusting the work of the Spirit is there; and there is the current faith in Christ, with, as I have said, the change into reality unperceived. But all this refers to our perception of it, not to the reality of the thing in God's sight. But of "his own will begat he us by the word of truth," and that truth is concerning His Son; we may see the fruits, and so judge or trust that life is there, but the root is not in the fruits. It does not fellow that a person is clear as to the efficacy of Christ's work because he believes in and loves Christ. The sealing of the Spirit goes, as to the detail of this work, I believe, with faith in the work as well as the person (see Acts 2:37,38; 10:4337Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:37‑38)
43To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43)
; Eph. 1:1313In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)), but in a plain gospel they go together. Being in the flesh is being in the standing of the first Adam before God, and not in Christ, judging from ourselves to God's judgment, and not from His work to our place before Him.
"According to this time shall it be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought?" So the prodigal. In the flesh (Rom. 7; 8) is the same. Deliverance and forgiveness are not the same thing- we must learn what we are, as well as what we have done. Deliverance is known by sealing, as being in Christ: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." J. N. D.