The Positiveness of Life in Christ

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
" Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not," and whosoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood abides in Christ and Christ in him; that is, if I am eating Christ and occupied with Christ, I do not commit sin, nor is my mind living in the sphere in which it has power.
If you are not abiding in Him, you will get down to the other state I have spoken of, the mere avoiding of positive evil, while living in the sphere of thought in which flesh can find itself at home, while the spiritual affections are dull and inactive.
" He that doeth righteousness is righteous even as He is righteous." I am in Christ, on the same footing of righteousness, as to my walk down here, that He is: as partaker of the same nature and looking forward to a perfect conformity to Him. We have a positive life in itself, which is itself. There is this positive life in connection with Christ who is our life, and this life lives entirely on Him. " I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God," &c. This is the way it lives. It has these two traits—pointed out in this passage—practical righteousness, and love of the brethren.
A word on the way the soul gets into this living on Christ and with Him. I do not believe you can ever do that until you get free in your conscience. Till then you cannot get beyond this negative conflict with sin, which avoids the evil the new life sees and judges. If I have the new life, I find the sin in me; and if I have not the consciousness of divine righteousness, I cannot delight in Christ as set free; that is, I must think of the sin. Is not God holy? And have I not sins? not merely guilt, but sins in my members? Yes; then “he that committeth sin is of the devil." Well, I commit sin, and am afraid. That is, the workings of flesh come back on my conscience, and I must be occupied with self. The soul is not discharged from self, as the ground of its standing before God, through divinely wrought and self—humbling conviction of sin, enough to be cast over on divine righteousness in Christ. It has not been brought to see that the case is perfectly hopeless, and then to be cast over entirely on Christ. When brought to this, I am taken out of flesh by this work of redemption in Christ, so that I am made the righteousness of God in Him, and 1 do not look at myself to know if I am righteous before God.
What a contrast between that kind of negative life, with the head just above water, and which says, " I am alive, so I ought to be thankful," and this positive, joyful life which goes out in active energy after Christ! But in order to this the staff of confidence in self must be snapped.
If our hearts are groveling on with the world, this is not living on Christ. Why have you got these difficulties? Because you are inclined to them, and nourish what is the seat of them by continually letting your heart move in the sphere where Christ is not. Christ Himself is not enough your object. There is surely grace enough in Him to help us, where through grace He is looked to, and a strength which is made perfect in weakness.
(Continued from No. 6.)
[Italics by En.]