It is no question at all now, whether a man can stand in the day of judgment by a certain course of living.
We live under the revelation that he cannot; Christianity begins with that revelation. We cannot stand before God; all the world has become guilty.
The law put man on probation, but when Christ came, the full evil of man’s heart was brought out; he crucified the Lord of glory. And now we get the deeper apprehension that we are not only guilty but lost; lost as a present state.
Guilt refers to the day of judgment, but there is, too, the actual condition. I am not only exposed to judgment but I am lost also.
Then at the cross, when man’s sinfulness was fully proved, the love of God was shewn out in the accomplishment of the work of his salvation.
The whole question of good and evil, perfect evil in man and perfect goodness in God, all was brought out.
The consequence was that man has gone into the glory of God. Jesus Christ sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. That is where Christianity begins; it is with the full testimony of evil in man, and then I have another Man, who perfectly glorified God, and who is now glorified by God.
The mystery of the cross is this, that in that place where sin came out absolutely in full light before God, there, too, was the place of perfect obedience and full love towards God.
But, this being accomplished, “if God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him,” and the Son of man goes straight up into the glory of God.
There I get a new platform altogether, not with my responsibility in question, for on that ground I am lost as well as guilty; but there is a Man gone into the glory of God, so that I both know God in the perfectness of His love, and Man in the perfectness of God’s righteousness. This is the starting point of Christianity; every thing is put on an entirely new basis.
Then at Pentecost the Holy Ghost came down, and .His presence on earth is the consequence of Man in the glory of God. Every direct operation of God was by the Spirit; “By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens”; prophets spake by the Holy Ghost; demons were cast out by the Spirit of God; but all that is a very different thing from the Spirit’s coming.
Christ made everything; but He did not come until the incarnation. He was there in one sense, but there was also a distinct personal coming.
So the Holy Ghost has now come, and He dwells in a believer, and becomes the power of Christianity and characterises the Christian himself.
We now stand between the Holy Ghost sent down and the full result in glory. “He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit,” i.e., He has wrought us for the glory, and has given us the earnest of it. That is where the Christian stands, and he is thereby associated with Christ in heavenly glory.
How can I know that I have the Holy Ghost? Do you fancy that God dwells in me, and I shall not find it out? I may not be able to explain it, but that is another thing. We cannot have it without knowing it. You must have a knowledge of Scripture to explain it, but there will be a consciousness of the fact in one’s self, and there will be true liberty, too.
But then the life of Jesus is to be manifested in me, and there I get my proper responsibility as a Christian.
Since Christ appears in the presence of God for us, we are to appear in the presence of the world for Christ.
If He dwells in you, then let us see Him in you.