There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are In Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
Christ Jesus" is the definition of all Christians, and it defines them
as a people identified with the One who as a man has entered into the
presence of God; "for in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in
that he liveth, he liveth unto God" (Rom. 6:10).
"In Christ" is
the language of complete identification. Crucified with Him on the
Cross, His resurrection was the divine declaration of our acceptance
with Him in His work and place. Henceforth the eye of God sees us ever
in Him alone. We are reckoned, and are to reckon ourselves, as with Him
dead, buried, quickened, risen, and in Him seated in the heavenly
places before the Father. His delight in us is His unchangeable delight
in His Beloved Son; therefore the Lord Jesus says to us, "because I
live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19).
How could there be a
doubt about the believer's perfect security if this were realized? It
would be impossible. Can He change? Or will His Father say to Him, I
cannot any longer accept You as standing for this people? Or, once
again, if standing for them, is He on probation yet? Is His work
completely done, or still to do? It is finished, blessed be God: He
sits in the glory of God. His heart is at rest, and ours may be. Had He
not entitled our hearts to rest, His own heart would not allow Him to
be seated there.
"There is, therefore, now no condemnation to
them who are In Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:1). "In Christ" - can God's own
eye find fault with Him? "In Christ" is there any flesh - any body of
death, any thing for men to improve or alter? And in Christ we are!
There our chains drop off. Much more, but still that. We are delivered:
we are free! Let us understand well. This is not walk yet; it is the
principle, the position - the key, and, when applied by the Holy
Spirit, the power for it. We are to "walk as Christ walked"; we are to
walk "in Christ"; and "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
sets us free from the law of sin and death."
responsibility of a right walk is still ever ours. It is not that
Christ's walk is substituted for ours, or His holiness imputed to us,
or anything of the kind. It is not yet the question of how to walk, but
of what I am; but a question which, when settled in God's way, stops
necessarily the effort to be what no effort of mine can make me, and
what, thank God, His infinite grace has already made me: complete in
Him. "As Christ is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).
effort of ours make us "as Christ is"? It would be clearly impossible;
and yet nothing but this would reach up to the standard God has given
us. Nothing short of this would be perfection, and nothing short of
perfection could we rightly rest in. If imperfection God cannot accept,
and perfection I cannot bring Him, what then? Then I must accept a
perfection of my Father's providing, and find in the Lord Jesus a new
self that needs no mending and cannot be improved, where no body of
death disturbs or oppresses, and occupation with which is not legalism,
I am privileged to turn away from what I find in
myself as a man down here, then, because in the death of the Cross, the
death wherein I died with Him, "sin in the flesh" has been fully dealt
with. The condemnation of it by God has already found its full
expression on the Cross. For faith, not for experience, I too have
died, and that "to sin", because "he died unto sin once." I reckon
myself (not feel or find myself) to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive
unto God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11).