Galatians iii. 20; Philippians iii. 20, 21.
by George Wigram Neatby
IN these three verses, we have three truths brought out with wonderful clearness. Firstly, we, have death with Christ, an accomplished fact! Secondly, a present joy and blessedness down here; and, thirdly, the glorious future awaiting each believer in the Lord Jesus.
Firstly. "I have been crucified with Christ" (R.V.) It is a fact, a past and accomplished fact. It is not a question of attainment, but a definite statement of a definite fact, true of every believer. We have died, firstly, to sin (Romans vi. 2); secondly, to the law (Romans vii. 4), which held me bound under the curse. We are now called upon to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ (Romans vi. 11), being assured in verse 14 of the same chapter, that sin shall not have dominion over us; because we are not under the law, but under grace! We are, then, as those "planted together in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in newness of life" (Romans vi. 4, 5). Alas! How little we enter into, the vastness of things which are "treasured up in Christ."
We hear Christians exhorting one another to die to sin. This is well meant, doubtless; but is foreign to the teaching of the apostle in Romans vi. and Galatians ii. 20. Every believer in the Lord Jesus has died to sin! It is not that sin is dead, but that the believer has died to sin!
Secondly. We have the solemn responsibility of walk and testimony. "The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God." Do we? It is possible! The CHRIST Who "gave Himself for us" on Calvary, is now before the throne of God for us (Heb. ix. 24). What a truth for the tried, sorrow-burdened heart!
It is a life of separation. He had not where to lay His sinless head! "We are called to follow Him in the path of His rejection.
"Till then ’tis the path Thou hast trod,
My delight and my comfort shall be,
I‘m content with Thy staff and Thy rod,
Till with Thee, all Thy glory I see."
Lastly. We have a bright and glorious hope! "Our citizenship (or commonwealth) is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall change these bodies of our humiliation that they may be fashioned like unto His body of glory." In one blissful, rapturous moment, in one satisfying gaze, we shall be like Christ! Conformed to His blessed image! These poor hearts of ours, so prone to sin, so, unlike Him, will be like Him forever! And what effect, beloved, is this hope to have upon our walk and ways down here? We are called upon to "purify ourselves, even as He is pure." Holiness to the Lord, separation from a world that cast Him out. Yes! separation in thought, word, and deed. The Lord graciously give us to wait, day by day for Christ, and so "occupy till He come!"
"Footsteps of Truth" 1900