The Nine Simple Words
by Inglis Fleming
“John’s nine monosyllables all of a row
Are my delight and my comfort wherever I go.”
This was the saying of a devoted Christian years ago. He was referring to John 4:17 where nine words of one syllable each tell a story of wonderful grace and blessing. The words are these
“AS HE IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.”
They speak of the marvellous truth that Christ’s own place is the place of every believer upon Him. He is risen and beyond the judgment of sin which He endured at the Cross on our behalf. And we who have fled to Him for refuge are placed by God “in Christ” who is now in glory. “AS HE IS.” As Christ is clear so are we clear. As for Him the judgment is over, so for us the judgment is over. As He is in fullest, blest acceptance in the presence of God, so are we in present blest acceptance in the presence of God. Can the tides of divine wrath ever reach to Him where He now is? No indeed! and we are before God “in Him” and the tides of divine wrath can never reach to us. “AS HE IS SO ARE WE.” These six little words, thirteen letters altogether should speak peace to any doubting soul. The “He” is Jesus the Son of God in highest heaven now. His work of Calvary completed. His cry, “IT IS FINISHED” as He bowed His head in death is echoed by His empty grave where the angel said, “He is not here, He is risen.” And by the occupied throne of God where He sits having “by Himself purged our sins.” The absence from sepulchre and the presence on the throne alike witness to God’s acceptance of the work of atonement done on our behalf. The glory of the Father visited that silent tomb and raised our Surety, our Saviour from among the dead. The same glory has placed the One who bore our sins at His own right hand. Our Lord had our sins upon Him when upon the tree, but no sins are upon Him now as He adorns the throne of the majesty on high. They are forever put away, and we are before God “AS HE IS.” Thus no fear of judgment is ours. We have boldness in the day of judgment as this truth of the gospel becomes known to us.
“AS HE IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.” Yes! now while here waiting for Him to come. While “in this world,” God would have us in the peace and joy of complete clearance from every charge which devil or demon or man or our own consciences can bring against us. He took our place in the darkness. We share His place in the light. As we learn our place we are set free from all our fears, set free that we may serve and worship the living God in spirit and in truth.
“AS HE IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.” Yes! here and now we are in His acceptance, His life and nature are ours. But who are the “we”? I repeat every Christian is in that acceptance. It is God who Himself places one and all those who receive Christ in that position.
In this blessed glorious liberty of grace “we” stand. Whatever is our age as believers, whatever the measure of our growth or experience, whatever our changeful experiences or feelings, that place is ours.