The Secret of a Happy, Useful Life
“We are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
“So also ye, reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, N.Tr.).
“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:10).
These three Scriptures have been suggested as giving the secret of victory over the power of sin within and around, and of a happy, useful life of service for our Lord.
In the first we find the fact stated. In the sight of God the believer has died with Christ. In His death not only the sins of the believer have been blotted out but the believer himself, as to what he was in Adam fallen, has been brought to an end in judgment. As another has said, “When Christ went to the cross the Christian went also.” This fact is to be received in all simplicity. It presents the matter as it is seen by God and is stated for faith to receive and act upon. It is not a matter of feeling. No one could feel dead. No, it is God’s view in grace, and we are called to see ourselves as He sees us.
In the second passage the exhortation comes to believers to reckon as God reckons. And again it is not a matter of feeling but of faith counting, as led by the Spirit of God, that as Christ has died unto the sin with which He came into contact on our behalf, and lives again free of it, so the believer is to reckon himself to be “Dead indeed unto sin,” no longer a slave to obey its behests; but “Alive unto God in Christ Jesus” and so henceforth free to do His will.
In the third portion it is the practical carrying out of the truth which is spoken of by the Apostle. He had seen himself as having died with Christ when Christ died upon the cross. Faith had laid hold of it at, or since, his conversion on the way to Damascus. And now day by day the truth was applied to his whole course in order that nothing of self might be displayed but only the life of Christ shine out.
A beautiful incident is told of one who knew and valued the truths spoken of and who sought to carry them out in his life, following in the Apostle’s steps.
G.V.Wigram was journeying from Australia to New Zealand in his happy service of carrying the gospel, and in ministering to the children of God. With a fellow-Christian, the captain of the ship, he had just left the vessel, when he suddenly remembered that he had left his Greek New Testament under the pillow in his berth. The captain went back for the book and asked the officer in charge if the volume had been found. The officer replied that it had, and added “There never has been a man on board like him.”
“Why? Did he have anything to say?”
“Not much,” he replied, “but he was just like Jesus.”
The life of Jesus was being manifested in his body.
So should it be with every Christian, and so it will be with those who keep near to Christ in communion with Him and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit day by day, refusing to allow the flesh in any of its forms, and sowing to the Spirit by prayer and meditation day and night.