header image
Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Led By A Way I Knew Not-Chapter 18
Led By A Way I Knew Not-Chapter 18 PDF Print E-mail
Written by R. Anna Phillips   

Chapter  XVIII-The Soul

But the soul itself! Here is the mystery. Here is generally the reason, I think, some ignore the soul; because they cannot understand it by reason; then let us know it by its fruits. And as the one way makes the same way for each element, or the same to the soul and body, and Jesus led in it, let us look at Jesus. Then in body, he was buried, and rose again. And remember the new man is said to be crucified with Christ, and risen with him from the dead. This is not so much a figure then, as a substance of the new man. But with what body did he rise? We know it was the same body by the wound-marks. So we know it is the some soul raised from the dead (let, every Christian look Within), by the “worm-wood and the gall” still had in remembrance. Without these wound-marks there could be no redemption’-and without these same wound marks, condemning and killing the soul, from whence he rose with Christ --he could never sing redeeming grace--he still has them in remembrance, and therefore hopes. Jesus rose and “showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs.” Acts 1:3. That is, as still subject to natural passions; so the risen soul is still “subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” Jesus ate and drank as of ordinary food for nourishment to his body, as still subject to natural appetite although that body could die no more. So: the soul, as not yet delivered from this earthly house, has still the natural demand for earthly substance and this natural appetite often becomes the abused inlet for poisonous food, as malice, avarice, covetousness, &c., till that kind of food, predominating over the spiritual, so strengthens the fleshly life that the soul lives after the flesh, and becomes weak, sickly, or dies; in proportion to the extent. Jesus made himself known to his disciples in “the breaking of bread.” So a soul makes himself known to disciples in evidence of the broken body (bread of life):of Jesus: Christians are known to each other only in Christ bodily. But now, with all this, what kind of a body, what nature of body had he? It doth not yet appear: we know just so much about the kind and nature of his body as we know of the kind and nature of the risen soul. We know one thing, it was the same body raised up, and changed by the hidden power of God, as not to be subject to death any more; it could die no more, was evermore alive to God (talk of “falling from grace”). And yet, while on earth, it was not a divine spirit; it was flesh and bone, to be seen and handled. That shows the risen soul, as still by mysterious complication, with the body--as still on earth--in part partaking still ,of original nature: not sinful, but natural, lawful, organic ties. And these are the mediums of its infirmities and weakness. “See and handle me.” We see these infirmities: we see they are not spirit: we see the weak, tempted soul, and by the groanings we know there is an undelivered part, and our own soul answers to them in much weakness, and fear, and trembling. And by power of influence we handle these parts, we may “provoke to love and good works;” or to offense, to cause sorrow, indignation. strife, contention, &c. And there, are some today, who, like Thomas, will not believe by ordinary evidences; they must thrust their hands in the side and see the prints of the nails, of a brother, to gain: his fellowship--must show the gaping, unmistakable, veritable death-wounds to sin, ere he will believe him born again.

And remember, this sanctification of this triune man is the setting apart, as of a building, for “a habitation of God through the spirit,” that all are the “members of his [Christ’s] body, and of his flesh, and of his bones,” Eph. 5:30; “always bearing about in. your body [the new man claims his body], the dying of the Lord Jesus; that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” But that we are weak through the flesh, God knows. But:

This question has been repeated and pressed upon me. That a Christian can, and does sin, is Christ’s advocacy with the Father. What those claiming a divine sinless principle, as wholly comprising the new man, make of the violations of the law of Christ by Christians, I am unable to tell: or what use they have for an “Advocate with the Father;” or a merciful High Priest--a merciful High Priest--to make intercessions for saints, is past, my conception. I have been told “a Christian cannot sin;” and that, in extenuation of a Christian’s violating the law of Christ, it was the carnal mind that violated: as if the carnal mind was ever under the law of Christ: hence, “not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be.” “Where there is no law there is no sin”--”by a knowledge of law is sin.” No party can violate a law, except under it: and if the carnal mind, or natural man, can violate the law of Christ, then they are translated from the old and made subject of grace and are required to keep all the ordinances and commandments of the gospel law.

But, there is a sinless principle in a Christian that cannot sin because divine. But this is not the principle that cannot sin against the old law, because born of God: the divine spirit never was born again, this is not the principle translated from the dominion of darkness, and death, and sin; but the spirit of life of that principle which has made it free from the law of sin and death: and which always prompts that principle to obedience.

Than this divine principle, there is another about the renewed soul springing in weakness and infirmity, from its organic complication (already mentioned) linking it still to the mortal flesh; yet which properly belongs to it, and which was recognized and admitted into the kingdom and placed under its laws, by Jesus Christ. And for which failing and infirmity he is the Advocate, and the merciful and faithful Priest in things pertaining to God (for it has of things pertaining lawfully to nature, making the inlet to sin, as described), “wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren (see how Scriptural was my comparison of the soul to him) that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, for (brethren) in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them (brethren) that are tempted.

Jesus himself was tempted from this same weakness. Is the Christian purer, and better, and more perfect, than he was? No. That same weakness of soul you have, he had “through the flesh,” and was subject to temptations, was tempted sorely, more than any mortal ever was; and so he knows what it is from his feelings, and having been tempted in all points like as we are: and he is a merciful priest as touched with a feeling of our infirmities. He knows how to succor by feeling what we need. He had the spirit without measure: Christians have it by measure. If Jesus, the ensampler as made of a woman, was subject to temptations; then we may be sure his brethren, whom made like, were subject, and not only subject to temptations, but guilty of sin through this weakness.

Then did Jesus possess this weakness as a man? Was he other than divine in principle, though possessing a mortal body? Let us see. He had a separate will from the divine will; and which would come up in times of great trial and temptation--in flesh supporting pleadings in direct opposition to the will of the Father, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless; not my will, but thine be done.” Again it comes, claiming an own self: “I can, of mine own self, do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which sent me. If I bear witness of myself my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me, and I know the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.” John 5:30,32. Neither should a Christian let this--his infirmities, judge him as it is so often want to do, and that to condemn), “for I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of him. that sent me.” My soul” [he claims a soul as now concerned] is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” “And he went a little further, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, “‘0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass; nevertheless: not as I will, but as thou wilt’“‘ There was the suffering tempting soul pleading for the cup of further suffering to pass: and there was the divine prompting--the divine spirit putting in the “nevertheless.”

But, suppose the divine sinless spirit was the new man entire; was there real danger of transgression, that a law written, and with penalties annexed, was given? Could that spirit, incapable of sin, need such a law? “The spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.” Did it need written instructions ? Would it know what to pray for as it ought? Would it have infirmities of its flesh?

The work of Jesus Christ is all for sinners; none for a divine sinless spirit that was never lost. To say that the divine spirit is the Christian, and that, hence, a Christian is sinless, is to make void the mission of Jesus Christ into this world. Or else, to say the divine spirit is the new man, is to say Adam had it, and it received the law in him, and by sin fell in him and was redeemed, and made alive by being born again. It surprises me to hear any one contending for this. It is not only absurd in the face of the Scriptures, but destructive to sinners’ hope of salvation. The divine spirit and. sinners have nothing in common, as to nature and need, that we may shift one for the other, in salvation.

But let the new man be what God has made him, and be called what he has called him--”the redeemed of the Lord”--”free from the law of sin and death:” yet still, while in this body, “subject to vanity;” but a subject in the kingdom of grace. And a kingdom implies a king and law-giver. Christ is the king and the “government is upon his shoulder.” He gives a law to his subjects, and they alone are under law to him; and they alone can violate that law.

The old man, not redeemed not translated, not subject, is not responsible. Hence for him for any unbeliever--to assay to observe, would be sin, because not of faith. Then that law of Christ which we know is often violated, is violated by Christians, as no one else is under it, and a violation is sin; hence a Christian can, and does sin, not against the old law, but against Christ.

There is no more sacrifice for sin against the old law: there need be none; as the soul’s eternal redemption was finished, completed, on the cross; and the whole church stands as perfect and secure in that respect as Christ himself. “By the which will [accomplished by Christ] he hath perfected forever them which are sanctified.” The cross looked to that, he died on the cross for sinners: but fills the priestly office in the most holy place for saints. Does he fill a useless office? Is the advocacy of the High Priest bearing the sins of his people a mock service? Why is he there as a “merciful and faithful High Priest making intercessions for the saints,” if they cannot sin? Or has he gone back upon the old score, and begun again what was “finished,” that he intercedes for sins at all? or, having saved his people, and triumphed gloriously over death, hell and the grave, must he now plead with groanings which cannot be uttered for “fleshly lusts?” (as I have heard violations of his law put upon).

“Grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” to your bodies. How often do Christians grieve the holy spirit, by disobedience to Christ--by resistance to the spirit’s promptings? Aye, that spirit--that one spirit of Christ in all his dutiful children--which leads in the holiest of all--in spirit (Christ being responsible still for his people),with groanings which cannot be uttered; and in all the brotherhood is grieved (so far as the sin is known) and in you (who have sinned) it is grieved, and you go bowed down, burdened and oppressed for days, weeks, and often months, on account: and you groan and pray; and you groan and pray, being burdened in spirit, the one spirit makes intercessions for you according to the will of God; and God hears and pardons, it is the officiating High Priest in things pertaining to God, in sin pertaining to the one body, life, spirit and salvation. And in proportion as one has the spirit is the groanings for sin a gains[Christ stronger: Christ has it without measure, and groans with groanings which cannot be uttered. The spiritually minded brother, knowing your sin, grieves as he never could for the greater apparent sins of a worldlian. And God wills not the death of any he has given to his Son, he loves him. and he hears him; and that without a sacrifice, of justice, for saints are not under the old stern law administration of death but under law to Christ, the ministration of grace.
But having been recently condemned by one of our more prominent ministers for saying a Christian could and did sin, and learning that several others stood with him, and that as supported by the Scripture that reads, “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin because he is born of God.” 1John 3:9. Permit me in this connection to prove my position.

If you will notice the verse preceding the above you will see sin as under consideration ascribed to the devil, that is, that sin in the Lord’s people was his work: and then it reads that Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil; that is, destroy the devil’s power of death held over them. “The wages of sin is death, and the strength of sin is the law.” Jesus redeemed them from the curse of the law--satisfied and found release from it, and thus destroyed the means of power the devil held over his people, that being dead wherein they were held, so that they are free from the law; and not only free, but translated into a new kingdom and system of law. A citizen of France comes to the United States --translated, as it were to find a new home, and is finally “naturalized.” He cannot sin against the laws of France, under whose laws he once was; they have no dominion over him: his allegiance and naturalization papers attest him dead to her laws, and these to him: he cannot sin against them. But he can sin against the laws of the United States.

But this being, or should be, a subject full of profit and interest to every child of God, or the brotherhood generally. and the more clearly to show the relative position and obligations of the church to law, and how she can and does sin, let us take up the Bible figure of Adam in relative position to law and to Eve, as “the figure of him that was to come.”

That is, of him that was then to come: and not a figure of him before he came into the world; in which case we would have Christ and the church created in heaven--a created Christ--and confirm the doctrine of “eternal vital union;” as also the assertion in connection that “nothing goes to heaven but that which came down from heaven.” But the figure is of Jesus come in the flesh; not as Partaking of the nature of angels, which would be divine and spiritual, for it behooved him to be made like unto his people; so, these being partakers of human flesh and blood he-likewise took on him the same that through death--to which a human body is necessary--he might destroy him that had the power of death over them. Heb. 2: 14, 17. Hence, it is written that “he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one”--one nature which is human; however, in spirit he is the Lord from heaven.

But I want now to speak of him as Husband, and, his people as his betrothed bride, and her relative position and obligations to him as such. And in which sense the manifestation of Jesus in the flesh, his one-ness with her flesh was as his betrothal of her unto himself (Hos. 2: 19), that bound him as actual marriage.

The given figure presents Eve as that of the visibly organized gospel church, as manifested in the-world which Jesus said “I will build,” and of which Paul said “I have laid the foundation” after Jesus had left the world. For the new covenant or will of’ Jesus must be in force before this building can be visibly established. Hence the foundation was laid after the death of the Testator.

Adam was made and under law before Eve Was. manifested. So Jesus Was made of a woman and under law before this church was manifested. A deep, sleep fell on Adam, during which his side was pierced’ and God took therefrom a rib, with which he made. Eve, his wife. Also, a deep sleep of death fell on Jesus, and his side was pierced, “and forthwith came “there out blood and water” (John 19: 35); flowing as: one stream, Yet separate and distinct. And however marvelous and contrary to the laws of nature this was, more marvelous is the fact that these flowed from the dead body of Jesus! Yes, from the dead body of Jesus as it hung dead on the cross.

For dead it must be ere Pilate could dare give it way. For in Pilate answering to the moral law that found “no fault in the man;” while Herod—the ceremonial--put the old scarlet robe sins of his people on him, and with the other “powers that be,” clamored for his death--was vested the official authority to pass the sentence of death: and having passed it on Jesus, he must have it executed; hence, he dare not give that body away till life, the price of redemption that alone satisfied the law, was extinct .as fully paid. See how certain he must be of this .ere he gave the body to Joseph. Luke 15: 44. He was dead, and he gave the body to Joseph. Joseph here represents a great deal, but we’ll pass it. So the body belonged to Joseph when his side was pierced and the blood and water came out. And “eternal redemption was obtained,” and the old covenant ended the moment that body was dead. And now whatever more of virtue there is in it belongs to the new covenant. And here is fulfilled the prophecy: ,’In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea.” Zech. 14: 8.

Then the blood and the water that came from the dead body of Jesus means much: they directly answer to the soul and body of Jesus and represent the material of which God will make Jesus’ bride--the visible gospel church; just as he took the rib--flesh and bone of--of Adam to make Eve. And that these elements came from the dead body of Jesus as it hung condemned and accursed on the cross; so of this same material--of the same like soul and body under the same curse and condemnation by the holy law of God, will he make a new creature;--yes, it shows that of like]material, in a like condition of death and condemnation, or soul and body “dead in trespasses and in sins,” will he make the gospel church manifestly.

And none but Adamic sinners are thus found. And remember Jesus himself came by water and by blood; “not by water only, but by water and blood,” says an apostle (1 John. 5, 6), that is not all human body only, but in human body and soul.

In connection with the gospel, water as a cleansing, purifying, always applies to the visible body--woman; and works of obedience always spring as the answering witness: while blood as an element of purification, always applies to the invisible soul, by an invisible internal process, and faith springs in answer. or witness. And gospel obedience and faith are the two witnesses. “While they as above and agreeing in the spirit, and including it, are the three that . bear witness in earth.” 1 John 5:7.

Then of this last dead soul and body will God make the church. And when he made Eve that he “closed up the flesh instead thereof,” showing that never another woman--never another church--was to be so made. When man can make a woman out of a rib---make it into a living soul, he may presume to make a Christian--to convert a soul to God.

Eve “was the mother of all living in nature.” So Jesus’ bride is the mother of all in spirit.

Jesus paid his human life to redemption, but he was able to take up his divine life he laid aside before he died. The resurrection of Jesus in body and soul (Acts 2: 27); by the glory or power of God, yet “through the blood of the everlasting covenant,” shows how this church shall be raised from this like condition also through the blood of the everlasting covenant Unto the same life--the resurrection life of her Lord. The resurrection of Jesus is the divine p]edge that so shall she be raised and live. Jesus as the “first fruit” is not only a pledge that she follows, but shows the first and after fruit are the same in nature--the same to draw from the blood of the everlasting covenant. For Jesus’ body, as vet the only body resurrected, is thus the “beginning of the creation of God” after this kind that shall live forever.

Having now seen the material and the life; let us suppose this church manifested and occupying this relative position; for “thy Maker is thy Husband.” Is. 54: 5. And remember this high position of the wife was attained “through the body of his death,” and as prompted by an underlying love stronger than death.

Eve was in the transgression as deceived. But Adam was in it through his great love for her; he had rather die with her than live separate from her. So Jesus, “for the great love wherewith he loved his bride, was willingly made 1o be made sin” in her behalf. In proof that this love was the moving cause he said “greater love hath no man that one should lay down his life for his friend,” It is always well to remember this surprising love.

But notice particularly that after they had sinned and fallen, and apparently in consequence of Eve’s having been deceived and inducing Adam to partake, God placed her under the rule and dominion of Adam for the first time as her husband,: saying “thy desire shall be unto thy husband, and he shalt rule over thee:” and also, I will greatly multiply thy sorrows and thy conception: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thy desire shall. be unto him.” Gen. 3:16. In recognition of this relationship and referring to its first principles of mutual obligations, an apostle, speaking to the Church, says “the husband is the head of the Wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Savior of the body. Christ loved the church and gave himself for it that he might present it to himself a glorious church,” &c. “No man ever yet hated his own flesh but nourished and cherished it., even as the Lord the church, for we are [church members] members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones.” Eph. 5: 22, 30. This shows Christ in oneness of body, soul and spirit with the church--as no man twain but one flesh: and brings the church as a true, loving wife in subjection and obedience. For this relationship the wife, from every legal demand or law otherwise bearing upon her, brings her under law to her husband; which obeying, she has done her whole duty walked humbly before God, love, mercy, done justly and stands approved unto her Lord and acceptable to men. Besides, as her husband he is her legal head is head over all things to her, so that she is hid in him, not only from every outward law, but also from every foe who would despoil from every hand that would pluck her--from every power that would destroy her, or separate her from his arms of love. And withal, he is her surety, mediator, king and priest: and all by means of death justified by this same relationship that now makes him her sole law-giver. Hence, against him only can she sin, and that as transgressing his personal law.

Right here I would impress the fact; that by the law God gave Eve, all the rewards and penalties of this law are confined to the personal mortal body; and that mortal body being timely, limits these to time. The law itself only pertains to time. So that we may well speak of a “timely salvation.” The entire penalty inflicted on her was confined to her mortal body.

And now as to her multiplied sorrows and conceptions--to the conception of fruits in the moral, social and all systems in nature to the obligations, responsibilities, duties, sorrows, trials, &c., of nature, are added those of the spiritual kingdom; wherein Zion not only travails in pain to bring forth her children; but also, alas! often travails in greater pain, yes, as it were, “travails in birth again” for those born of’ God, to deliver them from the world again. Also wherein there are varied fruits conceived in truth and bought forth unto God and the gospel, others conceived in straits, persecutions and trials, and brought forth unto patience and long-suffering and doctrine, &c., and--shame to tell varied illegitimate fruits conceived in pride or other error, and brought forth to some ruler or principality of spiritual wickedness in high places, or else to moral systems, which may indicate a multiplied conception while peculiar sorrows pertaining to, and measured by, the increase of spiritual knowledge; and troubles and plagues that “other men,” or those in nature, know not of (PS. 78:3) sorrows so consuming they turn the frame to a shadow (Job 17: 7)--so heavy they weigh the eyes to sleep (Luke 22: 45)--so harrowing they mar the countenance more than else (Lam. 1:12)--so deep they sink the soul even to death--sorrows ranging in depth from a sigh to groanings that cannot be uttered, and covering the fields of both nature and grace, may tell of sorrows multiplied.

Yet all so mysteriously blest, so peculiarly sweetened by Jesus as always to cause one to rejoice (2 Cor. 6:12), and always willing to pay the fee for the after “peaceable fruits of righteousness.” Besides, knowing it is working for us--comparing weight--”a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

And now having received “double for all her sins,” or in exchange, as it were, for them as imputed to Jesus not only redemption and deliverance from the curse of the law, but also justification to eternal life and heirship, what manner of person ought she to be in all holy conversation and loyal subjection to her Lord? What manner of wife in all outward works and acts calling him Lord. It, was his gracious arms alone that lifted her up from her helpless poverty and pollution of her first estate; and placing her beneath the shadow of his hovering wing, or hiding her in himself when she rests from all her labors--and was made to cease from all her works and enter into millennial rest as exalted and honorable, and now all that is left her to do is love, believe, and obey him. With her rests the responsibility in practical deportment of maintaining or of marring their name: also of retaining or losing his approving smile--yea, the light of his countenance--his health and life-giving presence. And though she cannot sin as pertaining to eternal life or death or the old law, because the seed of God--his spirit--remains in her attesting her dead to its dominion; she can sin, as said, against Christ as disobeying the gospel law. And so sure as she does, the infliction of penalty proportioned to the offense is in her, own personal body. And, oh what distress and disquiet of mind! What deep secret sorrow of soul! what anguish of spirit! and what personal heart only, so to speak, knows of its own bitterness. And with greater offenses, what doubt and darkness is added to the above! what fearful looking-for Of judgment and fiery indignation! On the other hand or in obedience, what joy and peace and love!--what blessed communion in spirit with Jesus! and that no stranger interferes with the whole world against you cannot disturb your peace and trust. Oh, that blessed peace that Jesus gives! I have said this to have your experience confirms my assertion that the rewards and penalties of the gospel law are confined to the personal, mortal body, or to the person in body.

Then as to “timely salvation” A brother seems to think we who believe in it, believe we have the carnal mind to do this work. So far from it, the carnal mind is one of the strongest foes we have to subdue in its work. The carnal mind.-lusts of the flesh, and the natural mind, too. we must bring under in bringing --what Paul calls bringing his body under. They are meant by the phrase “deeds of the flesh” in the admonition: “If ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh ye shall live.” Another brother seemed to think we certainly had the natural man aside from grace to work out this salvation. This is a mistake, too: but we have the “new man” to do it, who is not natural; “for he that is born of the spirit is spirit,” , that is, a like spirit: even so, gross a material as the human body when born of the spirit will be spiritual and no more natural or mortal. So it is the spiritual man, the ‘“you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and in sins:” who can now say “the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” The “you” and “me” here are personal pronouns that stand for the same person as the “ye” in the sentence, if ye live after the flesh [the carnal mind and natural lusts] ye shall die: but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh ye shall live.” Rom. 8:11. The very same, also, to whom was said, “neither yield ye your members [of body, as hands and feet] as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but as instruments of righteousness unto holiness.” There are many such admonitions in the gospel law: and this is the man to whom to whom given and who is through the spirit to work out this salvation that is in one place called “our common salvation;”—common in that all born of the spirit are alike in common command to do so. Each one has the “to will and to do” in them. God works in them both the will and to do; but only within; they must work outwardly; for outward demonstration there must be practical physical performance. They want to do, and the spirit impresses and prompts to do, but so often “how to perform they find not.” “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” and too often they yield their body as instruments to disobedience and thus “grieve the holy spirit whereby they are sealed”—”resist the spirit:” for none others have it—live after the flesh and die to the joys of salvation. Then, the unutterable groanings! The bitter silent grief of heart and secret agony of soul attests the infliction of the penalty of mortal body and timely. Indeed how otherwise than timely when violated—the only law they know or that demands upon them, pertains only to time. 

When Paul said to the brethren “as ye have always obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation.” He as much as said, “continue in obedience:” and with, “fear and trembling” because it was God—the Holy Spirit and prompting within: and knowing the terror of the Lord--his rod;-- wrath and judgments against sin, and that every, disobedience shall receive a just recompense of reward and that it was a fearful thing to fall into his hands for sin, they might well fear and tremble even in obedience.

Others have condemned us believing we held the idea that we worked out this salvation aside from grace Why, it is the grace of God given us m the Spiritual birth and eternal salvation that moves us, and without which we could do nothing--would not want to work, indeed if we have not the spirit we are none of his. It is by this grace, or by faith or through the spirit, that we do, or can, mortify the deeds of the flesh. Without this grace or spirit we would neither will nor do things as honoring and obeying God: to work out this salvation is to do both. Yes, it is the grace of God that causes us to will, to want to obey. The very fact that God works in us both to will and to do is that he has given us grace—the spirit or faith--all synonymous with Jesus’ name in which to perform. Peter when asked by the Pharisees how he had healed the lame man--for he had done all the outward work--said “through the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” Thus through that name or the spirit we work out our own timely salvation, that saves us from the consequences resulting from disobedience to Christ and saves us, to the love, confidence, fellowship, and spiritual communion With the brotherhood, to say nothing of the divine favor.

Hence I repeat, a Christian can and does sin by transgressing the law of Christ. But that his sins are all against him only. Indeed it is impossible for him to sin against another, since Christ stands between him and every other law leaving him his sole law-giver; and Christ’s law, as said pertains only to, and ends with, time.

Beside, he is his surety for final presentation to the Father without legal spot or moral blemish or any such thing. Therefore, in these “things pertaining to God” he as his merciful and faithful High Priest, while he gives him sorrow and repentance for he makes atonement for them well pleasing to God and will present him without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, as thus made ready for the consummation of the betrothal, or for marriage with the Lamb.

Far having obtained eternal redemption for him on the cross, he arose from the dead as the Great High Priest and entered into the most Holy Place not made by hands in the heavens; like the High Priest of old, with the names only of the redeemed on his breast-plate to atone for their after sins. And as the High Priest of old officiated till Jesus came the first time, so will this continue till the last one is thus made ready and he comes the second time to the world. The good Samaritan not only took the poor outcast starving man to the inn and paid two-pence --redemption and justification that pays the right-of-way into the kingdom of heaven--but he also became surety for any and all after cost accruing.

To make assurance doubly sure on this very important practical question I will summarize a little. We all admit the old legal temple was a figure of the gospel temple. The literal body of Christians takes the place of the outer walls, or outer visible temple which encloses the invisible or internal Sanctuary and Holy Place; to which answers the soul and spirit enclosed in the one new man. The soul is addressed in the New Testament as the new man; as the leading lording party, so to speak. “Know ye not your bodies are the temple of God?”--”a habitation of God through the spirit?” It takes the three departments of the temple, and the three elements of the man to make the perfect organic whole or the one new man. And not till thus “made perfect” in gospel organism is the new man ready for service. The body serves in outward physical deportment. The Soul serves as a common priest in the sanctuary, while the spirit serves in the most holy and heavenly place. We must not forget that though the soul’s eternal salvation is complete and eternally secure--which necessarily precedes his priesthood--there is still the altar for service in the sanctuary and the most Holy Place. Aaron and his sons are a figure of Christ and his sons. Each has offerings still to prepare and offer on their respective altars.

And what for, if, as some say, there can be no more sin? Is there no more law? Only where there is no law there is no sin. But national Israel had a law even when delivered from every other law--even the Divine Presence was in the Holy Place. But that presence was just above the mercy-seat, it indicated gracious favor and pardon. But a sinless spirit could not appreciate such a position;--a soul that could not sin, could not do so. But for what were Aaron and his son’s responsible in the office of Priest? Aaron the great high priest and figure of Christ as Priest stood surety between the sins and iniquities of the congregation of Israel and that Presence. So Jesus Christ stands as surety between his people and their Father. Eternal redemption is secure, but the suretyship does not end there, and not till their last enemy is conquered, and the last member is brought without spot, Will these altars in the temple stand and receive offerings for sin: Yes, until the last capstone of the building is brought in Crying “grace, grace unto it!” is Jesus Christ the great High Priest pledged not only for her cleansing With blood, but also her “washing of water by the word.” To accomplish which “according to the will of God” is this daily service fulfilled in the temple not made with hands.

Some seem to separate to too great an extent Jesus Christ ascended and the militant church on earth, or the militant and spiritual kingdom of God: the alliance is close as body and spirit naturally because we see the body and not the spirit, does not bespeak a separation. The gospel organism is fitly framed together and compacted: earth is the abode of the body, but the spirit, whether in an individual child of God or in Christ the High Priest is the Holy Place, Christ in person is entered into the Holy Place in the heavens, and who is in Christ in spirit, no matter where the body, is in a heavenly holy place not made with hands. And when death comes to the body of a child of God or the body collective in the final resurrection, there will be no new beginning of organism or structure of the church: the organism is already complete the body’ is already a living, breathing organism. All now wanting to spiritual perfection is the dropping off of mortality. And as time rolls on there is a gradual coming to this glorious consummation and restitution of all things.

But during which timely process, upon the mitre of Christ as great High Priest is written “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” yes, upon the fore-front is it written as indicating the holiness necessary, and as pledged in the covenant,. in which he would finally present the church as his bride and as thus “made ready” for the Lamb.

Is there a necessity? Not if Christians cannot sin. The necessity is that “when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place, they bear not iniquity and die. It shall be a statute forever unto him and his seed after him.” Ex. 38:49. “When he [Christ] goeth into the Holy Place before the Lord continually [or till the completion] it is for a memorial before the Lord”--in memory of the blood of ‘Christ---”And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment of the Urim and the Thummim and they ‘shall be Upon Aaron’s heart when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually” “shall bear the inequities of the sanctuary [the soul] shall bear the iniquities of your priesthood shall keep the charges of the sanctuary, and the charges of the altar, that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel. Therefore, thou and thy sons [Christ and his people in risen soul] with thee shalt keep your priest’s office for everything of the altar [in the sanctuary in the bodily temple where the service is confined] and within the veil [where Jesus is in personal service] I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gifts [the gift that comes with eternal life]. And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquities of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be upon his forehead that they may be accepted before the Lord.”

Then, there is “a sin-offering in the holy place, seeing it is holy and God hath given it [the priest-hood with the life] to you to make to bear the iniquities of the congregation, to make atonement for them .before the Lord: and the blood. of it was brought within the holy place.” Lev. 10: 17, 19. “To make to bear”--this is to sin against Christ and make him bear them--often “with groanings which cannot be uttered”--as our Surety and Priest. The Lord says to gospel, as to national Israel “thou shalt keep mine ordinances lest thou bear sin and die: therefore, if they perform them, I the Lord do sanctify them., Lev. 22: 9. That is, the Lord ordains all gospel works, and commands obedience to them as specified by the law of Christ.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2006 )
< Previous   Next >


The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.