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Spirit to Son

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The Life that the Spirit of God gives to those reborn is not His Life but the Life of the Lord Jesus’, in which we are eternally implanted (Col 3:4; also Jhn 11:25; 14:6; 20:31; 2Ti 1:1). “These Three are one” in accord and in agreement concerning all things, and They possess the same Divine Essence in Their beings (with different positions of authority), but I wouldn’t think it inaccurate to conceive that They Three have Their own independent Lives. Through rebirth of the Spirit we have our permanent deliverance from the guilt and reign of “the old man.” But we must be mindful concerning our continual need of deliverance from its ongoing opposition (Gal 5:17), which unceasingly attempts to delay growth in the Spirit’s “conformation” (Rom 8:13) of our “walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:25).

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What man is in the flesh and under law is fully demonstrated in the Word. Surely “the flesh profiteth nothing" (Jhn 6:63). Law cannot give power to deliver, but only produces wretchedness, and as we see in Romans Seven, deliverance must come from another. “Power belongeth to God” (Psa 62:11); the power of deliverance must come from Him, and this is the Chapter’s triumphant note: “I thank God through Christ Jesus our Lord” (v 25).

In Romans Eight we see the believer in Christ Jesus, free from all condemnation, free from “the law of sin and death” (law; principle - “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” - Eze 18:4, 20—NC), indwelt by the Holy Spirit, a child of God, an heir of God and joint heir with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the contrasted statement of the privileges, the capacities, the security and the prospects of the believer as having the Spirit that is presented as the divinely wrought counterpart of the preceding description of man as “carnal, sold under sin” (sold i.e. as a “captive” against his will – Ro 7:23—NC). The proof and witness of human wretchedness is the law. As alive in the Lord Jesus the believer is estimated, not according to the variable standard of his own emotions, but according to the eternal fixedness of Divine truth now realized and established in the person of the Lord Jesus before the Father.

The first statement of Romans Eight assures the believer that there is for him no more condemnation. In Christ Jesus, in identification with Him who died for our sins and is risen from among the dead, in whom we have died and have newness of life, in such a position condemnation is no longer possible, because nothing remains to be condemned. There can be no condemnation for those who are united to a risen Christ; as He is so are we (1Jo 4:17), and this most blessed assurance is unconditional.

But what makes the believer in Christ Jesus free from the law of sin and death, which is in his members (Jas 4:1; Col 3:5)? The second verse answers the question. “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath set me free from the law of sin and death” (which frees us from the ability of old man working in us to be willing to sin, as before—NC). The law of sin and death has lost its power at the Cross, and that Calvary death is ministered to our old man by another law, the law (principle; power—NC) of the Spirit, which is Life in Christ Jesus. It means that the Spirit’s law is that we are, for everything, dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him are all our springs and resources—our very Life. We are one with Him (Jhn 14:20; 17:22).

To rest in all this in faith, identifying ourselves with the Lord Jesus as the Father has done it, giving Him the preeminence, glorifying Him—this gives power and deliverance. The Spirit of holiness and power is given to the believer—He dwells in him. If the believer then walks according to the law of the Spirit that is in Christ, he is made free from the law of sin and death. The righteousness of the law can in this way be fulfilled in us. But there is a condition (not for being holy but for walking after it—NC). We must not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

What is the walk according to the Spirit? It is not self-occupation, nor even occupation with the Holy Spirit. Walking according to or in dependence upon the Spirit is occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. If the believer ever looks at the Lord Jesus, depends upon Him, fellowships with Him, receives all he needs from Him and He is his all—then the believer walks according to the Spirit. The believer is called to walk according to the Spirit, in the sphere into which he was brought through grace—“hid with Christ in God.” He may walk according to the flesh (which is sometimes unavoidable due to the old man—NC), but that does not put him back into his former position; when unsaved, he was in the flesh. “For ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Rom 8:9).

— A Gaebelein (1861 – 1945)