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The Divine Standard

The Christian is one who is not only sheltered from judgment by the Blood of the Lamb, not only delivered from the power of all his enemies by the death of the Lord Jesus, but is also associated with Him where He now is, at the right hand of the Father; he is passed out of death in resurrection and ascension* (Eph 2:6) and is blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ.

The believer is thus a heavenly man, and, as such, is called to walk in this lost world in all the varied relationships and responsibilities in which the good hand of the Father has placed him. He is not a monk, or an ascetic, or a man who lives in the clouds, fit neither for earth or heaven. He is not one who lives in a dreamy, misty, impractical region but on the contrary, one whose happy privilege it is, from day to day, to reflect, amid the scenes and circumstances of earth, the grace and virtues of the Lord Jesus, with whom, through infinite grace, and on the solid ground of accomplished redemption, he is linked in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The believer is one whose sins are forgiven, who possess eternal life, and knows it; in whom the Holy Spirit dwells; who is accepted in and associated with the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. He has broken with the world, has died to sin and the law, and finds his object and delight, and his spiritual sustenance in the One who loved him and gave Himself for him, and for whose coming he waits every day of his life.

This is the New Testament description of a Christian. How immensely it differs from the ordinary type of Christian profession around us we need not say. But let the reader measure himself by the divine standard and see wherein he comes short; for of this he may rest assured that there is no reason whatsoever, so far as the love of the Father, or the work of the Son, or the testimony of the Spirit are concerned, why he should not be in the full enjoyment of all the rich and rare spiritual blessings which appertain to the true Christian position. Dark unbelief, fed by legality, bad teaching and spurious religiousness rob many of the Father’s dear children of their proper place and portion. Not only so, but from want of a thorough break with the world, many are sadly hindered from the clear perception and the full realization of their position and privileges as heavenly people.

We must learn what true Christianity is from the pages of the New Testament, and having learned it there, judge ourselves by its heavenly light. In this way, while we shall ever have to confess and mourn our shortcomings, our hearts shall ever, more and more, be filled with praise to Him whose infinite grace has brought us into such a glorious position, in union and fellowship with His own Son—a position blessed by God, in nowise dependent upon our personal state, but which, if really apprehended, must exert a powerful influence upon our entire course, conduct and character.

- C H Mackintosh

Poster’s Opinion:

*”ascension”: John Gill - ‘and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’: Christ is entered into heaven as the Forerunner (Heb 6:20), to take possession of it for His people, in their name; and to prepare mansions of glory for them, and in these they sit; which imports honor, pleasure, rest from labor and weariness, and safety and security.

“What adds to the happiness of this is, that it is together with all the saints, and with Christ Himself; and in these they are made to sit already; which is so said, because of the certainty of it, for the same glory Christ has, they have (John 17:22 – in my opinion the glory is son-ship which is oneness with God and one another through the Spirit—NC); and because of their right to such a blessing; and chiefly because Christ their Head is set down therein, who sustains their persons, bears their names on His heart, and represents them. “

Daily devotional by Miles J Stanford: None But The Hungry Heart

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