THE RECONCILIATION OF MAN TO GOD, OR THE
APPLICATION OF REDEMPTION THROUGH
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
SECTION I.—THE APPLICATION OF CHRIST'S REDEMPTION
IN ITS PREPARATION.
(a) In this Section we treat of Election and Calling; Section Second being devoted to the Application of Christ's Redemption in its Actual Beginning—namely, in Union with Christ, Regeneration, Conversion, and Justification; while Section Third has for its subject the Application of Christ's Redemption in its Continuation — namely, in Sanctification and Perseverance.
The arrangement of topics, in the treatment of the reconciliation of man to God, ig taken from Julius Muller, Proof-texte, 35. "Revelation to us aims to bring about revelation in us. In any being absolutely perfect, God's intercourse with us by faculty, and by direct teaching, would absolutely coalesce, and the former be just as much God's voice as the latter" (Hutton, Essays).
(b) In treating Election and Calling as applications of Christ's redemption, we imply that they are, in God's decree, logically subsequent to that redemption. In this we hold the Sublapsarian view, as distinguished from the Supralapsarianism of Beza aud other hyper-Calvinists, which regarded the decree of individual salvation as preceding, in the order of thought, the decree to permit the fall. In this latter scheme, the order of decrees is as follows: 1. the decree to save certain, and to reprobate others; 2. the deree to create both those who are to be saved and those who are to be reprobated; 3. the decree to permit both the former and the latter to fall; 4. the decree to provide salvation only for the former, that is, for the elect
Richards, Theology, 302-307, shows that Calvin, while in his early work, the Institutes, he avoided definite statements of his position with regard to the extent of the atonement, yet in his latter works, the Commentaries, he acceded to the theory of universal atonement. Supralapsarianism is therefore hyper-Calvlnlstic, rather than Calvlnlstic. Sublapsnrianism was adopted by the Synod of Dort (1618, 1619). By Supralapsarlan Is meant that form of doctrine which holds the decree of individual salvation as preceding the decree to permit the fall; Sublapsarian designates that form of doctrine which holds that the decree of individual salvation is subsequent to the decree to permit the fall.
(c) But the Scriptures teach that men as sinners, and not men irrespective of their sins, are the objects of God's saving grace in Christ (John 15: 19; Rom. 11: 5, 7; Eph. 1 : 4-6; 1 Pet 1:2). Condemnation, moreover, is an act, not of sovereignty, but of justice, and is grounded in the guilt of the condemned (Bom. 2 : 6-11 ; 2 Thess. 1: 5-10). The true order of the decrees is therefore as follows: 1. the decree to create; 2. the decree to permit the fall; 3. the decree to provide a salvation in Christ sufficient for the needs of all; 4. the decree to secure the actual acceptance of this salvation on the part of some — or, in other words, the decree of Election.
That saving grace presupposes the fall, and that men as sinners are the objects of It, appears from John IS : 19—" If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose jou out of the world, therefore the world hateth you"; Rom. 11: 5-7—"Even so then at the present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. But if it is bj grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. What then? That which Israel seeketh for, that he obtained not; but the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened." Eph. 1:4-6 — " Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved "; 1 Pet 1: 2 — elect, "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus: Grace to you and peace be multiplied."
That condemnation Is not an act of sovereignty, but of Justice, appears from Rom. 2: 6-9 —" who will render to every man according to his works ... wrath and indignation .... upon every soul of man that worketh evil"; 2 These. 1 : 6-9 —" a righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you .... rendering vengeance to them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall suffer punishment." Particular persons are elected, not to have Christ die for them, but to have special Influences of the Spirit bestowed upon them.
(d) Those Sublapsarians who hold to the Anselmic view of a limited Atonement, make the decrees 3. and 4., just mentioned, exchange places,— the decree of election thus preceding the decree to provide redemption. The Scriptural reasons for preferring the order here given have been already indicated in our treatment of the Extent of the Atonement (pages 421, 422).
When '3.' and '4.' thus change places, '3.' should be made to read: "The decree to provide In Christ a salvation sufficient for the elect"; and '4.' should read: "The decree that a certain number should be saved"—or. In other words, the decree of election. Sublapsarianism of the first sort may be found in Turretln, loc. 4, quasi. 9; Cunningham, Hist. Theol., 410-439.
Election is that eternal act of God, by which in his sovereign pleasure, and on account of no foreseen merit in them, he chooses certain out of the nnmber of sinful men to be the recipients of the special grace of his Spirit, and so to be made voluntary partakers of Christ's salvation.
1. Proof of the Doctrine of Election. A. From Scripture.
We here adopt the words of Dr. Hovey: "The Scriptures forbid us to find the reasons for election in the moral action of man before the new birth, and refer us merely to the sovereign will and mercy of God, that is, they teach the doctrine of personal election." Before advancing to the proof of the doctrine itself, we may claim Scriptural warrant for three preliminary statements (which we also quote from Dr. Hovey), namely,
First, that "God has a sovereign right to bestow more grace upon one subject than upon another — grace being unmerited favor to sinners."
Mat. 20 :12-15 —" These last have spent but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us Friend, I do
thee no wrong .... Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" Rom. 9 : 20, 21 —"Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thoa make me thus? Or hath not the potter a right over the day, from the same lamp to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another onto dishonor?"
Secondly, that "God has been pleased to exercise this right in dealing with men."
Ps. 147 : 20—" Be hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they hare not known them " . Rom. 3:1,2--" What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles of God "; John 15 :16 —" Ye did not choose me, but 1 chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit"; acts 9 i IS —"He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel."
Thirdly, that "God has some other reason than that of saving as many
as possible for the way in which he distributes his grace."
Mat. 11: 21 — Tyre and Sidon "would have repented," If they had had the grace bestowed upon Chorazln and Bethsaida; Rom. 9 : 22-25 —" What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory?"
The Scripture passages which directly or indirectly support the doctrine of a particular election of individual men to salvation may be arranged as follows:
(a) Direct statements of God's purpose to save certain individuals;
lets 13 : 48 —" is many as were ordained (may^im ) to eternal lift believed "— here Whedon translates: "disposed unto eternal life," referring to «ari|pTio-i*«>'« in verse 23, where "fitted" — "fitted themselves." The only Instance, however, where rio-o-iu is used in a middle sense is in 1 Cor. 16 :15 —"set themselves"; but there the object, iavrout, Is expressed. Hero we must compare Rom. 13:1—11 the powers that be are ordained ( Ttraytittm i of God"; see also Acts 10 : 42—"this is he which is ordained (w0to><Vo« ) of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."
Rom. 9 :11-16 —" For the children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth .... I will have mercy on whom I hare mercy . ... So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy "; Epb. 1: 4, 5, 9,11 —" chose us in him before the foundation of the world [not brcatwe we were, or were to be, holy, but], that we should be holy and without blemish before him in lore: having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of bis will.... the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure .... in whom we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will"; Col. 3 :12 —" God's elect"; 2 These. 2 :13 —" God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctilleation of the Spirit and belief of the truth."
(6) In connection with the declaration of God's foreknowledge of these persons, or choice to make them objects of his special attention and care;
Rom. 8 : 27-30 —" called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son "; 1 Pet 1:1, 2 —" elect.... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctilleation of the Spirit, unto obedienoe and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." On the passage in Romans, Shedd, in his Commentary, remarks that "foreknew," in the Hebraistic use, "is more than simple prescience, and something more also than simply * to fix the eye upon,' or to 'select.' It is this latter, but with the additional notion of a benignant and kindly feeling toward the object."
That the word "know," in 8cripture, frequently means not merely to "apprehend intellectually," but to "regard with favor," to "make an object of care," is evident from Gen. 18 :19—"I hare known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him. that they may keep the way of Jehovah, to do justice and judgment"; Ps. 1: 6 —" For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: But the way of the wicked shall perish "; Amos 3 : 2 —" Ton only hare I known of all the families of the earth "; Rom. 7 :15 — " For that which I do I know not"; 1 Cor. 8 : 3 —" If any man loveth God, the same is known by him"; Gal. 4 : 9—"How that ye have come to know God, or rather, to be known of God"; 1 Thesa. 5 :12—"We beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and are over you in the lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them eioeeding highly in love for their work's sake." So the word "foreknow ": Rom. 11:2 —"God did not cast off his people whom he foreknew "; 1 Pet 1: 20 — Christ, "who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world."
In Rom. 8 : 28-30, quoted above, "foreknew " = elected — that Is, made certain individuals, in the future, the objects of his love and care; "foreordained" describes God's designation of these game Individuals to receive the special gift of salvation. In other words, "foreknowledge" is of persons; "foreordination" is of blessings to be bestowed upon them. Hooker, Eccl. Pol., Appendix to book v, (vol. 2: 751) —"1 whom it did foreknow' (know before as his own, with determination to be forever merciful to them) 'he also predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son' — predestinated, not to opportunity of conformation, but to conformation itself." So, for substance, Calvin, Kuckert, DeWette, Stuart, Jowett, Vaughan. On 1 Pet. 1:1, 2, see Com. of Plumptro. The Arminian interpretation of "whom he foreknew" (Rom. 8 : 29) would require the phrase "u conformed to the image of hi) Son" to be conjoined with it. Paul, however, makes conformity to Christ to be the result, not the foreseen condition, of God's foreordination; see Commentaries of Hodge and Lange.
(c) With assertions that this choice is matter of grace, or unmerited favor, bestowed in eternity past;
Bph. 1: 5-8 —" foreordained according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his graos,
which he freelj bestowed on us in the Beloved according to the riches of his grace "; 2 : 8 —" By grace have je
been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God " — here "and that" (neuter Tooto, verse 8) refers, not to "faith," but to "salvation." But faith is elsewhere represented as having its source in Ood (see below). 2 Tim. 1: 9—"his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal."
(d) That the Father has given certain persons to the Son, to be his peculiar possession;
John 6: 37—"ail that which the father giveth me shall come unto me"; 17 : 2—"that whatsoever thou hast given him, to them he should give eternal life "; 6 —" I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them to me "; 9 —" I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me"; Bph. 1:14 —"unto the redemption of God's own possession"; 1 Pet. 2 : 9 —"a people for God's own possession."
(e) That the fact of believers being united thus to Christ is due wholly to God;
John 6 : 44—"No man can come to me, except the father which sent me draw him "; 10 : 26—"Ye believe not. because ye are not of my sheep "; 1 Cor. 1: 30 —"of him [ God ] are je is Christ Jesus " = your being, as Christians, in union with Christ, is due wholly to God.
(/) That those who are written in the Lamb's book of life, and they only, shall be saved;
PhiL 4:3—" the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life "; Rev. 20 :15 —" and if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire "; 21: 27 —" there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean .... but only they whioh are written in the Lamb's book of life " = God's decrees of electing grace in Christ.
(g) That these are allotted, as disciples, to certain of God's servants; acts 17 : 4 — (literally)—"some of them were persuaded, and were allotted [by God] to Paul and Silas"
— as disciples (so Meyer and Grimm); 18 : 9,10 —" Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace. for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to harm thee: for 1 hare much people in this city.
(h) Are made the recipients of a special call of God;
Rom. 8 : 28, 30 —" called according to his purpose .... whom he foreordained, them he also called "; 9 : 23, 24 —" vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles"; 11: 29—"for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance "; 1 Cor. 1: 24-28— "unto them that are called ... Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God .... For behold your calling, brethren .. . the things that are despised did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to naught the things that are: that no flesh should glory before God "; Gal. 1:15,16 —" Then it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, even from my mother's womb, and called me through his grace, to reveal his Son in me "; cf. James 2 : 23 —" and he [ Abraham ] was called [ to be ] the friend of God."
(f) Are born into God's kingdom, not by virtue of man's will, but of God's will;
John 1:13—" born, not of blood, nor of the will of Inn, nor of the Till of nun, bnt of God "; Junes 1:18 —" Of bis ovn vill ho brought us forth by the word of truth."
(J) Receiving repentance, as the gift of God;
Acts 5 : 31 —" Him did God eia.lt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to giro repentance to Israel, and remission of sins"; 11:18—"Then to the Gentiles also hstb God granted repentance unto Ufa"; 2 Tim. 2 : 25 —"correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance onto the knowledge of the truth."
(*) Faith, as the gift of God;
John 6 : 65—"No man can come unto mc, except it be given unto him of the Father "; Acts 15 : 8, 9 —"God
giving them the Holy Ghost.... cleansing their hearts by faith "; Rom. 12 : 3 —'4 according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith "; 1 Cor. 12 : 9 —" to another faith, in the same Spirit"; Gal. 5 : 22 — " the fruit of the
Spirit is faith "; Phil. 2 :13 — In all faith, "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his
good pleasure"; Eph. 8 : 23 —" Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"
(I) Holiness and good works, as the gift of God.
Eph. 1:4—" chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy "; 2 : 9,10 —"not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his workmanship, crested in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them"; 1 Pel 1:2—Elect "untoobedience." On Scripture testimony, see Hovey, Manual of Theol. and Ethics, 258-261.
These passages furnish an abundant and conclusive refutation, on the one hand, of the Lutheran view that election is simply God's determination from eternity to provide an objective salvation for universal humanity; and, on the other hand, of the Arminian view that election is God's determination from eternity to save certain individuals upon the ground of their foreseen faith.
B. From Reason.
(a) What God does, he has eternally purposed to do. Since he bestows special regenerating grace on some, he must have eternally purposed to bestow it — in other words, must have chosen them to eternal life. Thus the doctrine of election is only a special application of the doctrine of decrees.
The New Haven views are essentially Arminian. See Fitch, on Predestination and Election, in Christian Spectator, 3: 622—"God's foreknowledge of what would be the results of his present works of grace preceded In the order of nature the purpose to pursue those works, and presented the ground* of that purpose. Whom he foreknew — as the people who would be gained to his kingdom by his present works of grace, in which result lay the whole objective motive for undertaking those works —he did also, by resolving on those works, predestinate." Here God is very erroneously said to foreknow what is as yet included in a merely po&riWc plan. As we have seen in our discussion of decrees, there can be no foreknowledge, unless there Is something fixed, In the future, to be foreknown; and this fixity can be due only to God's predetermination. So, In the present case, election must precede prescience.
The New Haven views are also given in N. W. Taylor, Revealed Theology, 873-444; for oriticlsm upon them, see Tyler, Letters on New Haven Theology, 172-180. If God desired the salvation of Judas as much as of Peter, how was Peter elected In distinction from Judas? To the question, "Who made thee to differ?" the answer must be, "Not God, but my own will." See Finney, In Bib. Sac, 1877 : 711—"God must have foreknown whom he conld wisely save, prior in the order of nature to his determining to save them. But his knowing who woidil be saved, must have been, in the order of nature, subsequent to his election or determination to save them, and dependent upon that determination."
(6) This purpose cannot be conditioned upon any merit or faith of those who are chosen, since there is no such merit — faith itself being God's gift and foreordained by him. Since man's faith is foreseen only as the result of God's work of grace, election proceeds rather upon foreseen unbelief. Faith, as the effect of election, cannot at the same time be the cause of election.
There is an analogy between prayer and its answer, on the one hand, and faith and salvation on the other. God has decreed answer in connection with prayer, and salvation in connection with faith. But he does not change his mind when men pray, or when they believe. As he fulfils his purpose by inspiring: true prayer, so he fulfils his purpose by (riving faith. Augustine: "He chooses us, not because we believe, but that we may believe: lest we should say that we first chose him" (John 15 :16— "To did not choose me, but I chose you"; Rom. 9 : 21 — "from the same lump"; 16—"not of him that willeth").
Here see the valuHble discussion of Wardlaw, Systematic Theol., 2 : 485-549—" Election and salvation on the ground of works foreseen are not different in principle from election and salvation on the ground of works performed." Cf. Pro'. 21:1 —" The Icings heart u in the hud of the Lord as the water-courses; he tnrneth it whithersoever he will"— as easily as the rivulets of the eastern fields are turned by the slightest motion of the band or the foot of the husbandman; Pa. 110 : 3 —" Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy power."
(c) The depravity of the human will is such that, without this decree to bestow special divine influences upon some, all, without exception, would have rejected Christ's salvation after it was offered to them; and so all, without exception, must have perished. Election, therefore, may be viewed as a necessary consequence of God's decree to provide an objective redemption, if that redemption is to have any subjective result in human salvation.
Before the prodigal son seeks the Father, the father must first seek him —a truth brought out in the preceding parables of the lost money and the lost sheep (Luke 15). Without election, all are lost. Newman Smyth, Orthodox Theology of To-day, 56 — "The worst doctrine of eloctlon, to-day, is taught by our natural science. The scientific doctrine of natural selection is the doctrine of election, robbed of all hope, and without a single touch of human pity in it."
Hodge, Syst. Theol., 2 : 335 —" Suppose the deistic view be true: God created men and left them; surely no man could complain of the results. But now suppose God, foreseeing these very results of creation, should create. Would it make any difference, if God's purpose, as to the futurition of such a world, should precede it? Augustine supposes that God did purpose such a world as the deist supposes, with two exceptions: (1) he Interposes to restrain evil; (2) he intervenes, by providence, by Christ, and by the Holy Spirit, to save some from destruction." Election Is simply God's determination that the sufferings of Christ shall not be in vain; that all men shall not be lost; that some shall be led to accept Christ; that to this end special influences of his Spirit shall be given.
2. Objections to the Doctrine of FAection.
(a) It is unjust to those who are not included in this purpose of salvation. —Answer: Election deals, not simply with creatures, but with sinful, guilty, and condemned creatures. That any should be saved, is matter of pure grace, and those who are not included in this purpose of salvation suffer only the due reward of their deeds. There is, therefore, no injustice in God's election. We may better praise God that he saves any, than charge him with injustice because he saves so few.
God can say to all men, saved or unsaved, "Friend, 1 do thee no wrong .... Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" (Mat 20 :13,15). The question is not whether a father will treat his children alike, but whether a sovereign must treat condemned rebels alike. It is not true that, because the Governor pardons one convict from the penitentiary, he must therefore pardon all. When he pardons one, no injury Is done to those who are left. But, in God's government, there is still less reason for objection; for God offers pardon to all. Nothing prevents men from being pardoned but their unwillingness to accept pardon. Election is simply God's determination to make certain persons willing to accept It. Because justice cannot save all, shall it therefore save none?
Augustine, De Predest. Sanct., 8—"Why does not God teach all? Because it is in mercy that he teaches all whom he does teach, while it is in judgment that he does not teach those whom ho does not teach." In his Manual of Theology and Ethics, 280, Hovey remarks that Rom. 9 : M— "Who art thou that replied against God?"—teaches, not that might makes right, but that God is morally entitled to glorify either his righteousness or his mercy In disposing of a guilty race.
(6) It represents God as partial in his dealings and a respecter of persons. —Answer: Since there is nothing in men that determines God's choice of one rather than of another, the objection is invalid. It would equally apply to God's selection of certain nations, as Israel, and certain individuals, as Cyrus, to be recipients of special temporal gifts. If God is not to be regarded as partial in not providing a salvation for fallen angels, he cannot be regarded as partial in not providing regenerating influences of his Spirit for the whole race of fallen men.
Pa. 44 : 3—"for they gat not the land in possession bj their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favor unto them "; Is. 45:1, 4, 5 —" Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I hare holden, to subdue nations before him .... For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called thee by thy name.... 1 have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me "; Luke 4 : 25-27—"There were many widows in Israel.... and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but only to Zerephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow, and there were many lepers in
Israel and none of them was cleansed, but only N&aman the Syrian "; 1 Cor. 4 : 7—" For who maketh thee to
differ? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? but if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, u if thou hadst not received it?" 2 Pet. 2 : 4 —" God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell"; Heb. 2 :16 —" For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham."
Is God partial, In choosing Israel, Cyrus, Naaman? Is God partial. In bestowing upon some of his servants special ministerial gifts? Is God partial, in not providing a salvation for fallen angels? In God's providence, one man is born in a Christian land, the son of a noble family, Is endowed with beauty of person, splendid talents, exalted opportunities, immense wealth. Another is born at the Five Points, or among the Hottentots, amid the degradation and depravity of actual, or practical, heathenism. We feel that it Is irreverent to complain of God's dealings in providence. What right have sinners to complain of God's dealings in th"e distribution of his grace? Hovey: "We have no reason to think that God treats all moral beings alike. We should be glad to hear that other races are treated better than we."
(c) It represents God as arbitrary.—Answer: It represents God, not as arbitrary, but as exercising the free choice of a wise and sovereign will, in ways and for reasons which are inscrutable to us. To deny the possibility of such choice is to deny God's personality. To deny that God has reasons for his choice is to deny his wisdom. The doctrine of election finds these reasons, not in men, but in God.
When a regiment is decimated for Insubordination, the fact that every tenth man is ehosen for death is for reasons; but the reasons are not In the men. In one case, the reason for God's choice seems revealed: 1 Tim. 1:16—"Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me as chief might Jesus Christ shew forth all his longsutfering, for an ensample of them which should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life"—here Paul indicates that the reason why God chose him was that he was so great a sinner: Terse 15 —" Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
Hovey remarks that "the uses to which God can put men, as vessels of grace, may determine bis selection of them." But since the naturally weak are saved, as well as the naturally strong, we cannot draw any general conclusion, or discern any general rule, in God's dealings, unless It be this, that in election God seeks to illustrate the greatness and the variety of his grace—the reasons lying, therefore, not In men, but in God.
(d) It tends to immorality, by representing man's salvation as independent of their own obedience.—Answer: The objection ignores the fact that the salvation of believers is ordained only in connection with their regeneration and sanctification, as means; and that the certainty of final triumph is the strongest incentive to strenuous conflict with sin.
Plutarch: "God is the brave man's hope, and not the coward's excuse." The purposes of God are an anchor to the storm-tossed spirit. But a ship needs engine, as well as anchor. God does not elect to save any without repentance and faith. Some hold the doctrine of election, but the doctrine of election does not hold them. Such should ponder 1 Pet 1: 2, In which Christians are said to be elect, "in sucutcttiM of the Spirit, unto obedience and (prinking of the blood of Jesus Christ"
(e) It inspires pride in those who think themselves elect.—Answer: This is possible only in the case of those who pervert the doctrine. On the contrary, its proper influence is to humble men. Those who exalt themselves above others, upon the ground that they are special favorites of God, have reason to question their election.
In the novel, there was great effectiveness in the lover's plea to the object of his affection, that he had lovod since he had first set his eyes upon her in her childhood. But God's lovo for us is of longer standing than that. It dates hack to a time before we were born, aye, even to eternity past. It is a love which was fastened upon us, although God knew the worst of us. It is unchanging, because founded upon his Infinite and eternal love to Christ. Jer. 31: 3 —" The Lord appeared of old unto me, saying, Tea, I hare loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee "; Rom. 8 : 31-39 —" If God be for as, who is against us? ... Who shall separate us from the lore of Christ?" And the answer is, that nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This eternal love subdues and humbles: Pi 115 :1 —" Hot onto us, 0 Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thj mercy and for thy truth's sake."
(/) It discourages effort for the salvation of the impenitent, whether on their own part or on the part of others. — Answer: Since it is a secret decree, it cannot hinder or discourage such effort. On the other hand, it is a ground of encouragement, and so a stimulus to effort; for, without election, it is certain that all would be lost ( of. Acts 18 : 10). While it humbles the sinner, so that he is willing to cry for mercy, it encourages him Also by showing him that some will be saved, and (since election and faith are inseparably connected) that he will be saved, if he will only believe. While it makes the Christian feel entirely dependent on God's power, in his efforts for the impenitent, it leads him to say with Paul that he "endures all things for the elects' sake, that they may attain the salvation that is in Ohrist Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2 : 10).
God's decree that Paul's ship's company should be saved (lots 27: 24) did not obviate the necessity of their abiding in the ship (verse 31). In marriage, man's election does not exclude woman's; so God's election does not exclude man's. There is just as much need of effort as if there were no election. Hence the question for the sinner is not "Am I one of the elect? " but rather " What shall I do to be saved?" Milton represents the spirits of hell as debating foreknowledge and free will, in wandering mazes lost.
No man is saved until he ceases to debate and begins to act. And yet no man will thus begin to act, unless God's Spirit moves him. The Lord encouraged Paul by saying to him: "I have much people in this city" (lots 18 :10) — people whom I will bring in through thy word. "Old Adam is too strong for young Melancthon." If God does not regenerate, there Is no hope of success in preaching: "God stands powerless before the majesty of man's lordly will. Sinners have the glory of their own salvation. To pray God to convert a man is absurd. God elects the man, because he foresees that the man will elect himself" (see S. R. Mason, Truth Unfolded, 298-307). The doctrine of election does Indeed cut off the hopes of those who place confidence in themselves; but it is best that such hopes should be destroyed, and that in place of them should be put a hope iu the sovereign grace of God. The doctrine of election does teach man's absolute dependence upon God, and the impossibility of any disappointment or disarrangement of the
divine plans arising from the disobedience of the sinner, and it humbles human prideuntil it is willing to take the place of a suppliant for mercy.
Rowland Hill was criticised for preaching election and yet exhorting sinners to repent, and was told that he should preach only to the elect. He replied that, if his critic would put a ehalk-mark on all the elect, he would preach only to them. But this is not the whole truth. We are not only ignorant who God's elect are, but we are set to preach toboth elect and non-elect ( Ei. 2: 7 —" thou shalt speak my words onto thorn, whether they will heir, or whether they will forbear" ), with the certainty that to the former our preaching will make a higher heaven, to the latter a deeper hell (2 Cor. 2 :15,16 —" For we ore i sweet savor of Chrirt unto God, in them that ire tared, and in them that perish; to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other a savor from life unto life").
(g) The decree of election implies a decree of reprobation. —Answer :. The decree of reprobation is not a positive decree, like that of election, but. a permissive decree to leave the sinner to his self-chosen rebellion and ite natural consequences of punishment.
Election and sovereignty are only sources of good. Election Is not a decree todestroy — it is a decree only to save. When we elect a President, we do not need to hold a second election to determine that the remaining millions shall be non-Presidents. It is needless to apply contrivance or force. Sinners, like water, If simply let alone, will run down hill to ruin. The decree of reprobation is simply a decree to do nothing—a decree to leave the sinner to himself. The natural result of this Judicial forsaking, on the part of Ood, is the hardening and destruction of the sinner. But it must not be forgotten that this hardening and destruction arc not due to any positive efficiency of God
— they are aself-hardenlngand a self-destruction — and God's judicial forsaking is only the Just penalty of the sinner's guilty rejection of offered mercy.
See Hosea 11: 8 —" How shall I giro thee up, Sphraim ? .... my heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together"; 4 :17—"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone"; Horn. 9 : 22, 23 —"That if God, willing toshow his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory''
— here notice that" which he afore prepared" declares a positive divine efficiency, in the case of the vessels of mercy, while "fitted unto destruction" Intimates no such positive agency of God — the vessels of wrath fitted themselves for destruction; 2 Tim. 2 : 20 —" vessels ... some unto honor, and some unto dishonor "; 1 Pet. 2 : 8 —" they stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed"; Jude4—"who wore of old set forth ['written of beforehand'—Am. Rev.] unto this condemnation."
On the general subject of election, sec Mozley, Predestination ; Payne, Divine Sovereignty; Kidgeley. Works, 1 : 281-324, esp. 322; Edwards, Works, 2 : 527 sq.; Van Oosterzee. Dogmatics, 446-458: Martensen, Dogmatics, 362-382; and especially Wardlaw Systematic Theology, 485-548; H. B. Smith, Syst. of Christian Theology, 502-514.
Calling is that act of God by which men are invited to accept, by faith,, the salvation provided by Christ.—The Scriptures distinguish between:
[a) The general, or external, call to all men through God's providence, word, and Spirit.
Is. 45 : 22 —" look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else "; 55 : 6 —" Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is near "; 65 :12 —" when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but ye did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not"; Ez. 33 :11 —" As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, 0 house of Israel ?'' Hat 11: 28—" Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"; 22:3—"sent forth his servants to call them that were hidden to the marriage feast: and they would not come "; Mark 16 :15 —" Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation"; John 12 : 32— "ind I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself "—draw, not drag; Rev. 3 : 20— "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
(b) The special, efficacious call of the Holy Spirit to the elect.
Luke 14 : 23 —"Go oat into the highways and hedges, and constrain them to come in, that mj house may be filled''; Rom. 1: 6, 7 —" to all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to yon and peace from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ"; 8 : 30—"whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified " j 11: 29 —" For the pits and calling of God an without repentance "; 1 Cor, 1: 24 —" But we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumblingbloek, and unto Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God "; 26—" For behold your calling, brethren, how that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called "; Phil. 3 :14 —" I press on toward the goal, unto the prise of the high [mart;, 'upward' ] calling of God, in Christ Jesus"; Eph. 1:18— "that ye know what is the hope of bis calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints"; 1 Then. 2 :12—"to the end that ye should walk worthily of God, who calleth you unto his own kingdom and glory "; 2 Theas. 2 :14 —" whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ"; 2 Tim. 1: 9 —" who saved us. and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal"; Heb. 3:1—" holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling "; 2 Pet. 1:10 —" Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligenoe to make your calling and election sure."
Two questions only need special consideration:
A. Is God's general call sincere?
This is denied, upon the ground that such sincerity is incompatible, first, with the inability of the sinner to obey; and secondly, with the design of God to bestow only upon the elect the special grace without which they will not obey.
(a) To the first objection we reply that, since this inability is not a physical but a moral inability, consisting simply in the settled perversity of an evil will, there can be no insincerity in offering salvation to all who are willing to receive it, especially when the offer is in itself a proper motive to obedience.
God's call to all men to repent and to believe the gospel is no more Insincere than his command to all men to love him with all the heart. There is no obstacle in the way of men's obedience to the (roepel, that does not exist to prevent their obedience to the law. If it is proper to publish the commands of the law, it Is proper to publish the invitations of the gospel. A human being may be perfectly sincere in giving an invitation which he knows will be refused. He may desire to have the Invitation accepted, while yet he may, for certain reasons of justice or personal dignity, be unwilling to put forth special efforts, aside from the Invitation itself, to secure the acceptance of it on the part of those to whom it Is offered. So God's desires that certain men should be saved may not be accompanied by his will to exert special Influences to save them.
These desires were meant by the phrase "revealed will" In the old theologians; his purpose to bestow special grace, by the phrase "secret will." It is of the former that Paul speaks. In 1 Tim. 2:4—" who would have all men to bo saved." Here we have, not the active vwerot, but the passive nttymi. The meaning is, not that God purpose* to save all men, but that he dejrfres all men to be saved through repenting and believing the gospel. Hence God's revealed will, or desire, that all men should be saved, is perfectly consistent with his secret will, or purpose, to bestow special grace only upon a certain number (see on 1 Tim. 2: 4, Falrbairn's Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles).
The sincerity of God's call is shown, not only in the fact that the only obstacle to compliance, on the sinner's part, is the sinner's own evil will, but also in the fact that God has, at infinite cost, made a complete external provision, upon the ground of which "he that will" may "come" and "take the water of life freely" (Rev.22:17); so that God can truly say: "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?" (Is. 5 : 4).
(6) To the second, we reply that the objection, if true, would equally
hold against God's foreknowledge. The sincerity of God's general call is
no more inconsistent with his determination that some shall be permitted to
reject it, than it is with his foreknowledge that some will reject it.
Hodge, Syst. Theol., 2:643—"Predestination concerns only the purpose of God to render effectual, in particular cases, a call addressed to all. A general amnesty, on certain conditions, may be offered by a sovereign to rebellious subjects, although he knows that through pride or malice many will refuse to accept it; and even though, for wise reasons, he should determine not to constrain their assent, supposing that such influence over their minds were within his power. It Is evident, from the nature of the call, that it has nothing to do with the secret purpose of God to grant his effectual grace to some,
and not to others According to the Augustlnlan scheme, the non-elect have all the
advantages and opportunities of securing their salvation, which, according to any other
scheme, are granted to mankind indiscriminately Ood designed, In its adoption, to
save his own peeple, but he consistently offers its benefits to all who are willing to receive them." See also H. B. Smith, System of Christian Theology, 516-521.
B. Is God's special call irrresistible?
We prefer to say that this special call is efficacious,— that is, that it infallibly accomplishes its purpose of leading the sinner to the acceptance of salvation. This implies two things:
(a) That the operation of God is not an outward constraint upon the human will, but that it accords with the laws of our mental constitution. We reject the term 'irresistible,' as implying a coercion and compulsion which is foreign to the nature of God's working in the soul.
Pi 110 : 3 —" Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy power: is the beauties of holiness; from tlu iranb of the morning thou hut the dew of thy youth"—(. e., youthful recruits to thy standard, as numberless and as bright as the morning drops of dew; Phil. 2 :12,13 —" Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure" — (. e., the result of God's working Is our own working. The Lutheran Formula of Concord properly condemns the view that, before, in, and after conversion, the will only resists the Holy Ghost; for this, it declares, Is the very nature of conversion, that out of non-willing, God makes willing, persons (F. C, 80,581, 582, 873).
(6) That the operation of God is the originating cause of that new disposition of the affections, and that new activity of the will, by which the sinner accepts Christ. The cause is not in the response of the will to the presentation of motives by God, nor in any mere cooperation of the will of man with the will of God, but is an almighty act of God in the will of man, by which its freedom to choose God as its end is restored and rightly exercised ( John 1 : 12, 13). For further discussion of the subject, see, in the next section, the remarks on Regeneration, with which this efficacious call is identical.
John 1 : 12,13 —" But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." God's saving grace and effectual calling are Irresistible, not in the sense that they are never resisted, but In the sense that they are never successfully resisted. See Andrew Fuller, Works. 2 : 373, 513, and 3 : 807; GUI, Body of Divinity, 2:121-130; Robert Hall, Works, 3:75.
SECTION II.—THE APPLICATION OF CHRIST'8 REDEMPTION
IN ITS ACTUAL BEGINNING.
Under this head we treat of Union with Christ, Regeneration, Conversion (embracing Repentance and Faith), and Justification. Much confusion and error have arisen from conceiving these as occurring in chronological order. The order is logical, not chronological. As it is only "in Christ" that man
is "a new creature" (2 Cor. 5 : 17) or is "justified" (Acts 13 : 39), union with Christ logically precedes both regeneration and justification; and yet, chronologically, the moment of our union with Christ is also the moment when we are regenerated and justified. So, too, regeneration and conversion are but the divine and human sides or aspects of the same fact, although regeneration has logical precedence, and man turns only as God turns him.
Darner, Glaubenslehre, 2 :694 (Syst. Doct., 4 :159), gives at this point an account of the work of the Holy Spirit in general. The Holy Spirit's work, he says, presupposes the historical work of Christ, and prepares the way for Christ's return. "As the Holy Spirit is the principle of union between the Father and the Son, so he is the principle of union between God and man. Only through the Holy Spirit does Christ secure for himself those who will love him as distinct and free personalities." Regeneration and conversion are not chronologically separate. Which of the spokes of a wheel starts first? The ray of light and the ray of heat enter at the same moment. Sensation and perception are not separated In time, although the former is the cause of the latter.
"Suppose a non-elastic tube extending across the Atlantic. Suppose that the tube is completely filled with an incompressible fluid. Then there would be no interval of time between the impulse given to the fluid at this end of the tube, and the effect upon the fluid at the other end." See Hazard, Causation and Freedom in Willing, 33-38, who argues that cause and effect are always simultaneous; else, in the intervening time, there would be a cause that had no effect; that is, a cause that caused nothing; that is, a cause that was not a cause. "A potential cause may exist for an unlimited period without producing any effect, and of course may precede its effect by any length of time. But actual, effective cause being the exercise of a sufficient power, its effect cannot be delayed; for, in that case, there would be the exercise of a sufficient power to produce the effect, without producing it, involving the absurdity of its being both sufficient and insufficient at the same time.
"A difficulty may here be suggested in regard to the flow or progress of events in time, if they are all simultaneous with their causes. This difficulty cannot arise as to intelligent effort; for, in regard to it, periods of non-action may continually intervene; but if there are series of events and material phenomena, each of which is in turn effect and cause, it may be difficult to see how any time could elapse between the first and the last of the series.... If, however, as I suppose, these series of events, or material changes, are always effected through the medium of motion, it need not trouble us, for there is precisely the same difficulty in regard to our conception of the motion of matter from point to point, there being no space or length between any two consecutive points, and yet the body in motion gets from one end of a long line to the other, and in this case this difficulty Just neutralizes the other... So, even if we cannot conceive how motion involves the idea of time, we may perceive that, if it does so, it may be a means of conveying events, which depend upon it, through time also."
Bowne, Metaphysics, 106 —" In the system, the complete ground of an event never lies in any one thing, but only in a complex of things. If a single thing were the sufficient ground of an effect, the effect would coexist with the thing, and all effects would be instantaneously given. Hence all events in the system must be viewed as the result of the interaction of two or more things."
See A. A. Hodge, on the Ordo Salutis, in Princeton Rev., March, 1878:304-321. Dr. Hodge makes the order to be: (1) regeneration; (2) faith; (3) Justification. The sinner, he says, "must have part In Christ so far forth as to be regenerated, in order to have part in him so far forth as to be Justified." Union with Christ "is effected by the Holy Ghost in effectual calling. Of this calling the parts are two: (a) the offering of Christ to the sinner, externally by the gospel, and internally by the illumination of the Holy Ghost; (b) the reception of Christ, which on our part is both passive and active. The passive reception Is that whereby a spiritual principle is ingenerated into the human will, whence issues the active reception, which is an act of faith with which repentance is always conjoined." ,
H. B. Smith, however, in his System of Christian Theology, is more clear In the putting of union with Christ before regeneration. On page 502, ho begins his treatment of the Application of Redemption with the title: "The Union between Christ and the Individual believer as effected by the Holy Spirit. This embraces the subjects of Justification, Regeneration, and Sanctiflcation, with the underlying topic which comes first to be considered, Election." He therefore treats Union with Christ (581-539) before Regeneration (553-569). He says Calvin defines regeneration as coming to us by participation in Christ, and apparently agrees with this view (569).
"This union [with Christ] is at the ground of regeneration and Justification" (534). "The grent difference of theological systems comes out here. Since Christianity is redemption through Christ, our mode of conceiving that will determine the character of our whole theological system" (536). "The union with Christ is mediated by his Spirit, whence we are both renewed and justified. The great fact of objective Christianity is incarnation in order to atonement; the great fact of subjective Christianity Is union with Christ, whereby we receive the atonement" (537). We may add that this union with Christ, in view of which Ood elects and to which God calls the sinner, Is begun in regeneration, completed in conversion, declared in Justification, and proved in sanctlficatlon and perseverance.
L Union ■with Christ.
The Scriptures declare that, through the operation of God, there is constituted a union of the soul with Christ different in kind from God's natural and providential concursus with all spirits, as well as from all unions of mere association or sympathy, moral likeness, or moral influence,— a union of life, in which the human spirit, while then most truly possessing its own individuality and personal distinctness, is interpenetrated and energized by the Spirit of Christ, is made inscrutably but indissolubly one with him, and so becomes a member and partaker of that regenerated, believing, and justified humanity of which he is the head.
Dr. J. W. Alexander well calls this doctrine of the Union of the Believer with Christ "tho central truth of all theology and of all religion." Yet it receives little of formal recognition, either in dogmatic treatises or in common religious experience. Quenstedt, 886-912, has devoted a section to It; A. A. Hodge gives to it a chapter, In his Outlines of Theology, 369 to which we are indebted for valuable suggestions; H. B. Smith treats of it, not however as a separate topic, but under the head of Justification (System, 531-538).
The majority of printed systems of doctrine, however, contain no chapter or section on Union with Christ, and the majority of Christians much more frequently think of Christ as a Savior outside of them, than as a Savior who dwells within. This comparative neglect of the doctrine Is doubtless a reaction from the exaggerations of a false mysticism. But there Is great need of rescuing tho doctrine from neglect. For this we rely wholly upon Scripture. Doctrines which reason can neither discover nor prove need large support from the Bible. It Is a mark of divine wisdom that the doctrine of the Trinity, for example, Is so inwoven with the whole fabric of the New Testament, that the rejection of the former Is the virtual rejection of the latter. The doctrine of Union with Christ, in like manner, is taught so variously and abundantly, that to deny it is to deny inspiration itself. Sec Kahnis, Luth. Dogmatik, 3 : 447-450.
1. Scripture Representations of this Union.
A. Figurative teaching. It is illustrated:
(a) From the union of a building and its foundation.
Kph. 2 : 20-22 —" being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jon himself being the chief corner stone; in Thorn each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom je also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit"; Col. 2:7 —" builded np in him"—grounded in Christ as our foundation; 1 Pet 2 : 4, 5—"Unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, bnt with God elect, precious, je also, as spiritual stones, are built up a spiritual house"—each living stone in the Christian temple is kept in proper relation to every other, and is made to do its part in furnishing a habitation for God, only by being built upon and permanently connected with Christ, the chief corner stone. Cf. Pa. 118 : 22—"Ike stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner "; Is. 28 :16 —" Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone of sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
(6) From the union between husband and wife.
Rom. 7:4 —"ye also were nude dead to the lav through the bodj of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, *Ten to him that was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God "— here union with Christ is illustrated by the Indissoluble bond that connects husband and wife, and makes them legally and organically one; 2 Cor. II: 2 —" 1 am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ"; Iph. 5: 31, 32 —" For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the twain shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church "—Meyer refers verse 31 wholly to Christ, and says that Christ leaves father and mother (the right hand of God) and is Joined to the church as his wife, the two constituting thenceforth one moral porson. Ho makes the union future, however,—" therefore nhall a man leave his father and mother"—the consummation Is at Christ's second coming. But the Fathers, as Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Jerome, referred it more properly to the incarnation.
Rev. 19: 7 —" The marriage of the lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready "; 22 :17—" And the Spirit «id the bride say, Come"; ef. Is. 54 : 5—"for thy Maker is thine husband"; Jar. 3 : 20—"Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, 0 house of Israel, saith the Lord "; Hoe. 2:2-5—" for their mother hath played the harlot"—departure from God Is adultery; the Song of Solomon, as Jewish interpreters have always maintained, is an allegorical poem describing, under the figure of marriage, the union between Jehovah and his people: Paul only adopts the Old Testament figure, and applies It more precisely to the union of God with the church in Jesus Christ.
(c) From the union between the vine and its branches.
John 15 :1-10 —" I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing"—as God's natural life is in the vine, that it may give life to Its natural branches, so God's spiritual life is in the vine, Christ, that he may give life to his spiritual branches. The roots of this new vine are planted In heaven, not on •earth; and into it the half-withered branches of the old humanity are to be grafted, that they may have life divine. Rom. 6 : 5 —" If we have become united with him [ciij»d>uToi —' grown together'— used of the man and horse in the Centaur, Xen., Cyrop., 4:3:18], by the likeness of his death, we shall be also by the likeness of his resurrection "; 11 : 24 —" thou wast cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and wast grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree"; Col. 2 : 6, 7 —" is therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him "— not only grounded in Christ as our foundation, but thrusting down roots into him as the deep, rich, all-sustaining .soil. This union with Christ is consistent with individuality: for the graft brings forth fruit after Its kind, though modified by the tree into which it is grafted.
(d) From the union between the members and the head of the body.
1 Cor. 6 :15,19 —" Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? .. .Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have from God?" 12:12 —" For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ"— here Christ is identified with the church of which he is the head; Iph. 1: 22, 23—" He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that fUleth all in all"—as the members of the human body are united to the head, the source of their activity and the power that controls their movements, so all believers ore members of An invisible body whose head is Christ. "The church is the fulness (irAijpufia) of Christ; as it was not good for the first man, Adam, to be alone, no more was it good for the second man, Christ" (C. H. M.). Eph. 4 :15,16—"grow up in all things into him, which is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body .... maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love "; 5 : 29, 30 —"for no man ever hated his own flesh: bat nourisheth it and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body."
(e) From the union of the race with the source of its life in Adam.
Rom. 5 :12, 21—"As through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin .... that as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ oar Lord "; 1 Cor. 15: 22, 45, 49—"is in idam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive ... The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.... is we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly "—as the whole race is one with the first man Adam, In whom It fell and from whom it has derived a corrupted and guilty nature, so the whole race of believers constitutes a new and restored humanity, whose Justified and purified nature is derived from Christ, the second Adam. ('/. Gen. 2 : 23 —" This is now bone of my bones and flash of my flesh: she thill be called Woman, because she wu taken out of au "— here C. H. M. remarks tbat, as man Is first
created and then woman Is viewed In and formed out of him, so It Is with Christ and thev church. "We are members of Christ's body, because In Christ we have the principle of our origin; from him our life arose. Just as the life of Eve was derived from Adam ... ... The church is Christ's helpmeet, formed out of Christ in his deep sleep of death, as Eve out of Adam The church will be nearest to Christ, as Evo was to Adam." Because Christ is the source of all spiritual life for his people, he Is called. In Is. 9 : 6,"Iverlaating Pettier,'' and it is said, in Is. 53:10, that "be shall see bis seed" (see page 367).
B. Direct statements.
(a) The believer is said to be in Christ.
Lest we should regard the figures mentioned above as merely oriental metaphors, the fact of the believer's union with Christ is asserted In the most direct and prosaic manner. John 14:20 — "ye in me"; Rom. 6:11— "alive unto God in Christ Jerae"; 8:1—"no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus"; 2 Cor. 5:17— "if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature"; Kph. 1: 4 —"chose m in him before the foundation of the world "; 2 :13 —" Mow in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ" Thus the believer is said to be " in Christ," as the element or atmosphere which surrounds him with Its perpetual presence and which constitutes his vital breath; In fact, this phrase "in Christ," always meaning "In union with Christ," Is the very key toPaul's epistles, and to the whole New Testament.
(6) Christ is said to be in the believer.
John 14 : 20—"I in you"; Rom. 8 : >—"ye are not in the flesh bnt in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of bis "— that this Spirit of ChriBt is Christ himself, is shown from verse 10—"And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness"; Gal. 2 : 20 —"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, bat Christ liveth in me"— here Christ is said to be in the believer, and so to live his life within the believer, that the latter can point to this as the dominating fact of his experience — it is not so much he that lives, as it is Christ that lives in him.
(c) The Father and the Son dwell in the believer.
John 14 : 23 —" If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him. and make our abode with him "; cf. 10 —" Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto yon I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works "— the Father and the Son dwell In the believer; for where the Son is, there always the Father must lie also. If the union between the believer and Christ in John 14 :23 is to be Interpreted as one of mere moral influence, then the union of Christ and the Father in John 14 :10 must also be Interpreted as a union of mere moral Influence. Iph. 3 :17 —" that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith "; 1 John 4 :16 —" He that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him."
(d) The believer has life by partaking of Christ, as Christ has life by
partaking of the Father.
John 6 : 53. 56, 57—"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink bis blood, ye have not life in yourselves .... He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him .... As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so be that eateth me shall live because of me "— the believer has life by partaking of Christ in a way that may not inappropriately be compared with Christ's having life by partaking of the Father. 1 Cor. 10 :16,17—"The cup of blessing whieb we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?"—here it is Intimated that the Lord's supper sets forth, in the language of symbol, the soul's actual participation in the life of Christ; and the margin properly translates the word .coii'iui'ia, not "communion," but "participation." 1 John 1: 3—"our fellowship (mmni) is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
(e) All believers are one in Christ.
John 17 : 21-23 —" that they all may be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me. and the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one"— all believers are one in Christ, to whom they are severally and collectively united, aa Christ himself is one with God.
(/) The believer is made partaker of the divine nature. 2 Pet 1: 4 —" that through these [promises] je may become partaken of the divine nature "— not by having: the essence of your humanity changed into the essence of divinity, but by having- Christ the divine Savior continually dwelling within, and lndissolubly Joined to, your human souls.
(g) The believer is made one spirit with the Lord.
1 Cor. 6 :17 —" He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit"— human nature is so interpenetrated and energized by the divine, that the two move and act as one; cf. 18— "Inow ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost which is in yon, which ye haie from God?" Horn. 8 : 26 —"the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered "— the Spirit Is so near to us, and so one with us, that our prayer is called his, or rather, his prayer becomes ours. Weiss, in his Life of Jesus, says that, in the view of Scripture, human greatness does not consist in a man's producing everything In a natural way out of himself, but In possessing perfect receptivity for God's greatest gift. Therefore God's Son receives the Spirit without measure; and we may add that the believer in like manner receives Christ.
2. Nature of this Union.
We have here to do not only with a fact of life, but with a unique relation between the finite and the infinite. Our descriptions must therefore be inadequate. Yet in many respects we know what this union is not; in certain respects we can positively characterize it.
It should not surprise us if we find it far more difficult to give a scientific definition of this union, than to determine the fact of its existence. It Is a fact of life with which we have to deal; and the secret of life, even In Its lowest forms, no philosopher has ever yet discovered. The tiniest flower witnesses to two facts: first, that of its own relative independence, as an individual organism ; and secondly, that of Its ultimate dependence upon a life and power not its own. So every human soul has Its proper powers of intellect, affection, and will; yet it lives, moves, and has its being In God (Acts 17: 21 >.
Starting out from the truth of God's omnipresence, it might seem as if God's indwelling in the granite boulder was the last limit of his union with the finite. But we see the divine intelligence and goodness drawing nearer to us, by successive stages, in vegetable life. In the animal creation, and in the moral nature of man. And yet there are two stages beyond all these: first, in Christ's union with the believer; and secondly, in God's union with Christ. If this union of God with the believer be only one of several approximations of God to his finite creation, the fact that It is, equally with the others, not wholly comprehensible to reason, should not blind us either to its truth or to its importance.
A. Negatively. It is not:
(a) A merely natural union, like that of God with all human spirits,—as held by rationalists.
In our physical life we are conscious of another life within us which Is not subject to our wills: the heart beats Involuntarily, whether we sleep or wake. But In our spiritual life we are still more conscious of a life within our life. Even the heathen said: "Est Deus In nobis; agitante calescimus Ulo," and the Egyptians held to the Identification of the departed with Osiris (Benouf, Hlbbert Lectures, 185). But Paul urges us to work out our salvation, upon the very ground that "it is God that worketh" in us "bothtowill and to work, for his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12, 13). This life of God in the soul is the life of Christ.
(6) A merely moral union, or union of love and sympathy, like that between teacher and scholar, friend and friend,— as held by Socinians and Arminians.
There is a moral union between different souls: 1 Sam. 18 :1 —" The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul"— here the Vulgate has: "Anima Jonathee agglutinate Davidi." Aristotle calls friends "one soul." So in a higher sense, in leti *: 32, the early believers are said to have been "of one heart and eoni." But in Ma 17:21,28, Christ's union with his people is distinguished from any mere union of love and sympathy: "That they ill may be one; even u thou. Father, art in me, and I in thee, that thej also may be in u..... That the lore wherewith thoa loreet me may be in them, and 1 in them." Jesus' aim, in the whole of his last discourse, is to show that no mere union of love and sympathy will be sufficient: "apart from me," he says, "ye can do nothing" (John 15 : 5). That his disciples may be vitally Joined to himself is therefore the subject of his last prayer.
Dorner says well, that Arminlanism (and with this doctrine Roman Catholics and the advocates of New School views substantially agree) makes man a mere tangent to the circle of the divine nature. It has no idea of the interpenetration of the one by the other. But the Lutheran Formula of Concord says much more correctly: "Damnamus sententiam quod non Deus ipse, sod dona Dei duntexat, in oredentibus habitent."
(e) A union of essence, which destroys the distinct personality and subsistence of either Christ or the human spirit,— as held by many of the mystics.
Many of the mystics, as Schwenkfeld, Weigel, Sebastian Frank, held to an essential union between Christ and the believer. One of Welgel's followers, therefore, could say to another: "lam Christ Jesus, the living Word of God; I have redeemed thee by my sinless sufferings." We are ever to remember that the indwelling of Christ only puts the believer more completely in possession of himself, and makes him more conscious of his own personality and power. Union with Christ must be taken in connection with the other truth of the personality and activity of the Christian; otherwise it tends to pantheism.
William Lincoln: "The only way for the believer, if he wants to go rightly, is to remember that truth is always two-sided. If there Is any truth that the Holy Spirit has specially pressed upon your heart, if you do not want to push it to the extreme, ask what is the counter-truth, and lean a little of your weight upon that; otherwise, if you bear so very much on one side of the truth, there Is a danger of pushing it into a heresy. Heresy means selected truth; it does not mean error: heresy and error are very different things. Heresy is truth, but truth pushed into undue importance, to the disparagement of the truth upon the other side."
(d) A union mediated and conditioned by participation of the sacraments of the church,— as held by Romanists, Lutherans, and High-Church Episcopalians.
Perhaps the most pernicious misinterpretation of the nature of this union is that which conceives of it as a physical and material one, and which rears upon this basis the fabric of a sacramental and external Christianity. It is sufficient here to say that this union cannot be mediated by sacraments, since sacraments presuppose It as already existing; both baptism and Lord's Supper are destined only for believers. Only faith receives and retains Christ; and faith is the act of the soul grasping what is purely invisible and supersensible; not the act of the body, submitting to Baptism or partaking of the Supper.
B. Positively, it is:
(o) An organic union,—in which we become members of Christ and partakers of his humanity.
Kant defines an organism, as that whose parts are reciprocally means and end. The body is an organism; since the limbs exist for the heart, and the heart for the limbs. So each member of Christ's body lives for him who is the head; and Christ the head equally lives for his members: Eph. 5 : 29, 30 —" Ho man ever hated his own flesh; bat nourishetb and chensheth it, eren as Christ also the church; because we are members of his My."
(6) A vital union,— in which Christ's life becomes the dominating principle within us.
This union is a vital one, in distinction from any union of mere Juxtaposition or external influence. Christ does not work upon us from without, as one separated from us, but from within, as the very heart from which the life-blood of our spirits flows. See Gal 2 : 20—"It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me; and thai life which I now hie in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me "; CoL 3 : 3, 4 —M for ye died, and jour hfe is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our hfe, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory." Christ's life is not corrupted by the corruption of his members, any more than the ray of light is defiled by the filth with which it comes in contact.
(c) A spiritual onion, that is, a union whose source and author is the Holy Spirit.
By a spiritual union we mean a union not of body but of spirit—a union, therefore, which only the Holy Spirit originates and maintains. Rom. 8 : 9,10—"ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none ■of his. and if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is hfe because of righteousness." The indwelling of Christ involves a continual exercise of efficient power. In Iph. 3 :16, 17, ■" strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man" is Immediately followed by "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."
(d) An indissoluble union,—that is, a union which, consistently with Christ's promise and grace, can never be dissolved.
Nat. 28 : 20—"U I am with yon alway, even unto the end of the world "; John 10 : 28 —" they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of my hand"; Rom. 8 : 35, 39—"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? .... nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord": 1 Thess. 4 :14,17—"them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him Then we
that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Christ's omnipresence makes it possible for him to be united to, and to be present in, each believer, as perfectly and fully as If that believer were the only one to receive Christ's fulness. As Christ's omnipresence makes the whole Christ present in every place, each believer has the whole Christ with him, as his source of strength, purity, life; so that each may say: Christ gives all his time and wisdom and care to me. Such a union as this lacks every element of instability. Once formed, the union is indissoluble.
Since there Is now an unchangeable and divine element in us, our salvation depends no longer upon our unstable wills, but upon Christ's purpose and power. By temporary declension from duty, or by our causeless unbelief, we may banish Christ to the barest and most remote room of the soul's house; but he does not suffer us wholly to exclude him; and when we are willing to unbar the doors, he Is still there, ready to fill the whole mansion with his light and love.
(e) An inscrutable union,— mystical, however, only in the sense of surpassing in its intimacy and value any other union of souls which we know.
This union is inscrutable, indeed; but it is not mystical, in the sense of being unintelligible to the Christian or beyond the reach of his experience. If we call it mystical at all. It should be only because, In the intimacy of its communion and in the transforming power of its influence, it surpasses any other union of souls that we know, and so cannot be fully described or understood by earthly analogies. Bph. 5: 32—"This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church"; Col. 1: 27—"the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
See Diman, Theistic Argument, 380 —" As physical science has brought us to the conclusion that back of all the phenomena of the material universe there lies an invisible universe of forces, and that these forces may ultimately be reduced to one all-pervading force in which the unity of the physical universe consists; and as philosophy has advanced the rational conjecture that this ultimate all-pervading force Is simply willforce; so the great Teacher holds up to us the spiritual universe as pervaded by one omnipotent life —a life which was revealed In him as its highest manifestation, but which is shared by all who by faith become partakers of his nature. He was Son of God: they too had power to become sons of God. The incarnation is wholly within the natural course and tendency of things. It was prepared for, it came, in the fulness of times. Christ's life is not something sporadic and individual, having its source in the personal conviction of each disciple; it implies a real connection with Christ, the head. Behind all nature there is one force; behind all varieties of Christiun life and character there is one spiritual power. All nature is not inert matter—it is pervaded by a living presence. So all the body of believers live by virtue of the all-working Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost."
A. H. Strong, in Examiner, 1880: "Such is the nature of union with Christ —such I mean, is the nature of every believer's union with Christ. For, whether he knows it or not, every Christian hag entered into just such a partnership as this. It Is this and this only which constitutes him a Christian, and which makes possible a Christian church. We may, indeed, be thus united to Christ, without being fully conscious of the real nature of our relation to him. We may actually possess the kernel, while as yet we have regard only to the shell; we may seem to ourselves to be united to Christ only by an external bond, while after all it is an inward and spiritual bond that makes us his. God often reveals to the Christian the mystery of the gospel, which is Christ in him the hope of glory, at the very time that he is seeking only some nearer access to a Redeemer outside of him. Trying to And a union of cooperation or of sympathy, he is amazed to learn that there is already established a union with Christ more glorious and blessed, namely, a union of life; and so, like the miners in the Rocky Mountains, while he is looking only for silver, he flnds gold. Christ and the believer have the same life. They are not separate persons linked together by some temporary bond of friendship — they are united by a tie as close and Indissoluble as if the same blood ran In their veins. Yet the Christian may never have suspected how Intimate a union he has with his Savior; and the first understanding of this truth may be the gateway through which he passes into a holier and happier stage of the Christian life."
On the nature of this union, see H. B. Smith, System of Christian Theology, 531-539; Balrd, Elohim Revealed, 901; Wilberforce, Incarnation, 208-272, and New Birth of Man'sNature, 1-30. Per contra, see Park, Discourses, 117-136.
3. Consequences of this Union as respects the Believer.
We have seen that Christ's union with humanity, at the incarnation, involved him in all the legal liabilities of the race to which he united himself, and enabled him so to assume the penalty of its sin as to make for all men a full satisfaction to the divine justice, and to remove all external obstacles to man's return to God. An internal obstacle, however, still remains — the evil affections and will, and the consequent guilt, of the individual soul. This last obstacle also Christ removes, in the case of all his people, by uniting himself to them in a closer and more perfect manner than that in which he is united to humanity at large. As Christ's union with the race secures the objective reconciliation of the race to God, so Christ's union with believers secures the subjective reconciliation of believers to God.
In Balrd, Elohim Bevealed, 607-610, In Owen, on Justification, chap. 8, in Boston, Covenant of Grace, chap. 2, and in Dale, Atonement, the union of the believer with Christ Is made to explain the bearing of our sins by Christ . As we have seen in our discussion of the Atonement, however, this Is explaining the cause by the effect, and implying that Christ died only for the elect (see review of Dale, In Brit. Quar. Rev., Apr., 1878 : 221-225). It is not the union of Christ with the believer, but the union of Christ with humanity at large, that explains his taking upon him human guilt and penalty.
The consequences of union with Christ may be summarily stated as follows:
(a) Union with Christ involves a change in the dominant affection of the soul. Christ's entrance into the soul makes it a new creature, in the sense that the ruling disposition, which before was sinful, now becomes holy. This change we call Regeneration.
Rom. 8 : 2 —'' Y»r the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jems made me free from the lav of sin and death "; 2 Cor. 5: 17—"If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature" (mare.—" there is a new oreation" ); Gal. 1:15,16 —"It was
the pood pleasure of God to reveal bis Son in me "; Eph. 2 :10 —" For we are his workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works." As we derive our old nature from the first man Adam, by birth. so we derive a new nature from the second man Christ, by the new birth. Union with Christ Is the true "transfusion of blood." "The death-struck sinner, like the wan, anaemic, dying invalid, is saved by having poured into his veins the healthier blood of Christ"; see Drummond, Nat. Law in the Spir. World. God regenerates the soul by uniting it to Jesus Christ.
(6) Union with Christ involves a new exercise of the soul's powers in repentance and faith; faith, indeed, is the act of the sonl by which, under the operation of God, Christ is received. This new exercise of the soul's powers we call Conversion (Repentance and Faith). It is the obverse or human side of Regeneration.
Hph. 3 :17 —" that Christ may dwall in jour hearts through faith "; 2 Tim. 3 :15 —" the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is is Christ Jesus." Faith Is the soul's laying hold of Christ as its only source of life, pardon, and salvation. And so we see what true religion is. It is not a moral life; it is not a determination to be religious; it is not faith, if by faith we mean an external trust that somehow Christ will save us; it is nothing less than the life of the soul in God, through Christ his Son.
(c) Union with Christ gives to the believer the legal standing and rights of Christ. As Christ's union with the race involves atonement, so the believer's union with Christ involves Justification. The believer is entitled to take for his own all that Christ is, and all that Christ has done; and this because he has within him that new life of humanity which suffered in Christ's death and rose from the grave in Christ's resurrection,— in other words, because he is virtually one person with his Redeemer. In Christ the believer is prophet, priest, and king.
acts 13 : 39— "By him [lit.: 'in him'= in union with him] every one that balieveth is justified''; Rom.6: 7, 8—"he that hath died is justified from sin .... we died with Christ"; 7 : 4—"dead to the law through the bod; of Christ"; 8:1 —" no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus "; 17 —" heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ";
1 Cor. 1: 30— "But of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness [justification]"; 3 : 21, 23 —" all things are yours, and ye are Christ's"; 6 :11 —"ye were Justified in the name of the lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God "; 2 Cor. 5 : 1* —" we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died"; 21— "Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness [justification] of God in him "= God's justified persons, in union with Christ.
Gal. 2 : 20 —"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me"; Eph. 1: 4, 6—"chose us in him .... to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved";
2 : 5, 6 —" even when we were dead through our trespasses, quickened us together with Christ.... made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus"; Phil. 3 : 9 —"that 1 may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own. even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith "; 2 Tim. 2 : 11 — " Faithful is the saying: For if we died with him, we shall also live with him." Prophet: Luke 12 :12 —" The Holy Spirit shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say "; 1 John 2 : 20 —" Ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things." Priest: 1 Pet 2 : 5 —" a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ"; Rev. 20 : 6—"they shall be priests of God and of Christ" j 1 Pot. 2:9—"a royal priesthood." King: Rev. 3:21—" He that overoometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne "; 5 :10 —" madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests." The connection of justification and union with Christ delivers the former from the charge of being a mechanical and arbitrary procedure. As Jonathan Edwards has said: "The Justification of the believer is no other than his being admitted to communion in, or participation of, this head and surety of all believers."
(d) Union with Christ secures to the believer the continuously transforming, assimilating power of Christ's life,— first, for the soul; secondly, for the body — consecrating it in the present, and in the future raising it up in the likeness of Christ's glorified body. This continuous influence, so far as it is exerted in the present life, we call Sanctifiaation, the human side or aspect of which is Perseverance.
For the soul: John 1:18 —" of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace "—successive and increasing measures of grace, corresponding- to the soul's successive and increasing' needs; Rom. 8:10 —"If Christ ii in you, the bodj is dead became of sin; bat the spirit is life because of righteousness"; 1 Cor. 15 : 45—"The last Adam became a life-giving spirit"; Phil. 2 : 5—-"HaYe this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus "; 1 John 3 : 2 —" if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him."
For the body: 1 Cor. 6 :17-20 —14 he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit know je not that jour
body is a temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you .... glorify God therefore in your body "; 1 These, 5 : 23 —" and the God of peace sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our lord Jesus Const"; Rom. 8 : It —" shall quicken also your mortal bodies through bis Spirit that dwelleth in you"; 1 Cor. 15 : 49— "as we hare borne the image of the earthy [man], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [man] "; Phil. 3 : 20, 21 —" For our cdtisenship is in hearen; from whence also we wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his. glory, according to the working whereby he is able even to subject all things unto himself
Is there a physical miracle wrought for the drunkard In his regeneration? Mr. Moody says. Yes; Mr. Gough says, No. We prefer to say that the change Is a spiritual one: but that the " expulsive power of a new affection " indirectly affects the body, so that old appetites sometimes disappear in a moment; and that often. In the course or years, great changes take place even In the believer's body. "Christ in the soul fashions the germinal man into his own likeness — this is the embryology of the new life. The cardinal error in religious life is the attempt to live without proper environment" (see Drummond, Natural Law in Spiritual World, 253-284). Human life from Adam does. not stand the test — only divine-human life In Christ can secure us from falling. This is the work of Christ, now that he has ascended and taken to himself his power, namely, to give his life more and more fully to the church, until it shall grow up In all things into him, the Head, and shall fitly express his glory to the world.
(e) Union with Christ brings about a fellowship of Christ with the believer — Christ takes part in all the labors, temptations, and sufferings of his people; a fellowship of the believer with Christ — so that Christ's whole experience on earth is in some measure reproduced in him; a fellowship of all believers with one another — furnishing a basis for the spiritual unity of Christ's people on earth, and for the eternal communion of heaven. The doctrine of Union with Christ is therefore the indispensable preparation for Ecclesiology and for Eschatology.
Fellowship of Christ with the believer: Phil 4 :13 —" I can do all things in him that strengthened me "; Eeb. 4 :15 —" For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities' ; cf. Is. $3 : 9—"In all their affliction he was afflicted."