Death and Life in a Believer
“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
(2nd Corinthians 4:10)
It is in this earthen vessel, our poor mortal body, that both the death of Jesus and the life of Jesus are manifested. In the trouble, the perplexity, the being cast down, is the dying of Jesus; in not being distressed, in not being in despair, in not being forsaken, in not being destroyed, is the life of Jesus. Thus in the same body there is a dying Christ and a living Christ, Christ in His cross in His weakness, and Christ at the right hand of God in His power. To know these two things is to know the power of Christ’s resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, those two divine blessings which the soul of Paul so longed to realise and experience. In the knowledge then, the experimental knowledge, I mean, for all other is of no avail, of Christ crucified and Christ risen, consists the spiritual life of a child of God. So to live is to live a life of faith in the Son of God. So to live is to be baptised with that Spirit wherewith Paul was baptised when he said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The present life of Christ at the right hand of God the Father, is the source and foundation of all our present life. “Because I live, ye shall live also,” was His gracious promise when here below; and He is gone up on high, to fulfil that promise and make it effectual. He is “our life,” and this life must be “made manifest in our mortal flesh,” manifest to ourselves, and manifest to others; manifest to ourselves by the communication of light, life, liberty, and love, manifest to others by the fruits of a life and conversation adorning the gospel, and by walking in all holy obedience to its precepts.