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"Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24)
"What music there is in that wonderful phrase, saved by His life! By his life for us in heaven and in us by His Spirit." F. B. Meyer's sincere love for Christ is always captivating. "We stand in grace; we look for glory. Our standing is sure, although apart from our feeling. It is ours forever, through union with the living Christ. It is our admission to the home of God's elect." Here are some of his reflections on the Christ life in Romans 6-8.
(On Romans six) It is not sufficient merely to apprehend, however clearly, our standing in Christ; we must see to it that the doctrine issues in a holy life. . . . The work of Christ for us must lead to His work in us and deliverance from the power of sin.
All who believe in Christ are reckoned as having been included in His death. They did not make atonement for sin, but they died to the life of self-will, of self-pleasing, of subjection to the world-spirit . . . and passed with Him into the life of resurrection glory. . . You belong to the resurrection side of death. Live in union with the risen Redeemer.
Standing with Christ on the resurrection side of death, we must present our whole being to God for His use. We have left forever behind, nailed to the Cross, the body of sin, Col. 2:14, and henceforth must see to it that every faculty shall become a weapon in God's great warfare against evil. Let your powers be monopolized by God, so that there shall be no room left for the devil, Eph. 4:27.
(On Romans seven) We are set free to enter into marriage union with the blessed Lord, and He, by His indwelling Spirit, effects in us what our own energies have failed to produce. We are joined to Him that was risen up from the dead, and bring forth fruit unto God.
Self is ever the difficulty. Notice how full these verses are of I, and how little is said of the Holy Spirit. As the corpse of a criminal that was, in the old barbarous days, hung around the neck of a living man, so the flesh is to us, with all its evil promptings. But this background of dark experience, ending in vanity, vexation, disappointment, and misery leads to the following chapter, which is saturated with Pentecostal power.
(On Romans eight) This may fitly be called the "chapter of the Holy Spirit." The Apostle has carefully kept this great theme in the background till he has well prepared the ground, by showing us our inability to attain our ideals apart from reinforcements of divine energy. Here is the motive power to drive our machinery! Here is the life-giving power to spring, which shall cause the seeds buried within us to burst forth in the garden of the Lord!
There is no need to live in perpetual self-condemnation. . . . We can only hate the spirit that crucified our Lord. The believer reckons himself dead to it, but alive to each prompting of God's Holy Spirit. Life, and peace, and righteousness dwell in the temple within.
. . . . The very life which is in Christ in glory is also in our hearts. Our main task is to put aside every barrier to its full expression. . . . There is no stage of our earthly pilgrimage at which we can dispense with the power of the Spirit of God for deliverance from the deeds of the body.
The Spirit is willing to lead us, to prompt our actions, to inspire our purposes, and to mold our characters. The more we yield to Him, the deeper becomes our awareness of that filial relationship with God which breathes in the cry, Abba, Father. But note the wonderful climax, v. 17. If we yield to the Holy Spirit, He will conduct us into the divine treasure-house and bid us avail ourselves of the infinite resources which are there stored for our use, not in the next life, but in this.
. . . . The saints groan for the resurrection of the body and their full admission into the complete enjoyment of redemption. . . .
Believers are dear to God because they are in Christ; that their every need has been anticipated and provided for; that their guilt has been canceled and provision made for their holy and victorious character; that the Holy Spirit is in them and with them forever; that sin is under their feet and heaven over their heads;--what, then, have they to fear? (Through the Bible Day by Day, Vol. VI, pp. 82-88).
"There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).