Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:…
I. OWES ITS EXISTENCE TO THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY GHOST. No doctrine of the New Testament can be clearer than this (John 1:12; James 1:18; Peter 1:23; John 3:6). These developments of our religious history are not natural, but supernatural. No kind of education, no original endowment of genius, no acquired treasures of wisdom and knowledge, can adequately account for the phenomena in question. To receive that life at all is to obtain it from God. The Spirit, once received, must remain in the heart. What the soul is to the body, to give it vitality, so must the Holy Ghost be to the soul, to give it eternal life.
II. IS MAINTAINED BY FAITH IN CHRIST AND COMMUNION WITH HIM (ver. 11).
III. IS A DEVOTION OF THE WHOLE BEING TO CHRIST (1 Corinthians 6:20). Here we see an entire change in the aims and purposes of a man's life: such a change as must influence and control all his activity and behaviour. Men, naturally, "seek their own," or else they devote themselves to some fellow creature, or to the good of their country, or the service of their sovereign: but the peculiarity of the Christian's life is that it is consecrated to Christ. This means —
1. That he seeks in every possible way to promote the glory of the Saviour, by acknowledging His name, by declaring His goodness, by enforcing His claims.
2. That he is always anxious to further the great work of Christ, which is to save sinners, and to set up the kingdom of God.
3. That he is careful at all times to consult the will of Christ and to do it. This devotedness will follow Christ through good and ill report.
IV. ASSIMILATES THE CHARACTER TO THAT OF CHRIST. We would be in the world as He was in the world. It is the height of our ambition to be like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).
V. DERIVES ITS HAPPINESS FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST. Happiness is the very life of life; and the soul of happiness is love. And what love can satisfy the heart of the believer except the love of Christ? To love Jesus, and to be loved by Him, are the two perennial sources of the believer's joy; the two poles of his moral life. It is his consolation in every trial, his compensation in every loss, and his everlasting reward.
(T. G. Horton.)
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