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The positional-truth (un-hinderingly heaven bound) of the believer has prominence over his conditional-truth, that though our condition still possess the sin nature (“old man”), we are not in it (Rom 8:9), e. g. our desires are within our new nature (“new man”) and are what we live for, because the Spirit ensures it (Gal 5:17).
The significance isn’t the ongoing presence of the “old man,” because all it will ever do is already accounted for and has been satisfied; so the believer can say with the Apostle Paul, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience” (1 Tim 3:9).
This is not making allowances for sinful thoughts and actions, which are to be confessed, but so the believer can rest knowing that from such he is never considered to be in trouble with God and that the conception shall always be that of a Divine guidance out of a loving-chastisement—Him using it all to teach us for our good (Rom 8:28) and never out of punishment, but correction—a vastly significant difference.
There is a great deal of Judaizing in the church today. I do not mean to charge the present generation only with it. The Ten Commandments have a place assigned to them as the sine qua non, the recognition of which was necessary for true religion while man was under law. To insist on their having that place now tends to bring men into fearful bondage, and hinder them getting into the full liberty of the child of God. “The law . . . can never . . . make the comers thereunto perfect,” in contrast with, “By one offering Christ has perfected forever them that are sanctified” i.e., those set apart by His Blood (Heb 10:1, 14).
Now we have the Father’s ultimate and eternal sacrifice. “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that He may establish the second; by which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:9, 10). Hereby we are set apart once for all. It is a revelation of a new character of God, our Father. If He brings me into that place where He is, what do I find there? Not that it is full of sins, but that the great leading Person, who marks the place to me, made an end of sin before He went in there.
Quite different from the tabernacle or the temple, where there was nothing but sin, sin, sin; nothing but curtain and distance from God; and now I am told to go right in. What meets me? There is the veil rent, the flesh of God’s Son, going through that, the death of Christ. I go in—yes, to see what is on the other side. I go in as confessedly one who has not one word to say for myself, because He has borne the penalty; and the way up, leads into the purest light possible, where the object that meets my mind is the Son of Man (eternally with His new human body –Luke 24:39; John 20:27; Phil 3:21—NC), who sat down at the Father’s right hand.
There is no guilt whatever in this place I have been brought to, a place where sins, where guilt, cannot live. All has been judged, all borne, recorded if you please. Because of mercy from this place, compassion shines there, and my Father is present there as meeting conscience. Ah! The new-creation saint is received in, and seen through the Father’s delight in that blessed One before Him.
Now the difference between law and grace come out. At Pentecost men were terrified to hear of the Lord Jesus being up in heaven. Now when you hear of the Blood, if you draw nigh, you will find all has become yours. If I have Him whose Blood was shed for me, I know that He has made me perfect before God as far as conscience is concerned. Before a saint can start to walk as a Christian safely, he must know that his conscience is perfect (Heb 9:9), and that the question of sin is settled completely. It is a test for a good many, this truth.
If I have been trying to salve over things in myself, I get a measure of contentment, a certain amount of quietness. But when I am getting nearer to God, I find that I am not settled. The effect on conscience when it is really perfect is greater the nearer you get to the Father; the neater the light, the more comfort you have. I may have all sorts of feelings; but when I stand in the light, I have the conviction of the work and value of Him who is on the throne making it the mercy-seat. If you can go by faith, then you have a perfect conscience; and the nearer you get the more the soul is filled with holy boldness (Heb 10:19) in the presence of the Father.
I cannot have my eyes fixed upon the Lord Jesus where He is, as the accepted sacrifice, without having a perfect conscience; a conscience perfect, because formed on the very thing that His holiness finds rest in. My Father has told me about Himself in the truth that His Son has borne all. If I am not satisfied, that is only saying that I am more holy than God.
-G V Wigram
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