Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

the second, which is Christ ; and the likeness exists in the new creation state. Christ is from above. He came down and took our nature into personal union with his Divine nature. He did not cease to be God the Son when he became the Son of Man; but then he became IMMANUEL, “ God with us.” And, as he took our nature, and became “bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh,” being, according to his Divine power, likewise “ a quickening Spirit;" so he gives to us who, of our earthly parents, are only natural, of his Divine nature, which is spiritual. And the likeness is perfect in kind; the unlikeness existing, because of the difference of measure, and because he is the Creator, we the created. He, first Divine, for in the beginning, “ before the foundation of the world,” he was with God, and was God" (John i. 1), and then human; for, “the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John i. 14.) We, first natural, “ of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting,” and then spiritual, “ born of God.” (John i. 12.) He possessing all fulness, “ the Spirit without measure,” and our very nature, “yet so as without sin;" we, remaining what we always were by nature ; but receiving a new and spiritual nature; and of his fulness receiving also in measure daily, and “grace for grace:” so that, while the contrast exists between man and man,—one being natural only, and another spiritual,-it also exists in the person of the latter, who, according to his measure, is made like unto Christ ; or being natural as of the offspring of Adam, he is also made spiritual by his standing in Christ, being begotten again, and born of that incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever,— born from above," born of God.”

This, then, is the man who is described by the scripture before quoted (1 Cor. ii. 15), and, “ he judgeth all things.”

Here it may be desirable to notice, that the Greek word, which is rendered “discerneth” in the 14th verse, and “judgeth” in the 15th, is the same in both ; and which, if it be rightly rendered in the former, should rather be the same in the latter; which, as it appears most consonant with the Apostle's meaning, will also help us the better to establish the view now presented, and which we believe to be the truth as it is in Jesus.

“ The spiritual man who discerneth spiritual things, is himself discerned of no man.” The new birth or holy seed in him alters not his outward appearance, makes no change of his person to the natural eye. As Christ, who was God in our nature, could not be seen or known otherwise than as a man, except by a special revelation from above, so neither can the new man, created after his image in righteousness and true holiness, in us. Hence neither in Christ was, nor in us is, the spiritual man discerned by any man who is natural, and not spiritual. But by him that is spiritual he is discerned or apprehended, and every one that apprehendeth him, and his spiritual things, is blessed. It is with him as it was with Peter, when he confessed that he believed “ Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the living God;" both as to the cause and the effect. “Blessed art thou, Simon, son of Jonah ; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father, which is in heaven.” (Matt. xvi. 17.)

The cause of such confession, is the gift from above, and in nothing belonging to flesh and blood. And

the gift is of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, and the effects follow. Then is there power to discern, and to acknowledge, and to glory in Christ; to know, and love his people, and their spiritual shings; to sit in heavenly places, and to rejoice together with them in Christ Jesus, according to that union which exists, and that communion which is precious between the members and the Head, even as it is written, “ He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. vi. 17), and these are the effects; and those to whom they are common are blessed, as Peter was.

Let it also be here observed, that that which is usually attributed to the Spirit, as the great communicator of life to the soul, is here expressly ascribed to the Father. Our Lord does not say from my Father, but (årl' ó Naríp) “ but my Father.” In like manner it frequently occurs that the same communication of life or grace to the soul, is ascribed to the Son, exalted at the Father's right hand—and comforting facts are these-showing, that while one person in the blessed Trinity is emphatically the Creator; and another, emphatically the Redeemer; and another, emphatically the Life-giver, and Sanctifier; yet, that what one is, the other is; and because each office, of each person, is performed as in Trinity. Hence, while the Father gives the Spirit, and the Spirit is sent by the Father and by the Son, that same Spirit giveth to profit withal, “ dividing to every man severally as he will." While “ in this Trinity none is afore or after other ; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal." The gift, however, is always from above; and, may we not say, that however expressed as being bestowed

by the Father, or by the Son, or by the Holy Spirit, is always from the Father, through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit. And thus is it with every one that is spiritual—he is blessed of God from above.

Another reference to the chapter from which our thoughts are chiefly derived, that we may compare text with text, and observe the point and bearing of the whole in its connexion, seems desirable; and is, perhaps, needful unto the further confirination of the doctrine now advanced. In 1 Cor. ii. 9 there is a quotation from Isaiah lxiv. 4, not as to the exact words, but the sense, “ as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” The word in the Prophet is “ waiteth," which, therefore, is of similar import with “ love." And who waited for Jesus? Simeon and Anna waited for him, for the Spirit had taught them to wait; and it was given to them, by the Spirit, to discern the Lord's Christ ; nay, “ it was revealed to Simeon by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.” They had not waited any more than others, who waited not, but for this ;-it was given them of the Spirit to wait. So also was it afterwards with those that obeyed his commandment, and waited for a further manifestation, and probably a greater power, of the same Spirit; for, when Jesus had fulfilled his ministry, had died and made atonement for sin in his own precious blood, had entered the grave, and risen triumphant from the dead, he gave commandment to his disciples to wait; and on those who waited came down the gift of the Holy Ghost, and therewith, “ the knowledge of the mystery

of God, and of the Father, and of Christ,” and of all spiritual things; yea, of those very hidden or secret things which a prophet's eye had not seen, nor his ear heard, nor his heart conceived; for it is written, “ But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” And that the Spirit is given to us, and abideth in us, the Apostle argueth to prove. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Yet, if the spirit which is of God be in the man, then he knoweth; and this also is asserted;

-“ Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Cor. ii. 9-13.)

Hereby we are not confusing human skill and knowledge with that which is Divine, as if we would speak of the philosopher, as of a fool; or of the learned, as of the ignorant; but we are distinguishing between what is only natural, and what is really spiritual; and we do not deny either the one or the other, in all its power, and variety, and usefulness, and importance. But we affirm, with the Apostle, that the natural man—with all the powers and acquirements of a superior mind, by which he can penetrate the things of his fellow-man, and discern all things with which intelligent man is conversant, whether they be things of the heavens above, or of the earth beneath—cannot, by means of any or of all, or by any act or skill of man's

« EdellinenJatka »