The almighty power of God is exerted!
(James Smith, "The New Creation" 1861)
"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature." 2 Corinthians 5:17
It is a miraculous thing to be a Christian — for real Christianity is the effect of a new creation! To make a Christian, requires the same power as to make a world — nothing less can raise a sinner from a death in trespasses and sins!
In every instance of real conversion — the almighty power of God is exerted!
The distinguishing PRIVILEGE of the believer, is that he is "in Christ." We were all originally in fallen Adam, and from his loins we flowed. No one is in Christ by nature — but only by an act of sovereign grace. Yet all Christians are in Christ — nor can anyone be a Christian without being vitally united to Christ.
As the manslayer fled to the city of refuge for safety — so does the believer flee to Christ.
As Noah entered into the ark for preservation from the deluge — so does the believer hide in Christ, that he may be preserved from the wrath to come.
As the branch is in the vine, supported and supplied by the vine, and forms a part of the vine — so is the believer in Christ, supported and supplied by Christ!
As the member is in the body, presided over by the head, and forms part of the body — so the Christian is in Christ, is presided over by Christ, and forms part of Christ. "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones."
Christ dwells in the believer — as His temple.
The believer dwells in Christ — as his refuge, stronghold, and ark of safety.
The invariable RESULT of being in Christ, is that "he is a new creature."
Being in Christ, we are new created — and have a new LIFE, which is spiritual, derived from a new source, not from Adam but from Christ.
Being in Christ, we feed on new PROVISION — even the bread of life which came down from Heaven, and the living water which only Jesus can give.
Being in Christ, we are occupied with new SUBJECTS, which are placed before us by the gospel — and engage our thoughts, affections, and time.
Being in Christ, we are engaged in new EMPLOYMENTS, we work the works of God, endeavor to do the will of God from the heart, and to glorify our glorious Savior.
Being in Christ, we walk in a new PATH — the way of holiness. We walk in newness of life. We walk with God — and desire to walk worthy of God, who has called us unto His kingdom and glory.
Being in Christ, we act from new MOTIVES, for the love of Christ constrains us, and we no longer labor for eternal life, because we have it; nor for Heaven, because we have already received a title to it — but as bought with a price, we desire only to glorify God in our acts and thoughts.
Being in Christ, we join a new SOCIETY, for we choose the company of the saints, whom we esteem as the excellent of the earth; and therefore we join ourselves to the disciples.
Being in Christ, we look for a new HEAVEN, and in order to the possession of it, we wait for Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.
O blessed state — to be in Christ! O glorious privilege and distinction — to be new creatures!
Union to Christ is of the greatest IMPORTANCE. Without this there is no eternal safety, no true dignity, no solid happiness. It is only as one with Christ — that we are justified, that we are sanctified, that we can be glorified. Let us never rest satisfied with anything short of union to Christ, and that manifested in living fellowship with Christ.
Only by a new birth, only as born of the Spirit — can we come into the enjoyment of this blessed privilege, or enjoy this high distinction. Let no one therefore stop short of that thorough change of heart, which results from saving union with the Lord Jesus Christ.