Personal Association

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. It is generally thought in Christendom that God’s Son became man in order to repair and rehabilitate the first man—the Adamic race (man and his sinful nature—NC). It has been said that man is broken china, but Christ perfect china. He is not china at all, but unique, a man of His own order*; and in His death unto sin the first man is set aside in judgment, and the new man is therefore according to God.

    Consequently we must not be deceived by thinking that the human mind can form an idea of any trait of the new man, or that it can imitate Christ*, though many read the Gospels with this object. We must look entirely to God in order to understand the Man of His pleasure (Mat 3:17; 17:5) — “the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35) — “the expression of His substance” (Heb 1:3) — “the beginning of the creation of God”*. He bore the judgment due to the first man and righteously removed him from the eye of God; so it is not in Adam that the believer appears before the Father, but in His Beloved Son.

    What is the new man? We have seen what it is not; we have already seen that it cannot be learned by any effort of the human mind, that its structure and nature are entirely beyond the conception of man, and the next question is: How do we learn it? It is not by the mere study of the Word that we learn it, but by association and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, by beholding His glory, and hence being progressively “changed into the same image” (2Cor 3:18).

    You cannot explain what you get, but you receive that which corresponds with Him; as you are with Him you acquire it. “Having put on the new man, which according to God is created in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24), is addressed to the believer who is in conscious union and personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus, seated in the heavenlies with Him (Eph 2:6). Now you come out here in a new way, beginning with a new mind, “renewed in the spirit of your mind”—not making works prominent, but in the renewed mind which is able to judge of the works that suit Christ. As we read in 1 Corinthians 2:16, “We have the mind of Christ”—we “put on the new man, which according to God is created in true righteousness and holiness.”

    A believer realizes the tastes of the new man by association with the Lord Jesus. It is important to see that we derive from Him, we are in Him where He is, and He is in us where we are. He is altogether sui generis—of His own order, and it is only in fellowship with Him that His nature and mind become experientially known to us. No one can tell what he acquires by association, but he knows that he has acquired a taste and hunger for His company, and that when not in His company he has not that which suits his new taste: he finds it very partially here among His own and he is glad to return to His presence, and he knows the benefit of it.

    This draws the line of difference between mere students of the Word, and those who enjoy resting in His presence, beholding His glory—the latter can form a conception of what suits Him which the former cannot. We see from Colossians 3:10, “Having put on the new man, renewed into full knowledge according to the image of Him that has created him (it—NC)”—that we cannot be with Him without becoming more like Him. We are enlightened and the Word comes with more definiteness to our sous; we are “renewed in full knowledge,” hence we become more like Him by being with Him, and we learn Him as our Life (Col 4:4) and consequently put on “bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, etc.

    - J B Stoney

    Poster’s opinions:

    * “a man of His own order”: only One presently with an indestructible physical body.

    * “imitate Christ”: it’s my understanding that living “for” Christ is not the same as living “by” Christ, i.e. “not I but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). We cannot live the life of Christ, which would merely be imitating. But He is living His life in us. The doing of righteousness is not “by” us using Him—but “by” Him using us. The glove (us) works by the life of the hand (God), not the hand works by the life of the glove! God’s using us, not we using Him (simply put—difficulty understood)!

    * “the beginning of the creation of God”: most likely means the first one with the creation of an immortal body, i.e. “the first begotten of the dead” (Rev 1:5; also 1Cor 15:20, 23; Col 1:18).

    MJS devotional for Nov. 10:



    The purpose of doctrine is to produce the personification of truth. “The sublimest truths are still needed to enforce the simplest responsibilities. As the laws which mold the stars and move the gigantic orbs of Saturn and Uranus in their tremendous circuits, shape the dewdrop that glistens at the end of a blade of grass, so should everything in the Christian’s life be regulated by the principles which lie in the Person and Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. To isolate Christian morality from Christian theology is to rend asunder the teachings of the New Testament, as to its deepest and most vital elements.” -W.G.S.

    “The knowledge of doctrine, essential as it is, gives no power. One might be very well up on the doctrine of deliverance, and know absolutely nothing of its practical reality. It is as our hearts are under the sway of that grace which is ministered to us through our Lord Jesus Christ, and as we are knit to Him in affection, that we touch and taste a new life, and are severed in heart from all that constituted the life of our old man. Thus the body of sin is annulled for our hearts, and we do not henceforth serve sin.” -C.A.C.

    “In the New Testament literature of the Church, creed and conduct are always related. Doctrine and practice, theology and morality, knowledge and action are inseparably connected, being related to one another as foundation to superstructure, as center to circumference, as cause to effect. Some expound without applying, and some endeavor to apply what has not been expounded, but the Apostles always do both. When revealed truth is divorced from Christian living it becomes an impotent abstraction.” -W.G.S.

    CoffeeDrinker and AtomicSnowflake say Amen and like this.
  2. Hello netchaplain;

    God bless you and thank you for sharing your thread. We as God's creation spend so much energy drawing a sense of acceptance to feed our self-worth, to the point of examining and assessing what others - family, church, work and community think of us, especially when our "china" breaks. Because its our human nature, secure or insecure, we value ourselves on how others receive us. This is associated with human love.

    At the end of the day, or our life, God's opinion of us matters. God's Word promises each of us is of precious worth because God has put the work of His Hands on each of us. Therefore, His affirmation should encourage all of us to stand firm in the face of every challenge in life, for example, when our "china" breaks.

    There is another side called Spiritual LOVE. We also can give up the struggle of our own value from all who we meet, instead give ourselves in LOVE, by seeing the value of each person that crosses our path. Our Spiritual LOVE realizes that our God brands value on them as well because He created them, as God values us because He created us.

    I enjoyed reading your profound thread and teachings, netchaplain, and actually had to re-read it because it challenged me. Thank you, brother!

    If I can ask, please share more of your opinion next time so we can fellowship deeper with you and our thoughts.

    God bless you, netchaplain and your family.
  3. Hi BIF - Thanks for your reply and encouraging comments. Concerning commenting on the author's materials, they are from circa 1700-1800's and are quite advanced in their spiritual-growth teachings. I've been studying them for about 20 years and still feel I'm just beginning to realize their import.

    God's blessings to your Family also! God Be Blessed!!
    CoffeeDrinker and bobinfaith say Amen and like this.
  4. Hi netchaplain;

    Aside from the early church fathers, are these author's - circa 1700-1800's, considered "future" church fathers, so to speak?

    Thank you, brother!
    CoffeeDrinker likes this.
  5. No, and there also must be clarification concerning the meaning of "church fathers" in the past. Many consider them to be of the Roman Catholic leaders, but these are not adherents to the belief that salvation is through Christ alone, but attempt an admixture of doctrine to Christ alone for salvation (if this is even what you may be referring to).
    bobinfaith likes this.
  6. Not specifically, netchaplain, when I mentioned church fathers I meant to include "early church fathers" - thelogians such as Chrysostom, Anthanasius from the latin church, Justin Martyr and Origen from the Greek but that was not my point in question.

    I was asking to help me identify the authors - circa 1700-1800s. Perhaps the way I was attempting to describe them as "future church fathers" was a bit loose, when I should have asked who these writers were, theologians, ministers, evangelists? I could have googled but wanted to hear you share with us.

    God bless you and thanks, netchaplain.

    CoffeeDrinker likes this.
  7. I see what you mean. The materials I share are mostly from Plymouth Brethren writers of the past and doing a search on them will reveal most of their writings are not in print. The materials I share derive from books compiled by Miles J Stanford and are difficult to purchase lately. He put together some books among which he compiled choice readings from writers like these Brethren. One of his best is "None but the Hungry Heart" through Zondervan Books and Bibles.
    CoffeeDrinker and bobinfaith say Amen and like this.
  8. Thank you, NetChaplain. That was a lot of reading... lol
    I had to google a few things to fully understand what I was reading and what you were saying. It felt really good to work through your devotional. I enjoyed looking up a few things to ensure I fully understood what you were writing. It was a bit hard to read in parts, but over all I enjoyed it and I enjoyed that it was a bit hard to read. I like learning and going deeper and you definitely challenged me to not be lazy and go deeper. thank you.
  9. I love reading devotionals and books from the older (now dead) authors from the 1800's. I love Charles Spurgeon. He is one of my favorites. I have several other favorites, too. That group of men seemed to have an anointing that you just do not see every day.
    AtomicSnowflake likes this.
  10. Thank you too CD for your encouraging replies and comments! Here's a link you should find desirable, and others who may also see these types of materials instructional and encouraging:
    bobinfaith, AtomicSnowflake and CoffeeDrinker says Amen and like this.
  11. Thank you. I do not think I have heard of these preachers, but I will certainly look this over and see what I think of them.
    thank you for sharing it with me.
    bobinfaith likes this.

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