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Being at the foot of the Cross of Christ in faith secures “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9; 2Ti 2:10), and progressing onward from there secures a life of manifesting it. It is said that “saints are saved from something, for something.” From death in self—to life in Christ. It is one thing to be redeemed, but another to manifest it. There is very little required in knowing the former, but it is the remnant of our lives which we will be learning from concerning the fullness of the latter.
Thankfully, God “works” (Phl 2:13) in our walk to manifest what we already are in the Lord Jesus! The Cross of Christ prepares us for the life of Christ (Col 3:4), as death prepares for resurrection. Hence the instruction in Hebrews Six is to “leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ,” in order to “go on unto perfection” (not the perfection of redemption, which is fully administered at rebirth, but the mature walk in it).
Does any Christian say, “I am at the foot of the Cross?” The Lord Jesus is not at the foot of the Cross! The Cross puts a man in heaven. The Lord Jesus is in heaven. You are laboring about in the thoughts of your own heart, and have not followed Him in faith to where He is, if you are at the foot of the Cross (present-day Hessionism). How do I see the effect of the Cross now? By being in heaven. I have been brought in through the rent veil.
If you were inside the veil, before the Father, you would know yourself worse—not one good thing in the flesh (i.e. the old man—NC). It is blessed to see a soul exercised even that way, as the prodigal son in the far country; but he had not come yet to his father then: he had not found out where he was. There was a mixture of self, not knowing his position nor his father, and talking about being a hired servant. He had not the father on his neck, or he could not have thought of being a servant (he had yet to realize the father’s love for him—NC).
It is not humility, as people think, to be away from God, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man,” as Peter did. Is insensibility to God’s goodness humility? The prodigal could not dictate and prescribe when his father was on his neck; he had no business to be in the house at all as a hired servant. It is not humility, it is a mixture of self with the knowledge of having gotten out of fellowship with God.
Where will you put yourself? You must take your position in the risen Lord Jesus or none. There is but one way of coming in; it is by the Lord Jesus who is in the glory. We have no title to any other place. How is the Lord Jesus there? Not in virtue of His High Priesthood, but He is there in virtue of the offering for sins for us (the priests offered for sins, but Jesus was Priest and the offering—NC). “I have glorified Thee on the earth. Father, glorify They Son.” That is the reason Paul speaks of the Gospel of the glory (1Th 2:14 – NC). Do not let us be looking for an earthly place the godly Jew had, but rather the heavenly place the Lord Jesus has.
Nothing seemed to be a greater burden on the heart of Paul than to keep the saints up to their privileges in Christ. They saw He had died for them (and this had not the effect upon them it ought to have had), but they were also risen with Him; they were in Him in heavenly places within the veil; and how were they realizing it? “Ye are become such as have need of milk” (Heb 5:12).
But see the state they were in (Hebrews 10) when their goods were taken, knowing that they had “a better and enduring substance” (v 34). Because they knew they had substance in heaven, they were willing to sacrifice what was here. When the Lord Jesus had not that place in the heart, they were not willing to give up those earthly things, and the understanding of the heavenly things would be dulled as a result.
Freshness of affection and spiritual intelligence go together. My judgment is clear when my affections are warm. Motives that acted before, cease to be motives when my heart is centered upon Him. I can count all dross when force and direction are given to my affections. “If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1, 2).
- H H Snell (1815-1891)