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Foundation for Fellowship

It is a wonderful thing (when understood) to see how by the Cross we pass out of our old relationship and standing in Adam (Jhn 5:24; 1Jo 3:14), with the penalties and consequences of sin which rested upon us as connected with the man who fell. Death has done this. By the death of the Last Adam we are forever separated from the condemnation and judgement inflicted on the first. And it is as wonderful to see how through the risen and exalted Son of Man we pass into our new position of acceptance and completeness before the Father, and enter upon our relationship as children of the Father, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

The ascension of the Lord Jesus has done this. By His exaltation we know ourselves as made the righteousness of God in Him. Again, how blessed it is to be made conscious that the Holy Spirit has come down from the Father and the Son to dwell in us as the temples of the loving God, and to make true in us that which is true of us in Christ. Only thus can such verities become our most familiar thoughts, our daily bread, and source of supply to us as new creatures in Christ. We are kept in this nearness to the Father by a power equal to that which quickened us and set us in relationship with our glorified Head and Life.

How else can communion and enjoyment with the Father and the Son be maintained in us against all the contradictions of the flesh, the world, and the devil, unless the fact of our new creation can be displayed to faith in Christ at the right hand of the Father, as well as what we are by grace as in Him? An important Scripture for the establishment of the Lord’s people in the truth about us is shown in Ephesians 4:20-24:”But ye have not so learned Christ, if so that ye have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus; that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put of the new man, which according to God is created in righteousness and holiness of truth.”

The Holy Spirit testifies of the Lord Jesus to us, and witnesses that “as He is, so are we in this world” (1Jo 4:17). He therefore judges and keeps the sentence of death upon the “motions” (Rom 7:5) of the flesh, which if followed, would make us appear unlike Christ. Working in the inner man, He produces in us as new creatures the affections which are suited to the Father and the Son for the fellowship into which we are called. Moreover, the Spirit of God is true in divine operation to the work of Christ – “knowing this that our old man is crucified (“is” still Cross-retained—NC) with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom 6:6).

The motives also which are supplied to us for practical conduct, necessarily spring from the truth between the Father and ourselves, as to what we are by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, namely, “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Again, “know ye not that as many as have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” It is important to see that the Lord Jesus is the rule of the Spirit’s testimony to us (not the Spirit’s “life” imparted but Christ’s – Col 3:4—through the Spirit—NC) and work in us, both as to life and death; and that Christ must therefore be the Object and rule of our faith and fellowship with the Father.

Equally important is it to get our hearts and consciences assured that the Father Himself owns none other than His beloved Son as the ground of His present and future acts towards us. It is evident that all steadfastness and growth in a believer, as regards himself and his fellowship with the Father, about sin and growth, the flesh and the Spirit, grace and righteousness, heaven and hell, depend upon the Person and work of the Lord Jesus, as the established and unchangeable basis of all fellowship between us as redeemed unto the Father, by the Blood of the Son.

- J E Batten

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