• “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you.” – Susanna Wesley

Chapter 1

" I LONG to know Christ and the power which is in His 
resurrection, and to share in His sufferings, and die even 
as He died B (Philippians 3: 10, Weymouth). So wrote the 
Apostle to the Gentiles in his letter to the Philippians. " The 
risen life culminates in ' becoming conformed unto His death ' ; 
we 'rise' that we may sink ourselves after His likeness; we are 
emancipated that we may surrender ourselves into the hands 
of our Emancipator. The climax of the risen life gravitates, 
strange to say, back to the Cross; and when we have learnt 
the power of His resurrection, we are only being thereby 
fitted to become conformed into His death" I* So wrote 
an apostle of the nineteenth century, the late revered Charles 
A. Fox. 

It is the lack of experimentally understanding what Paul meant 
when he wrote Philippians 3 i 10, which causes departure from 
the proportion of truth by many of the Lord's children. In 
the wisdom of God the Cross of Christ is the pivot, or central 
truth, which keeps all other truth in Us due proportion both in doctrine 
and practice, Mr. Fox painted this out when he wrote: 
M The Crass of Calvary is the one central eminence in all Holy Writ; 
thither all lines of truth, whether old or new, converge, mid theme all 
light and life power radiate forth to the universal Church." If this 
is so, it is easy to sec that the human mind cannot possibly 

* From a most suggestive boot, Tht Spiritual Grasp of the Epistlts, by 
Rev. C + A. Fox. 

grasp, to the fullest extent at one time, all the various aspects 
and infinite depths of what the Cross of Calvary means. 

When, in the grace of God, by the teaching of the Holy 
Spirit, we have assimilated what we may have thought its 
fullest truth, we find we are but on the edge of a vast ocean 
of the unsearchable wisdom of God. Hence it is in relation 
to the " message of the Cross " that the Apoatjc Paul says 
God. has declared: " I will exhibit the nothingness of the 
wisdom; of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent I 
will bring to naught" (i Corinthians i: 19, Weymouth). 
In all truth, then, connected with the <s message of the Cross ", 
let us humbly recognize that even the " intelligence " of the 
" intelligent " is of little avail, for " the message " (1 Corin- 
thians 1 : 18 ; 2 : 4) contains deeps of the wisdom of God which 
the Divine Spirit alone can reveal, and "mightily carry home"! 

The message of the Cross is full of paradoxes on its 
experimental side, and these paradoxes can only be understood 
as we progress in experience. There is what is called the 
" objective side ", which means the finished work of Christ in 
His death upon the Cross as a work complete and full and 
finished for all who believe; and there is the gradual appre- 
hension of this by the believer, which brings about in him the 
" subjective " or experimental side. Therefore, as we speak 
about the Cross we need almost constantly to make plain 
from which of these standpoints we are speaking, lest we be 
misunderstood. But the Holy Spirit of God, we may reverently 
say, must be watching over with tender care the sacred 
message of the death of the Gad-Man, for the Cross is not 
a favourite theme with the wise of this world, even in the 
Christian Church. The very words—" the Cross " — seem to 
be a stumbling-block to the intellect of the natural mao.) even 
as was the case in the days of Paul. The Holy Spirit is also 
watching over the "message" as it goes forth among the 
people of God, for upon its reception and assimilation by the 
believer, depends the fulfilment of the ascended Lord's desires 
for His Church, If it is true — and we know it is — that from 
thence — the Cross of Calvary— all " life-power " radiates 
forth to the Church of Christ, how much depends upon our 
increasing knowledge of what the Holy Ghost has to teach us 
about it ! 

On the objective side there is first revealed to us the 
Crucified Lord as our Sin-bearer, and all who are truly born 
from above can bear witness to the subjective result of their 
apprehension of the finished work of the Lamb of God. But 
later on comes again the revelation of the objective fact, that 
in the Person of the Saviour the sinner was nailed to the tree. 
" We are identified with Christ in the Cross; it is our Cross as 
truly as His. It is our death as well as His; we have died, and 
ajre dead with Him," again writes Mr. Fox. Of Later years 
thousands of the children of God have been apprehending 
this, and gladly acquiescing in all that it means subjectively — 
i.e. (t) in a death to sin; (2) a deep separation from the self, 
or soul-ish. life — according to Hebrews 4:12; (3) a severance 
from the world, to be separated unto the Redeemer as His 
purchased possession; and {4) a victory over Satan as 
conquered by the Emancipator at the very hour of His 
outward shame ! 

Through this blessed work of the Spirit in the Body of Christ* 
in a progressive unveiling of the meaning of the finished work 
of the Saviour, the living members of the Lord's Body have 
been steadily advancing in the divine Life, and life-power 
has been radiating forth to the whole Church of Christ. More 
and more the having " drunk of one Spirit " has been seen 
to be the characteristic of the children of God. The Church 
has been advancing to the li heavenly " sphere, where she is 
" crowned " with " every spiritual blessing in the heavenly 
realms of Christ " (Ephesians 1:3); " enthroned " with the 
Risen Lord " in the heavenly realms " (Ephesians 2:6), and 
where it is God's purpose that " the Church might now be 
used to display to the powers and authorities in the heavenly 
realms the innumerable aspects of God's wisdom ..." 
(Ephesians 3: 7, Weymouth), All this has gloriously been 
coming about in Increasing measure as apprehended by great 
numbers of the children of God these last years. 

But new. What M$t? is the question. The climax of the risen 
life gravitates hack lo the Cross. " That I may know Him, and. 
the power of His resurrection, and (.lie fellowship of His 
sufferings, sharing the likeness of His death," is Conybeare's 
rendering of Philippians 3: 10.* And the same keynote is 
struck in the Apostle's second letter to the Corinthians, where 
he says: " In ray body I bear about continually the dying of 
Jesus, that in my body the life also of Jesus might be shown 
forth. For I in the midst of life am daily given over la death for 
the sake of Jesus, that in my dying flesh the life whereby Jesus 
conquered death might show forth its power " (2 Corinthians 
4: 10, 11). 

What is the meaning of this ? Why the need for " always 
bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus " ? Because in 
the body we arc open to the assaults of the worJd, the flesh) 
and the devil, whilst in spirit we are joined, to the Risen Lord) 
and sit with Him " enthroned in the heavenly realm " ', and 
so we need continually in ever-deeper measure to be made 
conformable to His death, for it is only as we are thus willing 
" to sink ourselves after His likeness " that the true life in 
spirit in the heavenly sphere, can he maintained in purity, 
and increased in power. 

The importance of fully apprehending the aspect of continual 
Conformity to the death of Christy as a balancing truth to the " life 
in the heavenlies "j is very gTeat, for to go beyond the due 
proportion of truth means danger at every stage of the spiritual 
life; and "error" is simply truth pushed too far. " All 
truth, all light, all life radiates from the Cross," wrote Mr. 
Fox, and if the Cross is kept in its central place by every 
believer seeking the fulness of the Spirit, no aspect of truth 
will be pressed too far; and no "line* 1 of truth radiating 
from the Cross, followed beyond the radius of the Cross. 

Moreover, the fullest victory in the believer's life depends 
upon this conformity to the death of Christ. It is the " con- 

* The chapter on " Conformity to the Death of the Christ ", in 7 he 
Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life, by Rev. Evan H. Hopkins, most clearly 
unfolds tlii3 theme. 

dition ", writes Mr. Hopkins, of the " manifestation of the 
divine life". " Our part," he says, " consists in getting down 
(note the same thought as with Mr. Fox, " sink ourselves ") 
into the death of Christ; His part is to live out His otvn life 
in us. , . . And this assimilation to the dying Christ is not 
an isolated act, but a condition of mind ever to be maintained, 
and to go on deepening " (i Peter 4:1). This simply means 
that however much any of us may have apprehended our 
death with Christ as a " terminus ", or " boundary line 
between us and the world '", and as " the divine laboratory 
where the ' flesh ' is cauterised and put to death " (C. A. 
Fox) , there must be a fresh and daily application of the power 
of the death of Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, for 
the continued manifestation of the life of Jems in actual freshness ami 
power. Whilst it is therefore true that we have died with 
Christ to sin, so that we walk in newness of life in union with 
Him, it is also true that for the " life of Jesus " to be 
manifested, we cannot get away from the Cross, but must 
" always bear about " the " dying " with Him. 

It is not easy to make this important aspect of the Cross 
clear to young believers, for it needs must be, in the limitation 
of the human mind, difficult to apprehend two apparently 
contradictory truths at one and the same time. And yet in 
experience it becomes all so simple ! " Some think that they 
are always to be hidden in Christ on the Cross," writes a 
worker ; but " Christ is risen, and in Him we are to walk in 
newness of life ". Both are true, according to the texts we are 
considering, a Corinthians 4.: 10-12 and Philippians 3: 10 
are passages which fellow the experience of Romans 6, and 
describe the absolutely necessary condition for the continued 
maintenance of Romans 6 in power. 

But the Holy Spirit has many ways of teaching these deeper 
depths of the Cross, and often uses figures of speech which the 
babes can apprehend when Romans 6 and 2 Corinthians 
4: 10 are beyond their grasping. " I will put thee in a cleft 
of the rock," said the Lord to Moses; and " Rock of Ages, 
cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee," we often sing. It 
is only the spiritual fact of the necessity of maintaining the 
death attitude, or " conformity to His death ", rendered into 
a figure of Speech. The being " planted into His death " of 
Romans 6 is to be found over and over in the words of the 
Saviour, e.g., a As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder- 
ness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up r that whosoever 
believeth into (Greek) Him, may have life " (John 3: 14, 15). 
It is, in truth, as we sink down into His death — His death was 
on the Cross — and abide in that death In daily, hourly con- 
formity, that His life — the life of Jesus Himself in us — will 
spring up into w newness of life >j l and even more, it is only 
in proportion as we " get down " into His death, that in spirit 
we ascend into that life within the veil " hid with Christ in 
God ". " For ye died," said the Apostle, " and your life is 
hid. . . . 1J It is only the life which is " hid with Christ 1J , 
the " ye died" being a fact which is needed as the basis day 
by day. 

We might also use the figure once referred to by the Rev. 
Andrew Murray, when he spoke of the acom striking its roots 
into the ground, whilst the life sprang up into an oak. Christ 
was a " seed-grain ", in the language of the divine Spirit, 
whilst He hung upon the Cross, liberating His life for a dying 
world. His death may be likened to " ground " therefore in 
which we are planted (Romans 6: 5, A.V.), and it is as we 
abide in the ground of His death by faith that we strike the 
roots of faith deep down into Him, like a planted acorn, and 
thus His life springs up in us into " newness of life "; "resur- 
rection life "; the ascension life within the veil. 

We might carry the picture further, and say that the lack 
of " root " — -strong root-power which comes from this deep 
abiding in the ground or the death of Jesus — is always Lhe 
cause of pressing the truth of the " life in the heavenlies " 
too far, and thus getting uncenired, and open to the subtle 
wiles of the spiritual foes roaming at large in the spiritual 
sphere. It is as if the young oak tree becomes all at once all 
branch and leaveSj growing away into space, with no attention 
to roots; or a in the other language, as if the believer soared 
away in spirit into space, and realms unknown, without seeing 
to the safe anchorage of deep daily abiding in the depths of 
the death of Christ. But all language fails in attempting to 
make clear the divine realities, yet behind all the poor limits 
of human speech is the watching Holy Spirit, ready to reveal 
the truth to needy hearts. 

" By maintaining tlu death attitude we liberate the lift power," 
again wrote Mr. Fox; and " the death mark is the trade 
mark of the Church ". What is this but the Apostle's words: 
1 ' So then, death working in me works life in you " ? (2 Corin- 
thians 4; 12). Here we have " death " said to be working ! 
The death of Christ was not an ordinary death, for He was the 
God-Man, and so His death carries in it power, His death 
works; it works deliverance, it works separation, it works in 
the believer as he yields to it, until the activity of the flesh is 
brought under its power in " conformity " to His death. 
The " death attitude liberates life-power ". Yes ? the life-power of 
Jesus which makes the " man in Christ " "more 'himself, 
in one sense, than he ever was before " ! For " this docs not 
destroy our individuality, but it magnifies His ", wrote Mr. 
Fax. *' The ' J * is not converted, but crucified , , . ' I 
live '; (the Greek has not the ' I ', it should be in italics) 
so the Christian's ego should always be in italics. . . ," 

But the liberating of the life-power 1 That is the need of the 
Church ! The seed-grain in the ground liberates life; the 
acorn in the ground, as it abides and strikes its roots 
downward, liberates life. Need we wonder now why the 
"climax of the risen life gravitates to the Cross " ? It is 
needed far (1) daily and hourly deliverance, and continual 
separation from sin. (The blood of Jesus Christ . . . deanseth 
from all sin. " When we speak of the f blood of Christ 1 we 
mean the life poured out, sacrificed, he. His death" E.H.H.) ; 
(a) for continual separation from the " soulish " life of the 
first Adam ( 1 Corinthians 1 : 14) indicated in the words " deny 
himself, and take up his cross daily" (Luke 9: 23, 24, R.V.m.), 
and described in one aspect in James 3: 15 as "soulish 
wisdom "j or as in men " governed by soul ", as in Jude 19; 
(3) for rooting purposes, to keep the believer steadily founded 
on the rock; and (4) for deeper and richer and fuller liberation 
of life, springing upward into the heavenly sphere, and 
outward to a dying world. 

If all the members of the Body of Christ, joined to the 
Living Head, will but thus " get down " into the death of 
Jesus, they will find springing forth in glorious fulness the 
life-streams the poor dead world: so sorely needs; they will 
find as they hide in the death of Jesus, the safety from the 
enemy's workings, which they need, for as they abide within 
the radius of the Cross he is a conquered foe. 

And how can all this be ? By the power of the Holy Ghost. 
The Spirit leads to the Cross, and the Crass to the Spirit ! 
The oil must be upon the Blood, and upon man's flesh, it can- 
not be poured. " Christians too often attempt in early life to 
aim at being like the Crucified* and afterwards, later on, they 
aim at the Risen Life. We must bear and wear the marks of 
crucifixion whilst we, by the Spirit, walk in newness of life " 
(C. A. Fox). 

There is much else that might be said as to the practical 
results in the daily life, of the " life of Jesus manifested " in 
the fullest use of the faculties of reason, and the walking even 
as He walked in His life of lowly service and ministry to all; 
but L ' let all . . . who are mature believers cherish these 
thoughts, and if in any respect you think differently, that also 
God will make clear to you. But, whatsoever be the point that 
we have already reached, let us persevere in the same 
course . . ." (Philippians 3: 15, 16, Weymouth).
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  • “We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.” – Amy Carmichael

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Verse of the Day

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. — Acts 20:24 (NKJV)

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