“as He Is, So Are We”

The Red Sea is the type of the death of the Lord Jesus, in its application to sin, the world and Satan. By His death unto sin the believer is completely and forever positionally delivered from the power of sin (positional-truth literally places us in the life of Christ - Col 3:4 - and not our own—NC). He is, alas, conscious of the presence of sin; but its power over him is broken. The believer has died unto sin, in the Lord Jesus on the Cross; and what power has sin over a dead man? Sin dwells in the believer (Rom 7:17, 20), but its rule is terminated (Rom 6:12, 14). It is not merely that the Savior’s Blood has purged our sins; but His death unto sin has broken its power (“old man” or sinful nature is restrained but not dead - remains on His Cross in perpetual crucifixion - Rom 6:6—NC).

It is one thing to know that our sins are forgiven, and another thing altogether to know that “the body of sin is annulled” (not the physical body but the sinful nature and its members – Col 3:5—NC); its reign ended—its dominion gone. Many will tell you that they do not question the forgiveness of their past sins, but they do not know what to say as to indwelling sin (“old man” or old nature—NC). Such persons are, to use the figure, “between Migdol and the sea.” They have not yet learned the truth of Romans Six. They have not as yet, in their spiritual intelligence and apprehension, reached the resurrection side of the Red Sea. They do not know what it is to be dead unto sin, and alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is essential to note the Apostle’s word, “reckon.” How very different it is, in every way, from our word, “realize” (to confirm by sense—NC)! This latter word may do very well where natural or human things are concerned. We can realize physical or material facts, but where a spiritual truth is involved, it is not a question of realizing, but of reckoning. How can I realize that I have died to sin? All my own experience seems to offer a flat contradiction to the truth (Rom 7:19). I cannot realize that I have died, but my Father tells me I did. He assures me that He counts me to have died to sin when the Lord Jesus died on the Cross. I believe it; not because I feel it, but because my Father says it in His Word.

I reckon myself to be what my Father tells me I am. If I were sinless, if I had no sin in me, I should never be able to reckon myself dead unto sin; neither should I ever be called to listen to such words as, “Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body.” But it is just because I have sin dwelling in me, and in order to give me full practical deliverance from its reigning power that I am taught the grand liberating truth, that the dominion of sin is broken by the death of the Lord Jesus in whom I also died.

How do I know this? Is it because I feel it? Certainly not! How could I ever realize it, have the self-consciousness of it, while in this body? Impossible! I do not reason about it. I could never find any evidence (proof by sense—NC) of it in myself. I simply reckon myself to be what my Father tells me I am. I do not endeavor to struggle, and strive, and work myself into a sinless state which is impossible. Neither do I imagine myself to be in it, which would be a deceit and a delusion (we’re not in the sinful nature - Rom 8:9—NC); but by resting faith I take the blessed ground which faith assigns me, in association with my dead and risen Lord. I look upon Him there in the glory, and see in Him, according to the Word, the true expression of where I am, in my Father’s presence. I do not reason from myself upwards, but I believe from my Father downwards.

This makes all the difference. It is just the difference between unbelief and faith—between law and grace—between human religion and divine Christianity. If I reason from myself, how can I have any correct thought of what is in the heart of my Father? All my conclusions must be utterly false. But if, on the other hand, I listen to Him and believe His Word, my conclusions are divinely sound. Abraham did not look at himself and the improbability, nay, the impossibility of having a son in his old age; but he believed God and gave Him glory—and it was counted to him for righteousness.

It is a great mercy to get done with ourselves (avoid getting caught up and distracted by the old self or the old man’s deeds—NC), and to be at rest on the written Word and in the Lord Jesus whom the Word presents to us. Self-occupation is the death-blow to fellowship, and a great barrier to rest and progress. There is no settled peace with the one who is occupied with himself. He must hearken to the Word of God, and rest without a single question on its pure and everlasting record. The Word never changes. I change; my feelings, my experience and my circumstances change continually; but the Word of my Father is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Furthermore, it is a grand and essential point for the believer to apprehend that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only definition of his place before the Father. This gives immense liberty, blessing and rest. “As He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). This is something perfectly wonderful! Let us ponder it: let us think of a poor, wretched, guilty slave of sin, a bond-slave of Satan, the dominion of sin, the power of this present evil world—pardoned, washed, justified, brought nigh to the Father, accepted in His Beloved, and perfectly and forever identified with Him, so that the Holy Spirit can say, “As Christ is, so is he in the world!

All this seems too good to be true; and, most assuredly, it is too good for us to get; but, blessed be the God of all grace, and blessed be the Christ of God, it is not too good for Him to give. Our Father gives like Himself, and He acts in a way worthy of Himself, and worthy of the Son of His love. Were it a question of our deserving’s, we could only think of the deepest and darkest region of outer darkness. But seeing it is a question of what is worthy of our Father to give, and that He gives according to His estimate of the worthiness of His Son, then, verily, we can think of the highest place in Heaven. The glory of God, and the worthiness of His Son, are involved in His dealings with us; and hence everything that could possibly stand in the way of our eternal blessedness, has been disposed of in such a manner as to secure the divine glory, and furnish a triumphant answer to every accusation of the enemy.

Is it a question of trespass? “He has forgiven us all trespasses.” Is it a question of sin? He has condemned sin on the Cross (Rom 8:3), and thus put it away forever (Heb 9:26). Is it a question of guilt? It is canceled by the Blood of the Cross. Is it a question of death? He has taken away its sting (sin-1 Cor 15:56), and actually made it part of our property (“old man,” source of our sin—NC). Is it a question of Satan? He has destroyed him, by annulling all his power (1 John 3:8). Is it a question of the world? He has delivered us from it, and snapped every link which connected us with it (Gen 3:15; Jam 4:4).

Thus it stands with us if we are to be taught by Scripture, if we are to take our Father at His Word, if we are to believe what He says. And we may add, if it be not thus, we are in our sins; under the power of sin; in the grasp of Satan; subject to death; part and parcel of an evil, Christ-less, Godless world, and exposed to the unmitigated wrath of God—the vengeance of eternal doom. Oh that the blessed Spirit may open the eyes of God’s people, and give them to see their position, their full and eternal deliverance in association with the Lord Jesus who died for them, and in whom they have died, and thus passed out of the power of all their enemies!

—C H Mackintosh

Note: I believe the spiritual-growth material I share is becoming increasingly difficult to find, some of which is out of print and this is part of my reason for sharing them and the other reason is because I want to share the biggest fish I can find. Also, parentheses (--NC) just denotes an expression of my opinion concerning the material.