Are you a man in Christ? In the realm of all that terrible contradiction and conflict, there is a respite, and we are put into a position. In the righteousness of God through faith in Christ, we are in that position. Would that I could grasp it; would that we could all grasp that! It is reality because thee was never a time when the saints of God were more assailed and harassed by accusation and condemnation than at this time. Frustration in the Christian life is very largely due to a failure to apprehend, to grasp, the real meaning of being in Christ, being in this One in Whom there is no condemning conscience, no worrying. In this One, there is no schism, and that is the position that we are brought into "in Christ."
We will have more to say about all this later when we come to the crisis. But, oh! the infinite blessedness of what it means to be placed "in Christ." If only we could grasp it. We are all defeated here, and we have all failed here, everyone of us failing to grasp this initial, fundamental blessedness of being in Christ, of what it means to be placed in Christ, where so far as God and we are concerned, there is no controversy, and there is no conflict. God is not against us, and yet we believe so often that He is. And the devil tells us a thousand times every day that the Lord is not for us, that He is against us. The devil will use anything that he can as a ground of argument to bring us under condemnation. This is the shadow of that terrible havoc the enemy has brought about in human life. Oh, the infinite preciousness of our position in Christ before ever the work was taken up or perfected. Through our position in Christ, there is a new Humanity, a different kind of Humanity in Christ, a Humanity that has been regenerated in Christ, a new humanity has been introduced into this creation, the destiny of which is final conformity to HIS IMAGE, being renewed, made anew after the IMAGE.
You know, with all that He had to meet and counter and suffer, He went tranquilly on His way. It was not until that day, that hour, that moment, when, being made sin for us and a curse for us, taking the place of this disruptive creation, then His soul was torn asunder, but not until then was He ever disturbed by any controversy with His Father or His Father with Him. He had tranquility; and "in Christ", we have tranquility.
Dear Friends, I am saying tremendous things to you, but after all, what does this mean? This is after all just the simple truth of a Christian's position by faith in Jesus Christ, where there is no more controversy between us and heaven, heaven and us, for there is no condemnation in Christ. Ye were created by Him for a position and a state like that, and He has come back to redeem from all that contradicts that state. He has come to redeem man. But what I want, and I said I had one object, one thought at this time, around which all this is being governed. I want to emphasize this: that it is man that God is after. It is man that God is after, not things, not systems, not orders, but MAN. He is after human life, He has come to get it, to redeem it, to make it again. It is our humanity upon which He has focused His attention. It is there that we should find so much help in the explanation of His dealings with us. What is it, what is He up to and after in His attention upon us? His attention is upon us, but what is He up to, and what is He after? Well, He is after a humanity, a man, a human life that can be the expression of Himself, His OWN IMAGE, "renewed after the image of Him." That is the explanation.
We ask a thousand questions of what the Lord is doing and why He is doing this and that and so many things with us, why He is taking this way. And, as I see it, all the questions are answered in this one thing. He is after our person, after our human nature, He is after our humanity. He is after this creation, this purely and unique creation, human beings, to make them after His OWN IMAGE. That is why He is dealing with us as He is. Sometimes it seems He is dealing with us as though we were the only individuals in the vast universe. It is all so real, and sometimes it is so terrible, so drastic. Sometimes it is as though He has singled us out from everybody else to deal with us. Here is the answer in Colossians three, nine to eleven: "being renewed, make anew, after the IMAGE of Him that created him."
(continued with # 6 - "The Pattern and the Purpose")