Battleground of the Two Humanities (continued)
The Expression of Jesus Christ (continued)
Here in these letters to the Corinthians, as we have pointed out, we see the tragedy that can come about among Christians, Christians as individuals and Christians as a company. The tragedy is because of this one thing, because of a carry-over of that old rejected and discredited humanity into the realm of the New humanity. This is a terrible tragedy. See, the Spirit of God has caused this to be written in Corinthians. It is unpleasant reading, and I do not like reading a lot of this letter. When I read what is here, when I read about what they are doing in this Christian assembly, that there is such a thing as incest in a Christian assembly (and all the other things, some of which we shall touch upon); when I read, I think - what an awful tragedy among Christians.
You are not going to tell me that belongs to Corinth two thousand years ago alone. Are we not meeting this in Christian companies continually, adultery and what not? It is a terrible tragedy when you ignore that great gap that God has placed by the Cross between one humanity and Another, when you do not recognize how utter is that cleavage which the Cross has made. When you bypass the Cross in this matter of human life, you are in a way of tragedy, the tragedy of your whole spiritual life and testimony. This is very testing. The Cross is more than a teaching, a doctrine - it is a terrible setting forth of the great thing that God has done and is after; though, on the other hand, a very glorious setting forth, for here is the New Man introduced. And we must keep Him in view even while we speak about this tragedy, and the battleground of these two humanities.
The Battleground Is Between Two Men:
"The Natural Man" and "He That Is Spiritual"
Now we must spend a little while getting our position, as is represented by this First Letter to the Corinthians in particular. Their position (and what might be our position) is undoubtedly the position of many Christians today. What is the position in which the apostle, or the Holy Spirit through the apostle, puts the Corinthians? I wonder if you have noticed that in this First Letter to the Corinthians, Israel's history in the wilderness is mentioned fourteen times, as it is recorded in Exodus to Deuteronomy, and is pinpointed in a very particular way. Here the Corinthians are shown to be in that period between Egypt and the land. That is their position spiritually; that is, they are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and have come out under its covering. The Corinthians are there, and the apostle takes note of that as he introduces the letter unto the "saints". Now you revise, if necessary, your mentality about that word "saints"; it simply means the "separated ones," those who have come out unto God. That is all! That is a saint, one who has come out to God, been separated, redeemed by precious blood, positionally separated and out. How? They are redeemed by the precious blood.
In First Corinthians, chapter ten, Paul says: "I would have you know, brethren, that all our fathers were baptized into Moses in the cloud, and in the sea." Baptized - the Corinthians have been baptized and had come under the regime of the Spirit, the Cloud, the regime of the Holy Spirit. These are Christians positionally, if not conditionally. Positionally they are separated; they are baptized, but they are in the wilderness as we find them here in Corinth. They are Christians positionally, they are under the regime of the Holy Spirit, the era of the Spirit; they are in the Kingdom of God, and if the Kingdom of God means the Sovereign rule of God, as it does, they are under the Sovereign rule of God. They are positionally in the Kingdom of God - not in the general sense of Divine Sovereignty of the universe, but in a more particular sense of Divine Sovereignty. Yes, they are all that, and they are experiencing supernatural activities of God; objectively supernatural things are happening to them.
(continued with # 19)