Table of Contents
Part VIII: The Resurrection of Jesus
The Experiential Aspect of the Resurrection
chapter is very short, this is no indication of its importance.
It is short because the substance of it has been covered quite
fully in another Doorway Paper which deals with the matter of
the formation of the new man in Christ Jesus. (23) This is very much a summary therefore, but it is
needed to make this Paper complete in itself.
In John 14:19 and 20, the Lord
Jesus said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me
no more; but ye shall see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me,
and I in you."
Many years ago, as a group of students,
we were discussing different world religions. There were a number
of strongly nationalistic native Africans from different parts
of the continent present and one professor who was violently
anti-Christian. Various ones were arguing that Christianity was
simply a religion like all the rest; even the atheistic professor
argued thus. When, after some hesitation due to lack of courage,
I finally said, "This is not so, because Christian experience
results from the actual reincarnation of Jesus Christ in the
believer," the whole tone of the argument changed with remarkable
abruptness. One of the most militant of the Africans present
was quite silenced and watched me intently afterwards for some
time. I have no idea what was really going on in his mind, but
evidently this was an entirely new line of thought. That the
Saviour Himself should effect the experience of new life by entering
23. "The Development of Personality: The Old and
the New," Part
IV in Man in Adam and in Christ, vol.3 of The Doorway Papers
Series, especially Chapter
1 of 3
into the believer, in
Person, was to him a new concept of salvation. And, sadly enough,
it is a new concept to many Christian people who are, nevertheless,
genuinely born-again believers. Yet this is surely the meaning
of the Lord's words, "Because I live, ye shall live also."
The mode of admission is very simply
set forth in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door,
and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
This is clearly a statement of the fact that if a man will open
the door of his heart Jesus Christ will come in and take up residence
within his soul. Thereafter, like a seed planted in a plot of
earth, He will begin a process of growth of an entirely new creature
within the believer (2 Corinthians 5:17). As we have shown in
another Doorway Paper (see ref.23), the Lord in some wonderful
way summed up in Himself all the potential of human personality,
so that He is able supernaturally to engender within the believer
the growth of a new person, which, although it is an expression
of Himself and the direct result of His presence within, is nevertheless
entirely appropriate to the individual's capacity. Paul expressed
this of his own experience in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified
with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me." Much of John's First Epistle is concerned with this
wonderful fact. The experiential certainty of the Lord's indwelling
in the consciousness of the believer is the work of the Holy
Spirit, as John put it (1 John 3:24), "Hereby we know that
he abideth in us, by the Spirit whom he hath given us."
The simplest form of the equation of eternal life is stated by
John (1 John 5:12): "He that hath the Son hath life; and
he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." The Lord
was assuring His disciples (John 14:19,20) that as a consequence
of His death and resurrection, which together guaranteed
their forgiveness and acceptance with God, the latter would allow
Him to enter personally into each one of them individually to
initiate a new kind of life, life eternal. We in Christ:
this is our assurance of salvation. Christ in us: this is our
hope of glory, that is, the hope of achieving something of the
glory of His character which the disciples saw to be "full
of grace and truth" (John 1:18).
We are far from expressing this
new life in any way that is satisfying to ourselves or to anyone
else. Nevertheless, this is the new life which is visible to
God and which, alone, will survive after death. All else that
has sprung from the old nature will be buried with the body which
was natural to it, and only the new man in Christ, the new man
which resulted from His presence, will survive with the
resurrected body which
is entirely appropriate to it.
I am fully persuaded in my own
mind that this is the intent of two passages in John's First
Epistle which have always seemed so difficult to understand.
We only need to remember that this is a new Seed planted within
us and that this Seed is Christ, "the begotten of God"
(Galatians 3:16). I think in both these passages as rendered
in the Authorized Version the use of capitals might have helped
to clarify the meaning. There is no doubt that "his seed"
should be capitalized and there is no doubt that the words "in
him" should not be capitalized. It is equally certain that
to say that we ourselves cannot sin, that the individual believer
is incapable of sin, is quite contrary to our own experience.
And therefore we must suppose that the words "he cannot
sin because he is born of God" (1 John 3:9) must once again
refer back to the Seed who is Christ, i.e., He who is born of
God (which is Christ Himself) cannot be the author of
sin in the believer's life. In 1 John 5: 18 we meet with the
same basic claim: "We know that he who is born of God sinneth
not; but He that is begotten of God keepeth the believer and
that wicked one toucheth him not." Or even more simply,
"Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world
[i.e., Satan]" (1 John 4:4).
Whatever may or may not be useful
in the way I have proposed that these two difficult passages
may be understood, the wonderful truth remains that the only
acceptable part of our lives now is that which is the direct
expression of the outworking of the Person of Christ within,
re-incarnate in us who believe. All else is mercifully hidden
in Christ and no longer counts with God as an expression of the
new man in Christ Jesus. Paul put it so beautifully in Romans
7:22: "I delight in the law of God after the inward man,"
or as the Greek actually has it, "according to the man inside.
. . " And that man inside is Christ, who rose again the
third day. Amen!
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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