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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX


Part VIII: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Chapter 3

The Experiential Aspect of the Resurrection

     ALTHOUGH this 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 6.

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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

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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!

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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