July 1: To Be In Christ

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.” John 15:4

The union of the believer with Jesus, and the consequent fruitfulness, is a glorious truth: the Holy Spirit, in His word, has laid great stress upon it. It is spoken of as a being in Christ—”Every branch in me.” “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” “So we, being many, are one body in Christ.” “Those who are fallen asleep in Christ.” But in what sense are we to understand this being “in Christ”?

To be in Christ truly, spiritually, vitally, is to be in that eternal covenant of grace made with Christ, as the Surety and Mediator of His people; one of the number spoken of as the Lord’s “peculiar treasure;”—”For the Lord has chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure;” and concerning whom the Holy Spirit declares that they are elected in Christ—”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ: according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

To be in Christ truly, is to stand accepted in His righteousness, to be justified by Him freely from all things; it is to be brought to the knowledge of our own vileness, insufficiency, and guilt; to be made to cast aside all self-dependence, that is, all works of human merit, and to come as the thief on the cross came, without any allowed confidence in anything of self, but as a poor, helpless, ruined, condemned sinner, all whose hope of pardon and acceptance is through the free mercy of God in Christ Jesus.

To be in Christ is to be the subject of a living, holy, influential principle of faith; it is to be brought into the blessed state thus described by the apostle as his own—”I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

To be in Christ is to be one with Him; it is to be a member of His mystical body, of which He is the spiritual Head: and the Head and members are one. It is to have Christ dwelling in the heart—”Christ in you the hope of glory.” Yes, it is to dwell in the heart of Christ; it is to rest there in the very pavilion of His love, to abide there every moment, to be sheltered there from all evil, and to be soothed there under all sorrow.

Oh blessed state of being in Christ! Who would not experience it? Who would not enjoy it? “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

These are the living branches, united to the true vine, which bear fruit. From their union to the living vine their fruit comes—”From me is your fruit found.” “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in me.” And oh, what precious fruit does such a living branch bear! The broken heart—the contrite spirit—the mourning over sin—the low, abasing, humbling views of self—the venturing by faith on a full, mighty, willing Savior—the going out of self, and resting in His all-atoning work and all-satisfying righteousness. This is followed by a progressive advance in all holiness and godliness, the fruits of faith which are by Jesus Christ abounding in the life, and proving the reality of the wondrous change—the close walk with God—the submission of the will in all things to His—the conformity of the life to the example of Jesus—the “power of His resurrection” felt—the “fellowship of His sufferings,” known—and “conformity to His death,” marking the entire man.

These are some of the fruits of a truly regenerate soul. The Holy Spirit testifies, that the “fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth;” and still more minutely, as consisting of “love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”


January 20

“Partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians. 1:12.

The glorified saints are “the saints in light.” No more veilings of the Father’s countenance- no more “walking in darkness, having no light,”- no more mourning over Divine desertions, the suspensions of the Father’s experienced love- no more tears to dim the eye- no more clouds of unbelief to darken the mind- no more mental despondency to enshroud the spirit; they leave the gloom, and the mist, and the fog, and the darkness of ignorance, error, and pollution behind them, and they flee to the regions of light, to “the inheritance of the saints” of which “the Lamb is the light thereof.”
But it will be observed, that these glorified saints are said to be “partakers of the inheritance.” There is something very emphatic in the word. We are “partakers” of it now, in Christ our Head. In consequence of our union to Christ, the exalted Head of the Church, we are at present “partakers” of this inheritance. We have the first dawnings of it in our soul: the foretaste and the antepast, and, what is best of all, the indwelling of the Spirit, who is the earnest of its possession; and if we have the “earnest” of the inheritance in the possession of the Spirit, we must, and shall assuredly, have the inheritance itself.
“Partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” “Partakers” with all the saints of God; “partakers” with the whole family of the elect; “partakers” with all the children of adoption; “partakers” with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; with David, and Solomon, and with all who have gone before us, with all who have entered heaven a little in advance; and “partakers” with all the “ransomed of the Lord,” who shall yet “come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads, obtaining joy and gladness, their sorrow and their sighing fleeing away!” Oh, who would not be a “partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light”? Reader, if you are a humble possessor of the inner life, you shall be a happy partaker of this glorious inheritance- the life which is to come.