In the letter to the Hebrews we read much of rest. It is the rest in Christ. His rest has to be our rest. I am not going to try to tell you that we must be sinlessly perfect, or that we can never sin again. But we must recognize that the sin-question has to be dealt with first. All our sins are put away in Christ. Jesus Christ has delivered us once and for all from sin. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus”. No condemnation! Why? Because Christ Himself has dealt abidingly with the sin-question of the past, the present and the future. All that which separated us from God because of sin is forgiven, and we are placed by faith into a position of complete justification before God. Even when we sin again there is forgiveness which abides. Our redemption is an eternal redemption, for it is written: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”, and “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us (keeps on cleansing) from all sin”.
It is now a matter of our union with Him. If we abide in that union with Christ we need not be under condemnation for five minutes. If, when we have failed, we recognize and confess our sins, they will be forgiven us. So the ground of inward peace and liberty is in Christ. We are delivered through Christ, and in Him. We have to take the word in Romans 8 seriously. We have to stand on it full of joy: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.” That is a condition resulting from a position. “IN CHRIST” there is liberty, there is no condemnation. Just as Christ abode in the Father and had perfect peace as to sin, so we abiding in Christ can have perfect peace. It is not the peace from sin extricated from us, but the peace resulting from the continuation of the cleansing virtue of the Blood.
But how do we get experimentally over our divided nature into such a oneness, such a rest, such a peace? The way is just this: as the Lord Jesus gains the upper hand in our hearts, we become more and more one with Him. As we more and more surrender to Him, all the conflict of mind, heart and will ceases. Christ’s attitude was absolute abandonment to the Father. He was holding back nothing, ready to do all His will. There was no conflict about it. His whole being was one with the Father. As we let go the self-life, letting Christ get the mastery in us, He brings to an end all the inward conflict. A heart wholly the Lord’s is a heart at rest, a heart conformed to the image of Christ.
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