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Chapter 3: The Path of Progress: Knowing

Our old history ends with the Cross; our new history begins with the resurrection. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold they are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). The Cross terminates the first creation, and out of death there is brought a new creation in Christ, the second Man. If we are ‘in Adam’ all that is in Adam necessarily devolves upon us; it becomes ours involuntarily, for we have to do nothing to get it. There is no need to make up our minds to lose our temper or to commit some other sin; it comes to us freely and despite ourselves. In a similar way, if we are ‘in Christ’ all that is in Christ comes to us by free grace, without effort on our part but on the ground of simple faith.

But to say that all we need comes to us in Christ by free grace, though true enough, may seem unpractical. How does it work out in practice? How does it become real in our experience?

As we study chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Romans we shall discover that the conditions of living the normal Christian life are fourfold. They are: (a) Knowing, (b) Reckoning, (c) Presenting ourselves to God, and (d) Walking in the Spirit, and they are set forth in that order. If we would live that life we shall have to take all four of these steps; not one nor two nor three, but all four. As we study each of them we shall trust the Lord by His Holy Spirit to illumine our understanding; and we shall seek His help now to take the first big step forward.

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