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Chapter 11: One Body in Christ

Before we pass on to our last important subject we will review some of the ground we have covered and summarize the steps taken. We have sought to make things simple, and to explain clearly some of the experiences which Christians commonly pass through. But it is clear that the new discoveries that we make as we walk with the Lord are many, and we must be careful to avoid the temptation to over-simplify the work of God. To do so may lead us into serious confusion.

There are children of God who believe that all our salvation, in which they would include the matter of leading a holy life, lies in an appreciation of the value of the precious Blood. They rightly emphasize the importance of keeping short accounts with God over known specific sins, and the continual efficacy of the Blood to deal with sins committed, but they think of the Blood as doing everything. They believe in a holiness which in fact means only separation of the man from his past; that, through the up-to-date blotting out of what he has done on the ground of the shed Blood, God separates a man out of the world to be His, and that is holiness; and they stop there. Thus they stop short of God’s basic demands, and so of the full provision He has made. I think we have by now seen clearly the inadequacy of this.

Then there are those who go further and see that God has included them in the death of His Son on the Cross, in order to deliver them from sin and the Law by dealing with the old man. These are they who really exercise faith in the Lord, for they glory in Christ Jesus and have ceased to put confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3). In them God has a clear foundation on which to build. And from this as starting-point, many have gone further still and recognized that consecration (using that word in the right sense) means giving themselves without reserve into His hands and following Him. All these are first steps, and starting from them we have already touched upon other phases of experience set before us by God and enjoyed by many. It is always essential for us to remember that, while each of them is a precious fragment of truth, no single one of them is by itself the whole of truth. All come to us as the fruit of the work of Christ on the Cross, and we cannot afford to ignore any.

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