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The Works of Gilbert Beebe
So Walk Ye in Him
From Signs of the Times - March 15, 1857.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him!” Colossians 2:6
This important admonition is not restricted to the saints and faithful brethren at Colosse, unto whom it was addressed, but it is equally applicable to the saints in all places and throughout all time. And as it relates to the walk of the children of God, and their reception of Christ Jesus the Lord, it is full of interest and instruction as well as admonition. Three leading propositions are suggested for our special and prayerful consideration, from the reading of our text, viz:
1. The person and perfections of Christ Jesus the Lord.
2. Our reception of him: When and how?
3. The admonition to so walk in him.
On our first proposition the inspired apostle has given some plain and positive declarations in the preceding connection. In the thirteenth verse of chapter one, he sets him forth as the Son of God, in the fourteenth as possessing in himself the redemption of his church; in the fifteenth as the image of the invisible God, and as such, the firstborn of every creature. In the sixteenth he is declared to be the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, all were created by him and for him; in the seventeenth verse his priority and sustaining power is declared. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” The eighteenth verse asserts that he is the head of the body, the church, and that he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and that in all things he has the preeminence. And it then follows, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” His complete success in the work of redemption, making peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven, and the saints to whom our text is addressed, are an exemplification of his glorious triumph. “And you who were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh, through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” In this second chapter the apostle expresses his anxious solicitude for the saints, that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto the riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. These all being hid in God, and in the Father, and in Christ, and Christ the only image of the invisible God, inasmuch as he is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person, (Heb. 1:3). By the term image, we understand is signified that there is no revelation made to men of the eternal Godhead, only in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. But in this divine mystery of God, and the Father and of Christ, God is manifest in the flesh. They that have seen the Son have seen the Father also, for the Father is in him, and he is in the Father, and in Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and the saints are complete in him, which is the Head of all principality and power.
Second. Our reception of him. The Scriptures, to our mind at least, most clearly teach that Christ was given to be the Head over all things to his church, as anciently as were his people given to him as his body, and the fullness of that body. Christ acknowledges the receipt of his people as a gift from his Father, in these words, “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me,” (John 17:6). “My Father which gave them me, is greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand,” (John 10:29). And that Christ had this gift in possession before the world began is abundantly proved by Ephesians 1:4, and 2 Timothy 1:9. But in the sense of the text under consideration, the time of our receiving him, was when he was manifestly presented to us as our Savior, in delivering us from bondage, guilt and condemnation, when by faith we were enabled to lay hold on him, as our full and complete Savior. Then, and not until then, did we receive him in an experimental sense of the word. Till then we were living without hope and without God in the world. Although in the depravity of our nature we were enemies to him by wicked works, and under the delusion that we had power to secure his favor by our own works whenever it should please us to do so, we were brought by his quickening power to see and feel and confess that we were poor, lost, guilty and helpless sinners against a good, just and holy God, and that we justly deserved to bear the awful penalties of his holy law. How were we then suffered to exert all our fancied powers, to try all our imaginary plans, schemes, instrumentalities and means, and to find them all delusive and vain. Yielding ourselves to hopeless despair, our prayers unheard and unanswered, our cries for mercy shut out, our best performances to which we had attached so much virtue in commending us to God, we now in astonishment discovered were only the polluted streams from a corrupt and filthy fountain. Relinquishing the very last glimmering hope that God could save us without doing violence to his eternal perfections, all, all was gone, and we were sinking down to meet our dreadful fate, when Christ Jesus the Lord was presented to us in all the irresistible charms of his eternal excellency, as the One altogether lovely, and the chiefest among ten thousand. A full and all-sufficient Savior in every respect suited to our hopeless case. With what rapture, joy and gratitude, we then received him. His blood was applied for the cleansing of us from all iniquity, and his righteousness for our full, free and everlasting justification before God. All our capacious souls could wish, in him did richly meet, and unworthy as we felt ourselves to be of him we were constrained to receive him.
How did we receive him? Was it as a conditional Savior, or one who would meet us on some conditional ground? Alas! we had never performed a meritorious act in all our life. We received him in his full character, as a whole and all-sufficient Savior, on whom we could safely rely as our Prophet, Priest and King, our Shepherd, and the Bishop of our souls, our Leader and Commander, the Captain of our salvation. We received him in all the attributes and perfections set forth in the connection of our text, as our strength, being by him strengthened with all might according to his glorious power, giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in glory; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. We received him as the image of the invisible God, the firstborn, of every creature. We received him as the Creator and upholder of all things. We received him as the Head of the body, the church, as the beginning, the first-born from the dead, and as in all things having the preeminence. We received him as possessing all fullness; as having made peace by the blood of his cross, and able to reconcile such enemies as we were, to himself, and to shed his love abroad in us that we should love him supremely, love his people, his cause, his doctrine, and all his laws, and ordinances, and institutions. We received him as the embodiment of all the fullness of the Godhead, and therefore all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in him. We received him as the Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God and everlasting Father; as the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the Almighty. We receive him as our Life, our Resurrection, our Advocate with the Father, and our only and blessed Potentate. This being the way the saints have received Christ Jesus the Lord, let us attend to the apostle’s injunction.
Third. So walk ye in him. In all our walk and deportment we are admonished to walk in him as we have received him. As the names and titles which he bears, Christ Jesus, signify the anointed Savior, in all our walk and conversation we should so regard him, and as the Lord, we are to revere, honor, praise and obey him. As the Lord our God, we should worship him, an trust in him. As we have redemption in him, we should look for redemption and justifying righteousness nowhere else, for so we received him. As we received him as possessing all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, so in our constant walk should we look to him for all the wisdom and knowledge that we need. “And this,” says Paul, “I say lest any man should beguile you with enticing words,” (Col. 2:4). Well the apostle knew that great reception would be used by the enemies, to entice the saints to seek for wisdom and knowledge in relation to spiritual things, in the schools of men. But to guard them from imposition, he tells them that all wisdom and knowledge is hid in God, and the Father and Christ. And he has hidden it from the wise and prudent of this world, and revealed it unto the babes. He has made foolish the wisdom of the world, and determined that no man by searching shall find him out, to the end that no man shall be allowed to glory in the flesh. He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. None of the children of God have ever received a particle of the treasure of wisdom and knowledge of divine and spiritual things only as they have been taught of God, and every one that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh to Christ. Not only is all wisdom and knowledge hid in him, as we received him, but in him all fullness dwells; he is full of grace and truth, and of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.
As we received him as our life, it is in him as our life we are to walk. We are dead to the flesh, dead to the law, and dead to sin, and the life we now live in the flesh, we live not by the life of the flesh, but by the faith of the Son of God. We are baptized into Jesus Christ, and have put on Christ, therefore our life is hid with Christ in God. For us to live is Christ. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness,” (Rom. 8:5-10). Thus circumcised, and the flesh cut off, slain and crucified, we live unto God, in the spirit, and all our walk, spiritually speaking, is in the Spirit, and therefore in Christ we received Christ Jesus the Lord as our Light. All other lights were extinguished, and to him we are consequently to look for instruction, wisdom and deliverance from all our clouds of darkness. To so walk in him is to live by faith upon him, discarding all the boasted light of human wisdom and science, knowing that in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We received him, when we were perfectly helpless, as our strength, so are we to walk in him, having no confidence in the flesh. We received him as the consummate fullness of all we desired, and so let us walk, having Christ all things are ours. We received him as our Leader and example; then let us deny ourselves of all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and take up our cross and follow the Lamb wherever he leads the way, through evil as well as through good report. We received him as our Lord and Master, our King and Commander, and so it becomes us as his saints, to walk in him in cheerful and willing obedience to all his commands and ordinances,
In our reception of Christ Jesus our Lord, we were willing to forsake all things else, turn our back upon the world with all its vanities, and find our home, our joy, our treasure and all our desires in him—even so let us walk in him. When we received Christ Jesus our Lord, we received his mystical body, the church; that love of God which was then shed abroad in us centered in him, and embraced all his members. We saw his image enstamped on them and loved that image whenever we saw it. So then ought we to walk in him in love, in fellowship with him and in fellowship and union one with another. When we received Christ Jesus the Lord we loved the assemblies of the saints, and were glad when they said unto us, “Come, let us go into the house of the Lord, our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem,” (Ps. 122:1-2). Should we not so walk in him now, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together?
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