What We Are In, By, and Through Christ
(Originally Titled “Mr. Trigg’s Answer to Ruth”)
The Gospel Magazine
Vol. II. No. 23
Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord; it hath reigned over, and reigned down sin, by Jesus in his obedience, sufferings, death, and resurrection; for he hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and the rider hath he thrown into the sea. Yea, he hath spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in himself, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and grace by him, in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost in our hearts, reigns over and down sin in us, so that sin shall not have the dominion over us, for we are not under the law but under grace. Then as we live in this blessedness, in union with, and in eternal life and salvation in, Christ, being joined to him the Lord and one spirit, so, in this sense, we live as if there had been no sin, or that there is now no such a thing as sin or death; and it is by virtue of this that I always live happy in the Lord; for he that is dead is freed or justified from sin, knowing that if we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him; for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; for in that he died, he died unto sin once, but in that he liveth he liveth unto God; likewise reckon ye yourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God by Jesus Christ our Lord.
These things are plain to them that understand, and thus, as new creatures in Christ, we live as remote from sin and death as our most glorious Christ, because as he is, so are we in this world, And, be it further observed, that he was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Then, as this is true, and we are living in the fulness of it, and are justified from all things, how is it possible that sin or death can join itself unto it? The thought of such a thing would be monstrous, and decidedly contrary to God and truth. Therefore, being a witness of the truth and blessedness of this statement, and, as Christ dwells in me and I in him, so I live completely out of sin and death, eternally made free from sin, condemnation, curse, and wrath; being reconciled to God by the death of his Son, and made nigh by his blood. And, I add, as there is that death-blow struck by our most glorious Christ on the old man, it being crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, then it is our very dear mercy to live Christ, knowing Christ to be our life, who saith, “Because I live, ye shall live also;” and, as we live and walk by faith in him, so we live and walk in peace and equity with God, redeemed from all evil and all iniquity; and although we find that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing, and cry, “O wretched man that I am,” we do not stop here to live in, or by, any of these things: they, with all their concomitants, are passing backward, and we passing through them with much tribulation; yet they cannot hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
Then what is the mercy? Why, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord; so then, with or in my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh the law of sin. This is neither trifling with, nor living in, sin, but living above it; and this is the way to live it down, and to live and walk in Christ as if sin were a complete nonentity. I hope, yea, I believe you understand me. I do assure you this is the blessedness I live and go on in day by day, although but few seem to understand me when speaking of these blessed truths, in the realization of them in the heart; and as Christ is my all and in all, self, sin, and death appear as nothing. Therefore I cannot serve sin by poring over what I am as a sinner, and drawing inferences from what I feel of the workings of corrupt nature, and set it up, as many do, together with the subtil workings of Satan, as a standard of real experience. I desire to leave this dirty work to the workers at the dung-gate, and go on preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all; and, as having nothing, yet possessing all things. I acknowledge with you that there is nothing in, of, or by the Lord Jesus that pleases the old man, but all is contrary to his mind, will, desires, &c.; and the old man never yet did one thing to please the Lord Jesus; oh, no! he is too self-seeking for such an act.
These truths are some of the mysteries of our most holy faith, and are congenial with a spiritual mind, which is life and peace; and we know that nothing can live and act contrary to its nature. Then, as we have a spiritual life and nature, and the mind of Christ, and we are declared to be new creatures in Christ, who said, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” this assuredly is as distinct from flesh, sin, corruption, and death, as our most glorious Christ is; and it is herein I live without sin. These truths appear to be stumbling-blocks to the self-seeking, who set themselves up as truth guards, so that I get cautioned and condemned; “Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
The eternal Spirit, in his sure testimonies concerning Christ and the church, speaks very blessedly on this sinless subject by the beloved John, as it is written, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” * * * Beloved, now are we the sons of God * * * And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” This is a pure truth, and the subjects of it are pure, even as he is pure; surely there is no sin to be seen herein. “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sin, and in him is no sin.” This is very blessed and plain; Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, hath taken away our sins, consequently we are free from them, and in him is no sin; therefore, as we are in him by eternal election, and created anew in him in righteousness and true holiness, we are in him without sin; and “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not;” “He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous;” “He was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” then we not only live without sin, and are righteous as He is righteous, but are the righteousness of God in him. This is the unalterable position of the church in her spiritual union with her Maker and Husband; and “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God; and in this the children of God are manifest” And in this truth I must rejoice, being born of God, and living in oneness of nature, life, and spirit with our most glorious Christ. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself;” that is, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” And thus we know, believe, and experience, that “whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Precious living this, beloved; in peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ I pray the Lord to give unto us, and all his dear children, a growing knowledge of these blessed truths; then there would not be so much talk about self-corruption and the devil. I have written freely to you on a subject that is very dear unto me by the demonstration of the Spirit; the divine properties of the same being realized in my heart humbles me before the Lord, and I must sing, “The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted.“
Yours, in our precious Lord Jesus,
London. A. Triggs.