Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The sum of everything in the new creation is in Christ, or, to put that in another way, it is outside of man himself. It is apart from man, and it always will be. Although Christ, the sum of the new creation, may be in us, that new creation will remain in Christ, and we are only in it by reason of our union with Him. He becomes the fullness of everything in us, but the practical outworking of that fullness will ever, and always, be purely and solely on a basis of faith. If the thing could be said at any time to have its origin in us, then faith would be dismissed. If we had it in ourselves, if it were our constitution, faith would be dispensed with. That would result in a repetition of us....
The difficulty which we shall be meeting all along the way will be ourselves. We shall find that the main obstacle, the main enemy to our fullness in Christ, to all that the new creation means, will be ourselves in some way. It will either be our self-occupation – which is but a form of trying to be something fine, something in ourselves which will bring satisfaction to God – or it will be our self-effort in service. It will be this natural life of ours cropping up in some direction or another, and as it crops up it will cut clean in between us and the "all things" which are of God, and we shall find that it is ourselves which brings us up short, which creates the arrest.... If we look within ourselves to find more good, we are going to look in vain. We shall never find anything in ourselves but corruption. Is that really settled with us? On both sides, the people who have some opinion of themselves had better settle it once and for all that there is nothing in them but corruption, and also those who have settled it, and yet are so occupied with their old man as though it were something really worth being occupied with. Put it where the Lord Jesus has put it, in the grave, and do not walk round it, turning it over, if peradventure you might find something worthwhile. Fix and fasten your faith in God's Son, and leave yourself alone for ever. Only so will you find your emancipation.
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