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Christ the New Creation.

Christ the New Creation.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
SIMON GREENLEAF FULLER, M.A.,


FOR IN CHRIST JESUS NEITHER CIRCUMCISION AVAIL-
ETH ANYTHING, NOR UNCIRCUMCISION, BUT A NEW
CREATURE. — Gal, vi. 15.
SIMON GREENLEAF FULLER, M.A.,


FOR IN CHRIST JESUS NEITHER CIRCUMCISION AVAIL-
ETH ANYTHING, NOR UNCIRCUMCISION, BUT A NEW
CREATURE. — Gal, vi. 15.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 05, 2013
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CHRIST THE EW CREATIO.SIMO GREELEAF FULLER, M.A.,FOR I CHRIST JESUS EITHER CIRCUMCISIO AVAIL-ETH AYTHIG, OR UCIRCUMCISIO, BUT A EWCREATURE. — Gal, vi. 15.BEFORE opening this great text — ^a textfull of instruction of immediate prac-tical value — I desire to rescue it from a fre-quent and popular perversion. I have oftenheard this text quoted, and so, doubtless,have you, as a proof that St. Paul thoughtlitde of God's ordinances. ow, if St. Paulthought litde of Gk)d's ordinances, he cer-tainly does not say so here. This text hasnot the remotest connection with such athought. Circumcision was no longer anordinance of God. With all other shadowsof Christian realities, it had passed away.Had St. Paul intended to teach that the10Digitized by VjOOQ IC2i8 Christ the ew Creation,ordinances appointed by Christ in HisChurch were as nothing, he certainly wouldhave said so. He is speaking here, not of things appointed by God, but of things com-manded by men ; not of Christ's sacraments,but rather of their counterfeits and rivals.St. Paul never teaches that Christian ordi-nances are not evermore realities. Heteaches always, as the holy Church teaches,
 
that to the faithful man the sacraments arefull of grace, and to the unfaithful andwicked man they are full of peril, and in-crease his guilt, and add yet more to hisheavy chain. o man will find them indif-ferent things. He will there meet the Lord,and be increased in holiness, if he comes inpenitence and faith; or he will be hardenedin sin, if he comes without repentance andin mocking unbelief. This is taught else-where by the Apostle in plain terms, as it istaught by the Lord Himself.The text, however, says nothing concern-ing Christ's sacraments, and has no directbearing on the question as to their use andDigitized by VjOOQ ICChrist the ew Creation. 219efficacy. I speak of the frequent misappli-cation thereof, to clear from your minds agreat obstacle to the proper apprehension of the Apostle's meaning.Christians in the condition of the Galatianswere exposed to two opposite temptations.The first came from those who would not,or could not, see that the whole value of the Jewish observances consisted in their an-ticipation and foreshadowing of the work of Christ The time of shadows had passedaway; the time of reality and substance hadcome. The revival of circumcision at suchan hour had, then, a vasdy different import
 
from the first institution thereof by Jehovah.And it signified simply this: that, by suchsuppression of the motions of the flesh asthe natural man could accomplish, the work of Christ could be wrought. You can seeat once that the leading principle was thesame as that of asceticism in all ages. Sub-mit to certain external rules of suppressionof the fleshly impulses, and all that Christoffers to do is in this way realized.Digitized by VjOOQ IC220 Christ the ew Creation.They were also tempted by the oppositeerror, which St. Paul calls here uncircum-cision.* It was not merely being uncircum-cised, but it was the precise opposite of theplan of this revived circumcision, — the oppos-ing error to asceticism. The Greek idolatryof culture had affected the whole Greek-speaking race; and as, on the one hand, cer-tain Judaizing ascetics endeavored to stampthe Christian religion with their notions, so,on the other, the idolaters of culture madea like attempt in the contrary direction.The Apostie warns his readers that neitherof these plans is of any worth in theChristian religion ; that the work of Christ isnot asceticism on the one hand, nor mererefinement on the other, but a new creature.Let us for a moment ponder his words.When the Word of God bowed the heav-ens and came down and became as one of us, He was the beginning of a new creation.

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