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The Spirit of the Christian Life

The Spirit of the Christian Life

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The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. — Rom. 8. 2.

The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. — Rom. 8. 2.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 28, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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The Spirit of the Christian Life LOUIS ALBERT BAKSThe Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. — Rom. 8. 2. The all-important thing about a life is its spirit. Everything else is accidental and transitory. The kind of house a man lives in, the clothes he wears, whether for the mind or for the body, are insig- nificant compared to the spirit in which he lives. Sometimes a man becomes so immersed in busi- ness and so absorbed by it that he imagines his business is his life. But there never was a business yet so vast or so important but that it was an insignificant thing compared to the spirit in which it was carried on. Men have lived in a romantic and heroic spirit in a cave, or a log cabin, or a dungeon, and other men have lived in a base, slavish spirit in a palace. In the long run a life must always be judged by its spirit — by the spirit even more than the deeds. Take apoleon, for example. He was not an unmixed curse to France or to the world. He did many great and splendid things. He gave France a code of laws of immense value. He gave her a system of public improvements that endured for generations. He performed a great many noble deeds. But the spirit of the man 217 218 THE GREAT THEMES OF THE BIBLE and the spirit of his life was selfish, and he will
be judged through the long ages and condemned on account of his spirit. Compared with the career of apoleon, that of George Washington seems in many ways commonplace, but the spirit of his life was so full of unselfishness that it lifted him up among the great and the immortal. Through all ages men will hold him in honor and glory because of his spirit. It is our purpose at this time to study the spirit of the Christian life, that we may in the light of such a study search our own hearts and truly measure our own spirit. We do not wish to be self-deceived. And it is very easy to be self -deceived. J ohn had been asso- ciating with Jesus for a long time when, on one occasion, filled with indignation because they would not welcome Christ and his friends in a certain town which they were about to visit, he asked the privilege to pray for fire to fall from heaven and destroy the inhospitable people. Jesus quietly turned to him and said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." And so it behooves us to keep a watchful eye on the spirit of our lives. If the spirit is truly Christian, then the life will follow. I The first characteristic of the Christian spirit is faith. Faith is a channel through which the heavenly life comes in and takes possession. We THE SPIRIT OF THE CHRISTIA LIFE 219 are assured in the Word of God that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. And again, "By grace are ye saved, through faith." Faith is the only atmosphere through which the spiritual eye may behold the beauties and glories of the unseen
world. And do not imagine that that has nothing to do with everyday life. Our everyday life is only an animal existence without it. We miss all the most beautiful things that are going on in the world if we have not the eye of faith through which to behold them. Do you remember that dinner at the house of Simon the Pharisee, where Mary came with her alabaster box of costly per- fume to anoint the head of J esus ? To her it was a holy, sacred deed because of her faith and her love. But Judas looked on it, and for him there was nothing dramatic or romantic or beautiful about it. It was just a waste of so much money. JSTow do not be shocked at Judas. His attitude was exactly the attitude of the business man of to-day who, immersed in his business life, looks on at some sentimental, self-sacrificing deed and says with sarcasm, "It may all be very fine, but it is not business." Judas simply had not the power to see in Mary's act a sacrament of life that was life indeed. As Percy Ainsworth says, comment- ing on J udas and his remark, it was not only that his mental arithmetic was an intruder, he was an outsider. He was heart-blind. The fact that 220 THE GREAT THEMES OF THE BIBXJO he priced the gift proved that he never saw it. O, these priceless things, how we miss them ! How Jesus pleaded for them ! Judas had been close to Christ for three years, and had heard the Master shame a king in his glory with a flower of the field, had heard the rich promises of the kingdom pledged to the poor of the earth, and yet he had not learned that there are things too beautiful to be sold. All the best things are given away. You can buy a book of poems. The soft bindings and the hand-woven paper are yours,

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