" Now, if any mam have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Rom. viii, 9.

Th'e grand characteristic of the Christian religion is that it strikes right at the heart. Before it undertakes to regulate the life, rule the conduct, it corrects the heart. Here it begins its work. We are taught that we must be born again. "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Grod." John taught that Christ should baptize with the Holy Grhost as with fire, and we are further taught that we are sanctified by the Spirit — cleansed by the Spirit ; hence, if a man would know his relation to Christ, let him know the condition of his heart. If he would know whether he is an heir of salvation, and a joint heir with Christ, let him not look to the number of prayers he has offered, the good deeds he has performed, the uprightness of his conduct, but to the state of his heart ; for no matter how closely he may observe the forms of religion, how unexceptionable his life, if he has not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His. The Holy Spirit is here called by


the Apostle the Spirit of Christ, as if he had said, if any man have not the Holy Spirit dwelling in his heart as its temple, enlightening the mind, cleansing the soul, purifying and sanctifying the affections, he is not a disciple of Christ ; or, to express it in still more simple and comprehensive form, if any man have not the spirit, the mind, the temper, the disposition of Christ, he is none of his. Here we have set forth, in clear, unmistakable terms, the test of true diseipleship. The proposition contained in this text, there-


fore, to whicli we invite your attention, is this : In order to inherit eternal life with Christ we must have our minds and hearts transformed into the spirit, and temper, and disposition of Christ. Christ is an example for our lives, our conduct. He dwelt upon the earth, suffered evil, endured persecution and temptation, that He might, by example, teach us how to live. But this is not aU : He was, and He is set forth as the pattern into the likeness of which we must be spiritually fash-


ioned. We are not only required to be like Him in conduct, in behavior, but also in temper and disposition. We look upon Christ's external conduct, see Him going about doing good, without sin, blameless in all his life, and we are captivated by the loveliness of His character, and feel uprising in us a disposition to conform our conduct to His. But whilst this example is captivating, let us go further. Let us look at that spiritual image which He presents, into which we must be transformed before we can fully imitate Him in our behavior, before we can truly be His and inherit eternal life.

No spectacle can be exhibited so sublime, so pure, so ennobling, so elevating, so enrapturing, as the spiritual image which Christ presents. Such is its power that, yielding our hearts to the influence of the Holy Spirit, as we gaze upon it with open fe,ce, beholding as in a glass the glory


of the Lord, we are changed into the same image,


from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Under the applying power of the Holy Spirit, like a refiner's fire, it purges away our carnality.

Now let us take up some of the features of this spiritual image or picture. The first which stands out prominently is humility. See, He who thought it not robbery to be equal with Grod, made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and took up His bed in a manger, with no wealth, nor worldly power, nor influence, nor patronage, nor pageant. The humility He possessed, humbled under a sense of human woe and weakness, sustained in that humility by the divinity of His nature, lay low in the sight of the Father, and of angels, and of men. Did He blush when His admirers looked for the first time upon Him, when the wise men saluted Him? He was an infant, but He knew He was an infant Grod. What an exhibition of humility ! — the strongest blow ever struck at pride. Now, in order to be His, we must be willing to get down with Him in His humiliation, for unless we have His spirit of humility we are none of His. " Grod resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."


"Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and. he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." That individual who has an unreasonable conceit


of his or her own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank, or elevation in office, which manifests itself generally in lofty airs, and often in contempt of others, has not the Spirit of Christ, and, consequently, is none of His. Now, let a man look upon Christ in His sublime humility, see His greatness, equal with Grod in power, and glory, and wisdom, and yet he gets down in a manger for man. This thought seems to me to be enough to shame away a poor, weak, frail, sinful man's pride. It seems to me if he would gaze upon Christ and think of himself, he would shrink away from his great pretensions, sneak down from his high place of pride, and be right glad to hide in the dust.

As we gaze upon this spiritual image, a lovely group presents itself strikingly in the picture.


We see meekness, patience and forgiveness ; or, to express it differently, gentleness, submission to the divine will, suffering provocation or evil with a calm, unruffled temper, and praying and pardoning His offenders. The first is sufficiently set forth in one act of His. When the weight of man's guilt was pressing Him sorely, when God's wrath was being hotly poured out upon Him, insomuch that it wrung from His lips the prayer, "Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me," His submission was set forth in those other words,


"nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done." Here we see the sublimest submission to the divine will without complaint and with gentleness. The second is clearly manifested amidst the evils and injuries inflicted upon Him. He was mocked and spit upon, His jaws were slapped, His back was beaten, and He was finally led as a lamb to the slaughter ; and He endured it all patiently, and resisted not. He was reviled, but


He reviled not again; He was slandered, but He sued not; He was stricken, but struck not back again. The third is strikingly exhibited on the Cross. When they were putting Him to death, shouting in scorn and derision around Him, wetting His parched, quivering lips with gall and vinegar. He uttered the prayer, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." Now, if a man would know whether he is Christ's — a true disciple — let him see whether these graces cluster around his own heart. When God strikes in His providence, lays the hand of affliction heavily upon him, snatches away his loved ontjs, sweeps away his property, wrecks his health, unless he can adopt the language of Christ, "not my will, but Thine, be done," he has not His spirit and is none of His. When he is badly treated by evil disposed persons, when they mock him, and persecute him, and point the finger of scorn at him, can he bear it patiently without


resentment? Can he keep from recompensing


evil for evil ? Can lie overcome evil with good ? Some of our hot-blooded Christians in these latter times are strangers to this principle. They return railing for railing, evil for evil, and good only for good. Let me declare unto you the whole law, however severe it may be, "and however much you may feel condemned by it, unless you have the spirit of Christ in this respect you are none of His. When you are offended against can you forgive ? Some say they can forgive, but they can't forget; and I always set it down when I hear people make this remark that they have not forgiven. There is a lingering spirit of unforgiveness away down there in the heart that prompts the utterance of this expression. Now, if you mean by this that as a matter of memory you cannot forget an injury or offence, very well, for we cannot make ourselves forget things of this kind — that is, we cannot keep the mind from retaining a memory of it; but it is generally the case that this saying means more than a mere retention of the fact in memory, it generally means that we have not quite forgiven. We are to expect forgiveness only as we forgive, and our Saviour has taught us to pray for that kind of forgiveness ; and we are not only to forgive our-


selves, but if we have His spirit, we are even to pray the Father to forgive them. If we have this spirit then we are His.


Again, as we gaze upon this spiritual picture love presents itself. Unless we love like Christ we are none of His. See how He loved, not only His friends, but His enemies. His great mission on earth was in obedience to the prompting of the great love of His heart; and at every step He took, in every act, we see His love. Love humiliated Him and carried Him down into the stable manger; love carried Him to the widow's cottage to comfort her ; love carried Him to the grave of Lazarus and gushed tears from His eyes ; love rolled Him in bloody sweat on the ground ; love carried Him to Calvary, and so much of it did He have in His nature that He breathes there a prayer for those who kill Him ; and such a burning love for dying sinners did He have, that while there suspended on the Cross, amid all the groans and agonies of His death hour, rocked in the very


throes of the death struggle. He forgot His own sufferings long enough to promise the dying thief by His side a residence in heaven. " Greater love hath no man than this."

Now, if we are Christ's, we have His spirit in this particular. In order that we have the spirit of Christ, we must lay our hearts upon the great beating heart'of Christ and have them quickened by the love that pulsates in the bosom of a Saviour. The great requisition made on the • Christian is to love God with all the heart, soul,



mind and strength, and to love his neighbor as himself. Have you this spirit ? Do you love God thus ? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Do you love your enemies? If not, you have not the spirit of Christ. "Ah, but," says one, "we can't love our neighbors as ourselves." The reason is, we love ourselves too much — our


hearts are so full of self that we have not room for either God or our neighbor. The great thing for us to do is to get self out of our hearts — love ourselves less, and then we can love God and our neighbor more. It would be impossible for many of us to love God or our neighbors as we love ourselves, simply because we love ourselves too much. Crowd self out of your heart, and then you will have more room for God and your neighbor. And as to loving our enemies, it seems to be a principle with us to hate them ; we seem, many of us, to take a special delight in hating them. When such is the case we have not the spirit of Christ. Love must break, and tender, and melt our hearts, or we are none of His. "If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of His."




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