Dublin – January 1878
To Mr P
You see the difference there is between the epistles to the Romans, to the Ephesians, and to the Colossians. In the epistle to the Romans, man is considered as living in sin, then we are dead to sin. It is deliverance from the old man in this epistle; one is not raised with Him. In Ephesians, we are raised with Him and seated in heavenly places in Him; we are considered as dead in our sins, and all is God’s creation. In Colossians, we find the two things: “dead with Him”, the way to be delivered, “raised with him” but not seated in heavenly places. Here, man must live in the resurrection Man on earth, having his affections on things which are above where the Christ is. The inheritance is above. In Ephesians, the inheritance is all that Christ has created. Thus, we have three different aspects of the Christian life, with very instructive teachings for our walk. At the beginning of the second [epistle] to the Corinthians, we find the realisation of the epistle to the Romans: “Always bearing about in our body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifest in our body”. Then God helps us in it through the circumstances by which he makes us pass. Only, in chapter 5, we have the principle of the epistle to the Ephesians: if one has died for all, then all were dead, and we find there the new creation. If we grasp the significance of these truths, we understand much better what is the true character of Christianity, and its importance also. All this has been a great deal to me. The Word is adapted to our position and our circumstances down here, but it comes from above, and it brings us above. We can take it as divine light for down here or we can indeed follow it and rise up to its source. It is thus with Christ, the living Word, perfectly adapted to poor human beings. It reveals what is in heaven. For our thoughts and our prayers can take the character of one or the other, but all spiritual affections are developed when we are with Him above. Certainly, God draws the brethren to more devotion and spirituality. The Lord is also awaited more really, I believe.
Letter originally written in French, translated by Sosthenes, 2013
Click here for original – If you have any comments on the translation, feel free to let me know.