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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 401-450 (The Death - Three)

F.E. Marsh :: 404. The Exclusiveness of “In Christ”

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“1 Christ” is an exclusive expression, for a “man in Christ” is the opposite to a man in the flesh. The apostle Paul, in an incidental way, gives us the key to the cause of the difference in his life when he refers to himself as a “man in Christ.” For one to be in the nation of Israel meant, that he occupied a peculiar and separate position. Israel as a people dwelt alone, and were not reckoned among the nations.

  1. They were excluded from eating what they would. “And these ye shall have in abomination,” &c. (Lev. 11:13-47). In like manner the believer in Christ is excluded from feeding upon the garbage of worldly novels, and the cunning treatises of men, who in the form of a story, propagate error. We have to feed upon the pure, unadulterated Word of God, and then we shall grow in the knowledge and grace of God.
  2. They were excluded from wearing apparel of a mixed texture. “Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee” (Lev. 19:19; Num. 15:38). The believer in Christ is to put off all old habits formed in sin, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfil the desires thereof.
  3. They were excluded from sowing their land with mixed seed. “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds” (Deut. 22:9). Likewise in a spiritual sense the believer in Christ is excluded from mixing with the pure seed of the Word of God, the deductions and opinions of men, or the experiences that are in opposition to truth.
  4. They were excluded from yoking clean and unclean animals in agricultural labour. “Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together” (Deut. 22:10). The believer in Christ must not yoke worldly methods with Divine principles. The popular theory among many of God’s people is, that the end justifies the means. The Lord did not think so when He shut Moses out of the land for striking the rock twice instead of speaking to it.
  5. They were excluded from marrying any but Israelites. “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them” (Deut. 7:3). The believer in Christ is strictly enjoined to “marry in the Lord,” and not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14).
  6. They were excluded from fellowship with the surrounding nations. “I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people” (Lev. 20:24). The believer in Christ is separated to God as sanctified in Christ, and as saints, i.e., God’s separated ones, we are to keep ourselves sacred to God.
  7. They were excluded from acting in any way as they would. “Therefore shall ye observe all My statutes, and all My judgments, and do them. I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:37). The believer in Christ right gladly does the will of Christ, for to be in the yoke of His will is to find rest and refreshment to the soul. It will be apprehended at once that to be in Christ means, that we are therefore excluded from the old sphere of sin and the world, and that we live a heavenly life, because we are a heavenly people. When Venice was in the hands of the Austrians, those alien tyrants swarmed in every quarter, but the Venetians hated them to the last degree, and showed their enmity upon all occasions. After this fashion will every true Christian treat his inbred sins; he will not be happy under their power, nor tolerate their dominion, nor show them favour. If he cannot expel them, he will not indulge them.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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