Battleground of the Two Humanities
The Expression of Jesus Christ
This Man is utterly and absolutely different from the whole race of humanity; hence, as we have seen, because of that immense difference, there has got to be the undoing of the one in order to make room for the Other. God's full and utter beginning all over again is with this Man. You notice that this implies or indicates that at the time the Lord Jesus came into this world, God had considered and decided that the human race had become big enough and large enough to wind it all up. Here is this great multitude, Jews and Gentiles, filling the world that then was, and it was enough to represent the whole world, a race, a great race. Then the Lord God said: "Finish and We will start with One Man all over again, One Man, the last Adam, a New Race." The whole humanity is set aside and a New Race brought in by its first Man, "the Firstborn among many brethren."
Here in these letters to the Corinthians, as we have pointed out, we see the tragedy that can come about among Christians, Christians as individuals and Christians as a company. The tragedy is because of this one thing, because of a carry-over of that old rejected and discredited humanity into the realm of the New. This is a terrible tragedy. See, the Spirit of God has caused this to be written in Corinthians. It is unpleasant reading, and I do not like reading a lot of this letter. When I read what is here, when I read about what they are doing in this Christian assembly, that there is such a thing as incest in a Christian assembly (and all the other things, some of which we shall touch upon); when I read, I think - what an awful tragedy among Christians.
You are not going to tell me that belongs to Corinth two thousand years ago alone. Are we not meeting this in Christian companies continually, adultery and what not? It is a terrible tragedy when you ignore that great gap that God has placed by the Cross between one humanity and Another, when you do not recognize how utter is that cleavage which the Cross has made. When you bypass the Cross in this matter of human life, you are in the way of tragedy, the tragedy of your whole spiritual life and testimony. This is very testing. The Cross is more than a teaching, a doctrine - it is a terrible setting forth of the great thing that God has done and is after; though, on the other hand, a very glorious setting forth, for here is the New Man introduced. And we must keep Him in view even while we speak about this tragedy, and the battleground of these two humanities.
The Battleground Is Between Two Men: "the natural man" and "He that is Spiritual"
Now we must spend a little while getting our position, as is represented by this First Letter to the Corinthians in particular. Their position (and what might be our position) is undoubtedly the position of many Christians today. What is the position in which the apostle, or the Holy Spirit through the apostle, puts the Corinthians? I wonder if you have noticed that in this First Letter to the Corinthians, Israel's history in the wilderness is mentioned fourteen times, as it is recorded in Exodus to Deuteronomy, and is pinpointed in a very particular way. Here the Corinthians are shown to be in that period between Egypt and the land. That is their position spiritually; that is, they are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and have come out under its covering. The Corinthians are there, and the apostle takes note of that as he introduces the letter unto the "saints." Now you revise, if necessary, your mentality about that word "saints"; it simply means the "separated ones," those who have come out unto God. That is all! That is a saint, one who has come out to God, been separated, redeemed by precious blood, positionally separated and out. How? THEY ARE REDEEMED BY PRECIOUS BLOOD.
(continued with # 3)