The Essential Seal and Constitution of the Christian Life (continued)
3. Baptism (continued)
Make no mistake about this: the soul of the unregenerate man and woman is in alliance with the evil powers. It is not a matter of how conscious you are of it. Try to get away and turn to the Lord Jesus, and you will become aware that you are not as free as you thought you were, you have not the ability that you thought you had. You will take up to the fact that you are a prisoner, and that, unless a mighty deliverer and rescuer comes to you, there is no escape. That foothold was given; that alliance and link with satan was formed; and it remains. The soul of the unregenerate is liked with satan, and the evil powers fulfill all the purposes of satan in the life.
What is the way out? The only way out is through death. God pronounced that upon man. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). But "one died for all" (2 Corinthians 5:14). Jesus took the place of the sinner, and died that death; and in His death He broke that link, He severed that union: He stripped off the principalities (Col. 2:5); He 'nullified him that had the power of death, that is, the devil' (Hebrews 2:14). One died for all. Baptism is our testimony, the believer's testimony to the double fact that, in the death of Christ, the man in union with satan has been removed and satan with him, and that, in resurrection-union with Christ, the Holy Spirit constitutes inwardly a new relationship. Death is the great divide. Resurrection is the great new union. Through this new link or union, Christ and His Kingdom operate. All the purposes of God are realized - but only realized through and upon the ground of this union effected by receiving the Holy Spirit.
(continued with # 18 - (The Vital Value of Understanding the Word of God)