The Great Transition From One Humanity To Another # 8
The Tragedy of The Carry-Over of The Other Humanity
Well, now having said that, we are going further with this this morning. I want to take you over to that part of the New Testament which focuses this whole issue more than any other part; which brings into view on the one side, the exposure of the one kind of humanity and on the other side, the Other Humanity which the Christ is. I have often been asked the question, for example in Romans 7: "Is that the history of a "born again" man or an unborn again man?" I have had the question asked me since I have been here, and I have proposed to postpone the answer until now.
"The first man is of the earth, earthy ..." and so on. Is that an unconverted man, a man before he is born again, or is that a born again man? That is a born again man, make no mistake about it. Paul is writing to born again people in Corinth. He opens his letter with an address to the saints which are in Christ Jesus - saints by standing through faith in Christ Jesus, and all that is in those letters is addressed to Christians; but it is a horrible exposure of something about Christians. I confess to you I have more than once in my life in reading that First Letter to the Corinthians asked myself: "Were these men, these people, really born again? Can we classify them as Christians?" Yes, the address is "to the saints by standing through faith that are in Corinth."
The tragedy in Corinth was the tragedy of the carry-over of relics and remnants of the other humanity. There is something here in the New Humanity, but there has been a carry-over of the old in the Christian life; the result: confusion - confusion in judgment, confusion in behavior, confusion in relationships. And if you think that word is not justified, I want to remind you that they wrote to the Apostle Paul on one occasion asking him ten elementary questions about the Christian life, about what Christianity is. They were in confusion about the elementary things of Christianity.
I am not going to stay this week with all those questions, but there they are. There is confusion, terrible complications in Corinth. There is weakness - weakness in life, in a living testimony. There is shame, reproach. The apostle has to say some very strong and some very hard things to Christians because of a carry-over of the old humanity into a relationship with the New without the clean cut. Is that why the apostle, after his introduction in the First Letter says, "I made up my mind, I determined, I resolved, to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." Oh, we are going to meet "Christ crucified" repeatedly through these two letters, at critical points in their spiritual life. "Christ crucified," Paul says, "that is the foundation on which we are going to build, you Corinthians, you who have carried-over some of the old humanity into the realm of the New and find that the two thing will not go together - immediately there is confusion and defeat."
Well, here we are in these letters to the Corinthians, and these more than any other letters in the New Testament represent the battleground of the two humanities. Right there at the beginning of the First Letter as a heading, this is carried right through. The battleground of the two humanities - that is with the Corinthians.
May I mark one thing before I go further. Paul came to this situation to deal with it, in Corinth,and said in doing so: "In coming to you, I made a definite, positive, conclusive resolve to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." What did he do when he said that? What does that mean? "I am not coming to you people who are philosophically minded and are so interested in philosophy, I am not coming to you with a new philosophy, I am not coming to you with a new religion, I am not coming to you with a new system of teaching. I am not coming to you with a new order and form and technique. I am coming with everything gathered up and focused in a Person, in a Man."
You see the force of that? It is forceful In essence, Paul said, "No, I am not interested in any of these other things that you may be interested in. For me it is this Man, Christ Jesus, this different kind of Man and this Man Who is crucified to all the other kind of man: crucified to this world, crucified to old humanity, crucified to all these things that you think so much of, that are so important to you, crucified to the whole realm."
It is a Man, and a Man only, a kind of a Man, that is the point of this letter; all is focused, gathered into a Man. Now from that point onward, the whole thing develops. There is on the other side that man that they have tried to bring over and are still nursing here at Corinth, and there is on the other side this Other Man. You read right on and find: "If any man be in Christ, there is a New Creation, the old things have passed away; and behold all have become new." The great divide is at the Cross. Well, this is Corinth, and the old and New Humanity is the real battleground; and what a battleground it is.
If you are thinking objectively and historically, stop,stop at once, come over your two thousand years, bridge that gap, get away from geographical Corinth or historical Corinth, and come right here. We belong to that same humanity by nature; but by grace, we belong to Another Humanity. And this is where Christendom is all in confusion today and in defeat, so that we read in papers, Christianity has had its day, it is not counting, it really does not matter, it is no impact upon world conditions and situations, and so on. That is the conclusion of this natural man because of what he sees in Christendom.
We have to agree to a very large extent, even though we do know something else. Nevertheless, Christendom has got into that terrible plight today for this very reason - it does not understand the cleavage which the Cross of Jesus Christ has made between the two humanities. It does not understand that there is no bridge tolerated by God between these two. The Cross has cut right in between these two humanities, and as I was saying, it may not all happen once, but through a lifetime, the Holy Spirit will be teaching us, if we are teachable, if we are sensitive, if we are walking in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will be teaching us: "That is you, that is not Christ. That is you, that is your way of talking, that is your way of thinking, that is your way of going about, that is just you, that is not Christ."
Oh, it would take a long time; but, oh, it would be so profitable to study this Other Man as He walked in this world and see the principles which governed His life, which were all heavenly and all spiritual and made Him absolutely incalculable in this world.
(continued with # 9 - The Dividing)