so the painting is instantaneous and complete. Our baptism into Christ is the outward picture of an inward immersion of the soul not only into his love and fellowship but also into his very life, so that in him we become new creatures ( <470517>2 Corinthians 5:17). As Miss Sullivan surrounded Helen Kellar with the influence of her strong personality, by intelligence and sympathy and determination striving to awaken the blind and dumb soul and give it light and love, so Jesus envelops us. But his Spirit is more encompassing and more penetrating than that of any human influence however powerful, because his life is the very ground and principle of our being.
Tennyson: ?O for a man to arise in me, That the man that I am may cease to be!? Emerson: ?Himself from God he could not free; He builded better than he knew.? Religion is not the adding of a new department of activity as an adjunct to our own life or the grafting of a new method of manifestation upon the old. It is rather the grafting of our souls into Christ, so that his life dominates and manifests itself in ad our activities. The magnet, which alone, can lift only a weight of three pounds but when it is attached to the electric dynamo, it will lift three hundred pounds. Expositor?s Greek Testament on <461545>1 Corinthians 15:45, 46 ? ?The action of Jesus in ?breathing? upon his disciples while he said, ?Receive the Holy Spirit? ( <432022>John 20:22 sq .) symbolized the vitalizing relationship which at this epoch he assumed towards mankind. This act raised to a higher potency the original ?breathing? of God by which ?man became a living soul? (Gen. 2:7).?
(b) Union with Christ involves a new exercise of the soul?s powers in repentance and faith. Faith, indeed, is the act of the soul under the operation of God by means of which Christ is received. This new exercise of the soul?s powers we call conversion (Repentance and Faith). It is the obverse or human side of Regeneration.
<490317> Ephesians 3:17 ? ?that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith?; <550315>2 Timothy 3:15 ? ?the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.? Faith is the soul?s laying hold of Christ as its only source of life, pardon, and salvation. And so we see what true religion is. It is not a moral life, it is not a determination to be religious nor is it is faith, if by faith we mean an external trust that somehow Christ will save us. It is nothing less than the life of the soul in God, through Christ his Son. To Christ then we are to look for the origin, continuance and increase of our faith ( <421705>Luke 17:5 ? said into the Lord, Increase our faith?). Our faith is but a part of ?his fullness? of which ?we all received, and grace for grace? ( <430116>John 1:161).
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?