I. Think of those Two Personalities. "I," "Christ." There is a mystery
in each of them. The mystery of evil is connected with the first, and
the mystery of godliness with the second. Each is the medium through
which another great Personality works. "The prince of the power of the
air; the Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience"
(Eph 2:2) operates in and through the one, while the Almighty Father of
all manifests Himself through the other. The one is the instrument of
Satan, the other is the servant of God. This unregenerate "I," in his
ignorance, selfishness, pride, and unbelief, is a fit subject for the
prince of darkness. The Heaven-anointed Christ, in his unselfish
devotion to the will of God, is perfectly fitted for the accomplishment
of His purposes.
II. Think of their Relationship One to the Other. What is there in
common between this "I" and the "Christ?" between the servant of Satan
and the servant of God? What communion hath light with darkness? What
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? What concord hath
Christ with Belial? What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
(2Co 6:14-16). Each is animated and controlled by a different and
opposing spirit. The principles of the flesh and of the Spirit are
contrary, the one to the other. That which is born of the flesh is
flesh, and belongs to the kingdom of this world; that which is born of
the Spirit is spirit, and belongs to the Kingdom of God. Corruption
cannot inherit incorruption (1Co 16:20). Self is carnal, Christ is
spiritual. "To be carnally minded is death; to be spiritually minded is
life and peace" (Romans 8:6). This I, the natural man, receiveth not the
things of the Spirit of God, and so can have no fellowship with Christ.
It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
III. Think of the Meaning of this New Relationship. "Not I, but
Christ." These words imply a putting off of the old man, and a putting
on of Christ. The sinful, self-seeking "I" has surrendered and given
place to the life and rule of the Holy One. It used to be, "I, not
Christ," but now it is, "Not I, but Christ."
1. In the matter of Salvation. The works of the law and of the flesh
have given place to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The sandy
foundation has been exchanged for the infallible Rock. His own
righteousness has been cast aside for the righteousness of God. It is
also, "Not I, but Christ."
2. In the matter of Sanctification. "Christ liveth in me." The usurper
within has been dethroned, and the Lord of life and glory has been
crowned. Holiness has come, not by working, but by admitting the Holy
One and giving Him His true place in the heart as Lord. The old "I" has
been crucified with Christ, and a new Spirit-formed "I" has come into
being which delights to say, "Not I, but Christ."
3. In the matter of Service. "To me to live is Christ." "Whose I am,
and whom I serve." He seeks now not his own will but the will of Him
who saved him and sent him. "If I yet pleased myself I would not be the
servant of Christ." "I can do all things through Christ which
strengtheneth me" (Php 4:13). "If any man be in Christ he is a new