Monday, December 2, 2013

An Inward and Living Christmas Story

An Inward and Living Christmas Story
by Job Scott

Edited Into Five Movements by Keith Saylor

Source: Essays on Salvation by Job Scott, Friends' Book Association, 1894


Except we are regenerated and born again ; that is, except another birth and life take place in us, besides our natural birth into, and life in this world and into things natural; except a work, that, strictly speaking, produces a real regeneration and new birth, as real a conception, generation, and birth of the seed of God in us, and of us too, as the production of our natural life is a real work of conception, generation, and birth into this world, we can not possibly enter into the kingdom of God. This is the new creature that is born of God, and sinneth not; and this must have the rule and government in us, and bring forth the works of God, so far as we are justified (pg. 23,24)

Movement One: Co-workmanship

We must, through the divine workings of God by his grace and spirit in us, work out our own salvation. This is always the way it is wrought. We can do no more of it ourselves, unassisted by him, than " the Ethiopian can change his skin,  or the leopard his spots." And yet, even where it is done in the most sudden manner that ever it was known, it is done no other way, and no further, than as the will or spirit of man yields up, submits to, and becomes a co-worker with him who worketh all in all in true religion. (pg. 29,30)

Our part is to be unresisting, as the clay in the hand of the potter. The simile regards the non-resistance of the clay, but does not extend so far as to represent us inactive, unconscious, or without choice, will, or exertion, in this great work. It might as well represent us unconscious, and entirely insensible, as inactive, or active as mere machines. It shows that we can do no more merely of ourselves in it, than life less clay ; and that even where we are the most vigorously active in a right line religiously, our will and activity are not only wholly yielding and unresisting under the divine operation, but they are no further or faster exertive in the work, than the divine hand or influence is felt and extended, holds us fast, and puts us forward, forms and fashions us vessels of use and honour, as he pleases.(pg. 30,31)

And he never pleases to make any of us any thing in religion, either in ourselves or to others, without the consent, concurrence, and co-operation of our own minds and abilities in it. As we yield to his call and operation, the new formation, creation, and generation begin and advance. Old things are done away, all things become new, and all things of God ; and not of ourselves, without him. (pg. 31)

Movement Two - Preeminence

This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light.  None therefore have, nor ever can have, this condemnation, who have not had the light. Its coming cannot be to the condemnation of any but those who hate it. He that loves it, that lives in it, and conforms his deeds, his heart, his life to it, is and must be in union, communion, and reconciliation with God, the source of it, and from whom it shines an emanation of the Eternal Divinity. The word that was in the beginning with God, and truly was God, is now, and ever was the light of all men, and the life of those in whom it obtains, in all things, the pre-eminence. These live by it ... (pg. 33,34)

He is the eternal Word, and as such is God. To us he is the emanation, or son of God's love. When he lives and reigns complete in us, when he is our life, and has in all things the preeminence with us, and so is our complete justification, as such he must have been begotten and formed in us; strictly and truly so; for it is thus, and thus only, that we are or can be complete in him. (pg. 36)

Movement Three: Christ “begotten and formed in us: strictly and truely so ...”

He is one in all the only begotten of God forever. God alone is his Father. Every true believer is his mother. Hence he assures us, " Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matt xii. 50. And hence too he is the son of man. (pg.36)

The outward body of flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God, never came down from heaven. " He that ascended, is he that first descended." The outward body was prepared for him who came to do the divine will. It was the eternal holy Word that came down from Heaven, and took flesh in that body ; and this divine word having a conception and birth in man, becomes truly, and in the scripture sense, the son of man, as well as son of God ... (pg. 36)

It was not the outward body, nor the mere human nature ... It was that living birth of divine life ... This is the seed of the woman that bruises the serpent's head. It was and is necessary, in order to our restoration and union with God, that the life of the Deity, the holy Word, should so operate as to bring forth in us a conception and birth of his own divine nature ; a real birth of the incorruptible seed and word of God. As in this holy offspring a real union of life, human and divine, is formed and brought forth, and as man herein becomes the mother of this heavenly offspring, this is really the seed of the woman, the seed of the church and spouse of Christ ; for it is not only as the seed of Mary or of Eve, that the only begotten is the seed of the woman. The souls in whom he is begotten and brought forth, are all in the relation of parent to him, as well as brethren and sisters ; and according to the nature of the work which form's this relation, it is strikingly represented by the parent in the female line ; " Whosoever, &c. the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." And this is that begotten of God, and at the same time that son of man, which ascends up where he was before he became the son of man. And as God alone can be the father of this his only begotten, man at most can be his mother.  (pg. 37,38)

Movement Four: Christ is come in the mortal flesh of each human being.

When Peter knew Christ to be the son of God, Christ told him, flesh and blood had not revealed it unto him, but his heavenly Father. Matt. xvi. 17. This holds good to every individual. The world by wisdom never knew God, and never can know Christ. None know him, but those to whom the Father reveals him ; nor can any know the Father, but by the revelation of the son in themselves. " No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. xii. 3. This is the reason why " every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." 1 John iv. 2. The evil spirits of old confessed him in words, but he rejected their testimony, and suffered them not to speak ; Luke iv. 41. For though they had an outward knowledge who he was, they spake not by the Holy Ghost ; they were not of God. And thus thousands now confess him to have come in the flesh in that body, and are proud to call him Lord; but none ever rightly called him so, but by the revelation of the Father. (pg. 39)

It is not merely confessing, though in full assent to the truth of it, that Christ did come in that one outward body, that determines any one to be of God ; the devils believe, confess, and tremble ; but none truly and thoroughly confess him without knowing (in the present tense) that he " is come in the flesh " in themselves, spiritually. " I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not) neither knoweth him ; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless ; I will come to you : yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me : because I live, ye shall live also. At that day, (that is, when I come again the second time, the comforter, to salvation), you shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." John xiv. 16 to 20. This is the great mystery of godliness. God manifest in the flesh, is not confined to the flesh of that one body. (pg. 40)

The preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made mani fest, " is Christ in you the hope of glory." Col. i. 27. " Always bearing about in the body," says the apostle, " the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body; for we which live, are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." 2 Cor. iv. 10, 11. " We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us ; " 7. Here is plainly in us the death; the dying of the Lord Jesus, in order that his life may be manifest in us. This is baptism into his death, and rising with him into newness of life ; the one soul-saving baptism. (pg. 41)

Christ formed in man, is in the oneness with the Father. The begotten of God in every soul is one with him in the everlasting covenant ; as truly so, in measure, as there was a real oneness with God in the man Christ Jesus. (pg. 42)

The Final Movement: The Living Christmas. Christ is conceived and born about in the bodies of individuals.

We are enabled to work out our own salvation, but it is only as God worketh in its and we work by him; he in us, and we in him. (pg. 44)

The only begotten son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John i. 18. "And of his fulness have all we received." 16. Had we not, we could never rightly know God, nor receive the testimony of the son. There is nothing else through which we can receive it. It is hid from the wisest of men except only so far as it is manifested to them in and by this. It is revealed only unto babes, that is, to his begotten. Men, as natural men, and as such considered as the work of God, are created. But the new born babes in Christ, though in a sense the work and creation of God, (as Christ is the beginning of it), yet they are, as his production, not merely created as Adam; they are, strictly speaking, begotten. There is in their formation, a spiritual conception and birth in the soul. The Father, by the overshadowing of the holy ghost upon the willing mind, which embraces and yields to the visitations, operations, and wooings of his love, begetteth and produceth a true and real birth of divine life, a conception and birth of that which is truly and properly his only be gotten forever, being one in all his spiritual offspring. This is he that is born again of God, of the incorruptible seed and word of God. In the production of the conception, generation, and birth, there is both Father and mother. He that begets, is the only possible Father of this the only begotten. The soul in whom this conception and birth is effected, is the mother ; and here " the man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord." This conception and birth cannot possibly be effected by the mother without the Father, and is never produced by the Father without the consent of the mother. There must be a celestial union, and real co-operation, wherein two become one. Of twain the one new man is made, which is God and man in the heavenly and mystical fellowship and union.. This is the mystery of Christ. This is what is held forth strikingly and livingly in his birth of the virgin Mary ; and this ever was, and ever will be the only possible way of salvation. This is the new creature, that being born of God sinneth not ; indeed, cannot sin, and that for this very reason, because " his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God ;" (1 John iii. 9), as really so, as one was ever born of another in natural procreation. The natural man, the mere creature, as the work of God, is a created being ; he never saw God, cannot know him, nor receive the testimony respecting the mystical union and sonship: but the babe, the begotten, that with a true and living knowledge of its sonship, cries Abba, Father, both sees and knows the Father, and receives the heavenly testimony. (pgs. 45-47)

Christ is the door. Is there a door of entrance into the kingdom in our hearts? If so, it is Christ in us; there is no other door, nothing can open to receive him, nor enter into the kingdom with him, but that which is of him ; all else is, and ever will be, darkness, and can not comprehend the light, or receive it. Nature works against it; men love darkness rather, and as men merely, ever will. (pg. 48)

Afterword: by Keith Saylor

The natural world yearly manifests death, life, regeneration, and rebirth in the movement of the seasons. Outwardly, men and women observe life, death, and resurrections of Jesus in the holy days throughout the year, that follow the seasons. These outward manifestations and observances are empty without the same literally and experientially happening within the mortal flesh of human beings.   

In the inwardly experienced, Living Christmas,  Christ is come in each individual; conceived in the literal union of humanity and divinity and bearing eternal being, the Presence, in an earthly vessel.

The power of Scott’s testimony is in the experience of the substance behind his words. This is not mere analogy, it is a spiritual happening in the lives of individuals awoken to eternal being even in mortal flesh. Men and women carrying the baby of eternal being conceived through the union of human and divine.

This Christmas Story is lived and experienced in all things and in all moments.

No comments:

Post a Comment