The Divine-Human Family 
 by E.H. “Jack” Sequeira 

3 – Christian Experience

We will continue at this time the study of Christian experience and how it obtained.  2 Corinthians 5:21:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Corinthians 1:30:

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Romans 3:20-22:

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.  But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness [and that is what we are made in him that we might become the righteousness of God in him] is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile....

Now the righteousness of God is witnessed by the law and the prophets, and it is acceptable because Jesus Christ is made that to us, that we might become that in him, and the righteousness of God will meet the requirements of Christian experience.

When we become the righteousness of God in him, that will meet every demand here and hereafter, and that is Christian experience, but it is all in him, always in him.  Again let us read Romans 8:1-2:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

There is no condemnation.  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  That is all, but that is enough.  But was he not condemned?  And were we not condemned in him?

Let us read the record of Christ’s experience when he was before the High Priest.  Mark 14:64:

“You have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death.

They all condemned him to be guilty of death.  Luke 23:39-41:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him:  “Aren’t you the Messiah?  Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him.  “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”

John 18:38:

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate.  With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”

John 19:4-5:

Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”  When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

Verse 6:

As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify!  Crucify!”

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him.  As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”

Acts 2:22:

“Fellow Israelites, listen to this:  Jesus of Nazareth was a man [observe — a man] accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

One more scripture.  2 Corinthians 10:18:

For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

The record is plain.  Jesus Christ was condemned by the religious leaders of his day to be guilty of death, but one of the malefactors who was hanged with him knew that it was an unjust condemnation, and said so.  Pilate, who represented the civil power, said three times, “I find no basis for a charge against him,” and yet under pressure brought to bear upon him by the religious leaders, he told them, “You take him and crucify him,” but the testimony is that He was a man approved of God.

This lesson applies very closely to our own situation.  Romans 8:1:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus....

And yet the very ones who are in Christ Jesus are the ones who will be condemned by the religious leaders of this day, and under the pressure, leaders, the civil power, will yield and persecute, but — “a man approved of God.”  And “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  That is, God does not condemn, and what does it matter if man condemns?  That counts nothing.  And when the Scripture says that Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God, it says that every man who is in him is also approved of God.

One thought further:  Notice what the Scripture says:  “There is now no condemnation.”  It does not say, “There is now no conviction.”  In earthly courts, the first thing is to secure a conviction, the next thing is to pass sentence.  The first office of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin, not for the purpose of condemning, but for the purpose of issuing a free pardon.  So there may be a conviction, but do not mistake conviction for condemnation.  The very next office of the Spirit is to convict or convince of righteousness, and God’s purpose in bringing conviction is always that He may issue a free pardon, not to condemn.

There is one further thought suggested by this text:  “No condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Now call up Numbers 35:9-28:

Then the Lord said to Moses:  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them:  ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee.  They will be places of refuge from the avenger, so that anyone accused of murder may not die before they stand trial before the assembly.  These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge.  Give three on this side of the Jordan and three in Canaan as cities of refuge.  These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there.

“‘If anyone strikes someone a fatal blow with an iron object, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.  Or if anyone is holding a stone and strikes someone a fatal blow with it, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.  Or if anyone is holding a wooden object and strikes someone a fatal blow with it, that person is a murderer; the murderer is to be put to death.  The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death; when the avenger comes upon the murderer, the avenger shall put the murderer to death.  If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at them intentionally so that they die or if out of enmity one person hits another with their fist so that the other dies, that person is to be put to death; that person is a murderer.  The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when they meet.

“‘But if without enmity someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at them unintentionally or, without seeing them, drops on them a stone heavy enough to kill them, and they die, then since that other person was not an enemy and no harm was intended, the assembly must judge between the accused and the avenger of blood according to these regulations.  The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send the accused back to the city of refuge to which they fled.  The accused must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.

“‘But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which they fled and the avenger of blood finds them outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder.  The accused must stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may they return to their own property.’”

We cannot take the time to read the entire chapter, but we can call up the outline of it.  It is the record of the appointment of the cities of refuge, and when one had slain another, he fled for the city of refuge.  And if it was shown upon due investigation that it was not a murder with malice, or was not intentionally done, then so long as the manslayer remained in this city of refuge, he was safe; they could not condemn him.  But if he came outside of this city, then he was liable to suffer the penalty.

These cities of refuge were so scattered through the country that it was impossible for one to be within the borders of the country and be more than one half day’s journey from some city of refuge, and the roads leading to these cities were always kept in good repair, and there were signs put up all along the highway, “REFUGE,” so the one who was fleeing might lose no time and make no mistakes on his way.

Do you see how perfectly the lesson applies?  Jesus Christ is not far from any one of us; the way to him is made just as easy as God can make it, and the way is always open and kept in repair, and he has pointers up in every place pointing to Jesus Christ, the Refuge, and just as soon as one is in him, he is safe from the pursuer just as long as he stays in him.  If he gets outside of him, it is at his own risk.  He is likely then to pay the penalty, but if he abides in him, he is safe.  “There is no condemnation.”

In the epistle to the Philippians, 3:7-9:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

This is that righteousness of God which we become in him.

Paul’s experience was that of a perfect Pharisee.  Philippians 3:3-6:

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh — though I myself have reasons for such confidence.  If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

He gives the list of good things:  his birth, his descent, his works, “as for righteousness based on the law, faultless,” but when he saw himself as compared to Jesus Christ, and when he saw all the works that he had done as compared with the perfection of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, it was not enough that he should count all that he had done simply as nothing, but he saw that all he had done was actually loss.  Philippians 3:7-9:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

It was on the wrong side, it was a negative quantity.  It must be repented of, and he must “be found in him;” and, when he was found in Him, that was sufficient.  And see the comparison between what he found in himself and what he found in Christ, and see the desirability of being found in Christ rather than being found in himself.  Colossians 2:10a:

And in Christ you have been brought to fullness....

In Christ, you are complete.

Let us read that scripture in the second chapter of Colossians beginning with the sixth verse.  Colossians 2:6-8:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

See to it that no one takes you captive, robs you, makes you naked, strips you.  You see, we are to be in Christ Jesus; we are to be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now you beware lest any man strip off that wedding garment of the righteousness of God which we have in him.  Colossians 2:8-10:

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.  He is the head over every power and authority.

“In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” — in a body, corporeally, because a body was prepared for him.  Now in that body, that is, in the flesh, “all the fullness of the Deity lives,” and all the fullness of the Godhead was in that body, dwelt there bodily.  You see the force of that, — bodily, in the body, not in a lump, but because he was clothed with a body.  “And in Christ you have been brought to fullness.”  We are complete in him.  What are we without him?  Nothing, nothing.  If we try to be anything, we can simply be the form of something.  That is formalism.

You remember that the law came by Moses, but grace and truth — or “grace and the reality,” as the Syriac Version reads — came from Christ.  John 1:17:

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Now it is true that in the law we have the form of truth, but the reality is in Jesus Christ.  Now any man who attempts to make himself better, who attempts to meet the requirements of God’s law without Christ, is simply a formalist.  He has the form merely.  It is nothing but a dead form.  It is all right to have the form, but the form must be filled.  Now “in Christ you have been brought to fullness.”  The same form is there, the law is there just the same, but instead of being simply as a dead form, a kind of skeleton of the law, it is something alive, and “we are made full, complete in him.”

These thoughts can be carried much further, as you perceive, because this idea runs all through the Scriptures.  It is everything in him.  And these thoughts throw very much light upon the subject of justification and sanctification.  They have cleared up in my mind much that was dim, that was indistinct, about this matter of justification and sanctification.  Let us read again in the fifth chapter of Romans.  It would be well to read considerable of the chapter, but we will turn directly to the 17th, 18th, and 19th verses:

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!  Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Now is it not perfectly clear from the 18th verse that as condemnation came upon all people, so justification of life came upon all?  Perfectly clear.  The thought seems to me to be this — that in Jesus Christ all men were justified.  Romans 5:8:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Did he die for all?  Hebrews 2:9:

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

If all human beings should decide at once to repent and turn to God this very hour, would it be necessary for God to make any change in his plan?  Do you not see he has done it all, for all people?

Take the parallel again between the first and the second Adam.  By the offense of one, by the disobedience of one, many were made sinners, — that is, Adam by disobedience permitted sin to come into the flesh, and every descendant of Adam, as a consequence of that one act, had a tendency to sin, and if he would not struggle against it, he would commit sin himself, but no moral guilt would attach to a descendant of Adam unless he himself yielded to that tendency.  But if he does not struggle against it, he will yield and sin will appear in him.

By the obedience of one, many shall be made righteous; or by one man’s obedience the free gift came upon all men to justification of life.  That is, by this union of the divine with the human in Christ, and by this meeting of our humanity in Jesus Christ, and from the fact that the punishment met upon him for all men.  Because of that, every human being receives a tendency or feels a drawing to righteousness, but he will receive for himself no consideration because of that righteousness or that drawing to righteousness unless he, himself, yields to that tendency.  He will be drawn to Christ, he will be in Christ, and then he will personally receive the benefits of justification of life which came upon all men just as in the other case when he yields to the tendency to sin he receives the condemnation personally which came upon all men in Adam.

Now to make this subject clear, I have put in this diagram (with verses below).

We are Justified
By his grace — His part
By his blood — His part
By faith — Our part
By works — Our part

Much confusion has been caused by our failure to apprehend clearly these methods of justification.  Justification by grace, divine grace, is the source of all justification.  Justification by his blood:  The blood of Christ — and the blood is the life — was the divine channel through which justification should come to humanity.  By faith:  That is the method through which the individual apprehends and applies to his own case the justification which comes from grace through the blood of Christ.  By works:  The outward evidences that the individual has applied by faith the justification which comes from grace through his blood.

Justification by grace:  that is on God’s part.  Justification by His blood:  that is on God’s part.  He had done that for every single human being, on his part.  He has done all for justification to every human being; his grace is free to every human being, and his blood is the channel through which it flows to every human being, and “we thus judge that if one died for all, then all died,” so that is of God’s grace.

But while he has done all this for every human being, yet it avails only for those who personally apprehend it by their own faith, who lay hold of the justification provided.  It is freely provided for every one, but by faith in him, the individual lays hold of that justification for himself.  Then the provision which has been made freely for all avails for him as an individual and when, by faith, he has made a personal application to his own case of the justification which comes from God through the blood of Christ, then as a consequence, as the inevitable result, Christ’s works appear in him.

Therefore, for the person in Jesus Christ, it does not make any difference which method of justification is mentioned.  If he is justified by grace, as of course he must be, all these other consequences follow.  If he is justified by grace, then he is justified through the blood, by his own individual faith, and the works will appear; and you may touch this at any point.  If he is really justified by works of faith, when you say he is justified by works, you imply all the rest before it.  This ought to do away with our discussion as to whether we are justified by faith or by works, or whether it is by grace, or how it is.  One who is truly justified personally, must be justified by every one of them.  And when one who is truly justified, manifests one of the four, the other three are all implied.

Now another thought:  This justification, this righteousness, is altogether imputed righteousness.  Remember that it was given to humanity; that is, this righteousness was provided when Jesus Christ was given to humanity, and it is not something entirely outside of ourselves which he brings, as though some stranger might bring a book to us and say, “Here, take this.  This will be a ticket to heaven.”  No, we do not go in by ticket.  He became humanity and he is the Lord, our righteousness, and, when he did that, he became one with us and we are one with him.

And God looks upon us as one with him in righteousness, in all that he is, and that is the way our justification comes.  So our justification comes by receiving Him who is “the Lord, our righteousness,” as that gift to humanity, by a redemptive union, by a life union.  Then it is into, and upon; it’s all through and through; it is not something put on like a garment, but it is into, and upon, and it is the life through and through.  But it is all imputed; it is all given, and yet there is one idea in connection with that idea of giving that righteousness.  This righteousness which we receive was all actually wrought in him and we were in him when that righteousness was wrought, and so that righteousness is our righteousness in Him, none the less a gift, none the less imputed, and yet there is a difference between that idea and the idea of his giving to us something that never had been thought of or heard of before.

We were in him when he wrought this righteousness, but the righteousness which we wrought in him was wrought without any choice or will on our part, just exactly as the sin that was committed in Adam was committed without any choice or will on our part.  Now Christian experience is that we shall by faith lay hold of the righteousness, by being born into the family, and then what we did in him without any choice or will on our part, he will do in us by our constant will and choice.  Yet it is all a gift, wholly in him, and it all started on his side, without waiting for us to ask.  Romans 5:8:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He did it all in this way, but it was a most wonderful way, — in him.  He did it by uniting himself with humanity, and having humanity do it in him.  Then when we are born into the family and are united to him, then all that was done belongs to us.

But will this inspire the idea of self-righteousness?  Why, not at all; because it is all a gift.  The grace is a gift, and the works are wrought by that faith which is itself a gift.  It is all of him, and yet God’s wonderful plan is that it shall be done in him, and in us by this life union, and when Jesus Christ joined himself to humanity, he joined himself to the humanity that is here today just as much as he joined himself to any humanity.  That is, he joined himself to the whole line, the whole stock of humanity.

Perhaps this idea will serve to illustrate it:  He says [John 15:5a]:

“I am the vine; you are the branches.”

When he joined himself to this stock of humanity, he joined himself to the whole stock, reaching down through the ages; and it does not make any difference where you touch humanity, Jesus Christ joined himself to this line of humanity just as much here as away back there.  Generations come and go, but the tide of humanity flows on, the branches appear and are broken off, but the stock grows on, year after year.  When the branches are joined to the vine this year, it is the same vine that has been bearing fruit all the years, but a different branch, that is all, simply a different branch this year.  Now here are the branches, they have appeared on the vine in this generation, the fruit of the vine is now to appear on these branches.  Is this the same vine that has been bearing fruit?  It is not that Jesus Christ was simply a man and that he was right there and stood alone.  He was human; he was we:  all in him.  Wondrous plan!  Wondrous plan!

But now this idea of sanctification is nothing when the man is simply born into the family, but he is accounted righteous at once when he is born into the family, then he is in him.  All his righteousness is an imputed righteousness.  He is accounted righteous, and he is completely so.  But none of that righteousness is wrought in him.  Now by submission, by yielding himself, still being justified all the time by faith, that life, that righteousness which is life begins to work in him, and it is a life union.  It begins to become a part of him.  So to speak, the life blood begins to circulate through his system and begins to take the place of the old dead matter and the change begins to go on in the system, and he is now connected with the source of divine life and that divine life is poured into him and circulates through him, and the result of receiving divine life in that way begins to appear, and when that is all wrought in one and through one — sanctification.

Now he keeps yielding, he is justified all the time but he keeps yielding to that flow of divine life, and that keeps working more and more; yielding all the time to the motions of that life rather than to the motions of sin that were in his members.  The more he yields to the motions of that life, the more his sanctification is growing all the time.  His justification, so to speak, is not decreasing any, and yet the sum of his justification and sanctification all the time is simply completeness.

Now his justification is no less all the time, yet growing in sanctification, and it is God’s purpose that all the righteousness which is given to one, the moment he is born into the family of God and believes in Jesus Christ, shall be wrought in him by his actual will and consent all the time.  In Him was life.  There is the secret of it all.  In Him was life.  Apart from Him there is no life.  When we are joined to him by birth into the family, then we receive the life.  Then the life blood flows, then righteousness which is life come to us.  But the life of Jesus Christ is not a dormant, inactive thing.  It is life, and life always manifests itself.  We are simply the instruments of righteousness.  The righteous life simply uses us as a willing, yielding instrument.


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