The Mt. Pleasant Association of Regular Baptists, now in session with our Sister Church called Providence, Trimble County, Kentucky, September 6,7,8, 1889.
To the Churches composing this body, sendeth greetings:
Dear Beloved in the Lord: after many trials and sore tribulation the good Lord has again prospered us in coming together and resuming our sessions in the order of the Gospel as we trust, for which cause we have great reason to be thankful to God, who is our great Preserver and Giver of “every good and perfect gift.”
We think it meet at this time to speak of some of those things which are most surely believed among us – Luke 1:1. We believe it was the Church in her Adamic relation that was actually involved in sin and thereby lost and is the subject of salvation or redemption which will be consummated in the resurrection.
We can not see that the new man was involved any more than Christ was, - Hebrews 2:2, being in Him from all eternity, having a seminal existence in Him as the promised seed, Gal. 3:6, and made manifest in earthen vessels, foreknown and predestinated for that purpose, Rom. 8:29. These vessels of mercy constitute the bodies, or tabernacles, of the children of God, who (the children) are made manifest by birth in the militant state of the Church, and called by Paul “our vile bodies. Hence, in our judgment, the children can only come under the law by being “partakers of flesh and blood;” so also our bodies are under the law, and are to be kept in subjection. Adultery, fornication, drunkenness and such like are condemned, and they that do these things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God or visible Church. The order of manifestation is that which was first, is not spiritual but natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual; we have thus manifest in the militant Church the children of two headships. The natural, or old man, which is earthly and is the purchased possession. He is born of the flesh and is flesh, (John 3:6), or as Paul presented it, “after the flesh.” – Gal. 4:29.
The heavenly, or new man, is born of the Spirit and is spirit. – John 3:6,; or also, as Paul presents it, “after the spirit.” –Gal. 4:29. These constitute the warfare so sorely experienced by the dear saints. Again, while the “elder is to serve the younger,” yet in this time-state the dear children are often made to feel like old David: “Surely I will fall by the hand of Saul some day.” They are brought into the fellowship of the apostle of the Gentiles, where he is made to cry, “For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing, for the will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not, for the good I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” - Rom. 7:18-20.
Now, here certainly are two pronouns answering to two men – one after the flesh and the other after the spirit. In the former, if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Of the latter it is said, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin for his seed (the margin: God’s seed) remaineth in him and he can not sin, because he is born of God.” – 1 John 3:9; 5:18. Do we not realize with Paul, “now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth IN me”? “I find a law that when I would do good evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law in my members (flesh) working against the law of my mind and bring me (Paul) into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I than God through Jesus Christ my Lord; so then with the mind (spiritual mind of Christ), I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh (or fleshly mind,) the law of sin.” Rom. 7:21-25. But we look forward to deliverance from this body of corruption and death, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The creature is made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him that hath subjected the same in hope, for the creature itself also shall be delivered shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, and not only they but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit: the redemption of our body.” - Romans 8:21-13.
In conclusion, Christ and the resurrection is the theme of the Gospel. The bodies are to go to the dust, “for dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return,” but blessed be God, they are to be changed. They were not changed in regeneration, but shall be in the resurrection. The apostle says: “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body, and so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul, and the last man Adam a quickening spirit, so the same body (natural) in which the dear children is manifest is to be made spiritual in the resurrection. There is a natural and spiritual, thus verifying the declaration, “that as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” – 1 Cor. 15:49. Therefore, my brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen
J. M. Demaree, Moderator.
W. C. Sams, Clerk.
A. O. Chilton, Assistant Clerk
Transcribed by Stanley Phillips – February 2009