“As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Col. ii.6.
At the request of a sister in the state of Virginia, we offer a few remarks on the important admonition given by the apostle to the saints in the passage written above. That Christ Jesus is the Lord of life and glory, that he is the mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace, is a truth too deeply engraved upon the hearts of the children of God to require argument or demonstration beyond what the scriptures record, and the Holy Ghost makes plain in the experience of all who are born of God and led by his Spirit. Yet we are informed in the word that no man can call him Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. No human efforts to instruct the unregenerated sinner in modern schools or by Gamalial, can bring the sons of men to an experimental knowledge of the Redeemer, as both Lord and Christ; for, “No man knoweth the Son but the Father”; nor can any man come unto him except the Father draw him. None of the princes of this world knew him; for if they had known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of life and glory. To know him is eternal life. “This is life eternal,” said Jesus to the Father, “that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” And a knowledge of him is inseparably connected, with a knowledge of the Father. “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?” “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father also.” He and his Father are one. To know him is also to know the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, and to be made conformable unto his death. This knowledge is by revelation: “When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, to reveal his Son in me.” “Blessed are thou Simon; for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my father which is in heaven.”
The reception of Christ Jesus the Lord implies that we were once in a state of destitution, living without Christ and without hope in the world. And although it is a blessed thought and full of consolation that he has been our dwelling place in all generations, even from everlasting to everlasting, and that he has carried his people and borne them all the days of old; still we in our Adamic nature were without him; and in an experimental sense we remained without him until Christ was formed in us the Hope of Glory.
The reception of him also involves the consideration of the source from whence and the manner in which we received him. The source may be contemplated both negatively and affirmatively. We did not receive him from Adam, or any principle found in the nature, blood, or will of man; for the scriptures affirm in John i. 12, 13, of all who receive him, that they were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Not from the will or works of men, nor yet because we could claim Abraham to be our father, or that we were descendents from pious ancestors; nor because we had complied with conditions, or accepted the overtures; nor have we received him at the anxious bench, at the hands of those who have presumptuously and blasphemously offered us Christ. From no such quarter did ever a poor sinner receive the blessed Savior. But we are divinely instructed that he is from heaven, that he dwelt in the bosom of the Father, that he proceeded and came from the Father; that he was with him when there were no fountains flowing with water, before the decree was given to the seas appointing to them their bounds; before the mountains were brought forth, or even the highest dust of the habitable earth was formed.
But how did we receive him? First, we say, as the unspeakable gift of God to his church. For God hath given him to be the Head over all things to his church, which is his body, the fulness of him who filleth all in all. As he was given, so was he received, as the supreme Head over all things to his church. - The Head of all principalities and power, to preside in all the fulness of his power and majesty, and glory, over all the interests, affairs and destiny of all the members of his mystical body. As our Prophet, Priest and King, our Shepherd, Bishop, and Husband, our God, Man, and Mediator, and as our Advocate with the Father, the Propitiation for our sins, our Redeemer, Deliverer, and Surety. As our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, as our Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. As the Way, the Truth, and the Life, admitting of no other way of access unto the Father, but by him. God has given him for a covenant to the people, as such we have received him, and in him as our covenant, ordered in all things and sure, we find every provision of mercy and grace which we can possibly need for time or for eternity. All the promises of God are in him as our covenant, and in him they are Yea, and Amen, to the glory of God by us. Not one gracious promise could we ever find out of him. The purpose and grace by which God has saved us and called us with an holy calling was given us in him before the foundation of the world. Our justification is in him, and our glory is in him. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory. Our life is also in him. Your life is hid with Christ in God; and we have never had any spiritual or eternal life out of him. He only hath immortality dwelling in the light. He is given to be a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel. On them he has arisen with healing in his wings. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. As such we received him, if ever we received him at all. We have received him in all the offices, titles, and relations which he sustains, and which are ascribed to him in the scriptures; and as the Brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person.
Furthermore, in being brought in our experience to receive him in all his offices, titles, and relations, we acknowledged our obligation to worship, adore, serve, honor, obey, and reverence him in them all. As our God, we received him as the supreme object of our worship, as our Mediator, in all his mediatorial offices and works, as our exclusive dependence for reconciliation to God, for complete justification and ultimate glory. We acknowledged in our reception of him that we were not our own, that he had bought us with a price; (that is in our redemption) and that our highest aim and most devout desire was to glorify him in our body, and in our spirit which are his. In receiving him as our King we took on us the obligation of allegiance and bowed our neck to take his yoke and learn of him, and to walk in all his ordinances and commandments as dear children.
“As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” That is, being in him, as composing a part of his mystical body, in unison with all the other parts of the body, each member is to walk. The members being fitly framed together, united by joints and bands, and each set in the body as it has pleased God to arrange them, being rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. So are they to move on, in all the order, ordinances and doctrine of the gospel. Delivered from the law of carnal commandments, their root, or the spring of all spiritual life and vigor being in Christ; they are to conform to him, to his law and authority; suffering no man to spoil or rob them, through philosophy or vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily. Consequently they are to look for nothing beyond him, or that is not found in him. Our walk, in order to be in him must be a gospel walk; it must be in the footsteps of his flock; and in order to be in him it must, as members of him, filling the place assigned us as members of him, and therefore as members one of another.
Again, we may understand that our walk as christians in him, according to the application of the figure of the “True Vine,” and its branches. “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the Vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine, and ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit for without me ye can do nothing.” We received the kingdom as little children, or we have never received it at all. And as little helpless children confide in and depend upon the wisdom and providence of the parent, so should the branches in Christ, his members remember that they are in themselves perfectly helpless and throughout their pilgrimage rely upon and confide alone in his divine protection, listen to his instructions, obey his commands, and renounce all confidence in the flesh.
May 1, 1854
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 64 - 68