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seed, Christ Jesus, if they come into the heavenly unity and uniformity; and that ye may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, being made conformable unto his death, who, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man; for in Adam all died. Now, Christ, by the grace of God, having tasted death for every man, that every man may be conformable unto his death; here is a conformity unto the death of Christ ; for ye must all die with him before ye live with him, and ye must all suffer with him, if ye reign with him. And therefore all men and women in the whole world, of what religion or opinion soever ye be of, in old Adam ye all died, and are dead, and Christ, by the grace of God, hath tasted death for you all, and by Christ ye may all be made alive; and therefore ye must all be made conformable to Christ's death, and that is the conformity ye are all to press after, and to exhort one another to be conformable to the death of Christ, and to die with him, if ye do intend to live with him ; and to suffer with him, and to come into the fellowship of his sufferings, if ye reign with Christ, or do intend to reign with him; yea, all that do profess Christ the son of God, they ought to be conformed to the image of the son of God; and if that ye be not conformed to the image of the son of God, who destroys the devil and his works, your outward profession will stand ye in no more stead, than the Jews' profession without life; but all that are conformable to the image of the son of God, in his image they are in uniformity, and in unity, hallelujah, praising the Lord.
And the apostle saith to the saints, · Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of the mind, &c. to the image of the son of God, and being made conformable unto his death.' Phil. iii. 10. Rom. viii. 29. and xii. 2. And now, all people, if ye be not conformable to the death of Christ, that hath tasted death for you all, then you are yet alive in your sin; and if ye be not conformed to the image of the son of God, who bruises the serpent's head, and destroys the devil and his works, what image then are ye conformable to? All your profession, without ye be conformed to the image of the son of God, is nothing; which who do so conform, are in the heavenly unity and conformity, and Christ, who tasted death for every man, (for all died in Adam,) he enlightens every man that comes into the world, with his heavenly light, which is the life in him, the word, by whom all things were made. Now, every man and woman being turned to the light, which is the life in Christ, and believing in it, and walking in it, is the means by which they may be made conformable to the image of the son of God, and so come into unity, and conformity, and fellowship, one with another, and with the Father and the Son.
And the grace of God which brings salvation, hath appeared unto all men; which grace taught the church of Christ, which grace and truth came by Jesus; now, I say, this grace taught the church of Christ to live godly, righteously, and to deny ungodliness and unrighteousness, and to live soberly in this world. Now, if all people will be conformed to the image of the son of God, it must be through this grace that comes from the son of God; and this grace is in their hearts, to settle them, and establish them, which teaches them to deny that which is ungodly and unrighteous, and to receive and cleave to that which is godly and righteous.
And so, here are God's love and favour to all men, who died in Adam, that his grace and favour should appear unto all men, to teach them and bring their salvation, that they may be made conformable to Christ's death, who hath tasted death for them all, and die and live with him, and suffer and reign with him, and so be conformable to the image of the son of God; and here is a heavenly, divine, and spiritual conformity and uniformity.
And Joel saith, by prophecy, . It shall come to pass in the last days, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.' Now these last days are the days of the new covenant and new testament, and the days of the gospel of salvation, preached to every creature, man and woman, that all might be obedient and conformable to the power of God, the gospel of salvation; and so, as all are conformable to this glorious gospel of Christ, they will be conformed to the image of the son of God, and so into a glorious peaceable uniformity and conformity, fellowship and unity in the gospel, the power of God, which brings life and immortality to light; and in this power of God they will see over the power of the devil, and before he was, that hath darkened them. And likewise, God who poured out of his spirit upon all flesh, both men and women, that all with the spirit of God might mortify the deeds of the flesh, and in the spirit of God live, and that all with the spirit of God might be circumcised, and put off the body of death, and sins of the flesh, that's come into them by transgression, and disobeying of God, so that all in the spirit may be conformable to the image of the son of God, and be in unity and a spiritual fellowship and uniformity, through the spiritual conformity. For all the sons and daughters of God are led by the spirit of God; and here is a spiritual conformity, and a heavenly uniformity, amongst the sons and daughters of God; and God having poured out of his spirit upon all flesh, that is, all men and women, that all men and women might be conformable to this holy pure spirit of God, which spirit of God will baptize them, if they do not quench, vex, grieve, and rebel against it, or err from it, I say, it will baptize them all into one body, which Christ, the Lord from heaven is the head of; and so with
e this holy spirit that baptizes into one body, are all made to drink into + one spirit. e Here is a spiritual conformity, and a heavenly uniformity and con
cord, where there is no discord; for the apostle saith, “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,' &c. and the work of the ministry was to bring people into the unity of this faith, and the knowledge of the son of God, who was and is the author and finisher of this precious holy and divine faith ; in which faith they had victory over that which is unholy, and access to God; in which faith they pleased him, having vic
tory over that which displeased him. And this is called the faith of 1 God's elect,' in which they had all unity, and they were called the
household of faith,' and through this faith did receive the righteousness of Christ, through which faith they were made conformable to Christ's death, and conformable to the image of the son of God, through the righteousness of faith, which was before, and beyond, and above the righteousness of man, and the righteousness of the law; and in the righteousness of Christ, and the image of the son of God, here is the saints' holy and righteous uniformity, and spiritual and heavenly unity and fellowship.
And David saith, · Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.' Now the unity and fellowship is in the light, grace, and truth, and spirit, and the gospel, the power of God, and the faith which Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of; and therefore, all must be conformable to the light, grace, and truth that comes by Jesus Christ, and to the spirit of God, that God pours upon them, and to the gospel of salvation, and to the faith that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of, (if ever ye do come into spiritual uniformity, unity, and fellowship in the light, in the truth, in the gospel, in the faith, in the image of the son of God,) one with another, and with the Father and the son, that the saints are and were in, in the apostles' days. Glory and honour to the Lord over all for ever, who is teaching his people by his son, who bruises the serpent's head, that false teacher, and now God is the teacher of his people by his son, and I say was the teacher of Adam and Eve in paradise before they fell, who is God allsufficient, and a sufficient teacher.
The authority of the Church of Christ.
The apostle saith to the Corinthians, • I told you before, and foretell
you, as if I were present, now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all others, if I come I will not spare.' 2 Cor. xiii. 2.
Here the apostle used his authority in the power and spirit of Christ, who would not spare sin and sinners.
And John said, “That I wrote unto the Church, but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence amongst them, received us not; wherefore if I come, I will remember his deeds, which he doth prate against us with malicious words. And so John thought of this Diotrephes in the power of God, and had authority in his power to judge such prating puft-up Diotrephes's, and their malicious words; and so hath the church of Christ in his power to judge such now, as in 3 John iï. 9, 10. • And therefore, my beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good; for he that doth good, is of God, and he that doth evil, hath not seen God.' Here is the true judgment of a true watchman in the power and spirit of Christ. As many as receive Christ, to them he gives power to become the sons of God, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God; these had power from Christ to admonish, reprove, and rebuke such as went out from the will of God, into sin and evil. And the apostle said, • Though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction.'
So here the apostles had authority, which the Lord had given them, for the edification of the church, to keep them out of destruction. 2 Cor. x.
And the apostle said to the church of Corinth, I fear lest when I come I shall not find you as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not, lest there be debates, envying, wrath, strifes, &c. and lest when I come again, my God will humble me amongst you, and I should bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of your uncleanness, fornication, and lasciviousness, which you have committed. I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. Here you see the authority and power from the Lord the apostles had to judge such as these, for the edification of them that profess christianity, not for their destruction. 2 Cor. XX. 21. And the apostle saith, 'For to this end also did I write, that I might know the truth of you, whether ye be obedient in all things; to whom ye forgave any thing, I forgave it for your sakes in the person of Christ.'
So here you may see where there was an obedience to the truth, there was a forgiveness in Christ. 2 Cor. ii. And the apostle saith, For verily, as absent in the body but present in the spirit, I have judged already, as though I was present, concerning him that has done this
? deed; in the name of the Lord Jesus, when you are gathered together,
and my spirit with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, &c. Know ye not, a little leaven leavens the whole lump; purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump.' 1 Cor. v. · Here you see the apostle and the church of Christ had power and authority from Christ to cast out, and to purge out that which is evil, or the old leaven, out of the church of Christ, that they may be a new lump; for the apostle said, “He would shortly come to the church of the Corinthians, if the Lord will, and I will not know the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power; for the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.' So here the apostle, in his authority in the power of Christ, would know the power of Christ in others, and would have the church of Christ to do the same; for the apostle saith, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world.
So the sanctified, which are made holy, judge the unholy world. And again,' Know ye’not that ye shall judge angels.' Angels are spirits ; they that keep their habitation in the truth, and are in the spirit of Christ, do judge the angels, and spirits that are fallen from the truth, and their habitation in the truth; yea, I say the devil and his angels, in whom is no truth; they that walk in truth, and live in the power and spirit of Jesus do judge such: and therefore it was a shame to the church of Christ, who had this power, to go to law one with another before the unbelieving world, whom they had power to judge, and not to set up the least in the church to judge of outward things pertaining to this life, seeing they had the power to judge of greater matters.
So here you may see the church of Christ hath power from Christ to judge the angels, to judge the world, and to judge in outward matters of things that pertain to this life. 1 Cor. vi.
And ag na t'keep e the
Concerning Exhortation and Admonition. ·
CONCERNING exhortation, Judas and Silas, &c. exhorted the brethren with many words, and comforted them. Acts xv. And the apostle confirmed the souls of the disciples, and exhorted them to continue in the faith, and that we must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom of God; when he had ordained them elders in every church, &c. they commended them to the Lord, whom they believed. Acts xiv. So you may see here were elders ordained in every church; and the aged women are commended as well as the men, as in Titus ii. And Barnabas