by Thomas Manton
And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.—GAL. 2:20.
THERE are two parts of a christian's duty—dying to sin and living to God. They are both in the text; the first part, dying to sin, in that mysterious expression, 'I am crucified with Christ;' the second branch, living to God, in the following clauses, in which a spiritual and holy riddle is propounded, and then solved and opened: 'I am crucified, yet I live,' and though I live, yet I live not, 'for Christ liveth in me;' and then he openeth the whole riddle and mystery in the latter part—And the life which I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.
Many things might be observed—
1. They that are crucified with Christ nevertheless live. They that partake with Christ in one act partake with him in all; if they are mortified with Christ, they are also quickened by him.
2. In the spiritual life of a christian, Christ hath the greatest hand and stroke—'Not I, but Christ liveth in me.'
3. Believers live in the flesh after they are called to grace, but they do not live after the flesh.
4. That besides the animal life, there is a spiritual life, and these two are distinct. The animal life is the life of the rational soul void of grace, accommodating itself to the interests of the body: Jude 19, 'Sensual, having not the spirit;' and to the power and pomp of the world, highness of rank and place, riches, pleasures, honours; it consists in the exercise of the senses. The spiritual life is a principle that enableth us to live unto God, to act and move towards God as our last and utmost end, to serve his glory as our great scope, and enjoy his favour as our chief good. Both these two lives are governed by a distinct guide and ruler—the animal life by sense, the spiritual life by faith; so that man's reason is either brutified and debased by sense, or refined, sublimated, and raised by faith. If a man be debased by sense, he walloweth in all manner of brutish sensuality, he liveth in pleasure, and maketh the profits and pleasures of the world his only scope and aim; if refined and elevated by faith, his soul worketh after God, and is carried out to the concernments of the world to come. But quitting all these, here is a life within a life, and a life overruled by a life, and that overruling life is called the life of faith.
Doct. Those only live spiritually that live by faith; or, the great means on our part whereby we receive the influences of the spiritual life is faith in Christ.
Table of Contents
The Life of Faith
The Life of Faith in Prayer
The Life of Faith in Hearing the Word