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p33 [To the same.] Mrs Bevan, I agree that we are sitting in heavenly places, in not with Christ; but I do not know in speaking of its being by faith, by which of course it is known, if you have allowed quite enough for union with Christ by the Holy Ghost. Again there are things which we enjoy by experience which are not acquired by experience: every sealed believer is in Christ before God, and his place is to know it (John 14); but there are those who do not, through imperfect teaching. Hence, to the Corinthians he writes as to carnal (not natural) not as to spiritual. "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect" - perfect meaning simply grown men in Christ. So Philippians: "Let us therefore as many as be perfect." We take the place by faith (beyond Jordan), but when taken we realise being in it by the Holy Ghost; and this is experience. It is not based on experience or progress in it. We are in it if in Christ. I reckon myself dead. But the wilderness is as much the fruit of redemption as Canaan.

It is quite false to make it a matter of progressive experience, as at the end of the desert: it is our identification with Christ's death, and Jordan is identical in fact, though not in application, with the Red Sea. But at the Red Sea it is a redemption wrought for me: in Jordan I died - not by experience, but I died; that is, it connects itself with our state, though we do not change that state by experience. But I experience that I have changed my position. This is not a play on words. A process of experience is not the operative cause; but I have been brought into a new experience which is the fruit of the change. It is important to see that it is no subject of progressive experience. Experience is that I cannot get it at all (Rom. 7) - no good to be got in me, nor a new position out of me, by any process. I then learn by simple faith, as taught of God, that He has condemned sin in the flesh, which I find in me, in the cross of Christ (Rom. 8:3). This is simple faith and divine teaching; the effect is I am free according to verse 2, and take the ground of chapter 6. Ephesians 2 is quite another thing; there is no experience at all, but a new creation, if there, dead in sin. The new creation has nothing to do with dying, but we are viewed as dead in sin.

I do not know if you have seen what I have taught, that the wilderness is no part of the counsels of God but of His ways; and that the Red Sea and Jordan coalesce, only at Jordan they go up into the land. Further, in its full character the Red Sea closes all: they are brought to God, to His holy habitation, but not to the result of His plans as to us. The thief had no wilderness. All that experience learns is that I must have a deliverer; and then I learn that it is all done on the cross. The realisation of this (2 Cor. 4) by the Holy Ghost is another thing; but then it is reckoning myself dead - always carrying about the dying. It is important to see that Ephesians is on a totally different footing: and when on the ground of reckoning ourselves dead, there is an always carrying about the dying.

As to relationships, it is all nonsense: I may be called out, as Christ Himself was but, save that calling, He was subject to, and afterwards lovingly owned, His mother. If a person is not called out, or giving up all for Christ, there is no question that these relationships are clear duties, and so treated everywhere in the New Testament. If they come into competition with Christ, everything gives way to Him.