Now that the believer has deliverance from the old man’s “damnation” and “dominion” (Ro 8:1; 6:14), there will always be the need for deliverance, not from, but through the trials. It’s been said that the lost need saved, and the saved needs deliverance! Nothing can affect one’s salvation once attained, but there is much “growing up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15) to do, and “to be conformed” in (Rom 8:29) until departure from the earth. Notice it does not say “to conform” but “to be conformed,” that is, the Spirit conforms via His “mortification” of “the deeds of the body” (Rom 8:13); and since the physical body itself is not sinful, it concerns the “deeds” of the other “body,” which is sinful—the deeds of “the old man” or sin nature, which also has its “members” like a body (Col 2:11; 3:5, 9).

It is knowing all is well while in a trial, be it easy, difficult or heart-wrenching, that one has learned to put all in God’s trust (1Pe 5:7), to work all out for your “good” (Rom 8:28). When the knowledge concerning one’s salvation is that it is permanent, and that one knows there is always one’s salvation to stand in, nothing can overtake you into pondering doubt that you are always saved (or nothing means anything), and that all is being used to strengthen your faith in the Lord Jesus.

Musings of J B Stoney

The greatest thing I think that has come in of late is the knowledge of deliverance. I used to press being heavenly, but the first thing is deliverance from the “flesh” (old man or sin nature—NC).

Everyone must learn what it is to appropriate Christ’s death for themselves. He is not formed in you until you are “crucified” with Him (Gal 2:20; 5:24; 6:14; 6:6). The great thing I see everyone needs more or less is deliverance. I used to say that saints do not realize union with Christ (as much as they could—NC), which is true; but now I begin at the beginning, and say what they need first is deliverance from “the old man” (Eph 4:22; Col 3:9), which is to know that we are no longer a part of it, other than being subjected to its continued temtptings, which are merely testings of our faith in Christ’s expiation or atonement – Rom 8:9—NC).

You are not only cleared from the old man (Rom 8:9), this you see in Romans; but you are in the new, as in Colossians 1 and in Colossians 3, and you use it. You are not conscious that you have it until you use it. I reproach myself much that I have not led others into this more.

I often ponder with myself as I lie here, how little we really apprehend the magnificence of the Father’s grace in transferring us from the man who dishonored Him to the Man who glorified Him. What rays of divine light shine in upon the soul as one in any measure believes it! One feels daily how little one answers practically in our ways and words, to being in Christ and not it Adam.

I find that the two things the saints are most ignorant about are deliverance, and coming to the Living Stone. The happiest among them seldom get beyond “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” through whom they have received the reconciliation. This is the joy of salvation (Psa 51:12; also 35:9).

Deliverance is the next step. When in deliverance you know you are free from “the body of this death” (the sin nature; old man and its members - Col 3:5—NC), that you are in Christ, that “the law of the Spirit
of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). No one really advances in growth until one knows this, though one may know the Scriptures well, and be able to explain every passage in Ephesians, but one may not be in it on God side. You must come to the Living Stone first; otherwise you cannot know Christ in the Holiest, or know Him as Head. You must know these two steps before you can know what union with Him in heaven is.

The more I dwell on the fellowship of Christ’s death the more I feel how solemn it is, and how little understood. If we truly had fellowship with His death how little we should expect from this place, and how our hearts would cling to Him where He is. If you are not set for heaven you are trying to make the wilderness a resting place. If you are not anchored in heaven, you are sure to drift into the world.

The two essential things that are to mark a Christian in this world are fellowship with the Lord Jesus in His death here where He died, and association with Him where He now is. If anyone is truly in the first, his only rest is in the second, and therefore it is the “anchor of the soul” (Heb 6:19). If you are diverted from it by anything here, you lose your anchor and drift into the world.

It is when you are free of yourself that you become occupied with the Lord Jesus. If you look into the history of your soul, you will see that you cannot come any other way. You must have deliverance first (through your trials—NC) before you enjoy part with Him.

I have been very much struck lately, pondering over my life, how much happier a time I should have had, and how many sorrows I should have been spared, if heaven had been more definitely the anchor of my soul (more sure and certain as I am now of going to heaven—NC). One is apt to look for something (that he thinks he can use—NC) in this place while passing through it. I feel now that it is marvelous grace that I am as much entitled to be over Jordan with Christ, as I am to be saved by His work on the Cross.

We are delivered out of Egypt—the world—which is what man has made of the earth, to be in God’s habitation. “Thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation” (Ex 15:13). Now if this is definitely before you, even that you have been delivered out of this present evil age for heaven, you must take the only road to reach it. The divine path to heaven is through the wilderness (difficulties and trials, which teach us like nothing else of what we need to know—NC).

This world is a wilderness, and there is nothing for you here but Marah (Exo 15:23), that is, death on man’s side; and the more you have fellowship with the Lord Jesus in His death, the easier the path becomes to you, because you see the true character of this world; and the more truly you do, the more you fellowship with Him where He is. “That . . . we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Heb 6:18, 19).

There is a definite difference between deliverance in Romans 6 and in Colossians 2. I see one is deliverance from the man, the other from the place where the man has all his interests. Romans is known a long time before Colossians.

I think that many are happy in their salvation, as the prodigal knew he was in favor when he was kissed by the father, who are not in deliverance from the “wretched” self (know that we are not our old man but separated from it - Ro 8:9)—NC), with the best robe on, enjoying the great supper in the Father’s presence.

Souls are often led over Jordan by the Spirit and get a sense of the blessedness of being there who have not yet entered practically into the reality of being “dead with Christ from the old man and the rudiments of the world” (Col 2:20). I cannot conceive greater joy, not only to be consciously in His sphere of Life, but that you are exempted from all the contrariety and confusion here, so that you come back, not seeking anything form this place, but deriving all your hoy and comfort from above—from Him.

Some speak of company with the Lord when they mean His coming to them—to their side of things. Every earnest soul when praying thinks he is in company with Him, like the Queen of Sheba in the presence of King Solomon. To me it is almost inconceivably blessed to be morally dead to everything here (and alive to everything there—NC); not turning away from it all (but confronting it all—NC) like a monk or a nun, but because of brighter things above.

I feel that so few servants get the knocking about for fifty-six years that I did. They enter on service too hastily.

MJS daily devotional excerpt for March 15

“The New Testament believer’s spiritual growth is not based upon Old Testament doctrine. We are not to neglect the Old, but its introduction of the law was designed to lead to the grace of the New. For a believer who is not yet established in the risen Lord Jesus, it is a temptation to go to the promises of the Old Testament for comfort. This may result in some help at times, but also may bring frustration. It is simply not our ground. “So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but under [obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]” (Rom. 7:6, Amp.). - MJS

“‘The Law made nothing perfect’ (Heb. 7:19). It was given to discover sin and imperfection, not to impart holiness or perfection. The Lord Jesus has poured out His blessed Spirit that we believers, while on earth, might walk in that spirit of life and liberty that prevails in heaven where Christ is. God has given unto us His human-divine nature, and put within us His Holy Spirit. Shall we not therefore walk in that liberty in which Christ liveth? For He lives the same life of blessed freedom from bondage, and of joyful service to God, within us by His Spirit, as He does seated in a body, in heaven before God His Father.” -W.R.N.

The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS