Faith In Relation to Life (continued)
Marks of Divine Life
One of the thoughts associated with this Divine life is newness, or freshness. "That ... we ... might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). That word "new" in our English versions has two Greek words behind it. One means something that never was before; the other carries the thought of that which is young and fresh. This Divine life is, of course, something that no one has ever possessed before, outside of Christ, but its mark, its characteristic, is its freshness - its freedom from the "earth touch." This earth is an accursed earth, it is in death, it is under judgment, and all that belongs in it is under judgement: if this earth touches anything, it touches it with death. This life of which we are speaking is completely free from the earth touch, and free from the touch of man as he is by nature. It is fresh, therefore, and for its freshness it demands that it shall be kept free from this earth and kept free from man's touch.
That has been the issue all the way along. The life of God comes in, and is regnant and wonderfully fresh and beautiful; and then what? Man must needs take hold of it in some way, put it into his mold, run it according to his ideas, organize it and set up machinery for it, and it is not long before the freshness has gone. It is touched with something that takes the bloom off it; in the course of time it has become old; and - perhaps I may be permitted to say this, as one who is no longer young! - God has no interest in anything that is old. God is only interested in that life in us which is of Himself, and His interest is to keep it fresh. "Even to old age ... and even to hoar hairs," there is still freshness if the life of God is the principle upon which we are living.
Yes, but we must keep out hands off, and we must keep the earth touch away. Oh, man's terrible habit of wanting to take hold of, and run, the life of God! It has killed more words of God than anything else, brought an end to wonderful movements of the Spirit. Man has taken hold, brought things into his framework, under the control and direction of his committee. Very well; the Lord withdraws, and the freshness of His life is no longer found. Freshness, newness, is the mark of God's life.
(continued with # 28)