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Changed Through Regeneration - Extracted From "Jottings"

So great is the change wrought through regeneration that the Lord said of His disciples, "They are not of the world, even as 1 am not of the world" (John 17:16). John the Baptist said, "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaketh: He that cometh from heaven is above all. What He hath seen and heard, of that He beareth witness; and no man receiveth His witness" (John 3:31,32). This shows the Lord in sharp contrast to all earthly things and to all men. He was of heaven and His doctrine was heavenly. He was not of this world. He could find no place in its arrangements, nor can men find a place for Him even yet. They would seek to bring Him in, but His doctrine must be left outside. They would have a silent Christ, a Christ of their own imagination, but not Christ the great Teacher,: who is Christ the Crucified. A Christ who condemns the world system; a Christ who condemns human nature as fallen and corrupt; a Christ who declares that men know not God and hate Him in their hearts; such a Christ is as unwanted to-day as ever He was.

Unregenerate men are dumb concerning heavenly things. They are of the earth and speak of earthly things; and such were we once. But a great change has come; we have been born from above (John 3:3 RVM). In allegorical language, "the Jerusalem that is above ... is our mother" (Galatians 4:26). Heaven is our true home, and earth is now become to us a land of pilgrimage. Once we were strangers there (heaven), but now we are strangers here (earth). We are citizens of heaven, but we have not bought this citizenship (as some are vainly attempting to do), but we are citizens by birth. "Our citizenship is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20).

It is therefore not strange that the heavenly-minded believer should feel oftentimes out of his element in this world; like a fish out of water. Being a person who lives in a body of flesh it is necessary for him to make contact with worldly things, but he must learn to use the world and not abuse it, that is, not use it to the full. He cannot go in for the world as worldlings do; its conversations are trivial; its pleasures vain; its business impoverishes the spirit, though it may enrich the purse. Its policies and politics are not his.