Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Robert Barclay > Catechism and Confession of Faith > Chapter 4


Of the New Birth, the Inward Appearance of Christ in Spirit, and the Unity of the Saints with him.

Question. Doth Christ promise then to come again to his Disciples?

A. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come unto you [John 14:18].

Q. Was this only a special Promise to these Disciples? or is it not the common Priviledge of the Saints?

A. For thus saith the High and Lofty one that inhabiteth Eternity, whose Name is Holy, I dwell in the High and Holy Place, with him also that is of a Contrite and Humble Spirit, &c. [Isa. 57:15].

For ye are the Temple of the Living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them [2 Cor. 6:16].

Behold I stand at the Door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the Door, I will come in to him, and sup with him and he with me [Rev. 3:20].

Q. Doth the apostle Paul speak of the Son of God's being revealed in him?

A. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my Mothers Womb, and called me by his Grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Heathen [Gal. 1:15-16].

Q. Is it needful then to know Christ within?

A. Examine your selves, whether ye be in the Faith, prove your own selves; Know ye not your own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates [2 Cor. 13:5].

Q. Was the Apostle earnest that this Inward Birth of Christ should be brought forth in any?

A. My little Children, of whom I travel in Birth again, until Christ be formed in you [Gal. 4:19].

Q. What saith the same Apostle of the Necessity of this inward Knowledge of Christ, and of the New Creature beyond the Outward?

A. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the Flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the Flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any Man be in Christ, he is a New Creature; Old things are passed away, behold all things are become New [2 Cor. 5:16-17].

But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the Truth is in Jesus, That ye put off concerning the former Conversation the Old Man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful Lusts; and to be renewed in the Spirit of your Mind; and that ye put on the New Man, which after God is Created in Righteousness and true Holiness [Eph. 4:21-24].

Q. Is this Christ within, the Mistery of God and Hope of Glory, which the Apostle Preached?

A. To whom God would make known what is the Riches of the Glory of this Mystery, among the Gentiles, which is, Christ in you the Hope of Glory, whom we preach [Col. 1:27-28].

Q. Doth the Apostle any where else press the putting on of this New Birth?

A. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not Provision for the Flesh to fulfil the Lusts thereof. [Rom. 13:14]

Q. Doth he write to any of the Saints, as having put off the Old, and on the New Man?

A. For as many of you, as have been Baptized into Christ, have put on Christ [Gal. 3:27].

Seeing that ye have put off the Old Man with his Deeds, and have put on the New Man, which is renew'd in Knowledge after the Image of him that created him [Col. 3:9-10].

Q. What speaketh Christ himself of the Necessity of this New Birth?

A. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God [John 3:3].

Q. Of what Seed cometh this Birth?

A. Being born again, not of Corruptible Seed, but of Incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever [1 Pet. 1:23].

Q. What doth the Apostle Paul witness of himself concerning this New Life?

A. I am Crucified with Christ, nevertheless I Live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me [Gal. 2:20].

Q. What is the Preaching of the Cross of Christ?

A. For the Preaching of the Cross is to them that perish, Foolishness; but unto us that are saved, it is the Power of God [1 Cor. 1:18].

Q. What Effect had this Cross in the Apostle? and how much preferreth he the New Creature to all outward and visible Ordinances and Observances?

A. But God forbid that I should Glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the World is Crucified unto me, and I unto the World: For in Jesus Christ neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor Uncircumcision, but a New Creature [Gal. 6:14-15].

Q. What speaketh Christ of the Unity of the Saints with him?

A. At that Day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you [John 14:20].

Abide in me, and I in you: As the Branch cannot bear Fruit of it self, except it abide in the Vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the Vine, ye are the Branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much Fruit; for without me ye can do nothing [John 15:4-5].

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe in me through their Word: That they all may be One; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be One in us, that the World may believe it, that thou hast sent me. And the Glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be One, even as we are One; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in One, and that the World may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me [John 17:20-23].

Q. What saith the Apostle Paul to this Purpose?

A. For both he that Sanctifies, and they that are Sanctified are all of One, for which Cause he is not ashamed to call them Brethren [Heb. 2:11].

Q. What saith the Apostle Peter?

A. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises, that by these you might be Partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the Corruption that is in the World through Lust [2 Pet. 1:4].

< previous | contents | next >