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The Primitive Church a Triumphant Church.
In Babylon theology we hear much of the church militant here below and the church triumphant over in heaven; but the dwellers in Zion have found the church triumphant here on earth and reign therein over every foe. True, there are battles to fight and enemies to conquer, and this proves a militant state of the church; but “thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Cor. 2:14. Yes, always. And this triumphant state is not confined to heaven, but right here on earth “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37). Yes, "they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Rom. 5:17. These texts beautifully express the victory enjoyed by the primitive Christians.
The kingdom of Christ is represented as engaged in constant conflict and as always being victorious. Christ reigns while his enemies are being conquered; "for he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:25). In the very opening of the plan of redemption Christianity is represented as an aggressive conquering power, under the following symbol: “And I saw, and behold a white horse, and he that sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Rev. 6:2. The symbol is that of a victorious warrior, and is drawn from the civil and military life of the Romans. He well represents the primitive church of God. The white horse denotes purity. Holiness was the mighty steed upon which the Christian church rushed to battle. The rider, no doubt, signifies the ministers, who stood for the church entire. The bow signifies that this rider was a warrior. With the sword of truth the early ministry and church rushed forth to battle against the powerful systems of error with which they had to contend. A crown was given unto him. Why? Because he conquered. “He went forth conquering, and to conquer."
This rider wore the victor's crown. So the early ministry and church triumphed over every foe. They multiplied into a strong kingdom of priests and reigned in life. Thus Christ conquered nations through his pure church and ministry. She was seen terrible as an army with banners (S. of Sol. 6:10).
OVER SIN AND DEATH.
In the early morning of Christianity the church of God enjoyed perfect freedom from sin and victory over it. “They sung a new song, saying, thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests.” Rev. 5:9, 10. “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father." Rev. 1:5, 6.
For four thousand years the world was held under the power and dominion of sin. As a result, “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Paul said that “death reigned” and that “sin hath reigned unto death." The gloomy pall of sin and death hung over all-spiritual death, which comes as a result of sin. But Christ came mighty to save, and through his death and resurrection conquered death. Yes, "abolished death and brought light and immortality to life through the gospel”; and “he that hath the Son hath life.” “God hath given unto us his eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” So the really saved “are passed from death unto life.” In this divine spiritual life is granted perfect deliverance from all sin. “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.' » Rom. 6:18. “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin”; and this happy condition is not the state of the saints of God merely in heaven, “but now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rom. 6:22). “Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are under grace.” Roin. 6.14. Thus by being redeemed, washed in the blood of Christ, the early Christians were made kings, and reigned in life over sin and death. Not only did they obtain a perfect deliverance from sin, but through the abundant grace of God which was granted them, they were enabled to serve God in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of their life (Luke 1:75); yes, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present world (Tit. 2:11, 12). That blessed reign of righteousness through