The work of the New Man, on the one hand, is warlike and destructive, deposing the prince of the old world and overthrowing the old order founded upon original sin, and, on the other hand, it is peaceful and constructive, building a new world and establishing a new order founded upon the rights of the New Man. Therefore let us first consider His warlike and destructive work, then His peaceful and constructive work.
The New Man, born of a woman and of the Holy Spirit without the seed of a man, was perfectly holy and free from original sin, as well as from the original condemnation of death. He was nourished and grew in spirit and was filled with the wisdom and grace of God. At the age of thirty years He was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist; by the voice of His heavenly Father witness was borne to Him that He was His beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased, to save the sinful and mortal race of men; and, under the form of a dove descending upon Him, He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to be High Priest, King and Prophet aver the holy city of God, to fight with and to overcome the ruler of the world, the Devil; who, as the divine Evangelists relate, undertook to defile Him with sin and to subdue Him to his own will, promising to give to Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; but the Devil was resisted, and fled away, defeated and put to shame in this first contest.
After the victory, Jesus, calling around Him the first disciples, began to preach the Gospel of His own Kingdom; He drove out demons from men, He healed with His word every sickness among the people, and sometimes He even restored the dead to life, thus testifying that He is the Son of God, who came into the world to save the world from sin and from the power of the Devil.
The Devil, being thus attacked, set up a counter-attack, defaming and slandering Him through the mouth of the Scribes and Pharisees, who were of his seed. They represented Him as fighting against God and as a perverter of the Law of Moses, as a false prophet worthy of death, and not as true Messenger from God, as His works declared that He was in truth. Jesus, therefore, pursued by the servants of the Devil that they might apprehend Him and put Him to death as a transgressor and perverter of the Mosaic law, after the third year of His teaching and miracles voluntarily delivered Himself into the hands of His enemies, who condemned Him to the shameful death of the cross, unlawfully and unjustly judging Him, and thus fulfilled the prophecies of the Scriptures which were written of Him.
This unjust and wicked act on the part of the Devil and his tools was immediately brought to judgement by God, the dispenser of justice. It was adjudged that the Son of God, who had been unjustly and unlawfully put to death, should receive the life of which He had been deprived and its equivalent, – for the things which are unjustly removed, according to the law, are restored double and fourfold and fivefold. The Devil who had committed the injustice and the unlawful deed was condemned to death and destruction and to loose all the authority which he had acquired among men, and every right acquired from original sin.
This punishment having been accomplished by the divine justice, the Lord Jesus Christ arose on the third day according to the Scriptures, and received all authority in Heaven and on earth, and the right to make alive and to raise from the dead to life eternal all who have believed upon Him from the foundation of the world and all who will believe upon Him until its end. The Devil has been stripped of the authority and rule which he possessed. He is being attacked and pursued until the time when he will be justly apprehended and cast into the unquenchable fire of eternal punishment with his angels and his followers.
From the baptism until the death on the cross the work of Christ was warlike and corrective: after the resurrection the work is peaceful and constructive, the building of the new world and the new order founded upon the rights of the sinless Christ. This work of building constitutes the work of the Church of Christ, concerning which we ought to say what we should think and believe.