And yet in one sense he did it all, for “all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time” (Josh. 10:42).
And, accordingly, he divided out even the country which he had not conquered; for what he had done involved and secured, as far as God’s aid was necessary, the doing of the rest.
[...] And so in like manner Christ has done the whole work of redemption for us; and yet it is no contradiction to say, that something remains for us to do: we have to take the redemption offered us, and that taking involves a work.
We have to apply His grace to our own souls, and that application implies pain, trial, and toil, in the midst of its blessedness. He has suffered and conquered, and those who become partakers in Him, undergo in their own persons the shadow and likeness of that passion and victory.
In them, one by one, is acted over again and again the history of the Son of God, so that as He died they die to sin,—as He rose again, so they rise again to righteousness; and in this imitation of His history consists their participation of His glory.
He truly has planted us in the land of promise, and has given our enemies into our hands; but they are still in it, and they have to be expelled from it;
and as the Israelites after Joshua’s death entered into a truce with them instead of obeying his command, so we too, after our Lord’s departure, instead of making that righteousness our own, which He has of His free grace imputed to us at the first, too often are content with that nominal imputation, and think it enough that He has “divided out the nations which remain”, careless about fulfilling His directions in destroying them….
Though Joshua is a figure of Christ and His followers in that he is a combatant and a conqueror, in one point of view he plainly differs from them.
He was bidden use carnal weapons in his warfare; but of ours St. Paul says, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong-holds” (2 Cor. 10:4).
[...] Such is the rule of our warfare. We advance by yielding; we rise by falling; we conquer by suffering; we persuade by silence; we become rich by bountifulness; we inherit the earth through meekness; we gain comfort through mourning; we earn glory by penitence and prayer.
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890): Sermons on Subjects of the Day, Sermon 12. Joshus a Type of Christ and His Followers.