How long ago did Jesus Christ die for our sins? So when he died for our sins, how many of those sins were future? He took those sins off of us before we were ever born; all of them! If God’s justice was not satisfied where one of those sins were concerned, where would Christ be today? In the ground! But as proof-positive that God was totally satisfied with what Christ did on our behalf, God raised Christ from among the dead. Now that means that our sins have been taken care of!
Christ’s test score is put on our paper and God can call us a saint. God can look at us, a believing sinner, and he can see us as righteous as he is himself, because what belongs to his son, belongs to us; we are joined to his son. A marriage made in heaven in a literal sense. Ministers of righteousness will ever more keep that issue of sins on the table of God’s justice. They will continually want us to do this and stop doing that, in order to keep God happy with us when the reality is: He couldn’t be any happier with us than he is; Christ having taken our sin debt upon himself, and we having trusted what happened where our sins are concerned.
We can now serve God out of appreciation rather than apprehension less we forget something and have that sin held agains us. Sin is gone as far as the judicial aspect of sin from God’s vantage point. It is taken care of once and for all! People will suffer the second death not because of the sins God’s son pain for. They will suffer the second death because they have never been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. They have kept sin on the table of God’s justice their entire lifetimes and sat under ministers of righteousness who have led the way.
Paul was teaching grace plus nothing, and that leads people with a sin nature and a pride nature to say, Oh, you have got to do something. People think that their righteous standing with God is directly related to their behavior or conduct; their work for God. We have got to be good for God, is the idea, Because if we are bad, well, this grace thing only goes so far. Unfortunately, that is the idea in a lot of people’s minds; today it is presented along these lines, grace is a license to sin. Paul was reasoning, do not think that way, stop thinking in that manner, may grace never be the cause, although grace is true, may grace never be the cause for a person to think they should now go out and sin all the more.
Some have come to the erroneous notion that God will forbid a person who thinks like that to belief the good news in the first place. Others have committed just as great an error by supposing that God removes salvation from a person who continues to sin after salvation. Both are faulty conclusions based upon a foundation of works for a righteous standing before God belief-system based again, upon a self-sanctification for righteousness concept.
We would naturally come to be thinking along those lines if we fail to have an understanding of Justification and Sanctification. If we do not know what Justification and Sanctification are all about, and we think that we are justified on the basis of how we set ourselves apart behaviorally, naturally we want other people to set themselves apart and we want them to have to tow the mark as we have to tow the mark to keep God happy, and that is a faulty conclusion, and that is not what Justification or Sanctification are all about.
In our position in Jesus Christ, now we can bear fruit unto God, but it is only in our position in Christ, not through this fleshly body in which we dwell. Only when we come to see ourselves as God sees us and are able to fully appreciate and understand who God has already made us to be and who he’s made us to be in Christ, can we become in our behavior what he wants us to be in that aspect of our lives. We need to be less interested in trying to become something, or trying to do something, and we need to become a whole lot more interested in learning about who we already are, that is the key.
Paul could not escape his sinful nature no matter how fervently he tried. Our fleshly bodies will never be worthy of heaven in that they will never be able to perform to the measure of the righteousness that is true of God. We are alive because of our position, not at all because of our practice. As we understand what God accomplished for us through his son, we build upon that foundation the truths of who he has made us to be when he placed us into his son, we begin to view ourselves as God views us, and there is great security to be found in doing so.
God’s love for those who are joined to his son is the same unalterable and unending love God has for his son. God no longer views us in our human flesh, he views us in our position in the second Adam (Jesus Christ), he views us in our glorified identity. That is how closely connected we are to Christ, so sin, no circumstance, no member of creation, no amount of time, no measure of distance will ever be able to diminish God’s loving attitude towards those who are united to him by way of being in his son. Positional sanctification is not a process, it is a past tense accomplishment that can never be revised, reduced, or retracted.