Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just a Thought "19"

Paul takes us away from chastisement and judgment and he leads us toward the reality of our position in Jesus Christ. Paul told us how we were at the point of our belief identified with Christ through God’s power from on high’s identification transaction called Baptism.

Not a ritual performed by human hands, but the operation of God, whereby we become fully identified with our Savior, in union with him, so that we actually become a part of him. Two becoming one flesh from the standpoint of God, being fully identified with Jesus Christ means that we died when Christ died.

Grace comes along and tells us that being identified with Christ’s resurrection life, we now have an everlasting life we do not deserve and could never earn. God did not establish a new law for the age of grace and place believers under that law, so that he would have a new way to measure our righteous performance for the purpose of permitting a heavenly entrance.

God works in us through his word written to and about us. God’s thinking, as we take his word as true is therefore capable of transforming our thinking, it is a new operating system. It is not about perfecting the flesh, it is about crucifying the flesh in our minds and allowing God to do his work through his word in our lives.

God cannot produce his work through us apart from the transforming work his word accomplishes in us. It was the new identity Christ accomplished for Paul that made such a great impact upon Paul.

It is not striving to become a better someone, it is recognizing the someone God has already made us to be. It is understanding our new position in Christ. When we come to fully understand and appreciate that new position, the striving can end.

When we trusted Jesus Christ as Savior, something happened that took place outside the realm of our sensation, outside the realm of our feelings. God’s power from on high baptized us, immersed us by joining us to Jesus Christ.

God’s power from on high places every believer into Jesus Christ, this is what Paul was talking about when he used the expression “baptized into Jesus Christ”. In our position in 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.

We can rejoice and we can give all the glory and the praise to God and to our savior Jesus Christ for the fact that even though that sinful nature is strapped onto our fleshly backs like a rotting corpse, God does not see us in our flesh from his judicial perspective.

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. 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.

If we misunderstand justification, we are going to have a difficult time understanding sanctification. Since people link a justified standing before God with performance of their own, they also link a sanctified standing before God with their own performance.

If we think our relationship with God is of a fluctuating nature, we never know where we stand. So, people’s minds are up and down and all around, an emotional roller-coaster as to where does on stand with God. We are alive because of our position, not at all because of our practice.

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. God’s power put into operation as believers are baptized into the savior, the same power that raised Christ from among the dead, is the power exercised to place us into the body of Christ, we were fused with Christ himself at the instance we believe.

When we feel insecure, whatever the reason, Paul tells us to re-focus on our security, this is a security we can not lose. We are not in the process of becoming something new and different. We are at the very instance of our belief a brand new creation, God sees us in a brand new way. Sainthood is not earned at all.

Sainthood is not something to be sought after as though it could be attained to or something that only comes for a select few. Freedom from God’s condemnation is a reality for every single believer, not because of any new found performance capabilities, but because we are made the righteousness of God in our union with his perfectly righteous son.

As believers, we do not possess the life that Jesus got when God raised him from among the dead as an inherent quality, any more than we possess God’s righteousness as a property in our own nature. Just as in the midst of our sinfulness, we are righteous, so in the midst of our self-evident morality, we are going to get the life God gave to Jesus.

As a result of our being sealed in Christ, we are what we are not. In ourselves, we are not righteous and not immortal, but in Christ, we are both righteous and immortal. We must understand that God has predetermined to glorify us. In fact, God has predestined us to that glorification. 

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