Thursday, October 1, 2009
God’s Work Now Is “In Us”
Part 7 of 25 – God’s Work Now Is “In Us”
This is as it says the seventh part of a 25 part series my good friend Art has written, but I have taken this portion of it and broken it down into two installments, I trust you will be as encouraged as I was. Part 2 will be up tomorrow.
No believer had a part in their redemption other than to receive it as a free gift. Our redemption was solely the work of God the Father in giving His Son Jesus on the cross to shed His blood and die “for us.” Jesus died “for us,” in our stead. Jesus alone procured our redemption. Now His righteousness is counted to us by our faith in His work “for us.”
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5 KJV)
For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
Now I want to look deeper into the work of the cross and its effect upon the inner life of our soul. It is one thing for Jesus to shed His blood “for us,” to pay for our sins, but quite another for believers to become renewed by the power of the indwelling resurrected life of the Jesus Christ. Our soul’s renewal is based upon our 1) seeing, 2) identifying with, and 3) trust in the Lord’s death on the cross, and His resurrection…“as us.”
Considering the three parts of our being; 1) our human spirit has already been fully regenerated from the moment of our salvation by the deposit of the resurrected “spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” 2) Paul says our souls still need to be “renewed” (Rom 12:2, 2Cor 4:16). 3) Then one day our corruptible physical body will be exchanged for an incorruptible body. Thus, God is still working today to “sanctify” believers in their “whole spirit and soul, and body” (see 1Thes 2:13).
There is an aspect of the cross that works “in us” by our having been “in Christ” when He died on the cross. Paul says every believer was “in Christ” when He died our death as us, and when He rose from the dead as the new us. You see, it was our death that the Father was interested in when Christ died on the cross…as us.
Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized (placed) into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth IN ME…
Now we in our daily lives need to identify with Jesus’ death as our Old Man’s death (Rom 6:6, 7:4). We also should identify with His resurrection as our resurrection to new life.
We are forever washed in His blood that secured the remission of our sins (Heb 9:22). We are fully saved, positionally, because we were “in Christ” at the cross. The Father now sees us as a finished work – seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:5-6 (KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Notice the past tense in these verses; they indicate a past finished work. This is why Christ now “sits” at the right hand of the Father (Matt 22:24). Christ’s work on our behalf is complete and immutable.
We did nothing to become saved, except to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can do nothing to lose our salvation. Salvation is to become a partaker of Christ’s Spirit and He will never leave us. We have “the helmet of our salvation,” which is secured by faith in “the word of God” (Eph 4:16).
Being assured in our salvation and secure in Christ, we can keep our head about us. Thus, we can then proceed in the life-process that God has ordained for each of us to become “renewed” in our polluted soul. Paul says there is “much more” than “being reconciled to God by the death of His Son”; there is being “saved (sozo, renewed to completion) by His life.” Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, MUCH MORE, being reconciled, we SHALL BE SAVED (completed) BY HIS LIFE. Many Christians have stopped at reconciliation, never cooperating with the Lord in the process of renewal of their souls.
Every believer is saved already from perdition (judgment), but we are yet being saved (sozo, renewed to completion) in our soul. Our renewal to completion is a work that occurs in our soul by the flow of the life of Christ who already indwells our spirit. The key element in this renewal of soul is the power of the indwelling “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2a, 13). We have His life because we have been born of the Father’s Christ-seed that bears Christ’s unquenchable, limitless, resurrection life and nature (Heb 7:16b).
Paul says “ye are complete in Him (Christ)” (Col 2:10a). Then how can Paul say we still need to become renewed to completion? Yes, every Christian is complete from the moment of their salvation in “seed-form,” just as an acorn is perfect and complete in its seed form. Christ as the life-seed of God the Father (1Pet 1:23) indwells every believer’s human spirit. But Christ now needs to be released to renew our souls. Metaphorically, it is as though Christ is the life within the planted flower seed, and the soul is the seed’s shell covering or containing the life within the seed. The seed’s shell needs to be broken in order to release the life within the seed. Only then may the life of the seed be fully expressed in the full blossoming of the flower. Rain and light coming upon the planted seed causes pressure to build until the shell breaks and the life within is released. The pressure of the Christian’s life situations work in much the same way, to break our independent soul, that Christ’s life might flow through us.
After being saved, most of us have tried to be righteous through self-effort, but we fail. Every believer should eventually come to acknowledge there still is a problem. Though we’re complete positionally in Christ, we need to be changed inwardly, dispositionally, within our soul’s faculties of mind, emotion, and will, which were corrupted by the Adamic Sin infection in all men.
Our soul’s mind is polluted by the Adamic Sin infection within our flesh bodies (Rom 7:17-24). Our soul is led by our mindset, which needs to become renewed. Paul calls the fallen independent mindset of man “the mind of the flesh,” saying it is “at enmity with (opposed to) God” (Rom 5:7 KJV).
Romans 8:5-8 (AMP) For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. 6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin (noun, Sin nature), both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. 7 [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. 8 So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.