Several weeks ago, back at Easter, we began studying the 7 Last Words of Christ Upon the Cross. One of those 7 last words was "it is finished." And we generally look upon that as salvation is completed. Everything has been put together, and that's the end of it. But there's a good deal more to that. For that reason we have been looking in greater detail at this, the living Word of God and the significance of "it is finished."
"For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart"(Hebrews 4:12).
And "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Peter 1:19-21).
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, 'He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness'; and again, the 'Lord knows the reasonings of the wise that they are useless'" (1 Corinthians 3:19-20).
This morning we look at the 7 last words Segment 15. The detailed explanation of those dramatic words, "it is finished." If you understand what was behind that simple little statement, you will understand, more than ever before, why salvation has to be entirely an act of God without any human participation, any possible act on our own.
Sin Built a Wall Between God and Man
The sin of Adam and Eve in Eden created a human nightmare of suffering and death, and it was all so unnecessary. God had spoken. He had laid out the ground rules for them, and all they had to do was obey Him for paradise to continue. They had a perfect environment of uninterrupted happiness in total compatibility with a holy God. But they spoiled it all, and what they did created a problem, which exists to this day in compound degree for the very same reason. People are disobedient to the Word of God, the Bible, to this revelation of what God thinks and what God requires.
Most people in the human race don't know what's in the Bible. Most people know some Bible stories, but few are taught what the Bible calls the doctrines of the Holy Spirit, in-depth teaching of the Word of God. The result is that people do not realize what a terrible thing really happened in the Garden of Eden to the human race, which destines everybody to the Lake of Fire and to a hell of eternal separation from a holy God.
Now, people have tried over the centuries since to solve this alienation from God in order to escape what they sense will be that eternal judgment of suffering. They have tried various ways that seemed reasonable to lost sinners to be able to get back to God. None of them work. None of them can work; because, the bottom line is that man can do nothing at all to reverse his natural destiny to the Lake of Fire, zero, nothing, nobody can do anything. Nobody can take one step toward Heaven.
The truth of the matter is, Scripture says there is none that seek after God. There has arisen, as a result of the sin in Eden, a wall of separation between God and man. This wall creates an impassable barrier, and man cannot breach this wall by the most sincere effort on his part; because, everything that man produces comes from the Old Sin Nature. If you understand that, then you will not be surprised to understand when somebody says it's not a matter of how good you are, whether you go to Heaven or not. I've said that to a man recently, and his eyes lit up. I could see behind his mind, "That's what I always thought." No, it's a matter how good Jesus Christ is. How good are you?
There's a little diagram of the Old Sin Nature in the form of this diamond. The Old Sin Nature has an area of weakness, and it kicks out sins left and right. God says that's evil. This is what Christ bore on the cross. But the Old Sin Nature also has an area of strength; we call that Human Good. Isaiah 64:6 calls it "filthy rags." This human good works is all rejected, and Titus 3:5 says God threw all that out. He said, I don't care about your human goods. It's no good, has no quality whatsoever. Why? "But I feed people; I give people places to live; I give them a home; I give them clothing." Yes, that's good, but who does it? The OSN, the Old Sin Nature inherited from Adam. So everything we do is tainted. Everything is tainted by this cancerous quality, so that consequently, we can't produce one single good thing that is acceptable to God.
So what is evil? Evil is sins. We understand that. But do you understand that your human good is also evil; because, it comes from the sin nature not from the Holy Spirit? That's what the Apostle pointed out at one time. Paul pointed out, the more human good you do, the more you will suffer in Hell; because, you have mounted your level of evil, and you suffer in eternity as an unsaved person to the degree of the evil that you have accumulated.
The Wall Between God and Man That Must Be Removed
One of the things about the Old Sin Nature is that some people, who are unsaved, project a very good image. They have legalism, asceticism. They don't smoke. They don't chew. They don't go with girls who do. I mean, they have all the rules and regulations, how they act. These are moral people. These are all the people who are in the holding pen of Hades now, awaiting to be led into the Lake of Fire someday. The holding pen is full of moral people, but they're all unsaved. The Old Sin Nature can put on a real good front. But for other people, who are unsaved, license, lasciviousness, they project a wicked image, and everybody can see that they're going to the Lake of Fire because it's clear to them by their conduct. So don't be fooled by the fact that the Old Sin Nature in an unsaved person can be a very nice public external presentation. But I want you to understand that whatever good you may attempt, in the area of strength, it's all contaminated by the Sin Nature. Therefore, you cannot do one good thing to get to Heaven, not one single thing, and worst of all, it all began with this terrible problem of the impassable wall of separation made up of individual blocks that only God could remove, which He has done through Jesus Christ.
First Block Removed - Slave Market of Sin
First of all, we've looked at the block of the slave market of sin. Here is man lost under eternal death on one side, with a destiny of the Lake of Fire. Here's a Holy Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Godhead; this is the saved eternal life side. Heaven is the destiny of all who are associated there. How do you get over from this side to the other side? You can't do it. Since our Sin Nature contaminates all of our human good, what can we do?
The first point we pointed out, and this remember is "it is finished." What Jesus meant when He said "it is finished" was that this whole wall came collapsing down. It was torn, shredded into pebbles, out of the way, and in it was the cross of Christ. So that you could walk over on faith in Christ and get past this impossible barrier. The first is that we are all born into the human race as slaves of Satan; we're in his slave market of sin, Romans 6:17-18. How did God solve that? Through the death of Christ on the cross. He paid the price of redemption. He redeemed us out of the slave market. That's no longer a problem.
Second Block Removed - Moral Guilt
Secondly was the block of our moral guilt. The moral guilt that we have from Adam because we were in him as our federal head, and our personal acts of evil were covered with moral guilt. How is God going to handle that? Romans 3:23, He expiated it. He removed it off of our record. He cleaned our record because Christ took our guilt.
Third Block Removed - Spiritual Death
Third, spiritual death, the wages of sin is death, Romans 5:12. How you going to die spiritually when you're already dead? Dead is dead. The block of being spiritually dead because you have a sin nature; that's what causes it. You die physically because you were in Adam when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, you are guilty with him as the federal head. You die spiritually; because, you're born with an Old Sin Nature delivered to you from your human father genetically, so that suddenly here you are spiritually dead. What's the solution? Regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Once Christ died He was spiritually alive, and He died in your behalf. Please remember He died spiritually and physically on the cross. Spiritually is why He was crying out to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, "Why have you forsaken me?" And then after 3 o'clock, He's back in fellowship with the Father. The debt has been paid, and He no longer addresses Him as My God but My Father? It's very clear in the very words the Scripture uses. So here He dies spiritually; that's gone.
Fourth Block Removed - Holiness of God must Be Satisfied
Then there's the holiness of God. There's a terrible block to have to confront. How good do you have to be to go to Heaven? You have to be as good as Jesus Christ, and that means absolute righteousness. That means you have to have perfect justice, all sin paid for. And secondly, you must have absolute righteousness provided for you. Christ made that possible on the cross. The Holiness of God was satisfied by the death of Christ for all mankind. Remember, He died for everybody. Secondly, he imputed his absolute righteousness to us, 1 Peter 1:16. The holiness of God tells us to be as holy as God. Now we can do it.
Fifth Block Removed - Man is Born in Adam's Sin
Then came one of the worst. The final block we're looking at is the fact that everybody's born in Adam. 1 Corinthians 15:22, in Adam is a place of death. In Christ is the place of eternal life. So the issue there is how to get out of Adam and to find ourselves in Christ. The moment we trust in Jesus Christ as savior; that's what happens. We are taken out of the place of death in Adam, and we are put into the place of life in Jesus Christ.
Now, suddenly, the little simple words "it is finished" have a lot more depth of meaning as to what God actually did. Why do you have to be a dumb dodo as a Christian, instead of knowing the fullness of what God has done for you; so that you will not be fooled by these human efforts or even your own thinking that you're going to make it with God by how you behave rather than what it is that Christ has done. Now, you won't make that mistake, if you stay with the Scriptures.
This is what some of the great tragedy, the sadness of the Protestant Reformation. The key feature of the Reformation was the Bible is the source of authority. The people who descended from the great reformers forgot that. They thought the reformers had resolved all the problems. The poor reformers never got the difference between Israel and the Church straight; they were always confused. They just went with the Catholic doctrine on that. But if the people who had followed them had stayed with the Bible as the guide, as did happen with many, then all these truths were gradually recovered, as were the ones on salvation.
With the Wall Removed We Can Be in Christ
But to be in Christ, Christians are referred to as in the Beloved One, the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:6 puts it this way, Ephesians 1:6, "to the Praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved." That's a technical word in Scripture for the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Beloved One.
One of the most breathtaking remarks that Jesus made to His disciples was in the gospel of John, which was delineating the new lifestyle in the Church Age. He was saying everything associated with the Mosaic Law is done. Three parts of the Mosaic Law: the moral part, the social part, the religious part. It is done but not the nation of Israel. Israel is postponed, put on hold because they killed their Messiah.
The fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant now awaits the future. In fact, everything was fulfilled right to the day, to the precise day on Palm Sunday, except for seven last years of the 490 that Daniel was told would fulfill all of God's promises to Israel and the Abrahamic Covenant. That was cut off. Daniel says, and then the Messiah will be cut off for seven years. That's where the tribulation comes. As soon as we, the church, are out because we have nothing to do with Israel. We have nothing to do with the Mosaic code in any way whatsoever.
In we came with a whole new relationship to God, which a Jew never imagined. Not the least of which, John 14:20. Jesus said to them "in that day" after Pentecost when the church age is in full operation, "you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." "You in Me, and I in you." Now if that doesn't thrill your soul, you are really having a problem. Christ living in me? We in Him, and He in us? Those disciples' eyes must have spun in disbelief. Such a relationship to God never occurred to them; because, it wasn't possible under the Mosaic legalistic code system.
So Christians, therefore, are referred to in Scriptures as those who are the Beloved ones of God. That is no small remark. That is no small title. It means you are related in Christ. Ephesians 5:1 says, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." As children in the Beloved.
Christians Are Not Under the Mosaic Law
Christians don't live on a lower level morally or any other way than Israel does. And when we say that the moral code doesn't apply to the Ten Commandments, we refer to that because people understand that as a moral code. But the Ten Commandments are not applicable to the Christian directly; because, there's one of them the Christians are not supposed to keep. But the other nine commandments are repeated in the New Testament Epistles, every single one of them under the grace way of life. Of course, the one that is not repeated is keeping the Sabbath Day holy. You don't go to church on Saturday, and don't let somebody tell you say, "Hey, we have church service Saturday night." What that is telling you is we find Sunday a real fun day, and it's a nuisance to have to go to church and make it the Lord's Day. But in the New Testament, you don't meet as the body of Christ with the PT (Pastor-Teacher), as the instructor feeding upon the Word of God. It's the Lord's day. Sunday. Yes, it's Sunday. You can have a Bible class on Saturday, but you can't call it a church gathering.
But be that as it may, I want you to understand when we say that the Mosaic code is set aside because it was a way of life for the Jews. So we don't do anything. We don't circumcise our sons, except for medical reasons. We don't do it for religious reasons. We don't do anything that is a work system to gain something with God. All those systems come from the Old Testament. Sometimes I've had people say, "Why doesn't your church have an altar?" Easy. Well, I say, what's an altar for? Well To make sacrifices to God. For what? Well, for our sins. But the Scripture says Christ died once and for all. Therefore, we have no need for Him to die again. There is no sacrifice. So why do we need an altar?
And then they don't know because their Aunt Hepzibah told them. Grandma Hezekiah and Uncle Useless. They all told him you have to have an altar. All these are altars you have. That's how you approach God. They got it from the Old Testament. That's pure Jewish thinking, and what happens in the Millennium? What happens in the Tribulation? The Jews are going to go right back to building their temple. That's the third one's going to come along. That's the one the antichrist is going to put up his image and say, "from now on, I'm God, you worship me," and everything is going to fly apart. Then after three and a half years when they thought he was their friend, and boy, does Israel ever need a friend now. Be sure to read the handout. The whole thing is going to go to total destruction until the Millennium begins. Then there will be the Ezekiel Temple, in great detail, will be erected. They will be making sacrifices, not looking forward to the Messiah, but like we do with the Lord's Supper. Looking back to the sacrifice already made.
So Israel's system is on hold. It's going to come in. It's got nothing to do with us as Christians, and it insults God to undermine the grace era of the church with all the superior powers we have with the indwelling Holy Spirit and the full knowledge of doctrine. It insults Him for us to be bringing over these Old Testament things as if the church and Israel has some kind of connection that the church is now the fulfillment of Israel.
So I want you to know you are in the Beloved and that means you are in a relationship to God as no other believers before the church age ever thought of enjoying. Because we Christians are in the Beloved one, Jesus Christ, we are accepted by God the Father. 1 Peter 2:4-5, "And coming to Him," Christ, "as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house," the house of the church, "for a holy priesthood," every believer is his own priest. This was the rallying cry of the Reformation. No more laity and priesthood. Every believer represents himself before God. Here's the Scripture for a holy priesthood, "to offer up spiritual sacrifices." No more Old Testament animal sacrifices. That is over. Our sacrifice was spiritual. There's several of them. One of them, the sacrifice of praise, which we do on the Lord's Supper evening and testimony, and the one that we do every Sunday, the sacrifice of our substance, the giving of offerings. But you're a holy priest, and you do it privately. That's why we don't pass an offering plate here. If you want to help God's work, if you think you got something out of a service that enables you to understand how to walk with God, the realities of the spiritual life, then you might want to make a spiritual sacrifice of an offering in that box. Otherwise, ignore it. Offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Without Christ nobody is acceptable to the Father.
Now what this refers to is what we call positional truth. And unless you've been carefully taught in the Word of God, you'll blow this every time.
Positional truth: The Christian is viewed by God as being in Christ. Therefore, he is no longer in Adam. This could not be made more clear than in Romans 8:1, where Paul, writing this dissertation on how to go to heaven, says, therefore on a basis of what Christ has done to remove the wall separating God from man. That means now, Sin is not an issue with God. The wall and all these blocks have been gone. All you have to say, yes, I believe it. That's the only issue. So that people who are going to end up in Lake of Fire are there, the wall having been removed for them. Having said this, Paul now says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Oh, whoa, wait a minute. What do you mean, no condemnation? What about these prodigals, these carnal Christians? There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Once you're out of Adam, the place of death, and you're in Christ, by faith in Christ the Savior, you are secure forever toward heaven. Yes. You can act like a carnal Christian, and you will be disciplined. You can act like the prodigal, and you will be disciplined for that. But you will not lose your place in Christ because it's a position of standing and is permanent.
This double circle diagram here is trying to illustrate that great theological truth. For many people this little diagram, when they see it, brings a great sense of relief because now they know how they can be forever saved and yet not always acting in godly and holy ways. The point of the gospel is God rejects all human good, all evil, all attempts. It's Ephesians 2:8-9, salvation by grace alone. This is retroactive positional truth. Christ has already made it possible for you to be positionally saved. He bore our sins on the cross. I Peter 2:24 tells that in his body he bore that sin. When we have faith in Christ, as John 3:16 speaks, we pop right into the inner circle. Here we are, controlled by God the Holy Spirit. This is Ephesians 5:18, to be filled with the Spirit. We are, as I Corinthians 3:1 says, a spiritual Christian.
Eternal Versus Temporal Fellowship
A spiritual Christian is not some guy that's really good and great. A spiritual Christian is one who is controlled by the Holy Spirit, and at that point, he is in this inner circle, which means that God the Holy Spirit runs his life. The result is that out of this inner circle this Christian is producing divine good works. He is living a godly life. Ephesians 2:10, I Timothy 4:7. He is totally under the Spirit of God, and every divine good work he produces is recorded in heaven. He is going to get rewards for that, not for salvation, but for his life of service. This is why I tell you that some Christians, who do not understand I John, 1:9, and don't understand the maintenance of temporal fellowship to stay in his inner circle, they're going to have a different kind of eternity in heaven. 1 Corinthians 3 says they will suffer loss, and loss means blessings and rewards that others will have; because, your works were human good works, and they're all burned up. But it says you will be saved. Trouble is that when you sin, you step out of this inner circle. You can never step out of the eternal fellowship circle. This is a relationship. You are here in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17, you become a new creation, and 1 Corinthians 12:13, you're in Christ. Therefore you are forever in this inner circle. When you step out, by sin, now you are controlled by that Old Sin Nature, Romans 6:12, sin singular, sin nature takes over.
Now, 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 is referring to the carnal Christian. The word carnal means you're acting on the basis of human abilities. So suddenly you're out here, and what are you doing? Now you're producing human goods. You are guilty of human good works and of sins and all that's evil. Isaiah 64:6. Mark 7:21-23. So this is the Christian life at any particular moment you are here or you are here. If you're here, no praying, no answers to prayer. If you are here reading the Bible there's nothing clicking together, there's misinterpretation and no guidance of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, sitting in church and no instruction that comes through. It's a dangerous area to go into, and eventually, without getting into this doctrine, that is, the dissent here goes into reversionism. You stay out here, you become mulish, and you refuse to give in. Then things start going down, and the old term was backsliding. But reversionism goes to the point that James says, finally, God says that's He can't use you anymore on this earth. And He takes you to heaven. You're going to be saved, but you no longer are going to have an opportunity to get back in fellowship. As long as you're alive God says you can still get back on track with Me.
It is terribly important that you understand to be in Christ is a position. But how you are in Christ, relative to your productivity, depends on this current positional truth. Your standing in Christ is always secure, but your particular state that's bouncing in and out of here, and this is the place to live. It is the Christians, who spend most of their lives in that inner circle because they are frank with God and confession of known sins, who are the ones who receive one of the crowns of honor that only certain Christians receive and the crown of righteousness refers to the Christian who's logged time most of his life walking with God in temporal fellowship. When he misstepped he came right back. Prodigal son is a great example. Where did he stop being the son in that terrible experience? Nowhere. He was a son all the way down the line to the very end.
Christians Are Called
So, 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, "God is faithful through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." God is faithful. He is the one who called you into fellowship with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word "call" looks like this in the Greek Bible, K a l e o. This, in the Greek grammar, is a tense that is a point in time. Some place along the line you said, "I believe" and accepted Christ. You trusted in him, but it is in the grammar passive voice. You did not decide to be saved, passive voice. You don't see it in English, but you read in Greek. You say, boy, that's a passive voice there. God had to call me. God did the whole thing. That's right, Buster. You're just a mass of lost humanity. You have no claim upon God for heaven, and all of a sudden God says, "You, I call you." When he calls, you come. If He does not call, you got all kinds of religion. That's why Jesus said the gate is small, the way is narrow, and few there be that find it. But the broad road is filled with people going to the lake of destruction. Why is it a small gate? Because Jesus Christ is the gate. Why is it narrow? Because He's the way, and most of the world rejects Him as savior. Do not fall into the trap of thinking God has many ways to heaven. He's a good old grandfather who's going to let the grandkids get away with something that he shouldn't. He is not going to violate His Holiness, and the condemnation upon those with all their sincere religion will be horrendous. You are not going to make it. That's why most people will not be saved. Who are going to be saved? The kaleo. I call you. I pick you. It's a statement of fact. When you know that, then "it is finished" really has some significance. And when you know that that wall has been removed to enable you to come into that inner circle of fellowship, why on earth would you want to wander around and waste your life? You see, this is why the Lord says: what does it profit a man, a Christian man, if he gain the whole world all the money and all the reputation and everything under the sun, and then lose his life... waste his life? This is a person who is a Christian who could have stored treasure in heaven. What does he do? Trivializes his life, and he goes to heaven, I Corinthians 3, suffering loss.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
These two circle diagrams make it all clear the Christians daily conduct is this temporal fellowship circle in Christ. He may be out of that inner circle, but he's never out of the outer circle in Christ. So the doctrine of positional truth, there's certain things we should know about it. First, you enter the position in Christ, and that's a place of positional truth through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized." Wait, wait, wait a minute. Where's the water here? A baptism without water? Yup. Seven baptisms in the Bible. Three are wet, and four are dry. Here's one of the dry ones. The baptism "into one body" that is the church, "whether Jews or gentiles, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one spirit," all indwelt by one Holy Spirit. Now, when you are baptized in Christ, you're out of in Adam, the place of death. You're in Christ, the place of life. When does this happen? At the point of salvation.
So please don't listen to Pat Robertson. He's a dingo. Anytime he talks about the doctrines of the Holy Spirit, he's got it all botched up. I heard him the other day telling people how you people who are Christians must get the baptism of the Holy Spirit so that you have power in your life. That isn't where power comes from. The power on Pentecost was because they were, what does the Scripture say, "filled with the Spirit."
Filling of the Spirit
You know what it is to be filled with the Spirit, to be in the inner circle. It means that the Spirit of God is like saying that boy is just full of football. What does that mean? It means football controls him. To be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit.
When we are baptized into Him, that is how we establish positional truth, a positional relationship with Christ. We enter the position by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place at salvation. It is not after salvation. You can't be saved without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That's how you get out of Adam into Christ. You didn't have the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Every one of you here have it as a result of being saved. You're Christians. You've been baptized by the Holy Spirit. The carnal believer and a spiritual believer, they're both equally in Christ. They've both been baptized by the Holy Spirit.
Loss of Temporal Fellowship
This can be demonstrated in part by 1 Corinthians. Paul has to write to this church because there's a lot of carnality, a lot of sinful things going on in this church. 1 Corinthians 1:2. Notice how Paul addresses this church, and boy, he's going to take it to the rack for sins. Incest, all kinds of sexual things going on in this church, and nobody's doing anything about it. So he comes to verse 2 in the introduction here, 1 Corinthians 1:2, "To the church of God which is at Corinth," the city, "to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." These people are in the depths of carnality, and he calls them sanctified in Christ Jesus, which means set apart into Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:30, he says, "But by His doing," you Christians in Corinth, with all your barnacles of carnality, "you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption."
So there are lots of Christians, who are out of the inner circle of temporal fellowship. They are still in Christ, but they're wasting their lives.
Eternal Fellowship Is Eternal
Positional truth protects the believer from the divine judgment of eternity. Romans 8:1 we showed you says no condemnation possible, so that you lose your salvation again. It is not the Christians walk that saves them. It is the relationship to Christ and that cannot be severed. Christian positional truth qualifies a Christian to live with God forever. We receive it when we are in Christ, we receive eternal life, 1 John 5:11-12, "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." How do I get the son of God? I trust in Christ to save me? Why do I do that? Because God the Father says my Son has paid for your sin. He's removed the wall.
I have warned all of our staff at summer camp. Do not use pop Christianity phrases that are meaningless, that are cutesy poo in the big time churches like invite Jesus into your heart, take Him into your life, give Him your life, all the other pluses to being saved by believing the gospel. Nowhere in Scripture. 125 times in the book of John alone, a book designed to tell you how to go to heaven, and again and again it's believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust in Him. Now anybody can understand. I believe in God. Or no I think that's a lie, I don't think God sees that way, you know, whether you believe or not.
And God says, as Paul did, "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed against that day." If you believed in Christ, that's what salvation is. That's one thing we get.
Secondly, positional truth not only brings us eternal life, and by the way eternal life, do I have to explain the English language to you? The Bible is written in plain, ordinary, everyday English. Eternal life means forever. You can't have eternal life for six months or until you misbehave. Otherwise, it is not eternal life; because, it's the same word to describe the life of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 gives you the other part. You not only have eternal life because of forgiveness of sins, you must also have the absolute righteousness of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Christ bore our sin. He gave us his absolute righteousness. It takes forgiveness of sins and absolute righteousness to go to heaven. You have to have them both.
So what does this do? It produces a wonderful new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man," and the Greek word there for man means any human being, "is in Christ," no longer in Adam, "he is a new creature;" or more specifically, a new creation, "the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
Don't make a mistake here as is so often made by zealots, who try to figure out ways to get Christians to behave themselves and want to do it on some other way than doctrine and living in fellowship with God the Holy Spirit. That's how to get your kids to do right. They know doctrinal principles that the Spirit of God will bring up to their mind to apply at points of temptation and stress. What he says you'll become a new creation is that you have crossed this barrier, and now you are no longer in Adam and doomed. You are in Christ and headed for eternal life. A new creature; you're a new species of creatures is what the Greek means. You are no longer under the condemned category.
That's the great and wonderful thing of "it is finished." It guarantees that we have crossed the wall, crossed over to the other side, and we can never come back again.
Summary of Positional Truth
So here's some summary characteristics of positional truth.
It's not an Experience
First of all, it's not an experience. Positional truth is neither emotional nor ecstatic. It is something that God does for us at the moment of salvation. When you're saved, you may be under great personal stress. You may be in tears of condemnation because of the Holy Spirit. That's a one thing the Holy Spirit does. Remember, for the unsaved person. The Holy Spirit will do nothing for an unsaved person. He won't answer a prayer. He won't provide anything. But there's one thing, John, 16:11 and those verses right there tell us. One thing that the Spirit of God does, since you do not have a living human spirit which is required to understand spiritual things, God the Holy Spirit interjects himself and makes the gospel clear, convicts you of sin, righteousness and judgement. Suddenly you realize, I know I'm a sinner, I am sinning the sin of not believing, the sin of unbelief. I am guilty of unrighteousness. I'm not as good as God. How can I make it; judgment? Satan has been beaten on the cross. He no longer can control you. God has provided a way out. When you realize that, and until a person does realize that, they will never say I believe it. But the minute they get that, they believe it. I've seen people in the service some time who I knew were unsaved and were explaining these things that God has done at all. Suddenly I've seen them jerk up and their eyes open. They look up, and I say, well, the Holy Spirit is just given them a whammy and jerked them into the family of God. They finally saw it, and they believed it.
Some people have that kind of an experience, but generally there's no experience. There's no emotion. It's just, "I know this is true." You see there's no such thing as a head belief and a heart belief. You can't believe with your heart. You have to believe with your head. When the Bible says for with a heart man believeth unto righteousness, it doesn't mean that the old pumper is what you're believing with; you're getting it going fast and exciting. So you get a good jump and jivin' meeting going so your hearts running fast and now you can believe. No, you believe up here (your brain). This is what the Bible uses the heart as a symbol of thought. I believe it. I accept it. Point number one, it is not experience.
It is not Progressive
It is not progressive. You cannot get more in Christ as time passes. You're in 100 percent.
It is Unrelated to Human Good or Merit
This is not related to your human good or merit subsequent to salvation. No Old Sin Nature capacity is involved before salvation to get salvation. Nor is there an Old Sin Nature capacity of human good or any effort involved after salvation to keep it. It is a work of God entirely, and the Bible says God said, I'm going to do it all along. So man cannot contaminate it. Then Paul says God can give it to us as a grace gift. You're not involved. God can give it to you as a grace gift. To me, that is a very precious point of doctrine to know.
It is Eternal
Positional truth is eternal in nature. Once you are in Christ, that cannot be changed by man, cannot be changed by an angel. It cannot be changed by Satan. Cannot be changed by God Himself. God is perfect. The salvation He gives you as a free gift cannot be made imperfect by something man does because He doesn't let you get your hands on the process. Please remember that believing is not a work. Believing is non-meritorious. It is accepting that God is not lying.
It is only Known from Scripture
Positional truth is only known from the word of Scripture. I know I'm in Christ because I believe the revelation of Scripture.
It is Secured at your New Birth
Finally, position in Christ is that you secure complete in every respect at the moment of your new birth. What you now have are all the privileges of the heavenly blessings that God is sitting up in heaven, tapping His foot, waiting to pour out on you, all that is now yours, the church age blessings. I can't get into that. You know the long list of things; privacy of the priesthood, personal priesthood and all that, the knowledge of doctrine, the power. What took Jesus Christ through in his humanity? - The knowledge of doctrine and being in the inner circle of temporal fellowship. He was never out of it. When you are in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and the principles of doctrine are stored in your human spirit, then the Spirit of God cycles that up to you and boy when you need to know it, it is going to pop into your mind. Don't expect your children do right when no one has taught them the doctrines of rightness. When they know doctrine and they know how to confess their own sins and stay in fellowship with God the Holy Spirit in that inner circle, they'll be a winner every time. They can choose to be prodigals, but at least they have a means to succeed. So do you. So do we all.
Thank you, our God, our Father, for this great truth about being in Adam and at being in Adam by our natural birth, the place of death, and being brought out of it by an act of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, upon our faith in Christ, Thy grace to us, a salvation that places us in a family of God, so that now we can live as human beings in the image of Christ and rise to the highest potential and service for which we were born. We thank You for this. In Jesus name, amen.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1999
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