Position in Christ
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."2 Timothy 3:16-17
"But false prophets also rose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." 2 Peter 2:1-3
"Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." 2 Timothy 1:13-14
This morning we direct your attention once more to our subject of the 7 Last Words, increment number 16. We have been giving some detailed explanation about what was behind those dramatic words of the Lord Jesus when he proclaimed on the cross, "It is finished." And we have been showing you that what he meant was that there was an enormous barrier between God and man, and this barrier had to be removed.
Some of you may feel you need to visit your eye doctor, but I can fix that for you because we have an in-house doctor here. Thank you. One of the nice things about having some of our people go on is you realize how many things are done and you never bother to thank people for it, for it's just automatically expected to be done. (talking here about problem with overhead projector)
Heavenly Side vs. Eternal Death Side
Well, here's God. Here's Salvation, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That's a heavenly side. Here's the lost, eternal death side; destiny is the Lake of Fire. One problem after another was brought on us by Adam. He socked us into the slave market of Sin to Satan. He covered us with moral guilt. He put us to death spiritually. He confronted us with the holiness of God, which we could never possibly match up to. We have shown how God has removed each one of those problems through Christ on the cross.
Position in Christ
We have come to the worst thing of all; our position in Christ. You don't hear a lot of preaching about position. People do not know what positional truth is. But here in Adam is a place that all of us are born, it's a place of death and nobody goes to Heaven who is in Adam. Most of the human race is Adam. Most of the human race remains in Adam because they think that the world is a wonderful place and that those who are their associates know about the things of God.
We have found that Christ came in with his death. At the point of your salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit takes you out of Adam and places you in Christ. Suddenly you're in a position of safety and of eternal life. This last block is all that was remaining to remove the wall completely between God and man. Now, when I say this wall is removed, that means that there's no more issue between God and man. If you're running around trying to be good enough, it's useless. That's been taken care of. You have to be as good as Jesus Christ. I got that into one of the camp fires. It's amazing how even with the youngsters who know something about the Bible, you ask them how good do you have to be to go to Heaven? They just can't say as good as Jesus Christ. They consider that impossible. Then you have to show them that that is exactly what is required. But God has to give you that as a present. I said you would understand if somebody said that you should have a million dollars. You say it's impossible, but if somebody gave it to you, you would have it. That's what God did with eternal life and removal of this wall. So the point is, anybody who ends up here in the Lake of Fire did it in spite of the fact that there's no problem between that person and God anymore.
They are good enough. Everything necessary has been done. The one thing they didn't do is accept the gift. You don't reach out and take the gift. You have nothing. On one occasion, an academy chapel, kindergarten kids sat on this front row. I was talking to them about the idea of believing and what that does and dealing with God.
So I took out a nice one dollar bill and I said, sit out here in front. So I'm going to give this dollar bill to any kindergarten student who will come up and take it. I will give it to you as a gift. Anybody who believes that I'll give you this dollar bill, please come up and get it.
And they looked at one another. Nobody moved. Then I said, "Anybody, if you will believe me, if you'll trust me, I'll give you this dollar bill." And finally, one little kid got up and started moving. And I said, "Do you think I'm going to give you this dollar right now?" And he sat down again, lost his courage. Finally, some little shifty eye kid on the end, been watching us, analyzing, put his shoulders back, walked up, reached down, took the dollar bill and sat down.
And all the other kids looked at him and I said, "OK, students, this is God who says, I'll give you eternal life, but you have to accept it. You have to believe that God has covered your sin and you trust him to take you to Heaven."
One boy in a class was happy. The rest of them hated themselves the rest of the day. But at least that was only for the day. To have to hate yourself for all eternity because you don't believe God, that is the problem.
All Believers In Christ Removed From Being "In Adam"
Now all this wall is gone. The problem is believing God and accepting the gift. At the point of salvation, the church age believer is removed from being in Adam, and he is placed in Christ.
All Christians Are Filled With the Holy Spirit
Now, I've already gone over this with you in 1 Corinthians 12:13 about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. "By One Spirit, are we all baptized into one body." That happens at the point of salvation. What does Satan do? Satan gets great religious groups to twist a certain point of doctrine that is very critical, and the charismatic movement is defective not only on the subject of salvation because in the charismatic movement you can be lost again after you are saved. So it's how you behave yourself. But they also are totally defective about the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Once you're a Christian, that one doctrine you cannot afford to be wrong on is what the Bible teaches about how to be related to God the Holy Spirit; how to be filled with the spirit, because that's where life is. And that's what will enrich your eternity. So when Pat Robertson gets up and says, "Come and pray, we're going to pray for those of you who need and who want the power of God to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit," he doesn't know what he's talking about, but plenty of people listen to him. Satan is so clever, people will say he's on television. He must be important. He must know something.
Everybody who is a Christian has received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, because it means being put into Christ. Just like in water baptism you are put into the symbol of the water to rise to newness of life. Now, being in Jesus Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we have pointed out to you is a bit of positional truth. This is a position. You don't wake up and say, I feel like I've been baptized into Christ. It has no emotional connotation. It is a position.
Temporal vs. Eternal Fellowship
When you are when you have trusted Christ as Savior, you're immediately placed into the inner circle where you are controlled by the Holy Spirit. The outer circle is salvation. The inner circle is fellowship with God where blessing comes. When you step out of that inner circle, you don't lose salvation, but boy, do you ever lose your brains. Pretty soon the other kids in a neighborhood do things and you do it, even though Satan is the one who's having them do it. Pretty soon they question things about God; you say, oh, I'll question them too. You lose your trust in Christ because your eyes are now on yourself and the devil. This is his playground and he loves to get you out there. Takes confession of known sin to come back into that circle once more.
One of the counselors came to me the last day, I think it was yesterday when we were getting everything into high gear. He said, I gotta tell you this. This boy in my cabin, found out that he's Roman Catholic. We don't make any accommodations for false doctrine in Summer Camp. What the Word of God teaches is what we teach. He said this boy sat down, he said, "listen, I got to know about this. Dr. Danish was talking about being able to go to Heaven because God has done it all for me. Where Mr. Gitchell in a Bible class is talking to us about salvation. The Bible teachers or are telling us that here is something that God has done for us."
Then one night I told these boys, if you want to grow up to be a magnificent man, there's 3 things you need to do as a Christian. You read the Word of God on a regular basis so that God's mind is your lifeline. It is feeding your soul. Secondly, you talk to God in prayer. We talked a little bit about how to do that. You don't pray to Jesus. We pray to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit on a basis of the authority of Christ. Then I pointed out to them that confession of known sins is the only way to stay in touch with God. If you don't do that, you're going to go down in your Christian life.
This boy said, I don't want to go confessing my sins to my priest. It really makes me feel creepy. So the counselor said, well, you know, how serious are your parents about being Catholic? So they're not, they don't really do anything. They send me because they want me to grow up to be a nice guy. Well the counselor said, "You had to be born again. You've learned, your teachers have told you that in Bible class. That's where it starts. Then you walk with God and your confession is to Him." The boy said, "I want what you guys have here at Camp. What you counselors show in eternal life, that's the kind of life I want." I mean, we're just about blown out of the water, somebody coming and talking like that. That's about like when we're getting that new brochure printed and that man looking over the picture says, "Why are there so many people on the one road and so few on the others?" Talk about walking into the buzz saw of the gospel! So this kid, I mean, it was the Spirit of God moving. So our counselor explained, he said "Doctor Danish, he accepted Christ." He said I could see the relief on his face, the happiness that he has a relationship suddenly with God that's real. All of that religious nonsense and ritual that he's been going through is gone. I hope he can survive when he gets home. And I hope that as a new Christian, he can hang in there with the things he's already received basics from us so that his parents will give him a hearing and maybe he will be their agent to eternal life.
But being in the Lord Jesus Christ is a position of being accepted in the beloved Christ as the beloved one. We have been removed from that by Adam. But people don't know this, and nobody explains what the simple gospel is. But God accepts us into Heaven because we are in Christ. He rejects us from Heaven, if all we are is in Adam. But our position in Christ qualifies a believer for Heaven. It's based upon the perfect goodness of Jesus Christ and all that He has done.
Results of Position In Christ
Adopted Into the Family of God
Now, there are certain results of this position in Christ. And as we pointed out, is not something you feel; it's something you know on the basis of Scripture. One of the wonderful things that happens when you have been baptized into Christ so that you're out of Adam and in Christ, what this block that Christ has removed for us, is that you are adopted into the family of God.
This is taught in Galatians 4, Galatians 4:4-5 "When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." The word adoption looks like this in the Greek Bible. And I put it up here because I'm going to explain this word to you. "Whiothesia," w h i o t h e s i a, because we always have to remind people that in this pulpit you're not receiving the opinions of the pastor-teacher, you're receiving the truth of the mind of God. That is in these words in which the Spirit of God originally wrote the Scriptures.
This word adoption, the whiothesia, means "placing as a son." It doesn't mean placing someone into your family as a son who is outside your blood ties to make you a legal son. That's what we think of adoption: somebody that is not related to me by blood, and I take them into my family and make them my sons, my daughters. This is the practice of ancient times that a boy was not called a man's son until he came to a certain age. Then the father performed a ceremony with him called the "whiothesia." When that formal ceremony was made and this Son now had the right to everything the father owned; he had the right to all the possession, all the inheritance, all the privileges. He was a full standing adult son. He was no longer a kid in a family.
And until the "whiothesia" had been done, his official position was not established. His relationship, of course, was not involved; of course he was a son. He was the son by being born into that family. But to be declared a son with all the privileges appertaining thereto, that took a formal declaration. Now, this is what the apostle Paul is telling us. As hard as it is for us to conceive of it, this is related to the Christian's position rather than to his relationship to God. We become children of God by New Birth at the point of faith in Christ. At that point, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit takes us out of Adam, puts us in a position in Christ. God immediately, then also declares us to be adult sons with full privileges pertaining to the church age believer. We have relationships to God.
We have power systems with God that the Jew never had, never could have. The Jew never was in dwelt by the Holy Spirit, except periodically to perform a certain task, and the spirit would leave him. But here in the Church Age, we are constantly indwelt by the Spirit of God. As long as we stay in the inner circle of Temporal Fellowship, the world is our oyster. Power is the name of the game. We have the right to stand before God as our own priest. Nobody stands between us and God. You've got a problem with God. You don't go to a preacher to intercede, your priest, your bishop; you go directly to God. You never could do that. The Jew was in an infinitely inferior position spiritually all around.
I don't want to get into that whole realm of the privileges that are ours as Christians in our relationship to God. But one of the things we share is this ceremony of adoption so that we become joint heirs with Jesus Christ, whatever belongs to Christ as the son of God now suddenly belongs to us. The Jew would have considered that blasphemy to say something like that. Whatever belongs to the second person of the Trinity in His humanity is also ours to claim, because we are joint heirs of God with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, this is the only brotherhood that the Word of God recognizes. There is no other brotherhood of humanity. God is not everyone's father. It is important for you to realize that the saddest thing about mankind is that most people are not going to make it to Heaven. The brotherhood of man, the fatherhood of God, that's a liberal term. That's terminology to escape the fact that some people are in and some people are out when it comes with God. And you should understand that the religious world is the one that is mostly out with God. Don't make the mistake, you kids don't make the mistake, of thinking that because as some preacher, because of some religious group, they know what they're talking about, they can guide you to God. Most of them don't. Most of the people who are going to end up in the Lake of Fire, a large number of them are going to come out of churches because they gave them a botched up plan of salvation. God has one way and only one way. He is not everyone's father. Everyone is not my brother.
Listening to the World is Listening to Satan's Lies
Please notice John 8. Jesus made this distinction to the most religious people on the face of the Earth at the time and people who should have known better because they had the Scripture of the Old Testament. John 8:43-45. Jesus said to the Pharisees and those who are challenging Him. "Why do you not understand what I am saying?"[I'll tell you why.] "It is because you cannot hear my word." What He means there, they listen to the Scripture, but they don't understand it. I have spent a lot of my life sitting in church where the preachers are reading out of the Scriptures and nobody understands it. It goes over the people's heads, but it's nice, pleasant religious words, so they feel that they worship God by doing this. Why do you not understand me? Jesus said I'd spoken to you clearly. Why is it that you cannot hear My word? Verse 44. "You are of your father the devil." Great murmur of indignation to the crowd. What did he say? He said, the devil is our father, not the father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. "And you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar and the father of lies." OK, who organizes the world? We came down very hard on this in Camp and we're going to do it again next week. The world system is organized by Satan and everything that Satan puts in, he's a liar. The educational system, he's a liar. In the business world, he's a liar. In the social world, he's a liar and in moral matters, he's a liar. In all the relationships of life and marital relationships, family relationships, listen to the world, and you're listening to Satan's lies.
Unless you had the Word of God to be able to test like a good Berean should, you'll be deceived. Verse 45, Jesus says, "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me." That's so amazing. Most people think Jesus is the one who's not telling the truth. Consequently, if that being the case with Satan, this makes Matthew 7:13-14 so much more understandable, when Jesus said "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it, "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it."
I am amazed at how angry this Scripture makes people of the world. "Few are those who find it." I've heard some of the most sharp responses from people when they let the words say what they mean that most of the human race will end up in the Lake of Fire. They get so mad; "God is love, God would not do that, God knows I'm sincere, I'm doing the best I know how." It's not good enough. The wall has been removed. You can't do anything except accept what God has done. You accept the gift. That's the issue, not something that you're doing to make it with God.
The Narrow Gate
It's a narrow gate, small gate. The way is narrow. What is it based on? John, 10. Who is the gate? John 10:7, "Jesus therefore said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.'" Oh, I am the door into the sheep hole of eternal life? Just Jesus alone? "I am the door." That is a very small door indeed. Then who's the way? John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth and the life.'" Then here's the kicker. "'No one comes to the Father but through Me.'" So you can forget the religions of the world. You can forget all the Christian religions that have turned liberal and have rejected Jesus Christ as the only way into heaven. There is no other way. He is the door and He is the road. You reject Him, and that's why Jesus said few there be that find Him, few there be that find a way to eternal life, and few there be that can come to the father.
There is no brotherhood of man. There is no fatherhood of God except that which is based upon Jesus Christ. Now, positional truth puts us into the position that we are in the family of God with full adult privileges. The Holy Spirit gives us assurance of this position. He confirms the truth of Scripture, Relative Salvation. Galatians 4:6, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying 'Abba! Father!'"
The average Catholic is taught to be in great fear of God. He is in fear of the Father. He is in fear of the wrath of Jesus Christ. That's why the Virgin Mary placed such a great role. You go to the mother. The mother can wheedle things out of her son. The mother can cause the son to be to be sympathetic and to be kindly disposed toward you.
But the Word of God says you are sons of God. Well, how? Because you came through this small door, Jesus Christ. You follow the narrow path of trusting in Him, salvation by faith. Therefore, the Spirit of God who now immediately indwells you causes you to have a peaceful relationship with a holy God. The word ABBA is an Aramaic word. ABBA Father, the best translation in English is Daddy. It's a very intimate word so that we call God our Daddy. You don't call somebody Daddy unless there's an affection, unless there is something close, unless there is a camaraderie, a form of familial relationship.
We have to laugh in the Academy. Children became so close to us years ago when I used to teach second grade. And we had these terrific second graders. It became like a family group. Some child would have a difficulty with some problem. They'd walk up to my desk and the kid would say, "Daddy, ... Oh, I'm sorry, Dr. Danish." Pretty soon they lost track of who is the father and who is whom in that class, because the relationship, the friendliness was there.
Now, if you're a born again person, positional truth tells you you have been adopted into full privileges of the son of God, and that's your Daddy and everything that He has, He is delighted to give you.
The full manifestation however of this, there is one thing that is the final manifestation of the fact that you've been adopted into the family of God with full privileges, which means you're not a loser. You don't have to be a loser. Victory all the way. That is in Romans 8:23, "And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."
Joint Heirs With Christ
The last expression of your adoption in the full privilege standing of the family of God is you can have a body glorified like Jesus Christ. So when you are resurrected in the rapture and you have a body free of the Sin Nature, you have a glorified body like Christ. That is the last piece of the magnificent transformation of adoption into the family of God. It is more than just being saved. There is more than just going to Heaven. You are going there as a joint heir of Jesus Christ; you're going there with everything God the Father can give you.
Now, when does He want to start giving you that? Right now. There are seven thousand promises in the Bible. Not one of them is good in Heaven. God the Father says, it is My desire to pour blessing upon you, to entrust you with such magnificent possessions, talents, time, freedom's, so that you may serve Me, and you may do the work to which I've called you so that your life can be enormously enriched in Heaven. This is not just something for the future. The resurrection, that's the end of the line, at the end of the line of being adopted into the family of God. This position is very powerfully contrasted in Romans 8:14-17.
Romans 8:14, to be an heir of God, to be in the family of God, and the significance of that adoption. Romans 8:14, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." This is the word of adult privilege. The Christian saint is the son of God. He is adopted. Verse 15, "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" You are not a slave. You're a son with adult privileges standing everything the father has. That's yours. You know how that is. Those of you have older children. They help themselves to your things. They help themselves to your socks. They'll help themselves to your car if they need it. If you leave the keys lying around. They don't bother worrying about it all. Daddy's got something I needed. I need to use it. It's mine. Of course, they know that the father's going to say, OK. Just don't mess it up and bring it back. It's the privileges of possessing all that pertains to use a child of God.
God Wants a Close Relationship With Us
Yet most Christians are how it related to God at a distance. All of the liturgical churches are at a distance. This is why I've been reading some Scriptures before prayer, after prayer, kind of tying it up. And one man came and said, Oh, Dr. Danish it's so nice for us to have some liturgical elements in our services at Berean. I knew what he meant because most churches, the preacher get up and he says something, and the choir goes something and then the people goes something else. You go to the next line.
I used to go to church for a year and I knew where the service began, page 35 in the book and every Sunday it clicked down. They'd say something. I'd say something. This was this, this was this, all very formalistic. Even the offering plate when it came by was very formalistic. I was a junior age boy one time, not sitting with my parents in church, and they forgot to give me my coin to put in the offering. Along comes the plate. I'm in panic because nobody lets a plate pass by. So what could I do? Being of a devout, devious mind and a conniving nature, I came up with a plan instantly with my computer like mind. As the offering plate went by the usher, you know they're kind of just being pleasant and not paying attention, I reached in real quick like I was putting something in. And all of a sudden he came alive and looked down at me. He thought I took something out, but I had to pretend to put something in there. I could not, I could not, not go through the motions. Is that a daddy relationship to God? Is that a closeness with your Heavenly Father? You sit down, OK, children, we're going to pray. Time for bed. "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord, my soul to keep. Somebody sneaks in here. Get him out." Whatever the rest of it is, say the same thing.
Some churches would die if some place in the service they all didn't say "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name." That's not even a Christian prayer, by the way. You notice it's not in Jesus name. It's a prayer that belongs to the kingdom age. But they're praying it now. Nobody ever tells him, "Whoa, wait a minute. This prayer does not belong in this age." Jesus was saying, when the kingdom comes, when the Millennium is here, I'm here, this the way we're going to pray. But all that is something else.
My point is this distance. How can you say Abba Father, my close Father? Because I am His Son, the spirit of adoption by which we cry out Abba Father. Romans 8:16 says "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." Now the thing changes. The first part, it says we are the sons of God, the "whiothesia" that we are. This part here now, it says we're the "teknon" t e k n o n, and "teknon" means "born ones," "people born into the family." It's the specific word of somebody who is born into your family. You're related to this individual by blood. So here you have natural ties, and we, by an act of the Spirit of God, have the confirmation within ourselves that we are the children of God.
You know it's very painful. Somebody did this to me recently, came up and said, "I know what the Scripture says, but I am really uneasy about whether I'm really saved." Now, that's a tough one. I just had to remind somebody like that, what did Paul say? "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day." I believe God. God does not lie. That's that. That's the name of the game. It's not something I feel. It's not something that strikes up within me. Yet, there is a peace. The Spirit of God bears witness with our human spirit, see it is our human spirit that's the one we learn with, we are the children, the born ones, and the family of God.
Then verse 17 says "and if children, heirs also," if we're born ones were heirs also, "heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him." We share His position of mature privilege because we have been adopted into His family. That is what it means to be in Christ and not in Adam.
Christians Also Suffer with Christ
That also means we suffer with Him. Christian service involves inevitably some element of suffering. In Galatians 4, the apostle Paul adds this to that same idea. We're in the family, we are privileged. Galatians 4:1 "Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything." We are not children, folks in the family of God. The moment you are born again spiritually, you are a new born Christian, but you are immediately with full privileges of an adult in the family.
Galatians 4:7 "Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." That is the magnificence of our position. So the first thing that is the result of positional truth is our adoption into the family of God as official heirs with full standing. The second thing is sanctification. Sanctified means to be holy, to be set apart and of God. The Bible uses it of things and of people. When it is used of things it has no moral implications. When it is used of people, it does.
When used of persons, this word has 3 meanings. We are sanctified. We are set aside to what? We are set aside in a position to God. Hebrews 10:10 puts it this way, "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." You and I, at the point of our trusting in Christ the Savior, (And please remember, nobody can do this for you. Your parents can't do this for you. This is a personal decision you make with God.) we have been set aside on the basis of what Christ did as a sacrifice in our behalf, once for all. This verse is telling you that you cannot lose your salvation again. If you are set aside as a result of something that Jesus Christ did with His body, and that you cannot undo that, and that put aside for a destiny that cannot be changed. You are set apart as saints forever in the reckoning of God.
Christians Still Sin
Does this imply you are without sin? No, it does not. In your daily experience, there is sin. I've shown you that 1 Corinthians was written to people who are very carnal, very sinful, and yet Paul says their saints and calls them that.
We are also in sanctification set apart in our experience. You are set apart in your destiny. You're now set apart in your experience. Romans 6:13 "and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourself to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." Should a Christian live a separated holy life? That's right. Should a Christian not do the things that are evil? That's right. Should the Christian talk about, as talk show host do, the terrible evils of the old sin nature? No, you should not talk about those things. You should not listen to those things. Paul says don't learn about those things. We are set apart from the control of sin in our experience. We are not going to live like the world. But if you are out of Temporal Fellowship, out of the inner circle, you will live like the world. The work of the Holy Spirit, indwelling us, guiding us through the Word of God, enables us to become really significant, magnificent human beings. What shall it profit a man he gains the whole world, a Christian man, and loses his life (His life, potential for storing treasures in Heaven with the good works that he performs)?
Our experience is not to live the ungodly life of the world. John 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth." Set them apart God by the word. It is the Word of God that keeps us straight. That's why absence from the church service is bad business. Yes, I know that a lot of places aren't teaching the Word, and you're going to have to send in for the Berean Memorial Church tape catalog and take up the slack.
2 Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." That's good news. We're already being changed into the image of Christ. Any Christian who walks with the Lord confession of sin, in the Word, prayer, you're getting to look more like Christ in your life all the time.
But if you're going along with the world, there should be something creepy in your soul every time you come into the context of the world. This is alien territory.
Our sanctification, being set apart in our experience, the basis for this is for us to be able to perform the will of God. This is not a feeling of emotion, but it brings joy and peace. And it gives us freedom from sin. It is God who wants to have fellowship with us, to walk with us.
The Christian Bar of Soap - 1 John 1:9
But if we're going to do that, we have to walk on the basis of His Word and on his rules. 1 John 1:7 "but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." If you were to walk in sin into the world, OK Fathers, don't expect your kids to turn out very well for you. Mothers don't expect your children to be obedient to you. Fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ is walking in the light of the Word. But if you have nobody who's teaching you and feeding you that Word, you're not going to know much about it. Please notice 1 John 1:9 there follows very closely, confession maintains this fellowship, this freedom from sin. You, as Christians, cannot say that you do not have a sin nature. Notice 1 John 1:8. "If we say that we have no sin [nature], we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." You are a Christian, but you can sin. God says in verse 10 there, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar," because God says yes, you do sin.
So here is the magnificence of sanctification that comes along with our adoption into the family of God. The Christian who understands that he is out of Adam into Christ must ask himself, how then should I live? And it's a different life, but it's the winner's life.
Keep living like you're still an Adam. I warn you once more, all this is going to be straightened out at the Judgment Seat of Christ, all of these differences. People jump on me with both feet and 2 claws when they hear me say things that are going to inhibit their lifestyle in the world. They don't like to be told that someday we will find out who's right and who's wrong. If you have a difference of opinion with the Word of God, you better enjoy it because the Word of God is going to win out. Why squander your life? As I told the boys up at camp? You may now go home and live like a prince or a pig, but you will make that choice.
Our Father, we thank You for our place as full adult children in Your family with all the privileges because You are our Father. Nothing is to be withheld from us. We thank Thee for our sanctification, our setting apart to walking a life of blessing, a life of joy, a life of peace and a life of meaningful service. Help us to realize, Father, that we who have multiple gifts, we have multiple time, we have multiple talents, we have multiple means, we are going to be held more responsible for what we do with these things in terms of Christian service and those who have less. Help us to realize, our Father, that we have been set aside to serve. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1999
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