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Risen With Christ
By David A. DePra
hath raised us up
made us sit
Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
There is an emphasis in the thinking of most Christian people, as well as
in Christian teaching, upon the fact that Jesus DIED for us.
Of course, without the death of Jesus on the Cross there could be nothing
more. But have we forgotten the
resurrection? And what that
resurrection means for us as His people?
that there is an emphasis upon the death of Christ, sometimes to the exclusion
of the resurrection, because His death speaks to our sin and our need to be
right with God. We have to contend
with sin every day and most of us don’t feel right with God.
So we keep going back to His death.
This is perfectly fine – but not if we leave it there.
A Christianity that focuses solely upon the death of Jesus Christ is not
the Truth. After all, Christianity
is new LIFE in Christ.
Immediately before He gave up His spirit, Jesus proclaimed, “It is finished.”
What was finished? Well,
whatever Jesus said was finished had to be finished by His death, but BEFORE His
resurrection. Thus, if we leave out
His resurrection, what did Jesus finish solely by His death?
race – and all the sin that was in it.
Jesus was The Last Adam -- not only because He perfected what the Adam
race was supposed to be in God’s purpose through His sinless living – but He was
The Last Adam because He then ENDED the Adam race through His death on the
Cross. Jesus had been the
perfection of the Adam race, but then offered Himself for the rest of us – He
bore the rest of us and all of our sin in Himself on the Cross, and then DIED.
This ENDED the Adam race.
Through His resurrection there came to be A NEW CREATION or race.
race was finished at the Cross. God
had told Adam if he sinned he would die and that judgment was never revoked – it
was simply carried out to the full in Jesus Christ.
The entire Adam race was placed in Christ on the Cross and in Him all who
are in Adam died. The Adam race was
ended and finished – not yet as to existence – but ended as far as the full
judgment of God.
a common misunderstanding among Christians regarding this matter of the death of
Jesus. Many think that because
Jesus died as our substitute that God then LIFTED from the Adam race the death
sentence. But this is never taught
in scripture, for if it were true, there would be no new creation in Christ.
The fact is, God never lifted the judgment of death from the Adam race.
Rather, it was carried out to the full in Christ.
But because Christ died for us, we can DIE IN HIM – and be delivered OUT
of the Adam race through His death, and INTO the new creation in Christ Jesus
through His resurrection.
believer comes to Jesus Christ by faith, it means they are losing their life to
Him and taking their place in His death.
Because Jesus died FOR us, we are able to die IN HIM – we are able to be
crucified WITH Christ; buried WITH Him into baptism into HIS death.
Or, as Paul says in Romans, “we are planted together with Him in the
likeness of His death.” Thus, His
death is more than just a death FOR those born in Adam – it is also our death TO
ADAM. If we are crucified with
Christ we DIE to the Adam race. We
are no longer IN ADAM.
why Jesus was able to say, “It is finished.”
The Adam race – and our captivity to that fallen race, with all of the
heredity of sin therein – was finished.
It was finished through HIS DEATH – and then the planting of the believer
into His death.
and Joined to the Lord
that is joined to the Lord is one spirit (with Him).
(I Cor. 6:17)
us have a LEGAL grasp of the Redemption if we have any at all.
Indeed, some of our ideas of what Jesus did are simply wrong.
For example, many Christians think that the problem between God and man
is God – God is mad at man because of sin and has condemned man to death.
But Jesus came and died for us -- to supposedly appease God.
And then because of Jesus’ death, God was able to lift from the Adam race
the condemnation of death. To many
of us, this is, “forgiveness,” and, “salvation” – God’s lifting of the
punishment of death from the Adam race.
you examine this notion, there is no mention at all of newness of life – other
than to define newness of life as no longer being under a legal condemnation of
death. But that isn’t newness of
life at all. It is merely the same
old Adam race – except now, “forgiven,” and, stamped with the destiny of heaven.
This is NOT redemption. It
is not the Truth.
want to discover the Truth on this matter, it goes right back to the very
definition of Christianity: “Christ
in you.” (Col. 1:27)
And Paul leaves no doubt as to what that means:
“Christ in you,” means that you and I are, “joined to the Lord and are
one spirit with Him.” Christ is in
us in that we are one with Him in spirit – our quickened human spirit is one
with His Spirit. Or, if you prefer,
we are IN CHRIST. Either way, we
are ONE with Him spiritually.
changes everything. And it explains
why Paul was able to say we are planted in Christ – into His death AND
We are one with Him, and thus, His death becomes OURS – not just legally,
but truly. In Christ, our Adam –
our old man – died. In addition, it
explains how we have eternal life – we have eternal life because we are one with
THE LIFE, who is a Person, Jesus Christ.
He IS our life. We are
planted WITH HIM in His resurrection.
to realize that we are ONE with Jesus Christ – and that this is the core
definition of Christianity – and that HE carries ALL that God has for man –
failure to understand this great Truth will blind us to so much else that God
has for us. But realize that Jesus
Christ IS our life, and IS the source of all that God has for us – not a Christ
off somewhere in heaven, but the Christ with whom we are ONE – realize that, and
all of a sudden everything else, including so many Bible passages, becomes
people have been blinded to the reality of, “Christ in us.”
We have been offered almost everything else as Christianity.
But there is nothing else.
Christ is Christianity – Christ IN US.
We are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with Him.
We are one with Him in His death.
We are one with Him in His resurrection.
These are not merely historical events that happened FOR US – but rather,
they are spiritual realities that are now carried in Christ – the same Christ
with whom we are ONE.
purpose of God is now to form Christ in the believer; to bring us into an inward
realization and revelation of His Son.
In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
In Christ we have all that God has to give.
We are to be made conformable to His death – His death into which we are
planted. We are to walk in the
power of His resurrection – His life into which we are planted or made one.
It is all about HIM – the living Christ with whom we are one in spirit.
Obviously, without the death of Christ on the Cross there is NOTHING.
There is no resurrection; there is no new creation.
Unless Christ died, we are still alive in Adam.
Jesus could have never said, “It is finished.”
death of Christ is NOT, in and of itself, the new creation.
Death is NOT life. It makes
new life possible, but death, of itself, is not life.
It is death. That is why it is
error to tell someone that they need to, “keep their faith in the Cross,” or,
“to put their faith in Christ crucified.”
No. Our faith is not in what
Christ DID – it is in the One who did it – the Person of Jesus Himself.
Put your faith in Christ and you will be brought face to face with all
that He did – and you will have to take your place in His death.
But not once in the entirety of the NT will you ever read that we need to
put our faith in the Cross, or in merely what Jesus DID.
No. Christ is alive.
He dwells IN the believer.
HE is the object of our faith – which, it our faith is real, will ALWAYS include
all that He accomplished for us.
death of Jesus finished the Adam race and all the sin that was therein.
But what did His resurrection accomplish?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ did not FIX or REPAIR the Adam race.
No. Neither did the
resurrection of Jesus Christ eradicate the Adam race, replacing it, and causing
it to cease to exist. No.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ resulted in a NEW RACE; a new creation.
especially important to grasp as it pertains to our Christian experience.
It means that when you are raised with Christ, it does not eradicate your
old nature – not by getting rid of it or replacing it.
No. The Adam nature is still
there in the believer. Neither does
our resurrection in Christ FIX and IMPROVE the old Adam nature.
No. It is still there just
like it was before. Rather – and
this is vital to see – in Christ we are raised FROM OUT OF the old Adam nature –
in spirit only during this age – into newness of life.
To say it
rather mechanically, God does nothing to our old nature in Adam when we are
saved. Not in this age.
But we are JOINED to the Lord in our spirit – in other words – Christ is
ADDED to us. Thus, we have a human
being who is completely natural and in the flesh – all of which stays the same –
but who is now IN SPIRIT joined to the Lord.
This joining raises us up OUT OF the old as our life – it is still there
– and seats us with Christ in heavenly places – He is now our life.
Bible does sometimes say that the old man dies in Christ – “our old man is
crucified in Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed.”
But from another point of view, in this age, that old man does not die –
that old man can be quite active in us, can he not?
Sure. That is why it is
sometimes said that WE DIE TO the old man.
But either way – whether we say the old man dies, or whether we say that
we die TO the old man – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has severed
us from the old creation in Adam and raised us up as new creations in Christ
we see the utter finality of what Christ has done?
In His death, the Adam race was ended – the Adam race was finished being
the life of, and the master of, those who come to Christ.
We have died to Adam. But
that alone would not save us – death alone doesn’t save.
Rather, once dead to Adam we are raised alive in Christ.
He is our life and our salvation.
Hopefully, we can see why our faith must be in the Person of Jesus Christ.
If we try to put our faith in the Cross alone, there would be no LIFE in
Christ. If we try to put our faith
in the resurrection alone, there would be no DEATH to the old.
Thus, we put our faith in the Christ who embodies ALL that He has done.
If we are planted into Christ we are planted into both His death and
resurrection and they are both dynamics that work in us through Him.
picture of Christ as the Vine and ourselves as the branches harmonizes perfectly
with the picture of being planted into Christ.
In Adam, we are also planted into a vine – the vine of the Adam race.
This vine is dead spiritually.
Thus, all of the branches are likewise dead – and worse.
When we come to Christ and take our place in His death on the Cross, we
are telling God to sever us from the old Adam vine.
We renounce it – we relinquish it.
But this alone won’t save us.
For if we are planted into His death, we are likewise planted into His
resurrection, and thus, engrafted into Jesus Christ as our Vine and only life.
We have died to the old and been raised out of it into the new who is a
by His Life
if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
several Truths here, not the least of which is the fact that we are saved, not
solely by the death of Jesus, but actually by His resurrection life.
You will note that we are reconciled to God by the death of Christ –
sure, because through His death we are dead to the Adam life which was at enmity
against Him. All that stood between
God and man was ended when the Adam race was ended at the Cross.
But this alone saved no one – because it alone did not put life into
anyone. Having been delivered from
the Adam race we are actually saved BY HIS LIFE – because if Christ is in us; if
we are joined to Him – HE IS OUR LIFE.
There is another
Truth in this passage that we can only briefly touch upon.
It is a Truth repeated in II Cor. 5.
Paul says, “If One died for all, then were all dead.”
It gets back to the fact that the Adam race ended through the Cross.
Jesus Christ bore the entire Adam race down into His death on the Cross.
No exceptions – every member of the Adam race who ever lived or will ever
live was placed into Jesus Christ on the Cross and brought down into His death.
That is why Paul can say, “If one died for all, then were all dead.”
It is why Jesus could say, “It is finished.”
The Adam race died in Christ.
Now, this does not
mean universal salvation. No.
But it does mean universal death – the Adam race is ended.
It does not matter whether a person puts their faith in Christ or not –
the Adam race ended in Christ.
Indeed, Jesus Christ did die for every member of the Adam race – whether they
put their faith in Him or not. BUT
– and we must hear this – it is only those who come to Christ and embrace His
death for them that can be RAISED in Him.
Death always WAS
universal, wasn’t it? Because of
the sin of Adam that is a fact. But
life was never universal. Jesus did
die for all – all are dead and He took that upon Himself – but only those who
embrace Him are raised, saved, and become one with Him.
The rest are left in death.
also why the sin of the human race – despite all of the other sin we could name
– the sin of the human race is UNBELIEF.
Just as only faith in Christ will save us, so it is that only unbelief –
the refusal to believe once light is given – can condemn us.
Sure. Christ died for all.
But only those who believe are raised.
saved by His life – impossible unless we embrace His death – but we are saved by
His life because we are united with LIFE HIMSELF.
The believer is united with Christ in His death – made dead to the old
Adam race -- and made alive in Christ.
Resurrection is LIFE – new life.
Separation of Soul and Spirit
believer is joined to the Lord and one spirit with Him.
THIS IS the new creation in Christ – our spiritual union with Christ.
But can we also see that the birth of this new creation in Christ takes
place within an old creation in Adam?
Sure. We are born in Adam –
all of which is of the earthly and of the flesh.
But at the point of salvation, our dead human spirit is united with
Christ and is made alive in Him.
But the rest of us remains in tact – what is birthed in us is, as it were,
added. It does not eradicate the
joining of our human spirit to the Lord creates in each believer a division.
It is a division of natures – all that is of Christ and our union with
Him in spirit – over and against all that is outside of that union, which
remains natural. That which is born
of the flesh will always BE flesh.
But that which is born of the spirit will always BE spirit.
The old is of Adam, and the new is Christ.
dead to the old nature in Adam – through the new life in Christ.
This means we CAN and DO yield ourselves to the old – but if we would
instead abide in Christ we would discover that we do not have to yield.
“Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”
We do not need to kill that which is already dead, or that to which we
are already dead – the old nature.
We need only to abide in Christ who is our life – and that which is dead will be
shown to be without power.
here is to see that what is raised to newness of life is our spirit, not our
flesh. Now, the flesh will
progressively come to be governed by the spirit of Christ through us.
But this is not the flesh changing into spirit, nor is it the flesh being
morphed to where it looks and behaves like Christ.
No. It is the flesh being
reckoned as dead because it IS dead – and the life of Christ flowing through us
with less opposition. This is, of
course, a progressive outworking – through the work of the Cross and forming of
Christ in us.
Therefore, it is folly to try to make the flesh behave like Christ.
No. The flesh cannot be made
to LIVE. It must be reckoned as
dead. Leave it alone and abide in
Christ. The result can be that
without the necessity of much conscious effort on our part, Christ will be made
manifest THROUGH the natural life.
The battle here is not works. It is
faith – it is a matter of which life we will abide in, and thus, will come to
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with
all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
places. (Eph. 1:20)
hath raised us up
made us sit
Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
these Truths about what Christianity IS, and the reality of death and
resurrection in Christ, are necessary to an understanding of what it means to,
“be seated with Christ in heavenly places.”
Can we see that the basis for such a declaration is that we are, “joined
to the Lord and made one spirit with Him.”
Our spiritual resurrection union with Christ is why we are seated with
Christ in heavenly places: He is
seated at the right hand of God.
And WE are joined to Him. Our
natural man is not IN CHRIST. Our
earthly nature is not seated with Christ in the heavenlies.
No. We are joined to the
Lord in spirit.
What we need to see at this point is what it means from the standpoint of
living to be seated in Christ at the right hand of God in heavenly places.
First of all, can we see that this speaks of a THRONE – a position of
authority over ALL? Sure.
Read the passages from Ephesians.
That is exactly what Paul brings in.
does that mean? That the believer
has been given power and authority to do things for God?
Nope. Again – we have to get
back to the Truth that we are IN CHRIST; ONE WITH HIM.
That we are seated IN Christ in HIS throne.
In other words, we have no autonomy here.
We are given to do HIS will unto His glory.
is, until we are under Christ as Lord we have no authority.
Until we are weak in ourselves, we cannot be strong in Him.
The only power that the believer possesses is, “Christ the power of God.”
But this is made possible only
by, “the Cross, the power of God” – we must lose our lives to find true
life in Him. If we are joined to
the Lord, the only way in which the power of His resurrection can flow through
us is if we come to the place where Paul came, “Yet not I, but Christ.”
Resurrection life is not found in ourselves as the source.
It is HIS LIFE in us – and works only for the will of God.
see that we have NO power to do anything that Jesus would not do.
But on the other hands, there is all power available to do what Jesus
would do. But again – this power is
not a THING Christ gives us to use – it is rather the power of HIS LIFE through
seated with Christ in heavenly places – which is equal to being raised with Him
– should have a great impact upon our living.
Of course, we do need to have our eyes opened to the reality of this
Truth. But not merely as a THING or
a FACT. Simply put, it will be to
the extent that Christ is formed in us, and we grow to know Him, that the
reality of being seated with Him will also dawn upon us.
Being risen with Christ and seated with Him is not merely a, “positional” truth
that we are to memorize and add to our catalog of Christian doctrines.
Rather, it is supposed to be the outcome of our oneness and realization
of Christ. Christ has not merely
given us life, but He IS our life – and His resurrection life is the only life
we have -- the only life out of which we are to live by faith.
Thus, this is an all-encompassing Truth that is to govern us.
It is not just a doctrine.
One of the
greatest impacts of our coming into the reality of Christ – Christ in us; being
risen with Christ; seated with Christ – is that it is supposed to result in a
progressive freedom FROM the earthly but TO the spiritual.
We are to LOSE the earthly life and live out from Christ.
We are set free from the Adam race and are born from above with a
heavenly nature. We are no longer
citizens of the earthly but citizens of the heavenly realm.
The result is that we should be less and less earthly minded, with
earthly goals. We should be less
and less controlled by that which is earthly – both outside of us, in our
environment – but also less controlled by the earthly nature that is IN US.
note that Paul states that Christ is seated at the right hand of God in heavenly
places, “far above…….” The
principalities and powers that are mentioned are those that rule over the
earthly – even though they, themselves, are spiritually wicked.
When Adam sinned, he forfeited the dominion God gave him over the earthly
– both the earth itself and his own earthly nature.
The entire earthly realm became the
ground and territory of dominion of Satan and these principalities.
Through death and resurrection Jesus conquered all of these.
earthly realm includes more than just the physical earth.
It includes that part of natural man you can see as well as that part of
natural man that you cannot see.
All of this earthly nature came under the powers of darkness when Adam sinned.
When Adam sinned he lost his union with God and his spirit died.
Thus, his natural makeup had nothing to govern it to God’s glory.
Thus, all of man’s earthly nature was not only brought into captivity to
Satan and the powers of darkness, but this earthly nature came under the death
Jesus bore the Adam race on the Cross and died, this completely undercut the
ground that Satan governs in human beings.
That earthly territory which belonged to Satan was left in the grave and
when Christ was raised there was ushered in a NEW creation – a new kind of human
being. Thus, it can be said that in
Christ we are raised up OUT OF that old nature – even though it continues to
exist along side of the new – and seated with Christ above all of that old
nature and above the forces that controlled it.
In Christ, we are a new creation – over which the forces of Satan have no
power. In Christ, we are seated in
the One who has conquered all death; all that speaks of the old, earthly nature.
This is why, as we grow, we are supposed to be less controlled by the
earthly, and more by Christ in us.
will take note of your own conduct and reactions, you will have to admit that
you are controlled by what is happening in your outward life.
What happens outside of you is able to get inside of you and govern your
inward reactions. Or even if there
is nothing happening on the outside of you, you are able to create within
yourself imaginations and reactions that will come to govern your earthly
nature. All of this can govern a
person’s life – it absolutely will govern without Christ.
Amazingly, trying to find in oneself the materials needed to become what God
desires – whether we realize we are doing this or not – is exactly what Satan
wants each of us to do. It is akin
to Gnosticism. It is the error of
thinking that within ourselves there is a greatness, knowledge, or a value, that
simply needs to be brought out and enhanced by Christ.
No. The entire old man must
DIE. And the work of the Cross
will, in fact, set the earthly aside as the source of anything that is of God.
We must RECEIVE from above all that is of value in the Person of Jesus
Christ. We must be born from above
as new creations in Him.
earthly cannot produce life. That
which is born of the flesh is flesh, and will always be flesh, and will always
produce only that which is of the flesh.
What you end up with are human beings whose entire perception of reality,
and really, their perception of God, is nothing more than a product of their own
imaginations, bias, morality, psyche, and natural frame of reference -- a
product from out of themselves – from out of their own earthly nature.
“The nature man cannot receive the things of God,”
(I Cor. 2:14) and, “Unless you are born from above, you cannot see…..”
Religious people, including many professing Christians, can do the same thing.
It is possible for a professing Christian to create from out of their own
earthly nature a Christianity, a Christ, a God, and an entire belief system that
they think is based on the Bible – but which is nothing more than a product of
THEMSELVES. This blindness can be
fueled by the fact that they made indeed believe many correct Biblical doctrines
and live a reasonably good life.
But they have NOT been born from above.
They know the doctrines of Christ, but have never come into a realization
of Christ Himself.
Christianity is heavenly in nature because it is the life of The Heavenly Man –
it is Christ in us. But it is
entirely possible for us to try to bring Christ down into the earthly realm and
to try to create an earthly Christianity out of the materials found in natural
is, this is exactly what ALL of us do until God sets us free – it is really ALL
WE CAN DO. Without revelation,
religious people will have their imagination take over.
For example, if I read the Bible and see what God wants to do in His
people through Christ, it is possible for me to unwittingly try to duplicate
that in myself through emotions, imagination, and psychological mind games.
I might try to create in myself the right, “mind set,” or, “emotional
condition,” because I think that I am supposed to – because I think that it is
FAITH -- or because I am afraid that unless those conditions are in me I might
not be a Christian.
were left to ourselves, we would have no hope.
Thankfully, Jesus promised that He would guide us into all Truth.
What this will mean is that God will have to expose our religious facades
for what they are. If my belief
system is self-created, God will expose it as such.
If my faith is not real, God will bring it down.
If my Christianity is in any way earthly, God will bring it into total
failure. For awhile it might seem
as if I am losing everything that is good.
No. I am being set free from
what is fake so that I can enter into that which is of Christ.
why it is so important to realize that Christianity is not a matter of God
taking the materials of our earthly man and, “upgrading,” them to look like
This is something entirely OTHER THAN earthly religion.
Jesus did not come to enhance or super-charge the earthly.
Rather, He came to lift us out of it into Himself.
Thus, even though we will continue to live in this earthly during this
age, true Christianity is Christ living through us – in a way that you can be
sure is OUTSIDE of any earthly understanding of it, and OUTSIDE of any earthly
attempts to act or look like Jesus.
Indeed, the only way in which this can happen is if the earthly is kept under
the work of the Cross where it belongs.
If We Be Risen With Christ
Being seated with Christ is supposed to lift us above the earthly and set
us free from its control. But this
is NOT simply about what we are set free FROM.
It is more about Who we are set free TO.
We are set free from the earthly so that we can live FROM OUT OF CHRIST.
you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ
sits on the right hand of God. Set
your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear
with him in glory. (Col.
note that there is more involved here than what we would normally call SIN.
You can be relatively free from outward sins – or think you are – and yet
be living as a professing Christian on an earthly basis.
In fact, you can think you are, “walking in the spirit,” with signs,
wonders, feelings, sensations – thinking you are, “led of God” – all the while
not realizing that your experience is almost entirely of the earthly.
The soul nature is easily mistaken for the Spirit of God.
And today this deception has been so finely tuned that it is accepted as
the Spirit of God by millions.
read this passage, you will see that it is possible to be risen with Christ and
seated with Him in heavenly places, and yet be clueless and blind to the reality
of it – because you are blind to Christ.
This is clearly possible because is exhorting Christians who are seated
in Christ to, “set their mind on things above and not upon the earthly,” etc.
The, “mind,” in this passage means our heart, our will, and our
affections, according to the Greek.
An exhortation to set our minds on things above would be needless if that
happened automatically. But no.
Paul knows that we continue to deal with the earthly and must learn how
to put it aside and live from out of Christ as heavenly people in Him.
have Christ within them – but they, as were the Galatians, have been bewitched.
Many have, “begun in the Spirit,” they are now trying, “to be made mature
by the flesh,” or earthly. Thus, as
was the case with the Galatians, “Christ is of no effect for them.”
They haven’t lost their salvation – that is not possible – but they have
found another means and another way by which to walk with God – whether it be by
LAW (any law or method), emotions, feelings, soul power, intellect, or form of
religion. Paul would say to such,
“I travail until Christ be formed in you.”
(Gal. 4:19) Christ alone is
church in general has operated in the earthly for the last two thousand years.
We have taken that which is, by nature, a heavenly life, and a heavenly
organism, and brought it down into the earthly.
Most churches today are not about HIS LIFE in it’s members – but about
the organization, the size, the money, the activities, and the THINGS that are
happening. Many churches do not
differ at all from an earthly organization – they hire a pastor as an employee,
and they have people running the church who wear badges, and they have programs
within that church structured to entertain – geared to keeping and getting
members. But regardless of the
structure and methods the real question is how much of the measure of Christ is
there and being ministered.
God has little
to do with any of this. God is
interested only in His Son – and the forming of His Son in His people.
But the fact is, almost no where today
is this reality even talked about, let alone taught.
If a church has lots of money and members, or the members are relatively
happy with what is going on there, well, then we call that a living and
successful church. Again – none of
this matters to God. What matters
is how much of the actual life of Christ is there IN the people.
tells us that if we are risen with Christ that we need to, “seek those things
which are above where Christ sits at the right hand of God.”
Certainly, this generally speaks of seeking what pertains to the THRONE –
to the will of God and what God is doing in His people.
It means to, “seek first His kingdom” – which is HIS RULE – and His
righteousness – all of which is nothing more than, “kingdom language,” for
losing your life in order that Christ might be our life.
In short, if we are seated with Christ in heavenly places far above all
that is earthly, then why would we want to continue to seek, and entangle
ourselves in, that from which we have been delivered – the earthly?
this isn’t simply good advice. It
is actually the only way to walk in the Truth with Christ.
The earthly is, in fact, under the curse.
It is under death. If you
want to drag spiritual things down into the earthly and try to make them work
there, you might construct a form of religion, but you will have merely the
equivalent of an OT type and shadow of Christ – except with Christian terms,
rituals, and artifacts. In other
words, take LIFE out of Christianity – take the living Christ out of the picture
– and you have death. The deception
can be so terrible that who can have a name of being alive, yet be dead – and
never realize what has happened to you.
think that the earthly, or soul life of man, is manifested only in what we might
call dead religion. It is also
manifested in emotional religion – the soul realm can be passed off as, “the
anointing,” or as the Holy Spirit coming upon someone.
The soul realm is a powerful dimension of man’s makeup.
It is currently the ground of the enemy.
In that realm, there can be feelings, sensations, incredible elation,
signs and wonders, and experiences that are REAL – and because of this the soul
realm is easily passed off as the Spirit of God.
tells us that Satan appears as, “an angel of light.”
Light speaks of illumination.
In other words, people will think they are being illuminated through the
Holy Spirit but are actually being deceived.
We are also told that there can be signs and wonders – fire called down
from heaven – and yet this is NOT of God, but of the enemy.
Paul also warned that even if an angel who claims to be from heaven
preached a false gospel that such would be accursed.
John warned us to, “test the spirits” – a useless warning if the
possibility of being deceived were not real for a believer.
The point is, the ground of the enemy and his access point even to
believers is our natural, soul makeup.
And a primary way in which he uses this is to counterfeit the Spirit of
God in the soul realm of man.
solution is never to try to sort all of this out.
The solution is to know Christ – that knowledge of Him will, “sort it
out.” Give yourself wholly to
Christ – and realize that no matter what your experience might be, or how real
it felt, that at the end of the day the Bible is the written standard of Truth.
Are we going to dismiss what the Bible teaches because we think we had a
real experience that says something else?
If so, we are being deceived by, “an angel of light.”
The purpose of God and of His Spirit is the forming Christ in us – and
this is what the Bible teaches.
Experiences – or our interpretation of them – are never to be our standard for
tells us that we are to set our hearts upon things above, rather than upon the
Because it is the only way to walk in the Truth.
But right in line with that, we are to do so because we are dead and our
life is hid with Christ in God.
Because we are risen and seated in Him.
Because Christ IS our life.
Again – this isn’t merely good advice.
It is the only way to walk in the Truth.
It is the place to where a growing knowledge of Jesus Christ – and the
work of the Cross – will bring us.
wants us to have the mind of Christ.
But this is not quickly or easily achieved.
It takes trauma, trials, and a real work of the Cross.
In order to become spiritually-minded, your earthly-mindedness must be
crucified, and be exposed in living color as being insufficient, in error, and
even out of unbelief. To be
earthly-minded is actually DEATH.
Much of what God needs to do is to show us that it is death.
You cannot learn that by reading it.
You have to learn it by experience.
example, you and I are going to encounter impossible situations wherein our
earthly nature – and our earthly mind – will be utterly defeated.
You will not be able to think yourself through to God, feel yourself
through to God – shout, cry, praise, sing, or generate anything at all from out
of yourself that will get you through to God in the situation.
You may quote Bible verses and promises and encourage your heart a
thousand times – all of which is fine and good – but none of it will seem to
make a dent. You will see NO
evidence that God is with you or doing a thing in your situation.
ask: Where do we usually look for
evidence that God is working? We
usually look at the earthly. We
certainly look to our situation for evidence that God is working.
But perhaps all the more, we look into our own earthly nature.
And isn’t it a fact that there is usually no evidence in any of those
earthly realms that Christ is present?
Because HE ISN’T present.
Christ is seated in HEAVENLY places – He isn’t in the earthly.
Thus, when we look to the earthly, or through the earthly, we are in
error. We have to look to Christ
spiritually – despite all of the contradiction the earthly provides.
earthly will never evidence Christ.
We prove that every day. Take an
honest look at yourself. Don’t you
have some good days, when you think God is close to you, but then many bad days
where it is so difficult to function, or to think that God is with you?
Maybe even some days where you are overwhelmed with a fear that God might
even be against you? Well ask:
Has God changed at all throughout any of those days?
Is Christ – the Jesus who is the same yesterday, today, and forever – is
Christ in you? The point is this:
Our earthly nature is all over the place.
It is utterly unmanageable.
But we are allowing ourselves to be governed by it.
The only solution is faith in Jesus Christ – a faith that needs to be
based on a revelation in the knowledge of Him.
He is the Rock. We prove
every day that we are not.
note that I did NOT say that the solution here was to discover the key as to how
to control your earthly nature and make it behave in a consistent manner.
No. The solution is to
completely by pass as irrelevant the earthly nature and put your faith in
Christ. We are raised OUT OF the
earthly INTO th heavenlies in Christ.
This is how we set our minds on things above – for we are DEAD and our
lives are hid with Christ in God.
The earthly used to be our life.
Now, Christ is our life.
It is so easy to
be overwhelmed by the earthly – indeed your earthly makeup is, by nature,
absolutely tied to all that is of the earthly realm.
The trial of faith is often when there is NOTHING in the earthly realm
that is affirming the faithfulness or presence of God, indeed, everything in the
earthly – inside of you and outside of you – may be calling Him a liar.
And nothing of your earthly nature can get you through.
The amazing answer in this is that it is all orchestrated by God – to
show you the utter uselessness of your earthly nature.
It cannot get you through to God.
Jesus Christ is the only Way.
Thus, if you are risen with Christ and seated in Him in heavenly places FAR
ABOVE all that is earthly, you have to BY PASS the earthly.
That is the only way to live in the TRUTH.
You have to realize you are DEAD to the earthly and reckon it to be the
Truth. And you have to put your
faith in the One who is your life.
to do this without any affirmation from your earthly emotions or soul life.
You have to do it because it is the TRUTH.
It is the Truth no matter whether you feel like it is, or whether
anything about the earthly changes in a way that you can notice.
And if you think this is folly, note that, “the natural man receives not
the things of the Spirit. They are
folly unto him.” In short, if all
of this seems insane or folly, it is supposed to seem that way to our natural
thinking and react that way upon our earthly makeup.
like Paul’s statement, “You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
Note the word HID. There are
times when everything God is doing seems hidden.
You just cannot understand – and it is no use saying you should.
You cannot and God doesn’t expect you to.
But, “when Christ who is our life is made manifest, we also shall be made
manifest with Him in glory.” The
reference here to the Second Coming is obvious.
But there is a more immediate fulfillment.
It is when Christ is made manifest IN US – and we see Him more fully –
then what God had been doing in us will be understood.
Or, as Jesus noted in John 16, when the child is born, and we see and
rejoice at the birth, we don’t ask the same questions we used to ask – because
then we know that the birth is the answer – Christ being formed in us.
Resurrection life is certainly new life – but it is likewise a DIFFERENT KIND of
life from what any of us have ever experienced.
Sure. It is HIS life and we
are one with Him. Resurrection life
is merely life that is free from death.
It is life that has CONQUERED death.
means is that resurrection life in Jesus Christ cannot be overcome by the
earthly – by definition it has conquered the earthly.
And since the earthly is the territory of Satan in this age, resurrection
life cannot be touched by Satan.
This means that the power of Satan in the life of the Christian is, yes, through
the earthly nature. But since Satan
cannot force himself upon a believer, the real power of Satan – that which gets
us to give him access to our earthly – is found in deception.
fundamental way in which Satan deceives Christian people is, first, by blinding
us to the reality of the Son of God IN US.
God wants to reveal Christ in us; form Christ in us – bring us into an
inward realization of His Son. This
is Christianity – Christ in us – and the purpose of God – the forming of Christ
in us. The goal of Satan in his
deceptions is to blind us to Christ by offering us something else as
Christianity – usually something of that very earthly nature which is Satan’s
ground. You will note that the goal
here isn’t merely to get us living on the ground of Satan.
No. The real goal is to keep
us OFF of the ground of Christ. If
Satan can get us onto the ground of the earthly – and convince us that we are
walking in the Truth – he will be happy.
Christ, in that case, will not BE OUR LIFE – and thus, because we have
found another means of living before God, Christ will essentially be, “of no
effect for us.”
course, there are millions of Christian people right now who are trying to fix
up their earthly nature and make him look and behave like Christ.
Many are convinced that resurrection life is a thing or a power – they
may call it, “the power of the Spirit” – but they are convinced that they have
some power to go around doing things for God – serving, healing, praying, etc.
But this is not Truth.
Resurrection life is HIS LIFE. And
it is only to the extent that we abandon our earthly life under the Cross – LOSE
IT – and abide in Him by faith, that His life is operative in us.
And even then that resurrection life is not to simply DO THINGS.
Rather, resurrection life is operative to conquer death in any form.
It is a
tragic irony that resurrection life is life that has conquered all that is of
the earthly, and yet Satan has succeeded in deceiving millions into thinking
that the same earthly nature IS the life of Christ.
No one ever said Satan was not smart.
He knows how easily we seek to save our earthly life.
So he gives it to us in the name of Jesus.
wants to blind us to the living Christ, who is our life, and offer us a
substitute – ANY substitute will do.
And once that is accomplished, then we will not be walking in the power
of His resurrection, but rather, in the power of our old earthly nature.
Without realizing it, we will be living in a way that is contrary to the
fact we are risen with Christ and raised from out of that earthly nature and
seated in Jesus at the right hand of God.
This is a false Christianity and deception.
It is everything that speaks of antichrist.
If we are
risen with Christ and seated in Him, this speaks of the fact that we have LOST
and relinquished our old life – the earthly, our self possession, and all that
goes with it – we have lost that in the death of Christ and been raised with in
unto NEWNESS of life. Not the old
life on a new basis. But a new a
different kind of life from the life of the earthly into which we were naturally
born. But since we are IN CHRIST,
raised in Christ, and seated with Christ in HIS throne, this means that the life
of Christ flows into us only as we abide in Him and surrender to Him for His
realize that if we are risen with Christ that we forever belong to Him?
That even though we must lose all that we are to Him, that this also
insures that we will both receive and become all that is within God’s purpose?
To be seated in Christ at the right hand of God pictures the ultimate
purpose of God, indeed, pictures inheritance:
The Father, the Son, and all who are in the Son.
no such thing as a born again person who is NOT seated with Christ; risen with
Him. But that does not mean we
believe or live in that Truth. For
this, we must have an on-going revelation, not only of the fact of these Truth,
but an ongoing revelation in us of Christ Himself.
We must UNLEARN all of our old patterns of religion and begin to learn
in fact, the prayer of Paul for his brethren.
And since God inspired this prayer to be recorded as part of the inspired
Word of God, we can be sure that it is the desire of God Himself for us.
not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto
you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened ; that ye may know what
is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance
in the saints, And what is the
exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the
working of his mighty power, Which
he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own
right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name
that is named , not only in this world, but also in that which is to come :
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over
all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all
in all. (Eph. 1:16-23)
us to know HIS purpose in Christ.
It is stated here. Paul wrote it.
And yet he says that we still need TO SEE.
You will note that it all begins with, “the spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
An inward seeing – an inward realization of Jesus Christ.
And all of what God worked through Christ was consummated, “when he
raised Him from the death and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly
places, far above…….” And we are
seated IN HIM. God wants us to SEE
THIS. Doing so would change us.
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