Good mornin to you dear born-again Christian, thank you for sharing some of your valuable time with me in considering this vital aspect of our salvation.
[There’s plenty to be learned here for the non-Christian as well. So even though I’m writing to my brethren in the faith, I want everyone to be blessed by what they take away from this article].
Let me ask you a question please. (This is going to set the tone for everything else that will follow in this post)…
What do you think God is telling us Christians in 1 John 4.17?
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
What do you think God means by:
“we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” ???
That requires that we believe something doesn’t it?
What that scripture is communicating, is that we Christians have right now (in our current sinful experience here on earth), the spiritual perfection that God has.
That sounds shocking doesn’t it?
How in the world can we have that kind of spiritual perfection right now? (Have you seen me lately, I’m a mess).
It’s because God requires nothing less than total spiritual perfection (everywhere) in His kingdom. Matthew 5.48:
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
[Jesus taught in His sermon on the mount not only God’s standard of perfection (that He requires), but also man’s inability to live up to that standard through effort].
Are you grasping the gravity of what all of this means dear saint?
[It is true that we haven’t been completed/perfected in that we’re not glorified yet, (that will happen automatically when we die). But right now, we’re as heaven-ready as we’re ever going to be].
This means that right now (in your sinful, unregenerate flesh), you’re as righteous and sinless as the Lord Jesus Christ is righteous and sinless. (Because that’s what God requires of you to be in His kingdom).
And since the Lord Jesus Christ is God, you’re as righteous and sinless as God!
That’s what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished for you!!! You are a partaker in His death, burial, and resurrection!!!
19 “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
10 “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
How’s that for a reason to quit taking stock in yourself, and instead fix your adoration and praise solely on the risen Lord Jesus Christ Who did all of that for you?!
~ A quick side note ~
Does that information make you love sin?
No. It makes you hate sin doesn’t it?
Because such great news is humbling, (see Romans 7.14-25).
Believing all such blessings of God isn’t a license to sin, (as religious people like to claim).
God’s grace is the opposite of a motivator for sin.
If you want to excite sin in a person’s life, then put them under the law.
1 Corinthians 15:56
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.”
~ End of side note ~
Someone may be thinking right about now:
“Yea, maybe, I guess I’m righteous in a “positional” way.
I make mistakes, but I believe in Jesus and I’m trying the best I can to be a good person, and I follow the 10 commandments as a general rule.
God will take it all into account and accept me into heaven.”
Well friend, that sort of thinking is the thinking of someone who’s spiritually dead.
Someone who hasn’t truly bowed the knee to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
Our very best efforts of morality are nothing but sin, and our obedience to the law is a joke.
we’re never going to perfect our flesh, (read Galatians chapters 2 & 3).
Which is why righteousness has to be the gift of God by the obedience of one, (because we fail miserably at God’s standard of perfection for righteousness).
17 “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
We don’t get righteous or sanctified by progression of our efforts of any kind.
25 “And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”
Therefore please don’t step your foot into that hideous trap of Rome (that’s infected most of religion) known as “progressive” sanctification.
It’s a spiritual death trap.
None of us ever get more holy or righteous in any way, shape, or form.
(We’re either fully holy & righteous as a free gift from God, or we’re none holy & righteous, dead in our trespasses and sins).
What could we possibly add to the finished work of Christ to make ourself more acceptable to God anyway? (Nothing. The only thing we could add is our filthy rags).
Therefore I encourage you to rest in the finished work of Christ, and be ye perfect in so doing.
9 “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.”
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
So what’s the bottom-line?
The bottom-line for every born-again Christian is that God has already accomplished and given you everything that you’ve just read about.
He’s made you to be a fully forgiven, fully sanctified saint, who’s fully the righteousness of God.
And if you’re still hanging on to false doctrines like “progressive” sanctification and the like, you’re self-righteous.
Repent and believe the gospel.
Believe the truth about your lack of merit, and believe the truth about total perfection that is only obtained in total as a free gift from God, apart from our works.
God tells us exactly what to do in regard to His wonderful news of imputed righteousness in Isaiah 61.10:
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
And if you’re someone who’s not born-again by the Spirit of God, don’t you think that right now is the perfect time for you to believe the report that God has given us about His finished work in His only begotten Son? (Yes, it is).
Start over if you’ve been in a religious fog.
Do it right now, and don’t be embarrassed about it, (I’ve done it myself).
Drive the stake in the ground and mark today, right now, as the point where you believe God over religion, and watch how His eternal life flourishes in your spirit.
Sure, come to the cross, (but don’t park there like religion does).
Because as necessary and beautiful as forgiveness is, there’s so much more to salvation than forgiveness-alone.
Keep going beyond the cross until you’re inside His resurrection, and be a partaker of His resurrection life.
Be the righteousness of God, with the mind of Christ.
May all of these truths be magnified in your heart my friend.
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever!