Revival – 3 of 4 – Sinners and Saints
I realize that I have addressed several complex issues within the overall Christian movement with my previous post on Revival. Some of these items have been traditions Christians have clung to for many years without valid questioning. So, readers might have some confusing thoughts and feelings about what I wrote. I thought I would go into a little more depth and hopefully readers will grasp the truths being set forth. I will address each one in a separate post.
Sinners & Saints:
If an unsaved person responds to this goodness of God that a saved person demonstrated, then upon water baptism they are now a new creature(2 Corinthians 5:17), born again(John 3:3). The sin nature in our flesh that we were born with died with Christ in His death(Romans 6:4). Our spirit is raised with Christ(Colossians 2:12) and seated with Him in heavenly places(Ephesians 2:6). The One Spirit of the Holy Living God is now implanted in us(1 Corinthians 6:17). The Holy Spirit of the Godhead, in all its fullness now resides in us(Colossians 2:9-10) forevermore, never leaving, never becoming less, always constant(1 John 2:20,27). We are now the temple of that Holy Spirit(1 Corinthians 6:19). It is no longer we who exist, but it is Christ Jesus existing in us and operating through us(Galatians 2:20). At this time, prior to being baptized with the Holy Spirit, we have the power to become sons of God(John 1:12). Baptism in the Holy Spirit is how we activate the authority, power, ability, and every other things provisioned to us from the work of Christ. Holy Spirit baptism gives us access to these precious promises(2 Peter 1:4) so that we can personally experience it as well as make it available to others. As a saved and Holy Spirit baptized individual we now have the “ability” to perform the actions that sons of God perform and gain access to the whole inheritance of promises provisioned us. We become as He is in this world(1 John 4:17) and can do the things He did(John 14:12) and have the things He possessed. Things like grace, peace, mercy, love, patience, power, ability, perseverance, holiness, the mind of Christ, whatever we need to live life and live it Godly!
As saved people, we do NOT have a sin nature anymore, just like Adam did not have one when he sinned. We are no longer enslaved to sin(Romans 6:6; Romans 6:14). God is not sitting up in heaven counting the sins we as saved people might fall into against us(Romans 4:8). The problem is that the immature Christian does not know how to handle this state or freedom. When the devil accuses us before God by pointing out our failures, we don’t believe that Jesus is right there as an advocate saying, No Father, I paid the price for that, they are clean(1 John 2:1). Our unbelief in this matter, lets our hearts condemn us(1 John 3:20-21) about our wrong doing which perpetuates a cycle of sinning. Sinning leads to the condemnation, which then leads to further sins, which then leads to guilt, which then leads to repentance, which then reaps forgiveness, which then gets us back to the good state of God’s grace/mercy/good favor….Or so we think. The next time we mess up we repeat that same process. Most Christians are stuck in this perpetual process for the rest of their lives trying to figure out how to get on God’s good side. They are tossed too and fro in and out of God’s mercy and grace. This is why we have Christians today who have been saved for more than 30 years, still stuck in this cycle, and believing that holiness(sanctification as they call it) is unattainable in our lifetime.
We are expected to quit sinning(1 John 3-5) as a sign of our repentance and a way to enter into holiness. If we mess up, move on and don’t do it again. The freedom of God not counting up our sins and remembering them against us, is not a license to keep sinning(Romans 6:15). It is possible to give up sinning and live holy, God has given us everything necessary to live this life and live it in a godly way(2 Peter 1:3). How do these things necessary to live life godly come into existence for us? Through the knowledge of Him. There is knowledge, from and about what Jesus provided to us through His Work and words, that if learned and understood gives us access to call forth into existence everything necessary to live life and live it Godly. A lot of the information I am sharing with you fits into this knowledge of Him.
The Abide Project is designed to teach people how to activate and experience all those things necessary to live a Godly holy life without sinning anymore.
This is where I lose most Christians, because they are so ready to claim that I am saying I am completely without sin. We are currently, as saved individuals, new creations and without sin, despite our propensity to choose against the Spirit of God. We were once sinners though. However, now that we are saved, sin has been eradicated for and from us(Romans 6:14-18). There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus(Romans 8:1). What happened in Romans 7? Paul is talking about this struggle of doing what he shouldn’t and not being able to do what he should, how he wrestles within himself to do what is right. In Romans 7, Paul was building the case for how condemnation happens. Then comes Romans 8:1. Paul says, look Romans, all that back forth is for the birds. There is therefore NOW, instead of the back and forth, no condemnation to those who are in Christ and who walk not after the flesh, but who walk after the Spirit. He was telling them there is no struggle anymore because there is no condemnation, which is what the struggle is all about. Walking in the flesh is letting your heart condemn you. Walking in the Spirit is seeing that God is greater than your heart(1 John 3:20-21). NO means none and we must come into agreement with it. The salvation experience is indicative of us recognizing our sin, repenting from it, and reaping the experiential event of being set free from the bonds of the sin we recognized we had.
Therefore, we are not sinners anymore, we are saints(Colossians 1:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 4:12). I was once a sinner, but I got saved, and I am now a saint whose propensity to sin has been removed from me as far as the east is from the west. Can I choose to do something against the Spirit of God? Yes, just like Adam did for the very first time, without a sin nature. However, Adam did not have a propitiation, sacrifice, or an advocate like we do! Therefore, the fact that we may choose to walk according to the flesh after salvation does not make us sinners or sinners “again”, in need of re-salvation(Hebrews 9:25). A sinner requires salvation and redemption. Our redemption as saved people is complete, the work of Christ was enough to make us not sinners forever more, never needing to be further redeemed or cleansed of sin by a sacrifice(Hebrews 9:12). Is there purging that still needs to be done? Absolutely, and that is why a man is to purge himself(2 Timothy 2:21). That is why we are called to renew our minds. When we do choose against the Holy Spirit and walk according to the flesh, it makes us immature Christians with UN-renewed minds who need to learn not to let our hearts condemn us(1 John 3:20-21). Condemnation is not from God, it originates from us, from our hearts condemning us(1 John 3:20-21). If we can learn to not let our hearts condemn us IF we do mess up, then we have confidence before God, can boldly approach the throne(Hebrews 4:16), and make our petitions be known with confidence that we are in God’s favor. There is no vacillation where there is no condemnation. We must purge ourselves and get our minds renewed so we do not “want” to walk according to the flesh.
The Abide Project is designed to teach people how to let God’s view of being bigger than our hearts, build confidence about our favor in God, thus overpowering condemnation. If we can prevent our hearts from condemning us, we walk in the confidence of God, despite potential wrong doing, and that keeps us from falling into the perpetuated sin cycle that is reaped from condemnation.