Jesus said, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
are two kinds of truth, there is the truth that is perceived through
senses or through the understanding,
and there is the truth that comes by revelation, this is
the truth that is revealed to us by the Spirit of God and is received
by faith. The revelation of our new standing in Christ is
revealed to us
in stages as we seek God. The first stage of course is when we
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for our
sins, followed by the fact that God raised Him from the dead.
Having made peace by the blood of His cross He has now reconciled us to
God. God forgives all our sins, reckons our
faith as rightousness and justifies us. These are foundational
truths that we receive and appropriate. Many people struggle with
these basic truths because they don't feel
forgiven or righteous or justified, but it has nothing to do with our
feelings or with any works we might do to feel righteous, rather it is
all about what God, motivated by love, has done for us by His grace.
When we become Christians our position
or standing before God is changed from what it was before we were saved. However our actual state may have a long way
to go before it matches our standing (our standing is what God says we
are). The question is how do we bring
our state up to our standing? Many seem
to think it’s about improving the flesh, it’s not. The problem is that much of the teachings in
our churches imply that we must improve the flesh by either keeping traditions or
by keeping the law. The
that will transform our lives is not taught in many churches so
true spiritual growth never happens. When it is taught and the
Holy Spirit reveals it to us, and as we meditate on it, believe it
and receive it, then it will have an effect on our lives to
bring our state up to our standing.
standing, that which God gives us by
His grace, is also called the objective. Our state (the level of
our experience at this stage), is effected when we appropriate by faith
the revelation that God has given us at this time (i.e. the subjective).
after many years our state is still far below our standing it is not
due to a lack of effort but due to not receiving and appropriating the
next part of the whole.
we have received forgiveness of sins we move on to the additional parts
of this great whole until our state is brought up to our standing.
Apart from change in our own individual
lives what about the state of our church meetings, the actual gathering
together of the saints? We have had the
reformation which brought in justification by faith, then the time of the Wesley’s
with the emphasis on sanctification, followed by worldwide missionary endeavours
where Christians went out to places like Africa, China and India to spread the
gospel. In the early 1900’s there was
the Pentecostal outpouring with the gifts of the Spirit. All these were moves of God but what
now? Is there anything left for God to
do before Jesus returns? Well, I do
believe that Jesus could return at any time, but one thing that has not changed
too much since the reformation is the structure of the church when it comes
together for fellowship. The structure
has been carried down from the Roman Catholics and although it has vastly improved it
is still nowhere near what it should be.
said, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus is the Head of the church and when we meet together in His Name, He is there in our midst yet so often He never gets
the chance to minister to us. When
revival happens the false structures and traditions are cast aside then Jesus once more gets the chance to minister to us but it’s
not long before many in leadership want to get back to the traditions and structures which were in place before the revival broke out and then the revival is finished. Thank God for the men of God who made a stand
for the real thing, if only the leadership as a whole had stayed with what God
was showing them instead of going back to having their own church name and their organised
Next: Standing and State
Mark Greenwood. December 2018
Location: Grenoside, Sheffield, United Kingdom
email - firstname.lastname@example.org