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​Positional Paradox

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    ​Positional Paradox

    Believers are a heavenly people—they are already “in the heavenlies in Christ.” We require no experience in learning this blessed truth—nothing but simple faith in the Word. We pass through much experience before accepting the truth of being dead with Christ to our whole sinful standing as children of Adam; the more so when experience contradicts God’s Word, and we find we are, if we look at ourselves, still alive*.

    The indwelling Adamic life, the old man, is still ready to lend itself to everything contrary to God. But for faith, and for God, it has been condemned and crucified at Calvary*. The only thing which lives in us, in the Father’s sight, is the new life which He has given us. The feeblest throb of it is fragrant before the Father, because it is the manifestation of the life of His Beloved Son (Col 3:4), in Whom is all His delight, in our mortal bodies (1Cor 6:19).

    We have thus been introduced into a life on the other side of death and judgment. The very life we have in the glorified Lord Jesus is a witness that our sins are all put away (Heb 9:26). Before that life was bestowed upon us, He bore the sins which He found in the way (Col 2:14), as He passed down, in holy love, into the depths in which we had lain—“dead in sins.”

    He then rose, leaving them all behind. He introduced us into a position a place on high with the Father—a fitting sphere for that life to grow and become fruitful. Then He looks for the fruit, suited to that new condition, which the Father has foreordained for us to walk in (Eph 2:10).

    Thus, in this new place, having this new life, and being already set in possession of all things in Christ (Rev 21:7), we are not in Egypt; we did walk according to the course of this world (Eph 2:2); we are not in the wilderness*; but we are in the heavenly places, which are our Canaan: “We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,” and here comes the paradox of the Christian state.

    He looks on high and sees the Lord Jesus in the glory, and is conscious that he is in Him there. He looks below and he finds himself traversing a world under Satan’s power, in which there is not a breath that is not noxious to the new and heavenly life within. But having first begun in the glory, with the consciousness of His place and ours there, he is in the race which leads to the obtainment of the goal—the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus. He looks at himself, and he can say, “as having nothing.” He looks the Lord Jesus and says, “yet possessing all things” (2Cor 6:10).

    Now, there is no place for learning the tender sympathy of the Lord Jesus—the blessings of the Father’s love and patience and care—as in the journey, the path of the Cross. True, he must first have reached by faith the Canaan to which he has already come in Christ. Then he finds that this world is not the sphere in which the Father can bless him fully; but that there is no place where his own heart is more thoroughly learned, and the heart of the Lord Jesus, as there is in this wilderness journey.

    - F G Patterson



    Poster’s Opinions:

    *”at ourselves, still alive”: e.g. ourselves in our old nature or “old man.”

    *”it has been condemned and crucified”: condemned (Rom 8:3) and crucified (Rom 6:6), but nowhere is it written the old man is dead. We are dead to it (Rom 6:2, 11) but it is not dead to the believer—but is rather enhanced in our senses—due to realizing how excessive sin is when contrasted with God’s will (Rom 7:13).

    *”we are not in the wilderness”; though our present place is in this wilderness, our position present position is in Heaven.

    #2
    Hello Netchaplain,

    ”it has been condemned and crucified”: condemned (Rom 8:3) and crucified (Rom 6:6), but nowhere is it written the old man is dead. We are dead to it (Rom 6:2, 11) but it is not dead to the believer—but is rather enhanced in our senses—due to realizing how excessive sin is when contrasted with God’s will (Rom 7:13).
    You nailed it!

    ”we are not in the wilderness”; though our present place is in this wilderness, our position present position is in Heaven... but we are in the heavenly places, which are our Canaan: “We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,” and here comes the paradox of the Christian state.
    Reminds me of other Paradoxes such as Jesus’ prayer that his followers would not be a part of the world, but at the same time in the world
    • Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it John 17:14-15.
    • In order for a seed to germinate, it must first “die” being a seed - I Corinthians 15:36-38

    And, The kingdom of God is “not yet” here and is “already” here. Not yet here in its consummation, but already here in significant fulfillments:
    • This was the “secret of the kingdom” revealed only to a few. “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables” (Mark 4:11).
    • The secret was that the kingdom was indeed already present (“If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you,” Luke 11:20), but the kingdom has not yet come completely (“I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom,” Matthew 26:29).

    The positional paradox in some ways comes in the form of the church militant and church triumphant. The church militant: a congregation of men upon earth, professing the name and religion of Jesus Christ, and still fighting in the world against the devil, sin, and flesh of the world, in the camp and tents and under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ. The church triumphant: the great company of holy spirits in heaven, triumphing because of the great victory now been won against the world, the sin, and the devil, and enjoying the vision of God, in which there consists the fulness of all kinds of joy and pleasure, and concerning which they set forth God's glory and praise His goodness forever....

    The Kingdom of God is the spiritual life begun in this world and increasing daily according to the incessant advances of faith - John 3:3. The Church militant, when obedient to Christ, may be called the Kingdom of Heaven where the Christ is exalted to the Right Hand of the Father. Christ fills the office of King and Pastor for the godly who submit willingly and obediently; still He rules and breaks the ungodly with His rod of iron and already executes judgment amongst the nations even before the final judgment John 5:24; 12:38.

    John 5:24 - "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."

    John Calvin:

    So great is our depravity that we choose rather to perish of our own accord than to surrender ourselves to obey the Son of God, that we may be saved by his grace. Both, therefore, are here included by Christ — the robe of devout and sincere worship which he requires from us, and the method by which he restores us to life. For it would not be sufficient to understand what he formerly taught, that he came to raise the dead, unless we also knew the manner in which he restores us to life. Now he affirms that life is obtained by hearing his word, and by the word hearing he means faith, as he immediately afterwards declares. But faith has its seat not in the ears, but in the heart. Whence faith derives so great power, we have formerly explained. We ought always to consider what it is that the Gospel offers to us; for we need not wonder that he who receives Christ with all his merits is reconciled to God, and acquitted of the condemnation of death; and that he who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit is clothed with a heavenly righteousness, that he may walk in newness of life Romans 6:6 .
    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

      #3
      Originally posted by William View Post
      John 5:24 - "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."
      Hi Brother and thanks for the reply and instructional comments. It often surprises me nearly to being paradoxical that there are yet so many true Christians that have yet to understand that eternal life is guaranteed the believer at the moment of rebirth. This has probably the most stunting effect to the spiritual life, seeing that all Biblical growth truths are founded upon it.

      Thankfully, though many may not believe this all important doctrine, it does not hinder their reception of its reality in Christ, because it is nonessential doctrine, i.e. essential doctrine is believing Jesus has come "in the flesh" (1John 4:2, 3; 2John 1:7); that "God has raised Him from the dead" (Rom 10:9, 10), etc. But there is no greater inhibitor to growing in Christ's image than to lack this understanding!


      Comment>

        #4
        I didn't understand "a bit" but what I undestood was in this verse (Rom 8:3) which says that sin is condemned in flesh.


        Comment>

          #5
          Thank you, I'll stay pondering this whole idea of sin.

          Just noticed the other day that the 1st time the word of same word root than sin appears is
          when G-d tells Cain that if he does good he may be lifted up but if he does not do good will
          sin lie down at the door and it's desire is for him but you, rule over it.
          Comment>
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