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Jesus said, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).


There are two kinds of truth, there is the truth that is perceived through the 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 righteousness and justifies us.  These are foundational truths that we believe and receive with thanksgiving. 


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 actual truth 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.


Our 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 apprehend by faith the revelation that God has given us at this time (i.e. the subjective).


If 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.


Once 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.  


Jesus 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 religion.  

Next: Standing and State

                   
Mark Greenwood. December 2018

Location:  Grenoside, Sheffield, United Kingdom

email - mgreenwoodctm@gmail.com