Standing and State
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
To believe on Jesus is more than mere acknowledgment that He lived and died. It is knowing in our hearts that Christ is the Son of God, He is God manifest in the flesh, who died on the cross for our sins, who was buried, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and is glorified on the Fathers throne in heaven. All this might not be realized at once but the first step is to have faith in Him to save us from our sins.
When we believe on Jesus the Holy Spirit quickens our spirit and we are born again of the Spirit of God. It is a new life; a life given us from above, that which is born of flesh is flesh that which is born of Spirit is spirit. We now have a complete new standing before God, old things have passed away and all things are become new, and all things are of God.
This new standing is often called the objective side. It is what Christ achieved for us on the cross when He said “It is finished”. When we believe on Jesus, all that He achieved for us on the cross is now how God sees us (that is our standing). We need revelation from God to see what our standing is that God has placed us in. The subjective side is when having seen the revelation of it we have faith to receive it. This is when it has an effect on our actual state and opens the way for further revelation.
The first stage of our Christian life is when we believe that by the shedding of His blood all our sins have been forgiven and blotted out.
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Acts 10:43 says, “To Him (Jesus) all the prophets
witness that, through His Name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission
(forgiveness) of sins.”
Acts 3:19 says, ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out’. The word ‘blotted out’ means, according to Vine, ‘In the sense of removal, to wipe away, wipe off, obliterate’ (see also Isaiah 43:25).
When we believe on the Lord Jesus, that He died for our sins and was raised from the dead, God reckons our faith as righteousness. The Old Testament type of this was Abraham who, though he was about 100 years of age and both his body and Sarah’s womb were dead as far as having children went, when God told him he would have a son, he had faith in God’s word and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. He believed that God could bring forth a son out of that which was dead.
This is what God has done for us who believe, He has given us the free gift of righteousness and justified us, as we believe and meditate on this it will have an effect on our lives.
The Bible tells us that He “has been delivered for our offences, and has been raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25 JND). I am not trying to separate these things as they are all part of the gospel, that is, His death, resurrection and exaltation, however in our experience we see the significance of them at different times and therefore appropriate them at different stages in our walk with God. The blood of the cross links them all together.
It is the blood of the cross by which we are forgiven of our sins, it is also by the blood that God raised Christ from the dead (Hebrews 13:20), justification is also by the blood (Romans 5:9). We are redeemed, have peace with God and are brought nigh to God, all by the precious blood of the Lamb of God.
Because of the free gift of righteousness God is able to justify us. Our sins have all been forgiven but to class us as justified goes a step further, it means that God sees us as not having sinned in the first place. When Christ died on the cross, in God’s eyes we died with Him. That is, the “old man”, that person we were, the one who sinned and deserved death, died on the cross with Christ and was buried, never to come back. It was the “new man” who rose up from the grave with Christ. The “new man” is the one that is born from above, and which the Bible says, “That which is born of God cannot sin” (1 John 3:9). We are now talking about our quickened spirit being one with the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (see Romans 5:1). For in Him all the fullness (of the Godhead) was pleased to dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to itself, having made peace by the blood of His cross --- (Colossians 1:19-20).
When by faith we receive our justification the effect upon us is peace.
Mark Greenwood January 2019