THE BLOOD OF CHRIST PROTECTS THE BELIEVER
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST PROTECTS THE BELIEVERCopyright Š 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
("The Blood of Christ Protects the Believer" is taken from Christ In You, copyright Š 2011 Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library)
The Blood of Christ Protects, Pardons, Purges, and Nourishes the Believer
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:13)
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7)
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54)
The habitation of God is being constructed of peoplethe believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ Himself is the Cornerstone of the building (I Peter 2:6).
Every one of us has a sinful nature and commits sins of imagination, thought, word, and deed each day of his life. God is holy beyond all our ideas of holiness. His absolute perfection of purity and righteousness makes it impossible for God to be with us or work with us while we are committing sin.
God's solution to the problem of our sinning is the blood of Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God.
The blood protects. The blood of Christ works powerfully in the life of each believer. First, the blood covers us during the times that God executes judgment on sin.
God poured misery and destruction on the land of Egypt. When God determined to take the life of the oldest child of each family of the Egyptians, God instructed the Israelites to smear blood on their door posts.
While you are studying the plagues that came upon Egypt (Exodus, Chapters Seven through Twelve), notice that God made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians such that the Israelites were not afflicted by the plagues. The Israelites were the descendants of Abraham, who was the called of God. They were not struck by the plagues that preceded the Passover even though the blood of the lamb had not as yet been smeared on their doorposts. However, the males had been circumcised.
During the greatest plague of all, the slaying of the firstborn of man and beast, it was necessary that a blood-covering be placed over the Israelites. The wrath of God was so fierce and the judgment on the gods of Egypt so devastating that the Israelites would have been swept up in the execution of the sentence of death.
Life was being taken from the earth by the Lord God. The Divine vengeance was falling on the cursed demon-worship of Egypt.
Divine holiness and righteousness were being renewed before the Face of God Almighty and the Israelites were in jeopardy of their own lives. It was necessary that the blood-sign be placed over the dwellings of the Israelites, anticipating in type the atonement made by the Lamb of God who was to be offered over a thousand years later on the cross of Calvary.
When God passes through our land today to strike the gods of lust, of violence, of covetousness, of murder, sorcery, self-indulgence, trust in secular knowledge and wisdom, lying, stealing, perversity, love of pleasure, we must claim the Passover blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as the blood-shield over our household.
Terrible judgment comes upon a nation when its citizens turn away from God and look toward satisfying the lusts of the flesh, and toward the astrologers, witches, fortune tellers, and mediums, in order to fulfill their needs and desires.
When the sword of the Lord begins to renew His way on the earth (and it always is God who directs the judging and destroyingSatan has no authority or power in destruction except as God commandsIsaiah 54:16; Amos 3:6) the only protection available is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. His blood alone can prevent the destroying angel from coming into our household and executing the Divine sentence on us.
As our characters are in the process of being formed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Christ, the Passover blood continues to protect us from the destruction that is falling all around us (Psalms 91).
The blood of Jesus does more than shield us from God's judgment. Included in the authority and power of the blood of the Lord Jesus to make an atonement for sin are the following effects: covering, forgiveness, cancellation, mercy, reconciliation, propitiation, annulment, adjustment to differences, justification, restoration, remission, cleansing, purging. The blood covers us until we have been made perfect in Christ.
There may be no one English word that carries the complete meaning of the expression make atonement . The phrase restore completely to Divine favor comes fairly close to the meaning of "make atonement." The reconciliation of man to God is the key thought.
The blood of Christ protects us, covers our sins and shortcomings from God's sight, is the basis for God's forgiveness, satisfies the demands of justice when the laws of righteousness are violated, and has the power to purge all unrighteous behavior from us.
In addition, the blood of Christ is our life. Jesus invites every human being to drink His blood so that he or she may live by Him as He lives by the Father.
Two aspects of the atonement. There are two areas of redemption involved in making an atonement for our sins. The first area is that of forgiveness of our sins, the wiping of the record clean. The second area is that of deliverance from the power of sin so that we do not keep on committing sins while we are serving God is this life and in the life that is to come.
The Temple of God, the Body of Christ, always must be in a state of guiltlessness (justified) by confession and repentance; and also must be morally strongmoving consistently toward righteous, holy, and obedient behavior so that sin no longer has any part in it.
The making of an atonement includes two major actions: (1) the satisfying of justice because of the violation of Divine law; and (2) the removing of the tendencies and consequences of sin from the believer and the repairing of his whole personality.
Forgiveness and cleansing, cancellation and deliverance, freedom from both the guilt and the power of sin, remission and purging, mercy and healingthese are the two effects of the blood of Jesus, the two areas of grace that work together as we humans press on toward the fullness of the indwelling of God and Christ through the Holy Spirit.
The two birds. One can study the two ideas of cancellation and deliverance, in the fourteenth chapter of Leviticus. Two birds were used for the cleansing of the leper. One bird was slain and its blood was sprinkled on the leper. The other bird was let "loose into the open field." We die with Christ, and then are raised together with Him.
Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. (Leviticus 14:4-7)
We can observe in the above passage the annulling authority of the blood of Jesus, as typified by the bird that was killed over running water (the running water shows that Christ was offered through the Holy SpiritHebrews 9:14).
Through the Spirit, Christ was sacrificed on the cross of Calvary in order to satisfy the justice of the Divine law that has been broken by every individual from the time of Adam. The letting of the "living bird loose into the field," after it had been dipped in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water, reveals the authority of the blood of Christ working together with the power of eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
The forgiveness of sin combined with our resurrection to newness of life provides the groundwork for our release from the bondages of sin.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
The two goats. In the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus the two concepts of cancellation of debt and removal of sin are demonstrated again, this time using two goats instead of two birds.
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:7-10)
There is full authority and power in the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ to supply all the elements necessary to make an atonement for our sins.
It was not possible for the blood of birds and goats to take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). The ceremonies involving these animals point toward and reveal clearly the Lamb of God, Christ, who satisfies the requirements of Divine justice and also removes the tendencies and repairs the consequences of sin in our life.
Christ has made a full atonement for us and He is in the process of setting us free from the effects of sin.
Making an atonement. God gave the Israelites seven convocations to observe (Leviticus, Chapter 23). Of these seven, the most solemn was the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is described in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus. We have seen already that there were two goats used during the ceremony of the Day of Atonement: the goat on which the Lord's lot fell and that was slain; and the scapegoat that was let go into the wilderness.
The Holy Spirit has stated the following five purposes for the actions of the high priest during the Day of Atonement:
He shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary.
He shall make an atonement for the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
He shall make an atonement for the altar.
He shall make an atonement for the priests.
He shall make an atonement for all the people of the congregation.
The first three elements for which atonement was made annually were parts of the Tabernacle of the Congregation: the Most Holy Place, the whole Tabernacle itself, and the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering.
Bringing the concept down to today, in interpretation of this Old Testament type, we can see that atonement must be made for the dwelling place (tabernacle) of God. The Christian Church, the Body of Christ, is being made into the Temple of Godthe eternal habitation of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
Judgment always must begin at the household of God (I Peter 4:17, Ezekiel 9:6). Therefore the full authority and power of the atonement made by the blood of the righteous Jesus must work first in the hearts and lives of those who are true disciples of the Lord Jesus.
Haven't we been pardoned by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord?
Yes, we have. But there must be a complete removal from our lives of the practice of sin. The removal is taking place now. It is a judgment on the sin dwelling in us and also on our willingness to obey and serve the Lord (I Corinthians 11:31,32).
Our task is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He directs the cleansing and repair of our personalities. Deliverance from the habits of sin and from the love of self are included in the preparation for the full indwelling of the Father and the Son that will be ours as we follow on to know the Lord (John 14:23; 17:23).
Of particular importance during the Day of Atonement was the making of an atonement for the Most Holy Place:
And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. (Leviticus 16:2)
Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. (Leviticus 16:15,16)
Blood had to be sprinkled upon and before the Mercy Seat in order to make an atonement for the sins of Aaron and his household, to make an atonement for the uncleanness and transgressions of the children of Israel, and to make an atonement for the Most Holy Place itself.
Compare the following:
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. (Hebrews 9:22,23)
The absolute holiness and righteousness of our holy God cannot overlook a single sin. The blood of the innocent animals served to appease the wrath of God and to cover the transgressions of the Law of Moses until the Lamb of God, Christ, could make an atonement with His own blood on the cross of Calvary.
So it is that the blood of Jesus is at work daily in the hearts of those who are true disciples of Christ and who are being fashioned into the eternal Temple of God. The Holy Spirit is searching out the inner imaginations and motives of the believers, as well as the more obvious words and deeds, so that all that is not acceptable to God may be repented of and confessed as sin.
Upon confession the guilt is pardoned instantly so that the saint can remain without condemnation in the Presence of God.
We always must be alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit so that we can keep our personality clean and pure by the blood of Christ, so that we can wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb. In order to obtain and maintain the Presence of God in Christ, the blood of Christ must continually be sprinkled upon and before the mercy seat that is our own heart.
The scapegoat. Not only are our sins forgiven, in the Divine atonement, but also the tendencies and consequences of our sins are removed from us. We found, in Leviticus, Chapter 16 that there was a scapegoat, or goat of removal.
But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:10)
And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21,22)
Here is a clear picture of the removal of our sins from us.
In the case of the bird let loose in the open field we can see the spiritual resurrection and ascension of the believer who has been raised with Christ and now is living in God.
In the letting go of the scapegoat into the wilderness we can understand that our sins are removed from the Presence of the Lord as He dwells in us and we in Him. Here is the complete purging from us of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
After Lazarus was raised from the dead the graveclothes were removed from him.
The Lord Jesus Christ died for us and rose again so that we may be forgiven completely and that we may be filled to overflowing with resurrection life. In addition, He accomplishes the removal of our sins from us, enabling us to overcome the bondage, destruction, and death that always accompany the rule of the law of sin and death (Romans 7:23, 8:2).
The work of atonement, of forgiving and cleansing, accomplished by the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus, was the means of preparing a place for us in the Father's House, that is, in Christ.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
"One sacrifice for sins forever." The pattern of the Levitical ceremonies reveals that the animal sacrifices saved the Israelites in their sins but not from their sins. The fact that the Day of Atonement had to be repeated annually illustrates the inability of animal blood to remove sin from the worshipers.
The worshipers understood that they would sin again and again, and that atonement would be made for them the following year (Hebrews 10:1-3). This was true even of the high priest and his family.
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (Hebrews 10:1)
There was authority in the blood of birds, goats, and bulls to appease the wrath of God and to forgive transgressions of the Law of Moses, provided the transgression was not premeditated and willful disobedience, a flaunting of God's Word. The authority and power to remove the tendencies and repair the consequences of sin were not available through the blood of animals.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)
When we accept the blood of the Lord Jesus as an atonement for our sins, a Divine work of terrible finality commencesterrible from the standpoint of those who would have us sin. There is utter, total, dreadful (as seen by the Lord's enemies) authority and power in the blood of Jesus to make an atonement for sin.
The blood of Christ keeps cleansing us and the Holy Spirit keeps writing the laws of God in our heart and mind day after day, year after year, until the work of redemption has been completed in our personality.
If we keep on following the Spirit of God, remembering we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, the blood of Christ can work atonement in us. We can overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb.
Eventually the Divine redemption will have been brought to the full in our spirit, our soul, and our body.
Confessing our sins. When the Holy Spirit points out to a Christian that he has sinned and that he has a tendency to do so along a certain line, such as the practice of lust, hate, sorcery, pride, covetousness, for example, there is a simple straightforward procedure for immediately restoring his fellowship with the Lord:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
The context of I John 1:9 is that of the saint of God who is walking in the light, the disciple of Jesus who is abiding in the Presence of God in Christ and performing the will of God. The blood of Christ cleanses him continually as he walks in the light of God's Presence each day.
As we are walking in the light, and the blood of Christ is cleansing us from all sin, it may occur that the Holy Spirit will lead us to the fact that we are harboring hatred against some person. The moment we become aware of the Divine pressure on this particular point we must confess to the Lord that we are sinning in that we are maintaining a hateful attitude toward the individual who is displeasing us.
As soon as we confess the sin of hatred, God is faithful and righteous to forgive our sin and to purify us from the sin. The blood of Christ made atonement for that sin on Calvary. We appropriate the benefit of the atonement when the Holy Spirit leads us to confess the particular behavior and to forsake the practice of it (repent).
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (I John 2:1)
God is faithful and righteous to both pardon and cleanse us, upon our confession of a sin and repentance from the practice of it. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt us to act further in the matter, such as to return something we have stolen or to ask a person's forgiveness for hurting him or her in some manner.
There is resurrection power available to the Christian whom the Holy Spirit has directed to ask another's forgiveness or to make restitution. If we seek the Face of God in prayer He will grant us grace and joy so we can obey the Holy Spirit's directive in a poised, cheerful, victorious attitude.
It is not easy to ask the forgiveness of another human being or to make restitution for a wrong we have committed. We must look to God, not only to determine whether He is moving us to do more than confess the sin to Him but also for the wisdom and strength to take necessary steps of restitution.
In most instances of sin committed by a Christian, the matter is settled when he or she confesses the sin to God clearly and specifically. The blood of Christ cancels the debt and also removes the sin from the believer. Then the light of God's Presence shines in his or her heart without casting a shadow.
Sometimes blessing and release come to us as we confess our sins in the hearing of another Christian and have him or her give us counsel and agree in prayer. The prayers of two or three Christians can be very effective when a believer seems to be caught in a bondage that will not yield to his own confession of, and resistance to, the sin in question. Again, the wisdom and power of the Spirit of God are required at each point of action.
Every Christian is being formed as a part of the Temple of God, which is the Body of Christ. Because God is holy, the Christian in whom God intends to dwell eternally must be holy also.
God has made provision for our holiness by the atonement made by Christ on the cross. We avail ourselves of the full weight of authority and power of the blood of Christ when we confess our sins. As we name our sins, resolving never again to practice them, as God helps us, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to purify us from all sin and rebellion.
We are learning how to walk continually and successfully in the light of God's Presence. We are gaining wisdom and understanding in dealing with the sins of our nature. The blood of Christ is being sprinkled upon and before the "mercy seat" that is our heart.
Each time we are obliged to deal with a problem of sin in our life, as the Holy Spirit leads and provides the grace and strength, the light of God in us grows brighter leading to the fullness of the Day of the Lord. Every Christian who is being transformed by the continuing process of putting to death the deeds of the body is coming into a true fellowship with the Father and Son (I John 1:1-7). He is gaining eternal life.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:3)
Most of the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament alike, has to do with sin and holiness. Throughout the Scriptures God speaks of the consequences of righteousness and unrighteousness. The blood of Christ has made an atonement for the sins of people. The fullness of Divine authority and power is in the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus.
No sin can resist the blood of Christ provided the guilty person comes to God through Christ and confesses he is a sinner, in the case of an unsaved person, or confesses a particular sin he is committing, in the case of a Christian.
We will have more to say about putting to death the deeds of the body when we come to the sixth aspect of the dwelling of Christ in the believer.
Eating and drinking His body and blood. We eat the sacrifice, Christ, and drink His blood. The communion service is a portrayal of this aspect of the atonement. By eating and drinking Christ's body and blood we become one with sacrifice.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of [sharing; participation in] the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of [sharing; participation in] the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (I Corinthians 10:16,17)
"We being many are one bread." The bread of the communion becomes to us the Body of Christ. By eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood we become one with God's Passover Lamb.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (Exodus 12:5)
And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (Exodus 12:7,8)
Under old covenant law no person, whether of the priests or of the people, was allowed to drink blood. Under specific conditions the priests did eat the flesh of the animals that were offered. Also, the Israelite who offered a peace offering partook of the sheep or goat that he offered. However, every person in Israel ate the flesh of the Passover Lamb.
We Christians eat the Lamb of God, Christ, and drink His blood. We become one with Him in His atoning death and one with Him in His glorious resurrection. All that He is we are because we are in Him and He is in us.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:56,57)
No matter what we were at one time, in Him we now are reconciled to God. The complete reconciliation is the final result of the atonement made by Christ on the cross of Calvary.
The holiness of the Temple of God. The Temple of God is the holy city, the new Jerusalem. The city is holy. Nothing that is not holy can enter the citynot today, not in the ages to come. We must cleanse ourselves through the grace God has provided.
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (I Corinthians 11:31)
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
It may be noted, concerning the previous verse (II Corinthians 7:1), that the "promises" to which it refers pertain to the Temple of God (as set forth in II Corinthians 6:16-18).
Again, in I Corinthians 3:17, the emphasis is on the holiness of the Temple of God:
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
The context of the above verse is that of building on the foundation, which is Christ. The purpose of the ministries, events, and circumstances of the Christian pilgrimage is that the Temple of God may be constructed from the transformed personalities of the saints.
If we build the Temple of God of silver and precious stones (speaking figuratively of the works of Christ performed in and through us by the Holy Spirit), we then will be ready spiritually to be clothed with our glorified body from Heaven.
If we build God's tabernacle of wood, hay, and straw (referring to our own fleshly nature and works), when God comes to look it over His fiery Nature will consume it and all our building will be brought to nothing. The Scriptures indicate that we personally will be saved but we will lose our reward (I Corinthians 3:15).
Only the Holy Spirit, working on the basis of the authority and power of the blood of Christ, can make a success of cleansing the Temple of God from sin.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
"If ye through the Spirit." If we Christians are to become a part of the eternal Temple of God that is being constructed we must live no longer in the lusts of our flesh, following the inclinations of our mind and soulish nature. Instead, we must come under the daily discipline of the Holy Spirit and cooperate with Him as He leads us into the destruction of the excessive appetites of our body.
The blood of Christ can wash away the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical effects of sin. Unclean spirits are forced to leave, and personal traits of self-love, stubbornness, and double-mindedness are conquered, as the Holy Spirit (with our cooperation and willingness to learn and to resist the devil) works on the basis of the righteousness of the blood of Christ.
The rule of sin and death is undermined and finally destroyed altogether as the disciple is re-created in harmony with the image of Christ.
Because of the atoning authority and power of the blood of Christ, people no longer have to hide from God's Presence as did Adam. We can come boldly before the Throne of God and make our needs and desires known (Hebrews 4:16).
The physical body can be healed as part of the atonement. Eventually the last enemy, physical death, will be destroyed (I Corinthians 15:26). Our physical body will be resurrected and clothed with a body from Heaven fashioned from indestructible, resurrection life (Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 15:53; II Corinthians 5:2).
The Body of Christ, the Bride of the Lamb, is to show no mercy to the spiritual enemies of God and man but must follow the Lord Jesus into victory over all the forces of evil. The blood of Christ and the power of His resurrection enable us to overcome the power of sin in our fleshly nature. The God of Heaven is bringing all of Christ's enemies under His feet.
The blood of Christ protects, pardons, purges, and nourishes the saint. The blood is a garment covering our spiritual nakedness so we can come into the Presence of God Almighty without shame. We wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. As we confess our sins and repent of them, God forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
By confessing our sins, repenting, submitting to God, and resisting the devil, by the authority and power of the blood of Jesus to forgive and to purge, by the wisdom and strength that come to us from the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, and by eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood, a place for us is being prepared in the Father's House, that is, in Christ.
Through the grace of God we are cleansing and preparing the eternal dwelling place of the Lord God of Heaven so that God and we may dwell together in the Divine rest, in perfect love, perfect joy, and perfect peace.
The Word of God Is Planted in the HeartHearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. (Mark 4:3-8)
Four kinds of ground. As we think about the parable of the sower, which is the main parable of the Kingdom of God, we can notice that of the amount of the Word of God that is sown in the hearts of people, only a certain percentage ever bears any permanent fruit.
Some of the Divine Seed is taken away immediately by Satan.
Another part of the Seed springs into life, but the life remains on the surface of the personality and the roots never grow down into the inner character of the believer.
When affliction or persecution comes, the person who does not have strong spiritual roots is offended and follows Christ no longer. It becomes too painful to take up one's cross and daily seek the will of Jesus. A more pleasant and comfortable way of life is chosen. Since no roots have gone down deep into the heart, the heavenly Seed brings forth no lasting fruit.
A third part of the Word of God falls on the hearts of people who are involved with the things of the world. The Seed germinates and a new life begins to be developed. The lusts of the flesh, the coveting of material possessions, and entanglement in the affairs of the world also are growing and developing along with the Seed from Heaven. Eventually there is no room left for Christ. The Divine Life is crowded out and spiritual death follows.
The construction of the Temple of God commences with the planting of the living Word in the heart of the one who accepts Christ as Lord and Savior. If room is not made in the heart for the new life, if care is not taken that the Seed is nourished and cared for and has opportunity to grow and develop, the believer may make some headway in the plan of redemption for a season but finally will come short of a satisfactory entrance into the Kingdom of God.
When a man, woman, boy, or girl receives Christ, a new life, a portion of God Himself, is planted in the heart. If the new life is cared for properly it will bring forth a new personality of the same Substance and in the image of God from whom it came.
However, the life of God will not bring forth fruit if it is neglected by the Christian.
Of the four kinds of ground in which the Word is sown, three bring no fruit to perfection. The fourth kind of ground consists of people who take good care of the Word that has come to them. They wait on the Lord as He works in their heart.
And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. (Mark 4:8)
Thirty, sixty, and a hundred. Those "honest and good" hearts who make a success of the life of patient fruit-bearing to the Lord are set forth in three categories. Some of them bring forth thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold.
Here are three levels of laying hold on the grace of God that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The three stages of Christian development, thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold are typified by the three assemblings of the Israelites (Deuteronomy 16:16) and also by the three divisions of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The three convocations enjoined on the Israelites were Unleavened Bread (Passover), the feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the feast of Tabernacles.
The three areas of the Tabernacle of the Congregation were the Courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place.
It seems clear that the Scriptures reveal three major levels of attainment in Christ, and that all who choose to do so may seek and find the hundredfold level.
The three degrees of bearing fruit in Christ presented in the parable of the sower are as follows:
The level of justification through the blood of the Lord Jesus.
The level of ministry and holiness brought about by the operations of the Holy Spirit.
The throne level of dwelling and ruling in the fullness of the abiding of the Father and the Son.
Several times in the Book of Revelation we can note that the fullness of the inheritance goes to those who overcome, who live victoriously in Christ.
The pattern of the new Jerusalem itself with its surrounding "nations of them who are saved" appears to indicate that there are those who are part of the city itself, and then there are those who live in the light of the city. Revelation 3:12 states that Jesus will make him who overcomes a permanent part of the Temple of God, so much so that the name of God and the name of the city of God are inscribed on him.
The new Jerusalem is the Temple of God, the Lamb's Wife, and is an expression of the fullness of the Life of God in Christ. The hundredfold Christian will dwell eternally in the Divine Presence, his nature being in accord with the Nature of the Godhead. The eternal abiding is the "rest" of God, spoken of in the Scripture (Hebrews 4:9).
So then, there is much to be gained by pursuing the things of God, by watching over the Divine Seed until there is an abundant harvest in our personality. Keep in mind that the Seed is Christ and that the hundredfold yield indicates a full developing of the portion of Christ that has been planted in us.
The Seed is Christ and the fruit of the harvest is Christ.
The following promise was given to Abraham:
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:17,18)
Again, in Galatians we find:
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
The magnifying of Christ in us. Christ is "magnified" in our body (Philippians 1:20). When we give ourselves over wholly to walking in the Spirit of God, waiting continually on the will of Christ, the Divine Seed that has been planted in our heart begins to bring forth Christ in us.
Christ is multiplied, enlarged. He begins to "possess the gate of his enemies." This is the manner in which the eternal Temple of God, the new Jerusalem, the habitation of God, is being built.
If we truly are serving Christ, the foundation of the Temple is being laid now in our life. The consequences of our allowing God to build Christ in us will extend into eternity.
The Seed that is sown in us is the living Word of God. In some wonderful way God plants a part of Himself in us. There is Divine potential in the Seed that can transform a human being.
If we give our whole attention to the tending of the Seed a new creation will be brought forth. Divine Life will enter and re-create every atom of our personalityour spirit, our soul, and, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, our body.
A new creation is being formed. Our old nature is passing away and what remains is from God, of God, permeated in every area with Divine Substance (II Corinthians 5:17,18).
The "wood" of our humanity will be covered within and overlaid with the "gold" of Divinity (Exodus 25:10,11).
I John 3:9 informs us that "Whosever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin because he is born of God."
Peter describes the experience in these words: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, that liveth and abideth for ever " (I Peter 1:23).
The Seed and the Temple of God. The germination of the Seed of Christ in our heart is the beginning of the construction of the Temple of God. So important is the planting of the Divine Seed in the human heart that Jesus spoke to those who were about Him with reference to the parable of the sower: "Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" (Mark 4:13).
The planting of the Word of God in us is the beginning of the new creation, the key to understanding "all parables," the entrance into the Kingdom of God.
All that went before in the person's life is the old creation and is passing away. The germination of the Word of God is the start of the new creation. The new life in us will endure for ever if it is taken care of properly.
The Temple of God is ChristHead and Body. Flesh and blood never shall inherit the Kingdom of God. It is Christ Himself who is the Kingdom and who therefore must be born in us.
In a manner somewhat similar to Mary of old, the Holy Spirit comes upon us and the Holy One who is born in us is a son of Godthe Son of God, in one sense. We do not give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ in the physical realm as did Mary. Nevertheless, Christ is formed in us in a real although spiritual manner.
Christ is born in us. He is the Tabernacle of God.
Under no circumstances will any man, woman, boy, or girl who has not had Christ planted in his or her heart enter the Kingdom of God. It is Christ, and only Christ, who inherits the promises of God. "He saith not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" (Galatians 3:16).
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
When Christ takes root in our heart the Tabernacle of God has taken root in our heart. As Christ is built up in our heart the Tabernacle of God is built up in our heart. More Christ, more Tabernacle.
The more we allow the Holy Spirit to nourish the Divine Life in us the more of Christ will be formed in us. The more of Christ we have formed in us the more room there is for the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit to settle down to rest in us.
A seed brings forth after its kind. There is a law of nature governing seeds requiring that each seed bring forth a duplicate of the parent from which it came.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. (Genesis 1:11)
Seeds may look somewhat alike and yet bring forth plants that are quite different. The specifications for the mature plant are located in the tiny seed. The outside environment can hinder or help the growth of the plant but it cannot affect its nature. The seed alone determines the kind of plant that will grow out of the ground.
The program of growth and development established in code in the seed comes from the parent plant from which the seed came. The cycle of plant, to seed, to plant, to seed started with the first plant created by the Lord God, the seed of which was contained in itself.
The Seed planted in the Christian came from God. The same law of plant, to seed, to plant holds true in the case of the Divine Seed. The specifications for the mature plant are locked in the Seed.
The outside environment can hinder or help the growth of the Seed but it cannot affect the nature of the plant. Our humanity cannot take away from the Divinity and Goodness that are in the heavenly Seed nor can it add virtue to the full-grown plant.
The Word of God is the Seed from God, and the Seed alone determines the kind of plant that will be brought forth. The program of growth and development established in code in the Divine Seed comes from God Almighty.
If the Divine Seed is nourished and cared for properly it will develop into a creature who is of God, from God, of the Nature of God, in God's imagealtogether a son of God in every sense of the word.
This is why we must be born again. The personality that is born of earthly parents cannot enter the Kingdom of God, it cannot become the dwelling place of God. Only Christ is suitable as the habitation of God.
Therefore, Christ must be born in us and grow to maturity in us. "Verily, verily, I say to thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
The living Word of God must be sown and germinate in our heart. We must, "having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15). The result will be a transformation of our character.
The Kingdom of God is like a man who sows seed in the ground. Over a period of time the seed brings forth a sprout, a plant, and then a mature plant (from Mark 4:26-28). The Kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which, though the smallest of seeds, grows up and "shoots out branches" (from Mark 4:30-32).
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [a new creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, . . . (II Corinthians 5:17,18)
Think of it! All the old things of the first creation have passed away. All things of our personality have been created anew and all things now are of God.
It is a new creation. It is the Body of Christ, the Servant of the Lord, the eternal habitation of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
The Believer is Raised Spiritually In and With ChristChrist is alive forever, victor over death and Hell. We are one with Him in His resurrection. Therefore we also through Him are alive forever and a victor over death and Hell. "As he is, so are we in the world" (I John 4:17).
The indestructible, endless resurrection power of Christ lifts us up from the power of Satan, from the power of the spirit of the world, and from the power of our own self-willed, sinful fleshly nature. It enables us to purge ourselves from all sin and rebellion. The Holy Spirit imparts to us the desire to overcome sin and the necessary wisdom and strength to cleanse ourselves from all unrighteousness.
Separation from the sin and rebellion of the world and of the flesh, through Christ's atoning death and victorious resurrection, is portrayed by our coming up out of the waters of baptism.
Oneness with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death and in His resurrection is an important aspect of the development of Christ in us, of the building of the Temple of God in our life.
Will we continue in sin? It may be observed in the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans that our participation through faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is demonstrated by whether or not we continue in sin after we become a Christian.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Romans 6:1)
The answer that we give to this question, both in our words and in our conduct, reveals whether or not we understand the significance of water baptismwhat it means to be buried with Christ and risen with Christ.
If we keep on walking in the desires of the flesh after we become a Christian, stating that as long as we are in the world we are compelled to sin or that Christ has set us free and we are under no law of righteous conduct, we do not understand the nature or purpose of the redemption that is in Christ.
There are authority and power in our union with the death and resurrection of Christ that enable us to choose to live righteously. Chapter Six of Romans is a safeguard inserted by the Holy Spirit. Its purpose is to prevent a wrong conclusion from Paul's argument concerning the gift of gracean argument directed toward Judaizers who were forcing circumcision and other works of the Law of Moses on Gentile converts.
The safeguard has not been heeded. The Gentiles have interpreted Paul's explanation of grace to mean that the individual who accepts Christ is not obligated to live in righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. The goal of redemption has been subverted by ignorance. People keep on yielding to unrighteousness after being baptized in water.
The sixth chapter of Romans begins the next step of redemption after we enter the program by our acceptance of God's provision of the blood. The blood of Jesus is the door, and the only door, to the process of redemption.
Chapters One through Five of Romans describe the gift of justificationthat is, righteousness apart from the works of the Law of Moses, on the part of the believer. The gift of justification must be understood and accepted before there can be any progress in overcoming sin by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us state at this point that the Apostle Paul never contrasts grace and godly behavior. Paul contrasts grace and the Law of Moses. When Paul refers to works of righteousness he means the works of the Law of Moses. Paul would never contrast grace and godly behavior because the purpose of Divine grace is to create godly behavior, a new creation, in the human personality. This is one of the great areas of confusion of the Church Age.
Commencing with the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul explains the procedures that lead to the goals of redemptionprocedures available only after we enter through the doorway of the cross of Calvary.
Having begun the program by placing our faith in the blood of Christ we must continue by following the Holy Spirit as He destroys sin and self-seeking from us and creates the dwelling place of God through Christ in us.
If we do not press forward each day in the life of the Holy Spirit, thinking that Christ has set us free so we may conduct our life according to our own lusts and interests, not realizing He has purchased us so we may become His servant, then God's purpose in saving us through the blood is frustrated because of our ignorance of the program of redemption.
We must keep firmly in mind that God's purpose in forgiving us is not that we may continue to sin and rebel in the earth and then be admitted to Paradise when we die. God's purpose in forgiving us is that we may be changed into the image of Christ, providing a house for God and the means of accomplishing other goals that are part of His eternal plan in Christ.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3)
Water baptism is our entrance into the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. By faith we take our place with Him on the cross of Calvary. We become part of His death and His resurrection.
Christ is the true Seed of Abraham. We enter His death and His resurrection and are identified forever as being with Him, in Him, an inseparable part of Him. Therefore all that He Is we eventually will become in personality and in inheritance (Ephesians 5:29,30; Colossians 2:10; I John 4:17).
In water baptism we enter Christ's death and Christ's resurrection, not our own death and resurrection. We enter the suffering and death, and the power of the resurrection life, of the Lord Jesus Christ. The full identification of the believer with the death and the resurrection of Christ is essential to the life of victorious discipleship.
What is the purpose of entering Christ's death and resurrection?
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)
God is not reforming and saving our first personality. God directs us to assign our entire first personality to the cross, not just our sin nature, but our entire personality. The old creation, the race of Adam, is finished, in the sight of God.
This is true even of our fleshly knowledge of Christ.
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (II Corinthians 5:16)
Our "old man," that is to say, our first self, our adamic, animal nature, the first personality that was born of our earthly mother and father, goes to the cross by faith as Christ went to the cross. We go there so the "body of sin," the fleshly nature of lust and self-will that leads us into sin and rebellion against God, may be rendered powerless as to its control over our daily behavior.
Assigning our first self to the cross opens the way both legally and actually for God to perform in us many wonderful spiritual works. For example, our death in Jesus on the cross frees us legally from the jurisdiction of the Law of Moses.
Our personality now is a candidate for re-creation, the re-creation that comes about as the events of our life bring us into ever-deepening death, and character transformation. We die not only to the lusts and passions of sin but also to self-will and self-centeredness.
The destruction of lust and self-love from our personality makes possible a new creaturethe Word of God created by the penetration of Christ's death and resurrection into every aspect of what we are.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [a new creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (II Corinthians 5:17,18)
God has determined to bring into resurrection life every particle of our spirit, soul, and body. Our willingness to assign our whole first self to the cross of Jesus makes possible a resurrection, a new creation in Christ in which all things have been made newcompletely newand are of God.
The cross is the only route to resurrection life. The more of the cross we accept the more of the resurrection life we are able to experience.
The purpose of our crucifixion with Christ is that the fleshly nature in us may be rendered powerless so we may conduct ourselves in the righteous, holy, and obedient manner that is pleasing to God and that springs from and results in eternal life.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
Newness of life. What an act of creation the expression "newness of life" describes! If we are willing to go down into the waters of baptism in representation of the burial of our first personality, we then become eligible for the fullness of the glory of the Fatherthe glory that enters those who are crucified with Christ. The glory of the Father produces in them righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
There is astonishing, incomprehensible virtue, power, and wisdom in the "glory of the Father."
Will we enter His death voluntarily so we may receive the fullness of the Power that raised Christ from among the dead?
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Romans 6:5)
The "likeness" of Christ's resurrection has to do with the separating of our spirit, our soul, and finally our body from every trace of the bondages of sin and death. Christ has been resurrected and now is filled to overflowing with Divine Life.
It is God's plan that each member of the Church, the Body of Christ, the Temple of God, be resurrected and filled to overflowing with Divine Life in spirit, in soul, and in body.
Total resurrection requires acceptance of and cooperation with the death and resurrection that God requires of us.
It is necessary always to keep firmly in balance our identification with Christ.
Everything we are and will become is in Him and is Him in a profound sense. We can become discouraged quickly in our attempts to live the overcoming life if we lose sight of the fact that we are one with Him in His death, His resurrection, His victory, His righteousness, His holiness, His inheritance, His power, His authority. He is the one Seed of Abraham. When we are in Him we are part of the one Seed and heirs with Him of the promises of God.
He is the Vine. We are the branches growing out from the one true Vine.
It is possible to overemphasize our dependence on the righteousness of Christ, to misapply the passages that describe our identification with Christ. It is possible to apply the gift of grace and identification with Christ in such a manner that we ourselves do not grow into the image of Christ.
There are steps in the life of faith that we must take by our own will and determination, meanwhile looking to the Holy Spirit for guidance, encouragement, and power. If we talk about how righteous Jesus is, and then keep on walking in the appetites of the flesh, we are missing the mark. We are ignoring the bulk of the admonitions of the New Testament writings.
Our acceptance of our identification with Christ's righteousness can cause us to grow spiritually lazy and passive if we do not proceed from the area of belief to the area of practice. Most of the writings of the Apostles are addressed to the disciples, exhorting us to pursue the life of faith and righteousness.
If we claim there is nothing we are to do, Christ did it all, we do not understand the operation of the new covenant.
It does us no good to cry Lord! Lord! if we do not do what He says.
As in all other areas of the Christian discipleship there is a balance to be sought. All that we are is in Him and through Him. Yet, we are commanded to seek Christ diligently so we may more perfectly lay hold on the Virtue that flows to us each day from Him.
There will be a visible working out of the life of Christ in us if we truly are in Him. There will be a new creation. The new creature is the Kingdom of God. We are entering the Kingdom of God as the new creature, Christ, is being formed in us.
This is why Paul, in the sixth chapter of Romans, directs us to live as though we have been raised from the dead.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13)
Paul informs us that the grace of God in Christ has freed us from the authority of sin. Having been freed from the authority of sin we are to choose to yield our members "servants to righteousness unto holiness."
Being saved and baptized in water does not mean we no longer are able to sin nor does it mean that it does not matter whether or not we sin.
Being saved and baptized in water means that God has forgiven our sins through Christ and now expects us, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to choose to put off sinful behavior and to conduct ourselves in purity of deed, word, and thought.
Because we choose to serve God and not Satan, the world, or our own lusts or self-will, we begin to bear the fruit of holiness of conduct. The end result of holy conduct is eternal life (Romans 6:22).
Hidden with Christ in God. As soon as we are saved we are raised spiritually to sit with Christ on the highest throne of the universe, far above the forces of darkness, far above every other authoritywicked or righteous.
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his majestic power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (Ephesians 1:19-21)
The moment we are born again our spiritual position in Christ is as high as it can ever go. We never shall ascend higher than the throne of Christ. We are there as soon as Christ is born in us.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 2:6)
We now are in the heavenlies in Christ. Our problem is our life in our physical body on the earth. Our body is not at the right hand of God. It is not above the forces of darkness. It is dead because of the fleshly nature, the sin and rebellion, that is in it.
The true Christian discipleship is that of choosing each day to walk on the earth according to our new born-again spiritual nature that is in Christ at the right hand of God, rather than according to the lusts of our flesh and mind that tempt us while we are on the earth.
We make that choice each day of our life on earth.
We can avail ourselves of the grace of God and live in resurrection joy and peace, or we can carelessly follow the impulses of our soulish nature, not giving attention to prayer, to Scripture reading, to gathering together with fervent believers to worship the Lord and to receive from Him the strength and wisdom we must have in order to make the right choices.
In several passages Paul warns us that if we choose to follow our flesh, rather than the Holy Spirit as He builds up our new spiritual nature, we will die spiritually. We will not attain the resurrection life that comes to those who choose to live according to the Spirit of God.
Our task while we are alive on the earth is to keep looking toward our spiritual position in Christ in the heavenlies; and by faith in God's Word, and by the strengthening that comes from the Holy Spirit, to bring the Divine Life down into our actions, our thoughts, and our speech.
Our behavior on the earth should reflect our position in Christ at the right hand of God in Heaven.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
We are dead, in a spiritual sense, having died in and with Christ by faith. Our true life at this time is in Heaven, in Christ in God. Our battle on the earth is to keep on behaving according to our heavenly position.
Meanwhile, our soul is under pressure each day because of the sin and death that attack us on every hand. We must keep on seeking Christ with all our strength and attention; otherwise we yield to lust, to hatred, to murmuring, to envy, or to some other unclean deed, word, or thought.
When the Lord Jesus returns from Heaven there will be a reconciliation of our heavenly life with our bodily life on the earth, provided we do not destroy our new spiritual nature, our grasp on Heaven, by living in the appetites of the flesh.
(Colossians 3:4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
We who are saved are in Heaven now as to the spiritual aspect of our personality. When Jesus returns we shall return with Him. We then shall enter a new phase of our existence in which our spirit, our re-created, Christ-filled character, and our immortalized body are united.
The new creation will be a fuller manifestation of the Kingdom of God than is true of us in the present hour. It will occur at the revealing of the sons of God, at the appearing of the Lord from Heaven.
Since this is true, we are exhorted as follows:
Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence [desires], and covetousness, which is idolatry: (Colossians 3:5)
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: (Colossians 3:8-10)
As soon as Christ is born in us He is caught up to the throne of His Father. Christ always is at the right hand of the Father. Our new life is in Him in the Father from the moment of our new birth.
Let us therefore place our affections and interests at the right hand of God. By so doing we will be able to live according to the discipline of the Holy Spirit and not according to the lusts of our flesh.