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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Why Has God Justified Us?, #2
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
When I say that eternal residence in Heaven is not the goal of our justification by faith I am going against a tremendous weight of tradition.
Therefore, if you would be so kind, before you read any further, would you please go through your New Testament and highlight every passage that states Heaven is our eternal home. Would you do that right now, please. Thank you.
Now that you have discovered there are no passages in the New Testament (or the Old) that state Heaven is our eternal home, you may be ready to hear what else I have to say.
There are at least four steps in a prerequisite-and-accomplishment chain that may be of interest to you.
The first step is justification by faith. Justification by faith leads to:
Our marriage to the Lamb. Our marriage to the Lamb leads to:
Our change into the image of Christ and entrance into untroubled rest in the center of the Presence and will of God. Our change into the image of Christ and entrance into untroubled rest in the center of the Presence and will of God lead to:
Our being qualified and competent to serve God in at least fourteen roles and task of the Kingdom of God.
You may notice that none of these four steps is a change in where we are, that is, in Heaven rather than on the earth.
The first step is a change in our relationship to God. We are held to be righteous and thus live in His presence. We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ.
The second step is a change in our relationship to Jesus Christ. We are married to the Lamb.
The third step is a change in what we are and in our obedience to God. We are changed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit, soul, and—at His return—in our outward appearance. Also, we are brought into perfect rest in the center of God's Person and will.
The fourth step is a change in what we are able to do. We can perform at least fourteen roles and tasks in the Kingdom of God.
There is no question that righteousness and life are in the Bank of Heaven. Whoever is willing to do so may pray and ask God to apply some of this capital to his or her own account. Such righteousness and life, given freely to whoever chooses to ask for it, undergird all further work of salvation.
If we are to understand salvation (deliverance from the hand of the enemy) we must move from the current "ticket" doctrine to the view that salvation is a program. It is not a ticket, a one-time event in which we make a profession of faith in Christ. It is a program, a process made possible by our asking for and receiving the righteousness earned but not spent by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The program of redemption, of deliverance from Satan, includes two main aspects.
The first aspect of salvation is the destruction of the sinful nature from our personality. The second aspect is the forming of Christ in us. The program of salvation depends for its authority on our asking for and receiving the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To be continued.