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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Suffering and Rulership, continued
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (Romans 8:1—NIV)
The verse says, "there is no condemnation resting on those who are in Christ." It does not say there is no condemnation resting on those who have taken the four steps of salvation.
To be "in Christ" is defined in verse four: "who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." Such people are rare today. This means that people who are not under Divine condemnation are a small minority.
To be "without condemnation" means God is imputing or ascribing righteousness to us. So we have the general attitude of Evangelicals, "There is no need for me to do anything because Christ has ascribed everything to me apart from my behavior."
The truth is, the only thing that is ascribed to us is a legal righteousness that holds only as long as we are not living according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
The formation of Christ in us is not ascribed to us or given to us instantaneously and magically.
The fruit of the Spirit is not ascribed to us or given to us instantaneously and magically.
Joy is not ascribed to us or formed in us instantaneously and magically.
Conformation to the image of Christ and untroubled rest in the Father are not ascribed to us or given to us instantaneously and magically.
As we said, the only thing ascribed to us is a legal righteousness that covers us as long as we are walking in the light of God's Presence and will.
Now we come to rulership in the Kingdom of God. The authority to govern and the ability to govern are not ascribed to us—cannot be ascribed to us or given to us instantaneously or magically, not now, not when we die, not when the Lord appears.
The authority to govern is given, according to the clear Word of God, as we actually, through the Lord Jesus Christ, overcome the problems presented in the second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation.
The ability to govern, the rod of iron, is formed in us as we suffer. Suffering burns the sin and self-will out of us. Suffering teaches us obedience to the Father. Suffering enables us to partake of the Father's holiness and yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness—actual righteousness, not imputed righteousness.
So we see that imputed righteousness is a legal maneuver of the Father that enables us to commence and pursue the program that leads to moral transformation and rest in the Father's will.
The horrific misunderstanding of our time is that imputed righteousness is an alternative to the slow, painful process of moral transformation and rest in the Father's will.
Everything is imputed to us, we think. The Kingdom is imputed to us. Ruling with Christ is imputed to us. Paradise is imputed to us. Aren't we having fun in the Son! Whoopee! Just think of the poor people of the Old Testament trying to live righteously when everything has been imputed to us and all we have to do is wait until we go to Heaven and have our mansion with our backyard full of diamonds.
Dear God in Heaven, how did we ever get ourselves into such a mess? Will Evangelicalism ever recover?
To be continued.