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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Suffering and Rulership
If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; (II Timothy 2:12—NIV)
The demands Christ is making on His victorious saints are greater than we have known previously. When the demands are presented to the Christians, other teachers rise up and speak of how we are qualified for Heaven by the grace of God and we are to rest in His mercy and redemption. It certainly is understandable that this objection should be voiced.
The problem is, the teachers and believers who are holding out for the "go to Heaven by grace" position do not understand the purpose of suffering, of the need for enduring hardness, for iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father. They do not recognize the purpose for such painful transformation when God's mercy and grace are sufficient to bring us to Heaven.
If God's plan were to bring us to Heaven to recline on our ivory bed, having grapes popped into our mouth by servant girls, and if our ticket to such a paradise were our acknowledgment of the theological truth concerning Jesus Christ, then those who are calling the believers to cross-carrying obedience would rightfully be seen as individuals with a need to be unhappy and to have everyone else unhappy.
But God's plan for us is not to recline on beds of ease while we are served pies and cakes that can never make us fat. God is preparing rulers and priests who will govern His creation with a rod of iron. The purpose of the fires and waters through which He brings them is to create godly character that will enable them to rule successfully.
This is why the call today is to arm ourselves with the willingness to suffer as Christ suffered, to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
One of the aspects of salvation that really warps the thinking of God's people is that of imputation, or imputed righteousness. In order to get us started on the road to transformation into the moral image of Christ and entrance into untroubled rest in the center of God's will, God has furnished us with a legal device known as imputation.
Imputation, or imputed righteousness, accomplishes three things for us: it frees us from the authority of the requirements of the Law of Moses, it forgives our sins of the past, and it forgives our sins of the present and future provided we follow the Spirit of God instead of the desires of our flesh and soul. This last part is often left out, leaving us with an incorrect understanding of redemption.
In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4—NIV)
Romans 8:1 states there is no condemnation resting on those who are in Christ. This verse is often quoted. However its meaning is perverted.
It is presented as though once we have taken the four steps of salvation we can never again come under Divine condemnation no matter what we do. This is not what is it says, it is not what it means.
To be continued.