Lessons in Growth Meditations: 21. A Matter of Position
Eph 2:6,7 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Overview: The first Part was all about having died to the old life. The second Part was all about the power of God that gives us new resurrected lives. This third Part is all about our Position TODAY and what that can mean. In the opening study of this Part we looked at the ascension of Christ and noted our verses above, but before we move on I sense we need to really get hold of this matter of position more fully.
About Perspective: It is, of course, a matter of perspective. In the first Part we noted the apostle Paul telling us to consider ourselves dead to the old life so that the things of the past will not impact us in the present. It was a matter of perspective. In the second Part we emphasized again and again the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit who is our power source for what I have called again and again, our resurrected lives. A matter of perspective and understanding. But now it about us seeing ourselves – yes, very much with our daily human lives living out human existence here on earth, and yet seeing ourselves as linked to Christ and therefore, in the realm of the Spirit, being seated with him in heaven where he is seated at his Father’s right hand. The ‘resurrected life’ emphasized the power we have today, but the life ‘seated with Christ in the heavenly realms’, is all about authority that leads to action that expresses the kingdom of God on earth.
The Godhead: First of all, how does this actually work? Well, it’s very simple isn’t it. We have dwelling within us the Holy Spirit, otherwise referred to as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ. It is God within us. But God expressed His one self in three ways. As the Father is the all-powerful authority over all things, so the Son is the part of the Godhead who exists alongside the Father in heaven from before time, who left heaven, came to earth, died for us, rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven where he is seated at the Father’s right hand ruling. (Sorry, we do need to say these things again and again for many today seem to lack this understanding).
The Spirit: The third member of the Godhead, or the third expression of it is, of course the Holy Spirit, the power-on-earth element of it, who moves on the earth expressing the will of the Father and the Son and is now indwelling all Christians. He is the link between us and Christ in heaven and He is the way Christ communicates with us. In this sense we are completely linked with Christ and there is able, therefore, to be a two-way communication. It is because of this permanent link that we are to envisage ourselves as being seated with him as he reigns. As we are open to him, so we become vessels or instruments through whom he can flow and act here on earth. Of course, because we cannot see him, it is an act of faith to believe, to hear, and to respond.
With God: But next we need to see what this ‘position’ means and because it is a position in heaven that means, first of all, that it is a position in the presence of God. I have already in the past studies put forward a ‘God first’ strategy and that must come to the fore again here. Anything and everything we say in this Part must take its origin from God; that is the big emphasis. In heaven everything focuses on God. If you want a revelatory picture of this, sometime read Revelation 21 and see the position and emphasis on God and His Son seen there.
Place of Revelation: Second, because it is heaven, there is also a sense of being ‘above’ the earth and therefore everything of the earth is visible to heaven and therefore God sees everything and knows everything. This position therefore, as we share it with Christ, is a position of revelation, and we will find that various aspects of it, will be about knowing in ways that go beyond normal human experience. Revelation plays a big part.
Place of Power & Authority: Third, because this is all about God, it is also all about power and authority. We might take that as read when we start by saying we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but this takes on a new emphasis now because it is a direct link to the Godhead and so there is this enormous sense of power and authority wherever God is concerned.
Holiness: Fourth, because we are now talking about a more intimate or closer link to Jesus by his Spirit, and this to the Godhead in its entirety, we must remember a crucial word that occurs in the Bible over five hundred times – holy. It means to be utterly different and it reminds us that God is perfect, and that means He cannot be improved upon, He is complete, lacking nothing. There is also a moral or ethical dimension to it, that He is morally perfect. How can we have contact with such a God and still live? Only by the completed work of the Son of God on the Cross. Never have any silly idea that this concept, that we are touching on in this Part, allows us to become super-beings, super-Christians who can do what they like. We are what we are because of Christ and we do what we do because of Christ – nothing more and nothing less.
Strategy: Fifth, what we are now looking at is another phase in the strategy of the Godhead formulated before the creation of the world, and it opens up a vista or panorama of new understanding for the child of God who is open to the Lord in His word and by His Spirit. In this we grow. The apostle Paul caught something of this panorama when he spoke of when Christ returns again at some future time and he says, “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:24,25)
In that, we catch the big purpose of the present time – an era in the history of existence when the Son of God is working with those who become believers, children of God, to counter the works of the Fall and to bring an expression of the kingdom of God to earth. As we play our part in this, so we grow. Now because this is such a big and significant concept, we will stop this present study here and pick up on the kingdom of God tomorrow.