Salvation relayed through the gospel is a glorious truth that is richer and mysterious than what we often associate with the word. Salvation is not about being destined for heaven, it’s not about giving our hearts to Jesus, and it’s definitely more than being forgiven of sins.
Salvation is of course synonymous with being saved. But, what saves us? Is it the fact that through His death, He has taken our sins and by believing and appropriating this truth we are forgiven? Indeed this is clearly relayed in the Word of God. His death has brought us into redemption. But this is neither the complete gospel nor the end of our salvation, it is simply the first and initial step of our journey. Our redemption is not the ultimate objective for which Jesus died. Through His death was made available to all men justification. But an important aspect of our salvation is not our justification alone but also our sanctification. Justification is assurance of our forgiveness but sanctification deals with being consecrated to God. The Greek word for sanctification is ‘hagiazo’ and means to purify internally by renewing of the soul.
This renewing work is at the center of God’s divine plan orchestrated before the foundation of the world. This plan is intended to produce Christ in His sons. But, our redemption, in itself, does not give us any new caliber of living the Christ life. The life of many today who profess the name of the Lord is testament of this fact. There’s only one standard that God has established by which our life is measured and that is Christ Jesus. Anything short of Christ is unsatisfactory to the Father. In fact, anything we do that does not emanate from the indwelling Christ is the flesh and no flesh can glory in His presence (1Cornth 1:29). For we can do nothing without Him.
So, how can we achieve this lofty goal? We simply can’t! That’s why the spirit of Christ came to dwell in us. It is His life at work in us that saves us. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the life, eternal life, Zoe life, the God kind of life, our life. This is the life we are called to live as sons. His life quickened within is what enables us to live the God kind of life. It’s this divine life operating in us that saves us daily through an ongoing processing. No one comes to the Father except by this life.
In God’s view, our growth and maturity or if you like our “reward” is not measured simply by how many people we’ve led to Christ or how much we serve. It is not measured by the size of the sacrifice presented on the altar but the altar itself. For it is the altar that sanctifies the sacrifice (Mat. 23:19-21 & Rev. 11:1-2). If the alter is sanctified then any sacrifice presented on that alter is acceptable and well pleasing to the Father.
Thus, our growth corresponds with the degree to which Christ has been revealed in our experience. It occurs in four ways. He reveals Himself to us, He revels Himself in us, He reveals Himself as us, and He reveals Himself through or out of us.
Our initial redemption brought us to the revelation of our Savior Jesus Christ. At this stage we’ve yet to cross the Jordan into Canaan. We’ve yet to experience the Lordship of Christ. Remember the Jordan is synonyms with death. It was after being baptized in the Jordan that Jesus was legitimized by the Father as His Son and His Sonship ministry, empowered by the Holy SpiritSpirit, began. This transitioning is also illustrated by the arrangements in the Tabernacle, specifically the transitioning from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place, from Pentecost to the feast of Tabernacles, from the candlesticks to the throne (Rev. 4:1). To those who have ears to hear to what the spirit says there is a call to come up higher. A call to enter into identification with Christ through death.
Once Christ has been revealed to us, He summons us to press on to get a hold of that for which He took hold of us. He wants ‘Christ in us’ to become reality in our heart and mind. He calls us to remove all religious notions and images of God created by carnal man. He imparts to us the divne revelation that God in Christ is bringing forth one new man and in Him we are being built together for a dwelling place of God (Eph. 2:15, 22).
Even now Christ is being formed in a many membered body. He is not on a celestial throne somewhere out in the Milky Way. He is moving and living among sons. Many today loudly profess and have been exposed to the truth that He is in them, but may it not be mere mental accent or rhetoric. May it be a deeply rooted revelation that transforms us. And may God help us to remove every notion of a Christ in heaven somewhere in the sky apart from the indwelling Christ, to paint such a picture does not help us come into His fullness. Paul declares that God had “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). We are not waiting to die (physically) to go to heaven, for heaven is not a geographic or astral location, heaven is the realm of Spirit. Heaven is where God is. For there can be no heaven outside of God. And if God is omnipresnet; unbounded by time and space, then heaven also has no time-space bounderies. And He assures us time and again that He is in you and me. Thus heaven is near, closer than the air we breathe. And our level of God conciousness determines the degree to which we experience heaven in our every day walk.
Furthermore, we need to come to the revelation of why He is in us. He’s not just fuel for the journey. Christ is in us to actually live this life as us. Paul affirms that: I no longer live but Christ lives in me. Paul ceases to exist (as in the soulish carnal realm of Paul), it’s Christ moving and living and ministering and loving through him. This is a quality of life where God by the Spirit of Chirst works in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure.
Christ as the standard of this God-life can only be met by none other than Him. It is this standard of life the Father demands; Christ manifested as us. “He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing… Herein is my Father glorified.” (John 15:5,8). The word ‘abide’ is the Greek ‘meno’ which means to remain, not just in reference to time but also in reference to state or condition; “to remain as one, not to become another or different.” Christ unveiled as us is also relayed by John; “Beloved now we are the children of God and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is reveled we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2). As He is so are we in this world. He is our indwelling reality.
Salvation extends this far and even further, thus far all that has been relayed takes place within us in the spiritual sense. That is why there is a call in this hour to turn inward from the seen realm which is temporal to the unseen superior realities of Spirit. This is a quickening by the Spirit of His Son that causes us to move on from the outward experience of Pentecost to press on into the richness and glory of the indwelling Christ to walk-out our adoption as sons.
The unveiling is a spiritual experience that happens in the inner man but eventually extends outward; where there will be the revealing of Christ through or out of us. The process of the unveiling and manifestation is at the heart of what is relayed in the book of Revelation. It is the progressive revelation or unveiling of Jesus Christ in a people, yes even now. Putting off the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as literal apocalyptic events that will take place in the future is a great fallacy instigated by religious men. But the unveiling of Jesus Christ is part of the glorious plan of God until He becomes all in all (1 Cornth. 15:28).
You see, this unveiling will revolutionize the world just as Jesus did in the three plus years he ministered. But greater works will we do. Why? Because it will be Christ Himself fully manifested in a glorious company of called-out sons moving and living to do the will of the Father. This glorious unveiling is relayed in Romans 8:19, 21: “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God… because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” The gospel liberates even creation. All that came out of Him will return to Him (Eph, 1:10). This is our gospel! This is salvation: God ALL in ALL!
Let us move on past the cross, past Pentecost, past the in-part candlestick realm and press on to perfection, to the culmination of our salvation through His life. For this is the Father’s deep desire relayed even through these words. His death redeems us, His life saves us. Paul declares in Romans 5:10: “For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Amen!