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Pointers along the way #77

Taking our position
- Jacob Ninan

One of the things that may confuse us when we read the Bible is about reconciling the strong statements about victorious life with what we see in our actual experience. The Bible says that when Jesus died on the cross we died with Him and that we are now seated with Him in heaven (Ro.6:6,8;Eph.2:6). As a result of this, we are dead to sin, freed from sin and alive to God (Ro.6:7,11).

Now there are two simplistic ways to deal with this. The common way is to look at our experience and conclude that these things are not true or at least not true for us. The second way is to struggle to make our experience fit with these words in the Bible. The first way results in settling down to a defeated life with no hope of victory. The second way also ultimately results in defeat, because we are not able to get to a life of victory however much we may struggle. At the end of the struggle this way leads to frustration and disillusionment also.

When we look at our experience we think we are right here on earth and not in heaven, and we have not died or become dead to sin. We do see that when we were born again the Lord has given us a desire to stop sinning. But does our experience seem to indicate that that is just as far as we are likely to get?

If we want to find the right approach we have to start from a position that what the Bible says must be true, even if we are unable to explain it in terms of our experience (Ro.3:4). What we can understand then is that what the Bible describes is the position God has granted to us through grace because we believe in what Jesus has done for us.

It is like God placing a large amount of money in our account and asking us to take and use it. The money is now ours by right. But we can only enjoy it as much as we take out and spend. At the same time we must realise that it is there for us to take, and that we don't have to struggle and earn it.

There is a crucial difference between believing that the things God has said are true and then going on to enjoy them, and thinking that we have to work hard and somehow come to attain to all such levels. When God asks us to work out our salvation (which has already been granted to us), we don't have to work for our salvation (Php.2:12,13).

Meditate on what God has said He has done for us till we receive faith. When we believe what God has written, faith comes in, and then we won't even have any problem believing that we can stop becoming anxious, losing our temper and being overcome by lustful thoughts.