Saturday, February 07, 2009

No struggle

As a sinner, I didn't have to struggle and strive to maintain my standing as a sinner. I was in Adam, and even when I did "good" things, my standing in Adam was maintained.

As a saint, I now don't have to struggle and strive to maintain my standing as a saint. I am in Christ, and even when I do "bad" things, my standing in Christ is maintained!

I was born in Adam.
Alive to sin, dead to God.
My very identity was a matter of sin and death.

I've been born again in Jesus.
Dead to sin, alive to God.
My very identity is a matter of righteousness and life!

Life in Christ isn't a matter of a bad person becoming a good person. It's a matter of a dead person becoming alive!


  1. YES, YES, YES!!

    And I'll NEVER get tired of hearing the TRUTH!

    "See" you tomorrow night.

  2. ah ah ah AH- MEN!! (as sung in the doxology.......)

  3. Awwwww... such good words here, Joel...
    Especially in light of what I just did!!

    You'll need to check out my blog post today- EVERYONE, I mean!!! :)

    Thanks God, I don't have to become a good person, now!!!
    Pheww! (wiping forehead)

  4. Thanks Joel, I cant hear this Truth enough or even to much, and thanks all that echo this in their writings.
    Best to ya's

    ps. think I'll pop over and see what FS. is talking about...

  5. Hmm... ...
    He must be in church, or somethin'... ... ...

    Well, that, or busy practicing his new dance. Can't wait to see it!! :)

  6. Joel is the opener the the very reverend J Slick this morning!!! giggling

  7. Joel,
    Great post. Sweet and to the point. ALL filled with Truth!

    "I've been born again in Jesus. Dead to sin, alive to God. My very identity is a matter of righteousness and life!"

    Me too!

    Talk to you tonight!

    ~Amy :)

  8. Religion is most like a computer virus for brains. It comes complete with instructions for development and propagation of the virus, and code that prevents the person from deleting it or noticing that it doesn't conform to reality. It is orchestrated, organized, and officially sanctioned psychosis, made easily digestible and palatable to the masses.

    Learn to think before you learn to believe, or you’ll soon believe that you don’t have to think.

  9. Hey all,

    Right on... this stuff never gets old!

    And don't check out Free Spirit's blog. She was walking according to her flesh. ;)


    I had to cancel my opening for my brother Slick, due to a sudden case of sanity.

    Saint Brian,

    I think most of us here would agree with most of what you're saying here.

    See some of you in a couple hours!

  10. Joel,I get what you're saying in your summary last paragraph. But it often seems like you leave off the rest of the gospel,which anyone who is saved wanted to hear in the first place-that salvation delivers from the power of sin so that we might be practically transformed into the same image of Christ,too. From glory to glory out of the fullness of our completeness in Christ. We were freed from sin and the law so that we might be slaves to righteousness(Rom6)in the liberty of grace. But it's impossible not to be getting better,in the transformation sense,if we're under the dynamic of grace,walking by faith. Grace upon grace. This is part of the whole of salvation...there's always a connection beween the 'inner'and the 'outer'.

  11. Hey Phil,

    The point you're arguing is the point Joel is arguing I think. He is saying we are now free to live in righteousness because it is our own desire and is who we are now. No longer do I strive to obey, but my obedience issues from my heart. So no longer do I need laws to command me, but I am led by the Spirit of Christ inside. No longer are God's laws written on tablets of stone for me to observe, remember and struggle to keep. If I do that, I nullify the work of the Spirit and try to go on perfecting myself by my own flesh.

    If I can keep the law by trying harder, then what need do I have of God's Spirit leading me?

    The point of grace isn't to live in sin and none of us will ever tell you that. The reason I came to grace is because I got tired of not being able to do the things I want to do. When my focus was on my performance, it was never on Christ and the law I put myself under made Christ of no advantage to me.

    All life is of grace and comes only by the Spirit of God. Salvation and godliness both come from Jesus Christ.

    I know Joel is more than able to explain himself, but I wanted to try to elaborate a little.

  12. Joel - Powerful Truth! Thank you!

  13. Phil, what you often see here is the "roots" part of Grace Roots. In short, I've found that the church in general preaches a bad-news gospel that seems to miss the root of it all. They preach "change" and "transformation" but they leave out the good news that the entirety of Life is by grace! Their 'good news' is basically something that they touch on briefly... 'sinners' can be saved apart from works. But then once they're a Christian, the good news ends and they must work to change and transform themselves.

    What I focus on a lot (simply because it's deep in my heart and it's something I learn more about every day) it the "root" that I think is sadly left out in much of the church. But you will also notice that this blog is about walking in grace and growing in grace. Check back and you will see plenty of it!

    Of course God didn't save us just to sit there as dead logs! He came to give life, and life more abundantly! How can this not transform a person! But if they don't know the root, how can genuine transformation take place? Hebrews 13 says it is good that the heart be established by grace. That's what I'm trying to encourage myself and others in. Being established in grace.

  14. Totally Agree! May we all be blessed and live according to the will of God

  15. Phil... sorry for taking a while to get back. Been off doing other things.

    Living the Christian life, to me, isn't about finding out "how" to live it. As I've said plenty of times, the "root" of it all is resting, abiding. As we do, the "fruit" eventually comes... and it comes naturally. If one is resting in Christ, one cannot help but be transformed... but the transformation cannot be forced. So it's neither a matter of "trying to follow commands" nor "sitting there as a dead log." It's a restful, intimate relationship with the One who has joined us together with Himself. There is no "how" to live the Christian life.

    It's not about being a dead, limp puppet. It's about being a living being who is joined together with the One who has all the power, grace and love that is needed to animate that joined life. Our "job," as Jesus said, is to "believe." This is an active trust. As we trust, His life in us animates us in ways like nothing else can.

  16. Rodney, thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

  17. Hi Phil,

    Quite frankly I hope my own wording of my views speak for themselves. :)

  18. Truthfully I don't really know much about Keswick or a 'higher life' view of the Christian life. I've heard bits and pieces about them. Anyway, my main point in my last comment was that hopefully what I say will speak for itself, whether compared to something else or not. I'm just not all that into 'movements' or 'labels' and such. :)

  19. Joel,thanks. I guess most of what I've heard about it has come from reformed circles,which are a bastion of law in sanctification,and they speak negatively of it. Still,they make some good points,if they understand it right. They say that it's all about getting out the way and dying to self so that Christ can come forth. I guess my concern is just what 'getting out the way' is. I think I've seen you talk about continuously ' dying to self', but I think you have a crucial difference to how the Keswick thing is represented. You're saying we couldn't die to self so Christ died and we in him. Victory doesn't come by a daily 'getting yourself out the way by stretching yourself out on a cross' as if the Old man was still there and needed to be continuously dealt with,but that he's BEEN dealt with, we are new creations-so let's reckon it so and live by the resurrection life of Christ in us with every adequacy already ours...yeah,I guess I'm liking labels less. Can be useful descriptors sometimes, perhaps.