Standing and State, Part Three

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It is true that our condition is not equal to our position, but God wants to make it so. That is His purpose.

It is true that our condition is not equal to our position, but God wants to make it so. That is His purpose. He is going to make us just like the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2). He is not satisfied with our living imperfect lives, but wants us to become more and more perfect in our state day by day. When He finishes His work in us, our state and our standing will be both just alike.

When your mother starts to embroider a fine piece of linen, she buys a stencil and presses the design on the linen with a hot iron. The whole plan of the work is there; she then proceeds to spend days, and sometimes months, embroidering each little bit according to the plan. So, from the very first moment we are saved, God puts Christ upon us; this is our position. He then proceeds to work within us that we may be conformed to that image so that our condition may be nearer to what we are in Gods sight, in Christ.

How will God accomplish His purpose? How can He make us like the Lord Jesus? One way is by the Bible. The Bible can make us like the Lord Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we read that we behold as in a glass (or mirror, which means the Bible) the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord. When you look into the Bible you find the Lord Jesus there. It tells about Him, and all the wonderful things He does. The Holy Spirit takes the words of that wonderful Book, and somehow, uses them to make us more like the Lord Jesus. The more you read your Bible, and learn verses from it, the more quickly the Holy Spirit can make your state like your standing. The Lord Jesus prayed the Father, asking Him to do this. He said, “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17). This could well be translated: Make them holy through Bible study. That is why we are so interested in having you know all that you can about this wonderful book.

You must be willing to do what God wants you to. He is very patient, and He will not make you do what is right, unless you want to. But if you are willing to do the things that please Him, it will be much easier for Him to make you like the Lord Jesus. Paul wrote to the Romans, beseeching them to yield to the Lord (Romans 12:1).

Prayer will help too. The more you talk with the Lord, the better you will come to know Him, and it is when you know Him that you will become more like Him. You know that you learn to recognize the voices of people that live in your home, and you even learn to recognize their step on the stairs. We should learn to live so closely to God, and to spend time with Him so that we can know His voice when He speaks to us, and learn to obey.

Of course we shall never in this world be perfect in our state, for we have the old nature within us, and that is always bad. But when the Lord Jesus comes the work will be finished, and we shall be made just exactly like Him.

STUDY QUESTIONS

  • Why is God so concerned with our holiness?
  • How are we made holy?
  • What things are necessary for the process of sanctification according to Dr. Barnhouse?

 

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