As I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord there are a list of concepts that I have found to be revolutionary and rooting in my walk:
- Identificaion Truths
- Positional Truths
- Understanding of Covenants and Dispensations
This is the concept that is presented strongly in Romans 6 and various other places confirm and expound on the idea that we were identified with Christ in His crucification, death, burial and resurrection. We were identified with Christ and so we therefore are not slaves to sin. We still will sin due to our bodies being strapped to the sin nature but that is why Paul writes that we should reckon our bodies dead. Instead of focusing on the flesh we should set our minds on the things above (Colossians 3:1-3).
This is the concept that my position is in Christ. Right now I’m hidden with Christ (Colossians 3 again) and no matter what I do in this human body I am baptized into Christ and cannot be seperated from Him. My relationship with Christ should be consuming and not my keeping track of my condition. My condition is what I’m experiencing now on the earth. My position is perfect in Christ due to my identification with Him, but my condition can at times not match my position. However, as we walk in fellowship with Christ we will have our condition match our position. This is the process of sanctification, there is no hindrance to our sanctification we will be conformed to the image of Christ, even if we have ‘Jonah’ moments where we walk in the flesh and try to walk away. Ephesians 2:10 says that God has good works planned for us, which means that even if he needs to bring about a large fish to relocate us, get a donkey to talk to us, or bring us to the bottom of things in our condition, He is sanctifying our lives and conforming us to the image of Christ!
Abiding in Christ
Instead of trying to figure out what righteousness looks like in a to-do list fashion we should be focusing on our relationship with Christ. This guarantees us a righteous walk and that we will exceed any set of rules or laws that we may be able to construct. Instead of trying to live down to laws, which only put us into bondage, we need to abide in Christ (see John 15) and this will produce the fruit of Christ in our lives. Don’t get distracted by junk that you can do, but instead be focused on Christ who will do pure and rewardable things in your life!
This is a consistent and methodical approach to reading and understanding scripture. Inconsistancy in interpretation is one of the major reasons that there are differences in believer’s theology (that’s a rather obvious statement, sorry). Paul tells us that we need to be united in our doctrine and I think that one of the big issues that I see today in the church is that we don’t recognize that the author of scripture (the Holy Spirit) had one intended meaning for what He inspired through the human writers. I have written about hermeneutics before, you can read it here.
Understanding of Covenants and Dispensations
Understanding the major sections of scripture and the agreements God made with mankind helped me get a feel for the plan of God for the world. Understanding the Noahic covenant was critical in grasping God’s plan for grace, capital punishment, God’s provision for eating meat, and God’s faithfulness in not destroying the world with another flood. Then you learn about Abraham’s covenant, which is really God’s covenant with himself to Abraham and his descendents. After that you learn about God’s covenant with Israel, God’s covenant with David and then the New Covenant in Jeremiah. Grasping these covenants, seeing who they relate to, when they relate to and how they fit into the timeline of scripture is awesome and something I suggest every believer study and grow in.
From there you can grow in many, many areas because of God’s word being so amazing, but those things really helped me grasp my relationship with God and helped me understand the Bible more wholely. Reading scripture (or listening) and understanding what your reading makes it easier to grow as well as discern when others are teaching law or mis-understanding God’s word because you know what it means with certainty because you have a consistent method and a broader knowledge of the Bible.
Resting in Him,