Living for Christ

Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians provides an authoritative guide for what it means to live for Christ. The famous Chinese Christian martyr, Watchman Nee, summarized this epistle with three words: Sit, Walk and Stand.

Our spiritual life begins with faith. We must rest in Christ’s finished work and trust in His promised salvation. Ephesians 2:6 promises the believer that God has seated them with Christ in heaven. The promise describes our ultimate position outside of the temporary construct of time. God is not bound by time. We must rest in His promise and sit at His feet. We must trust in Christ’s completed work. This faith gives us confidence to walk.

Walking is the out working of that position here on earth by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. It involves walking worthy of our calling. We walk as a new person. We must walk in love. We must walk in the truth. We must walk in wisdom. Walking in wisdom dictates how we spend our time.  Those who are wise redeem the time because the days are evil. Walking in wisdom requires an understanding God’s will. It requires having vision, direction and a goal.

God has a purpose for each of us. We have a task to accomplish because the days are evil. Therefore don’t let life be dissipated by futility. Knowing our purpose requires revelation. That revelation comes by relationship and communion with God. God created us to make known the mystery of the gospel. But, we will face opposition. Therefore, we must stand against the enemy. We can’t stand unless we first sit and walk. Anyone deficient in either of these will not stand in the war. If you’re not sitting with God, you’ll not stand against the enemy.

The Bible tells us that in this age, the days are evil; we war against a spiritual enemy and his kingdom of demonic spirits. We know that outside the context of time Christ has already won. He has defeated the enemy. We simply defend occupied territory. But, all things are not yet subject to Him. We live in what is called the “here and not yet.”  Scripture refers to this age as “this present evil age” ravaged by Satan who is referred to as “the god of this world.”   By faith we hold on to the ground that God has given us.

In order to stand against this enemy, we must be armed with the whole armor of God. Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Therefore stand, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching to this very thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph 6:13-18) We must pray and we must be armed with God’s Word.

 

We are given the power of representing the King. That power is derived from being in agreement with Him and each other. (Mt 18:18-20) In praying we are asking as Christ’s representative.  And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (Johh 16:23-24) That day was future for Jesus’ disciples. But, a change occurred after Calvary and Christ’s ascension. The power that comes from that authority is the outcome of His sufferings and exaltation. (Phil 2:6-10) The Father has committed all authority to His Son. The Son has put that authority in our hands as we follow Him. That is, we do His will, His way and in His time. That power is given among men. (Acts 4:7, 12) That power is operative in preaching the gospel unto salvation and is mighty against Satanic powers to bring them into subjection. (Luke 10:17)

 

God has committed Himself to us in faith. An example of God’s commitment occurred with Peter and the lame man at the Beautiful Gate. (Acts 3:6) Peter didn’t ask the mind of the Lord; He knew it. He boldly commands and uses his delegated authority in confidence.

 

Because God sees us seated with Christ, His authority can be entrusted to us here. He has entrusted to His servants the greatest power. Jesus’ work on earth is done through His servants as they act in His name. If we can’t speak and act in His name, our work will be in vain. It is not something that can be worked up by our will or effort. God delegates that power as the fruit of relationship with and obedience to Him. Do we have such a relationship?

There are four essential features of a work God can commit to. We must have a revelation of God’s purpose. It must be conceived in God’s heart first. God’s name is not a rubber stamp to our ideas. There is a divine order: “In the beginning, God…” We must have a revelation of God’s will in our particular sphere of work. The work must depend for its continuance on the power of God alone. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” God never asks us to do anything we can do. Self is an obstruction to God. God has to be glorified by the work. There is no room for man’s glory. When these questions are settled, God will entrust Himself to us.

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