Are we legally or positionally in Christ? Is our righteousness, imputed, imparted, or imploded? Are we in actual union with Christ? Does the Bible ever actually mean what it says? Is there anything actual or real about this, or is it all just nice poetry that we look to for inspiration when we need a reason for our existence?
Okay, our righteousness may not be imploded, but I suspect that our well-meaning theology has robbed us of much of our inheritance and really dumbed down our understanding of what it means to be in Christ. What we have inherited is a lot of Western enlightenment thinking rather than Holy Spirit revelation.
While legal positioning and all might work well in the classroom and make commentators sound really smart, it doesn’t lead us into experiential knowledge of the One who made us His co-heirs, His beloved sons and daughters in the actual Kingdom of God.
And I get that we need good arguments to soothe the logical, rational mind that must feed on formulas and create mental boxes to put our understanding in, but it’s still not an adequate way to relate to God. For instance, do I love my wife legally or actually? Is this intimacy we share only a legal standing…or are we actually intimate? Did we become one legally…or actually?
To illustrate that it’s actual, one time back in the 80’s my wife and I went to a revival meeting. But earlier in the day, Maureen had developed a terrible neck pain that was only getting worse, but she was determined to still go. We got there that evening as it was starting and it was packed out so we sat in the back. After the first worship song, the evangelist called me up out of the blue and started prophesying over me. And I went down to the floor by the power of the Spirit, but at the same instant I did my wife got totally healed right where she was sitting in the back of the room. Figure that one out positionally!
The problem with our theoretical Christianity is that it reinforces our naturalistic illusions of reality. We don’t naturally have a mental grid for the spiritual reality so we make up other stuff. This has fostered the idea that we’re not actually in heaven now (Eph.2:6), so we wait to go to heaven when we die. Okay, I can tell you’re looking at me funny. Here’s some rational thought for you…
We’re supposed to live like Jesus, right? Well, Jesus actually lived in two dimensions at the same time. His spirit lived in the heavenly realm while His body lived in the earthly realm.
“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:13)
Was Jesus on the earth when He said this? Yes. Was Jesus in heaven when He said this? Yes. And He lived in both realities in the same physical space.
Likewise, we’re also living in two dimensions at the same time. Notice that there is nothing here about being legally or positionally in heavenly places, nor is there any theoretical inference…
“and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph.2:6)
Is this heavenly place up in the sky somewhere? No, it’s in you and around you (Lk.17:21). It’s a spiritual place, just like earth is a physical place.
The bottom line is, the dark world we live in needs the supernatural life of Christ within us, not our theoretical arguments (and especially not our condemnation and judgments.) They need to see the river of Father’s unconditional, unfathomable love flowing in and through us. They need to experience and know His will for them here on the earth as it is in heaven. It’s awesome, it’s wonderful. It’s living in you right now. And the child-like reality of our actually being in Christ is a whole lot better than our legal and positional theories.