It was Watchman Nee, a Chinese evangelist, who used the illustration of a person trying to get into a room where he already was. The person did not understand the truth, thus he spent wasted time and effort trying to realize that which was already true. In his short commentary on the book of Ephesians, he says that the life of the Christian begins with sitting down. The Christian must begin his new life by seeing and understanding what he now IS in Christ in order to become that by faith. Here are a few aspects of that “vision” of things as they ARE.
The Christian is first and foremost a saint. What do we mean by this? The word means “separated unto…set apart,” in this case, unto God. He is a saint, and thus holy, by virtue of his union with the Christ who IS holy. We have been given His holiness, His righteousness…His perfection. Otherwise, there is no acceptance before God. We are IN Christ, inseparably one with Him.
Secondly, the Christian is a son, born into the family of God, and at the same time adopted. He bears all the joys, privileges, and responsibilities related to sonship. And though while on this earth, he may know hardship, and even discipline from a loving Father, nothing changes that relationship. As God declared of Christ, so He declares of us because of Christ, “This is my beloved Son…(for us, His beloved child).”
Thirdly, the Christian is a servant, one that has relinquished all of his “rights” and “privileges” to be at the beckon and call of the Master, the Good Shepherd, the Lord of hosts. He lives to serve, to minister, and this because of his calling, but also, by virtue of the Spirit of the Perfect Servant in the heart.
Fourthly, the Christian is a soldier. The calling is clear, as He (Christ) was in the world, so are we. He was the perfect soldier in that he confronted opposition and overcame it, and this by faith and corresponding obedience. He was characterized by the discipline of bringing into submission every thought and action to the obedience of His Father, and this, in the face of opposition and adversity. He overcame.
But how are these aspects of the Christian to be realized in us? First, we are to “SIT DOWN”, and learn well what is TRUE of us in Christ. How can we become what He has called us to be unless we learn what we truly are, in order to live in that reality? Secondly, we are to “WALK.” Faith is never passive, and all in this life is by faith. So that we begin by believing the truth, and the One who is truth. Then we “walk” in obedience, believing. Again, as the first step must be embraced by faith, so the second. “The just shall LIVE by faith.” Thirdly, we are to “STAND.” Standing involves resolve, but a resolve that comes from Christ…it is the resolve OF Christ…and it is received, appropriated by faith. If we are to stand against the wiles of the devil, then we must believe in the overcoming power of Christ. Again, it is by faith.
So today, let us BELIEVE. Always begin by having a “good believing time,” looking at what is true in Scripture and in Christ with regard to what our relationship is with Him, in Him. And then, though being realistic concerning our “limitations,” let us look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith, believing Him to strengthen us to lay hold of Him, believe Him fully, and live a live of expectancy in the One who can do the wonderful thing.