The Believer’s Warfare – Part 2D. Earnest
Our Present Calling
After salvation the believer is admonished to go on to perfection(Eph. 4:13). This walk involves keeping the unity of the Spirit, increasing in the knowledge of God’s Word, and walking in the hope of His calling (Eph.4:3,13). See chapters 4-6 of Epheisans which concerns the walk of the believer in the present calling.
But, in order to walk in the calling of today, right division is essential (2 Tim. 2:15). Rightly dividing the Word is called such slanderous names as “ultradispensationalism”, “Welchism”, “Bullingeritism”, etc…This is a tried and proven technique of the Devil. This name-calling has caused many of the saved to turn away from the essential element of understanding God’s Word and the present calling. Therefore confusion gives way to understanding as they continue to be blinded by the traditions of the hope of the Kingdom calling from the past dispensation.
All members of the Church of the One Body are predestinated to obtain an “inheritance” (Eph.1:11) and no condition is attached to it. Our glorious position in Christ as members of the One Body is a result of Him making “us ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED” (Eph.1:6). Our acceptance “in the Beloved” is entirely of grace; absolutely no merit on our part is attached to this. The adversary would have the believer striving to make himself accepted. The LIE would have the saint believe “carnal ordinances” (Heb. 9:10) are essential to “holy” living.
The LIAR would have the believer become occupied with his salvation, his holiness, his witness, his testimony, his “gifts,” or his unworthiness, or his worthlessness, or his sins, or his failures; anything to keep him occupied with himself instead of what Christ Jesus has already accomplished on his behalf.
When a believer grows “from faith to faith” (Rom. 1:17) he “sees what is the fellowship of the Mystery” (Eph. 3:9) and begins to comprehend with all saints the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:18-19). Of course the devil would have the believer “do service unto them which by nature are no gods” (Gal. 4:8) or he would have a believer turn again “to the weak and beggarly elements” (Gal. 4:9). He would have us “observe days, and months, and times, and years” (Gal. 4:10).
The issue is no longer that of the believer’s position in Christ, which is fixed. The issue changes from that of the believer seeing that he stands “complete in Him (Christ)” (Col. 2:10), having been made “meet” to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12), to that of something to be GAINED or LOST. A member of the Church cannot make his place more secure, since his security rests in the finished work of Christ, he cannot make the attainment of the “Blessed Hope” (Titus 2:13) more sure. Membership and Hope alike are ours completely, fully, and irrevocably in Christ. What the Devil would do is to obscure the fact that there is something to be obtained. There is something to be won or lost.
The revelation of the Mystery is not GRACE ALONE, for this dispensation as all others knows nothing of privilege without responsibility. Truth in the “form of sound words” is balanced Truth. In PLAINER WORDS Truth is presented or expressed in two sides of the Christian life. Notice . . .
|Not of works||Unto good works|
|If we be dead with Him we shall live with Him||If we suffer we shall also reign with Him.|
Salvation of the believer in the Church which is His Body is fixed and unchangeable. It has to do with an inheritance that is free and predestinated. The devil does not waste his energy in attempting to deprive us of our inheritance “in the Beloved,” but rather he attacks that which can be GAINED. As in other “callings” there is a prize to be won, a crown to be gained, but no man is crowned except he strive lawfully.
Let No Man Bequile You of Your Reward
In Colossians 2:8 and 2:16, warnings are given to the believer such as “Beware” or “Let no man beguile you of your reward”, which clearly indicates that something can be taken away from the Saint, something can be lost. Just as the Overcomer was promised reigning with Christ at His earthly Kingdom for suffering, the Saint of the Mystery is promised reigning with Him in heavenly places for suffering also. If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.
“I press toward the mark for the PRIZE of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil.3:14.
“And if a man strive for masteries, yet he is not crowned, except he strive lawfully…If we suffer, we shall ALSO REIGN with Him:” 2 Tim.2: 5,12
These extras are to be obtained and they are connected with our walk, which is resultant of enduring, suffering, and conformity to the death of Christ. Satan would like us to believe that we all will receive the same rewards at His appearing in glory. The Word of God is contrary to this line of thought, for we are told that all may run in the race, but all do not win the prize, so the exhortation is “So run that ye may OBTAIN” (1 Cor. 9:24-10:13).