Powerful Holiness

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24

Where is that power anyway? How do we get holiness power to work in our lives? The power is from Jesus and in the power of His resurrection but to be a part of that resurrection power we must first join Him in His death. Once we have been called and baptized into the body of Christ by faith, we take upon His holiness unto eternal life but for it to be in power, we must be obedient and put it into practice. The Bible teaches us that our baptism in water is symbolic of that new life and obedience but there is another promise given to us and that is the baptism of the Holy Spirit if we repent and that means a changed life and spiritual help to keep us changed. Each of us longs for that Holy Ghost power that we see in others, it is found in self-denial.

We have that positional power in Christ already and if it is in fact holy, then holy is holy, what else do we need? Application; power must be active for it to be powerful. Passive faith is just that, passive and conservative, producing a luke-warm church that denies the power. Faith must be in action to have any effectiveness. If we can come to the point to know that our position in Christ is such that it comes with the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead and we can do the first works of the early church, the simple fact of our knowing gives us the witness of the spirit. We must come to the point of our knowing that it is the practical application of this power that makes it work powerfully and that includes deliverance, the power over sin. Sin includes the sins of omission as well as the sins of commission, it is not just what you do that you should not but also what you should be doing that you have not been. It is as simple as that. As soon as we apply the position of holiness in our lives, we have the power that Jesus had. Now that we have the power, we must use it.

As Christians, we have all the necessary spiritual resources at our disposal to heal the sick and raise the dead. So why aren't we doing the first works? I believe that God is waiting for us to finally come together as one in the spirit so that He can pour out His spirit upon all flesh as He promised. As long as we are a divided body that fights among ourselves, slanders His people to strengthen our own biased positions and exalt ourselves in pride and jealousy over others, Jesus does not have the holy church that He can point to as a proper example of how He would have us be. Evangelistic works and the propagation of the gospel is not enough if there is not sufficient truth and unity among us to bring others to holiness and resurrection power.

If there is more to it than that, then what is it? What does it take to be the spotless Bride of Christ? We have discussed love, humility, holiness and speaking as one. What else is there? What will it take for these things to finally be evident in a church body, even a remnant. Is it that simple? There are many telling us that we are in the last days of the last days. If that is true, then the anti-christ is about to be revealed. What of those millions and millions of christians that may have already chosen to follow him instead of Jesus? What will it take to bring the church out of the worldly delusion that it is under? Are these rhetorical questions? Perhaps for now, but the time is short. There must be answers to these questions, we need to ask of God, listen and be prepared to admit the delusions and pull down the high places of idolatry, pride and deceit in the church and in ourselves.


I have not had the opportunity to write for a long time, but the subject of practical holiness is one that has been on my heart a lot recently. I often hear it said, "We are saved by grace, but if we are really saved, there should always be outward fruit." Maybe this is true, and maybe it isn't, but I cannot help feeling that it implies an attitude of judgment, as if we should be able, by observing our brothers, to tell whether they are going to be saved. The Bible says that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. It does not say that all who call upon the Lord are fully saved at this instant, but it does make a promise that when the Lord begins a good work in us, he will complete it rather than getting frustrated and disowning us. We have the promise that God will not give up until he has brought us to full repentance and sanctification, in this life or the next.

We know that the Lord is able to save those believers who die before becoming fully sanctified. Is he then unable to save us if we have not achieved enough sanctification? Is there a cutoff below which his grace does not work? Our membership in the kingdom is a matter of allegiance. To be God's children, we merely have to confess him. Does a father ever say, "Because you have not shown genuine love, you are no longer my child?" It is true that not all outward confessions of faith are genuine, but if there is any truth in our hearts, the Lord works with it. Those who desire the Lord will attain him, since the door is open for all who knock. If we find that we do not even desire him, we then can still desire to have such a desire, and pray that he will give us such a longing.

I have also heard a distinction made between ordinary sin and "lifestyle sin." But any life that includes sin is a lifestyle of sin. Implicit in this distinction is the idea that we have to be truly repentant of each and every sin to be forgiven of it, and that we cannot be repentant of a sin until we have ceased from it. But if this were true, then once again, all of those who do not lead perfect lives would still be under God's condemnation for their sins.

Practical holiness comes once we have received the promise of holiness from God, as Abraham received God's promise before God had granted him any of his blessings. The promise is there for everyone who wants it, and practical holiness is our enjoyment of that promise. Some people complain that if someone who lives a lifestyle of sin can still be saved, then there is no reason not to sin. They should listen to the answer that Paul gives. When he asks, "Shall we sin, then, because we are not under law but under grace," he does not answer that if we go on sinning we won't be saved. Instead, he says that we are dead to sin and have no reason to go on sinning. The question for us to ask is not, "why not go out and sin because I am under grace," but, "why should I sin any more, since I am under grace?" It is easy, with a misunderstanding of grace, to think that we have freedom to sin when we really have freedom from sin. Sinning is not a special privilege or a forbidden delight, but something painful and ugly that we should be delighted to get away from.

We should remember that in our life as children of God, sin and holiness are no longer matters of praise and condemnation. This is how we avoid the perils of arrogance and despair, by not judging. I have heard it said that the truest mark of a saint is that he is gentle with others and harsh with himself. When we judge, we either start condemning ourselves, or else we become overconfident and start condemning others. So to sum up, we find holiness by knowing and enjoying God, not the other way around.



Hi Eric,

I think what you say is true, it is pretty much the same thing that St. James wrote when he mentioned that faith without works is dead, being by itself. I do believe however that the judgment as to salvation is not ours to make. We can see obvious sin in another and recognize it and know that the person may need deliverance but for us to judge whether someone is saved is not our responsibility, it is God's. When Jesus said that you shall know them by their fruits, it is a good guide, we should be able to know how to recognize good fruit. I do think it is a process, like you say. That means that the elders, those that are mature, have the responsibility to lift others up to the image of what Jesus would have us. Let Jesus do the work as we bring the message and that includes identifying sin. Everything, however, should be in love and the spirit and not in condemnation. I think your message reflects this.

What is enough sanctification? I don't know. Good question for more responses. For myself, I do not need to know, only press on toward the higher calling and never get to the point that I think I have arrived. This was Paul's attitude. The Lord should be able to save us at any point in our Christian experience. Can we lose it? Another good question, one that has divided opinions, that's for sure. I know that the fact that the mere mention of being erased from the book of life is in the Bible could give us a clue but that could be open to interpretation and misinterpretation. I believe that when Christians die in the body that some sleep, but not all, some are translated directly "in a twinkling of an eye." There will be a future judgment resurrection of those that sleep, many to eternal life and many to damnation. There are clear distinctions here that I have not yet worked out. It may stay a mystery but I want to be ready, I want to overcome the world and I want not just to be called but among the chosen. i am sure that we all want the same so it is incumbent upon us to "work out our salvation in fear and trembling."

The subject of holiness is not complete without discussing sin so I like what you write here. You mentioned "we find holiness by knowing and enjoying God, not the other way around." I would think that it goes both ways and that is the difference between positional holiness and practical holiness. One is not complete holiness without the other.


In holiness we must understand responsibility, as response in our daily circumstances, God tells the saint ' My grace is sufficient for thee ', but that grace must be sought [Heb. 4:16] and used [Lk. 8:18], and if it be sought humbly and used aright then ' He giveth more grace ' [James 4:6], so that he is enabled to fight the good fight of faith. Satan is indeed mighty, but their is one yet mightier : 'greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world ' [1 Jn. 4:4], and so the Christian is called upon to ' be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might ' [Eph. 6:10] ; and though while severed from Christ he can produce no fruit [Jn. 15:5], yet strengthened by Christ, he ' can do all things ' [Phil. 4:13]. Christians are ' overcomers ' [1 Jn. 2:13; 5:4 ; Rev. 2: 7].

So we see that there is a balance to be preserved: avoiding at the one extreme the error of sinless perfectionism, and at the other that of spiritual defeatism. Truth is to be presented to the faculties of the soul in its Scriptural proportions, and not dwelt unduly on either its gloomy or its bright side. When one is regenerated he is effectually called ' out of darkness into God's marvelous light ' [1Pet. 2:9], yet if an unconverted soul reading those words forms the idea that should God quicken him, all ignorance and error will be immediately dispelled from his soul, he draws an unwarrantable conclusion and will soon discover his mistake. The Lord Jesus promises to give rest unto the heavily-laden soul which comes to Him, but He does not thereby signify that such an one will henceforth enjoy perfect serenity of heart and mind. He saves His people from their sins [Matt. 1:21], yet not in such a way that their is no need or dependence and have no occasion [liberty] to not ask for daily forgiveness of their transgressions [Lk. 11:4]. It is not that His salvation is an imperfect one, but that it is not completely experienced or entered into in this life, as such passages as Rom. 13:11 , 1Pet. 1:5 show. The 'best wine' is reserved unto the last. Glorification is yet future.

Throughout the Bible holiness in the highest sense is applied to God expressing his awe-inspiring character. To those who stand in right relationship to him, his holiness becomes the controlling source of their total life, conduct and witness.

The first petition of the Lord's Prayer contains the words : 'Hallowed be thy name.' To 'hallow the name [i.e. the nature of God as known through his self-revelation in history] means, not only to reverence and honor God, but also to glorify him by obedience to his commands, and thus prepare the coming of the kingdom.

The commands of Christ are not upon the legal tenor of 'this do and live,' but upon the gospel system of 'live and do this.' We are not to be attentive to the precepts in order to be saved, but because we are saved.

2 Pet. 1:4---'Partakers of the divine nature.'

'Partakers of the divine nature'---that is what being a Christian means, according to the NT---sharing in the very life of Christ. We are not to understand the Christian life to mean external imitation of Christ, taking Christ as a kind of copy-book pattern, but rather having Christ Himself living again in us. It means, not having Christ outside of us as a model, but having Christ within us as a power.

We are in the region of the gospel--- of the glad, genial, gracious gospel---only when we share the very nature of Christ, when we partake of His very life. That is how the Christian life is represented consistently in the NT---it is a participation, a fellowship, a vital communion. That is how Christ Himself taught us to think of it. 'Abide in me,' He said to His disciples, 'and I in you.' 'Apart from me ye can do nothing.' The Christian life is not possible to man unaided and alone. It is possible only to man plus Christ, or rather to man possessed and informed by Christ, to man inhabited by Christ.

Three phrases are found in 1 and 2 Peter with this word, 'partaker' in them--- 2 Pet. 1:4, 'Partakers of the divine nature'; 1Pet. 4:13, 'Partakers of Christ's sufferings', ; 'Partakers of the glory that shall be revealed.' If we take these three phrases together, they will serve very well as St. Peter's picture of the complete Christian. What is a Christian? A Christian is a man who has a nature in common with Christ. He is a man who has sufferings in common with Christ. He is a man who at the last will share an infinite glory in common with Christ.

And that is why the Bible insists, as the first step, that we must be 'born again,' as Jesus said. We must be 'renewed in the very spirit of our minds,' as the Apostle Paul puts it. We must 'put off the old man,' we must 'put on the new man.' Every phrase used in the NT to set forth conversion, to describe the first step of the Christian life, indicates a change which is radical, revolutionary, profound. We are changed at the very core and center of our being. We get a new principle of life. We get a new heart, as the Psalmist expresses it. 'We renew our strength,' or rather 'we exchange our strength,' as Isaiah puts it.

Leave human nature to itself, and what will it live for? Self. Self is the dominating principle. But when a man becomes a 'partaker of the divine nature,' what does he live for? Love. 'God is love.' That is what God is essentially and in His inmost being ; and when a man becomes a 'partaker of the divine nature,' that is what it means---love and not self becomes the animating principle of his life. That is conversion, redemption, salvation. And God is equal to this mighty miracle of changing a man at the very core and center of his being.

In the course of a Christian life---a man becomes a partaker of Christ's sufferings. The Divine nature is at its very core and essence---love. Now, love is in its very nature sacrificial. It involves the ideas of suffering and sacrifice.

Let us assume that a man is a genuine partaker of the Divine nature, that he really shares in the Spirit of Christ---what will follow? This will follow, to begin with : he will take the sin and wickedness of the world on to his own heart. He will feel the shame and burden of it. It is impossible for a man to walk heedless and unconcerned amid the misery and evil of this world if he really has the Spirit of Christ.

As soon as St. Paul received the Divine gift of love, he was ready to share Christ's toil and suffering for the sake of others. You remember how in that great passage of the Epistle to the Philippians he links the two together : 'That I may know him,' he says, 'and the fellowship of his sufferings.' And so you see St. Paul spending himself in his missionary labors, and suffering untold things in the process ---stoned at Lystra, scourged at Philippi, fighting with wild beasts at Ephesus, shipwrecked at Malta, put to death in Rome. And looking back on all he had endured and suffered in his Christian service, he declared in a great and solemn word that he had been 'filling up on his part that which was lacking of the afflictions of Christ for his body's sake, which is the Church.

And this is how the Christian life ends---we share in the glory. Those of us who profess to be Christ's people : are we with Him in the gap? Have we got the passion for souls? Are we ready to lay down our lives for the brethren? Are we bearing the cross? Are we holy, because He is Holy?

In Christ, Timothy.

 ¶(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17

The romans verse is talking about the promise to abraham and not about our cleansing from the original sin or acts of sin. We can infer principles but not this one. Lots of scriptures tell us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. When i talk about living above sin, i don't mean to be holier than anybody. i just plainly believe what the scriptures tell me. A little bit of sin that you indulge in will not be an encouragement for you but eventually lead to your destruction and disfellowship with the Lord. Sin must be confessed and not done again. If we sin we have an advocate with the Father-Jesus christ the righteous; but we have to repent. Don't repent for mistakes but work it out to overcome it.



Hi Orlando,

you are correct in stating that this was said to Abraham, the fact that 'He has made him a father of many nations', and Ro 4:17b calleth those things which are not, as though they were. then when we read on, we see in verses 20-22

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.
22 And therefore "it was imputed to him for righteousness."

So he believed the word of the Lord, and it was accounted to him as righteousness.

Then Paul continues, and speaks about the meaning this has for us:

23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
24 but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed if we believe in Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,

So 'it', the 'righteousness' shall be imputed to us, which means that for us too God 'calleth those things which are not, as though they were.'.

We are justified by faith, and God calls us righteous, even though we are not. Sanctification, or living a more and more holy (separated to the Lord) life is the process of becoming righteous. The promise of the Lord, or the prophecy if you like, is that the Lord calls us righteous even though we are not. And by doing so, we have the assurance that He will bring it to pass. He will cause the transformation through the renewing of our mind, which happens when we hear God speaking to us. His word is creative, it creates and grows step by step the new man in us, after the likeliness of our elder brother and Lord Jesus Christ, such that we become like He is, are consumed by His life. Growing to the measure of the full stature of Christ Himself.

I hope this clarifies Ro 4:17.

Yours in Christ,


The verse that tells us "Without holiness one cannot see God" - practical holiness? That verse seems to be referring to practical holiness... how do we know if we have achieved that?



Hi Dan,

I don't think that we can know for sure, we can be sure of our salvation but a lot of people that think they are saved, really are not. Some of us will go through the experience of Jesus saying to us, "depart from me, I never knew you." We don't know, we just keep on keeping on pressing on to the prize that Paul wrote about in Philippians 3:12-16

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15  ¶Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Paul did mention these things to those "as many as be perfect" so, he felt that others had attained, but he has not. That is real humility, the kind that makes us perfect. I know that I have not attained but I also know that I am to love others and have that humility, that is a real good start. He also mentions here that that attainment includes minding the same thing. He mentions elsewhere that we are to speak the same thing in I Corinthians 1:10

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

The reason the church is not perfect is because we have division, is this not what Paul is saying? Perfection in unity is not just agreeing to disagree, it is saying the same thing, having the same mind, walking by the same rules. If we cannot attain to that perfection individually, at least we should try to come together in the spirit and agree. We may never be truly free from sin in our lives, but we can love each other as He would have us to. This is what I am committed to and if Jesus is to come for a holy Bride, it will not be until she is holy and we finally come to agreement.

Care to comment?



Hi Jay,

Thanks for your post regarding practical holiness...made sense to me!

I wanted to comment on something you brought up. You said that the reason the Church doesn't have unity is because we have division. Of course, you are speaking of the one universal church around the world. I wonder if you think that such a goal is actually attainable, especially with all the differing doctrines and attitudes? Paul spoke of unity, but the message was to a local body, such as that at Ephesus. A local body attaining unity is certainly attainable, and, I believe, exists in plenty of good, solid local bodies. But the universal Church????.... I don't think it is an attainable goal, unless you fan it out in some sort of liberal, broadbrush way. But, realistically, there will always be divisions in the universal Church. The local body, I believe, is the emphasis of both Jesus' and Paul's message about unity.



Hi Dan,

I agree, but unity is what the Lord wants and He would not have prayed for it if it was not within our grasp.

The restoration of the temple of God is to be undertaken by a remnant, not the whole universal church. Basically Christianity is held captive by Babylonian confusion and the Old Testament examples are excellent plumb lines for us to follow to harmonize the prophecies in Revelations. We are to be a remnant in that task, made up of those that have come out of Babylon. Surely you have heard much talk today about a remnant being formed that will bring about the restitution of all things. That remnant is being perfected now but unity has not arrived and will not until we start getting closer to the end where that veil of delusion is taken away from the church. The anti-christ needs to be exposed, the mask will be taken off of Babylon, the make-up of Jezebel will be removed to expose her. These are spiritual things yet to come.

Those that choose to remain in Babylon will still be part of the confusion and division. The Lord told us in Revelation to "get out of here MY people." We cannot say that those remaining are not Christians for the Lord said my people. I believe that this remnant seed will be a unified Bride of Christ, so this is what I must teach. This remnant is made up of a sanctified body that may still in fact be within the denominations. I believe that we are not to put away the churches but rather the confusion that exists in the churches. The letters to the seven churches of Asia mention that we are to strengthen what remains, not destroy them. The stars that are falling from heaven are church bodies. We need to place them back in order.

I pray that we can have the mind of Christ on this and that we can come to agreement to His way of thinking. These are important things that you have brought up.


Dear Jay,
I've been wanting to respond to this but I've been having some increased problems with my heart lately and it's greatly slowed me down. You wrote:

"I am finding out that holiness is not a subject that people care to comment much about. Much is said about faith and grace in the church but precious little about holiness, in fact it has mostly been ignored and by some, profaned."

I fully agree. To put it very simply, the Word says, "Be holy, as I am holy." I see no way of doing this apart from desiring to stay in His presence. I have found I cannot strive to be holy for it always seems to bring defeat. If I could make myself holy and righteous, I would have no need of a Savior but, as it is, I am one who is desperate need of His mercy and grace. We all are. The best thing I have found I can do is yearn to stay in His presence and being there cleans my wretchedness away. Grace, grace, grace. All Him, none of me. What a magnificent Lord we serve!

Take care, my brother. You're on target, whether many write back or not.

You'd be surprised how empty my own mail box has been lately, especially after I write about restoration and revival. Most folks, I've found, have preconceived notions of what revival should be and they usually want our Lord to "revive" them within the confines of their own traditions, denominations and unbelief but, alas, He will not do it. It's always HIS way or no way at all. I have a friend who thinks I've "crossed the line", yet he can't be specific nor back it up with Scripture. Perhaps I am. Perhaps you've crossed the line, too, brother, but I think the heart of God would say to us that he would much rather have kids who push the envelope, who dare to cross the man-drawn lines to get at HIM. Oh, Lord, my God, that is the desire of my heart...to get at HIM, as closely as I can, to be ONE with HIM. I know this is your desire, too, Jay, and I thank God for it.

May everything you touch be blessed. May the words you write and speak literally drip with anointing oil fresh from the altar of God, the Father, and may the love of our Blessed Lord Jesus always and forever flow through you, to the glory of God, the Father.

Our Jesus is Lord of all.

Jim Grayson

It has been VERY true in my life, that holiness has been the key to seeing God move more and more in my life.

Recently, there were a few things I was withholding repentance on with God. They were small in my estimation, and quite difficult, really, to let go of. But, faithfully, God would not let me have peace until I did the things I needed to do to be free of these things.

Once that happened, God's power began to flow in ministry (I'm a counselor by profession) and I began to see people get free from things that normally took months to be free of! I felt like a spectator, just watching God work. I have been a full-on Christian for 20 years, but things that were once seemingly ignored by God were being bathed in His revelatory light, and He wasn't taking "No" for an answer. I am very glad He didn't. All this to say, I agree with your statement "Holiness is the key to God's power" and I believe He can entrust us with it when we have yielded to the process.

carol manglos

It comes to all who will to walk
To those who claim, and talk the talk
To those whose hearts, hard- pressed, undone,
cry out for more; the shaking comes

It comes to those who seek to find
to those born of the Holy kind
To those whose ears hear only One,
By God's own hand, the shaking comes

The world would see, and moan, and wail
How can you shake these ones so frail?
But perfect is His love's command,
He sees what is inside the man,

He gives the power to make him stand.........

It knows no fear, it knows no bounds
It shakes 'til loosely draped around
Lay all that could not hold to test,
For He is God, and knows what's best

So faithful, like the One who sent
Are these our trials and their intent,
To prune, to mold, til death has taken
All of that which could be shaken

And leaving what will shine as gold
Gifts for the Master to behold,
Who smiles with eyes that say "Well done,
For this, my child, the shaking comes"

With Him in Glory, we shall reign
All dressed in white, with a new name
A bride refined, will dance as one
in tandem with the Holy Son

Behold the marriage of the Lamb!
Now with His love, and His pierced hand,
Our eyes are dried, our pain is done:

and no more will the shaking come.................!

Preparing the Way

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 5:20-6:2).

Paul presents to us an orderly theology through the book of Romans. He begins with man totally lost in sin. God reveals Himself to man through creation, conscience, and Christ. He then reveals the grace of God to bring reconciliation and justification. By the time we get to chapter 5 of Romans, Paul has laid out the foundation of justification by faith in the grace of God.

By the end of chapter 8, Paul has brought us to the manifestation of the sons of God in glory. What we want to focus on is what happened between chapter 5 and chapter 8 to get us from conversion to glory.

One of the first misconceptions we must deal with in order to understand the process of God to glorify Himself through us is the difference between positional and practical Christianity. Our position in Christ has to do with a spiritual position obtained by Christ for us and for which we can do nothing. When you accept Christ as your Savior, you automatically inherit a certain position in Christ as to your standing before God. Practical Christianity on the other hand, has to do with what we obtain through Christ in a practical way, or in our daily walk. For example, positionally we have Christ's righteousness through justification but practically we only have that righteousness to the extent we walk in obedience to God in our everyday life. The purpose of Christ's atonement is to make practical what we have positionally. The mistake we have made in Christian circles is to make positional what God has made practical.

Particularly in America, we have tended to spiritualize anything that has to do with practical righteousness. Because the church in America has become so watered down and compromised with the ways of the world, we have grown accustomed to sin. It is like the proverb, familiarity breeds contempt. So whenever the scripture condemns sin or commands us not to sin we spiritualize it and see it as a position in Christ rather than a practical experience through Christ. This allows us to justify our sin and continue in a life of bondage all the while exalting our position in Christ. The truth of the matter is that the New Testament majors on practical Christianity and minors on positional Christianity because God's design is to have a people who reveal Him in practical ways. Paul makes this very clear in Romans 8 when he talks about the glory of God manifested through His church.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified(Romans 8:29,30).

Our destiny in Christ is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ who is the glory of God in order to reveal that glory in practical ways in this life. This is practical Christianity. To be conformed means to be changed. Positionally, there is no change, it is all a matter of automatic spiritualization. The only change that can take place is on a practical level.

So when we look at Romans 5 and 6, Paul begins with positional Christianity by revealing our justification by faith to obtain Christ's righteousness in our accounts. This is called imputation or the transfer of something from one account to another. Christ takes our sin from our account to His and gives us His righteousness from His account to ours. Its is a legal transfer and does not involve the transfer of practical righteousness. When Christ took our sin, He did not become sinful in a practical way. In the same way, when we took His righteousness, we did not become righteous in a practical way. This is why, when someone is born again they still have many of the same habits and tendencies as before they were born again.

But Paul makes a transition in chapter 5 of Romans from positional Christianity to practical Christianity. He reveals to us that the grace of God that justifies us from sin in a positional way is also able to deliver us from sin's power in a practical way. So when Paul asks and answers the question of whether we should continue to sin he is basing it on what he just finished declaring in chapter 5 about the grace of God.

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Romans 5:9,10).

Notice what Paul is telling us here as he moves from position to practical: having been justified, having been reconciled, how much more than this are we to be saved by His life. In other words, if Christ's blood could give us such a great position of justification reconciling us to God, how much more is He able to save us from the power of sin and its results. The Amplified Bible brings it out a little clearer: "it is much more [certain] now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin's dominion) through His [resurrection] life." As you will see, the dominion of sin comes through the sin nature so to be delivered from sin's dominion is to be delivered from the sin nature.

Paul then goes on in chapter 5 to explain the introduction of the sin nature through Adam's fall and then he reinforces this power of grace in verse 17:

For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) (Romans 5:17).

This is practical Christianity! He's not talking about some spiritual position, he's talking about reigning in this life in a very practical way. Through the abundance of God's grace we are to reign in this life, right her and now. Reign over what? Sin!!! Paul is making a comparison here. Sin leads to the reigning of death. Righteousness leads to the reigning of life - 'zoe' - eternal life.

So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21).

Paul summarizes his whole exposition on grace with this verse. Grace is to reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Positionally? No! Practically! We are to walk in reigning grace over sin in order to have eternal life right now in this life. This is why Paul then goes on to challenge us in chapter 6: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?"

Based on what God's grace provides, how can we live any longer in sin? Positionally there is no sin so he must be talking about our practical lifestyle. You must understand the strength of what Paul is telling us here. He's almost calling us stupid to think that after all Christ has done for us through His atonement that we could even think it is alright to continue in a lifestyle of sin.

Asking questions like this was the Rabinnical teaching style used in the time of Paul. The teacher would pose a question and then the students would set out to prove their answer to the question. And so Paul is getting ready to show us how and why we cannot continue in sin. It is all based on the redemption of Christ provided in His atonement on the cross. Paul is revealing the truth that Jesus declared would set us free.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.' They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, "'You will be made free"'?' Jesus answered them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:31-36).

Jesus is talking to believers, those who believed Him. He also makes the point that in order to have the truth that sets you free you must first be a disciple, one who abides in His word. It is His disciples who shall know the truth and be set free. Be set free from what? Sin. As long as we continue to commit sin as believers, we are still slaves of sin or under the power and dominion of sin. And as long as we are slaves to sin, we are on shaky ground subject to be cast out of the house. If we weren't in the house we couldn't be cast out. Only the sons will remain in the house and only those whom Jesus sets free indeed are truly sons. To be free indeed means to be set free completely and forever. From what? The power of sin. How? As Paul told us earlier, by the grace of God and His resurrection life overcoming the sin nature.

Much of the body of Christ is living in slavery to the power of sin because they have been deceived by teachers who do not understand the grace of God and its power to give us practical victory over sin. Positional Christianity will not accomplish God's purposes in this life. It is practical Christianity that reveals the reality of God's grace in our lives and leads others to repentance.

George G. Delo

Latter Rain Discussion Archives

The Lord has given us the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

As One Body

  • We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
  • Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory

Help To Prepare A Holy Bride!

Issue Oriented Discussion Newsletter

Index | Search This Site | Aristide.Org | The Latter Rain | Babylon the Great | The Kingdom | The Nicolaitans | Jezebel
The Baptism With the Holy Ghost | The Grand Delusion | World Trade Org | Liberation Theology | Jay Atkinson | Alphabetical Index