Christ’s work on the cross and His glorious resurrection gave us eternal life. His work made all believers complete in Christ and accepted in the Beloved. His work caused us to be blessed of the Father and seated with Him in heavenly places.
Eternal life is a non-returnable gift given to those who believe – it’s already done. Eternal life is a triumphant, imperishable, enduring life – given to all who believe. So why is this victorious, incorruptible life not the experience of all Christians? Why do some live a defeated life for so much of their Christian walk?
Well – the simple truth is that many have not appropriated what is already theirs. They have not put on the new self, created in the likeness of God’s righteousness. They have failed to put on the Lord Jesus and are working in the power of the flesh. They have failed to appropriate all the riches of God’s grace bestowed upon them.
The indwelling Spirit was given as a deposit – that we can live godly in Christ Jesus.. a deposit is given when we are born again as God’s assurance that eternal life is ours. All believers received this down-payment at rebirth – but many just do not access it.
The believer can choose to accept and use this deposited ‘given life’ – or not. Not to appropriate this life is like having a full fridge of food – but going hungry. It is like having a reservoir of sparkling water – yet gasping for a glass of water. The believer has to appropriate and use this ‘given life’ – in his earthly walk. He must appropriate this triumphant, imperishable, enduring life – BY FAITH.
One Christian writer put it this way:- As the result of Christ’s work of His cross, and as the grand issue of His resurrection, eternal life is received already by those who believe. But while that life is itself victorious, incorruptible, indestructible – the believer has to come, by faith, to prove it… to live by it, to learn its laws, to be conformed to it. There is a deposit in the believer, which in itself needs no addition……so far as its quality is concerned. So far as its victory, its power, its glory, its potentialities are concerned – nothing can be added to it.
But through the course of spiritual experience, (of spiritual life), the believer is to discover, to appropriate, and to live by all that the life represents and means. Money deposited in the bank has little value – unless that money is put to use. The full triumphant, imperishable, enduring LIFE is ours – but needs to be put to use.
But how do we use this deposit of a full; triumphant; victorious; enduring life..? Well, it all goes back to recognising who we are in Christ and then appropriating it!! It goes back to knowing that Christ is our life and then living unto Him.. or it must be His life flowing through our life to produce His life within us – for it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell. Colossians 2:9 So all we need to do is to appropriate His life in us – to allow Him to live through us. that you may be filled with all the fullness of God for your life is hid with Christ in God so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. Ephesians.3:19
These glorious scriptures tell us all we need to know about what we are in Christ. It’s nice to read them; think about them; admire them; thank God for them.. but unless we appropriate them they remain deposited within us – yet unused. They must be appropriated to work effectively in our everyday life – and this is done in the same way that we were saved – by FAITH.
In his ‘Green Letters’, Miles Stanford explains “appropriating” like this: How often we simply admire and talk about the truths the Holy Spirit reveals to us in His Word, whereas His primary purpose in giving them to us is that we might stand upon them in faith, waiting confidently for Him to make them an integral part of our life.
By faith, we stand and seize hold of them. By faith, we start to appropriate them. It is by faith that we grow in them and it is by faith that we walk in them – until through simple trust these scriptural truths become inherent in our life in Him. But it takes time to prove it, to live by it, to learn its laws, to be conformed to it. It just takes time.
Stanford’s concluding comments puts appropriating scripture truth into perspective: He writes: A disciple is one who has a history, He is one who has been dealt with by God. He is one who has experienced the formative work of the Spirit. We are sometimes asked by would-be preachers how many days should be spent in preparation a sermon. The answer is: At least ten years, and probably nearer twenty! For the preacher matters to God at least as much as the thing preached. God chooses those in whom He has already worked.
May we all appropriate all that we have in Christ – by faith.. so that He may work through us be glorified in all we think and do and say – by faith
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.