Present Tense Salvation
We have been speaking about discernment and about the ability to approve that which is excellent. We have seen that this discernment comes from the Grace. It comes from the supply of the Spirit. There is no growth in love without the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is really awesome to realize that we have the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Just those words, “the Spirit of Christ”, the “Spirit of Jesus Christ” – refer to Christ Himself. He is Christ Himself in us to be our life! This is what it looks like when that life is enjoyed to the uttermost. What is Paul doing in prison? He is just enjoying Christ. He cannot do anything. He is totally “shut in” unto Christ who becomes so present to Paul in that situation. When we are “shut in”, it is for the purpose of discovering and enjoying Christ. Anything you go through really is for the purpose of discovering the Spirit of Jesus Christ in you. There is no other purpose that God has. We know that all things work together for good to those who love God. Those that He foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom 8:28-29). How does He do that? He works all situations, all events, and everything, around the purpose of you gaining Christ.
We will see that in Philippians 3 that there is a phrase that Paul uses to describe his spirituality. It is called “gaining Christ” (Phil 3:8). We are not law keepers, we are not ordinance followers, we are not ethical learners, we are not example modellers. We are “Christ gainers”! The Supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ is what God wants to give us. That is our present tense salvation. This is our salvation from ourselves, our salvation from being defeated in our circumstances, our salvation from being afraid of men, and our salvation to walk worthily of the Gospel. This is our salvation for Christ to be magnified in our bodies. Salvation is so much more than just the forgiveness of sins.
We we were justified we received the forgiveness of sins. We were reconciled to God and we received Eternal Life. We were made heirs. All of that is “positional”, to put us in a “position” and qualify us for something subjective, which is the enjoyment of Christ! He is our inheritance and He is available to us now, in a present tense salvation. We think salvation is only “from things” but salvation is “unto things.” His salvation is glorious. His salvation sits us in the heavenlies in Christ so that in the ages to come He may show forth the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:6-8). Salvation is positive, not just negative. Everything that God does for us in Christ is salvation. So, yes, we are saved. Salvation is an event, not really a process in one sense. Yet on the other hand, we experience salvation in a greater and greater measure as we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. That salvation is supplied to us as the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That is what we want. We want to drink from the fountain of living waters. We do not want to just know about the fountain, we want to drink from it!
This is the difference between objective truth and subjective experience. Objective truth shows me how I was qualified, how I was brought in and what God has done for me in Christ. Then, subjective experience, which is based on my qualification, is “what does He have for me?” God has Christ for me; The bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ so that Christ may be magnified in my body. This is an enjoyment, not a suffering. I may be in an environment that outwardly appears to be a suffering, yet inwardly I can be fully satisfied. That is what Paul is demonstrating. Why is he satisfied? Is it just because he thinks happy thoughts? No. He is learning to drink like we all are of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. He is learning like we all are to drink from the fountain that we have been supplied (John 4:14).
Life Obtained in Salvation
We obtained something in salvation. We were given something. We were given the gift of Eternal Life (Rom 6:23). That gift is not just “living forever”. It is a Person who dwells in us and says that the water that He gives will become “in you a fountain springing up unto everlasting life” (John 4:14). You should drink from this if you are thirsty. We should come to Him and drink (John 7:37). We should learn to be satisfied with Him. What else is there to do? Why else exist?
We are going to find that our purpose forever is to drink from this fountain and be satisfied with Him. That is called the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and it comes by appreciating objective truth and also appropriating objective truth and saying, “yes not only is this true but I want it to be real in me. Lord Jesus I thank you that you are right here. I thank you that I can enjoy you. Thank you that I can drink of You. Thank you that you are here as the bountiful supply to be my salvation in this moment, Lord! Thank you that I am not tethered to my circumstances. I do not have to go up and down with my circumstances. I can just abide in you. I can keep drinking from the rock and keep drinking water from You and be satisfied. People will look at me and say, ‘how is he so satisfied while the world is freaking out?’” That is how we should be!
If you want to know what to pray for someone, pray that they may receive the supply of the Spirit. John says something similar in 1 John. He says, (1Jn 5:16) “If any man sees his brother sin … he shall ask, and he shall give him life …” How does He give life? By the Spirit – the fellowship! The way God deals with us when it comes to sin is to bring us back into fellowship. We think that we cannot come to God unless we deal with the sin, but God deals with the sin by bringing us to Himself. That is our salvation. Our salvation is positive. He brings us to Himself and satisfies us with Himself. Your conscience condemns you because you sinned. How are you brought back into fellowship with God? You acknowledge the blood. You acknowledge the cleansing. You acknowledge His righteousness and His propitiation and the fact that He’s an advocate with the Father. He is Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1). You realize that you can come to Him boldly and walk in the light as He is in the light and be in fellowship. That fellowship is supplied to you as the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That is your salvation.
This does not always have to be manifested in dramatic experience. Paul was experiencing a dramatic “dose” of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to magnify Christ so that even in the palace his bonds are known as being in Christ. That is his calling. We are all given a measure of the gift of Christ according to what God’s called us to express (Eph 4:7). We do not really have control over that. However we still experience this salvation.
Here is an example. Let’s say you wake up in the morning and you are in a bad mood and you say something stupid to your wife and react out of your crabbiness and you start to get condemned. You think, “I already started this day terribly”. Instead of wallowing in condemnation, you can say “I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous! Thank you for Your Blood! Thank you for your mercy!” You come to Him by faith in the blood and He supplies you with the Spirit. You experience salvation from your disposition. You started mean, crabby and now you are condemned. Then you come by faith in the blood and you are cleansed and washed, and your heart is sprinkled from an evil conscience and your body is washed with pure water. You come by the new and living way which Christ Himself consecrated for you in His flesh into the Holiest of all. He presents you without spot in the body of His flesh through His death to God as you keep the Gospel in mind and as you just meditate on what He is done for you. You are saved from your disposition.
You are saved from the temptation to labor in the Holy place. You are brought into the holiest of all where Christ is the living supply of the living water. He supplies the Spirit of Jesus Christ to be your humanity. Now you are different. That whole process can take two minutes! You do not have to be a slave to your disposition. This is how we get “Saved” practically. We are saved, but as saved people we can be saved every day from our disposition from walking in the flesh, and from having our flesh rule over us and our sin rule over us. Let us have the Gospel rule over us. Let us have the supply of the Spirit of Life, this life-giving Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ to be our salvation. Let us do that and see where He takes us!
This is what He has for us, and this opens up a whole new path that is not dependent upon us. It is dependent upon His supply and it yields possibilities that are not there while we are limited to our reactions and the way that we deal with things and the way we respond to things. Those limitations are broken in the name of Jesus Christ and in the Spirit by His Power, the anointing, and His supply. He leads me down a path of righteousness that was not even open to me before. Imagine standing in front of a forest and there is no way in. There is a bramble of thorns in front of you, blocking you. This may be like your situation, created by your own flesh, and you feel like you have no way to go forward. There is no path that you can see. Then, through the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ as you enjoy His salvation, a path in front of you opens up. The brambles fall away, and you find out, “oh my Gosh there is a path there. I did not even know. I couldn’t go forward before and now there is a new path to a new destination that would not have been there without the salvation of Jesus Christ.”
That is what it means to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). He cuts a new path for you. You are not limited by you! You are not limited by your disposition, your situation, by what you did yesterday. There are fresh mercies every day and you can be renewed in the spirit of your mind and walk in newness of life. You can receive a fresh supply of the spirit that becomes a new and living way for you to enter into His presence. Then He will chart a new course for you. He will make everything the enemy tried to turn into something bad for you into a blessing. All you have to do is walk by faith and enjoy the salvation that He has given you.
There is not something special that I have that you do not. We are both brothers and sisters and heirs. If we believe we are heirs of God, we are joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17) We are blessed with Abraham and we have received the promise of the Spirit which is the common portion of the saints in the light (Gal 3:14). We are fully qualified to drink of the Spirit because we have been transferred out of the kingdom of the darkness and into the kingdom of the Of His love (Col 1:13). Now we abide in Him and everything He is and everything He has been given to us as an inheritance and we can enjoy it now. It is all in the Spirit. Praise God!
Php 1:19-21 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, … Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (21) For to me to live is Christ…
Paul says, “this shall turn out to my salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” That is what to pray for. Pray for the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Then he says, “Christ will be magnified”. What does salvation look like? He says that in nothing he will be ashamed, but as always, “Christ will be magnified in my body whether through life or through death”. What I am right now is what can flow out of Christ. That is what Paul is saying. “I want Christ to be magnified in my body so that even if I’m in bonds and it looks ridiculous and the whole church is slandering me, the churches departed from me, and people are going around saying I’m a sower of division and discord and everyone believes it, I am still magnifying Christ. When you contact me, Christ is coming out and it produces fruit. I am bold and my situation works out for salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Christ is magnified in my body. Even if I die it is all unto the glory of God. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain!
Php 1:(22) But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. (23) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (24) Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. (25) And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; (26) That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
Paul recognizes that the reason he is here is because of his ministry. There is no other reason to be here except to enjoy the supply of the Spirit and let the Spirit flow out to others. Even though Paul thought he might join them again, he did not ultimately. However, he recognized his communication with them was profitable. He also had Epaphroditus there who is their apostle and minister to his need and when Paul sent him back, it would be Paul’s coming in a sense. Ministry is interesting. When Jesus sends us, He comes with us. When the Father sends Jesus, the Father came with Him. When Paul sent Timothy, he said “even though I’m absent in the flesh I’m with you in the spirit beholding your order and rejoicing in your steadfastness in the faith” (Col 2:5). How could he say that? Through the fellowship. He does not have to be there physically. He can taste the fellowship in the one he sends. When Timothy came and refreshed him with his report of the state of the Colossians, he could see they were walking in love and in the faith and had the genuine testimony and were doing really well. It refreshed him. That means that I do not have to be with you physically to taste the grace. He told them that they were fellow partakers with him of grace even though he was in bonds. They were not physically present with him as he was in jail. They were in their church. However, they were all partaking of grace together. The fellowship does not know time and space. Even if he did not come to them, they would get a taste of Paul’s grace through the ones he perfected and sent.
Walking Worthily of the Gospel
Php 1:27-28 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (28) And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God
Unity here is related to the striving together for the faith of the Gospel. With one mind, we are standing together and striving together for the faith of the Gospel. Just like Jude said, “contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). It is a contending. He says, “in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel you are all fellow partakers with me of grace.” There is no unity if you try to contend for the faith and someone who supposedly believes as well is telling you to “shut up”. Or saying that this contending needs to stop. That is not unity. That person has made themselves an enemy, not of you, but of the gospel in that moment. They need to be reconciled to the Gospel. They need to remember what we are doing here. We are not here for anything but the Gospel. It is better to depart and be with Christ. The only reason I am here is for the Gospel.
He says he wants them to walk worthily “of the Gospel.” To have a conversation becoming of the Gospel of Christ doesn’t mean to be “really nice and humble and apologize to everyone and don’t hurt anyone’s feelings and don’t raise your voice above a whisper and flatter everyone and just tell them they’re all doing awesome.” That is not what he says. He says, “in nothing terrified by your adversaries which to them is an evident token of perdition but to you of salvation and that of God.”
Your boldness is a token of the fact that you are receiving the supply of the Spirit and enjoying the “present tense” salvation. You are not afraid of anything or anybody. That boldness is supplied by the Spirit. The point is that you have got adversaries and you are not backing down. You are not stopping. You are not slowing down and considering their feelings. You are not being terrified of them in anything. No matter what they accuse you of and what they threaten to do, you are not terrified. You are still standing together in one mind. Your boldness is a sign that they are on the “wrong team.” They may not see it, but God is showing you His salvation.
When you are bold in the gospel in the face of adversaries, you are enjoying the glory of God. You can be persecuted for the word’s sake and yet the glory abides on you. How do you know? Because you are bold. You are not in anything terrified. You are walking worthily of the Gospel. You just keep speaking the truth. That comes from the Spirit and that is a salvation.
A lot of people think, “Oh how could I ever suffer martyrdom or anything like that?” You are not being asked to do that today. If that day comes, the supply of the Spirit will make sure that you are able to triumph in it. It is not about what you can muster up in yourself. It is all supplied by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. You have got to see that the Christian life comes to you in the moment as a supply. It is a river of the water of life flowing to you. If you get out of the river and stand on the bank and try to drum up your own emotions to meet the situation you are going to fail. But the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the triumph of the Christian life and is supplied to you as a drink.
Conflict with Grace
Phil 1:29-30 (29) For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (30) Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
If you are a partaker of this grace and you stand together for the faith of the Gospel, and if you stand for what Paul teaches, you will have the same conflict. You will have the same kind of adversaries and you will see the same conflict that he experienced. You know it is right for us to compare ourselves with Paul, in a sense, because he said we should expect to have the same conflict. That means that we are walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel. It is not because you are not walking in “Gospel worthiness” that you are having all these problems. It is because you are walking in a manner worthy of the gospel, striving together for the faith, proclaiming these things. It is producing adversaries and you are not backing down. You believe on Him and you suffer for Him. You are suffering for Jesus’ sake. You have the same conflict.
Paul says he had a conflict in him. “Having the same conflict you saw in me and now hear to be in me.” What is this conflict? He desires to depart because it would be far better to just go be with Christ, but he knows he has to stay for their sake. He has to keep supplying them with words of ministry. That is part of the conflict. The other part of the conflict is to say, “I will not give in to these accusations.” Paul has a highly sensitive conscience. He said in Ephesians, “I am the least of the saints” (Eph 3:8) and he said he is the “greatest of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). He did not think of himself as being something. This came from the Lord consuming his outer man. Yet at the same time he did not give any ground to the accusations, slander and condemnation from the enemy. He still had to prevail in Christ. That is a conflict. He had a thorn in his flesh, which was a messenger from Satan sent to buffet him so that everywhere he went there were riots (2 Cor 12:7). Yet he still had to stand strong in Christ and not let him get to him and impact his ministry and tempt him to shut down his ministry. I believe that this is the conflict. Only the Spirit of Jesus Christ and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ working unto salvation so that Christ is magnified in your body with all boldness can we overcome these things. That is what we need.