I invite you to perform a little experiment… the next time you’re in a Church-building, or a Christian setting, listen to the things that the people often say about themselves. You’ll usually hear things such as:
– Oh, I’m just a sinner saved by grace.
– I’m a work in progress.
– I’m a piece of metal that’s being refined.
And there are other things as well, but these are the most common phrases that I often hear. And with each of these phrases, there is one common point in all of them – that the work isn’t finished yet.
People are going around constantly telling themselves and others that, well no, Jesus really hasn’t finished the work yet… that it’s still in progress. This is what most people actually believe, and it saddens me, because it’s really not the truth.
What I want to share with you today in this study, is what the scriptures actually say regarding your status right now as a child of God, washed and redeemed by His shed blood and broken body for you. And that in-fact, it is okay to admit the truth of what He has done for you.
Now, I need to stress this point right from the start: what you say matters! The famous saying of “sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you” is not true when it comes to the spiritual aspect of things. Your owns words can very much hurt you, if they are not in-line with the truth of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of what He has accomplished for you.
Most believers are familiar with Proverbs 18:21, which says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Which honestly should be enough to make anyone take notice of the immense power of the words that we speak. However there are many more scriptures besides that one (most of which we have studied previously) – such as Joshua chapter 5, where the enemies of Israel “heard” what God did, and their hearts failed them. Or Proverbs 15:4, which tells us that a healing tongue is a tree of life, while a perverse tongue breaks the spirit.
Simply put, your words have massive amounts of power. This power was given to you by God Himself. You were made in both His image, and His likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), and just as God has creative power in His words, so also do you. Does that shock and surprise you? Most believers think of themselves as having no power at all… they see themselves as weak and helpless, and as a result, they make themselves into that. Never reaching forward, never realizing what is truly possible in Christ. I see it all of the time, and it’s sad, because it is not what Jesus taught; it’s not who Jesus told us that we are. Consider the words of Jesus in Mark 11:23:
“For truly I say to you, That whoever shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he said.”
Now, a question: Do you believe that Jesus meant what He said when He spoke these words? If so, then this should begin to open your awareness as to what is possible by speaking, and believing.
Jesus wasn’t just talking about Himself or the twelve disciples here either. He clearly says that whoever shall say to the mountain… and believe. That word “whoever” there, is the same “whoever” from verses such as John 3:16, used for salvation itself.
Jesus wants us to know the power which He has given to us… and He expects us to make use of it. He didn’t give it to us for no reason. But what is your foundation for such belief? How can you be sure that what you say will happen? It is precisely your identity in Christ. Jesus Himself says this in John 14:12-14:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.
And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Now what these verses are telling us in a nutshell here, is that our position is what matters. Twice in three verses, Jesus makes mention of “in My name” – we’ve turned it into a signature phrase, almost an abracadabra magic word, that we simply append to the end of a prayer along with “Amen”.
However the phrase “in My name” is not talking about tacking on “In Jesus’ Name” to the end of a prayer, but it’s actually talking about the position of your identity. You are either in Christ, or you are not. And we have the assurance that when we are in Christ, this promise here in these verses, directly from the mouth of Jesus, is true for us today. The reason why it is true? So that the Father is glorified in the Son.
Do you understand that reason? Today, when you speak with the authority of Jesus, and things happen as a result, that actually gives glory to God the Father and Jesus Christ, because it testifies of His finished work for you! Your speaking power is a testament that Jesus Christ has actually redeemed you!
Sadly, the enemy has deceived many Christians into speaking death into their own life, and speaking his lies, rather than the truth of Christ. Some are even so confused that they think it is blasphemous to say that they are clean, holy and perfected in Christ. They think that it is hubris to call themselves such things, and insist that they are still in the process of being redeemed and cleansed.
Yet God wants us to acknowledge the finished work of Christ, not “the continuing process of the work of Christ, that will be completed some day” – the finished work of Christ has real and effectual power, the other is dead and powerless, because the person doesn’t even know or accept who they are.
The scriptures tell us in Psalms 107:2, to let the redeemed of the LORD say so… He is the Redeemer, you are the redeemed! You are not “in the process of being redeemed”, you are the redeemed, right now. And He wants you to say so; it’s okay to admit it! It’s the truth of Christ Jesus!
Hebrews 10:14 says:
“For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.”
Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice has perfected forever, them that are sanctified. Read that again if you need to. You are perfected forever! You are not “in the process of being made perfect” You have been perfected already by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And oh yes, He sanctified you also – and to be sanctified means to be holy.
A lot of people (and I mean many) have picked up this idea that sanctification is an ongoing process that occurs over a lifetime, and that you must continually strive towards it, but that is not actually scriptural. If Hebrews 10:10-14, isn’t enough to show that Jesus has sanctified you once and for all time, then there are plenty more scriptures to solidify it for you, such as 1st Corinthians 6:11:
“And such were some of you: but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
You see the previous verses, list some of the many acts of unrighteousness, the fruit of sin that would condemn someone to destruction in hell. But then there is a change. Verse 11 here doesn’t say “You are in the process of not being those things anymore” – it says and such were some of you, but you have been washed, sanctified and justified. And that washing, sanctification and justifying happened in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the power of His Spirit.
When Jesus cried out that it was finished on that cross, He meant what He said… He didn’t say “I started it… and it will be finished one day”. Otherwise the Father wouldn’t have torn the veil in the temple! But He did tear the veil in the temple right then (Matthew 27:51) because from then on, all were able to meet God face-to-face – the sin that had separated man from God for so long, had been cleansed completely away – and God the Father, passionately tore the veil signifying our acceptance!
It’s okay to admit this truth also! You are completely washed, sanctified, and justified in the sight of God, right now!
There are some who think that they are constantly being refined like metal. But again, this is not scriptural. 1st Corinthians 1:2-3, begins by saying this:
“To 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 on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now we all know that Corinth had it’s share of problems, but yet this statement about them here is still true… why? Because their purity does not rest on their behavioral performance, but in Christ Jesus, as verse 2 makes clear.
Those who think that they are somehow purifying themselves by their works, as they are some kind of spiritual blacksmith, refining themselves, are in-essence denying the finished work of Christ. Paul had this to say in 2nd Timothy 4:14-15:
“Alexander the metal-worker did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works.
Of whom you also beware; for he has greatly withstood our words.”
Those who think that they are the refiners, refining and improving themselves, are actually resisting the Gospel of Grace in Christ, and will end-up doing themselves and possibly others great harm.
But you, my friend, I encourage you today: It is okay to admit the truth of who you are in Christ… holy, redeemed, justified, cleansed, and dearly beloved of God. And your words carry weight, just as the word of any royal priest does.