Did you know that your journey with Christ began with your death? If you're thinking about getting married, here's a tip: be ready to die. If you're not ready to die, you're not ready for marriage.
February 27, 2023
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Did you know that your journey with Christ began with your death? If you’re thinking about getting married, here’s a tip: be ready to die. If you’re not ready to die, you’re not ready for marriage. In fact, when Jesus came, the first thing he did was to crucify you with him. The Gospel is not just about getting to heaven when you die. The Gospel is that you are already in heaven because you have died. Let me say that again: the Gospel is not that you will get to heaven when you die, but that you are already in heaven because you have died. Have you died? Yes, you have been crucified with Christ.
Without crucifixion, there can be no resurrection. That’s one of the reasons we pray. We don’t pray so we can attain something; we pray so we can empty ourselves of our ego. Self-emptying doesn’t mean losing your individuality, personality, or identity. It means emptying your ego.
The “I” in Galatians 2:20, which says “for I have been crucified,” refers to our ego. Our ego has been crucified with Christ. We no longer live, but Christ lives in us. The life we now live is by faith in the Son of God. The criteria for Christ’s life to be in us is that our ego is dead. We need to claim that we have been crucified.
Our baptism is not the same as John the Baptist’s baptism. John’s baptism was about repentance from sin. Our baptism is about resurrection. As Jesus died, we died with him. As he became alive, we also became alive. The consequences of our
sins, sickness, and demonic oppression have been dealt with on the cross. devil can only touch the crucified person, not the new person, because our new selves are already in heaven.
Do you know that you are already in heaven? Let me show you a word from Jesus talking to Nicodemus
John 3:13. Jesus said, “No one has ascended to heaven, but he who came down from heaven, that is the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
This means that the Son of Man who is talking to Nicodemus is in heaven, even though he is on earth.
Ephesians 2:4-6. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
This verse tells us that we are seated with Christ in heaven right now. This is not a future reality, but something that has already happened.
How is this possible? You need to understand that you are a spirit being. The day you accepted Jesus, your spirit was united with the Holy Spirit. You are now one with the Holy Spirit. This mystery can be understood by getting married. When two individuals become one in a covenant of love, they are no longer two, but one. When you believed in the gospel, you were sealed with the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). So, now you are not just “I,” but “we” – your spirit and the Holy Spirit are one. Your spirit is who you are. You are not your mind, heart, hand, or body. You are a spirit being.
As a human being, you consist of a physical body and a spiritual being, and your spiritual being has a heart or a soul which has emotions, and thoughts. While your body resides on Earth, your spirit exists in a higher reality. Your spirit being is completely saved and free from sickness, deformity, demonic oppression, and the struggle with sin. It has been renewed in the image of Christ through the imperishable seed, which is the living and abiding word of God (1 Peter 1:23). You were recreated the day you accepted Jesus, as Nicodemus discussed with Jesus in the context of spiritual rebirth. Your spirit being is just like Jesus and is located in heaven where you are already seated. The gospel message states that as Jesus died, you died with him. And as he was resurrected and made alive, you were also made alive together with him.
Jesus is in heaven, and so are you. However, our bodies remain on earth because we have a divine mandate to fulfill – a spiritual mission that Jesus taught his disciples to pray about. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, which means that we are essential to the fulfillment of God’s plan. As spiritual beings in heaven, but with physical bodies on earth, we serve as the bridge for God’s will to be accomplished in the world. It is through us that God’s dreams and purposes come to fruition.
God is a spiritual being, and in order for any spiritual being to manifest on Earth, they require a physical body. This is why demons are known to possess bodies, which we call demonic possession. Similarly, if God wants to bring about change on Earth, He needs humans to partner with Him and become channels for His will to be done. The Bible shows us that every time God acted on Earth, He partnered with a human, from Adam to Abraham, to Noah, David, and Gideon. God intentionally created us to be partners with Him, not because He is limited, but because He is a God of partnership who does not work alone. This is in contrast to our egotistical tendencies as humans. Our spirit is in heaven, but our bodies are on Earth to fulfill our spiritual mandate.
In heaven, there is no disease, sickness, sin, demonic oppression, or poverty. However, on earth, you may struggle and suffer. You are dealing with two realities – the reality of complete healing, freedom, and forgiveness in heaven, and the reality of suffering on earth. The reality of heaven is the bigger reality.
John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Pay attention to the phrase “I am the truth.” Jesus did not say “I am a truth.” Are you suffering today? Yes, that is “a truth”. But Jesus said, “I am the truth.” The difference between “the truth” and “a truth” is that “a truth” can change, while “the truth” remains constant and unchanging.
Okay, for the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to use “the truth” as the absolute truth and “a truth” as subjective truth, Absolute truth never changes, while subjective truth can vary depending on circumstances. For example, it’s currently 11:40 where I am, but it might be a different time for viewers in different time zones. Our experience of time is subjective. However, if we ask the Sun, it doesn’t have emotions or moods that affect its shining; it shines constantly. Despite this, some parts of the Earth experience night while others experience day due to the Earth’s rotation. So it would be foolish for me to say the Sun has stopped shining just because I experience night. Similarly, just because you may not feel healed or forgiven, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t heal or forgive.
God has already forgiven us, healed our diseases, and set us free from all demonic oppression through the work of the cross. This is an absolute truth, and it is the reason why there is no sickness in heaven. However, if we do not experience this truth in our current reality, it does not negate the work that God has already done. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether we are living from the absolute truth of God or from our subjective reality. The problem is that we often live towards heaven from earth, which causes us to view the absolute truth through the narrow lens of our subjective reality. It’s like looking into a big room through a keyhole, and only seeing bits and pieces of the bigger picture.
But Jesus explained to Nicodemus that no one can ascend to heaven unless they have descended from heaven. This means that Jesus was living from heaven towards earth, not the other way around. As a spirit being, you are in heaven, and you need to live on earth from a heavenly perspective. This is a paradigm shift that can change everything.
Romans 8:18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
However, we have become so focused on our suffering that we see the glory through the lens of suffering. We try to find meaning in our suffering, but Paul wrote to give us hope that the suffering is temporary. We need to look at the suffering through the glory, not the other way around. Instead of looking at our sickness from a place of pain, we need to see it from the perspective of being healed. Instead of looking at our struggle with sin as ongoing, we need to see it from the perspective of being completely forgiven and set free.Don’t wait for one day to come; you are already in heaven, healed, forgiven, and set free.
Jesus said, repent. Change your mind. This is what it means to repent – not merely to ask for forgiveness of sins, but to transform one’s entire perspective. Repentance means opening oneself up to the possibility of experiencing the kingdom of God in the present moment. The kingdom is not some distant, unattainable goal, but rather something that is within reach if one is willing to shift their mindset.
Receiving the Holy Spirit is not merely a way to experience a preview of heaven. Rather, it is an invitation to experience the fullness of God’s presence in one’s life right now. This requires a paradigm shift – a move away from seeing God through the lens of suffering and toward seeing one’s suffering through God’s lens. By changing one’s perspective in this way, one can experience the fullness of God’s grace and presence in the midst of life’s trials and difficulties.
In 1999, a movie called “The Matrix” was released. While I do not necessarily endorse the film, I believe it can serve as a useful illustration to teach a valuable lesson. The movie revolves around a character named Neo, a skilled hacker who discovers that he can alter his reality by changing computer programs. He soon learns that the world he is living in is not the true reality, but rather a virtual reality created by artificial intelligence in order to enslave humankind. The computers are using human bodies to generate heat, which they require to survive. By hooking humans up to a virtual reality, they are able to keep them enslaved and unaware of the true reality.
Living in a subjective reality will always keep you enslaved. But some have awakened from this false reality and experienced the true reality. One of these people is Morpheus, who offers Neo a choice: take the blue pill and remain in virtual reality, or take the red pill and awaken to the truth.
Jesus came to give us a new perspective, revealing that the reality we experience is subjective and does not encompass the full truth of who God is. This perspective is accessed through faith, which allows us to access God’s promises. Each time we exercise faith, we are awakened to God’s true reality and move beyond our limited perspective. As believers, we are seated in heaven, as John 8:32 affirms that knowing the truth will set us free.
The circumstances of our lives, such as medical reports and bank statements, are factual, but they do not define the ultimate truth of our lives. It is the knowledge of the truth that sets us free, not the truth itself.
Without the gospel, we remain enslaved to the devil and our circumstances, but by opening our spiritual eyes, we see that we are positioned far above all powers, rules, authorities, and principalities. We rule the earth from our position in heaven.
Therefore, we must move beyond illusions and embrace God’s truth, which includes everything that the cross has bought for us. The medical report is a true but limited perspective, while God’s truth reveals the fullness of our potential in Him.
I appreciate what you’re saying, Pastor Sam. But what should I do if I’m still sick and struggling?
Hebrews 11:13 says, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
They all died in faith, even though they didn’t receive what was promised to them by God. The beauty is that they died in faith. So, my question to you is, will you also die in faith, rather than believing something untrue about God? Even if you are battling cancer or struggling with sin, will you still have faith in God until your last breath? Will you believe that God will heal you, or forgive you? Even if you don’t receive what was promised, will you die in faith, so that the next generation can rise up in the faith that you left behind?
To understand the context of these words, we can look at Abraham’s story. In Genesis 12, God called Abraham to leave his homeland and travel to a new place that God would show him. God led Abraham to different places, but he never possessed them – he lived as a foreigner. Abraham died, and then the promise was carried on to Isaac, who also lived as a foreigner in those same places. Isaac died, and then it was carried on to Jacob, who also died. It took over 500 years for the people of Israel to come to Canaan and possess it. The blessing of Abraham was to possess land, and it was passed down to his descendants. They all believed in God, even though they lived as foreigners in the same land that they were supposed to possess. They didn’t give up, but kept believing that God would fulfill his promise. So, even if you are going through sickness or struggles, keep believing in God that he will do it, rather than giving up and doubting him. Because your faith is passed down to future generations.
Have you ever wondered why the church has been around for over 2000 years and Jesus hasn’t returned yet? It’s because we, as the body of Christ, need to mature into the head. Jesus won’t come until the body has grown to the point of maturity. We have been waiting for Jesus to come and take away our sorrows and for our bodies to be made new, but what if He is waiting for us to mature first? Instead of making your suffering an idol, see it from the perspective of glory, which will transform you. Paul wrote that the sufferings of this present age are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits us. He wasn’t saying this to focus on suffering, but to redirect our focus to the glory of God. In fact, the sufferings Paul wrote about are incomparable to what many Christians faced in his time, such as being tortured, eaten by lions, or thrown into gladiator fields.
“To that generation, Paul says, “Don’t view your suffering as something great because the glory to be revealed is far greater.” Later, he adds, “We must wait patiently for what we cannot see. If we could see it, why would we wait? Why would we have hope?” Therefore, if you are seeking healing, do not despair if you cannot see it yet. Instead, have faith in God and wait for it. Keep hoping and believing that God will heal you.”
In John 6:28, some people asked Jesus, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus replied with just one word: “Believe.” As God’s children, our job is not to understand suffering or write a thesis on it. Our job is to believe in God and look at our suffering from His perspective, rather than seeing God through our pain, suffering, sin, and shame. When we see God through our brokenness, it can distort our image of Him. We must remember that we are no longer brokenhearted, as Jesus came to bind the brokenhearted. We should not hold onto our brokenness, as it validates our worth and gives pleasure to our self-righteousness. Our worth is validated by what Christ has done for us –
forgiving us, accepting us, setting us free, and delivering us once and for all. Therefore, we should live from the place of heaven’s reality and not let suffering define us.
Ephesians 1:4 says that God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, with the purpose of making us holy and blameless before Him. This means that we were chosen before the creation of the world.
1 Peter 1:20-21 also tells us that Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world, and was made manifest in the last times for our sake.
Revelation 13:8 states that everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
Although Jesus was crucified 2000 years ago in our timeline, His sacrifice on the cross was foreordained before the foundation of the earth.
You were chosen before the foundation of the earth. Jesus was chosen before the foundation of the earth. In fact, what Jesus did on the cross was before the foundation of the earth.
We are trying to live within the limitations of time and space, but God exists beyond them. He is not subject to time; time is subject to Him. He chose you before the foundation of the world, before time began. Christ was ordained for your behalf before time began.What Jesus did on the cross was an eternal act, as if it happened before time began.
In Hebrews 13:8, Jesus is referred to as the same yesterday, today, and forever, because He exists beyond time. Therefore, anything we do in the spiritual realm, in heaven’s reality, is as if it is before the foundation of the world, before time began.
Although time is a concept that helps us experience life, we should not let it become our master because we have been redeemed from time. You are chosen before the foundation of the world, and God knew you before the creation of the world. Everything that God created is for your pleasure. In the book of Genesis, God created man and woman on the last day, the sixth day, even though He could have created them first. This is because the man was created in God’s mind before the foundation of the world.
He came into the physical world to create time for the physical world to begin, and then he created man. However, you existed before time with God, before the foundation of the world, and your reality is in heaven. Therefore, live from heaven
and do not try to decipher life on earth with all the data available because it is inaccurate. Instead, live from the truth, which is Jesus, the absolute higher reality. Jesus said, “I am the truth,” and his word is truth. In John 17:17, he prayed,”Sanctify them by your truth; your word is truth.” Thus, go back to God’s word because it is the red pill that shows you the truth that will not change. Just like Jesus, we are in this world but not of it, and our experiences do not negate the power of the gospel.
To live from heaven, imagine yourself seated with Christ far above every power, rule, and principality. In Ephesians 2:4-6, it says that we are seated far above them, so in your quiet time, close your eyes and visualize yourself seated with Christ above every problem that you face. See them beneath your feet and thank the Father.