Many people have never been taught that there is a spiritual principle that underlies salvation. Yet God being a Spirit (see John 4:24), accordingly deals with us first and foremost in our spirits.
Coming to understand that salvation is inherently spiritual is crucial, for this helps us to realize and have confidence that our right standing with God has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of our body, nor is it dependent upon the mental and emotional condition of our soul. Right standing with God is purely rooted in our spirit. And while our body and our emotions can be in all sorts of states, our spirit can only be in one of two conditions—we are either spiritually alive through having made Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives, or we are what is considered to be spiritually dead.
To be spiritually dead means to be spiritually separated from God and from the things of God. Now please realize that this does not necessarily denote the absence of spirituality. This is important to understand. It is actually very much possible for a person to be quite spiritual, and yet still to be spiritually dead to the things of God.
To be spiritually dead means to be unable to fellowship with God the Father, to be unable to relate to God; unable to discern His reality, His presence, and the truth of His Word.
When a spiritually dead individual opens themselves up to the spiritual realm, they will invariably fall into deception. They will open themselves to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (see 1 Timothy 4:1) And so the question is never how spiritual we are, the question is have we made Jesus the Lord of our life? Have we received God’s provision for salvation? If so, we are made spiritually alive through union with Christ Jesus. And so right here then we have what I have been calling the spiritual principle of our salvation. Brothers and sisters, this spiritual principle of salvation is union with Christ.
Every believer who has received Jesus as the Lord of their life has been spiritually united with Him. We have become one spirit with Christ.
Union With Christ
1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” To be joined unto the Lord means to be born again. And we are joined unto the Lord the very moment we surrender our life over to Him. We are joined unto the Lord by putting into practice the principles of Romans 10:9-10: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
And so there are two things involved in order for us to be joined unto the Lord: the heart and the mouth. We believe in our hearts, and then we give life to what we believe by speaking it out. This is what unifies us in the spiritual realm with Christ.
Now consider this amzaing truth: the very moment you are joined unto the Lord, everything that is true about Jesus becomes true about you spiritually. In other words, the righteousness that is Jesus becomes your righteousness. The holiness of our Lord becomes your holiness. And yes, the power and authority of Jesus over all of the forces of darkness, is imputed to you through your union with Christ. This is why every believer is called to walk in their authority over Satan and his hosts of spiritual wickedness. (see Luke 10:19 & Mark 16:17-18)
Consider this passage in Romans 6:5-6 which also speaks of our union with Christ: “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
The “old man” was the old, spiritually dead self which was unable to fellowship with God the Father. The “body of sin” refers to the sin root, or the sin nature. Friends, consider that the very moment you received Jesus as the Lord of your life, you underwent a total and complete spiritual makeover.
Your old spiritual self has vacated the premises, and what has moved in is a brand new self which is created in the perfect image and likeness of Jesus.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) This new creation that you are is the perfect image and likeness of Jesus, which is why Ephesians 1:4 says that we are holy and blameless before the Father in love. And 1 John 4:17 tells us, “as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world.”
Laying Hold Of It By Faith
Now someone might say, “Alex, I appreciate that, but it sure does not feel that way to me. My circumstances contradict this, even my body and my emotions contradict this.” Friend, please realize that this is talking about what is true about us spiritually. In other words, it is not about how we feel, it is not an emotional thing. This is purely a spiritual truth, a spiritual reality. And the things of the Spirit cannot be perceived through the physical senses, nor can they be felt through our emotions. The things of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “must be spiritually discerned.”
To spiritually discern something means to acknoweledge it and to accept it as true by faith. We begin to discern the truth of who we are in Christ and the victory we have in Him as we accept this by faith. Accepting God’s Word by faith enables the transfer to be made from the spiritual to the natural. In other words, the more you accept the truth of who you are in Him in the midst of circumstances, the more you are enabling His truth and His glory to manifest in your life. This is how you gain the victory over circumstances. The victory is won through faith.
Grace has already made victory available through the finished works of Jesus, yet faith is how we lay hold of what grace has made available.
And so we see then that, while our actual salvation is not based on our actions or on the mental and emotional condition of our soul, our actions do matter, and so do our thoughts. Remember, we are saved purely by accepting what Jesus has done for us and making Him the Lord of our lives, yet in order for us to experience the fruits of salvation in our day to day life our role now becomes to bring our actions and our thoughts into agreement with who we already are in Christ. I like to call this part bridging the gap. This is the gap that exists between who we already are in Christ according to the Word of God, and what our day to day real life experience is. And simply put, we bridge this gap by renewing our mind in the Word (see Romans 12:2 & Ephesians 4:22-24). This means we must bring our thoughts and our words into alignment with the Word of God. The more that we meditate on who we are in Him, the more that we confess His Word over our lives, the more of His glory will we see made manifest in and through our lives!