I realize I haven't been blogging much lately. I plan on repenting of this neglect, but then again, I cannot make any promises.
Anyway, over the last few months, I have been walking the path through a study of the book of Romans. One BIG insight is that by far the most important and most neglected steps in discipleship are not the works steps like spiritual inventory and confession, but the faith steps like: We believe that Jesus Christ has provided us with everything we need for life in the kingdom. We believe we are declared righteous in God's eyes because of Jesus' finished work. We believe that Christ is our righteousness and that he is the same yesterday today and forever. We believe that we are dead to sin. The place and world of sin is separated from us and we are separated from it. We do not identify with our sin or the sin of the world. That world is the product of a world under God's wrath and all the sin and violence of the world is not the realm in which we abide. We are God's children. We are new essentially...and so on...
This knowing and reckoning the truth as real to us is a great part of contemplating the truth of the world around us and our identity in the world and the kingdom and living in faith.
I like to say: "We are Zion". "Through Christ, we are Jerusalem; the city on the hill; the city of peace".
We need community and we need each other to keep this vision of faith before our eyes. Ahh...the kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy.
Another faith step is the step of laying on of hands. We pray for one another that God removes our sin from us. We together as we confess our sins give our sins to Go and ask humbly for Him to remove these from us. We do this in community and we do this with the laying on of hands and we accept in faith that God has done His will in our live, and we know that His will is our sanctification. If we ask according to His will we are confident that we have received what we have requested.
Both these proclamations of the static and unchanging elements of our faith (our position in Christ and identity in Christ) and the more dynamic acts of faith of the laying on of hands and asking for the power of the Spirit for actual sanctification are the most central elements of the attainment of the blessings of the kingdom.