God’s seating arrangements

Eph 2:1-7 And you He made alive, who were dead in transgressions and sins,

[ God raising the dead. A dead person can’t raise themselves. If they try to, then, that is called “dead works” , i.e. the efforts of a dead person ; however, a dead person can believe in Jesus, and according to their faith, and the sure promise of God, God will raise them, now, right now.]

(2) in which you once walked according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which is now working in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom also we all once conducted ourselves

[ We A-L-L once lived this way, as sons of disobedience, and, truly, ALL who live this way are sons of disobedience, they are not sons of God, no matter what they claim.]

in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the senses, and were by nature

[sin nature]

children of wrath, as also the rest.

(4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, (7) that in the coming ages He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Seated us together. In heaven. In Christ Jesus.

This has been the substance of my faith this last week, and I was thinking how that many times forum interactions tend to drag us down from the heavenly place to the earthly and petty, yet, our faith should be ‘above’ pettiness etc. for truly in Christ we are ‘above’ it, bcos He is above it.

Being seated in heaven in Christ, while living in this body made of dust, means we believe and live according to Christ Jesus’ finished work on the cross. We are more than conquerors thru Him who loved us.

11 Responses to “God’s seating arrangements”

  1. Mark Finger Says:

    Spiritually speaking, we (the saints of God) are all seated together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.

    I trust we all desire to abide there (to the extent to which we are able, given our present infirmities, i.e. temporal bodies and continual striving against flesh and sin).

    In that vein, we must (perhaps) recognize when a saint is carnal or in rebellion: so that we may speak words of truth by the power of the Spirit (the Spirit bearing witness), words which God speaks, written in His holy texts, and only those words which He inspires.

    We go forth bearing precious seeds.

    Where we find saints who resist God’s truth (due to deception or immaturity (a love for carnal things), we must wait upon God to finish the good work He began in them.

    Conclusion: from a practical perspective, assembling is a product of agreement (in Christ); therefore, the degree to which we can walk out our faith in agreement with any other saint in Spirit AND in truth is dependent upon the degree to which both parties walk in truth.

    I am interested in hearing your heart on these things: what you hear me saying, where I am right or wrong, and what the further implications are in terms of practical aspects relative to assembling.

    I apologize for my lack of greater clarity in expressing these things.


  2. ianvincent Says:

    Agreed Mark brother.


    Most, in these days, don’t know what NT “assembling” is, bcos of the lack of the love of Christ as a bottom line foundation – motivation. The common motivator today is “self” : “building my ministry” , “an outlet – platform for my talents” etc.

    We fellowship with saints here in India, and some wouldn’t even know what “doctrine” is, they just believe that Jesus has forgiven their sins, and recognize His love. Then, “doctrine” is taught from this foundational basis, …no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 3:11.

    God’s seating arrangements. What if all the saints lived the truth, that we are all seated together in the heavens IN Christ Jesus?


  3. Bob Gordon Says:

    To achieve God’s seating arrangement it is ESSENTIAL to remember where we were called from as Ian states above. The only way to remember is to be striving by grace to walk in the basic of God’s word. As I was reading I was reminded of this scripture;

    Jam 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
    Jam 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
    Jam 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

    At some point in our walk with God we have all been guilty.
    Also, at some point in our walk with God we need to get over it and be consumend with doing the RIGHT THING in regards to the brethren. Assembling, whether in a building or cyberspace, the WORD of God has to stand on it’s own merits.

    God’s seating arrangement is not “stadium” seating. There are no box seats, no cheap seats. We are equal in God’s eyes.
    What is it in us that will try for a better seat when our response to each other is “to make someone else look bad so we can look good?” We know the answer.

    Phi 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
    Phi 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

  4. ianvincent Says:

    Thanks Bob, and welcome u guys to this blog. A blog where you don’t feel like a blob, i hope.

    And i do love your gentle admonitions brother. Agreed, this medium is a real contact/communication between brethren, so it is a type of assembling. Can’t wait till we get the Skype cranked up in conference form.

    Re: partiality, this is from Mark’s blog:

    “If we had not shared in Christ’s death (through our repentance), we could not have shared in His resurrection–so whenever fellow labourers are unwilling to partake of one another’s sufferings, they should not expect their assemblies to be filled with Christ’s resurrection power–a fact which is established by the apostolic pattern.

    Paul wrote that we are to be “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body (2 Corinthians 4:10, 16, 18). If this is true in our personal lives, it must likewise apply to assembly life as well. We assemble together in the death and life of our Lord Jesus: for it is in the giving away of our lives (to do the will of God) for others, that Christ is most revealed in us. This is the most authentic expression of our thanksgiving towards God: that we give our own lives (in a multitude of ways) for the blessing of the saints.”


  5. Mark Finger Says:

    One of the great things about living in Christ is the continual blessings which we are surprised with along the way, such as the edifying nature of this conversation. We shouldn’t be surprised, knowing Him, but I always find myself to be continually surprised concerning the Lord’s goodness, as I come before Him as a child–not full of knowledge, but full of wonder–constantly discovering every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

    (By the way, Ian, while I like your new title, it strikes me that this site is really about “Dialogue with the Saints,” given your natural (or supernatural) predilection for body life)

    After meditating upon what you and Bob have said, the following occurred to me; and note that I appreciated Bob’s submitted text, i.e Philippians 3.

    Those who love God, love the brethren—and where saints assemble together in the love and admonition of the Lord—their manner of worship is evidenced by the following characteristics:

    • they are bound together by their love for Christ

    • they desire to glorify Christ only and recognize those who are like-minded

    • they are unconcerned with ‘personal achievements’

    • they are always preoccupied with learning more about the Person of Christ through the tutelage of the Holy Spirit … and are ever aware of the Lord’s presence in their midst … focusing always upon His sinless ways, atoning death, and bodily resurrection … and their esteem for the Lord is seen in the degree to which they esteem every one of His precious words

    • they live by faith, giving credence and bearing witness of the unseen life in and truths of the Spirit, and therefore are not distracted by earthly things

    • they walk in grace … and therefore, are gracious toward one another

    The following passages are good to meditate upon relative to the above observations:

    • “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord … For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh … But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead … Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:1,3,7-11,13-14).

    • “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:5-18).

  6. Mark Finger Says:

    Just to clarify, what I enjoy about this conversation is that the point which I hear you both making is that we are assembling both “in” and “with” Christ. Assembling with the Person of Christ present: an entirely overwhelming truth that should impress itself upon our every thought, word, and deed.

    V-E-R-Y edifying discussion, brother!!!

  7. Mark Finger Says:

    Or better yet, this:

    We assemble both “in” and “with” Christ. Assembling with the Person of Christ p-r-e-s-e-n-t, an entirely overwhelming truth that should impress itself upon every nuance of our manner of worship. When with the brethren, we think, act, and speak “in the presence of Christ.” “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” (Matthew 18:20). He is in our midst! Blessed be His name!

    P.S. … and maybe “Dialoguing with the Saints” would be an improvement upon my first suggestion.

  8. ianvincent Says:

    All truths that build up. Amen. Corporately we are His Body, His flesh and His bones, therefore we are not assembling “for” Him, rather, we are simply obeying and conforming ourselves to what is already established and settled in heaven, bcos of the cross and the resurrection. The Holy Spirit brings this about.

    The alternative would be that our assembling does not represent – proclaim what our Lord died to establish : not conformed to, and not representing, His Body, His flesh and bones, and that is the tragedy of apostate christendom.

    Not “new ways” to “do church” as there is only one way, and the Apostles in the 1st Cent. showed us that way thru laying down their lives.

    Therefore it’s not a technical matter, or pragmatic, or cultural, rather, Jesus’ flesh and bones BEING what He made us to be, together, corporately, with 2 or more.

    Re: the blog title. Thanks for the suggestion bro. I wasn’t thinking of this blog as an open forum, bcos i don’t feel i can commit to the time it would take to manage such. So, as a personal blog, it’s good that people know whose blog it is. As you know, i’m dead against being obscure, and using nicknames, and hiding one’s identity, bcos the NT folks showed us, by their example, that using one’s real name is important for accountability, and to avoid confusion, and therefore is more conducive for fellowship.

    Anyway, i’ll take it one day at a time. If each of has a blog, then it would be good that we can identify whose blog it is.


  9. Mark Finger Says:

    So, you are saying that the more saints meditate upon the truth of what IS “in Christ Jesus”, what His church IS … then the more they will be supernaturally conformed to acting out these truths on a daily basis?

    For God to build His church daily:

    * meditate upon words of truth (the holy scriptures)
    * act upon what God reveals to you
    * trust the Holy Spirit to do all things in this way, as God wills

    The converse of this would be what we have today: political/ecclesiastical leadership which denies the strength of an individual’s relationship with the Lord, denying that we are all able ministers of the new testament and members of a royal priesthood by substituting reliance upon man in place of reliance upon God.

    The biblical foundation of every new testament assembly is a simple trust in the Lord that He is A-B-L-E to guide His church by ruling over His saints: revealing to them, speaking through them, acting through them, all things being done unto the edification of the body, nothing hidden (no hidden works of man).

  10. ianvincent Says:

    Yes to all the above! Yes! Excellent points brother, highlighting the 2 kingdoms in conflict. Wisdom from above clashing with wisdom from beneath (human wisdom – 666 ).

    Meditate-ponder upon the words of truth, yes.

    In addition:

    What is ‘believing’ truth? E.g. If i don’t obey a truth, when i’m convicted by the Word that i should, then i can say i haven’t yet believed that truth from my heart. I have only intellectually given assent to it. A saint doesn’t seek to satisfy their intellect, eh. The Lord Himself is their portion. A disciple only seeks to do the will of God by faith – i.e. love for God.

    Where we have lived out our faith today, in relation to the Body (2 or more) , *there* the Kingdom has come, and the Head of the Church has been building His Church, as He promised He would.

    As our faith grows, by grace, the assembly should grow in character, and in number, if God will add to His Church.

    Note: that the Apostolic pattern (e.g. 1 Cor. 14) was one of always stretching forward by faith. There was no pre-planned thing. Anything could happen. Stretching forward by faith means that one believes that the Father has a plan and we are to stretch forward by faith and apprehend that for which Christ Jesus apprehended us.

    Kingdom “work” (Father’s business) is always prayer relating to real people (relational), and what springs out and comes forth – proceeds from a life of unceasing prayer.

    If we really love one another (we have carried one another’s burdens in prayer and have physically helped) then “church” has been happening.

    Ok, brothers,and sisters, i’m anticipating what the Lord will speak thru you next, to us all.


  11. Mark Finger Says:

    The building of the kingdom is made manifest through the obedience of the saints. But in America, the saints are so accustomed to following and being entertained by man (spiritual superstars of the ‘Christian’ culture) that they are only motivated by men–not God–and therefore, their obedience is primarily to man, not God.

    What we end up with is a pseudo-Christian culture based upon the works of man, not God: and as new converts ‘grow up’ in this ‘Christian’ lifestyle, they learn more about the character and nature of man than the character and nature of God. In this way, satan substitutes the wisdom of men for the wisdom of God.

    And so my wife and I (and those like us) are peculiar among our own people–for those within the false church system must view us as enemies to some degree–as our practices oppose their own.

    Double-mindedness creates mental instability: and anyone can witness the unstable condition of the traditional church system; it is nothing more than series of sick coups. Where the Holy Spirit does not rule, we can be assured that men must fight one another for control.

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