The coming of Christ is not to be confused with His return. He will indeed return, but only for a totally clean, holy church that is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. His coming is the Greek word, parousia, or abiding presence: along side His property. We experience His coming in this sense right now. He is present in the innermost being of every person who accepts Him as Savior and Lord. His Lordship is being established. That Lordship is established in wisdom according to the pattern of 1 Corinthians 1:30. As you see, this wisdom is Jesus Christ, Himself. He is the logos, the Word of God, and now God has made Him to be our wisdom. Note that wisdom is given three parts in verse 30: Righteousness, Holiness, and Redemption. This is very important to understand for those who are interested in entering into that genuine and absolute fullness of the Life of the coming Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth.
Righteousness is so different from what most people think that it is. Righteousness is walking on the Way (Jesus is the Way) that leads to the genuine and absolute fullness of Life (Jesus is the Life) of the coming Age, the Kingdom Age. Sin is leaving this Way. There are two types of leaving this Way. One type of leaving is to slip off, as when one becomes angry or finds themselves in a lustful thought. The other type is to step off on purpose. This is known as willful sin in theology. In either case, we can return to the Way by confessing our fault freely to Jesus Christ. God tells us that when we do this, He is both faithful and also just to forgive our sin (leaving the Way). The word, forgive means more than pardon. It also means to send our sin away from us--to free us, to some extent now and fully in the future, from that sinful nature.
Jesus tells us that this Way is very narrow, Through Paul's writing, God tells us that whatever is not of faith is sin (that is, leaving the Way of Life).
So, Faith is necessary for righteousness, which is the first step. How does faith come? Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word (Greek: rhema = utterance) of God. Here we have the Utterance, the Person of Jesus, once again being the Way that faith comes. God speaks. Christ leads. The Holy Spirit teaches all who will direct their wills to be in submission to His will. When He speaks, He speaks a vision of Hope. Hope is a heavenly vision. We can see from what the Holy Spirit tells us through the writing of the apostle, James, that this vision is like looking into a mirror. The mirror is that perfect (totally complete) law of liberty. What do we see? We see ourselves and how we fit into our surroundings, as in a mirror. But, henceforth know we no man after the flesh but after the flesh, says the Holy Spirit. So, what do we see in this mysterious mirror of a vision of God's hope that appears before us when God speaks and directs? We see who we are in Christ and how we fit into the Body of Christ. And we see every other person who appears with us there in that mirror as who they are as a member of the Body--not according to the flesh.
(some caveats about hearing God's Voice)
So, God guides. God leads. God speaks. God directs. God commands. God comforts. God encourages. God builds up. And when He does, He speaks in a vision that involves and invigorates all of the spiritual senses, making them more keen in the process (providing that we obey).
But how does God speak to us? He speaks through the Bible, of course, and that is as far as many Christ-followers ever see or understand. But every time the Holy Spirit brings a Scripture to memory, Christ is speaking. Every time a member of the Body of Christ speaks by the Holy Spirit, it is Christ who is speaking. When God gives a check in the conscience, He is speaking. He directs through a quiet word in every avenue of life. He quietly warns us of danger in this way. God speaks through the gifts of the Spirit that are received by the laying on of hands of the presbytery and prophecy. He speaks through prophecy if the church is following the pattern of worship of 1 Corinthians 14. He speaks in visions and in dreams, of course. He also speaks through all of creation. We just need to acknowledge Him and then a wonderful thing happens. Grace.
God tells us, through Scripture, that it is faith that gives us access into His grace. And again, He tells us that it is grace that does His works in us. God tells us, again through Paul's writing, that righteousness is a free gift.
So how can we, who are full of sin even after being born again, walk in righteousness. We knew it would take a miracle. We knew that self-effort and self-righteousness would frustrate the grace of God. But how do we do it? This is what has just been explained. God is first mover. He leads. We hear and acknowledge Him. His faith, a supernatural belief of God, fills our innermost mind. We believe with this faith and then have access to the grace of God. The grace of God does God's works through us. Just as Jesus said that He didn't do any works or say any words that the Father didn't give Him, so is our destiny. God thinks His Thoughts through us, speaks His Words through us, and does His Works through us. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (innermost minds) by the Holy Ghost. This is righteousness and nothing else is righteousness ever.
Righteousness is in intimate cooperation of the human and God. We must stand in His presence or there is no way this could happen. Sin takes us out of His Presence. What brings us into His Presence? Praise, a will to do His will, worship, respect, and honor bring us into His Holy presence where He can speak to us and direct us. Fellowship with other believers brings us into His Presence. Prayer brings us into His Presence.
I would suggest reading The Real Faith, by Charles S. Price that is available here for free.
When we stand in the Presence of God in this way, we are changed. It is impossible to stand in God's Presence in submission to Him without being affected. As He says His Words through us and does His Acts through us, we are changed. This is the renewing of the mind that is mentioned in Romans 12:1-2. A bit of the old carnal/dead mind is destroyed with each submission to the King of kings. Christ is more fully formed within. We become more like Jesus and less of a slave of Satan.
Righteousness is something you do--more correctly, something that God does through you. Holiness is something you are or become. Redemption refers to slavery. It is being set free from slavery to sin, death, and the power of the devil. These are the final two components of wisdom. But how can you obtain them? It has already been stated that walking in righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit is the very thing that transforms and transfigures you into the likeness of Christ. This is holiness, and nothing else is holiness ever. In addition, as the fleshly nature dies away and Christ is formed within, this makes it increasingly harder for Satan to grip you and control your emotions and desires. In addition, as we walk into greater maturity on this Way, our spiritual senses become exercised and more keen. We begin to be better able to discern between good and evil, truth and error. Satan cannot fool us as easily. We begin to be set free from the power of Satan. This is redemption and nothing else is redemption ever.
This is the process. This is the Way that is set before anyone who desires that genuine and absolute fullness of Life of the Kingdom Age.
Last updated: Dec, 2013
Understanding God's Way/Path/Process
Toons & Vids
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Wisdom: Holiness, Reality, and the Battle for the Mind
Wisdom: Redemption & Reality
Understanding God's Way that Leads to Genuine and Absolute Fullness of the Life of the Coming Kingdom
Answer to Critic
Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
Love Between a Man and Woman
Righteousness & Holiness
Proof by Atheism
Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
How Do You Know?
The Real Purpose of the Church
The Real Purpose of Life
From Glory to Glory
REAL Faith--What it IS & IS NOT
REAL Love--What it IS & IS NOT
How to be Led by God
How to Witness
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Holiness & Mind/Soul
Redemption: Free From Sin
Stories Versus Revelation
Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?
How Can We Know Anything?
Mind Designed to Relate to God
Answers for the Confused
Fossil Record Says: "Creation"
Avoid These Pitfalls
Public School's Religion
Public School Failures
How can we know anything about anything?
That's the real question