Lesson 34 - Privileges and Opportunities

Lesson 34 - Privileges and Opportunities

Never before in the history of the world has the believer in Christ had the privilege and the opportunity that is afforded him today.  The Church Age in which we live is an unparalleled dispensation with numerous advantages for the believer.  The privileges and opportunities that we have been given are not only unique, they are “above and beyond all that we could ever think or imagine.”  (Ephesians 3:13-21)

Jesus Christ has secured forever the strategic victory (the skillful planning and management in getting the better of the adversary) over Satan.  At salvation this victory places the believer in a place of maximum strength with the potential to win the tactical victory (the procedure for gaining advantage or success over the adversary) over Satan, the World (Cosmic) System and the Sin Nature.  Our union with Christ (Positional Sanctification) guarantees the opportunity to overcome the obstacles that are placed before us (or that we place before ourselves) in order to execute the Christian Way of Life and glorify God while we are on earth.

Many privileges are given to the believer at the moment of salvation and many are given after salvation.  However, opportunities must be seized by personal volition.  As a believer, you are the most privileged person on the face of the earth, but at the same time you may be missing the opportunities for fantastic blessing by not executing God’s plan, purpose and will for your life.  Tactical victory comes over a period of time as the believer makes thousands of right decisions regarding God, himself, others and circumstances.  Winning the tactical victory is done by the believer who is being empowered by God the Holy Spirit as he organizes his life around right priorities:  Jesus Christ must be the most important person in your life, learning and applying accurate Bible doctrine must be placed above personal pleasure or your career, and virtue (a strict adherence to the truth) must drive every decision you make in life. (Ephesians 4:14-15)

Privilege in life is always accompanied by responsibility.  This is also true with the Royal Family of God.  Our first responsibility, of course, is to God as Royal Priests, and our second responsibility is to others as Royal Ambassadors.  Christ’s strategic victory secured only potential for the tactical victory.  As believers, we all have equal privilege and equal opportunity to execute the Christian Way of Life.  Some believers will choose to do so and some will not.  Those who fail in their responsibility to God will experience a life of misery and unhappiness.  Those who choose to embrace and fulfill their responsibility to God will experience a life of peace and happiness.

Winners and Losers

There are two types of believers: winners and losers.  Winners are the believers who win the strategic and the tactical victory.  Losers are the believers who win only the strategic victory.  Winning the strategic victory is done by a single decision to believe in Christ as Savior.  Winning the strategic and tactical victories is done by a single act of faith in Christ and many additional decisions thereafter to obey God’s Word and execute the Christian Way of Life. (John 3:36; Ephesians 5:15-18) 

The loser-believer makes a single decision to trust Christ as Savior and this brings God glory.  This person will also glorify God for all eternity.  Even though the loser-believer has won the strategic victory and possesses the righteousness of God, he will suffer divine discipline and self-induced misery because of his failure to win the tactical victory.  He lives in Satan’s “cosmic system” and constantly makes wrong decisions from a position of weakness.  The loser-believer makes self number one priority in his or her life.

The winner-believer, after trusting Christ as Savior, makes many right decisions that glorify Christ.  Therefore, he glorifies God both in time and in eternity.  The winner-believer has won the strategic victory and possesses the righteousness of God and is advancing to spiritual maturity where he will win the tactical victory.  The winner-believer does suffer, but it is for divine blessing and he shares the happiness of God.  He lives in God’s “power system” and constantly makes right decisions from a position of strength.  The winner-believer makes God number one priority in his or her life.

Being a winner or loser believer is determined by personal volition.  You make the choice to be a winner or a loser.  God does not force anyone to trust Christ as Savior, or to obey His mandates after salvation.  God is not a “puppet-master” manipulating the believer’s every thought and action and He is not a “magician” with a magic wand to wave in order to fix your problems.  However, God has designed the Christian Way of Life in a way in which all believers can become winners.  By following God’s predesigned plan for you as outlined in His Word, any believer can be a success.  It begins with making the right decision, as a believer, to learn, believe and apply Bible doctrine.  If you’re waiting for God to make you do something or to make you think a certain way, you’re waiting in vain.  God is ACTUALLY waiting on you to grow up spiritually and take control of your own spiritual life.  Of course, this can be done only through the power of God the Holy Spirit.

The Privilege of Grace

The privilege of grace begins at salvation when a person believes in Christ as Savior (God’s gift of grace to the human race).  After salvation, all believers continue to experience the grace of God (whether they are aware of it or not).  This grace has been called logistical grace because it is the provision from God that blesses and sustains all believers regardless of spiritual health.  There are four categories to logistical grace:

  1. Life Support – God keeps the believer alive until it is God’s sovereign will to “call him home” to heaven. (Psalms 68:19-20)
  2. Temporal Supply – God furnishes all the necessities of life such as air to breathe, food to eat, shelter, clothing and transportation. (Matthew 6:11, 25-34)
  3. Security Provisions – God provides protection for the believer in the devil’s world by means of guardian angels and government. (Romans 13:4; Hebrews 1:14)
  4. Spiritual Provisions – God enables every believer to learn and apply Bible doctrine and grow spiritually regardless of I.Q., background or environment. (Matthew 4:4; John 17:17; I Corinthians 2:10-16)

Logistical grace is supplied to all believers on the basis of equal privilege and equal opportunity.  How you use the grace of God determines your advance toward spiritual maturity.  Living in God’s power system is the epitome of exploiting logistical grace.  All believers do not utilize the logistical grace blessings that have been given to them.  Progressing beyond salvation and logistical grace is a potential for every believer, but not all believers will take advantage of this opportunity.  There are greater grace blessings available to every believer who chooses to advance beyond salvation to spiritual maturity. (Romans 5:17; James 4:6)

God has commanded all believers to grow spiritually and to advance beyond “spiritual babyhood”.  Logistical grace is for all believers.  However, merely being kept alive, being furnished with the necessities of life and being protected is not enough for those believers with positive volition towards God and His Word.  We should be very thankful for the logistical grace of God, but He wants us to move beyond salvation to spiritual adulthood.  The issue of salvation has been settled, now we must make a positive decision to advance.  Advancement in the Christian Way of Life can be accomplished only by the execution of His plan by using His system.  His plan and His system are found only in His Word. (Ephesians 4:11-15; Hebrews 5:11-14; II Peter 3:18)

The Opportunity of Grace

God is no “respecter of persons.”  His justice shows no partiality.  Any believer will succeed if he follows God’s system.  The only equality in life is found in God’s system. Any believer can succeed, regardless of social background, current social status, I.Q., education, gender or race.  For those believers who desire to advance beyond salvation and logistical grace there is the opportunity to receive an “abundance of grace.”  There has always been a “remnant according to grace.”  A remnant is a small portion of the whole and so it is with those who are serious about spiritual growth. (Romans 11:1-6)

For those positive believers who desire to know truth, God has guaranteed that they will receive accurate doctrinal information. (John 7:17)  It is this accurate doctrinal truth that can catapult the believer from childhood to adulthood in a relative short period of time, if a lifestyle of consistent and persistent study and application of God’s Word is followed.  This spiritual advance increases the believer’s capacity to receive more of God’s grace blessings (abundance of grace).  Abundance of grace comes in six categories for the believer:

  1. Spiritual Blessings – These are the blessings that come from the development of a spiritual life as a Royal Priest.  These blessings are the natural outflow of the believer’s virtue and integrity as he directs his confidence and love toward God and his courage and impersonal love toward man. (I John 4:11-21)
  2. Temporal Blessings – These blessings are designed by God for the advancing believer, as he “humbles” himself before God (humility means the believer has a personal sense of destiny and has an attitude of teachability).  Temporal blessings may come in the form of wealth, success in business, promotion, etc. (I Peter 5:6-7)
  3. Blessing by Association - Often when God blesses the believer, those in his periphery are also blessed.  This could include family, friends, businesses or business associates, etc. (Psalms 37:21-22)
  4. Historical Impact – This is also blessing by association, but it is extended to the believer’s nation, state or community.  (Leviticus 26:1-13)
  5. Undeserved Suffering – Though sometimes hard to understand, suffering which is not deserved can accelerate spiritual growth, increase faith and give the believer greater appreciation for the Lord through proper application of Bible doctrine.  This, of course, is a blessing. (Romans 8:17-18)
  6. Dying Grace – The believer’s final experience of God’s grace on earth, dying grace is given to the mature believer as he passes from blessings in time to even greater blessings in eternity. (Psalms 116:15)