The Legal and Vital Sides of Redemption

Joe McIntyre

Many today struggle in their attempt to understand Paul’s revelation because they don’t
distinguish between the Legal and Vital sides of redemption. The Legal side is what God
has already done for us in Christ. It was done through the death, burial, resurrection and
enthroning of our Lord. It is a Finished Work. The Vital – or, experiential – side is what
God has done and is doing in us through the Word of God and the power of the Holy
Spirit.

When we fail to appreciate these aspects, we do not know what to do with Truth that
we are not yet experiencing. Our theologians have told us that this is “positional truth.”
I think it would be more accurate to call it spiritual reality. The Holy Spirit takes the
“in Christ” Truths and reveals them to us and enables us to walk in them. The things of
the unseen realm of spiritual reality belong to us and are ours if we perceive them and
possess them by faith. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to bring us to the place of revelation
and then cause us to walk in these realities.

Everything God has done for us in Christ is already our possession. We are already
blessed with every spiritual blessing in the unseen realm (Eph. 1:3). This is why Paul
prays for us that we would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge
of him, the eyes of our hearts being flooded with light (Eph. 1:17, 18 Amp.). As A.J.
Gordon once said, “Christian experience is the making real in ourselves, of what is
already true for us in Christ.”

Father has already given us all things that pertain to Life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).
These things are to be appropriated by faith as the Spirit unveils them to us. They already
belong to us in Christ but we must possess them and walk in them. The Christian life is
the ongoing joyful process of discovery and the unfolding of Christ Jesus and all He has
accomplished for us. As we take time to meditate in the Word, we give the Holy Spirit
opportunity to impart to us revelation that has transforming power. As we affirm these
spiritual realities they become established in our walk. “But speaking the Truth in Love
may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head – even Christ (Eph. 4:15).

Let us go up and possess the Land. For we are well able!

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