Called to Liberation – and to Liberate!
By Fred Pruitt
(Originally published as Sin Consciousness – Christ Consciousness)
Of the numerous issues and questions people bring up as we travel sharing our union reality, there are a few that come up regularly. The first one has to do with “sinning/not sinning,” which, sadly, is the preoccupying issue that besets and partly spiritually cripples most of God’s people in their personal awareness.
“Sin consciousness,” as opposed to “Christ-consciousness,” is almost universal among believers, and is nothing more (nor less) than a wrongful self-focus, (I, me, mine), when it is compared to a Christ-awareness and focus. In this greater Christ-awareness, the “me” issue is settled once and for all and we forget it (ourselves), because now as mature Christian spiritual “adults,”our focus is no longer looking back at ourselves and our behavior, or looking for some form of self-improvement that will make us more pleasing to God. From that incomplete vantage point of “sin consciousness” we believe and live as if we are continually falling short (in our own eyes) of living God’s Life of perfect Love.
Sin consciousness keeps us focused on ourselves, “our” progress, “our” spirituality, “our” needs, etc., and is exhaustless. Sin consciousness is a bottomless pit, and is never resolved by rededication, trying harder, or any other “method” the consciousness of the flesh (“mind set on the flesh”) can muster up. God winks at our ignorance while we flounder around like fish out of water trying to establish our own righteousness. We think we are looking for God’s righteousness, and ultimately that really is ours and God’s true goal. But in ignorance we do not realize that we are like Abram and Sarai, who thought they could fulfill the Promise of the Heir by Abram fathering Ishmael by Hagar.
The proof that many are in a sin consciousness mode (wrongful self-focus) is abundantly clear as we share from place to place, because once we have shared our astounding total liberty by recognition of the Total Perfect Christ manifesting Himself perfectly in and as the totality of our perfected humanity, almost the first thing people ask is, “What about sin?” – or – “Who then is sinning when I sin?”
That very question finds us out, that our focus and even trust or faith – yes, I said trust or faith – is directed toward the probability (so we think) that we continue to still commit sins on a daily basis, that we cannot help ourselves, (contrary to Paul’s word that we are free from sin, having died to it, and no longer are indebted to it in any way, shape or fashion), and that condition is our life-long “best” we can do. We surprisingly find many of God’s people completely incredulous and often resistant to any idea contrary to this sin consciousness, sometimes to the point of finding us as “false teachers,” who would dare say such a thing.
However, when by the Spirit’s revelation we come into a total awareness of Christ in us in completeness and perfection, our own “condition” is no longer at the forefront of our concern. From this point on life then reorients outward (away from us) toward looking into the world – “For God so loved the world!” It is God’s purpose that the world by us would be drawn into the reconciliation that is our commission to declare, that God has already provided and accomplished through the Cross and Resurrection. Having already reaped the benefits of the Cross and Resurrection, God sends us out to continue that work of reconciliation. We find ourselves as Paul, who wrote:
“And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:18,19)
The message is this: sin and sins have been forever dealt with. Forgiveness and restoration is freely available for all, as it has always been from the Eternal. To God, through Jesus Christ, Son of Man, Who did not come to “destroy men’s lives, but to save them,”(Lk 9:56), the world is already reconciled!
Therefore God says:
“Come let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is 1:18), and again, As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us (Ps 103:12), and also, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”(Is 43:25).
This is why Jesus could walk around Galilee and Judea, declaring the forgiveness of sins to people who did nothing but come and be in His presence. The Pharisees were upset with Jesus’ Spirit words, commenting, “Only God can forgive sins.” Sadly, they had missed the fact that indeed in God they already were forgiven and reconciled. Though the Cross came at the end of Jesus’ life on earth, He could already declare the forgiveness of sins and restoration to all mankind because He knew He was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world … in the midst of the throne” (Rev 13:8; 5:6).
The Cross and the accomplishment of the Cross has existed eternally, and the physical Cross and Resurrection accomplished at Calvary was a once-for-all picture in time, stretching backward into the past beginning, and forward into the future final consummation, of the Truth that has always been so in God.
The Cross was not to reconcile God, but to reconcile US! Jesus did not present an “Angry Father,” Who needed a Son to mollify His Father’s All-consuming anger. From the foundation of the earth we have been God’s heart, for which He has longed even as the father in the parable continually longed for his son to return from his prodigality, finally seeing him coming from afar off and running to greet and embrace him with tears and joy. Where was the anger in that father?
From the beginning we were the “apple of His eye.” Where did He display any wrath or even anger toward Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit. No, contrary to what we have been taught, God’s heart toward us was one of sorrow and Divine compassion, because He knew the tough road we had chosen to walk, but He also knew the end of that road would be life from the dead, and that the kingdom of Love would be above all, through all, and in all.
He knew we had been deceived and had fallen into the devil’s trap. Therefore His first action toward us was to give us the Promise of the Redeemer through the Seed of the Woman. (Gen 3:15). At the very moment of the “Fall,” God moves to provide the complete solution, seen in shadow, not yet understood by man, but nevertheless provided by God to bring man into the already established reconciliation that was the Father’s Heart from eternity.
I often say the wrath was not really in the Godhead, as we have mostly been taught. The true understanding of the “wrath of God,” is that the consuming Fire of God eternally manifests through the Son the Lamb Slain, as light, gentleness and outgoing love. That is ALL God is in Himself. But the “fire” was hijacked by Lucifer/Satan and became in him a raging inferno of unquenchable anger and self-elevating pride, into which that vile serpent also caught and drew all of us.
The wrath, therefore, which is God’s in the sense that everything is God’s, is actually not in the Triune Godhead where He calls Himself God, but came “alive” in the devil and through the devil, it came alive in man. As Paul said, we were “by nature the children of wrath,”(Eph 2:2,3).
That same “consuming fire” of God came forth in gentleness and ultimately power in the “burning bush” that caught Moses’ sight. That bush was a true picture of our life in God when we are in right relationship to Him. When we are His, we are filled with that consuming fire, not to be burned up and consumed, but as the inner dynamo that constrains us to say, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
The reason is because this fire, burning eternally in the heart of God, through the Lamb becomes the working Life of the Universe to bless, lift up, and manifest the Love of God in Christ. It was never meant to be manifest as the devil manifested it, that is, in the possessiveness of self-for-self, which can only turn it into pride, covetousness, envy and finally wrath. In that state it becomes a fire that can never be quenched or put out, never satisfied, only raging and seeking to devour everything within itself. But in Christ, that fire becomes the energy of the Love, the power which raises up, that does not seek to destroy, but only to edify and to save!
Therefore, it remains only for the creature to participate in that reconciliation that God has already accomplished. By the free exercise of the singular royal function of our person-hood, i.e., the one facility God has given us by which our way is determined, the receptivity of faith, we speak the word of agreement or faith, either to life or to death.
“With the pure thou will show Yourself as pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward.” (Ps 18:26).
Do we desire purity, singleness of heart and sight, and to live and do the truth?” Its reward is to live in the purity, i.e., oneness of will and life in God. Or do we desire to get for ourselves, to possess, acquire and fill ourselves up with anything we can get, to accumulate to and for ourselves, even at the expense of any or every one else? The reward there is to be what we have desired and taken – self-for-self. Again as the scripture says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”(Pr 4:23).
But by grace we have been brought into the clear purity of God, and once for all realized and recognized that we are not just “we,” but we are “He,” in all our doings. We see and have come to know, by the Spirit’s inner witness, that we are no longer children of wrath, in bondage to sin and indebted to continue in it. We see that now having been delivered from Sin by the death of the Cross, we have arisen as completely NEW CREATIONS, i.e., first Christ “for” us, then Christ “in” us, and finally Christ “as” us. We have been permanently raised to newness of Life by the power of the Resurrection, and we now live in the world as simply us, but not “just” us, but He in us, manifesting His Divine Glory in the commonness of our clay-pot humanity. And we recognize that this clay-pot humanity was created, molded, and shaped into the vessel of Love that God has determined we would be from the foundation of the earth. “It is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves.”
This then is our final self-liberation, because once this “me” thing has been taken care of, we begin to move out in the Holy Spirit to be bearers of Life for others – i.e., for the ones “out there.” We become the “Bread of heaven,” even as He is the bread of heaven. Now we see others “eating of us,” feeding off that surging Eternal Life of Christ, coming out of us as the scripture says, from glory unto glory.
This is as distinct a change in consciousness as moving out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of the Son. Because we have moved on from “me,” to “them!” This is the final result and pinnacle of Christ’s Life in us in this world, that we might continually be Life for others.
And we cannot help it, because the “love of Christ constrains us,” like a dam bursting at its seams, and out from us gushes a mighty Mississippi river of Life.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
There will be some tough spots. Perhaps quite a few. But you will get through and live to triumph both now and on the other side.