“I’m saved now what?” This expresses an understandable question after one makes Jesus Lord of their life. Unfortunately a good number of those who ask this question never get the answer that they need. This post should serve as a good outline of what will be shared on this website to address this need. With this in mind, let us look at the three mountaintop experiences of a normal Christian.
If we use the analogy of “mountaintop experiences of a Christian” it should make the answer to this question easier to visualize. Mt. Calvary looms as our first mountaintop experience. Indeed, Jesus was crucified for our sins there. This mountain enters as the starting point for our walk with God otherwise known as salvation. Another term for this is positional sanctification. At this point in your walk you are as saved as you ever will be in the eyes of God. Consequently, the Bible says that through Jesus justification enters our lives (Rom. 5:18). Justification does more than wipe our slate of sin clean. As a matter of fact, justification carries with it the idea that we have never sinned. Positionally, we transform into new creations (2 Cor. 5:17; Jn. 3:3-8). As a result, God looks at us as if we have never sinned!!! What a wonderful truth! However, we don’t need to stop here and grow stagnant, which brings us to the next mountaintop, Mt. Sinai.
At the first Pentecost, God came down from Mt. Sinai and dwelt in the Holy of Holies inside the tabernacle so that He could dwell among His chosen people, Israel. On the day of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts, God came down and dwelt inside His people, the Church. He could not do this in the Old Testament because all the sacrifices in the world could not make them holy enough for God to indwell them. This took the Blood of the Lamb, God’s Son, Jesus. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit mentioned throughout the book of Acts is secondary to being born again. I will discuss this in more detail in a later blog. More importantly, this is the place where progressive sanctification begins. This is where God begins to mold us and shape us into the Image of His Son. We must understand that we must play our part in this process. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily (Eph. 5:18). We must read and study God’s Word (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 2:15). We must develop a prayer relationship with God (Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; Matt. 6:9-13). We must practice certain disciplines as outlined in the New Testament. Doing these things will not make you more saved. Indeed, according to Eph. 2:8,9, no amount of working we do earns salvation. However, most people never quote verse 10 of this passage which says, “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Dallas Willard once said in an interview that, “Grace isn’t against works, it’s against earning.” This may sound overwhelming to some but don’t worry, if you are truly born again God will place a desire in you to want to get closer to Him. You will also find out real quick that your transformation into the image of Christ is not possible without the Holy Spirit’s help.
Mt. Zion now enters our field of vision as the last mountaintop on our journey. Sometimes called ultimate sanctification or glorification, Mt. Zion rises as the preeminent goal of the Christian’s walk with God. One of my heroes, John Wesley, taught that this mountaintop could be achieved in this lifetime. He called it Christian perfection. He was sincerely wrong on this one. Your walk with God from Mt. Sinai until the day you die will be concerned with trying to reach this summit. You won’t make it. But don’t worry, God knows you won’t make it in this lifetime, but when you take your first step into heaven and hear the voice of your Savior saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt. 25:21), you will realize that you have arrived.
I hope this post has given you some idea of what discipleship entails. We will be covering each one of these mountaintop experiences in much more detail in upcoming blog posts.