The inheritance that is ours in Christ Jesus–our total forgiveness, righteousness, sanctification, and gift of eternal life through the indwelling Holy Spirit belongs to every child of God.
It is literally true that we have received every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). These things are true of every believer, regardless of his or her level of knowledge, experience, or maturity. However, it is nonetheless possible for a Christian to live as if none of these things were true, and experience very little day-to-day benefit from his union with Christ. You can be a “theoretical Christian” and live as a “practical atheist.” What then is a practical atheist?
A practical atheist is someone who, regardless of his doctrinal beliefs, approaches life as if he were the only resource available.
The practical atheist reminds me of this story. A man is driving his pickup truck down a road when he meets a hitchhiker carrying a heavy load. He pulls over and offers a ride, which the hitchhiker gratefully accepts.
A little further down the road, the driver looks in the mirror and sees the hiker sitting in the bed of the truck, hunched over, still holding the load on his shoulder. The driver stops again and says, “Hey, buddy, why don’t you put that pack down!”
The hitchhiker’s response is, “That’s okay. I don’t want to bother you that much. Just take me to my destination and I’ll be happy.”
“How ridiculous!” you say. Yet how like many Christians that is! We happily board the Lord’s “salvation wagon” that will take us to heaven, but then we continue to shoulder the effort along the way.
People say, “I don’t want to bother the Lord with my problems. I’ll just talk to Him about the big ones.”
I respond, “Can you imagine God thinking that you have a big problem?”
No, the error is that we see salvation as only pertaining to our eternal destiny, rather than seeing that the Christian life is Christ’s life lived out through us each and every day.