Believers are a heavenly people—they are already “in the heavenlies in Christ.” We require no experience in learning this blessed truth—nothing but simple faith in the Word. We pass through much experience before accepting the truth of being dead with Christ to our whole sinful standing as children of Adam; the more so when experience contradicts God’s Word, and we find we are, if we look at ourselves, still alive*. The indwelling Adamic life, the old man, is still ready to lend itself to everything contrary to God. But for faith, and for God, it has been condemned and crucified at Calvary*. The only thing which lives in us, in the Father’s sight, is the new life which He has given us. The feeblest throb of it is fragrant before the Father, because it is the manifestation of the life of His Beloved Son (Col 3:4), in Whom is all His delight, in our mortal bodies (1Cor 6:19). We have thus been introduced into a life on the other side of death and judgment. The very life we have in the glorified Lord Jesus is a witness that our sins are all put away (Heb 9:26). Before that life was bestowed upon us, He bore the sins which He found in the way (Col 2:14), as He passed down, in holy love, into the depths in which we had lain—“dead in sins.” He then rose, leaving them all behind. He introduced us into a position a place on high with the Father—a fitting sphere for that life to grow and become fruitful. Then He looks for the fruit, suited to that new condition, which the Father has foreordained for us to walk in (Ehp 2:10). Thus, in this new place, having this new life, and being already set in possession of all things in Christ (Rev 21:7), we are not in Egypt; we did walk according to the course of this world (Eph 2:2); we are not in the wilderness*; but we are in the heavenly places, which are our Canaan: “We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,” and here comes the paradox of the Christian state. He looks on high and sees the Lord Jesus in the glory, and is conscious that he is in Him there. He looks below and he finds himself traversing a world under Satan’s power, in which there is not a breath that is not noxious to the new and heavenly life within. But having first begun in the glory, with the consciousness of His place and ours there, he is in the race which leads to the obtainment of the goal—the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus. He looks at himself, and he can say, “as having nothing.” He looks the Lord Jesus and says, “yet possessing all things” (2Cor 6:10). Now, there is no place for learning the tender sympathy of the Lord Jesus—the blessings of the Father’s love and patience and care—as in the journey, the path of the Cross. True, he must first have reached by faith the Canaan to which he has already come in Christ. Then he finds that this world is not the sphere in which the Father can bless him fully; but that there is no place where his own heart is more thoroughly learned, and the heart of the Lord Jesus, as there is in this wilderness journey. - F G Patterson Poster’s Opinions: *”at ourselves, still alive”: e.g. ourselves in our old nature or “old man.” *”it has been condemned and crucified”: condemned (Rom 8:3) and crucified (Rom 6:6), but nowhere is it written the old man is dead. We are dead to it (Rom 6:2, 11) but it is not dead to the believer—but is rather enhanced in our senses—due to realizing how excessive sin is when contrasted with God’s will (Rom 7:13). *”we are not in the wilderness”; though our present place is in this wilderness, our position present position is in Heaven.