He won so that we might win too
Why do we ride on roller coasters? It is because we love the thrill of the ride coupled with the confidence it won’t come off the track. If it was up to your wishing and effort to keep the machine safe, you wouldn’t ride it. Christianity is not like that. We have a secure salvation which allows us to engage with God in his work to the thrill of experiencing his glory in our daily lives. Because he lives we will live too. So what does that look like? In the movie “About time” the lead actor had the ability to travel back to any day in his past. He was able to fix mistakes so as to change the outcome. As the movie progressed, he chose to re-live each day with his foreknowledge of the outcome and then to enjoy it for what it brought. By the end of the movie he decided to simply enjoy each day as it was, without manipulating or reliving it. This passage shows us the outcome of our Christian lives – victory in Christ. Now we can live each day with the confidence that no matter what we have to endure; the outcome is that we have already ultimately won. The score is a million to zero even though the game is just beginning for many Christians. When Christianity is about Christ, we don’t have to second guess him because we are secure in him, we will be glorified in him, and we will receive reward because of our faith in him. However, when Christianity is made about our performance (religion), then all we can look forward to is an uncertain future with possible judgment. What your future looks like, determines whether your roller coaster car is safe to ride.
The Resurrection Body
1 Cor 15: 35 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? (verses skipped for brevity) 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who has won the victory. Because I live, so too will all who believe in my salvation for them. To them, I give power to become the children of God. “He who has the son has life.” Therefore like I told Moses on the beach at the Red Sea, simply stand, (don’t fight) in my victory and see my salvation. Consequently, you true believers do not have to fear anything in this world, for your fixed eternal position is in me, so engage yourself in my work to reveal my glory to others. Live in my victory and enjoy this life in view of your eternal future. Only when your mind is transformed with the truth of my resurrection can you have confidence of your victory too. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.””…Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” I AM “Christ in you, the hope (or confidence) of glory.”
Like begets like, or “after his kind” as in Adam so also in Christ
This passage shows us that we were not spiritual entities waiting for physical bodies. But rather Adam was a physical body in whom God breathed his spirit. We are born complete with our spiritual entities intact at conception. When Adam our first ancestor sinned, he became a sinner; consequently, all his descendants thereafter were born as sinners outside of the Garden of Eden, “after his kind.” Also, Adam was made from the dirt and not a descendant of anything. Also having been made from dirt, he has nothing to think too highly of himself as did Lucifer. It is a reminder to us that we are nothing more than dirt which God loves so much that he chose to make as his children. He revealed himself to us in his Word. He has given us a choice to love him back. He died to forgive and save us so that one day after our physical death, he would finally and perfectly change us into his image.
It takes just as much faith in God’s word to believe that in Adam we were made sinners – spiritually dead, as it does to believe that God can make us spiritually alive in Christ. Unless you agree you are dead in sin, you cannot be made alive by Christ. Unless you agree with God that you are a sinner by Adam’s account, you cannot be made alive by Christ’s. See Rom 5. “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” Rom 3:23, 24. You cannot be saved unless you know and agree that you need saving. It takes the same faith on both accounts, but the choice is yours. Admit to God that you deserve punishment for your sin condition. Acknowledge that Jesus died to pay for your ransom. Ask him to forgive you, and thank him for keeping his promise to do so. Like the bow in the sky remember that he never goes back on his promises. Keep looking forward to your ultimate redemption, and let that anticipation motivate you to share him with others.
More to come,