1 Corinthians 15:20-22 ESV
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
God’s Divine Plan
When God first created man and woman, they were without sin. They had perfect fellowship with God, which was God’s design for humankind. But, then Adam and Eve sinned against God, and since that time all humankind have been born with sin natures, separate from God, and destined for hell for eternity (See: Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Co. 15:21-22, 42-49).
But, none of this caught God by surprise. For, even before God created the angel Lucifer, who rebelled against him, along with a third of the angels, God knew that was going to happen, but He had a plan for it all.
And, even after Lucifer rebelled against God, and so God cast him down, along with the angels who followed him in rebellion, God allowed Lucifer (Satan, the Devil) to live. God allowed Satan and his evil angels to live, in fact, even knowing that Lucifer/Satan was going to tempt mankind to sin against God, and even knowing that man was going to listen to Satan’s lies, and that he/they would sin in disobedience to God’s commands.
And, not only that, but God created man and woman knowing full well that they were going to sin against him, that he was going to have to banish them from the Garden of Eden, and that he was going to have to put a curse on mankind and on the earth. But, still, God had a plan, even before the creation of the world, for how he was going to save us from our sins.
Jesus’ Life & Death
The plan was for God the Father to send his only begotten Son Jesus Christ (God the Son) to the earth to take on human form, to be born as a baby to a young virgin, to grow to be a man, to suffer as we suffer, and to be tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin.
His plan was for him to minister to the needs of the people, too – to heal the sick and afflicted, to raise the dead, to deliver people from demons, to feed the hungry, to comfort the sorrowful, and to preach deliverance from sin via repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Everywhere he went he preached the kingdom of heaven and of our need to turn away from our lifestyles of sin to follow him in surrender and in obedience to his commands (Lu. 9:23-25).
But, he met with much opposition. The religious leaders in the temple of God did not like Jesus. They didn’t like the things that he did, what he stood for, and the things that he taught, too. So, they harassed him at every turn, always looking for a way to accuse him falsely or to trip him up with his words. And, when that didn’t work, they plotted and carried out his death on a cross, treating him as though he was a common criminal.
But, again, this was all in God’s plan. For, when Jesus died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. For, Jesus died on that cross to put our sin to death, so that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. He died, too, that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
But, Jesus didn’t remain dead. God the Father resurrected him from the dead on the third day. So, not only did he put our sin to death with him, in his death, but then he rose from the dead, victorious over sin and the grave. And, all this was so that we might be crucified with him in death to sin, and so that we might live with him in newness of life in Him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
And, this is what our water baptism symbolizes, this death to sin, being buried with Christ into death to sin and self, and being raised with him to newness of life, being born again (spiritually) of the Spirit of God, no longer under the bondage of sin, but now delivered by God’s grace unto eternal life.
Because Jesus died for us on that cross, and because he was resurrected from the dead, not only can we now be free from our addiction to sin, no longer under the control of sin and Satan, but we can now walk (in lifestyle) in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, all in the power and working of God’s Spirit now living within us, to the praise of God. Amen!
For, our eternal life with God doesn’t begin when we die and go to heaven. It begins the moment we truly believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, via this death to sin and living to righteousness, which is a gift from God. For, even the ability to believe is gifted to us by God.
But, the gift is deliverance from bondage to sin, and it is the empowerment to live righteously, and thus it requires that we submit to the Lordship of Christ, and that we surrender our lives to him, and that we leave our lives of sin behind us to follow him in obedience. But, he is the one who gives us the desire and the empowerment to do this, so it is not of ourselves.
Our Death and Resurrection
This, however, is not just for this life. For, one day we will all die physically, but we, the real us, who have died with Christ to sin, that we might live with Christ to righteousness, will be with our Lord forever. Or, we will be alive when he comes back, and we will be taken up to be with Christ when he returns, at which time we will join with those who have gone before us in death in Christ.
But, because Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we will live with him for eternity. And, we will be given glorified bodies, not like our earthly bodies. No more will we have pain, suffering, sadness, heartache, sickness, disease, injuries, abuse, or be tempted or be capable of sinning. But, we will be totally at peace, and have absolute joy, and thanksgiving, for we will now be with our Lord forever, face to face.
But, not everyone is going to be with the Lord forever, not even all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Only those who have died with Christ to sin, that they might live with Christ to his righteousness, have eternal life with God. So, just know that a mere profession of Christ as Savior is not going to give you the hope of eternity with God. You must die with him to sin if you want to live with him for eternity (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
Jesus, Rescue Me
An Original Work / September 18, 2011
Based off of Romans 7:7-8:39
Jesus, rescue me today.
Listen while I bow and pray.
I need Your help to obey You;
Live for You always.
Meet me in my hour of need, Lord,
As I pray to You.
Help me walk in fellowship, Lord,
Living in Your truth.
Jesus, how I long for You to
Change my heart anew.
Father, God, my heart’s desire
Is to live for You this hour
In Your Holy Spirit’s power
Living in me now.
Teach me to walk in Your love, Lord,
Guiding me each day.
Help me to show love and kindness
To the lost, I pray.
Father, teach me to love others
As You love always.
Holy Spirit come in pow’r.
Revive our hearts in this hour.
Change our hearts to be like You, Lord;
Live for You each day.
Help us to forsake our sins, Lord,
As we humbly pray.
Teach us how to live for You, Lord,
Obey You always.
Holy Spirit come in power,
Revive us today.
Friday, April 19, 2019