1 Corinthians 15:50-52 ESV
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
When we live on this earth, we live in flesh and blood bodies. Flesh not only represents our physical bodies, but it also is indicative of the fallen state of mankind, i.e. of our sin natures, or our propensity to sin against God. Even those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives are still capable of sinning against God, because we still live in flesh bodies.
So, as followers of Jesus Christ, when we physically die, our bodies go to the grave while our spirits (heart and soul), i.e. the real us, the essence of who we are in Christ Jesus, go to be with our Lord forever. For, what is of this flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God (of heaven). And, there is both a spiritual and a physical sense to that statement, I believe.
In other words, if we are still operating in the flesh, living to please self, then we are still of the flesh, not of the Spirit, and we don’t have eternal life with God in heaven. For, scripture teaches us that we must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to righteousness if we want to have eternal life with God. The one who says he knows God, or that he is in fellowship with God, but walks (in practice, in lifestyle) in darkness (sin) is a liar (1 Jn. 1:5-9).
But, for those of us who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life in Him to be lived to his righteousness, when Jesus Christ returns for us, his bride, we will be given glorified bodies, not like these flesh bodies at all. Whereas these flesh bodies are corrupt, i.e. they can sin against God, have disease, rot, and decay, etc., our new bodies will be pure, wholesome and sinless.
1 Corinthians 15:53-57 ESV
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we truly trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we die with him to sin and we live with him to righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit now living within us. This is the working of God’s Spirit in our lives as we yield to Christ’s Lordship over our lives. For, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of God, we are delivered from our bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin so that we can now walk righteously.
Nonetheless, we still live in flesh bodies, so we still have the propensity to sin against God. Yet, we are no longer under the control of sin and Satan. Sin is no longer our master. But, Jesus Christ is our Lord. And, we are now bond-slaves to Christ’s righteousness. Amen! (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
Yet, because we are still living in flesh bodies, daily we must put sin to death in our lives, by the Spirit, and daily we must submit to Christ’s Lordship over our lives. But, thanks be to God, we can walk in victory over sin, for Jesus defeated sin on that cross for us. In his death and resurrection, he provided the way for us to be free from our chains and to live godly and holy lives.
And, one day we will be delivered out of these flesh bodies, and we will no longer be tempted to sin against God, we will no longer be in pain, and we will no longer have to suffer, praise be to God!
1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
So, while we wait our Lord’s soon return, and our going to be with him forever, we are to live our lives on this earth for him for his glory and praise. For, when Jesus died on that cross, his blood paid the price for our sin so that we were bought back for God to be his possession. Therefore, our lives are no longer our own, to be lived how we want, but they are to be lived for our Lord who gave his life up for us (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15).
We are not to go by the name “Christian” in name only. Jesus is not ok with us giving him a few minutes out of our day for us to have “our devotions.” Jesus requires total commitment; complete surrender to him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. We are to surrender all to him. For, he called us to be holy in all our conduct. And, to be holy means to be set apart from this world of sin, to be different (unlike) the world, because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.
For, this is why he died for us on that cross. He didn’t die merely to forgive us our sins and to give us heaven as our eternal home. He died, and he rose again, to radically change our lives, to transform us from death to life, from darkness (sin) to light (righteousness), and from the power of Satan to God, so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Ac. 26:18).
So, we need to give him our all, fully devoted to him, separate from the world of sin, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin to living to Christ’s righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
For, if we continue to live for the flesh, doing what we want, without regard for what God wants for our lives, then we don’t have the promise of heaven when we die or of glorified bodies, and we don’t have victory in Christ over sin and death, but a fearful expectation of judgment.
For, we will all reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death), but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
So, choose today to follow Jesus Christ in full surrender. Let him deliver you from your slavery to sin and give you victory over sin’s power over your life.
He Reached Down
An Original Work / February 3, 2014
Based off Psalm 18
How I love You, Lord, my Rock and my strength.
My God is my fortress; I hide in Him.
He is my shield and the horn of
My salvation, whom I praise.
I have found my refuge in Him.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
Drew me out of waters so deep, I’d sink.
He delivered me from Satan
And my slavery to sin;
Gave me hope of heaven with Him.
My God turned my darkness into His light;
Opened up my blinded eyes; gave me sight.
As for God, his way is perfect.
He gives strength to stand secure.
I have found my vict’ry in Him.
My Lord lives! Praise be to my Savior God,
Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross.
He is my Rock and the source
Of my salvation, whom I trust.
I will give praise always to Him.
Saturday, April 20, 2019