Not of Ourselves

1 Corinthians 15:50 ESV

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

For those of us who put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who have died with him to sin, and who have been raised with him to newness of life in him, and who are walking with him according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, we have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17).

We enter into the kingdom of God via God-given faith in Jesus Christ. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are born anew of the Spirit of God into the family of God. And, now God’s Spirit lives within us working his will in our hearts and through our lives for his purposes and for his glory.

We don’t physically, in our flesh and blood bodies, inherit the kingdom of God, though. Our rebirthing of the Spirit of God is not physical, but it is spiritual. And, the church we now enter is not a physical building but a spiritual relationship with our Lord and with his people. For, we are living stones, with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone, in God’s spiritual house.

And on a spiritual level, our flesh, which is perishable, cannot enter into the kingdom of God. And, I am not speaking merely of our physical bodies, but of our sin nature, our sinful flesh. For, we enter into God’s household by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, which involves death to sin and being resurrected to new life in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

So, if we don’t die with Christ to sin, and we still walk in the flesh to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh, and not to please the Spirit, then we are not part of God’s kingdom (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Gal. 6:7-8).

As believers in Jesus, though, when we die physically, it is our flesh bodies which die, but we live on with Jesus Christ in glory. And, one day, when Jesus comes to take us home to be with him, if we are still here when he comes back for us, our earthly bodies will be transformed to glorified bodies, and we will forsake what is perishable to gain what is imperishable.

And, this will happen on a physical level, as well as it happens on a spiritual level when we believe in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives.

1 Corinthians 15:51-57 ESV

“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. 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 Jesus comes back to take us to be with him forever, not only will those of his who are still alive have their bodies changed to glorified bodies, but those who have gone before us, they will also be clothed in heavenly bodies. For, we will no longer live in these flesh bodies which are perishable, and we will no longer be capable of dying, but we will live on for eternity.

And, not only will we be with our Lord forever, but we won’t be in pain anymore. We won’t suffer. We won’t hurt. God will wipe our tears away. People will no longer sin against us. Evil will be no more. We will no longer be tempted or assaulted by evil. We will no longer fail. And, there will be no more injustice, lying, stealing, trickery, deceit, adultery, sexual immorality, betrayal, unfaithfulness, and the like, but we will all love one another.

We will also be reunited with our loved ones who also believed in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith, who turned away from their sins to follow Jesus in obedience, even if it was the last minute for some of them. For, the Bible says we will be known as we were known on the earth, only I don’t think we’ll remember the bad stuff anymore. For, that would be sad.

But, death will then be no more, and sin will be no more. But, there will only be rejoicing.

But, we don’t have to wait until then to have victory over sin. Jesus already gained the victory over sin via his death and resurrection, on our behalf. All we have to do is, by faith, surrender ourselves to be crucified with him in death to sin so that we can be raised to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

And, in the power of God’s Spirit living within us, we can live free from the control of sin over our lives, and we can live godly and holy lives pleasing to God, because of what Jesus did for us on that cross. And, by the Spirit, we can be putting to death the deeds of the flesh and we can be walking by the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, which then results in eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

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, because of all that Jesus did for us on that cross so that we could die to sin and live to his righteousness, and so that one day we can be with him forever, we should be steadfast in our faith, which is evidenced by how we live our lives. For, faith is not a religion or a religious practice, but it is a lifestyle. It is putting into action in our lives, by the Spirit of God, what we confess with our mouths that we believe.

We need to not only be steadfast in that faith, but we need to be immovable from the gospel of our salvation. We need to not waver in opinion, in belief, or in practice, but we should continue living godly and holy lives, pleasing to God, by the power of the Spirit of God. And, we should be consistent, for this says that we truly believe what we say we do.

Also, our faith in Jesus Christ is not just a confession of some doctrine or theology or even religious practice. It is a life surrendered to Jesus Christ to follow him wherever he leads us, in doing whatever he gives us to do. And, this is not just about living a moral life, which is critical that we do, but this has to do with using the gifts we have been given in the way that he wants us to use them in ministering to others in the way in which he has called us.

For, obedience to our Lord is not just following a set of rules. It means he is our Lord (owner-master), our lives are no longer our own, but they belong to him, and we are his possession, and our lives are to be lived now for his glory and praise, according to his specific plans and purposes for our individual lives. For, he has something he wants each of us to do that is specifically designed for us by God (1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Tit. 2:14).

So, this isn’t about just doing Christian ministry. This is about fulfilling our life’s calling which is of God. If we do that, then we know our labor is not in vain, because it is of God and empowered by God, and not of ourselves.

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be

Songwriters: A. P. Bland / A. S. Bridgewater / Dwight Moody Brock

We read of a place that’s called heaven,
It’s made for the pure and the free;
These truths in God’s word He has given,
How beautiful heaven must be.

How beautiful heaven must be
Sweet home of the happy and free;
Fair haven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be.

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4 thoughts on “Not of Ourselves

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