Thursday, December 12, 2013

Victory in Christ - Part 16

This is the next installment of a series I am writing concerning what Romans 6-8 teaches about our sin problem and God's plan for victory. To find previous installments do a search for the title: Victory In Christ. You can find the first installment here.

10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Even though I'm a Christian, my body is dying and will die because of the consequences of sin. But the fact that the Spirit of God dwells in a believer, there is still real life there. Those who do not know Christ are dead both in their body and their soul. The good news is that even though these bodies are dying now, the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is going to give life to our mortal bodies. The Holy Spirit is given to us as a down payment of the fulfillment of our full redemption which ultimately will include our bodies (Ephesians 1:13, 14). Christianity is not concerned only with the soul, but with the body as well.

Here is the way Paul puts it in another place:
1 Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 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. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.

So, the bottom line is that we live in this fleshly body with the Spirit of God dwelling in us as believers. Even though the body is dying, it will be made new in the future. Most of the time a plant seed looks pretty dead. But when you put it into the ground, it seems to miraculously come to life. Of course there had always been that germ of life inside that dead-looking seed. Sometimes a seed is actually dead. You plant it and nothing happens. To me this illustrates the difference between a person who has the Spirit of God in him and an unbeliever. An unbeliever is like the dead seed. A believer is like the seed that looks dead, but has the spirit of life in him. When he is sown as a natural man, his body will be raised a spiritual man. In the mean time, here and now, setting our mind on fleshly things somehow brings death into our being. This death will not bring eternal death because we've been set free from the law of sin and death, but it does bring damage and corruption to our lives.

Principle 24: Even though we struggle with sin and it's physical consequences in our bodies, we can be assured that this mortal body will be fully redeemed and raised as a new body.

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