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The Law is not Your Friend

The Law is not Your Friend

We’re continuing our study through Paul’s letter to the Roman church. We’re looking at the example of a marriage in talking about our being set free from the law, sin, and death.

We are told, from this Scripture, that in Christ we died to these things and can now bear fruit to God.

For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.

Romans 7:5

This verse takes us back to when we were in the flesh. Paul now introduces this new concept. He uses the phrase, in the flesh, translated controlled by the sinful nature. He first used this term in Romans 6:19. But now he’s giving us some added details..

Remember that the flesh is the nature and will of the body. Paul told us, in chapter 6, that our major weakness is in our flesh. This is important for us to understand.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

In this verse, Paul literally says that I am crucified in Christ, yet I live in the flesh. This may sound like a paradox.

By faith, our flesh is crucified in Christ. This is the key point. Even though my flesh is crucified, I run into problems when I try to crucify only a part of it.

The devil wants you to concentrate on a small piece of the flesh. God wants the whole thing – that’s where your victory comes from so that you can live by faith in Him.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

2 Corinthians 10:3

The original text of this verse reads that we walk in the flesh. It tells us that though we walk in the flesh, we don’t strategize according to flesh. That’s because the flesh doesn’t want what God wants.

Looking back to Romans 7:5, we see how this works. The phrase translated, the sinful passions aroused by the law, literally means that the influence of sin was energized or empowered by the law.

The law gave sin all of its power along with the accompanying emotions, pleasure, and guilt. Of course it also included all of the conflict that we experienced.

At that time, the law and sin was our husband, spiritually speaking. This sin planted a seed in us. It was then activated by the law, and produced the fruit of death. (A list of this fruit is found in Galatians 5:19-21)

These are all the things that we look back and say, “How could I have done that?” It’s all rooted in being married to sin and the law. The law said, “Don’t do that.” The flesh responded, “Why not?”

Whenever you say, “I shouldn’t do that,” you’re planting a seed of death in your heart. The key is to stop trying not to do sinful things. Instead, start living by faith in Christ crucified.

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Romans 7:6

Here Christ is telling us that the only way out of prison is to die in Him. So, we died in Christ and now we’re raised in the Spirit. We’ve been resurrected into a new life apart from, freed from the law.

Now we can voluntarily choose to serve a new way, in the spirit. We no longer have to serve in the old, antiquated way of following a set of rules.

Question: Why does following a set of rules make it impossible to serve God?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Dead to Sin

Dead to Sin

As we continue through the book of Romans, we’re talking about how Christ freed us from sin on the cross. In the salvation He purchased for us, is our identification with Him on the cross. Because of that, death and sin don’t rule us anymore.

The apostle makes it clear that we’re no longer slaves to sin. We can apply the death of Jesus Christ to our own bodies.

In my last post, I talked about how we sometimes fight against this work. In their experience, there are many believers who still act as slaves to sin. So this death over the flesh is something that must be sought after. It doesn’t just happen.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Romans 6:8-10

Paul now begins to talk about the implications of us dying with Christ. That’s why he uses the word, “if” in this passage. It requires an understanding of what has taken place in the spirit.

If we truly understand that we’ve died with Christ, then that should direct our faith toward living with Him. This means a common life together. His life and our life are melded together.

The reasoning is simple. In His death, He died to sin for all of us. Now Christ lives toward God. That’s the new direction that our lives should take on.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

Here Paul tells us that in the same way we trusted Christ in baptism, we must count or literally take inventory of, conclude yourself to exist dead, in fact, to sin.

This goes right along with our baptism. In verse 3 of Romans chapter 6 we were baptized into His death. Now in verse 11, there’s something that Paul is hoping you’ll move into by faith. Paul describes this step to the Colossian church.

In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 2:11-12

This is what Paul is trying to describe to us – the putting off, or dying, of the sinful nature. According to Paul, this is a surgical procedure that can only be done by Christ.

It isn’t a work I can perform. It doesn’t matter how much will-power I put forth. Only Christ, Himself, can bring it to pass in my life. I must submit under the blade of the divine Surgeon.

There are two prerequisites to this surgery. The first is baptism and the second is faith in the power of God. This means that I can’t look to myself and how well I can obey God. It’s all about how much I trust His power working in my life. How much am I willing to surrender to Him?

It’s the same as in the natural world. If I don’t trust the surgeon in a medical procedure, then I will not allow them to put me under the anesthesia. I’ll only let someone I trust have that much power over my body. Do we trust Christ enough to consent to His life changing work in us?

That’s a choice we all have to make. If I want to see the victory of God over my sin nature, then I have to do it His way. It’s a decision I have to make on a daily basis. It’s the basis for a victorious life in Christ.

Question: How has counting yourself dead to sin changed your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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Grace is Life

Grace is Life

We’ve been looking at Paul’s letter to the Roman church. In my last post, we talked about the battle between life and death.

Paul obviously understood the importance of this principle. He continues to talk about it in the next few verses..

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

Romans 5:18-19

Because of Adam’s sin, everyone is now under the same guilty verdict. Because of that, we deserve the death sentence.

However, because of the work of Christ on the cross, that sentence has been nullified. According to this verse, we now have been given access into a not guilty life through Christ.

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:19

Paul finds another way to tell us the great things that God has done. Adam caused us all to become sinners. But, by the love of the Lord, His sacrifice has now made us righteous in God’s eyes.

These are wonderful truths that we need to be meditating on. Don’t let the enemy lie to you. Never convince yourself that you’re unworthy of God’s love. Jesus Christ has made you worthy. You can be clothed in His righteousness.

The law was added so that the trespass might increase.

Romans 5:20a

As we continue along this line, we see where the villain of the story comes in. Remember, it’s the law that empowers sin.

I like the way this verse reads in the original Greek. It tells us that the law sneaked in so that the sins would increase. The law is very stealthy. You would think that it’s trying to help you. But instead, it’s trying to trip you up.

In actuality, the law is the word of death that the devil stands upon. The law’s goal is to increase sin and the reign of death.

I’m grateful to God that this isn’t the end of the story.

But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:20b-21

The truth is that where sin abounds, the grace of God super-abounds. Nothing can outperform our Lord. Sin, no matter how great, cannot outdo grace.

Christ won a great victory. So now, just like sin reigned in death, grace now reigns through righteousness, being focused on eternal life.

God’s grace is now carrying out the agenda of life. At the same time, sin is carrying out the agenda of death. It’s up to us to decide who’s reign we want to submit to.

Personally, I want to choose life. But the question becomes; how do I walk in this life that Christ has purchased for me? That’s a good question, and over the next couple of chapters in Romans, Paul deals with that very thing.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, take the opportunity now. You won’t want to miss this important teaching.

Question: How have you messed up in trying to follow the law?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Death – The Evil Emperor

Death – The Evil Emperor

As we continue looking at the book of Romans, Paul is dealing with the battle between life and death. In my last post we were seeing the result of the cross in this struggle.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:15

This verse should really open our eyes to the truth. Death became king because of the one offense, when Adam sinned. But now, in Christ, how much greater is our reigning in life because of God’s super-abundant grace?

This verse literally says that we will rule or be kings in life through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, it seems that many believers are fighting the wrong enemy. We think that the devil is the highest enemy. NO! He answers to his boss – death.

If you have subscribed to this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I’m a scifi nerd. I remember when Star Wars first came out. Darth Vader was the evil mastermind that the rebel forces were trying to defeat.

But then, in the second movie, The Empire Strikes Back, we were shocked to see Darth Vader bowing before an even higher being…the Emperor. That’s the way it is in our spiritual battle. Death is the emperor that the devil bows before.

Death is the real enemy, not the devil.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15

That’s why throughout Scripture the battle has always been life versus death. That’s what we’re always told to choose between (Deuteronomy 30:19). The choice is always between life and death. It’s not about good and evil, or even God and the devil.

That’s why Jesus holds out life to all who will come to Him.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

Notice that we haven’t crossed over from the kingdom of Satan, but from death. We have got to grasp this truth. Our greatest enemy is not the devil, it’s death.

When we speak or act in the power of death, that’s when we give him power over us. Satan is the Darth Vader of the empire of death. His goal is to carry out the agenda of death.

But there’s a greater truth at work in us. Now we are the king through Christ. We have the authority of life. That is, if we speak and act according to the agenda of the God of life.

It seems that we’re always on the lookout for sin and the devil. We need to start watching for the little ways we let death enter the scene.

…and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:27

What is a foothold? Simply put, it’s a place to stand. We have to stand on God’s Word. The devil has to stand on death’s word. Actually, he has to operate the same way we do. The difference is that the Word of Life is more powerful, has more authority, than the word of death.

If you haven’t already done so, change your way of thinking. Choose life and speak the Word of God. That’s the best way to a victorious lifestyle.

Question: How have you seen the battle of life and death playing out in your experience?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Death is King

Death is King

In my last post, we saw how sin and death entered the world through Adam’s failure. We’re now going to continue along this line so that we can understand all the implications of this.

…for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

Romans 5:13-14

This is a very interesting passage of Scripture and we need to fully explore it. We’re told that even before the law, sin was in the world. However, until a law is given, sin is not put on anyone’s account.

Think about Adam’s case. He only had one law. There was only one thing he could do that would bring sin into his account. The outcome was that he chose to do that very thing.

Actually these verses should be a revelation to many Christians. This verse literally reads that death was king from Adam to Moses. That was true even for those who didn’t break a law, like Adam.

Wait a minute, what about Satan? I thought he’s the one who ruled the world. The truth is that Scripture explains to us that the devil is only king over his angels and anyone who submits to them.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Ephesians 2:1-2

We tend to give Satan a lot more credit and power than he actually has. Contrary to what most people think, he’s not the ruler of hell. Never get the idea that he’s going to be happily torturing people throughout eternity. He’s merely a fellow prisoner.

Right now, death is the ruler in charge of the earth. That is, until the return of Christ.

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:25-26

Knowing that death is king over the earth gives us insight into how the spiritual battle is fought. Here’s a key verse for us.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1 Corinthians 15:56

This verse gives us the whole picture. Death is king. But the sting of death – the enforcer – is sin.

We’re also told that this enforcer, sin, has a power source. The power that gives sin its ability is the law.

The fact is that the devil can only attack in accordance with the law. That’s where he draws his power from.

That’s why we need to live a repentant lifestyle. We need to be sure that there’s no sin clinging to our consciences.

That’s the devil’s strength. He can capitalize on any guilt or condemnation that you submit to. If you believe that there’s still residual sin or that you’re somehow unworthy of God’s grace, then he can interfere in your life.

Don’t play into the hands of death, sin, the law, and the devil. Keep your intimacy with the Lord pure by a habit of quick repentance. Then spend time with the Holy Spirit learning His voice.

Question: How has the devil tried to trip you up using death, sin, and the law?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Sin Needle

The Sin Needle

We’re continuing our journey through the book of Romans. In my last post, the key word was reconciliation. Reconciliation is all about relationship. And that’s what Paul is bringing us to as he continues forward.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…

Romans 5:12

It’s clear from Scripture that sin, a departure from God’s perfect way, entered the world system through one human being. Adam, by an act of his will, chose a wrong path.

However, it wasn’t just sin that came into the world. Death entered our realm through sin. Because of this, it came to all humans.

That phrase, came to all men, actually means pass through into or pierced. Think of sin as a hypodermic needle. This needle contains death and it injects each of us with its vile contents.

At creation, the human race was not capable of death. But Adam took the needle of sin and injected himself. Now that poison is being passed down from generation to generation.

It’s important at this point that we see a special grouping that has emerged. This is sin, death, and the world. These three are related to each other and we should keep them in mind as we study the next three chapters of Romans.

James gives us some insight into the sin problem.

…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 1:14-15

Many people ask how Adam and Eve could have ever been tricked. With all they saw and understood it should have been easy for them to see through the enemy’s arguments.

The key is found in this verse. It’s not a temptation unless it’s born out of desire. How did desire fit into the original sin?

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

The real question is; how long did it take for Satan to get Eve to the point where she desired it? Then once the desire for this forbidden act was within her, it didn’t take much to bring it to fruition.

This should be a warning to us. It will at least give us a “red light” to know that there’s something in our lives that needs to be dealt with.

Do you want something that you know you shouldn’t? Be warned that it’s the start of the downward spiral to sin and death. That’s when we need the power of the Holy Spirit within us to cleanse our hearts.

It’s this struggle between life and death that Paul will be addressing over the next few chapters of his letter. I consider it one of the most important teachings in Scripture. His revelation will keep us from a lot of frustration in our spiritual walk.

Remember, we may have been injected with death because of the sin of Adam. But, in Christ, we don’t have to stay in that condition. Stick with this teaching to see the rest of this beautiful work that the Lord has accomplished for us.

Question: How have you seen desire and temptation working together in your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2021 in Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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A Matter of Life and Death

We find that there are many paradoxes in our Christian walk.  As we continue through Second Corinthians, Paul talks about one of these that are a part of the ministry.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:10-12

This is one of those parts of the ministry that no one wants to talk about.  But it’s a vital part of being effective for Christ.

You’ll never understand how the life of Christ is working in you until you first understand His death.  Paul knew and embraced this truth.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

The true path to a powerful ministry is learning to carry the death of Christ within you.  What do I mean by that?  Do we walk around with a sad look on our face like some kind of spiritual Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh)?

Absolutely not!  The death of Christ is an inward realization.  We carry the death of Christ so that His life can be revealed in us.  Carrying His death, yet revealing His life – that’s one of the great paradoxes of ministry.

As believers, we love to focus our attention on Jesus and His resurrection.  The power that was revealed on that day sealed our redemption.  That truth is beyond question.

What we fail to realize sometimes, is that the resurrection is the Good News for those who are without Christ.  The cross, on the other hand, is Good News for the church.  Paul explained this in his first letter to the Corinthians.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18

Without the resurrection, we couldn’t be saved.  But, without the cross, we couldn’t walk in the power of God.  We need both to be effective for Christ.

I once posted a series on the power of the cross.  To read it, click here.

Paul understood the value of carrying the death of Christ in his daily life.  It was the foundation for the power he walked in.  That’s what he’s referring to in the last line of the original passage we looked at above.

Please understand that he’s talking about himself and his ministry team.  It’s because they allow the death of Christ to do its work in them, that they can reveal the life of Christ to the church.  The Corinthian church is walking in the life of Christ because Paul and his team were obedient to the call to die to self.

We need a new revelation of the cross of Christ.  Then we’ll see the power that was manifest in the early church.

Question: What part does the cross of Christ play in your daily walk with God?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in Ministry, Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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A Ministry of Life and Death

In my last post, I talked about the victory we have in Christ, even through our humanity.  Paul now goes on to talk about what this victory looks like his in ministry.

For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.  And who is equal to such a task?
2 Corinthians 2:15-16

The first thing that we need to understand is who Paul is talking about in this passage.  He’s referring to himself and his ministry team.  He tells us that their lives give off a spiritual fragrance.

Of course, this could also apply to any believer who’s walking in their calling.  Christians who are living for themselves don’t have this “aroma”.  That’s because the life of Christ is only evident in those who strive to live as Jesus did.

The apostle says that their lives create a spiritual atmosphere around them.  When people are near them, they pick up on the truths that are a part of Paul’s ministry.

Paul mentions two groups of people who his ministry affects.  He also tells us what the “fragrance” is that he’s giving off.

The two people groups have to do with the direction that they’re heading.  That’s how Paul describes them.  The first group is those who are heading toward salvation.  The second is those who are heading toward destruction.

The effect that the ministry has on these two groups may sound counter-intuitive at first.  But as we look closely at it, we’ll see what Paul means.

The first group is composed of people who are headed toward salvation.  Their desire is to see God’s completed work accomplished in their lives.  To those believers, Paul’s ministry is the aroma of death.

Why is that?  Simply put, it will take the death of self to see the resurrection power of Christ at work in you.  This all points back to something Paul wrote about in his first letter to this church.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18

It’s the message of the cross, where our old self is crucified with Christ, that releases the power of God in our lives.  Those who are headed down the path to ruin and loss think that the message of the cross is foolishness.

However, Paul’s ministry also had an effect on those who were headed toward destruction.  That was the evangelistic side of his calling.  His goal was to bring light and life to those who are in darkness and sin.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

This is the other side of ministry.  There has to be the call to receive Christ’s offer of salvation.  It’s a call to life.

As I look at the apostle’s ministry, and how he sees these two goals, I have to agree with his final assessment.  “Who is equal to such a task?”

In our own strength and intelligence, we’ll never be able to accomplish this great work.  But, I praise God for the Holy Spirit who lives in us.  It’s His work in us that makes us competent ministers of the grace of God.

Question: How do you see the “aroma” of life and death at work in your ministry?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2020 in Ministry, Power of God, The Gospel

 

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Giving Ourselves to God

I’ve been posting about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Paul goes into great detail explaining the importance of His rising from the grave.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58

In the context of this verse, Paul has just told us of the defeat of death and sin.  By rising from the dead, the Lord proved once and for all that they had no hold over Him.

Paul concludes this section by talking about our victory in Christ.  The resurrection is the foundation for our victory in this life.  We know that the victory is ours in Christ, no matter what the situation may look like right at the present moment.

So in this passage, Paul uses the word, therefore.  It’s because we know that Christ is victorious – past, present, and future – that we can give ourselves fully to God.  We already know the outcome, so we can give ourselves willingly.

The problem is that willingly and fully are two very different things.  I can willingly serve God with only part of my life, time, and resources.  The real victory comes when I willingly give all to Christ.

Jesus Christ is returning soon.  The clock is ticking.  God wants to do great things in our generation.  The question is; do I want to be a part of it, or simply watch what happens in the lives of others?

Please understand that this has nothing to do with your abilities.  It has everything to do with your willingness to fully commit your life to God.  The Macedonian churches are a great example of this in the Scripture.

For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.  Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.  And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.
2 Corinthians 8:3-5

This is one of the most miraculous verses in the Bible.  How can you ever give beyond your ability?  I don’t know, but that’s Paul’s testimony of what they did.

I believe that the key to all this is found in verse 5.  Paul said that they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us.

Your first calling is not to a church or a ministry.  It’s to God Himself.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t commit yourself to a church.  What I am saying is that committing yourself to a church without first giving yourself to God is counter-productive.

It’s only when you first give yourself to God, that you can accomplish something beyond your ability.  That’s when people notice that it’s God working in you.  Only then will God get the glory from your life, and people will be attracted to the Gospel.

Question: How fully committed is your life to God?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2019 in Ministry, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Great Change – Earthly to Heavenly

In my last post, we saw the two different perspectives that we can have as believers.  You can live for the world with the dirt mentality.  You can live for Christ with an eternal focus.  That’s an important choice because the material things of this earth are not transferrable to the heavenly kingdom.

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1 Corinthians 15:50

As we exist right now, with our body made of dirt, we cannot inherit God’s kingdom.  That’s a problem.  But if you’re in Christ, there’s no need to worry about it.  God has the solution.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 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.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52

There’s coming a day when everything changes.  When the passage says that we will not all sleep, he’s talking about the sleep of death.  We’re not all going to die.

There are some of us who will be alive at the Second Coming of Christ.  At that moment, we will be changed.  Our soulish bodies will be immediately converted into new, spiritual bodies.

If you remember what Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church, the dead are not left out.  As a matter of fact, those who die in Christ are the first to receive their new bodies.  Then, we get ours.

That’s good news.  I can’t enter into my eternal life in God’s kingdom with my present fleshly body.  So God arranged to have it changed into a heavenly body.  It’s something I could have never hoped for apart from the work of Christ on the cross.

I love Paul’s description of this change.

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:53

The word perishable means that right now we are subject to decay.  The older we get, the more things don’t work the way they used to.

For instance, in high school, I was a powerlifter.  Now that I’m over 60, I can’t lift what I could back then.  It’s a part of the decay process.

But this verse tells us that there’s a day when we will be clothed with an inability to decay.  Even better than that, we’ll be given an inability to die.  That’s a day to look forward to!

It’s all because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross.  He won a great victory that day.

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.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:54-55

The Lord Jesus Christ defeated death.  The Good News is that now, in Him, we reap the benefits of this victory.

As believers, we know that there’s nothing to fear in death.  Even more than that, we don’t need to fear the aging process.  In Christ, it’s 100% reversible.  When Christ returns I’ll be young again – forever!

Question: How do you keep the Return of Christ in focus?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2019 in Encouragement, Power of God, Return of Christ

 

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