If you were to ask the average Christian what salvation is I would venture to say several, if not all of them, would say something like “Jesus died on the cross so I could be forgiven for my sins and go to heaven when I die.” I agree wholeheartedly the cross is the means by which we can receive forgiveness of our sins but there is more. Being forgiven for our sins is unbelievably wonderful but what about the resurrection?
The resurrection is how we obtain the life of Christ. He not only died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins God also raised him so we might have life; Christ is the life. Life is what I really wanted to talk about today anyway. From the beginning God is all about life. He told Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil because the day he did he would surely die.
Originally man was created in the image of God that is until he decided he wanted to be God. After the fall, Adam died just as God told him he would. He didn’t die physically that day, but he did die spiritually. After Adam’s spiritual death we read in Genesis 5:1-3 how Adam and Eve’s children are now born in his likeness, according to his image. In other words, man was now born spiritually dead; disconnected from God.
We will start to see the whole Bible afresh when we finally see what Jesus himself said he came here for. Jesus told us in John 10:10 he “came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.” So, it isn’t that he doesn’t deal with the sin issue, but he deals with it in order to enable us to receive his life. Once our sins have been dealt with on the cross we are ready to receive the life of Christ by way of the resurrection.
Ephesians 2:1, 4&5 tells us “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.” That’s what I’m talking about! It isn’t only sins; it is a life and death issue. Probably the most recognized verse in the New Testament John 3:16 says it all, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” So you see the promise is everlasting life not forgiveness or cleansing alone but everlasting life!
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” I once heard Ravi Zacharias say, “Jesus didn’t come here to make bad people good he came to make dead people live.” This phrase has served my wife and me well because it really does sum up the whole plan.
Bob George said, “Satan has done a masterful job of keeping the Christian world preoccupied with the thing that God has dealt with once and for all—sin—and ignorant of the thing that God wants us to be preoccupied with—life!”
So we see Adam’s (our) problem is much deeper than doing the right things and not doing the wrong things. Our problem is we are born dead and need to be resurrected. Thank God that is exactly what has happened in Christ Jesus. Those of us that have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death, joined with him in burial and hallelujah raised to walk in newness of life!
Written by Louie