GodReflection: The Ultimate IN Sider.
In our more honest moments, we humans must admit to being living, breathing walking contradictions. We want truth but are guilty of non-compliance. We desire purity but are aware of spots and stains left in the trail of our walk across life. I lament the state of the poor yet I always seem to want my needs met first. One day I am alive and on the mountain tops of life, then inexplicably awake to discover I am dead in a valley of despair. Dead and Alive—that’s me.
Yet deep in the foundation of my soul, I believe God who promises life will conquer death. In Scripture, I find a real treasure—In Christ, I am alive now—even when I may feel dead.
My exploration continues in this, the second post that flows from Paul’s description of God’s gift when we accept his invitation to become an ultimate insider In Christ.
In the previous post, Paul’s letter to the church in the city of Ephesus introduces this concept we encounter at the center of each of his New Testament Letters. Prior to his mail to Ephesians Christians, he writes two other young churches to give us a foundational understanding of how this special insider position with Christ can become our reality. We must die to live.
Since the garden sin and man’s fall from a perfect relation with The Holy, the reality common to all humankind is that from the moment we take in and expel our first breath of life we begin to die. Once we are alive, we walk toward decay and death. That is exactly what Jesus came to our world to change. He came to put an end to the death process. This message caught the attention of Saul, Jesus’ persecutor by surprise. The risen Christ startles him with his Holy Presence on the road to the town of Damascus. In Christ is never-ending life.
When Saul the enemy-activist against Jesus, hears the message and ponders in blindness its implications for life, he dies in baptismal waters to rise as Paul the proclaimer of eternal life found In Christ.
Even prior to his In Christ assertions to Ephesian Christians, we read over his shoulder as he writes to those in the cities of Rome and Corinth, Therefore, we were buried together with him through baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4) In the same way, you also should consider yourselves dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11) In the same way that everyone dies in Adam, so also everyone will be given life in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Through all forms of media our culture proclaims the absence of truth. It tells us truth comes from what we perceive. Culture tells us that we as individuals determine truth. We hear truth is relative. The accepted doctrine of today is that truth is not reality. My opinion can only be my truth. Your opinion is your truth. To buy into our culture’s message that truth is relative and unattainable is to make a down payment on death. Instead, I want to receive Christ’s down payment on life, which he so graciously offers.
Since the time God spoke creation into existence, he has promised we can know truth only by our knowledge of Him as Father and by our witness of the life of Jesus the Son as he responds to people who cross his path and as we see how he relates to Father God. We find that truth revealed in both the Old and New Testaments as we read our Bible.
Let me see if I can wrap up this post
In Christ, the above observations can come together to help me make sense of my daily walk.
Like Saul from the town of Tarsus, in the baptismal waters of death, I was raised to possess life In Christ. Yes, as I walk through life, I often smell the stench of death in my Adamic genes. Yes, one day those same genes will end my current walk on earth by the death of my worn-out Adamic body. Then I will await the final fulfillment of God’s truth where in the next reality I will live forever In Christ, with Christ on a cleansed earth under Holy Heavens where alive not dead will be my eternal reality.
Will you commit with me to make that our final destiny by our walk In Christ while we live in our here and now?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Both Dead and Alive.