From death to life

gulls-654046_6402Corinthians 4:10: always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (ESV)

We need to understand how the salvation plan is about moving us from death to life. This is because, if you do not understand the problem, you will not appreciate the solution. No one knows the problem of man better than God and he has set the solution in order.

If you think the problem of man will be solved with better education, you are mistaken. Paul was well educated but was still spiritually lost.

If you think the answer is in more resources, you miss the point. Jesus told of a rich man who went to hell (Luke 16:19-31), and he spoke a parable about a man who was condemned because he was not rich towards God (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus warned against covetousness saying that the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. A rich man came to Jesus asking that he should show him the way to life, at the end of the discussion, it was clear that the man had more love for wealth than for God (Matthew 19:16-23). God and wealth are not one and the same.

If you think that the solution to man’s problem is religion, you could not be farther from the truth.  Jesus reserved his most scathing rebuke for the Pharisees. He warned the apostles against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). He said that if our righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees who were seen as the epitome of righteousness in that time, they will not be accepted by God (Matthew 5:20).

As mentioned before, he labelled them hypocrites, people who say things but don’t do them, pretending to be religious when people are looking but full of inner rot. So forget the path of being religious, putting on appearances.

Jesus told them that though they are devoted to the scriptures it will do them no good, as it did not lead them to him (John 5:39-40). He is the life. He said to the disciples: I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me (John 14:6).

The judgement that was levelled against man in the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit was death (Genesis 2:15-17). At that time the consequence of death was not something Adam and Eve could appreciate, it was later on after they have experienced the full spectrum of the implication of disobeying God that they started to understand what they got us all into.

They tasted good in the Garden of Eden but did not pass it to their children. There, everything was for their enjoyment, but after sin, it was the bad and the ugly because of the rule of death.

But in Christ we come from death into life. We come from grass to grace, from death to glory. While before our condition is that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23-24), the message now is that we have been justified freely through the death of Jesus. The bible says that Jesus tasted death for us all.

The opposite of life is death. While death means we go down, life means we go up, while death means we get diminished, life says that we get increased, while death says we are corrupt, life says that we are purified. Life speaks of glory, death speaks of fear, shame, and destruction; life is about light while death is about darkness.

The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2). The point is that if we do not come to Jesus we would not experience true freedom. We would be wandering in darkness.

We are called to embrace the life that is Jesus. The bible says that God has given us eternal life and that life is hidden in his son. To receive Jesus is to receive light and to receive light is to experience life. But if we reject him we will have chosen death by default.

The wrath of God for death is resting on all men, but there is a way of escape through Jesus. Through him, we come from death into life (John 5:24).

In the time of Noah the only way to escape, to pass from the judgement that was determined on the humans on the earth, was to enter into the ark made by Noah (Genesis 6-8). There was no alternative. It was interesting that the same God who was going to destroy all flesh also made a way of escape.

Escaping starts with a decision. It starts with taking the words of Noah the preacher of righteousness at that time serious, speaking of an impending destruction coming to the earth. It has to do with a personal decision. But the people doubted.

They continued in the routine, but Noah and his family went inside the ark and was spared death and destruction. But the others had themselves to blame, for 120 years when Noah built the ark it was the extension of God’s hand of mercy to God to take the way of escape, but they did not hear.

In a story told by Jesus, a rich man died and went into hell, but afterwards he asked Abraham to send Lazarus who on dying had gone to paradise, Abraham’s bosom, to his five brothers. He said Abraham should send Lazarus to warn his five brothers of the errors of their ways. (the five brothers could stand for the five continents of the world.)

But Abraham said that even if someone comes from the dead they will still not believe. That was how effective Satan’s deception on the earth was. But Abraham said that they have the law and prophets to guide them to truth.

In other words they have the bible to show us the way of life, if we will heed it, if we will be willing to see Jesus presented as the way, the truth and the life, and come to him in faith.

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