Romans 6:4-6 (NLT) 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.
2 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV) 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
[Those in Christ] are free lords of all things, not bound to the whims of chance or the exigencies of life and death. The future is no cause for panic; it is already theirs. In light of such expansive realities, how can the Corinthians say, “I am of Paul or Apollos”? That is too narrow, too constricted a view. Apollos-and Paul, and Peter, and the whole universe–is yours. You do not belong to them; they belong to you, as your servants, because “you–and they–are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s”. [NICNT, Fee p.154]
The implications of being united with Christ in his death and resurrection are staggering. They are truly epic. Too epic in fact. Without the help of the Spirit, our human minds are utterly incapable of comprehending the full scale and scope of Jesus’ work on the cross. Like the Corinthians, we may settle for thoughts and world-views that are too small and limited. But our lives in Christ are epic. Let’s join in with Paul, being fixated on Christ crucified. Let’s allow the Spirit to take our breath away with all the blessings that have come to us in Christ. Let’s worship to the song “How Great Is Your Love” (click here) by Passion.
John 3:16 (NIV) 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Because in Christ Jesus both “life” itself and therefore “the future” are ours, “death” is ours as well, is “the present.” We die, but “life” cannot be taken from us; we live the life of the future in the present age, and therefore the present has become our own possession. For those in Christ Jesus, what things were formerly tyrannies are now their new birthright. This is the glorious freedom of the children of God. [NICNT, Fee p.154]
When Jesus speaks about “eternal life”, it is not a metaphor for something else. It is not a statement of exaggeration for the purposes of emphasis. It is a literal statement. Those who have been saved by faith in Christ will live eternally, forever. And because we will live forever, there is no fear of lost time and lost opportunities. And because we are free from the fear of lost time and lost opportunities, we are free to be generous towards others. We don’t have to live selfishly, but we can generously be loving towards others, knowing in the end that we will live eternally in the kingdom. We never miss out.
Let’s get soaked in this truth even more today as we worship to the song “This I Believe (The Creed)”(click here) by Hillsong.
1 Cor 1:21-23 (NIV) 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
These five items, “the world, life, death, the present, and the future,” are the ultimate tyrannies of human existence, to which people are in lifelong bondage as slaves. For Paul the death and resurrection of Jesus marked the turning point of the ages in such a way that nothing lies outside Christ’s jurisdiction. In the form of the cross God has planted his flag on planet Earth and marked it off as his own possession; hence the “world” is his. So also with the whole of existence (“life” and “death”), which are immediately placed into eschatological perspective (“the present and the future”). [NICNT, Fee p.154]
You can’t get more epic than the themes of life, death, and time. While the world is held hostage to these things, the Spirit people of God are free. Our eternal life and our resurrection to come has set us free from these powers. Let’s worship God with the song “The Anthem” (click here)by Planet Shakers and celebrate our epic freedom together.
1 Cor 3:4 (NIV) For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
We’ve been called to a life that goes far beyond being a mere human being. The effects of the cross are staggering and multifaceted… freedom, new identity, peace, power, etc. It’s the Spirit who effectuates these epic effects into our lives. The Spirit helps us to daily walk in the epic effects of the cross. However, when we start to depart from the life in the Spirit as the Corinthians did, we begin to demonstrate the signs of living like mere human beings… conflict, insecurity, fear, etc. This shows how much we need to be filled with the Spirit every day!
Let’s invite the Spirit to fill us once again today. May we be flooded and renewed in his love and power. Let’s worship to the song “Gracefully Broken” (click here)by Matt Redman.
1 Cor 3:1-4 (NIV) Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
Everyone likes upgrades… faster computers, more powerful phones, better features we’ve never before seen. In the world of consumer goods and services there is always room for improvement. However, there is no upgrading the cross of Christ. It is complete and all sufficient in its work. The Corinthians thought they had upgraded their spirituality, moving beyond the embarrassing scandal of the cross. And at times, we too may seek to compensate the work of cross by seeking wisdom and council from other places. But the cross is both the milk and the meat of our Christian life. Let’s remain at the foot of the cross together, for it is the power to save.
Let’s ask God to help us keep in step with the Spirit. The life in the Spirit will keep us at the foot of the cross. Let’s worship to the song “Your Cross Changes Everything” (click here)by Matt Redman.