“Because He Lives” Part 2

Posted: March 10, 2016 in Christian Life, Giving, Gospel, Salvation, Spiritual Gifts

It is a well documented fact of history that Jesus Christ died on a cross as predicted in the Scriptures (Psalm 22). But why? The Word of God tell us that it was to pay the penalty for all of our sins once and for all (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:10). But thankfully He rose again bodily from the grave after being in the tomb for three days and nights (Luke 24:33-43). His resurrected body was different in that it had flesh and bones but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50). Many people celebrate His resurrection but their lives have not been changed. They’ve never been born again from above (John 3:3-6; 1 Peter 1:23). But what is sadder, many people “believe in vain” by adding to or subtracting things from the Gospel and God’s plan of salvation (1 Corinthians 15:2-5; Revelation 22:18, 19). Consider what the “Lordship for Salvation” preachers and teachers do by making the requirements for discipleship (good works) the requirements for salvation.  How could one ever be sure of his/her salvation before they die?  They can’t be sure.

All three Persons in the Godhead were involved in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (The Father – Romans 6:4; The Holy Spirit – Romans 8:11; and Jesus Himself – John 10:17, 18).

As a result of this, many benefits were extended to those who would put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation.

A New Life In Christ. The natural, unsaved man is helpless, hopeless, and hell bound (Romans 5:6, 8; Ephesians 2:12). He doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit of God because of his spiritual blindness and rebellion toward God (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 3:10-23; 6:23). He also has a Satanic blindness that hinders him from seeing his need for the Savior (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jewish people have a third blindness that is judicial (Romans 11:25). But God has the ability to lift these blinds after the “Clear Gospel” is presented to them (Acts 26:18). The FREE gift of God is eternal life (John 3:16, 18; 36; 1 John 5:12, 13). It is a present possession and not earned by any of our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Upon believing in Christ, the person is placed by Spirit baptism (dry) into the “Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13) and becomes part of a new creation known as “The Christ” – Jesus is the Head and true Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Christ are the Body (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:15).

A Victorious Life. Sadly, most Christians live much of their entire lives enslaved to their old masters: the devil (2 Timothy 2:24-26), their own sin nature (Romans 6:14; 7:15-25), or the present world system (1 John 2:15-17). God doesn’t want His children to keep on sinning (1 John 2:1; 3:9, 10). He has made it possible for us to be victorious over our three spiritual enemies (Romans 8:37). We can find everything we need for life and godliness within the pages of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:3). We don’t need to resort to the philosophies and wisdom of unsaved men which often contradicts the clear teachings of the Word of God (Colossians 2:8; James 3:14-16). Sometimes the unsaved counselors are able to detect the person’s problem, but they don’t have God’s solution to the problem. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Once a believer dies or is caught up to meet the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), his spiritual battles on earth will be over. For the true Christian, to be absent from the body means being immediately with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We don’t have to go to some purging place to pay for our sins before we can go to heaven. The last victory that Christ will win is the one over physical death . He will do this by raising everyone who has died and bring him/her back to life to be judged by Him (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:26; John 5:22; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). Do you know in which judgment you will participate?

An Abundant Life. Some people can only identify with the physical and material side of life. The Jews in the Old Testament were promised earthly things and blessings for their obedience to God and curses for disobedience to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 28). The Jewish people were told to “Bring all the tithes [not 10% but 23% of their total income] into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out on you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). But confusing Israel with the Church leads to all sorts of problems. They are two distinct groups with different promises and different destinations. The Jews were promised the earth (Genesis 15:18- ; Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13). True Christians are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20; John 14:1-3). Our spiritual blessings far exceed any physical blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Most Christians haven’t been taught about the 33 major spiritual blessings and things that transpired at the moment of their salvation. If you’re a Christian, how often do you set your deeper reflective thinking on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2ff)? Do you know how to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)? How does a Christian discover his/her spiritual gift and use it (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14).

A Useful Life. Everything that a Christian does should bring honor and glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). God’s purpose is to demonstrate to His creatures who He is by what He says and does (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). Every Christian is called upon to abide (feel at ease) in Christ and bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:1-8). This fruit could be one’s Christ like character (2 Peter 1:5-8; Galatians 5:22, 23). It could be a life characterized by good works done for God’s glory (Colossians 1:10; Ephesians 2:10), or it might be by being a faithful witness for the Lord (Romans 1:13; 1 Corinthians 16:15), or a pair of lips that praises God (Hebrews 13:15), or it might be a believer’s generous giving to the work of the Lord and to those who preach and teach the Word faithfully without trying to tickle people’s ears (Galatians 6:6-10; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Philippians 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:1-4). How much fruit are you bearing in your life?

Saving Faith. Do you merely know and believe the facts about Jesus Christ’s death for your sins and His bodily resurrection? That’s not enough to save you (James 2:19). Not until you transfer your faith from yourself, and your good works over to Christ alone are you saved. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Genuine faith manifests itself to other human beings by the good works we do (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:20-26). If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? If not, what needs to change? Our salvation from the penalty of sin is gained by a single act of faith in Christ. But for a Christian to enjoy a new, victorious, abundant, and useful life while here on this earth, he/she must live in a continual attitude of faith (Romans 1:17). If you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you can sing “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…”

Help. If you have questions and/or comments, we can be reached at 805-238-3549.  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  If something has helped you, will you share it with others?  Thanks.  We want to bless you so you can bless others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). 

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