From Death To Life

What Has to Change?

God created us as autonomous beings that can function naturally apart from Him –that’s our flesh. But as such, there is no true sense of purpose. It’s only when we become joined together with Him that we are complete. That’s why He also created us with a with a knowledge of, and a longing for Him.

The Bible uses various images to express the separation. There’s being His enemy, hated, in darkness, lost, unclean, unrighteous –the starkest one is death. On the other hand, togetherness is being His friend, loved, in the light, found, cleansed, righteous –and the most desired is life. Being joined together with God isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s eternal life as Jesus’ bride.

Adam and Eve, though autonomous beings, were together with God in the garden –they were alive. It was when she chose to take over His role of being the Judge of good and evil that trouble began. They hid –separated themselves from Him– making His prophetic words came to pass. “When you eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil [deciding the difference between them] you will die.” (Notice, He didn’t say “if you eat,” He said “when you eat.” Of course it was going to happen.)

From then on, each person has started out his time on earth apart from God. To prove it to us, He has stated “There is no one righteous, not even one;” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:10, 23)

Because God is so compassionate and gracious, He calls us to come to Him just like He did that couple in the garden. “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” (Genesis 3:9) And then He covers us in the bloody skin of the Lamb –so that we can have eternal life.

The rest of that Romans 3 passage goes on to say that we “are justified freely [declared innocent of all wrong doing –of all sin] by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24)

In John 3, Jesus described how a person receives that new life.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:3-6)

Jesus told Nicodemus, a prominent teacher, that he had to be born again to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus was puzzled and asked what He meant. Obviously a person couldn’t pass from his mother’s womb a second time.

New Life Is More Than Physical

Jesus declared that a person must be born both of the water and of the Spirit. Everyone is first born through the mother’s sac of water into physical life. The second birth is through the Holy Spirit into spiritual life.

He went on to explain that flesh (the physical autonomous being that functions apart from God) gives birth to flesh (another of its own kind). And Spirit (the Holy Spirit) gives birth to spirit (God creates a new spiritual being).

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. (Colossians 2:13)

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions– it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Apart from Jesus, we are all spiritually dead and once this life on earth ends we will continue on eternally dead (separated from God forever). But “in Christ,” you and I began our spiritual life here on earth and it will continue into the hereafter without even a pause!

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)

We have eternal life because there is no condemnation waiting for us –there’s nothing to end that life. We have been declared innocent of all wrong doing –we have been justified. All because Jesus was condemned to death in our place. His death allows us to live –to be together with Him and the Father for eternity.

In summary: Because your identity is “in Christ”

  • You are no longer dead –you’re alive
  • You have joined Him in His death, burial, and resurrection
  • Your old identity is gone and your new identity is eternal
  • You have been given the righteousness of God