Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Word of the Kingdom Conference 2010
The Full Scope of Death and Salvation Part II
This is the second message in a two-part series entitled THE FULL SCOPE OF DEATH AND SALVATION. In the first message, we looked at how death has affected all three parts of man ? spirit, soul and body; and how salvation must also affect all three parts of man. To understand the full scope of death is to help us understand more completely the full scope of salvation.
When Adam sinned we know that:
He became separated from God (Spiritual death) He ? his entire being ? lost his covering of glory (soulical death) His body returned to dust (physical death).
We must understand that death means separation. And in the truest sense of the word, death means to be separated from God. Conversely, in the truest sense of the word, LIFE means to have union with God. Yes, the man and the woman died the moment they ate the forbidden fruit. And any and all offspring, descending from a man and woman, would now be born DEAD?separated from God in the image of fallen man.
Knowing that, we then come to realize that SALVATION must affect all three parts of man. In the last message we saw that the first and beginning step in the salvation process is our spiritual birth. This birth is brought about by the message that Scripture sets forth even in the OT, that Christ died for our sins. Paul initially came to the people of Corinth with this message:
1 Corinthians 2 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
Then stated in another way Paul reminded them:
I Corinthians 15 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
According to the Scriptures? Yes, according to the Old Testament Scriptures, according to all the types laid out concerning His death in the OT Scriptures, pointing to the death of Christ as Passover. Briefly stated, in the OT Scriptures, we have the death of:
The innocent animal(s) in the Garden at the hand of God (Gen. 3) pointing to Christ as the Innocent Lamb of God
Abel at the hand of Cain (Gen. 4) pointing to the fact that it would be His brother, Israel at whose hands he would be killed. Isaac ?s death via the substitute at the hand of his father, Abraham (Gen. 22) pointing to the fact that His Father would offer the Son as a substitute. The paschal lambs throughout the land of Goshen in Egypt at the hand of Israel (Ex. 12), ultimately pointing again to Jesus as the Lamb of God.
The message that Paul initially brought to the Gentiles at Corinth was that Jesus DIED for our sins, according to the Scriptures. And this is a complete message in and of itself with respect to our spiritual birth. But in keeping with the full scope of the Gospel message, he didn‟t stop there. He continued with the whole counsel of God‟s Word. I Corinthians 15 goes on to say:
I Corinthians 15 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred?
Here, in I Corinthians chapter fifteen, we have clearly laid out the two facets of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
1) Jesus died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and
2) He was buried, and was raised on the third day?again, according to the OT Scriptures.
Buried and raised on the third day, according to what Scriptures? Again OT Scritpures in the way of types. A few would be:
The Red Sea passage pointing to buriel and resurrection. The death of Jonah in the belly of the fish, coming back to life on the third day, pointing to the fact that Christ would be buried and would come back to life on the third day.
Jesus died according to Scriptures, and Jesus was buried and resurrected according to the Scriptures. These are the two facets of the whole council of God‟s Word. Two facets of one overall Gospel. And both facets of the Gospel have to do with two facets of salvation, according to the Scriptures. The writer of Hebrews says it this way:
Hebrews 9 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once [via the Substitute ? our Passover Lamb] and after this comes judgment,
28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many [Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures], shall appear a second time for salvation without
reference to sin, [He was buried and rose again, according to the Scriptures] to those who eagerly await Him.
So we see that both of His comings have to do with salvation.
In the first message of this series, we saw that we ? Christians ? run the risk of being deceived with respect to death. We read in II Cor. 11:2-3 that Paul was concerned about the Church being deceived in the same way that Eve was deceived in the garden.
We saw in the first message that God has specifically stated through the pen of Paul that we ? Christians ? can experience death, when he wrote:
Romans 8 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Then in v. 12:
?12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
??if you brethren are living according to the flesh, you must die??
?but if you, brethren by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will life??
Both of these clauses are ?if?then? clauses. If we act in a certain way, a certain thing will result. If we act in another way, another things result. Remember Eve‟s deception at the hands of the evil one ? Did God say?...You surely will not die!
We also looked at the James wrote to Jews who became disciples of Christ and who were being persecuted for their faith:
James 1 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
And notice the very next sentence:
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Who is not to be deceived? (The beloved brethren)
What is the beloved brethren not to be deceived about? (About sin bringing forth death)
And a few more verses:
Romans 6 23 For the wages of sin is death?
Galatians 6 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal [age-lasting] life.
The fact of Scripture is, yes, we might be deceived in the same way that Eve was deceived. God has told this to us through His inspired Word. And again, the sobering thing about the whole scenario in the Garden is that even in her deception, Eve died! Having been deceived did not protect her from dying. In other words, ignorance or deception will be no excuse at the judgment seat of Christ. God has not stuttered in making this very clear in Scripture. We will have no excuse, even if we allow ourselves to be deceived.
Remember, to experience death in the age to come, during the kingdom would be separation from Christ and His glory. Death would mean not being able to partake in the LIGHT of His Glory, nor being covered in Glory and clothed in splendor and majesty, but rather being shamefully naked by finding oneself in a place that Scripture calls ?the outer darkness? where there will be great remorse, which is described in Scripture as ?weeping and gnashing of teeth?.
In all of this we must remember that for the saved individual this separation, this death will not last beyond the coming age. Life, for the saved, in the ages (plural) to come is absolutely secure, but Life in the age (singular) to come is something we ? the saved ? must strive to enter.
So how do we do that? Jesus told His disciples how they could enter life in what has become known as ?The Sermon on the Mount.? Really in the entire ?sermon? Jesus is explaining what it would take to LIVE in the coming age, but for our time now, we will zero in on His closing comments in Matthew chapter seven. He said:
Matthew 7 13 ?Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it??
And keeping in the very same line of thought, just a few verses down we read:
Matthew 7 21 ?Not everyone who says to Me, ?Lord, Lord,‟ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does [contextually ?brings forth fruit according to?] the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day [judgment day] ?Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?‟ 23 And then I will declare to them, ?I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.‟
A separation ensues ? ?Depart from Me!? ?You step aside, you cannot have part with Me.? This is death for those who performed apparent miracles, but who did not bring forth fruit according to the will of the Father. And on that day, Jesus the Righteous Judge, Who judges the intent of one‟s heart, will say to some, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. You who did not do things the way I laid out?
This is death for saved individual in the coming age.
But?PRAISE THE LORD?there is a way out of this death! The way out of this death and destruction; the way into Life is only one way and it is a narrow gate! It is through the Resurrection Power of Jesus! Part I to this two-part message ended with this passage and I would like to come back to it:
Romans 5 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
How were we justified? This would be speaking of our initial faith in the death and shed blood of our Passover! But remember it is from faith to faith! And NOW we can be ?saved? by His LIFE? Sin brings about death?But it is the power of the Resurrection of Jesus allows for LIFE. See how the idea of the resurrection power of Jesus is explained to us by Paul. After stating that he had suffered the loss of all things with respect to his present life (he had laid down his life), he says that he did it so:
Philippians 3 ? 10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Paul, who ? after being knocked off his horse on the Damascus Road and blinded for three days having seen Christ‟s glory ? spent up to three years in the wilderness being taught by Jesus, and is willing to suffer the loss of all things in order
That he may know Him (Christ), and That he may know the power of Christ‟s resurrection and That he may know the fellowship of Christ‟s sufferings, That he might be conformed to Christ‟s death;
in order that
he might attain to the resurrection from the dead.
What is this resurrection from the dead he is talking about. And why is he not sure that he would attain to this resurrection? Will not all Christians be resurrected, and didn‟t Paul know that?
The word for resurrection here in 11th verse has a prefix attached to it, which, strangely enough is not translated into the English. This is an unfortunate miss-translation! The prefix fixed to the Greek word for resurrection should have been translated as OUT. It should have been translated:
11 in order that I may attain to the out-resurrection from the dead.
Of course, these things, which Paul is talking about here, would be beyond Paul‟s initial saving faith! Paul was striving toward these things. In the verses immediately following, Paul goes on to say:
Philippians 3 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul admits that at that point in his life, he had not yet attained to all that it takes to attain to the out-resurrection from among the dead, but that he was committed to do what was necessary, he was going to press on, so that he could take hold of the goal! He was going to do everything in his power to reach forward to what lies ahead. He was going to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call?this OUT resurrection, from among the dead.
What is this out-resurrection from among the dead? It is what is going to happen to the BRIDE of Christ at the JSOC. Those Christians who laid their lives down in the present age, will be taken out of the Body of Christ, which, at this point will have been resurrected/raptured to the JSOC. And after judgments and decrees are made at the judgment seat, some will have been found to be overcomers. These will be taken out of the resurrected Body of Christ, and will be built into the WIFE of Christ.?just like EVE in the garden, who, as Adam named her, ?was bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.? Those who are not taken out of the Body in this out-resurrection, though resurrected/raptured in imperishable bodies will experience death (separation from Christ and His glory) during the Messianic Era ? the loss of their soul/life for the Messianic Era. They will remain shamefully naked for the duration of the age.
In all of this, we realize that we have died with Christ, and it is by the power of HIS RESURRECTION, by the power of HIS RESURRECTED LIFE, by WALKING IN HIS SPIRIT we can partake in the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death so that we might attain to the out-resurrection from the dead, just as was Paul‟s desire!
Partaking in the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death is the same as losing our life/our soul here and now, in order to gain our life/our soul then and there, as Jesus explained in Matthew chapter sixteen.
Paul suffering the loss of all things and counting them but rubbish in order to gain Christ, as seen in Philippians chapter three. Our overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil. Our walking the narrow path that leads to life and not the broad path that leads to destruction.
And so that there will be no misunderstanding of what it means to have fellowship with the Christ in His suffering, and be conformed to His death Peter lays it out quite clearly in the his first epistle to the Churches throughout Asia. He begins with what the purpose of his epistle which is to reveal to us the inheritance which we have reserved for us in heaven which has to do with a salvation that is yet to be revealed. And he specifically states that it is by suffering through many and various trials that we can obtain as the outcome (goal) of our faith is the salvation of our souls! Then he goes on to say:
1Peter 1 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of [lit., with respect to] Christ and the glories to follow.
Peter is dealing with our participation in Christ‟s sufferings, which are inextricably linked to the glories to follow. We will remember something we already know ? that sufferings always, always precede glory! There will not be one without the other. And so Peter deals with the sufferings with respect to Christ throughout the remainder of his first epistle. And again, it all has to do with the salvation of our souls as stated in v. 9.
So what does Peter say about our sufferings with respect to Christ‟s sufferings? Let‟s keep reading sections of this same epistle:
I Peter 2 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;
In the midst of suffering Jesus uttered no threats! He simple kept entrusting Himself to Him Who judges righteously! He is our Example of how to endure sufferings.
I Peter 3 8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called [to this same type of suffering exampled for us right there in the text] for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
Inherit the blessing of the inheritance reserved in heaven for us ? participation in the kingdom with Christ and His glory.
Then we can go to:
I Peter 3 ?17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit?
I Peter 4 1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
?12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.
I am skipping a lot of what we could be reading in I Peter for the sake of time?you can read it for yourself, particularly noting everything having to do with suffering. Now, jumping to
I Peter 5 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time?
10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal [age-lasting] glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
We must remember that all of this suffering has to do with the outcome (goal) of our faith, the salvation of our soul! And the result of the salvation of our souls will be our being covered in glory at the exultation of Christ when He comes in His glory. If glory was taken away by death ? the death of the soul/life? then the salvation of the soul will be the restoration of the same
garment of glory. If the man and the woman lost their covering of glory the moment they sinned in the garden, then conversely the moment an individual at the JSOC is deemed to have overcome, then they will realize the salvation of their soul and find themselves covered in GLORY! Then they would be in position to become the wife of Christ, have the inheritance of the earth redeemed for them, and step into the very position for which man was created at the beginning. That individual will realize his LIFE in the coming age. And, according to I Peter 4:13, glory will be measured to each by the amount of suffering each has done ? suffering being the dying to the flesh! This is what we need to understand about the salvation of the soul. And the only way we can die to the flesh is to walk in the Spirit, in the power of His resurrection.
And now perhaps we can more fully understand what we just read in Romans:
Romans 5 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
His resurrection gives us the power to attain to the out-resurrection from the dead. And really, we can see all of this in the picture of baptism. Look how Paul explained this in:
Romans 6 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin [died to the flesh] still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self [the flesh] was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died [to the flesh] is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
We find Paul wrote something similar to this to Timothy, while Timothy was in Ephesus overseeing the churches there:
II Timothy 2 11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him; 12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.
Remember we are dealing with the salvation or death of the soul now. And remember that salvation deals with all three parts of man! We have already seen this passage in Hebrews:
Hebrews 9 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
We have seen how Paul began his work in Corinth. He preached Jesus and Him crucified. Now let‟s see how he continued with His presentation of the whole council of God‟s Word:
I Corinthians 15 1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved [literally ?by which also you are being saved], if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, [We have seen that in chapter two, haven‟t we? But now we see again that Paul continued with the whole council of God?s Word. With the foundation laid concerning the death of Christ according to the Scriptures, now we see the second facet coming into play] 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures?
Let‟s stay on this passage for a moment: Look at v. 1 and 2. So then Paul had preached to them, the second facet of the gospel which they also received, and in which they also stand, by which also they were being saved (present tense) if they held fast the word which Paul had continued his preaching (that He was buried, and was raised from the dead)?unless they believed in vain?unless their belief in the simple gospel message in vain (not meaning that ?it didn‟t take?, but rather, meaning that the initial facet of the gospel is not brought to its goal which is the same as the goal or purpose of our creation. Because apart from RESURRECTION LIFE, there will be no fulfillment of the PURPOSE for our salvation.
I‟d like to take a more in-depth look at this! Otherwise I am afraid we might miss something that would be valuable to us to understand even at the present time. Paul has very succinctly laid out the distinctions between the two facets of the Gospel; and there is good reason to make sure that these distinctions are clear.
After laying all of this out for the Church at Corinth in this first letter (having preached Jesus died according to the Scriptures), right at this point in chapter 15, Paul begins to name the eye-witnesses of Jesus after His resurrection. Let‟s pick it up again in v. 4:
I Corinthians 15 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
Paul spends some time here offering eye-witness proof of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And I wondered why this seemed so vitally important to Paul in this letter. Paul went on to explain to them that Christ‟s resurrection had widely been taught there in Corinth. After all, he himself had spent one and half years there. They had been well-given the whole gospel of Jesus. And then he says:
I Corinthians 15 12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
In other words, to preach His Death would suffice to get people saved (i.e., spiritual birth). But remember that this just begins the process! You can‟t stop there with just getting people saved! And evidently some in Corinth had been satisfied to believe in Christ‟s death, but not willing to go further and believe in His resurrection. (I wonder if that is true for any of us today.) And if that were the case, then Paul says that the preaching of His death would in itself be in vain?because there would be no reaching the goal of salvation, the goal of our faith ? the salvation of the soul!
If there is no resurrection to LIFE, how can anyone then fulfill their created position? A person cannot RULE DEAD!
Paul goes on to explain what this false teaching had done within the Church at Corinth. It has caused Paul‟s correct message to become skewed in the eyes of their understanding. He says:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
If what the people are saying (those who are teaching that there is no resurrection from the dead) were true, then Paul would be found to be a false witness of God, because Paul had taught that God raised Jesus from the dead. And if God did not do this, then the dead are not raised, and Christ could not have been raised, and if this were all true, then faith in the death of Jesus (salvation by grace through faith) becomes worthless, because to
what end would it be. These are not my words ? they are Holy Spirit-inspired Words through the pen of Paul.
And not only all of this would be true, if the truth was that God did not raise Jesus from the dead, but it would also be true that we would still be in our sins! Why would that be the case? Because if Christ were not raised from the dead, then He would not be in the heavens, acting as our High Priest, with His blood on the Mercy Seat in the heavens, cleansing us from our ongoing sins. A dismal picture! And eventually the end result of this type of preaching would come to this logical conclusion:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 32?If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.
And the logical result of all this would be:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
What a sad state of affairs ? if Christ were not raised from the dead; if there was no resurrection if our Passover Lamb had been sacrificed, and that was the end of the story!
We would be, of all men, most to be pitied! But Alleluia! That is not the WHOLE TRUTH! That is not the WHOLE GOSPEL; it is not the whole council of God‟s Word. There is more! Paul corrects this ?stopped-short-message? with the remainder of the truth:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die,
Remember this death? Remember the two trees in the Garden? Remember the choice between the Tree of Life, and the ?tree of death? if I may say it like that? Remember the statement, ?When you eat?You will surely die!? And the deception, ?You will surely not die!? Remember death means being separated from God and His Glory. Remember their becoming shamefully naked (losing their covering of glory) separated now from the purpose of their creation, that to eventually rule in glory with the garments of Splendor and Majesty in the very image and Likeness of Him Who created man?
In Adam all die?Again, a very dismal picture! If it were to remain there, then man is to be most pitied! But the story in the Garden did not stop there! There was, in God‟s Economy, the Lamb that was slain from before the foundation of the World, Who would come through the seed of the woman, the Seed of Abraham. In the economy of God, there were those created in Christ Jesus to do WORKS which God prepared for them to do beforehand! And in order to do this?in order to fulfill God‟s created purpose for mankind, MAN HAD TO BE ALIVE! And so we see that though:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 22 ? as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits,
Christ, the first fruits. Wasn‟t He the Seed (of Abraham)? The Seed that died, and was placed in the ground? And wasn‟t He the One raised on the third day, the very day of the Feast of FIRST FRUITS, when the Barley sheaf was waved. The One raised first, with MANY to follow in the resurrection?
And by The Seed of the gospel being planted in us, (the foundation laid that is the only foundation that can be laid, Jesus Christ), we can have LIFE. Not just life in the spiritual sense of our bodies being in the ground and our spirits present with God for all of eternity, but LIFE in another sense! LIFE in the Coming Age, if we would but believe it and ACT according to that belief. This One who came up out of the ground, shall make all who die in Him alive! Having been reconciled through His death, much more, having been reconciled we shall be saved by His LIFE!
But how and why will all of this be done? Let‟s keep reading:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ‟s at His coming 24 then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father?
OH!!! It‟s all connected to the kingdom! The fruit ? that Jesus bore in His death ? will be raised, for the purpose of filling positions of authority in His kingdom. (Remember the passage that UNLESS of a grain of wheat the falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit.
Then at the end of which time (at the end of 1,000 years) He will have abolished all rule and authority and power. Look what Paul says next:
I Corinthians 15 (continuing) 24 then comes the end [the end of the 1,000years] when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
Then a parenthetical statement:
25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
For He must reign?this Jesus, the Second man, the Last Adam, together with His Wife, who was taken out of His Body must reign. Raised from the DEAD, covered in glory, clothed in Splendor and majesty, these WILL REIGN! Until He has put all enemies under His feet, even DEATH!
Yes, at the end of the 1,000 years (at the end of the time when those who had believed and had done what was necessary in order to share in Christ‟s glory, who now has shared in His age-lasting glory) at the end of this time, this Day of the Lord, NOW the last enemy to be abolished can be abolished ? DEATH. Now at the end of the 1,000 years Jesus can wipe away the tears from the eyes of His lazy and slothful servants, who had been cast out into the outer darkness 1,000 years prior, where there had been weeping and gnashing of teeth. Now their tears can be dried, and the kingdom of the Son offered to the Father that the Throne of the Father and the Throne of the Lamb can become One Throne, and God can be all in all.
This is the message that Paul preached to the Church at Corinth.
And now! Let‟s tie this altogether with our either being covered with glory or shamefully naked:
Revelation 16 15 (?Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.?)
In closing, just as we have seen in Part I of this two-part message, the life/soul is in the blood, inextricably linked to the body, so is the salvation of the soul inextricably linked to the body. So let‟s briefly touch on the ?salvation of the body?, which the Scriptures refer to as the ?redemption of the body.?
First and of most importance in this concept, is the fact that the resurrection of the body is NOT the redemption of the body, per se. In fact, if you think about it, even the unsaved will receive a resurrected body, won‟t they? A body raised in immortality. A body that is eternal. Though eternally separated from God, and in that sense, an unsaved person is DEAD eternally, but NOT NON-EXISTENT!
No the salvation of the body (if we can call it that), literally the ?redemption of the body? is dealt with in this passage:
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ?Abba! Father!? 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
Succinctly stated: The salvation of the body, the ?Redemption of the body,? is the adoption of sons. The adoption of sons is taking a child in the family and placing him as a first-born. And only 1st born sons rule in the kingdom of God! Only 1st born sons will be glorified at the JSOC. And though ?naked? for just a short period of time (the time necessary for Jesus to redeem the earth from Satan‟s control), though naked and NOT ASHAMED just as the Two were initially in the Garden, having the inner covering of glory, it will be given to them to dress themselves in fine white linen?the wedding garments ? clothing of regality, garments of splendor and majesty.
And these are the ones to be crowned. These are the ones who will step onto the THRONE and be seated with Jesus at His right hand ? the One to Whom they had been betrothed in this present world who did not allow themselves to be deceived like Eve was deceived in the Garden.
These are the ones who laid their lives down, who denied themselves, who took up their cross and followed Jesus into His suffering, who were conformed to His death? at that point in time they will have received honor and glory and exultation, at the coming of the Lord when He comes to receive HIS kingdom.
The salvation of the soul is the salvation of the individual‟s life in the coming age. (Remember soul and life are interchangeable!) Those individuals will rule in the image and likeness of God,
being covered in glory and clothed in splendor and majesty as the wife of Jesus and a first-born son of God.
And THAT is what life in the age to come is. And the opposite of that is DEATH in the age to come.
Job 19: 25 ??I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 26 Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God; 27 Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes shall see and not another??
This is our goal!
This is what we strive for!