Thursday, December 8, 2016

"Life - As Defined By God"

"Life - As Defined By God"   

   Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ provides many gifts of God's grace to the trusting heart, including the imparting of life, God's life.

   "And you hath He quickened (enlivened) who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).

   Before Christ, we were "alienated from the life of God" (Ephesians 4:18).  We were alive in physical, mental, and emotional terms, of course, and functioned as earthly beings.  According to God's definition of life, however, our experience of mere respiration, brainwave, heartbeat, and bodily motion did not meet the test of genuine living.  He made us to be human temples of His divine presence, birthed and enlivened by His indwelling.  Thus, we "passed from death to life" when we believed, as the living Person of the Holy Spirit inhabited our innermost being (I John 3:14).  A literal spiritual resurrection took place as the Christ of the empty tomb became the Christ of our filled and fulfilled spirits. 

   No other definition of life qualifies for our understanding as Christians, or for our experience of God's vital energizing of our human faculties.  "To live is Christ" declared the Apostle Paul (Philippians 1:21).  Our brother of old knew himself to be something more than simply a physical entity surviving by natural processes.  "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).  Failure to receive and affirm this truth of life in Christ consigns us to limitations that need not hinder born again believers.  Indeed, something far greater than simply forgiveness and assurance of Heaven took place when we believed in the Lord Jesus.  A "new creature" was spiritually born, a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness", and enlivened by the life of God Himself (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24).  The living Lord Jesus became the Life of our lives, and in spiritual terms, we became no less risen from the dead than our blessed Savior.  

    The truth we consider constitutes more than simply principle or doctrine.  We exist as enlivened branches of the most vibrant Vine.  We may not feel such grace, appearances may seem to belie, and our experience does not always coincide with the fact.  Nevertheless, in this moment and forevermore, born again believers are alive in the life of our risen Lord.  He purposes to infuse our earthly humanity with His Heavenly vitality.  "He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:11).  Will we believe?  The answer determines our experience and practice of our Lord's life beyond life that teems with the very power of God.  "The just shall live by faith" declared the Apostle Paul, echoing the Savior's promise of life - His life - as God defines and intends it to be…

"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, of out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:38)

Weekly Memory Verse
    I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.
(Ecclesiastes 3:14)

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