Part 9 - "Death"
Why faith? Death provides a significant answer in a meaning that relates not to our physical demise and departure from this present life, but to a current condition referenced by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans.
"If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh" (Romans 8:10-12).
I find this one of the most fascinating passages in Scripture. Paul begins his statement with "If Christ be in you." Clearly referencing born again believers in the Lord Jesus, we might expect the Apostle to continue his affirmation in the most positive terms. However, he rather declares our bodies to be "dead because of sin." By this, Paul means that our flesh inherited from Adam remains with us during our current earthly lifetime, including a "law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:23). Our spirits are alive because of Christ's indwelling presence and righteousness. However, our earthly members and faculties retain the death of their tendency to sin to such a degree that Paul diagnoses their condition not in terms of weakness or illness, but of death. That is, apart from the Spirit of Christ working in us to impart His life to our mental, emotional, volitional, and physical components, we can do nothing of genuine faith and faithfulness to God. Dead.
By faith, we access the risen life of the Lord Jesus that indwells our spirits. As we trust the Lord to quicken (enliven) our mortal bodies, He works in us to enable a life that is His life revealed in us. One day our earthly members and faculties will "put on incorruption" and enter into the same direct presence of God that already characterizes our spirits (I Corinthians 15:53). But not yet. Presently, we are living spirits who dwell in dead bodies (again, referring to our body's complete inability to do the will of God, and our complete dependence on Christ's resurrection life to enliven obedience to God). We require the risen Lord Jesus no less for the living of the Christian life than we needed Him for our salvation and the beginning of relationship with Him. "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6). Why faith? Life and death provide the answers, the life of Christ as revealed in dead bodies enabled by "the power of His resurrection" as we trust and submit to God (Philippians 3:10). Thereby we think, speak, act, and relate in a manner that glories Him and reveals the risen Lord Jesus in His overcoming of death not only 2,000 years ago, but in this day and this moment.
"Without Me ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(John 15:5; Philippians 4:13)
Weekly Memory Verse
"In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."