The Resurrected Life

“The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus.” (Romans 5:20-21)

As it was once, Adam, the root of all mankind, walked in the paradise of the Garden of Eden. The crown of God’s creation living in perfect harmony with nature, in communion with his partner in life, and in prefect fellowship with his creator, God. Adam was obedient to the will of God as he subdued the earth and “ruled over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” The Grace of God reigned through the righteousness of His children, Adam and Eve.

Then in the midst of this perfect world Satan in the form of a serpent entered into the Garden and twisted the truth of God’s Word. Satan the Archangel who was the musician that led the praise and worship of the most High God. Satan who became full of himself and thought that he should be as God and fell from God’s grace. “You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you. “By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you. “By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of your trade You profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, And I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you. “All who know you among the peoples Are appalled at you; You have become terrified And you will cease to be forever.” (Ezekiel 28:13-19) Satan who now sought vengeance on his creator by destroying His creation. Satan who would now tempt man with the same sin that he had fallen into, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16) That if Adam and Eve would eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they too could be as God. Oh! That boastful pride of life, they no longer served the creator but now served themselves. They lusted after their flesh and were ashamed of the thoughts that entered into their minds, yet desired it. They looked upon the world not as that of God’s creation but that it was theirs to possess and exploit. Sin entered into the heart of man and the pure blood of life was tainted and now sin reigned in death, just as God had warned them. (Genesis 2:17) From that time forward till now, man who received the breath of life, (Genesis 2:7) would now face death at the end of his days. Where man was formed and created into life would now forward be born into death. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) Death is the inheritance of natural man.

What is sin? Sin it the transgression of God’s teaching, it is disobedience towards His will, and it is the rebellion of the creation against the creator. Sin is the immoral act against God’s Divine Law. God’s divine law does not cause us to sin and we are not sinners because of God’s Law. Man sinned in the Garden long before the law was written. It was not the law that caused us to sin. We read the truth of this in the book of Deuteronomy, “Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 9:7) Sin is rebellion against God and His Word. It is not the law that causes us to sin but the inherited sinful nature of man that tempts him into sin. Natural man lives with a heart that is sick and in desperate need of healing. “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) when the heart of a man is sick it leads a man’s mind into evil thoughts continuously. The mind of man is blinded to the truth by the corruption of his heat.

The law reveals our sin. By reading God’s Word we learn how we are to live and also how not to live. God’s law, teaching, is written in the context of His love. There is no teaching from God that is not good and perfect in its instruction of how to have the abundant life. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) By the study of God’s Word we are training ourselves how to live a righteous life. The more we study God’s Word the more we realize how sinful behavior has permeated into our lives. The closer we come to our righteous Lord the more the sin in our life repulses us. With our increased awareness of sin God’s grace abounds all the more. No matter how much we have sinned in the past or stumble today we cannot out sin God’s Grace. Paul had a thorn in the flesh and prayed that God would remove it from his life but the Lord answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) This does not mean that we can willfully sin and go on living our life in the old self. There are those that believe that we are free from the law and can live our lives without regard to God’s Word. They believe that by continuing in sin they are giving God the opportunity to show His grace. This is not true as the scripture reads, “sin reigned in death” and the wage for sin is death. (Romans 6:23) By the grace of God we are freed from the law of sin which is death. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:2) Our faith in Jesus Christ requires trust and obedience in His Word.

Whereas, “sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness.” By seeking the Lord’s Kingdom and His righteousness His grace will reign in our lives and His provision will equip us to do His will in our lives. (Matthew 6:33) As we grow in righteousness, as we trust and obey God’s Word our hearts change from its evil desire for the things of this world and hungers for the things of the greater world to come. When the heart of man is healed through the love of God’s Word, Jesus Christ, the mind is renewed to good moral thinking. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

This is the desire of everyone who follows Jesus, to grow from the evil person we were into the perfect image of Him who we serve. To again be as we once were in the Garden of Eden to be in perfect fellowship with the Father. By our baptism of faith we were buried with Him into death that we might be free from the reign of death because of the sin in our life, that we can also be raised from death through Him to walk in a newness of life. (Romans 6:4) We do not like the thought of being a slave, but we all are. We are slave to that which our heart desires. If we love this world, then we are slaves to this world and in the end of our days we will have nothing but our own destruction. If our heart has a hunger for the Kingdom of God and we love seeking His righteousness, then we will share an inheritance of the richness of God’s glory. We cannot be slaves to both, it is for us to choose our destiny. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24)

Our resurrection may be seen as sometime in the future, and it is but it is also now. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2) We shall be made perfect by the righteousness of Jesus but we should be growing towards His righteousness now. As we have died to sin with Him and are free from the reign of death, we should be living our life through Jesus seeking His righteousness that God’s grace can reign upon us.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, May 7, 2014

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