Monday, March 14, 2016

Identity in Christ - 63 (Victorious in Christ)

The passage refers to victory over sin and death.

When God created the world, the world was perfect: no sin, no death, no pain, no disease. When the first people choose to disobey the Father, sin entered the world, and with it, death, pain, and disease.

First, the laws of physical life were disrupted. I don't know how it worked, but it seems like there were "forces" that held back physical decay, and aging. Those "forces" we're somehow extinguished, or overcome. Now, aging, infirmity, and disease were free to act in the world.

Second, the laws of spiritual life were disrupted. Spiritual life is derived from a right relationship with God. All meaning, significance, purpose, joy, peace, and love take as their foundation, a right relationship with God. Sin breaks that relationship. All these things break, and crumble.

Life is not simply continued existence. Death is not simply a cessation. Life and death refer to qualities of existence. Life is a positive existence. Death is a negative existence. Life is derived from a relationship with the Source of life. Death results from being cut off from that Source.

So, Jesus died. It saved us from the penalty of condemnation. It saved us from experiencing death, that is, the loss of meaning, hope, purpose, love, and joy. It saved us, because it created a bridge to the Source of life. It gave us life, because it gave us the Source.

The enemy's goal is our death. Or, in other words, he seeks our misery. He wants to cut us off from life. If we stop seeking God, we stop seeking life. We settle for death.

We are vicgorious, because the enemy cannot cut us off from the Source of life. He cannot stop us from experiencing life. He cannot stop us from experiencing life as we were designed to live.

The best he can do is convince us to stop reaching out. Pretend that we are an slectric appliance. We were designed to toast, to mix, to perk, or to blend. To fulfil our design, we need to be connected to a source of electricity. And someone is trying to convince us to pull the plug, and cut the cord.

"That last smoothie you made was way too lumpy. You don't deserve to use any electricity. Disconnect. Forget what you were designed for."

◆ God's Perspective

God's heart is: people are designed to experience life. He designed us for life. We can only experience life when we are connected to him, whe  we are in relationship to him, when (to refer to a previous post) we join him in the dance.

God knows our failure. But, to be true to his nature and his purposes, he sent Jesus to the cross. And Jesus chose to go to the cross. The reason for the cross is not only his tremendous love for people (though, for that reason alone he would choose to act this way), he also needs to be true to his nature and purposes in creating a spiritual family to have relationship with him. For him to be true to himself, he needs (again, reference to previous post) to get everyone to join in the dance.

The enemy purposes to multiply misery and alienation. The Father purposes to multiply love and joy.

◆ Living My Life

We need to recognize that we have already won, because nothing can sta d in the way of our connecting with God and experiencing life. We can choose to move away from connection, relationship, and life. Or we can choose to move toward those things.

we do fail to embrace life as we should. The small amount of joy revealed in the world is a sure indicator of that. Yet, God works, leads, speaks, and encourages us to step further into the light, into his love.

I have previously mentioned some practices which some people believe should lead us toward him, and the life he desires us to live. A life characterized by transformation, but also characterized by joy. Perhaps we need to invent others. Perhaps we need to fine tune the ones we have.

The enemy attacks, disrupts, and distracts to diminish joy. So, joy is not constant. That doesn't mean we should stop pressing. Joy should flow from the Father / child relationship. If joy is not present, we are not connecting as we should. Or we are permitting interference. Joy (life) must be a natural result of relationship with God.

Don't feel guilty if this is not a picture of your experience. If it is a result of personal sin, then, by all means, repent. But most importantly, re-connect. Join in the dance. And don't be distracted by a lack of immediate results. Just continue to dance. Even the most accomplished dancers still stub their toes.

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