Friday, August 19, 2011

Greater than Death

"The benefactors, those who are given unending, undeserved goodness and unmerited perfection, in Jesus are (and will be) more powerful in life than death itself, which has had power over mankind through Adam." This is my understanding of Rom. 5:17. The result of Jesus' person and work is far greater in its accomplishments than the results of Adam's sin on mankind and creation. This is a phenomenal concept with radical implications. This claim is extraordinary.

Sin damned the race of men. It ravaged a perfect world. Sin crowned as king an alien, destructive enemy of mankind, death, to war against life. Death was given power like none other. It reigns over kings, emperors, dictators, and generals. Excepting Christ, none has mastered this 'master of the world.' It brings the great and powerful low, placing great and small on the same plain before its dark throne. Death reminds us that we are a broken and weak race. Its long terrible arm is inescapable.

And God subjected creation and mankind to this ruler, knowing that He would place himself under its power to restore that which had been broken. He tasted the pitiless, uncaring power of death in order to disarm its power and replace it with a greater power, a power He gives to all that love and trust in His finished work on the cross. He gives us greater gifts, than the ones that were robbed from us by sin. What we lost, we lost so that we could receive that which is greater. What we experience in this life because of sin in the world, we go through in order to glory in the good gifts we have received in Christ. The greatest of these gifts being Himself. Our reign, our rule with Christ begins in this life and is brought into fullness and completeness in the next. We can, each moment of every day, experience the power and fullness of God in this life that is greater in its power than death's own tyranny. Our good gifts are abundant grace and the perfection of Jesus given to us freely in the person of Jesus.

Drink deeply of the concept of abundant grace! Grace is the idea that goodness in being shown to those whom do not deserve it. That's you and me. The term "abundant grace" used in Rom. 5:17 communicates that there is such an abundance of God's goodness shown to you in His Son, Jesus, you will never be able to exhaust this eternal source of grace. You and I can drink our fill beginning in this life and spanning all of eternity. Grace implies that you and I will never deserve it, but regardless it will be shown to those of us who are in Jesus. This means that as Christians we never wear out our welcome with God. We are not required to clean ourselves to receive God's favor, instead we clean ourselves up because of God's favor already has been shown to us. We are simply becoming what God has already made us in His Son. Our appetites will never be ambitious nor ravenous enough to indulge ourselves past what is freely available in Jesus. We may daily drink deeply filling ourselves with the beauty and majesty of God revealed in face of Jesus Christ until we are saturated to our core, yet there in an infinite surplus remaining for us.

The goodness shown in Christ which is unending and undeserved is more powerful than the sin which unqualifies and brings death. Whether we embrace this or not, we Christians are kings and queens of the earth in Christ. We get to experience the power and fullness of life which is greater than what death can steal, because it cannot be stolen by death. Christ has accomplished more than what Adam lost for humanity. If we lose everything in this life but still have Christ, we still have everything.

May your life's ambition be summed up in these words that you might reign in this life:
"It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be ashamed but that with full courage now, as always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death (Phil. 1:20)."

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