The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Change of Life ( from Death )

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 
(John 5:24 NKJV)

This is well-accepted by the majority of orthodox theology in all of its glory, but for the most part is stated merely as an 'already-not-yet', or that was it simply meant to comfort those first-century believers that they had been transferred from the ministration of death to the Kingdom of Life! Most if not all orthodox Christians accept this Truth, like the Truth of the Resurrection and other closely related Truths, as an Already Accomplished Fact, but Not Yet a Present Reality!

The Death of Adam, to the minds of most Christians, is primarily physical, biological death, brought on by The Curse! Though most orthodox theologians acknowledge the spiritual nature of this 'death' ( 'in the day you eat' ), it is averred by the majority that this separation was significant of the biological death brought on, or so it is presumed, by this Curse!

Several problems may immediately be noted with this view, most glaringly, maybe, that the apostle Paul tells us that it is 'first the natural, then the spiritual', not the other way around. In the same manner, Jesus told Nicodemus that unless one is born of water ( natural birth ) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven ( Life )'. It was the Curse of Spiritual, or Separational Death from which Adam's Race must be healed, not the separation of the body & spirit!

The Natural of which the apostle wrote in I Corinthians 15  was a reference to that first ( covenant-Hebrews 8:4 ) or contract, that which became The Ministration of Death for Israel according to the Flesh, or Israel under the Law! The Spiritual, in natural succession of course, referred to the New Covenant in Christ. This New Covenant, of which Jesus was not only the Mediator, but really, the Personification, was A Covenant of Marriage, The Marriage of Heaven & Earth!

The Curse of Adam, to die the day he partook of the forbidden fruit, was fulfilled, not in the expiration of his biology in the day he ate, but rather in that he was removed from the blessedness of The Presence in the Garden! From that day forth, he would have to labor for his sustenance, with the sweat of his brow obtaining his meager existence; no longer would he enjoy the Restfulness & Ease of the Immediate Presence of God!

In Christ, or The New Covenant, Adam's Race was restored to that Communion with his Creator which he had enjoyed in the Garden; the Death which he had experienced in the Garden had been changed into Life!

Another problem, and possibly even more troubling, which we may note with the belief that biological expiration was brought by the Curse is the fact that with this doctrine is included the partial ( incomplete ) salvation of His people! If Jesus' Resurrection ( from biological death ) was His Victory, then, since Christians still physically expire, our salvation from the death of Adam is indeed 'already not yet'; the salvation of The Israel of God is not yet complete, and we have not been made a new creation!

The Witness of Scripture seems to say something else though; the writer to the Hebrews told them that they had been 'perfected forever' ( 10:14 ). Note that the perfection spoken of here is not ( necessarily ) as we tend to define it, especially in this day & age. The Perfection of which the apostle wrote here is the Perfection, or Completeness of the Body of Christ! As individuals, though we are doubtless part of the New Creation, we are very obviously NOT a New ( biological ) Creation!  ( Anyone suffering through any sort of physical ailment related to their biology can attest to this! )

Although the biological Body of Jesus was raised from Death and given New Life, this Resurrection was not indicative of A Reversal of the Curse! By restoring Adam's Race to Full Communion with their Creator through Covenant, Jesus had already orchestrated that Great Reversal! 'So why raise His physical Body if He had simply defeated Spiritual or Separational Death?' you might ask. Think about it this way then, if Jesus physical, biological Body had remained in The Grave, do you think those weak, unbelieving Jews would have been able to 'see' that He had defeated Death?!

Since, as Scripture makes so plain, and as the Body of Christ, we HAVE passed from Death to Life, and ARE a ( made ) New Creation, we must see that it is not our biology that needs to be redeemed, for biological death, as any biologist can tell you, is a necessary part of biological life. Since we have, as a Body, been fully redeemed, why do so many Christians have trouble seeing this glorious fact?

As we ponder the answer to this troubling question, and other related questions, let us remember that all our questions will be answered in God's Good Time! We may be frustrated and even get a bit miffed by the ignorance & stubbornness of those who cannot 'see' this glorious fact, but we must not let our impatience, even our idolatry, get the best of us; as always, we must respond to this blindness with the Love & Understanding of the Spirit Within Us!

Charles Haddon Shank

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