Thursday, January 26, 2006

3. Resurrection and the Life of Holiness

The Christian’s union with the risen Christ has profound implications for the life holiness. Paul commands believers to: “reckon yourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:11.) The human body is to be used as an instrument of righteousness (6:13). “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of righteousness, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (6:22.)
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The law is not the means by which God makes his people holy. The law is “weak through the flesh” (8:3). It is union with the risen Christ that enables believers to bring forth fruit to God.
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Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another – to him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. (Romans 7:4.)
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The “old man” united to Adam in death and condemnation has been crucified with Christ (6:6). The believer is now to live as a “new man”, united to the Last Adam, in the power of his resurrection, “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24.)
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The body is not to regarded as inherently evil, as taught by Greek philosophy. If the body is inherently evil, why bother struggling against sinful impulses? The only way out is to be rid of the body in death. But the apostle understood that the body of the believer belongs to God. He warned the Corinthians against sleeping with prostitutes on this basis:
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Now the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body. And God raised up the Lord and will raise us up by his power. (1 Corinthians 6:13 & 14.)
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The believer belongs to the Lord both soul and body. “For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (6:20.) The body has been redeemed by Christ’s blood and will be raised up by the power of God.
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As new men in Christ, Christians are to live out life in the body in holiness and righteousness, awaiting the final day of resurrection glory.
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Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us,because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:1-3.)

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