DEATH, OR LIFE?

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Words of Rightouesness)

DEATH, OR LIFE? Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Every Christian every day chooses death or life. The result of his or her choice will appear in the day of resurrection. The goal of the Christian warfare is to attain to the resurrection to eternal life, particularly eternal life in the body. It is time today for God’s ministers and people to place the kind of experience they will have in the day of resurrection at the forefront of their thinking.

The "rapture" is being preached in our time as though it were a central topic of the New Testament. The truth is, there can be no catching up of the saints until they first have been resurrected, until mortality has been swallowed up by incorruptible resurrection life. It is attaining to the resurrection unto life, not the catching up, that is the central message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Table of Contents

For If Ye Live After the Flesh Ye Shall Die But If Ye Through the Spirit Do Mortify [Put to Death] the Deeds of the Body Ye Shall Live

DEATH, OR LIFE? 

For If Ye

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; (Deuteronomy 30:5)

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)

"For if ye." Who are the "ye" spoken of in Romans 8:13? This is an important question.

The writings of the Apostle Paul, as well as the other Apostles of Christ, contain lists of sins and warn us that if we continue in these sins we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Because of today’s gross overemphasis on grace, grace being defined only as unconditional forgiveness or an all-inclusive panacea, these lists are viewed as being directed at unconverted people. If we are saved by unconditional forgiveness, and God sees us only through Christ, then the Apostles could not be referring to us when they warn that those who continue in sin will die spiritually, will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

It is difficult to realize how well-intentioned believers who believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures could ever have arrived at such tortured reasoning.

We must establish, first of all, that the "ye," in Romans 8:13, is speaking to Christians and only to Christians. The greeting at the beginning of Romans tells us to whom the Book is addressed. 

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)

Numerous statements in the first eight chapters of Romans indicate that Paul is writing to Christians, in particular, Jewish Christians.

The verse that precedes Romans 8:13, shows that Paul is speaking to the "brethren," not to people who are not Christians. 

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (Romans 8:12)

That the "ye" are Christians is established by the fact that they have the opportunity to attain to life by putting to death the deeds of their body. The unsaved have no such opportunity.

The "ye" are Christians. This is true of all the writings of the Apostles. The several warnings that those who continue in sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God are all addressed to Christians. 

Live After the Flesh

What does it mean to live after the flesh?

There are only two ways in which a human being can live. One way is after the flesh. The other way is after the Spirit of God. It is God’s will that ultimately all saved people walk after the Spirit of God.

To walk after the flesh is to occupy the great bulk of our life with the things of the animal creation. The animal eats. The animal sleeps. The animal works. The animal plays. The animal reproduces. This is the life of the animal.

The human body is well pleased when we eat, sleep, work, play, and reproduce. If our soul is taking its orders from the body (instead of from the Holy Spirit) the soul also is well pleased when we eat, sleep, work, play, and reproduce.

In the American culture, the ideal life is that of lying on the beach, soaking up the sun, perhaps drinking beer, viewing half-naked people playing volleyball, and also watching a program on a portable television. American people are willing to work hard so one day they can live in Florida or California lying on the beach without having financial worries.

Or, they may choose to travel around the country in a mobile vacation home enjoying the change in scenery and location.

This is the American way of life. This is the life of the adamic, animal creation. This is the way of spiritual death.

While the things we have mentioned are not always considered to be sin they often lead to sin. Satan and his demons have a picnic when people are living in the appetites of the flesh and having "fun." Whenever the demons choose they provoke such vacationers to fornicate, commit adultery, kill someone, lie, cheat, steal, gossip, slander, imagine vain things, dwell on that which is morally filthy, and otherwise break all the commandments of the Lord.

This is the way American Christians often spend their time. This is because we have been taught error.

There is nothing we have to do in order to live in the flesh. Living in the flesh is the natural life of the adamic man. The adamic man is a double-minded moral weakling, a coward, a glutton. He is filled with self-love, self-centeredness, self-seeking, self-will, self, self, self! He is covetous and filled with malice and bitterness.

However, there is much we have to do if we would live in the Spirit of God. We must say with our mouth that Jesus is our personal Lord. We must greet each new day with the determination to walk in the will of God, to abide in Christ, to bring every thought into captivity to Christ.

We must spend some time each day meditating in the Scriptures. We must take some time each day to wait on the Lord. We must never get so busy there is no opportunity during the day to look up to the Lord and seek His face.

We must attend the assembly of fervent Christians on a regular basis. People who claim they can stay home and worship God are deceived. We must worship with other Christians, fervent Christians not just pew-warmers.

We must give generously of our means to the work of the Lord. We must desire the gifts of the Spirit so we may minister to our fellow members of the Body of Christ. We must always be ready to obey the Lord whenever and wherever he calls us.

We must present our body a living sacrifice in order to prove the will of God for our own life. We must refrain from being conformed to the world but must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. This means we must very carefully guard what we see on television and the Internet, what we hear on the radio, what we read in books and magazines.

We must be quick to confess our sins to the Lord, and to one another when indicated. We must seek the face of the Lord each day, always pressing forward toward a greater knowledge of Christ.

We must be willing to carry our part of the load of the sufferings of Christ.

We must remain in the prison in which the Lord places us, for in order to break out of God’s prison we have to break God’s laws.

We must read the words of Christ and His Apostles and go to the Throne of Grace constantly in order that we may receive wisdom and strength to overcome the evil of the day.

We must do all things without murmuring and complaining, striving to keep peace and unity among the members of our assembly.

We must awake to righteousness and cease our sinning. The Spirit of God will help us when we resolutely determine to do this.

We can see from the above that it requires no effort on our part to live after the flesh, after the adamic, animal personality. But to live after the Spirit of God demands our full attention at all times.

Ye Shall Die

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)

"Ye shall die." What does this mean, "ye shall die"?

We have established that "ye" is referring to Christians. Is Paul saying that if Christians live after the flesh they will die physically? Of course not! Christians will die physically whether or not they live after the flesh.

What is the context indicating? 

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (Romans 8:10-12)

If we are a Christian our physical body is dead, cut off from God, because there is sin dwelling in it. But our new born-again inward nature is alive because of righteousness. The righteousness of the Law of Moses has been ascribed to our inward nature because we are choosing to obey a new law, the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. Righteousness always is followed by eternal life. 

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

Our body is spiritually dead. Our new inward nature is spiritually alive because it is righteous. It is righteous because the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to it. The righteousness of Christ has been imputed to it because it trusts in Christ and is walking after the Spirit of God.

Numerous believers of our day are not walking after the Spirit of God. They are living after the flesh. Therefore the righteousness of Christ is not being ascribed to them. The righteousness of the Law of Moses is imputed only to those who walk after the Spirit.

A spiritually dead body. A spiritually alive inward nature.

But now what do we find? 

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

If the life of our inward nature depends on righteousness being imputed to us, then if we lose the imputed righteousness by behaving in a lawless manner our inward nature dies. If our inward nature dies and the Spirit of God no longer is dwelling in us, then our mortal body will not be made alive by God’s Spirit in the day of resurrection. This is what Paul is saying in Romans 8:13. If all of this is true, and it is, then the kind of resurrection from the dead we are going to have is being directly affected by the kind of life we are living today.

There is no truth of the Scriptures more lacking than that concerning the impact of our life today on the kind of resurrection we will experience in the Day of the Lord. The trumpet needs to be blown in Zion!

But If Ye Through the Spirit

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)

The eighth chapter of the Book of Romans is the culmination of Paul’s argument against the Judaizers found in chapters two through seven. Paul has been declaring that the Law of Moses has been superseded by the Spirit of God. Whereas the Law of Moses was our guardian to bring us to Christ, now the Spirit of God is our guardian to bring us to Christ.

Every aspect of the new covenant, from the crucifixion of Christ through to the coming down to earth of the new Jerusalem, is the work of the Holy Spirit of God.

Paul, in Chapter Eight of Romans, is emphasizing the necessity for bringing every aspect of our life under the control of the Spirit of God. If we do not do this we fall back to our adamic state, which is subject to the Law of Moses. Also, we will slay our new born-again inward nature. The result of returning to our adamic state is incomprehensible loss in the day of resurrection.

After we pass Romans 8:13 we move ahead, in the same chapter, to the revealing of the sons of God and the adoption of our physical body. But all of this glory hinges on our faithfulness in living in the Spirit of God. Even our freedom from condemnation depends on our living in the Spirit of God. 

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

We are free from the law of sin and death (which is the Law of Moses interacting with the sin that dwells in our flesh) on the condition we obey the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. When we are not obeying the law of the Spirit we are not partaking of the new covenant. This is true whether or not we profess belief in Christ. God will have no child who is under neither the Law of Moses nor the law of the Spirit of Life.

It is true also that living according to the Law of Moses is no longer possible because animal sacrifice was an integral aspect of the Law of Moses and animal sacrifice no longer is being practiced.

But we who walk in the Spirit of God do have access to the blood of atonement shed by God’s Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The key to daily pressing into eternal life, which is the only manner in which we can attain to the resurrection of the royal priesthood, the first resurrection from the dead, is the Holy Spirit.

It may be well to emphasize at this point that deliverance from sin is accomplished only as we are faithful to the Holy Spirit! Deliverance is our reward for obeying the Spirit. Eternal life is the consequence of the righteous behavior that results from our being delivered from sin. Thus there is a double reward.

The first reward is deliverance from sin. The second reward, eternal life, is based on our receiving the first reward.

When we are revealed at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will receive the things we have done in our body. What we have done will have resulted either in eternal life or corruption. We shall be clothed in the day of resurrection either with eternal life or with corruption.

The kind of resurrection we have depends on what we have done with the Holy Spirit. 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)

Do Mortify [Put to Death] the Deeds of the Body

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)

There are several passages of the New Testament that list the deeds of the body. 

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:29-32)

For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed. (II Corinthians 12:20,21)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:3-7)

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; (Colossians 3:5-9)

These are the deeds of the flesh. These are the sins listed in the New Testament

What are we to do about them? We are to put them to death. If we do not, through the Holy Spirit, put them to death, we will die spiritually in the present hour. In the day of resurrection we will receive corruption.

If we as a Christian practice moral filthiness in the present hour we will receive moral filthiness in the day of resurrection.

If we as a Christian practice hatred and strife in the present hour we will receive hatred and strife in the day of resurrection.

If we as a Christian practice lying and deceit in the present hour we will receive lying and deceit in the day of resurrection.

If we as a Christian practice gossip and slander in the present hour we will receive gossip and slander in the day of resurrection.

When we are made manifest at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will receive back the things practiced by our body, whether good, or evil and corrupt.

If it is true that we are going to receive, in the Day of Resurrection, the behavior we have practiced while living on earth, then we are wise if we practice the behavior we wish to reap.

There is far, far too much emphasis being placed today on the initial act of making a profession of Christ, as though the initial profession were all there is to salvation.

Salvation is a program of redemption. It begins when we make a profession of faith in Christ. It continues throughout our lifetime. We have to work out our salvation. We work it out by putting to death the deeds of the body and laying hold on the virtue of Christ.

We are not saved until we endure to the end.

We are not made a partaker of Christ until we hold fast the beginning of our confidence to the end of our discipleship.

How do we, through the Spirit, put adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, covetousness, gossip, slander, drunkenness, profanity, hatred, bitterness, strife, to death through the Spirit of God?

We begin to follow the Spirit while we are living in the state of freedom from condemnation, given to us on the basis of the atonement made on the cross of Calvary.

As we pray, read the Bible, attend the assembly of fervent believers, the Spirit of God will point out some area of worldliness, lust, or disobedience in our personality. Have you had that happen to you recently? You probably did for we now are entering a period of judgment, the spiritual fulfillment of the Levitical Day of Atonement.

Let us say the Spirit shows you there is bitterness and unforgiveness in your personality.

We know that Christ has commanded us to forgive those who sin against us. We know also that we are to be filled with love, joy, and peace, not with unforgiveness and bitterness.

Our first action in putting to death unforgiveness and bitterness is to confess these as sin. We are to confess with our mouth that we have unforgiveness and bitterness in our personality and that these are sin. They are not psychological quirks or deficits or anything else. They are sin and we have been commanded to put them to death.

We certainly do not desire to be clothed with unforgiveness and bitterness in the day of resurrection!

When we confess unforgiveness and bitterness as sin we are passing judgment on these actions. This is why it is so extremely important to confess our sins as sin. The things hidden in our personality must be brought out into the open and judged for what they are. Until we bring them into the open and declare them to be sin we will never get rid of them. Otherwise they will be made manifest at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the Day of the Lord.

Having confessed them as sin we then are to ask the Lord to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

We are to be resolute about these actions! We are to confess our sins to God clearly and we are to denounce them and ask God to remove them from us.

Now the battle is joined. The Spirit of God begins the program of redemption that will lead to total, perfect deliverance from unforgiveness and bitterness.

We may be instantly, totally delivered the moment we confess and repent. This happens sometimes. The particular sin is removed from our personality root and branch.

In other situations there may be a prolonged battle. The Spirit may bring up related behaviors in our personality, such as anger. Our task is to follow the Spirit, read our Bible, pray, serve, give, as we have said. There is no quick easy way to put to death every sin. Some go quickly. Other deliverances may require years.

In the meantime we will find that once we have confessed and denounced a sin its immediate power over us is greatly weakened. If we then keep on serving the Lord as a Christian disciple, remaining diligent, we can keep the particular behavior under control. We will grow in freedom from bitterness and in the ability to forgive those who formerly infuriated us.

The Christian life is one long working out of our salvation, our salvation from worldliness, lust, and self-seeking. Day by day death and life struggle for mastery over our personality. As we walk in the Spirit of God we find that we indeed can gain victory over the sin that seeks to keep us in bondage. 

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)

We are not to strive hopelessly against all the sin in our personality. We are to follow the Spirit. The Spirit will point out to us the particular area to be dealt with, just as the Lord directed Joshua against one city at a time.

As we engage in spiritual warfare we remain without condemnation. God’s promise is that if we walk after the Spirit in this manner the righteousness of the Law of Moses will continually be imputed to us. 

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

We put every behavior to death through the Spirit. The Israelites failed to fully possess their land because they did not persevere until total victory was theirs. Instead they compromised with the Canaanites. The result was destruction!

Let us learn by their example. Never, never, never compromise with the sin in your personality. Confess it as sin. Bring it to the Lord for forgiveness and cleansing. The Holy Spirit in His time and way will enable you to put it all to death, one area at a time as He leads. There is to be no exception. All sin is to go. One little sin can bring you down to defeat at some important part of your life. Remember Achan!

Ye Shall Live

Obviously the Apostle was not speaking of living physically because we live physically whether or not we put to death the deeds of our body. In any case the context reveals that the issue here is spiritual life, in particular the making alive of the mortal body.

If we live after the flesh we will kill our own spiritual life and consequently produce a resurrection of corruption. 

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

Far more than is realized in our day, the purpose of our Christian life is to attain to the resurrection to eternal life, in particular, the crown of life and righteousness.

The Apostle Paul toward the end of his life was seeking to attain to the first resurrection from the dead. 

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:11)

The resurrection of the dead, the out-resurrection that is the subject here, must be attained. It is not gained by making an initial profession of belief in Christ. If it were, Paul would not still be seeking such perfection after serving the Lord for so many years. 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

Let us think for a moment what it means to "attain unto the resurrection [out-resurrection] of the dead."

After we receive the forgiveness of sins through the blood atonement made by Christ, and are baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit, we find that we now have a choice. We can continue to live as an adamic man, our mind being involved with the things of this world. 

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

Or we can begin to enter into the things of the Spirit of God by praying earnestly each day, meditating in the Scriptures, and having fellowship with fervent Christians.

We can seek to save our life, or we can present our body a living sacrifice that we may prove the will of God for ourselves, finding what area of service He has in mind for us.

After having been a Christian for fifty-two years it is our opinion that there are few believers who truly are presenting their body a living sacrifice, who are taking up their cross and following the Master. There are some, but they are but a handful compared with the number of people who profess faith in Christ. This is true in the United States of America. Whether it is true in other countries we are not qualified to say.

As we learn to walk in the Spirit, being guided and helped by godly elders (for walking in the Spirit is an art that requires many years to perfect; and there are dangers!), we find we have in our personality a tendency to look to the things of the world for our security and survival, there are lusts, passions, and appetites in our flesh that are not holy, and we have a strong will that is determined to accomplish its own desires.

These three areas, trust in the world, fleshly lusts, and self-will bring spiritual death.

As we are faithful in cooperating with the Spirit in overcoming the world, our flesh, and our self-will we are given to eat of the body and blood of Christ. We increase daily in eternal life. Christ is formed in us. The adamic personality continually is being crucified. This is what it means to attain to the out-resurrection from the dead.

As the sins in our personality are brought to our attention, and we confess and renounce them, we actually are passing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. If we are faithful in confessing and renouncing our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These sins never will be brought up again. It is an eternal judgment.

Since we have been sealed by the Spirit to the day of redemption, and since the Scripture teaches that to those who look for Him the Lord will appear the second time without sin unto salvation, it seems safe to say that the sins that have not been dealt with during our lifetime because of lack of time, or for some other reason, will be removed by the Lord when He appears, on the basis that we have been faithful in every opportunity we have had. 

And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4)

But if we have not cooperated with the Holy Spirit when He has pointed out our sins to us, have not confessed and renounced our sins, have not taken up our cross and followed the Master, we will receive the evil we have practiced. We have not been faithful in the lesser, we will not be trusted with the greater. We have wasted the talent given to us. The outer darkness will be our portion.

If we have been faithful in confessing and renouncing our sins, then, in the day of resurrection, we will be clothed with a sparkling white garment of righteous deeds. 

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)

If in addition to being faithful in confessing and renouncing our sin we were faithful in entering the sufferings of Christ so that His resurrection life could spill over to those around us, thus turning many to righteousness, we will receive not only a white robe of righteous deeds but also a crown of eternal life and righteousness. When we are crowned with eternal life and righteousness we will possess the authority and power to command righteousness throughout the area of the creation of God assigned to us. 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (II Timothy 4:8)

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

In order to participate in the first resurrection, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, we must be cleansed from sin to the point that the second death, the Lake of Fire, which has authority over sin, no longer has authority over us. 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power [authority], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

The thrones that govern the creation of God are reserved for those who attain to the crown of life and righteousness. 

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

The Apostle Paul was seeking to attain to the out-resurrection, the resurrection that will take place when the Lord appears. He continually brought his physical body under subjection so he would not sin and thus be disqualified. Paul had a keen appreciation of the value of the rewards assigned to the overcomer.

How about you and me? Are we willing to lay all else aside that we may learn to live by the power of Christ’s resurrection and to share Christ’s suffering—suffering that is continuing to this day as Christ is pressed by the evil in the creation?

Will we count all else as garbage that we may win Christ and be found in Him, not having the righteousness that comes from keeping the Law of Moses but the righteousness given to everyone who trusts in Christ and follows the Spirit of God?

Will it be death or life for you and me?

It will be death if we choose to live in our adamic nature.

It will be a glorious resurrection filled with incorruptible life in spirit, soul, and body if we choose to walk each day in the Spirit of God, looking to the Lord Jesus in all that we think, say, and do.

Death or life! It’s up to you and me to decide.