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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Our Christian Pilgrimage, #13
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:10,11)
The final act of converting the believer from a living soul into a life-giving spirit is the changing of his mortal body into an immortal body. But the prerequisite condition for such change is the change of what the believer is in personality into a life-giving spirit. Such change takes time. It is obvious that the believer cannot live an untransformed life in the world, in sin, and in self-seeking, and then in a moment be clothed with life and become a life-giving spirit.
Not only do we have the bulk of the writings of the Apostles to assure us that it is what we do with Christ after having received Him that determines our destiny in the Kingdom of God, but in addition we have the biblical type of Israel moving from Egypt to Canaan.
We Christians must understand that our transition from mortality to immortality signifies victory. It means that through Christ we have conquered the last enemy.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:26)
The first resurrection, the resurrection that will occur when the Lord returns, must be attained (Philippians 3:11).
If it were true that receiving the immortal, glorified body is a sovereign act of God based on imputed (ascribed) righteousness and unrelated to any change of what we are in personality, there would be no "wilderness experience." In that case, Israel would have left Egypt and entered immediately into Canaan—with no opposition.
The truth is, it is in the wilderness that our entrance into Canaan is decided. It is in the wilderness that we are proven to be either worthy or unworthy of the Kingdom of God. God tests us in the wilderness before He allows us to commence the warfare that drives the enemy out of our land of promise.
Canaan represents our entering the fullness of eternal life—especially in our body. In order to enter eternal life, recovering that which was lost in Eden, we must battle against the spiritual enemies of sin and rebellion that dominate the material creation, including our material bodies.
We are not ready to don immortality in the body, that is, to eat of the tree of life, until our spiritual personality, our body and soul, have arrived at the resurrection from the dead. It would be foolish of God to put the new wine into old wineskins.
As soon as the Son sets us free from the bondages of sin we are ready to enter fullness of life in the Presence of the Father and the Son. We now are living in eternal life. All that we are in personality and in living (barring the residue of the adamic nature) is in Christ and is eternal.
All aspects of our personality, since they are the products of resurrection, having died to the world, to sin, and to self-will, are alive forever. They never can die again. They are not subject to the second death. Abraham has Isaac and his seed forever because Abraham gave them to God and then received them back again.
To be continued.