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The Daily Word of Righteousness
When a Christian Dies, #21
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (II Corinthians 4:10)
The believers are hoping to be transformed into Christ's image while they are flying upward in their "rapture." We ought to know better than that. Even a little experience as a disciple of Christ teaches us that it is only as we are brought down into Christ's death that change occurs in our personality.
It is here a little and there a little. Every day we are delivered to death by the Lord so the Life of the Lord may begin to be seen in us. It is command upon command; rule upon rule. Little by little the old nature is slain by the Word of God and little by little the Life of Jesus takes the place of our first personality.
The process of transforming what we are in personality and in behavior is slow but certain. It requires much patience, and sometimes the stress on us is almost more than we can bear.
There is no other way. There is no method for evading the cross and still enter our inheritance. The whole first creation died on the cross with Christ. We can enter the new creation only as our first personality enters the death of Christ.
People today are attempting to enter the Kingdom of God without being transformed. It is true that we come to the cross of Christ as we are. But we do not enter the Kingdom of God, the holy city, as we are. What we are in spirit and soul is not acceptable. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God. It is only as we die in Christ that we can be raised into the eternal Kingdom of God. Only the deceived individual attempts to enter in some other manner.
When the Lord comes we shall be changed. Our spirit, having been strengthened by the Holy Spirit, will be filled with the Presence of the Spirit of God.
Our soul, having died in Christ and been raised in newness of life, will be occupied by the Father and the Son. The King will enter the chambers that have been prepared for Him. The Father and the Son will not enter our old adamic nature but into Christ who has been formed in us (Galatians 4:19).
The most dramatic change will take place in our body. Throughout our pilgrimage on the earth we patiently have held our body down by the Spirit of God, keeping it under submission, knowing it is dead in sin. At the appearing of the Lord our body will be raised from the dead and then clothed with a house of eternal life—a house that has been created as our present body has been sown to the death of the cross.
To be continued.