Monday, July 30, 2012

New-Creational Being, G.K.Beale

My husband has been reading a book called "A New Testament Biblical Theology"  by G.K. Beale.  The other day he read me an excerpt which gives an interesting take on the new creation life in Christ:

     "I have concluded that in Rom. 6, Eph. 4, and Col. 3 believers are part of a beginning new creation.  This means that their part in the old creation has been 'laid aside,' and they, though not perfected new creation, are growing in their new-creational existence.  Because they still physically live in the old, material world, and their new-creational being is not completed, sin still dogs them.  However, slowly but surely they are increasingly progressing in their new creational existence.  This means that they are in the process of shaking the sinful shadow of the 'old man' that lingers over them, even though the old man is gone. In a real sense, true believers are still part of the old creation in that they still possess physical bodies, which are being corrupted and will one day die, unless the Lord returns beforehand. Nevertheless, the unseen part of a person, that person's soul or 'spirit' or 'inner man is being renewed day by day.'  To perceive the reality of this increasingly renewed 'inner man' one must' look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.'  Therefore, 'we walk by faith and not by sight' in believing that our resurrection and new-creational existence are true and growing.
     It is crucial to clarify here that Paul is not saying that both an 'old man' and the 'new man' exist together in a person, so that there is a battle between the two inside each Christian. Those who hold such a view conceive that sometimes the 'old man' wins the battle, and sometimes the 'new man' wins. Some would go so far as to say that the 'old man' can dominate a Christian most of the time, so that the 'new man' barely ever shows himself.  Some believe that Rom. 7:15-25 supports such a dual picture."

(And he goes on to explain this in the rest of the chapter.  Very interestingly said....)

from A New Testament Biblical Theology by G.K. Beale

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's no joke!

Living out the Christian life is no laughing matter. It's not a joke.  It's a real battle against the world that seeks to hold us back. This battle, though, is won in Christ alone, not in our striving to win.  We win in our acceptance of His victory. And this victory is complete.   He defeated the evil one and He defeated the power of sin and death. He overcame the world and we overcome the world in Him.  In Him alone we have victory.

Why is it we choose not to enter into this grace?  The grace of God that is in Christ Jesus, who forgave all our sin on the cross.  All of it!   Every thought. Every action. Everything no matter how bad it was.  He forgives it all!  Why do we struggle to receive this grace?  Why do we think we are too bad to be forgiven?  If we choose not to believe, we will struggle.  We may struggle to the point of despair.  But there is no need to despair because there is incredible hope in Christ!!

Pride is at the core of our refusal to accept His grace, as strange as that may sound.  Pride.  Pride to not believe that the death of Christ is sufficient for us.  We are somehow too bad, or have done too many bad things.  Do you we think that God is surprised by our lives?  He formed us and knew us by name before the foundation of the earth.  He saw every moment of our lives.  He heard every thought you would think before it formed in your mind.  He is intimately acquainted with your ways. Every one of them.  He is not surprised.  He knew you were lost and that you were dead in your sin. He knew you needed a Saviour or would be lost forever.  He knew there was nothing good in you and yet.... He loved you anyways.  He loved you when you were an enemy and He sent His Son to die in your place.

In Jesus' death, sin was defeated.  Like in Aslan's death, the stone table was broken and the witch did not know of the deeper magic.  The evil one did not know the deeper truth that death could not hold Jesus. He died for our sin, not His own. And His death and resurrection was sufficient for you... no matter what you have done.

Humility accepts His grace and the gift of righteousness He gives.  Humility knows we were nothing and worthy of death, but by the grace of God, we are made new and righteous by the gift of God in Christ Jesus.  What an amazing grace!!  Those whom the Son sets free are free indeed.  Every one of us.  No matter what!

Let's join together in the celebration of His grace.  Celebration of complete forgiveness.  Celebration of life itself.  This life is found in Jesus alone. He is sufficient for you!   In Him, you have overcome the world and are no longer a slave of sin.  You have been set free and you can live a life beyond your wildest dreams... in Him.  And you are in Him, and He is in you, if the Spirit of God dwells in you.