Before we were raised to life in Christ we were dead in our sins.
That’s d-e-a-d, dead.
The only conclusion we can glean from this spiritual truth is that because He raised us from the dead, our life exists only in Christ. Thus, any life in which we attempt to operate outside of Him is really warmed-over death, an illusion. As followers of the Firstborn of the dead, we are to live life not death.
He was raised first of all, then we were raised to follow Him. He lives now and we are to live our lives in Him.
Last fall Thom and I went on a cruise together. While we were eating lunch out on the deck, I had paused to take a sip of my coffee. The ship rocked as an elderly lady passed by our table. She accidentally bumped my elbow causing my coffee to spill down the front of my dress. A younger woman sitting across the isle next to us noticed the blooper and immediately became upset. “God!” she hissed at me, throwing a look of disdain back at the lady, “Doesn’t that just ruin your day?” She stared at me wide-eyed and with her mouth gaping.
As I sat startled at her response she stared at me. As I looked into her eyes my heart went out to her and I caught passing flashes of her angry life while worlds of illustrative ideas for answering her question swirled in and out of my brain (Job 32:18). But before I could get a word out, she had jumped back in to her engrossing conversation with her friend.
I guess I wanted to say to her, “If my life were in the cleanliness of my dress, then yes, I would be very upset.”
Suffice it to say that the angry woman had overlooked the fact that God was ruling the sea and the waves. The elderly lady certainly wasn’t in charge of them. She had no idea that the ship was about to rock. And if she had, she probably would have been more concerned about keeping her fragile balance than bumping my middle-aged elbow. I’ve noticed for certain during my years that the world doesn’t revolve around me, and I seriously suspect that it never will.
I dampened the napkin in my water-glass and wiped off most of the coffee. But the lingering burden of anger and misery that held that woman I found harder to rid. I prayed that she would find her way.
Just between you and me, I thank God my life is not in the cleanliness of anything on this dying planet. To me, that would be terrifying.
Think of it this way. Each of us lives on a tract of land which sits on top of a bottomless oil well. The land plot is your life and the bottomless oil well is the Holy Spirit living within you. Instead of searching, digging and drilling (Matthew 7:7), we rush around fixing things, blaming and attacking people (like the angry woman did) or distracting ourselves from what’s important (Luke 10:40).
We spend our days attempting to keep our unpredictable circumstances under control while our ever-emptying souls remain wanting. We mow our grass, tend our gardens and flocks, and trim our hedges and trees all so nicely. All the while, our wells of Life sit untapped.
Let us not waste the Life that God has provided for us in the power of His Holy Spirit. There is fuel, fire, light and love within waiting to be appropriated. Let’s tap in and live to the full enjoying His blessed provision.
Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.
But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!
He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.
That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood,
AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins
And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions,
We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.
And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.
1 Corinthians 6:14
And God both raised the Lord to life and will also raise us up by His power.
[Thus you were circumcised when] you were buried with Him in [your] baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised Him up from the dead.
IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.