Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Christ, the Firstfruits

Scripture: Romans 8 v 23 - 30: "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
 24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
 25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
 26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 
 28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
 30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
1 Corinthians 15 v 22 - 23: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
 23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."

In the days following the Resurrection of Jesus there was rumour and speculation about whether His Body was stolen from the tomb and a false claim made of Jesus being alive again.  The Pharisees had had Him killed to put an end to His ministry that was turning Jews into Christians, even one of their own, Nicodemus, had secretly become born again.

Paul is saying here that if Jesus was not risen from the dead then Christianity is a lie and we are still unforgiven sinners.  In Adam, the Adamic race that began with Him and ended with the death of Jesus, the last Adam and Second Man.  Adam was the First Man.  Everyone born between Adam in Eden and the Cross, was of a lower, base stature with a fallen nature.  Through sin.

The Cross and Resurrection, with our fallen, dead spirits absorbed into Jesus, gave the human race hope of salvation.  The Firstfruit of the new, sinless, spiritually alive, creation is Christ.  He was the firstborn of a new generation who would follow Him into everlasting life.

If He did not die, He could not take our death.  We were born sinners, dead in spirit, which would manifest in our mortal bodies sooner or later.  How this happened and why is because Satan took us hostage and conned us into believing his lies just as he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden.  However, this happened before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1 v 3 - 4: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 
 4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"

The plan of salvation started before the world was formed, and starting at Genesis was the advanced rescue plan to first undo all that Satan had done to us in His effort to dethrone God and rule the universe.

That's why we inwardly groan waiting for the redemption of our spiritual body.  The whole of creation is groaning because everything was warped, poisoned, twisted, maimed, destroyed by the God of this world.  Jesus calls him Satan the Father of Lies.  We all fell because of believing those lies.

Once we are born again we need to renew our minds according to the will of God.  We need to audit the lies and bondage of mind and emotions and fall out of agreement with them.  We need to replace them with truth about Jesus and believe Him.  He said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.  The lie says all paths lead to God.  Which one do you believe?  It will determine your eternal destination.

We also need to become like Jesus and consecrate our bodies to be conformed to Him.  We are pre-destinated to be conformed to Him when we are born again of water and the Spirit.  The instruction goes out to change us to become like Jesus.

We must have His nature which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us: love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, faith, goodness, meekness, gentleness.  I once had these words on a computer screensaver in my office.  A man was sitting in my office while I attended to his colleague.  

Afterwards the friend asked me why those words were on my screen.  I told him it was to keep me reminded of the nature of Jesus.  He broke down saying, I have none of those qualities.  He was convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment by the Holy Spirit and gave his heart to Jesus that very day.

Jesus Christ is our prototype and we must know the Word which is His CV.  And not just know it but use it as a guide for our lifestyle and manner of being.  He was the Son of God who became the Son of Man who returned to Heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father.  We are seated in Christ in heavenly places.  Let us make Him glad He made that sacrifice.  Let us do our best to let Him shine through our changed lives to bring the lost back to Him.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, the firstfruits of a new creation, Christian believers.  Help us to truly reflect everything He planned for each one of us so we conform to Him in mind and body.  In Jesus' name. Amen.