What is God’s answer for the sin problem of mankind. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Johns 3:16). We are sinners in need of a savior. God sent us his beloved son, Jesus, as our rescuer. We can’t save ourselves. We are saved by believing, and trusting in what Jesus has done for us.
The ugliness of Man’s sinfulness is compounded by the intensity of God’s holiness. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In order for a sinful man to have a relationship with a holy God something extraordinary must bridge the gap between our sinfulness and God’s holiness – his name is Jesus!
To appreciate the good news of God’s Gospel we need to understand man’s need. The apostle Paul writes, “You were (spiritually) dead in your trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). He goes on to say, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ … having no hope and without God in the world” (v 12). Those are powerful words: dead … separated … no hope … without God. There was nothing we could do to remedy our situation. Man’s need is total, not partial.
After unpacking the wonderful and mysterious truths of the Risen Life in Ephesians chapters 1-3, the Apostle Paul then writes, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Eph. 4:1). In other words, we are to live out the reality of all that God has accomplished on our behalf. We are to embrace by faith what God has revealed and make daily choices to conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of all that He has done on our behalf. We are to believe what God has revealed and behave in alignment with that reality.
Based on all that God has accomplished on our behalf (Risen Life Realities) we are called to walk in obedience to Him, walking in a Christlike way (Risen Life Responsibilities). All the exhortations and commands in the New Testament depend upon us having been spiritually raised from the dead with Christ. We are empowered to fulfill Risen Life Responsibilities by relying upon and walking in Risen Life Realities.
Paul identifies a number of spiritual realities that are true of every believer in Jesus Christ because we have been raised with Him. We are resurrection men and women who have been given the righteousness of God; we have been set free from the domination of sin and the condemnation of the law; we have been filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to contribute to the vitality of the Body of Christ. The list of Risen Realities goes on and on. However, we cannot walk in the realities of the Risen Life if we do not know what they are.
Every believer in Jesus Christ has been spiritually raised from the dead. We are to walk in obedience to God relying on the resurrection power that He has exercised toward us. The Apostle Paul calls Christians to Christlike living based on the reality of having been raised with Christ (Colossians 3). That’s risen obedience.
The Apostle Paul fervently prayed that the believers in Ephesus would grasp what God had done on their behalf. He wanted them to understand that God had exercised the same resurrection power on them, at their salvation, as he had exercised on Jesus when he raised him from the dead! Every believer in Jesus has been raised with Christ (Eph. 2:4-6).
How has God uniquely gifted you to build into the health of your church family? God wants to express himself through you in a way that brings you joy and enhances the vitality of the Body. Join me as we pray for your role in your church.