Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

2 Corinthians Day 4 - Two Kinds of New Life

1:8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

There is a lot of confusion about death today in and outside of Christianity but Paul was not confused at all. He knew both kinds of death and who the Life Giver is. The first death is the one we are physically born into. We are alive in body and mind but are dead toward God. His grace sustains our physical life while His Spirit pursues us to bring us back from spiritual death. Paul was raised religious. He was a devout and zealous Pharisee but He didn't know God. In fact he was so blind and dead towards God that he was actively hunting those who actually knew God, all the while thinking he was doing God a favour.

When people are drowning it is often necessary to knock them unconscious in order to rescue them. In their panic they risk drowning themselves and their rescuer. Paul (Saul) was in a panic trying desperately to squash Christianity in order to preserve the empty religion he had inherited. He was dead toward God. God found him, confronted him, and brought him to life. This is the first resurrection. Paul said plainly "I was dead in trespasses and sins" even though as a religious person he was "blameless". It's possible to be perfect in the eyes of bad religion while being an enemy of God.

Now the context of Paul's words in this letter to Corinth is suffering for the sake of Christ. He had been through a terrible ordeal in Asia that nearly cost him his physical life. In that dark experience his trust was in the same God who resurrected him the first time. If God can raise us from spiritual blindness and death, He will surely raise us from physical death. 

Notice the verb tenses Paul uses:

"Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us (past tense) from so great a death (spiritual death), and does deliver us(present tense from the remnants of our old selves); in whom we trust that He will still deliver (future tense).

God has delivered from the death of not knowing Him. He is delivering us from the person we were and that is fighting to stay alive. He will deliver us from whatever Satan does to us, even physical death.

God has our back. He has every problem and possible problem covered. What hope. What a God. What a Saviour!

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