Tag Archives: realm

TWO REALMS

TWO REALMS

“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” Romans 7:4-6.

Two realms – the natural, physical realm and the realm of the unseen – are operative in the universe. The physical realm is more real to us because we function in it in our everyday lives. However, with the harnessing of the energy waves, for example, microwaves, wireless, light etc., we have become much more aware of the unseen realm. It amazes me how, with a single touch on the screen of my android tablet, I can order a book from an internet company anywhere in the world and in a few minutes, via energy that I can neither see nor understand, the book appears on my device and I can begin reading!

It is not difficult for us to understand, then, that we can live in two realms spiritually. We have bodies that relate to and function in the world. We eat food from the ground, and our bodies convert it into energy which drives our systems, but we also function in an unseen dimension which is just as real. The world we live in is immersed in the presence of its Creator. The Bible says that He fills heaven and earth. He is fully involved in what happens on earth, and that includes us.

The very breath we breathe is His breath – life. When He removes our breath, we die. We have no life apart from Him. If it were possible, scientists could put all the elements of a human body together but they cannot produce life because both physical life and spiritual life come from God.  That means, of course, that if life comes from Him then we are dependent on Him and accountable to Him whether we acknowledge it or not.

Therefore, He has the right to dictate the way our lives are to be lived. When we confirmed our forefather’s disobedience by our own, we suffered the same consequences as he did, alienation from God. However, God did everything to put us back on track and to restore the connection between the seen and the unseen realms.

So, Paul says, we were cut off from the power of the sinful world to influence us when we died with Jesus. It is a fact. It’s real. It happened. God did it in the unseen realm when we turned to Him through Jesus. We died to our old lives and the power of sin to keep us enslaved but the reality of it is activated by faith, that unseen power, like the unseen waves of energy that network our planet and our universe, has connected us to a new power, the power of God.

From what were we cut off? Paul said we were cut off from the power of the law. Why the law? The law has the mysterious power to arouse sin in us. We know how this works. Just tell a kid not to do something and he will do it! Before you told him not to, he didn’t even think about doing it but, the moment you said, “Don’t,” he wanted to do it! Take away the prohibition and the desire to do it goes as well. That’s how we were wired by the sin nature in us with which we were born “in Adam”.

However, Jesus destroyed that perverse nature by His perfect obedience to all God’s “prohibitions”. He killed the desire, then they killed Him but He rose again and would never be subject to temptation again. Now, through faith, we are in Him, and have the potential to live as He did. In addition, He took away the necessity to have rules and regulations, and replaced them all with one “rule” if you like, the law of love. Then, just to make sure that we would follow that law, He gave us His Holy Spirit to produce His love in our hearts…

…which makes it all about Him and not about us. Paul said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This means that Jesus in us by His Spirit makes it possible for us to reflect His character in the way we live. The old, rotten fruit of self-centredness and greed has been replaced by a new life of pleasing God by caring for others.

It’s the power of heaven breaking into the earthly realm and showing us what God is really like. It’s about having God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven. It’s about us being mirrors of Jesus. It’s about living in the realm of the Spirit while we are still in the flesh.

Acknowledgement

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

All Because He Lives!

ALL BECAUSE HE LIVES!

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:9-11.

What if Jesus had not risen from the dead? Paul could write with confidence to these mostly unknown Roman believers because of one thing. Jesus rose from the dead and because of that, He sent His Spirit to live in those who believed in Him.

To be a baptised believer in the Roman Empire in his day was a perilous choice because every believer was in danger of facing death at the hands of a hostile Roman government. Christians were a distinct group. It was not possible to sit on the fence because no one in his right mind would risk death unless he were thoroughly convinced and committed to Jesus as Lord.

So Paul could say, “I know that God’s Spirit lives in you.” If you were a believer, it was a given. The indwelling Spirit of Christ was for them then, and for us now, both the confirmation and the guarantee that they belonged to Christ and experienced all the blessings and benefits of their union with Him.

Because of the Holy Spirit’s presence in them, they were assured of the resurrection of their bodies from the dead although they were still subject to physical death because of the presence of sin. They would die, yes, but that would not be the end. Just as Jesus rose from the dead because death could not hold Him captive forever, those who belong to Him, who are in Him and are united with Him by His Holy Spirit, will also rise from the dead because death cannot hold us prisoner either.

How can that be since we are human beings, part of this present corrupted world and therefore subject to the death that came upon the whole universe at the Fall? Paul understood that we shall still die – our physical bodies are still part of this earth. But that will not be the end.

The Bible teaches us that, as God’s sons and daughters, we have an inheritance; we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. But what do we inherit? Read what Peter wrote:

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4.

We inherit God’s nature in which we participate through His promises. Since God is perfect – there is no corruption in Him – He cannot die. Death could not hold Jesus because He, too, was sinless in His earthly life as the Son of God. When we are joined to Him by faith, death cannot hold us either because we have been made the righteousness of God in Him.

And so, just as Jesus rose from the dead, we will also be resurrected when He returns to complete the restoration of all things. Then we will experience the fullness and completeness of our inheritance – eternal life.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22.

Can you understand the process? Faith in Christ leads to the gift of righteousness and the presence of the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit in us enables us to obey God; obedience leads to holiness – separation from sin and learning to think and live like God (because we have inherited His nature); holiness leads to eternal life.

What Jesus died on the cross for us, and through His resurrection from the dead, He removed the barriers to reconciliation to the Father. He gave us back the Holy Spirit who had departed from man at the Fall. He made possible a life of obedience to Him which will lead us to appropriate our inheritance and eventually to be raised from the dead to experience the fullness of eternal life. It is now up to us to work out in partnership with the Holy Spirit what He has already worked in us.

“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.” Philippians 2:12b, 13.

Acknowledgement

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.