Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.  You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil–the commander of the powers in the unseen world.  He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our evil nature.  We were born with an evil nature and we were under God’s anger, just like everyone else.  But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.  (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.  God saved you by his grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:1-10)

One of the great mysteries of God and spirituality is the notion that we are all born dead because of sin.  It’s difficult to fathom that people can be physically alive, hearts beating, minds thinking, walking, doing, working, but dead.  Without Christ, we are spiritually dead.  Without Christ, we naturally and of our own free-will obey the devil, the commander of the powers of the unseen world and the spirit at work in our dead hearts.

Since all creatures eventually physically die, the only hope anything has is that its spirit will live on when its body succumbs to death.

Christians understand that sin makes this impossible.  Sin is the great divide between a creature and its Creator, Who knows no sin and Who, by His very nature, cannot abide it.  The price that must be paid to cancel the debt of sin is death.  Physical death and Spiritual death.  No list of our good deeds can be long enough or adequate enough to pay the debt of sin and save us from death.  There is nothing we can do to avoid meeting our doom.  We are tainted; born that way.  We had no control in our birth into this world and we are absolutely helpless in our efforts to live on when our time is up.

But God loved us so much that He had a plan to save us from our doom; an answer that conquered death.  Since only one who is not tainted by sin can help those who are perishing from sin and since the price of sin is death, only God could pay the price to cancel our debt and redeem us from the grave.

And His plan all along was to do just that, which He did through Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up as a sacrifice in our place, the ultimate price of death paid in full.

But that’s only part of the beautiful mystery that converts us from dead men walking to living heirs of the Eternal Kingdom of God.

The second part of the mystery is that Jesus Christ was physically raised from the dead after 3 days and He walked out of His tomb in His new resurrected body.  He lived in the community for 40 days after this and was plainly seen by hundreds of people, not as an apparition, but in His body which bore the wounds and evidence of His death.

Those who saw him were willing to die for their testimony that He was alive and many of them were killed over this.  But they understood that their life was sealed in eternity because of Jesus, and physical death could not take it away from them.

Lastly, Scripture says that those who believe this story of God’s plan of redemption are saved from death.  We are believers, not dead men walking.  We are the light of Jesus Christ on this earth and have eternal life through Christ, forever.

To this day, believers are being persecuted and killed all over the world because they will not renounce their belief in the eternal salvation they have in Christ Jesus.  Physical death is being forced upon them by the powers of evil in this world, but their physical death is a 100% guarantee anyway.  They lose nothing.  They gain everything.

 

 

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