First Fruit of the Resurrection

Paul presents Abraham as the great exemplar of faith. God counted his faith as “righteousness” when he was yet uncircumcised, and that means He justified him apart from the “works of the Law.” Therefore, he became the father of all men who are also “from faith.” Circumcision was added after the promise as the “seal” of Abraham’s justifying faith.

Because of his faith, the patriarch became the “heir of the world,” the kosmos, a promise which from the beginning envisioned something far greater than the tiny territory of Palestine or the small nation of Israel.

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The Life-Giving Spirit

Jesus declared that “the Spirit makes alive [‘quickens’]. The flesh profits nothing. The words which I have spoken to you are spirit, and they are life.” His words echo the scriptural principle that life and the “Spirit” are inextricably linked. The “flesh” is not inherently evil, but it has no life without the spirit given by God.

In John 6:63, the Greek word rendered “makes alive” or “quicken” is zôopoieô; literally, “to make alive” (Strong’s – #G2227), a combination of the noun zôon – a “living being” – and the verb poieô – “to make.” Thus, the sense is to “cause to live, quicken, vitalize.”

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Redemption of Our Body

In Romans, Paul declares there is “now no condemnation” for anyone who is “in Jesus.” This happy condition now exists because the “law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set them free from the law of sin and of death.” And he also links the salvation of believers to the inheritance of Christ and the redemption of the creation itself.

The sin of Adam condemned the entire creation to bondage, sin, and death, not just humanity. Under the Mosaic law, humanity could not liberate itself from bondage to sin and death. That would take something, or, more accurately, SOMEONE else.

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A Forgotten Hope

The biblical faith is forward-looking and integral to its doctrine of salvation is the future resurrection of the dead. And that event will also mark the commencement of the New Creation. In the New Testament, this hope is linked to two events. First, the past resurrection of Jesus, and second, his future arrival at the end of the age. And salvation will remain incomplete without the resurrection of the saints.

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Redemption or Abandonment?

Central to the doctrine of salvation is the promise of REDEMPTION. God will not abandon what He created. And “redemption” means recovering that which was enslaved by sin and sentenced to decay and death. And in His redemptive plans, the end state of the things and persons will be vastly superior even to their original state. This principle is epitomized in the promise of bodily resurrection.

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