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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Romans 8:9-11 – The future experience of believers

Paul summarises what will happen to the bodies of believers at the resurrection. We should observe that it is a Triune activity, in which the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are involved. Moreover, there is a link between the past resurrection of Jesus and the future resurrection of believers.
The connection made by the Spirit between the resurrection of Jesus and the future resurrection of believers suggests that there is a similarity between the two events. In what ways would they be similar?
First, in both cases it was a resurrection that ensured those experiencing it would not die again. There were other resurrections, such as that of Lazarus, when the raised person died again afterwards. But the resurrection of Jesus in the past and the resurrection of believers in the future are of a different kind, one that removes the influence of death from their personal experience.
Secondly, both the resurrection of Jesus in the past and the resurrection of believers in the future are resurrections to glory. In the case of the Saviour, there was a period of forty days between his resurrection and his glorification at his ascension. The case of believers will be different because their resurrection will be followed by their glorification.
This experience of future glory is part of the work of the Spirit in the existence of believers. Paul probably has in mind that they will have the fullness of the Spirit then, and that the receiving of the fullness is guaranteed by the current indwelling of the Spirit.

It is obvious that the current work of the Spirit in the heart of every Christian is a great work as will be the future work of the Spirit in the body of every Christian when he raises them from the dead. Our response to his presence now should be one of gladness, accompanied by gratitude, with a determination not to grieve him. In order for that to happen we need his help, but it is good to know that he delights to provide it.

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