Romans 5:17. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
I was talking to a friend today who was telling me about a conversation he had with his elderly mother. She told him that she is afraid to die. My friend said that he is not afraid to die because he knows that he has Christ. He’s no theologian. It was all very simply put, and yet one of the deepest and most hope filled realities in life to reflect upon.
What rules your life? Is it death?
Paul says that because we are born “into Adam (the one man),” we are all born into the kingdom of death. Death is our King. Death reigns. God’s goal for mankind in the Garden was life (the Tree of Life). But man chose death. Every human since Adam has been under the curse of death. That is until Christ rescues us and transfers us into his kingdom. A kingdom where an abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness are ours. A kingdom where we co-reign with Christ himself. Now the eternal life of God (zoe) is ours. Jesus is this life.
From 2 Corinthians we talked a lot about how our union with Christ unites us to the suffering of Christ. We are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down jars of clay. We are tents that long to be buildings. We have thorns in the flesh that God won’t take away. We boast in weakness. Welcome to Christ likeness (he said sarcastically).
Paul’s theology hasn’t radically changed. He writes these words from Corinth. From the place of some of his darkest days. He hasn’t become suddenly sentimental. He’s not preaching a prosperity gospel. He’s preaching the reality of our union with Christ: If you have Christ, you have Christ’s life. Notice that Pual doesn’t say “death reigned and now life reigns.” He says, “death reigned, and now WE reign.” Why? Because we have life. We have Christ. We are eternal life. We are zoe.
John 10:10. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
If you have Christ’s life, then you rule over the second greatest force in the universe – death. Life rules death. Jesus was raised. Life wins. Because of this resurrection life in us we are righteous. And the righteous will live forever and worship God forever just like God offered from the beginning in the Garden.
You’re a King! You’re a queen! We reign in life. Your life in Christ is meant to be one of victorious reigning. Now! Today! Not just when you die. If all of this is true the implications for your daily life are profound.
Whatever Adam lost for us, Jesus has obtained and much more. Our reign in life is much more than the reign of death. Much longer. Much more powerful. Much more loving. Much more joyful.
These are all obvious aren’t they? Or are they? We still choose the reign of death all of the time. We still hide from our reigning like King Saul on inauguration day. Where is he? Where is she? Not showing up. Not engaged. Too distracted. Too confused. Too aloof. Too apathetic. Too self absorbed. We have no idea who we really are. We are grace kings. Grace queens. Meant to rule our little corner of the world with great love, sacrifice, faithfulness, and grace. A whole lot of grace.
Our classroom. Our kitchen. Our office. Our t-ball field. Our family. Our neighborhood. Our ministry. Our studio. Our arena. Wherever. Whenever. Jesus is the King of kings. Who do you think the “kings” are? It’s us. We are the princes and princesses of this world.
“To live is Christ” is to reign in life. We are the manifestation of the future Kingdom of God right now. We are the “Already” of the “Already but not Yet” of the Kingdom. This life is training for the rule of Christ on the earth. What will be fully, already is in our hearts and lives. The Kingdom of love is here in you and me. How will we choose to reign today?
I dare you not to sing along with this: