July 27, 2020. Day 209: A life giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:45. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Let’s talk theology (please don’t stop reading). This verse is a theological master class explaining the “how” of everything we have said over the past 208 days about our union with Christ. Christ, the last Adam, is the giver of eternal life. He is the life giving spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is able to give us new life through our mystical union with his spirit- he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17).

Just as Adam passed on his human sinful nature to all mankind, Christ passes on his divine holy nature through the Spirit. In him, we have eternal life both spiritually and physically because Christ is the life giving spirit. And just as Adam is the representative head of the human race, the last Adam, Jesus Christ, is the representative spiritual head of the new human race, the Church. This is what being in Christ means – because Christ is our representative head we have everything he has, and will receive everything he will receive. And that’s good news!

But how did Jesus Christ become the life giving spirit?

By his resurrection and ascension. Forty days after his resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended back to the Father. And in ascending he became the life giving spirit. Now the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ who comes to carry on the ministry of Christ (see day 148). How? By indwelling all who trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for forgiveness of sins and the imputation of his own life into theirs:

John 3:36. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Stay with me, because here’s how this changes everything about your life today.

When we receive eternal life we have received the the life of Christ. His nature. His own goodness. Now we can say that our life has meaning, because only something that is both eternal and good can have true meaning. If life is eternal but not good, well then that’s hell. If life is good, but not eternal, then there’s no lasting hope. Only letdown. This life offers us many many things that are pretty good but not eternal – a good marriage, a good job, a good meal, a good song. But only Christ offers us a life that is both perfectly good and everlasting. Only Christ offers us true meaning.

Eli finds life in the book.

Only Christ? Yes. Only Christ. He is the source and goal of all goodness and he is the end of all eternal life. There will never be another like Christ. He is the last Adam. Not the “new Adam.” Or the “next Adam.” There is a finality and exclusivity to what Jesus has accomplished. You can stop all your searching for goodness, and meaning, and purpose, at Jesus Christ. There is no other savior. There is no other source of life. 

Where does this new found meaning take us? To worship. If Christ is the source of all spiritual life, as this verse claims, then that means that there will never be another source of life greater than him. All lesser good must take us into his presence. Every good movie, good conversation, good cup of coffee, good relationship must seat us at his feet. Learning from the life of the man Jesus. The man who suffered and died on a cross for us.

Listen Christian, you didn’t receive only the life of the ascended and reigning Christ. You have received the life of the “man of sorrows,” the historic Jesus. The one in the Bible. The abundant life of Christ is the crucified life of Jesus. The good life that the life giving spirit has placed in us is the life of suffering that leads to glory. The eternal life that the life giving spirit has placed in us is the life of dying that leads to resurrection.

“To live is Christ” offers us true meaning. We share the divine nature of the last Adam. We have his life. His good life. Forever.

You

Have you received the life of Christ?

You in Christ

How does union with Christ end your search for meaning?

Christ in you

In what ways can you identify the life of Christ at work inside of you?

Playlist: Resurrection power.

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