Series: The overcomers
Sun am 25 February 2018 – Kobus Swart
1 Cor. 15:45-49 (Passion Translation & The Voice Bible); Acts 1:6, 9-11; Acts 3:21; Col. 1:15-16; John 17:5; John 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:5-11 (Msg); John 3:13 (KJV); Luke 4:28-30, 36-43; John 10:39 – Msg; John 20:26-29; John 21:12; 2 Cor. 5:16; Heb. 1:3; (John 19:30); Acts 2:33, 35; Eph. 1:20-23; Eph. 2:4-6; Col. 3:1-2; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; John 17:15; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; (Heb. 7:27); (Heb. 1:4)
For it is written: The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became the life-giving Spirit. However, the spiritual didn’t come first. The natural precedes the spiritual. The first man was from the dust of the earth; the second Man is the Lord Jehovah, from the realm of heaven. The first one, made from dust, has a race of people just like him, who are also made from dust. The One sent from heaven has a race of heavenly people who are just like him. Once we carried the likeness of the man of dust, but now let us carry the likeness of the Man of heaven (1 Cor. 15:45-49-Passion). In Christ we all become a new race; a race of heavenly people who are just like Him. If you read The Voice Bible it says, The earth man shares his earth nature with all those made of earth; likewise the heavenly man shares His heavenly nature with all those made of heaven. Just as we have carried the image of the earth man in our bodies, we will also carry the image of the heavenly man in our new bodies at the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:48-49-The Voice). We have to see that at the final resurrection, the expression of the new heavenly race will be made visible. That gives us no excuse as born-again Christians to still live as the “man of dust”!
Let us talk about the Son of God, also called the Son of man, before the incarnation, before the Word became flesh (Col. 1:15-16). Jesus was there right from the beginning, the firstborn of all creation! (see also John 17:5). He is the pre-existent one. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and then the Word became flesh and Tabernacled with man (John 1:1, 14). Emmanuel, God with us. God, who was the Word, became flesh in the person of His son Jesus. God came in Jesus, (who was the last Adam), to bring an end to the Adamic line. He became the second Man, the beginning, the first of a new humanity. In order to restore what was taken by the enemy in the fall of man, in order to restore and start afresh again, God had to conquer the enemy and sin and reverse the fall by becoming man. That would pave the way for humanity to follow in His victory. Jesus came to bring many sons to glory!
Jesus became human (Phil. 2:5-11). But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new; a servant in form and a man indeed. The very likeness of humanity (vs. 7 – The Voice translation). Paul says we should have this attitude that was in Jesus. Arrogance has no place in the Christian life.
During His earthly ministry, the Son of God was in heaven on earth (John 3:13 – KJV). The Pharisees and Sadducees were angry with Him. They pushed Jesus to throw Him off a cliff but He passed through them and disappeared. They tried again to arrest Him but He slipped through their fingers (John 10:39-Msg). Heaven is not a place way up there; heaven is another dimension.
After the crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples were baffled by the crucifixion – darkness and earthquake. The whole universe reacted to the death of the Son of God. When Thomas was with the disciples, Jesus came through locked doors and stood among them (John 20:26). Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-29). He was demonstrating that He was not a ghost but that He was flesh and bone (Luke 24:36-43). We have to go beyond visible religious stories. Open our eyes Lord to what you have called us to be – a new humanity in Christ, a heavenly humanity.
Here is Paul’s advice as to how we should remember Jesus. Therefore from now on, we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2 Cor. 5:16). Paul based this on the fact that Jesus was the last Adam. This is where so much of Christianity is stuck. We live in a mindset of being part of the Adamic line, but Jesus came as the last Adam and the second man ushering in a whole new heavenly humanity. So actually, Paul was saying that from now on we recognise no one according to the flesh. It does not matter what colour, what race, what tribe, what background. If you are born again you belong to a new humanity. That is how we should see each other. We cannot go backwards and want Jesus the Nazarene to walk among us. He is in a whole new dimension. We do not even know Christ according to the flesh.
On the day of the ascension, Jesus was taken up in the cloud (into heaven, another dimension, not a far-away place); And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the empty sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as He left” (Acts 1:9-11 Msg). We are talking about a mystery. He will come in the same mysterious way as you have seen Him leave. For the time being, He must remain out of sight until everything that was spoken by the prophets of old have been restored (Acts 3:21-Msg). He is here! But He is out of sight. He is not visible, for specific reasons. Something must have happened to Jesus when He left in the cloud. This Jesus will again become visible in the same mysterious way.
So what happened to Jesus after the ascension? When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3; Acts 2:33, 35; Eph. 1:20-23; Eph. 2:4-6). Where is Jesus now? Seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting! Sadly, the Church is also waiting, just waiting! He finished His works; on the cross He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). What does it mean to be seated at the right hand? God is Spirit, so the word “right hand” is not a physical place; it means a place of power and authority. That is where Jesus is! (Eph. 2:4-6). This Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father; a place of power and authority. He has given Him the name above every other name (Heb. 1:4). The apostle Paul reminds us that He raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Are all born-again Christians seated with Him next to the Father? Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God! (Col. 3:1-2). Who is going to be seated next to Him? He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Rev. 3:21). Who will be seated with Him? The overcomers! What should we do when we go through testing, trials and tribulations? Go and stand in the mirror of God’s Word. “I am an overcomer!” Where is the delay? God is waiting for us until all His enemies have become the footstool for His feet. God is looking for overcomers, not for church organisations. Church is family; it is people and it should be the people who are overcomers.
Remember – this man Christ Jesus, is also our mediator, our intercessor, (1 Tim. 2:5-6). Jesus prayed that we not be taken out of the world, but that He would help us to overcome the evil one right here (John 17:15).
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17-21). We must remind the world of the finished works of Jesus Christ. He is the once for all sacrifice (Heb. 7:27). I pray that this mystery of who Jesus is will unfold in our hearts. Whenever we are tested in our faith we must realize who we are and set our mind on the things above.