Life In Christ
by Constant Coulibaly

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First, I would like to raise this question, what is life?

Scientists explain that life is the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, and that condition includes the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. So, according to science, there is animal life and there is also vegetable life. Life is the basic principle that differentiates animals, humans included, from a piece of rock, for instance.

                                        Earthly Experience
One of the words translated “life” in English from the Greek, the original language of the New Testament, is the term “bios,” from which we got our English word “biology.” It refers primarily to our earthly experience, which basically consists in the functioning of our material body with its need for food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. But it also means a way of living. Jesus used the word “life” in the latter sense when He told the parable of the sower (Luke 8). Some seeds, He said, fell by the way side and were trampled on and eaten up by birds. Others dropped on rocky ground, and as soon as they sprung up, they withered away because of lack of moisture. Others fell among thorns and were choked by the thorns, and some on good ground which brought forth fruits a hundredfold. In the explanation Jesus later gave of the parable, He said that the seeds that fell among the thorns represented people that, after hearing the word of God, “are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14).

                                        Life Is A Vapour
It is worth noting that life on earth does not last very long. Moses said, “The days of our lives are  seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10 NKJV). If you multiply 80 years (the maximum average) by 365 days (the length of year used in everyday calculation), you get a little over 29 thousand days – that’s not much! Surely, we all know or have heard of someone who didn’t live that long, because they died probably in a car accident, of heart attack or from a malignant disease and so on. Life in the body is in constant danger of being terminated at any time. James said, "It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away," thus emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding it (James 4:14). Its fragility is reemphasized in the book of 1 Peter. The apostle wrote, "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever" (1:24-25). A person whose occupation is to provide people with care in a nursing home might suddenly be reduced to a situation whereby they need someone else to look after them, because they have been crippled by an unforeseen illness. Life is uncertain!

 

                                        Made To Live
Shockingly, an increasing number of people, particularly youngsters, deliberately cause harm to their own body using drugs, alcohol and tobacco as if the destructive effect of natural decay on our body is not enough. One of the latest narcotics on the market is called “spice” or “Zombie drug.” It made the headlines a year ago in the United Kingdom, with one leading newspaper reporting, on 12 September 2018, a serious warning from experts that “Britain is in the grip of a spice epidemic drug escalating out of control.” An investigation by the tabloid revealed that thousands were feared to be hooked on a drug that causes addicts to “freeze” in unlikely positions before they drop like flies within minutes of its consumption. Didn’t God create us to live (cf. Genesis 1:28-31)?

                                      Spiritual Dimension

The title “Life In Christ” implies that there is an aspect of life different from its physical dimension. There is a spiritual life, which is provided by no other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

In Luke 15, Jesus told a story that is known as the parable of the prodigal son. It’s the story of a wealthy man who had two sons, and the younger one came to him one day and said, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me” (v. 12). Immediately, the father gave him his part of the inheritance. Then away he went to a far country where he squandered his money enjoying a lavish lifestyle. In other words, he yielded to his carnal cravings instead of demonstrating control over his body. When he had used up his money, a famine struck the country and he was left with no food. So he went and worked in a farm feeding pigs in order to survive. Finally, Jesus said, he came to his senses and decided to return home to his father. When the father from afar saw his son coming home, he ran toward him and embraced him after he had given his servants order to prepare for him the best attire and to kill the fattest calf. Then he explained to them the reason for the preparations. He wanted to celebrate his son coming home, because his son “was dead, and he is alive again; he was lost, and he is found” (v. 24).

                                          Dead In Sins

The father in this parable represents God, the wayward son the alien sinner and his life away from home sinful living. People who live in sin stay separate from God. Isaiah said that sin is that which separates man from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). People now living that know God’s law or have consciousness of right and wrong, and choose to do wrong or trespass the divine law, thus sinning, are separated from God by sin. And they die as a result of disobedience to God, as Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit of the garden that God told them not to (Genesis 2:16-17). Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). It involves the forfeiting of life that is found in a relationship with God. Sinners are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 1:1-2) – not physically, but spiritually. The conclusion is that, a mundane lifestyle amounts to nothing but a biological existence.

                                        Life In The Blood
But God sent His Son, called Jesus, down to earth to restore our fellowship with Him and give us life. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” God provided, in the death of Christ, the sacrifice that atoned for our sin, the cause of death. In His redemptive work, Christ died in the place of sinners by way of expiation. The Bible establishes that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). So, in order for the Creator to forgive our sins, death by shedding of innocent blood was necessary. With the Old Testament sacrifices, the blood of animals could only cover over sin from the sight of God (Hebrews 10:4). The word “atonement” as used in the Old Testament includes the idea of “covering over” (from the sight of God). This proves that there was need for a stronger blood, Christ’s, to take away sin. John says that Christ is “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The Bible also teaches that the blood of Christ gives spiritual life, and the imparting of this kind of life to the sinner takes place at the point of baptism. Paul said, “we are buried with him [Christ] by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

                                        Getting Into Christ 

This is the only way one gets into Christ and receives the life He has promised to give us. We receive spiritual life by getting into Christ and we get into Christ by being buried in water. And from the moment the penitent believer comes out of the water grave of baptism, he is ready to embrace a new lifestyle. A new life begins for him, and part of this new life is attending worship and submitting to everything else the New Testament teaches. Friend, would you want to be free from the burden of sin and be reunited to God through Christ? The Bible assures us that the blood of Christ is powerful enough to cleanse all kinds of sin (Hebrews 9:14). You can trust the Bible, and we urge you to do so today.