Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics
Waking the Dead
That’s the title of a book by John Eldredge. And strangely it is about the “sleeping” followers of Jesus. What do we need to wake from or to?
Here is a section from the book that paints a picture of what God wants us to see about his work in us—in our hearts.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. . . In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:4,11)
“But because of his great love for us, God . . . made us alive with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Remember now–Adam was a pattern of the One to come. He was the root and trunk of our family tree. Our hearts fell when he fell. We received our sinful nature from him. So we now receive a new nature and a new heart from Christ, our Second Man. We have been made alive with the life of Christ. Just as we received our sinful nature from Adam, so we now receive a good and holy nature from Christ. It has always been God’s plan not just to forgive you, but to restore you: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good” (Matthew 12:33).
Let me try this again. The new covenant has two parts to it: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). God removed your old heart when he circumcised your heart; he gives you a new heart when he joins you to the life of Christ. That’s why Paul can say “count yourselves dead to sin” and “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
The story of the Incarnation is the story of a descent and resurrection. . . one has the picture of a diver, stripping off garment after garment, making himself naked, then flashing for a m0ment in the air, and then down through the green, and warm, and sunlit water into the pitch black, cold, freezing water, down into the mud and slime, then up again, his lungs almost bursting, back again to the green and warm and sunlit water, and then at last out into the sunshine, holding in his hand the dripping thing he went down to get. This thing is human nature. (C. S. Lewis, “The Grand Miracle”)
The Resurrection affirms the promise Christ made. For it was life he offered to give us: “I have come that you may have life, and he it to the full” (John 10:10). We are saved by his life when we find that we are able to live the way we’ve always know we should live. We are free to be what he meant when he meant us. You have a new life–the life of Christ. And you have a new heart. Do you know what this means? Your heart is good.
Then on page 70 he says something to wrap this up.
You probably can’t imagine there being a glory to your life, let alone one that the Enemy fears. But remember–things are not what they seem. You probably believed that your heart was bad too. I pray that fog of poison gas from the pit of hell is fading away in the wind of God’s truth. And there is more. Not only does Christ say to you that your heart is good. You have a role you never dreamed of having.