LIVING THINGS – Living People
E. C. Richards
Gen. 3:21. Out of the sentence of death, immediately came life by redemption. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Though redemption depends on the death of the Redeemer, the purpose of the work was never death, as the zenith of it all, but to give life. Just precious to this, Eve was named the mother of all living, and so she was. She started life for us all. We must never forget that even as she bares the stigma of going into sin, she started the human race as a redeemed individual and taught her children so. I respect her.
“After These things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, “LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, this shall not be thine heir…And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” Gen. 15:1-5.
Here, our father of the faithful was given a lesson of the continuance of life by the stars. They are a symbol of a multitude, and of permanence. Though they will be changed, they are the oldest and most permanent part of creation that we know. What a stupendous progeny Abraham has already had! The Word of God, the Son of God, the gospel of God all have come to the rest of us through this illustrious people. When will its stream of life stop multiplying? Not until the end of the millennium which is a thousand years plus the interval, whatever it is, until it begins. Of course, we realize this is a spiritual seed, but it had to start natural, as we all do, and it is all an unbroken line of life, not of death.
I Samuel 25:29. “Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sting.” “Bundle of life” is one of the precious expressions of Scripture, so like the Holy Ghost in His expressiveness. You can see the way it is: interrelation of David and God in life, a matter of containment, of inseparability. So it is with us all who believe, especially actively believe.
On into John 11:25-26. We see the great involvement of life through the One of resurrection and those taking hold of that great principle. The whole gamut of death may be turned into the exact opposite – life. That is anyway you look at it. We get all taken up with the terrible bugaboo of the body and its decease. It is serious, and the devil bears down on it severely; on those who go before they go; and its effect on those who remain after they are gone. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ, the One of resurrection bears down on life.
Verse 25 of the above Chapter: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Amen, Hallelujah! God has us bound for life; He makes it surround the death of the great Man, but death is not an end in itself as the morbid Easter actors make it. Then Verse 26, the bombshell: “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Believest thou this?” I hope so, friends. Martha had some difficulty in doing so. We have the privilege of entering into life, God’s great purpose of life for His people: livers, not perpetual diers.
Then I Peter 4:1-2, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin, That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” And Verse 6, “For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”
These verses seem difficult, but remember God has His own area, and we ours, and He gives us facts according to His viewpoint, not ours, as we are conditioned to think. It is not easy for us to see the way He thinks looking on humanity dead in trespasses and sins; for being away from Him is death, not some oblivion we conjure up in our minds. See here, the guiding factor is the will of God, where the flesh never enters.
Christ suffered; and flesh suffered extinction with His natural life. But how do we know? Good old verse 6 – the gospel preached, even to those dead men, and He judges so, your only escape. But aha! We don’t stay dead; we live according to God in the Spirit, Hallelujah! Again our lot is life, not death. God loves living things. Death has done its dastardly worst upon Christ, and praise the Lord, we are coming out of the ordeal alive. Bless His name!