What Does ‘Rising Into the Newness of Life’ Look Like?
March 26, 2021God-in-Christ, Living Abundantly, Resurrection
During the Easter season, believers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. And rightly so, for his resurrection illustrates to us that our lives also continue beyond death.
Most people understand our resurrection from death as a futuristic event. There are two general perceptions and both follow our physical death. One sees us ‘entering the eternal realm’ after our physical demise. The other involves ‘rising from the grave to live in the earth.’ While there is value in both of these, we want to realize resurrection also applies to life, today.
The Greek word for ‘resurrection’ (anastasis) means: to rise; a rising as opposed to falling. In most places, resurrection in Scripture actually speaks of us rising out of the restrictions of natural life today, as a rising above above deathly perceptions.
While we tend to ascribe resurrection to a future tine or event, Jesus said we do not need to wait for physical death; we can experience resurrection life right now, in this life. (a) [see end notes for all Scriptures] Our interaction with God-in-Christ, here and now, is indeed resurrection life! So what does ‘rising into newness of life’ look like?
Walking In Newness
Living without God’s input is a deathly experience. As we’ve noted in previous blogs, what is considered to be a death decree given to Adam really says: while your focus ignores God and you rely on the natural “knowledge of good and evil” for wisdom, you “will be dying.” (b) God’s caution spoke of an on-going condition rather than an eventual death.
To our detriment, ever since the first parents turned from God’s guidance in The Garden, we tend to focus first and foremost on what we learn from natural experience. (c) Inclined to believe what our natural senses see and hear, we frequently overlook spiritual insight and the tremendous value it imparts into daily life. Fortunately, we do not need to continue this way.
Scripture tells us we can overcome our deathly attitudes (d) and rise into better ways of living. As Christ was raised from the dead…so we too might walk in newness of life. (e) God invites us to stop falling and arise into His newness of life. This newness leads to an eternal quality of life today. (f)
Yes, our physical body declines and eventually returns to dust, but our soul (mind, will and emotion) can do just the opposite—arise and enjoy abundance of life with Christ in this life. (g)
Jesus lived ‘in’ resurrection life and displayed the peace that “passes natural understanding.” (h) So did Paul, who while in prison wrote many of his enlightening Epistles. Also living in newness, Peter was released from his restrictive attitude toward others and began to live above the attitude of the day. (i) The Biblical list of people who experienced this resurrection life can go on and on. Walking in newness enables us to enjoy the abundance of life with Christ.
Walking in newness enables us to enjoy the abundance of life with Christ.
Arisen With Christ Now
The Apostle Paul sheds more light on this amazing truth, saying: “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus…and the power of His resurrection (arising)…that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (a standing up out of deaths ways).” (j) Thankfully, we can arise out of our deteriorating life perceptions today.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly walked…But God being rich in mercy…even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (k)
As we ‘were’ dead in our perceptions of God and His ways, followers of Christ ‘are’ raised into heavenly places in Christ Jesus. The place Jesus has prepared for us is where he was living in this earth, (l) a degree of living ‘above’ while we inhabit this flesh. He invites us to arise into a lifetime of participation in a more heavenly mindset, seated in heavenly places with Christ. (m) This means opening ourselves to God’s insight and perspectives rather than relying predominantly on the ‘trial and error’ of natural life.
We can arise out of our deteriorating life perceptions today.
Resurrection Life Every Day
We do not have to submit and be controlled by dark perceptions that keep us living as dead people (n). Our repentant attitude allows God to assist our delivering release from this world’s unhealthy attitudes and patterns of behavior. The presence of God frees us to live by the eternal perspective He shares with us and to mature into better reflections and resemblances of His heart. So, “Arise and shine for your light has come.” (o)
Jesus said, “You don’t have to wait for the end, I am, right now, Resurrection and Life”. (p) The extent in which we experience resurrection life today depends on how fully we interact with God-in-Christ. So, let’s live in resurrection life today. Why wait? What encouraging truth, as we experience this Easter season!
The extent in which we experience resurrection life depends on how we interact with God-in-Christ.
a) John 11:23-25; b) Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:36; 1 John 2:16-17; c) 1 Corinthians 15:46; d) Romans 12:21; e) Romans 6:4; 7:6; f) John 17:3; 3:16; g) John 10:10; h) John 1:4; 5:26; Philippians 4:7; i) Acts 11:2-18; j) Philippians 3:8-11; k) Ephesians 2:5-6; l) John 14:3; m) Ephesians 1:3; 2:5-6; n) Matthew 8:22; o) Isaiah 60:1; Romans 13:11; Ephesians 5:14-17) p) John 11:25 (The Message)
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder