Living in the Kingdom Pt. 30




Sunday 04/24/16 

Series: Living in the Kingdom Pt. 30

Message – The Redemption of the Body I

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Living in the Kingdom

We began today’s teaching with 1 Jn. 5:1-5,

“(1) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (4) For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Last few week the teaching has been about Lazarus and how his death, burial and resurrection illustrated the facts we’ve been teaching concerning being united to God in Purpose as we live our lives in the Kingdom.

For time’s sake I am NOT going to go back over our key points we have learned.

When we come to Christ, we enter into a new kingdom by faith – not faith in word only, but in actions of allegiance towards another Lord. These actions are proof of our total reliance upon Him in that the “works” are produced THROUGH us in our union with Him by means of our trust in Him.

By the power of the reigning king of that Kingdom, Jesus Christ THE RIGHTEOUS, we come to know our Lord and as a result we come to know our own true image.

By trusting in the POWER of His OVERCOMING WORK we CO-OPERATE with the Holy Spirit within to overcome sin in the flesh.

Like Christ, we offer ourselves up by the POWER of the Holy Spirit. This death is a type of suffering where both WE and our TRUST in Christ are tested.

Once we have been proven to be GENUINE in our trust (not just in word) we come out on the other end in His likeness…line upon line, precept upon precept…here a little, there a little…

1Pet. 1:3-25,

“(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4)  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  (5)  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

A LIVING HOPE…what does this mean?

Well according to Jesus’ Own words, life is to know God intimately or to be unified with Him. Hope, by definition is a favorable expectation. So here we are being told that THROUGH Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, we have been invited into a favorable expectation of progressive intimacy and union with God…beginning with being united with Him in His death! Our union with Him, however does not end on the cross or in the grave – quite the contrary, it is here that our journey WITH HIM begins. By the power of the Holy Spirit we press through the grave into a resurrection with Him. Initially in our spirits at the moment of the New Birth. Secondly we begin the progressive work of the salvation of our souls and ultimately the full redemption of our bodies. Thus, this passage informs us that we are united with Him in favorable expectation of an inheritance which is contrary to our current state of corruption in the mind and body – it is a perfect and mature state of incorruption and undefilement and until we arrive we are safely held in reserve for that final outcome by God’s Almighty Power!

(6)  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,  (7)  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ

In this present distress, as Paul refers to it (1 Cor. 7:26), of being united with God in spirit and yet still struggling against the expressions of sin in the body our reliance upon Christ is tested. This testing is not just of our trust in Him, it is a testing of ourselves as to whether we are truly in Him or not. When we overcome by means of our trust in Him, it proves our trust was and is genuine in that it did not waver through oppression, affliction or temptation. This glorifies God! God is NOT glorified by, nor does He take pleasure in our trials, but He is pleased and glorified by the fact that the enemy of God’s rule and reign could not budge us from our relational trust in Him. Our sonship and trust are proven to be REAL!

1 Tim. 1:5 tells us that the goal of the command is “…love from a pure heart, and a good conscience and from sincere (non-hyprocritical) faith.”

(8)  Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,  (9)  receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 

The end in view of our trust in Christ is a heart which is free of sin….the salvation of our souls.

(10)  Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,  (11)  searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 

Notice that sufferings precede glory.

(12)  To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into. 

(13)  Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  (14)  as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;  (15)  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  (16)  because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 

(17)  And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;  (18)  knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,  (19)  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 

Notice that God judges us NOT according to what we claim we believe, but according to what our beliefs lead us to do.

(20)  He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you  (21)  who through Him believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead AND gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 

(22)  Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,  (23)  having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,  (24)  because “ALL FLESH IS AS GRASS, AND ALL THE GLORY OF MAN AS THE FLOWER OF THE GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND ITS FLOWER FALLS AWAY,  (25)  BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”


Our bodies were included in the redemptive plan of Christ

In the past, I have stressed the importance of the gospel working from the inside -> out and this is both true and appropriate. This does NOT however mean that the body is unimportant. Christ purchased our bodies at the same time He purchased our spirits.

Turn to 1Cor. 6:13-20,

“(13)  Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  (14)  And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.  (15)  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!  (16)  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “THE TWO,” He says, “SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.”  (17)  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  (18)  Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  (19)  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  (20)  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Jesus is FOR my body!

Our bodies are NOT peripheral to the Gospel but very much included in it!

According to Colossians 1:27 our great hope is Christ in us! If you remember what we read in Romans 8, the FULL redemption of our bodies is part of our great hope and we will see that actually stated in 1Cor. 15 in a moment, but lets first go to Romans to refresh our minds about what Paul said concerning the redemption of our bodies…

Rom 8:10-11, 22-25,

“(10) And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.  (11)  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

“(22) For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.  (23)  Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  (24)  For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  (25)  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

Part of our GREAT HOPE is the redemption of our bodies. Now this is a tricky wording. The word Redeemed means to buy back. So in terms of the price already having been paid we are already bought and paid for IN FULL! Remember the verse we just read in 1 Cor. 6:20,

“(20)  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

As you can see we were already bought! However, what we have not yet received what has been purchased. This is MUCH akin to Christmas or birthdays. We can see the gifts he has procured for us, we can even go so far as to enjoy them and even sneak a “shack” of the package to get an idea of what’s inside, but we will not be full recipients of it, until he returns. So, we eagerly wait!


Our anticipation is part of this process. God seems to LOVE anticipation. We can extrapolate that from the fact that everything does not happen all at once. In fact, nearly everything takes time! The principle of seed time and harvest are throughout creation and is therefore a key part of God’s character and by extension a key part of our training into His likeness.

Many times, the anticipation of an event is as enjoyable as the event itself. I remember going to Walt Disney World with my friends as a kid and I remember the excitement of the night before our trip, the anticipation which built to a near delirious level by the time we got to the gate! All of this actually heightened the experience once we arrived.

Paul tells us that those who MAINTAIN this HOPE within themselves, purify themselves EVEN AS HE IS PURE!

I honestly believe that many a Christian, myself included, wound their hearts and cripple their faith by failing to maintain their eager anticipation of our full redemption. Father help us to stir one another up to this end of good works, and even more as the day of Your return nears!

1Cor. 15:41-49,

“(41) There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. (42) So is it with the resurrection of the dead.

What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.

(43) It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.

It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

(44) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

(45) Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

(46) But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.

(47) The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

(48) As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.

(49) Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Hallelujah! Just as surely as we have borne the image of the man of dust WE WILL bear the image of the Son of God!!!!! This is NOT just in our spirits or in our souls, but our redemption includes our bodies! Thank you Jesus!!!

Concerning this anticipation, hear what Paul says,

Php. 3:12-21,

“(12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me

(13)  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  (14)  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

(15)  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 

(16)  Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 

(17)  Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.  (18)  For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  (19)  whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 

(20)  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  (21)  Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”

When we are raised physically with Christ we will not be given NEW bodies, but changed bodies. Our current bodies are a PERMANENT part of Christ and God wants it that way. It is not different than our spirits – you are the same you that you were BEFORE your cam to Christ and yet you are radically different! You were not replaced, you were changed!

Next week we will be continuing on this lesson and we will probably start in 1Cor. 15:1…Blessings! 


The video is pending….

I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!