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HE WHO OVERCOMES SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS,

and I will be his God and he shall be My son

IMMORTALITY

Book of ROMANS
A Study of Chapter 8
Part 14

Romans 8:22-25
 

IMMORTALITY
 

“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.”
 
– Rom 8:22-25 NKJV

We were “saved in this hope”“eagerly waiting for redemption of our body.” The Apostles, the New Testament Christians, the Old Testament prophets, the patriarchs… all looked to live again in their physical bodies in eternity. Is this what we are groaning for here today?

Comes to mind as I read this incredible portion of Romans, is the Proverb -
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

- Prov 13:12 RSV

Do we yearn in our innermost being for the fullness of God? To be resurrected just as the Man Jesus, truly an immortal “New Creation” with a “life-giving spirit.” Now a vessel in which the Father and the Son can tabernacle. Honestly, this is my hope.

Perhaps contrary to much modern preaching, heaven is not our goal. For sure it was not the goal of the apostles or the First Century disciples. And it was not the teaching of Jesus. Nor is it the plan of God for us to dwell in the spirit realm only 2/3’s of a person. “The redemption of our body” is what Paul was groaning for, and what the followers of Jesus knew and believed. This is what the Old Testament patriarchs believed and hoped in -

“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last He will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
    My heart faints within me!”

- Job 19:25-27 RSV

Our Redeemer is returning to the earth to reign. And we shall stand before Him in our bodies.
If we are going to “reign with Christ” on the earth as a “king and priest”, ministering Life to the nations (which IS the goal according to Scripture), we are going to need our bodies.
Not our bodies in the current state in which we live, subject to pain and aging (thank God!) but a new body, which we are forming now, each day, by our actions and choices, which will clothe us in that Day when Jesus returns.

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” – 2Cor 5:1-5 NKJV

Our eternal destiny is not to be a spirit, but to be immortal flesh and bone people, made like the Son of God. That is the promise of the Scripture. Earlier in this letter to the saints in Rome, when writing about the Day of the Lord, Paul states that our Lord “will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.” (Rom 2:6-11 NKJV)

Immortality is what Adam lost in the Garden when he disobeyed God.  Man, in his body, was never meant to die. Sin brought about physical death. “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17). Jesus came to restore “all things.” In the “regeneration” He will “make all things new.” (Rev 12:5). All, including physical man, will be renewed in that Day. All “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay.” (Rom 8:21).
This goal of the Lord has not changed: this “restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)

Every one of us will one Day be raised in our bodies. Will it be to immortal Life, or to eternal destruction? Following our passage from 2Corinthians 5 above, the Word declares -

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
- 2Cor 5:10 NASB

It seems the majority of today’s “Christian” songs, and many of our churches sermons focus on forgiveness. What of repentance? Or the necessity of obedience to the commands of God through our Lord Jesus Christ? Obedience and belief are not the same thing. God’s grace and mercy in no way negates the necessity for “Christians” to obey the commands of our Lord or to “continue to do what is good.” For in that Day, it is only by our works that we shall all be judged.

We are forming our Resurrection body now. Will our “habitation (dwelling) from heaven” clothe us with Eternal Life, or with corruption? Honestly, the choice is up to us.
Will we choose to believe what God said? Will we choose to walk the way He has chosen? Will we follow His Son Jesus, the One He sent to lead the Way to Eternal Life? The One who brought “life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2Tim 1:10)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:16-17 NKJV

Remember the world is groaning to be set free, to be saved. And those who believe in Him (and prove so by obedience to all He taught) will obtain that everlasting Life: immortality in flesh and bone. Again, as the Amplified version translates, Paul writes that we are to be groaning for the “the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection].” (Rom 8:23b AMP)

We know from various Scriptures that we are being made like Jesus, and that we shall appear with Him as He is when He returns. And in the Gospels, we can read how He appeared after His Resurrection -

“Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.” – Luke 24:36-43 NKJV

Jesus was no longer “flesh and blood” which the Word teaches cannot inherit the Kingdom, but He is now “flesh and bone.” (vs 39). And of the saints, it is written that “we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.” (Eph 5:30)

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

- 1Cor 15:50-55 NKJV

“For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” – 1Cor 15:53 NRSV

Remember, the man Jesus, born of woman, was a mortal just as we, for the Word says plainly, “He had to be like His brothers in every way.” (Heb 2:17). “Being born in human likeness. And being found in human form.” (Phil 2:7 NRSV), “the Word became flesh.” (John 1:14).

Our Lord and Savior became like us, so we could become like Him.
Friends, let us not sell ourselves short. I hear too often concerning our eternity that we’re all just ‘sinners saved by grace’, God accepts us the way we are, and is taking us to heaven to escape the devil and hell. Honestly that is so far from the Truth. We’ve been called to something far greater. The Way is available to many, but few will press in and find it. I pray us here, and all reading this, will be among those who attain to the fulness of God.

“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”
– Rom 6:5-9 NKJV

This is immortality. Eternal Life in a glorious resurrected body like our Lord’s. “Freed from sin.”
No longer death’s dominion. Indeed, even unable to “be hurt by the second death.” (Rev 2:11)
For this do we groan? Do our hearts faint and yearn for this to be our destiny?

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
- 1John 3:1-3 NKJV

If immortality, if eternal Life, is our goal, then are we working toward that end? Do we really believe what Jesus taught, will we surrender our lives and die so that we may truly live?

“ Jesus said… I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; 26 And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?” - John 11:25-26 AMPC

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
If anyone eats from this bread, he will live forever.”

– John 6:51 NKJV

Are we partaking of His substance today?


Next…  God’s Purpose

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