"I am not dead yet, I think I'll go for a walk"
Dark Moon by Alton Gansky
I just finished reading this book (2/11/07). It was really entertaining.
Who did the raising? from Mr. Gansky's new book 40 days chapter 19 Jesus appearing to many after being raised from the dead.
I have been thinking a lot about the MAC (Modern American Churches). Some say that at the end of the 20th century we were launched into the microwave age, our society wanting instant gratification at every turn and that this is no different in our spiritual lives. A number of us don't want to put the effort in to hearing a message and then go and search the scriptures to see if what this person is saying is true. Does it all line up? Yes, the preacher is preaching from the Bible but the scripture references are few. Are we willing to go and first read it in context? then expand the search a little wider?
I have been reading and thinking a lot about the question "How is one saved and by whom?" I was just reading about AG's new book 40 days and the title of chapter 19 sent me flying over to my blog: "Who did the raising?" My educated guess is that this chapter will be about God the Father raising Jesus from the dead and immediately my next thought was: if we are all spiritually dead before coming alive in Christ, then who raised us from the dead?
The first thing we need to establish is whether or not we believe that we are actually "dead in our transgressions" or not. (1st Corinthians 15, Ephesians 2;1&5, Colossians 2;13, ) If you do not believe that prior to being born again you were dead then I strongly suggest that you stop reading NOW. The rest of this post does not apply to you.
The wrestling that I have done over the last year or so concerning this subject has been nothing short of grueling. The match is far from over and the count down on the mat will not happen until I reach the Celestial Arena. Nevertheless, I do concede that I was dead and that I was utterly helpless and hopeless prior to being born again.
Have you ever watched on a movie or TV or perhaps in person when "the body is exhumed"? The dead person does not raise their hand and say "help me up," does he? (unless of course it is one of those horror movies. For this example let's think, crime investigation) The dead body is total and utterly passive and he can do NOthing. So it is with those who are spiritual dead. The Lord must raise us up and give us new life through the regeneration of our spirit (Titus 3).
I can not take any credit for being in Christ. It is the working of the Holy Spirit in my life that has made me alive in Christ.
Some say, well what about all those exhortations that Paul wrote to those of us who believe, like "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" often those who believe you can lose your salvation or better yet believe that you have a part in saving yourself (IE responding to the gospel) fail to read on in that particular verse (of course the whole thing should be read in context). The rest of the verse says, "for it is GOD who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2) My understanding is that we are working out what God has already worked into the fabric of our new nature.
Do we stand by do nothing or whatever we want? If we answer yes, then I question whether God has worked anything into us. For those who answer NO not if I can help it. We press on with the saints who have gone before us and as Paul says further on in Philippians, "I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus."
The more I read, pray and think over the issue, the answer to the question, "Who did the raising (of the spiritually dead) ?" becomes clearer to me.