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FirstFruits

29 Aug

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)

Why does Paul bring out that we are, “the firstfruits of the Spirit,”? What’s his point? What does it even mean to be the, “firstfruits of the Spirit”?

First, we need to figure out what it means to be the, “firstfruits of the Spirit”… In the Old Testament, everyone in everything they did would offer a “firstfruit”. People make firstfruits, how, therefore, can people be “firstfruits”?

Whether Sheep wool, or actual fruit, or anything. A part of  everything was to be offered to the Lord back in the time of the Old Testament. Paul calls us “firstfruits of the Spirit,”, because He’s the one who cultivates us, and “grows us into Christ,”. we, therefore, aren’t “ours”, but instead God’s. Just like the wheat doesn’t own itself, the farmer owns it; we don’t own our self, instead, The Spirit (of God) does. But what does it mean to be, “owned by God”?

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:33-34)

It means we’re God’s elect, and it means only God can charge us with sin, and only Jesus (the one who died to save us), can condemn us.

Second, we need to figure out what exactly all that means…

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

To put it in the simplest possible way. What “all that” means, is that we are not our own. The one who predestined, conformed, called, justified, and finally will glorify us is the one we belong to.

46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:46-48)

The fact that we are not our own, is the only way we can obey that command. However, this brings a new question up, “even if my life isn’t my own, I’m not perfect and I never can be!” How does all this combine? We need to be perfect, but we can’t be. We don’t own our self, Jesus does, but even so, it still remains that I’m not perfect.

9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

There is a reason Christ died for us. He died for us, and in doing so, made us his. He, “justified” us, we had already been predestined, than Jesus called us, then died for us to justify us, and now that we’re saved (justified), when we “die” we will be glorified. The command to, “be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly father is perfect,” is an impossible command for us to obey. Only through Jesus’ perfect on our behalf, can we be saved.

But now, we have one final question to answer.

Third, what does it matter that we’re not our own, if Jesus died for us anyway? … So what if we’re not our own, I don’t see how we’re any different because of it. In short, because Christ saved me, I no longer have to work my way to Heaven, and therefore can live however I want! (Right?)

Wrong, actually.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:3-5)

We are not our own, meaning that we are no God’s. Meaning that we have died to sin, and now live in Christ. We still live in flesh, but we live in flesh, and therefore are imperfect, only when we are “glorified” will we be perfect, but what it means now is that we will not be “captured” by anything.

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Basically, it all ends up meaning this:

We have been saved. Through our salvation, we have died to sin and now live in Christ Jesus. But this is not a “license to sin,” on the contrary, as I already mentioned it means we’ve died to sin. Now, we are not our own, but instead we’re Christ’s and his alone. But, because we still live in flesh, we are imperfect as of now, and still fall to temptation. But Jesus has given us the ability to stand against it.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-16)

He’s given us the Gospel, the Spirit, the word of God, truth, readiness, and peace (among other things).

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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