(Part 2/3 – A summary of the Sunday morning teaching on 05-Apr-15, in AFT Church, English service.)
EXECUTION OF THE PLAN
The plan was ready even though the reality of it wasn’t. God had called us and prepared Salvation for us in and through Jesus before the world began. 2000 years ago during the days of Paul and Timothy, the plan was manifested. Jesus appeared and executed the plan in the following manner: –
1) JESUS ABOLISHED DEATH
‘Abolition of death’ can be explained better in the following manner – ‘render negatively’ death, ‘frustrate or quash’ death, ‘dismantle’, ‘disempower’, ‘nullify’, ‘put out of gear’.
Romans 5:12 says, ‘12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned’. Through Adam, sin and death entered the world. It dominated over all men. God made man in His own image and likeness. God’s image didn’t include death. God hadn’t created man to die. He was made perfectly and gloriously. He was not meant to have a corruptible body. He was to be the owner over everything that God had made. The psalmist in Psalm 8 asks in astonishment, ‘What is man that you are mindful of him?’ Man has been crowned with glory and honor and to be the head over all things. Man was next only to God. That’s why Moses could split the Red sea into two, and Joshua could lift his hand and keep the sun shining. That’s why Jesus said that, ‘whoever says to this mountain “be removed and cast into the sea” and shall not doubt in his heart but believe that whatever he say will come to pass, shall have whatever he says’.
When God said, ‘Let there be light’, there was light. Man can do the same thing. Whatever he says, he can have. When man allowed the devil into his life, he did exactly what the devil had done earlier. The devil was also made gloriously in Heaven. He was beautiful and talented. But at one point he became proud. He thought that he could become like God. So he tempted Adam and Eve with the same thought. If they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, they would be like God too. That had been the only tree that God had restricted them from eating. As long as they obeyed God in that regard, they declared that there was a God above them. The moment they disobeyed, they were saying, ‘We don’t have a God. We will do whatever we want.’
That is sin – doing our own thing and having no place for God. A man can appear decent and yet be a sinner. If he doesn’t have a relationship with God, no matter how morally good he is, he will still be a sinner.
CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
- Spiritual Death: When they sinned, Adam and Eve died. God had warned them of that. Well, they didn’t physically stop breathing and die. They died spiritually.
Separation is the principle of death. Physical death happens when the spirit and soul are separated from the body. Spiritual death refers to separation of man from God. When Adam ate from the forbidden tree, they were cut off from God. The link with God through which they received everything was suddenly snapped.
- Old age and physical death: Even though physically they were still alive, physical corruption set in. The body started decaying and became prone to old age, sickness and death. God reduced the lifespan to 120 years. The problems of getting old – greying hair, falling teeth, trembling legs and wrinkling skin set in right at the time of the fall. Nobody can stop us from aging or dying.
FEAR OF DEATH
14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
The devil brought sin and death into the world and so he is called the ‘Ruler over death’. Jesus became like us so that He could die on the Cross and destroy the devil that had power over death. He released people from the fear of death.
Job said, ‘If a man dies, shall he live again?’ That’s every man’s concern. Let us look at some examples of how much people fear death.
- The Western countries try to mask the horror of death. I once attended the funeral of an American friend. I had known him to be a simple and ordinary person who always dressed casually. At his funeral, his body was dressed up in formals and he looked flawless, better than I had ever seen him when he was alive. The funeral home looked like a 5 star hotel. People try to make death look good.
- Nowadays death is referred to in euphemisms. ‘Passed away’ has replaced ‘dead’, and ‘casket’ or ‘couches’ have replaced ‘coffin’. Death bothers people.
- Some people don’t like to use the word ‘death’ in their wedding services. But the wedding vows still state it – “Till death does us apart”.
- In America, someone proposed the concept of a ‘Drive-in funeral home’. Instead of going into the uncomfortable atmosphere of a funeral home, they were proposing to drive-in, look at the dead body, pay their respects and drive off. Death is stinging.
- In India, we say that we are growing old and that we want to see our child married before our death.. We say this because we have the fear of death.
- Some people strive very hard to accomplish everything in life in a hurry. They anticipate death and want to make use of every available opportunity before they die.
- When we buy a car they let us do a test drive. Recently, I went to a car showroom. Once I entered the car, the sales assistant asked me to put the seatbelt on. He quoted Lady Diana’s car crash and said that she died because she wasn’t wearing her seat belt. Her co-passenger who did wear the seat belt did not die. He further explained that this particular car had eight air bags in order to protect the occupant in case of an accident. He was capitalizing on the fear of death.
- I once saw an insurance agent trying to sell an insurance policy. The buyer asked the agent to initiate a policy on his wife and children’s lives. The agent asked who the breadwinner of the family was. The man replied that it was him. The agent instantly replied that they needed to get him insured. He explained that insurance policies were not like savings plans; they are meant to take care of one’s family in case of an eventuality. The buyer readily agreed to take a policy on his own life. He was safeguarding his family in case he died soon.
- Some people won’t eat anything that tastes good, some visit doctors very frequently and some people sleep with light switched on – because they are scared of death.
- Some people say that if you enjoy and laugh a lot, then something bad will happen. Some say that you shouldn’t love another person too much, because if you love someone a lot that person would die.
…to be continued…