Saturday 24 February 2024

Have you ever put anything at risk for the Lord?

1 Corinthians 15:30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

In context, Paul explains that his ministry made sense, and only made sense, in the light of the fact of the resurrection of believers. Jesus Christ is already risen, and believers will also rise - and this is why they live as they do in the present age, offering their lives up for Jesus Christ. This is the rational way to live, because they cannot everything - even if they die, they shall be raised up again. Jesus is risen, and we shall rise too. Hence, risk makes sense - because ultimately, the victory is already won. It makes no sense for believers to jealously guard their comfort, their security, their peace, because these things are not in ultimate jeopardy: the resurrection means that these things cannot be lost in the end. And actually it makes no sense to try to cling on to them as the highest good, because they can't be kept. We shall lose this earthly body, so that we shall rise again in a glorious resurrection body.

I do wonder that if Paul were writing back to churches in the year 2024, if some of them wouldn't respond to him and suggest that he needed a break. "Paul, we're very concerned about you, and the extreme things that you are writing. In jeopardy every hour? This lies far outside the parameters established by our care committee and operational guidelines. You are taking yourself too seriously. Relax. Don't you believe in God's sovereignty? God doesn't need you to do this. We suggest you take a long period of leave for your mental health, and to reflect upon best practices." That is the atmosphere that we are immersed in in the modern West; these are the ideas that spontaneously come to us if we have lived there long enough. But Paul didn't believe in those ideas. He believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and his own future resurrection because of it. Do you?

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