In Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

II Corinthians 4:15-16:
-15:  For all things are for your sakes {promised to us in the Church Epistles}, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound {to give over the top in thankfulness} to {for} the glory of God.
-16:  For which cause {for the abundant grace contained in the Epistles, which causes us to be bountifully thankful in our giving glory back to our God} we faint not {we will never get tired of thanking God for His abundant grace}; but though our outward man perish {although we continue getting older}, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The greatness of being a believer is that no matter our current age, we can always put on in our minds the truths recorded is His healing Word, and we may continuously be renewed in the spirit of our minds with truth. In the Epistles the children of God who walk before Him are never called “has-beens” or considered “over the hill,” for the inward man (the Christ within) can always grow as we are encouraged to believe God’s Word and reap the positive rewards promised.

Galatians 4:19 – My little children {from God’s point of view we are always His precious children}, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Having Christ formed in you represents the time span that it would take from the point of our salvation until we begin truly realizing our own spiritual light (the new man), and its source, and the learning and knowing of the Christ within (created and placed there by God), and our absolute realization and complete belief of it. When the Word of God really begins lifting our life up and out of the old nature and we begin relying on God’s Word as the words of life and our daily spiritual food, then Christ will be completely formed within our conscious mind. At that point in time when Christ is formed in us, we can spiritually begin growing and shining with effervescence in God’s spiritual light. Then we will also be “in Christ” and true spiritual understanding becomes new in the mind and alive in the heart as divine inspirations begin directing our paths.

Galatians 6:15 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature {new creation}.

This new creation is the spirit that God created in us, it is our “new nature in Christ,” and this new nature places the Christian believers on a spiritual journey with God that continues until the return of Christ when we receive our new spiritual bodies that will be totally renewed in spiritual perfection. The word availeth literally means that we can become strong in our spiritual life, the new creation strengthens plus enhances our walks with the heavenly Father, for the new creation shows us the true strength that Christ within continues giving to us (Philippians 4:13).

II Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things {in the mind, the old nature} are passed away; behold, all things are become {becoming} new {in our understanding}.

Having Christ within us is our ticket to heaven. In contrast, being “in Christ” is when we are walking with the healing Word of God in our daily lives. As we continue putting on the mind of Christ, the true impressions of Christ will rise to the surface of reason and understanding, and this will present to us unmistakable revelations and inspirations that we truly are in Christ.

Behold, I Show You a Mystery

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 15:51 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

I can understand why Paul said that this is a mystery, as even today, nearly two thousand years later, this subject is still misunderstood, although it has been recorded here in Corinthians for centuries. “We shall not all sleep” means that not every “Christian” will die before Christ returns, some of us will be living at the return of Christ, and this is indeed our lively hope. Yet when Christ does return, we all (believers in Christ) shall be changed, and receive new spiritual bodies.

I Corinthians 15:52-53:
-52: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead {sleeping} shall be raised incorruptible, and we {who are alive} shall be changed.
-53: For this corruptible {those who are asleep} must put on incorruption, and this mortal {the living} must put on immortality.

I know that the common belief today is that all those who have died are actually up there having the time of their lives living in Paradise, Heaven, and some who are less fortunate are in purgatory or hell. However, the Scriptures do not entertain these ideas! If the dead are living and these unbiblical notions were really true, then we should get out a pair of scissors and start cutting out verses from our Bibles starting with those above. If everyone who has died is really living, then what is the purpose of the resurrections, and our gathering together (I Thessalonians 4:13ff)?

Romans 5:5 – And hope {the hope of Christ’s return to gather the dead and the living} maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given to us.

Having the hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto him “maketh not ashamed” meaning just the opposite of shame, giving us something indeed to be proud of. On the other hand, without hope of our gathering together the Christian does indeed have shame. Paul said in I Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The context here is that if we hope in Christ and our gathering together and he does not return, then we should be the most wretched people on the planet. However, Christ indeed is returning, so we will be gathered up and blessed for all eternity. For the present time God has given to us His own love to sustain our lives as we continue in His Word, believing in our hope.

Our Comfort in Hope (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Thessalonians 4:14 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The “asleep in Jesus,” refers to the believers who have passed away, believers who did have the hope of Christ returning for them. We also “believe that Jesus died and rose again.” God in this verse is comforting the living, letting us know that the sleeping believers’ hope of the return of Christ is still true, and still a future event, and God has not forgotten them because He will bring them with us into heaven at the “gathering together.”

I Thessalonians 4:15 – For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord {revelation}, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord {Christ Jesus} shall not prevent {precede} them which are asleep.

The Bible uses the word “asleep” for believers who have passed away, and it is an accurate translation because Christ indeed will raise them from the dead. They will feel as though they just woke up from a good night’s sleep, and they will have new bodies that live for eternity.

I Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

When Christ returns, the sleeping (dead) believers will rise first, this is the order in which the Bible reveals to us. When Christ returns during this “gathering together,” he himself only comes down as far as the clouds, and the believes who were once alive will be raised up and out from among all the rest of the dead to meet Christ in the clouds above. This is why the angel said to the Apostles in the Book of Acts 1:11 “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is what the Apostles saw “while they beheld, he {Jesus} was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Thus the return will be similar because believers will be gathered up in like manner to the gathering in the clouds, and from thence it’s off to heaven.

I Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we {believers} which are alive and remain {here on earth} shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the “gathering together.” This is your hope, to “ever be with the Lord” where everlasting reunions with families, loved ones, and friends will commence and never end. This is the hope that God in Christ has given you for your comfort, for your future goals, for at that time God will dry all your tears in the warmth and love of His divine presence. Your body will also be transformed at the “gathering together” from an earthly to a heavenly body, and from a mortal to an immortal body!

I Thessalonians 4:18 – Wherefore comfort one another with these words.