“the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.”
This is the last of the my blog posts working through the Apostles Creed and in some ways we have saved the best for last. I had considered breaking each of these up into seperate posts but I think there is a common theme running through each of these final statements and that is “all things new.” In Revelation 21 John is given a vision of the new heavens and new earth. In this new creation humanity and God are restored to the relationship they had before the Fall of Humanity. Sin is no longer breaking the relationship between God and creation, and creation is no longer suffering the effects of humanity’s sin. God goes beyond making things new and is even healing the pain that we have experienced as “he will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
This is a picture of the live we were created to live before sin entered the world. In the new heavens and new earth we are able to love God and love each other perfectly and therefore there is no sin. Relationships are healthy and pure and no one is enduring the pain of brokenness anymore. The entire story of the Bible since the Fall of Humanity has been leading us back to this point: humanity is forgiven, sin has been dealt with forever, wrongs have been righted, and community restored. All of this was done through the atoning work of Christ in his death and resurrection setting humanity free from its bondage to sin and death and opening up the possibility of life and even more than life: abundant life.
At the Fall of Humanity we lost the life that we had been created to live. We lost the ability to know God without the separation of sin, we lost the unity of perfect relationships with each other, and we lost our physical health and eventually began to experience death. All of this centers on our sin and our sin is what is keeping us from the abundant life found in Christ. Our sin and the sins of the entire world must be dealt with in order that God might be just and also loving. In sending Christ, God demonstrated to us what a perfect life was and we decided to kill that example of life. In dying Christ bore our sin and all the sins that every were or would be on himself. Offering himself up that in his death and resurrection sin and death would be forever defeated. For us now on this side of the cross we wait for the completion of this atoning work. Believing that when Christ comes again and sin and death are no more that we will experience the life we were intended to live.
Through the forgiveness of sins and Christ’s victory over death we are able to experience life beyond death in both our own resurrection and everlasting life. We did nothing to earn these things but are co-heirs with Christ experiencing the fruits of his work and sacrifice. With our sin and death being defeated in Christ we are able now to look forward to an existence with out the bonds of sin and death impacting us and the world around us. We will be able to love God fully and love our neighbor fully and truly experience what Adam and Eve did in the Garden before the Fall.
However, now we wait. The work is finished but the results are not fully experienced. We can trust securely in Christ and even see little bits of this abundant life breaking into our normal existence. When people through the grace of Christ are able to see families healed, relationships restored, creation cared for, and believers worshipping together we are experiencing a foretaste of this promised life. May we have ears to hear and eyes to see the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom of life until we experience the fullness of what we have believed.