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Article by Dr. Mark Harrod/Trinity Testimony, May 2022

04.28.22 | Newsletter | by Mark Harrod

    The model cars I assembled as a child never looked like the car on the front of the box when I finished. When I saw the box in the toy aisle at the store, I was enticed by the perfect, pristine picture on the front. I would have visions of recreating the      image I saw. How hard could it be? Follow the instructions, a little glue here, a sticker there and everyone would be amazed at my skill in building the model. But it never worked out that way. The pieces never fit together like they were supposed to. When I applied the rubber cement, it ran down the side of the car like bubble gum melting on  a hot day. The racing decals never went on straight and would have ridges of        wrinkles. The distance between my efforts and the way the image on the box was as great as the distance between the earth and the sun. I am sure you can empathize with this feeling. The dish that didn’t quiet turn out like the recipe said it should. The “do-it- yourself” project that ended up looking nothing like the one on YouTube. The relationship that didn’t turn out as planned. The difficulties that cause us to say,      “Life shouldn’t be this hard.”

    We all know innately that there is a way that life ought to be. The pains of life, the difficult diagnosis, the brokenness of relationships remind us that life is not the  way it should be.  Our inner struggles with anger, greed, lust (the list could go on)   proclaim that we are not the way we ought to be. Where do we get this sense of ‘oughtness’? It comes because humanity is made in the image of God. The sense of how things ought to be is a vestige of Eden. We are hard-wired with the awareness of how things should be. The problem is that we have a bug in our system: sin. Sin is the glitch that stops us and life from being the way God designed it to be. The issue is compounded because we can’t fix ourselves.

    So, are we just left to live with a sense of despair? Do we just accept that life will be like a piano that is never in tune? Praise be to God because we don’t have to live in that way.  The resurrection of Jesus  is the promise  that  God will  restore life  to the way it should be and that He restores us to the way we ought to be  (Romans 4:24-25; 1 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 2:5-10; Colossians 2:13, 3:1-4). Jesus is the “last Adam” who became a “life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). The word ‘last’ means final and complete. Our resurrected Lord is the first of the new creation; the new and restored humanity and He gives that life to all who believe in Him. Paul describes those who believe as have died with Christ, buried with Him, resurrected with Him and ascended with Him (Colossians 3:1-4). Yet, we still walk on this earth and experience the struggles that accompany a fallen world. Theologians refer to this as the  ‘already-not-yet.”  We are already redeemed but we are not home yet. We are saved and  redeemed yet still struggle with the presence of sin.

    Thankfully we are not alone in our struggle. The Lord has given us the Holy Spirit to strengthen, convict, comfort and encourage us. He has also given us His Word to guide us in living the resurrected life. The commands found in the New Testament are not meant to make us righteous. Our righteousness is in Christ. The commands are given to guide us in what the resurrected life looks like, to show us how God intends life to be. He intends for us to love one another, to value one another, to forgive one another, to speak joy and peace to one another. The Spirit empowers us to live according to what we already are in Jesus, our resurrected Lord. To  live any other way is to be less than what God intends for us to be.