For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through the one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

Romans 5: 17

 

There is one singular inheritance that every human being is granted at birth, and this bequest is death. Each and every one of our bodies will come to its end of days on earth. There is no escape from the enactment of this fate. However, death itself is only a shadow of the true legacy that we gain by virtue of our ancestry in Adam. Of greater significance and impact upon our lives now and upon our eternal futures is the fact that we are born in a state of spiritual separation from God. It is as if there were two races of people who exist. Yet, unlike the race descriptors that we typically use, everyone is born into the race of those who are separated from God by sin; thus, they are spiritually dead.

 

Then, by and through Christ, we are all granted the opportunity to be changed into something and someone who is totally different. Although the chemical makeup of our bodies that can be tested scientifically remains the same, our spiritual composition is radically altered as the Holy Spirit of Christ comes to reside within everyone who surrenders his or her life to Christ. This is what I mean by the idea that there ate only two races; that is, those who are spiritually alive in Christ and those who are dead in the sin that was theirs from birth.

 

The impact of all of this on life beyond this earthly one is great, but Paul doesn’t leave us with that hope of eternity as the only aspect of entering into a relationship with God through Christ to consider. For, in Christ, we are also elevated to the status of rulers over our world. Now the power that we gain and the kingdom that we reign over are very strange in human terms. In this kingdom we are granted the same sorts of rights and benefits that Jesus enjoyed. Perhaps the greatest of these is freedom. Through Christ and in His Spirit we are free to love others without regard to the past and to our cultural understandings. Additionally, we are made righteous in the eyes of God so that we can come to Him in full disclosure of our weakness and seek the healing touch of His loving grace. In Christ, we are, in fact, victors over this world and its oppression, and this is true regardless of our situation or our circumstances. Christ reigns in poverty and in wealth, in sickness and in health, and under oppression or in power. Christ reigns!