Death to the Old, Eternity for the New

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, May 26, 2015 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“By law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.” ~Romans 7:2

In order for new things to come, old things must die. In order for a new order to be implemented, the old order must pass.

Within the past five years, I have endured two significant system changes in my places of employment. The second change in systems was not a big deal because I was a new employee and was not familiar with the first system. But the first change was significant. At my previous job we made a switch from paper records to electronic health records.

All politics aside, a switch from the old system to the new had some serious ramifications. We had to change our entire process in the flow of our practice to keep in step with the flow of our records. We had to check people into our office differently and gather more information for the sake of insurance. Most importantly, we had to really improve our computer skills given that the system had lots of bugs that needed worked out.

Romans 7 speaks of how we were bound to the old Law until it passed away. Metaphorically, it is like marriage in that a person is not truly released from their former spouse until he or she passes away. I know that realistically, getting married to a new spouse is not the same as switching over to a new system, but because no two people are alike, one must not expect their new spouse to operate in the same way as their former spouse. And in order for someone to have an unimpeded union with his or her new spouse, the old spouse cannot be in the picture. Spiritually, the old spouse has to be dead for the new marriage to be entirely legitimate. In Romans it speaks of this relationship in terms of our current condition and how we must die to our carnal lives and become alive in Christ. In the future we will see this death to the old covenant in a very real way.

When I speak of the future, I am speaking of eternity. Eternity will be far different from the here and now. Granted, not everybody’s destination is the same. Our focus today will be on heaven. Although there is no death in heaven, several things pass away, or die, before the full manifestation of God’s kingdom that are representative of the new order.

The sun, moon, and stars no longer exist. In the book of Revelation, these things are more or less eradicated. The sun is blacked out, the moon turns to blood, and the stars fall from the sky. In Genesis the sun is given the authority over daylight, the moon is the governor of the night, and the stars are signs so that people can track the seasons. If you pay close attention, you will notice that God governed these aspects of creation before he created these governors of light. In heaven, the old order passes away and he again is the governor of light. One of the biggest differences with his authority is that he eliminates the need for the night.

In Genesis, our physical bodies are forever tainted by the curse of sin. Because mankind was not allowed to eat from the Tree of Life, everyone would be condemned to a physical death. Not only is death eliminated in the new creation, but we are given new sin-free bodies. These bodies are superior to the ones we have on earth and, more importantly, neither they nor our spirits will be tainted by sin. Our old bodies will be done away with so that we may share in the glory of Christ.

Finally, all earthly powers will be eliminated. Throughout the entire Old Testament, perhaps starting at Babel, earthly kings and rulers have governed the affairs of mankind. These powers often operate in selfish irreverence to God. There will only be one King in heaven, Jesus Christ. Everyone else will kneel before him.

Until then, God prepares his bride for this kingdom. We were once married to the law of the old covenant and dependent on its statutes to make us righteous. Now the old law has died and we have become alive to our new groom, the Lord Jesus Christ. In ourselves we can see the changes taking place that prepare us for his eternal dwelling place, but there is still much else that needs to pass away before it is fully here.

As a bride awaits the coming of her groom that she may live in his household, so too do we wait upon the Lord to bring us into his eternal dwelling. The drapes of our former abode are nothing in comparison to what God decorates his kingdom with. But what is most important is what it all symbolizes: we are released from the condemnation of the old law and liberated into the glory of our precious Savior.

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