Friday, September 26, 2014

I am seated with Christ in heavenly places, are you?

Dear in Christ,

I live in a small rented house in a village near Electronic City, Bangalore. It was only 6 months back I could afford to purchase a plastic molded chair to sit on. Yes, sitting on that chair, in my small house I say “I, Tomsan Kattackal, am seated with Christ in heavenly places”. While I say this some may think I am totally out of mind. 

By the time you finish reading this post if you do not say about yourself that “I am seated with Christ in heavenly places”, it is the failure of my presentation; nevertheless the truth remains. Okay, I will be brief, this post may not exceed three printed pages.

I am dead!

While I was baptized I was not joining a religion called Christianity or one of its denominations or groups. Nor was I attempting to impress my fellow Christians. 

I would say my baptism was not act, but a process of transformation.

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his deathRom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of lifeRom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin

I am dead to sin. And I have put on Christ, so that I am no way distinct from the rest of his disciples:

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on ChristGal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Obviously, this putting on Christ happens after I am raised from my dying to sin in baptism.

I will not die any more! Believest thou this? 

Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

The talk here is not about the state after resurrection, because, in the previous verse Jesus has already made clear about what would happen to the dead believers. Moreover, there is no death after resurrection.

I am living eternal life, now!

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Some may object that the usage of the word "might" (or "may") expresses a future possibility than a present reality. But that objection does not stand, as the word "might" is added by the translators.

As long as one knows God and Jesus Christ one has eternal life in him OR he is living his eternal life.

Crux of the matter - I am seated in heavenly places!

I am sure that at least some of my readers are convinced that I am totally out of mind! Anyway, at least for the sake of curiosity keep going on.

I am dead with Christ, I was raised with Christ, I have put on Christ and now:

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus

  • The Greek word used for "heavenly" is ἐπουράνιος, which is G2032, almost always translated as "heavenly". [Other usages are "heaven", "celestial" and "high" - only once].
  • It is the same word that is used in the expression "heavenly Father" in Matt 18:35
  • It is the same word used to describe the place that Jesus occupied after his ascension in Eph 1:20 ( his own right hand in the "heavenly places")
  • There is no standard translation that renders Eph 2:6 in future tense. So, arguments like "we will eventually be made to sit in heavenly places" will not work at all.
I have noticed that the theology / doctrines of many will work only if all the past and present perfect tense expressions in the Bible are converted to future tense. When we prove to them that the text does not warrant any future tense, they will start "explaining away". 

In this case they may argue that it is just a promise that 'eventually we will be seated in heavenly places'. If that argument were true:
  • you are not quickened with Christ, you will eventually be quickened!
  • you are not saved by grace, you will eventually be saved!
  • you are not raised up with Christ, you will eventually be saved!
If one expression in a statement that is written in past tense or present perfect tense can be interpreted using future tense, why not the others? That is poor exegesis! You can only delude yourself by such interpretation!

If you are not convinced, I will readily accept it is my failure. But the scripture does not go away be the unbelief of anyone.

May God bless you,
Tomsan Kattackal

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