The Two-Stage Christian Life

by Mike Ratliff

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, (Romans 1:1-5 ESV)

In last night’s post, What the Gospel Is and What the Gospel Does, I made the following statement about Romans 1:1-5 (above), “This is a summary of the two-stage life of our Lord Jesus Christ. The first stage leads up to His death on the Cross then the second stage is a second life when He was raised up in glory by God’s Spirit.” In this post I would like to show how those effectually called unto Christ by the Father are also called to parallel our Lord’s two-stage life. He was incarnate as a human even though He is the second person in the Holy Trinity. In John 1:1-3 we learn, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” This is referring to our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though He is God, He came to earth as one of us, though sinless. From that moment of His incarnation, He lived in the first stage in this sin-sick, and fallen world. He was tempted in every way that we are. He grieved, wept, was rejected, was tortured and was executed though He was innocent. He died and was buried. This ended the first stage of His life as the God-Man. Three days later He was ressrecrecterd from the dead, this began the second stage of His life in glory by God’s Spirit. Continue reading