Leadership in Israel had turned the potency of Mosaic teaching into man-made additions of rules and regulations, institutionalizing what God wanted personalized. Christ’s presence in Israel single-handedly reversed the moral and spiritual depravity. The early years of the church saw multiple thousands of Jewish believers added to the Holy Spirit-energized Twelve. The apostles then carried Christ’s energizing presence into the Roman world, as much in need of reform through paganism as Judaism through traditionalism.
Without that colossal spiritual renewal, which grew in the Empire despite Jewish hostility, Imperial persecutions and the slander of misinformed opponents, God would have answered the increasing depravity with a Noahic-like catastrophe.
This blog considers the binding of Satan in Revelation 20:6 as a restraint on, not an eviction of, Satan. The thousand years represent a limited binding over an indefinite period of time. Unwilling to deprive humans of free-will, God in Christ nevertheless gave them the Spirit’s POWER to resist the Devil, to accept Christ’s teaching on self-denial, to surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord and to develop within their resurrected lives the Fruit of the Spirit.
Thus the first resurrection is conversion to Christ through repentance and baptism—the very command Simon Peter issued in Acts 2:38. The very teaching the apostle Paul recorded in Romans 6:1-14. We, who were dead in sin before conversion, Ephesians 2:1-10, rose from the waters of immersion to “live a new life” Romans 6:4. (The very words I heard a Baptist minister use when baptizing a person without thinking what it meant.)
But that isn’t all that the first resurrection implies and plans and demands. No; check Paul’s teaching in Romans 6:5-14 with his teaching in Ephesians 2:4-7 and Colossians 1:9-14. Then add Galatians 5:22-26 to Philippians 2:1-18 to Colossians 3:1-17 to II Peter 1:3-9. The cumulative effect of these passages demonstrates the Nature of the resurrected life Christians must embody and reveal to the world.
Which is possible only because Jesus has assassinated the self-will that would keep us FROM wanting to have such virtues and fills us with the Presence of the Holy Spirit who DESIRES only to empower them in our daily life.
That fruit of the Spirit has since Pentecost kept Satan bound within the limitations the Gospel placed on him.
Now...the reason that’s essential to us: Christians are still sinners released from the penalty of sin, not from its presence in our lives. If we put a balloon inside a jar and blow it up, no needle-point we jam against the jar harms the balloon. Just so, if we persevere in discipleship—i.e., “wash our robes Revelation 7:14” in persistent obedience to Jesus, we’re inside Christ’s impenetrable, transparent grace, protected from God’s wrath. Reconciled to God through Christ’s death, we’re continually saved through his endless life. God sees us in Christ, protected, not us outside of Christ, exposed. End Part VIII, Part C