John Gavazzoni
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The Gavazzonis'

It's the Same Death
By John Gavazzoni

In this article, I will be operating from an extreme, or near extreme, position of my oft-contrarian disposition. I will be opposing the conventional view of how the Bible presents the subject of death. In warming up to our subject, I ask the reader to consider a bold assertion on a subject analogous to our consideration, i.e., that while (again) conventional thinking insists that, in some sense, and/or by some definition, some sort of a positive qualifying decision, followed up by appropriate behavior, is required of a person in order for that one to be saved, contrarily, the required qualification presented in scripture is simply that you must be a sinner in order to be saved.

The only contribution one can offer for one's salvation is that he or she has sinned/is a sinner. You've sinned? You're a sinner? OK, you qualify for salvation. Absolutely nothing else qualifies as a relevant contribution on our part. To repeat (and I've said it and written it many times): The only contribution you've made toward your salvation is that you've sinned. All else is supplied by God through Jesus Christ, including especially the imperative of saving faith.

Likewise, the fact that one was once dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians; KJV), qualifies that one as a recipient of the reconciling effect of Christ's death. For our death is the death Christ died, and conversely the death Christ died is our death. IT'S THE SAME DEATH. Even if I have not yet been existentially enlivened by His resurrection, His death is my death, and my death is His death. They are generically the same death, the only wonderful difference being that by His death, death was, in and by Him, finally, fully died. His death summed up all death, making death the servant of resurrection life, which adds the "and that more abundantly" dimension of life.

If He had not died our death, there would be no end to the passing on of death. But He died the whole of death, bringing death's reign to an end. His was not an instead-of-us death, it was a with-us; we-with Him; for-us; over-us death. His death was THE all-inclusive death of death. It was all mankind's death wrapped up in His death. As the NAS version has it, "the death He died, He died once for all..."

We need to reconsider, for instance, where Paul was coming from when he wrote about the "dead in Christ," and also possibly "the dead shall rise first..." Most certainly we must be rooted and grounded in the universality of Christ inclusion. We did not get into Christ by our decision to receive Christ, we have all been from eternity, "accepted IN the Beloved." From the moment of our regeneration, we begin--as the Greek has it---to believe INTO Christ, by Christ's own faith, FROM WITHIN Christ, for in Him all things were created, and in Him, all things cohere.

Some years ago, the Lord raised my understanding to another level re: "the breadth, length, height and depth, and to know the love of Christ," explaining to me, as it was whispered to and in my spirit: "Christ is the Containment Field of ALL Existence." Nothing has ever happened that has not happened within Him. Nothing is outside of Him; nothing occurs outside of Him---and especially, in terms of the subject of this article---Adam, and we following, have sinned and died in Christ. All is well contained within Him, and has been salvifically resolved within Him. The whole lies within, specifically, His Personhood, and that Personhood is the Reality of the whole.

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