FIRST-FRUITS

First Fruits Principle in Scriptures
Such as I Corinthians 15:23-28


        There are three classes in the resurrection, with Christ Himself as the first to be raised from the dead, as stated in I Corinthians 15:20 and 23.  Others are raised “..every person in their own order.” All people who are given Christ's faith in this life are to be resurrected as a second group: “...then they that are His [Christ’s] at his coming” I Corinthians 15:23.  I Corinthians 15:23-28 finally refers to a third category including all other people: “then cometh the end...” .” This third “consummation” event involves all enemies being brought into worshipful subjugation to Christ and it also entails death being rendered powerless and totally abolished, as is further emphasized in II Timothy 1:10-11.  Perhaps Paul was referring to these three resurrection events when he wrote in I Timothy 2:6 that Christ’s ransoming of all is “to be testified in due time.”

        The first category applies to salvation of believers now. Concerning those who are trusting Christ, it is written in James 1:18 that God is “purposefully” and “prolifically” giving birth to such “first fruits” believers “by the word of truth.” In that verse James also wrote that those being reborn in this age are “a kind of first fruits among God’s created beings.” James’ used the word first fruits, implying that God intends to justify all people. If the “first fruit of the dough” being offered is holy, the whole lump is also made holy, according to Paul and the Old Testament texts too (Romans 11:16.)  

        Paul hoped that God’s obvious work in saving so many Gentiles would prod the Christ-rejecting Jews to take Jesus as their Savior too—Romans 11:13-14. Paul referred to believers of this age as having the first fruit “of the Spirit” in Romans 8:23. We who know Christ now are likewise subject to the “bondage of decay,” even though we have the first fruits of the Holy Spirit. First fruits believers eagerly await their “sonship” to be fulfilled, which is the “deliverance” of their bodies in resurrection.  Paul indicated that Christ intends to change our lowly bodies into new, glorious ones. This change is to be carried out “by means of the power, which enables Him to bring the all under His control” (Philippians 3:19-21.) The glorification of believers’ bodies will result from the same unimaginable power that enables Christ ultimately to reconcile all the lost, thereby bring “all under His control.” This creation of new bodies for believers before all others probably was what Paul meant by writing that God, Who is the Savior of all, is “especially” the Savior of those who believe; see I Timothy 4:9-11.

        God’s redemption of the “first fruits people” does not prevent or limit in any way the work He does with all the others later. The Bible says that “through Him”, meaning through Christ, God will reconcile “the all” into Himself because Christ has made “peace through the blood of His cross”—Colossians 1:20.  Again we see the marvelous power displayed in Christ's blood sacrifice. As the old Gospel song said, “There is power....wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb” “All” in these passages includes all humans in the heavens, on the earth, under the earth, and even in the sea—Philippians 2:10-11, Colossians 1:20, Ephesians 1:10, Revelation 5:13, and Colossians 1:16-17.

        The term “first fruits” is used in Revelation 14:4 concerning 144,000 elect Israelites, during the tribulation. They are a “first fruits” because there will be a larger “harvest” of all Israelites later, as Paul said in Romans 11:26 “All Israel shall be saved.”. Other lost people evidently will be resurrected and reconciled after the judgment and second death, which is the lake of divine fire—Revelation 20:14.  God has gloriously fulfilled the Old Testament first fruits symbolism in the New Testament by dealing salvation to some people first and then all others later.
 
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