Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Power of the Resurrection

Php 3:10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

2Co 13:3  since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 2Co 13:4  For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Since tomorrow is Resurrection Sunday let me remind us why this day is so important in the life of a Christian.  There are three main results of the resurrection spoken of in the Bible.  For many, one of the results is all but forgotten and ignored and even denied by some. 

Obviously the first one is that Jesus was raised for our justification.  His deliverance from death meant that the Father accepted his sacrifice as a suitable atonement for sin and thus he will save all who come to Christ by faith.  For this reason alone the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest news mankind has ever heard and for this reason we “celebrate” Christ’s resurrection every Sunday and proclaim this good news to all who will hear.

Later on in Phil. 3 Paul mentions another result of the resurrection, Php 3:21  who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  He has already said that he wants to know or experience the power of the resurrection and as he taught in detail in 1 Cor. 15, Christ’s resurrection is proof that God will and can resurrect our bodies at the end of the age and we will live in glorious, sinless bliss forever with him in glory.

But the third result of the resurrection that he mentioned in vs. 10 is that one that we don’t want to miss either.  Over and over again the NT teaches us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead works in us now to live in newness of life.  The above verse from 2 Cor. is a good example of this.  Let me cite two others, 2Co 4:10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
2Co 4:11  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me

As I mentioned, the above verse in 2 Cor. 13:3 connects the power that we are to live by with the power of the resurrection of Christ.  Perhaps Col. 2 says it as plainly as anywhere, Col 2:12  having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. Col 2:13  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.  This is said in the context of the Colossians being exhorted to walk in a godly fashion, Col 2:6  Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, Col 2:7  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

The fact of the matter is that each and every one who is truly saved by God has been transformed by being given a new heart and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit to live for Christ, not as they did before they were saved.  The classic Arminian says that salvation is simply a matter of us choosing to believe that Jesus died for our sins as if believing in some fact is all God cares about.  But the truth of the matter is that God does the converting and when he does, it comes with the very power that raised Jesus from the dead; we are no longer the same. 

This power is seen to varying degrees in all of us, and as John says and what we will be has not yet appeared  but he also says the each one of us purifies himself with this truth.  

So the power of the resurrection is a justifying power, and it is a glorifying power and praise God it doesn’t leave us where God found us but it is also a transforming power that has already begun its work.

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