Wednesday, December 9, 2015

“Life Beyond Death"

    The same power that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead dwells within born again believers to enable our lives of faith and faithfulness.
     "What is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:19-20).
    "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21).
     "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:10-11).

    Of course, it most often does not look or feel as if we are energized by the life giving and death overcoming power of God's might.  Just as the resurrection of the Lord Jesus occurred apart from human sight and witness, the presence of the risen Christ requires the faith whereby we "judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).  Our Savior is in fact risen from the dead, and He dwells in us to energize all life and godliness.  The experience of such grace, however, requires our affirmation when weakness may seem to be our only condition and sensibility.  "We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead" (II Corinthians 1:8-9).

    One day the light of Christ's resurrection will shine forth from the redeemed in open and obvious display.  This is not that day.  Presently, our Lord's risen life may seem reserved to Himself.  It is not.  He rather reveals such glory in the very midst of weakness so that God alone will be exalted when works are accomplished that require Life beyond death.  This is authentic and Biblical Christianity that began with the One who was "crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God" (II Corinthians 13:4).  It continues in those who by faith experience the same wonder of grace where grace does not seem to be…

"We also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God."
(II Corinthians 13:4)
"My strength is made perfect in weakness."
(II Corinthians 12:9)

Weekly Memory Verse
     Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:21)

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