Friday, March 25, 2016

"Life Beyond Life"

  "Life Beyond Life"   
     The Lord Jesus Christ did not come forth alone in His resurrection from the dead.

     "God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6).
      "Ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).
      "For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:10-11).

    Note the verb tenses in these redounding and resounding affirmations of Christ's Life beyond life.  "Hath raised us up… Are risen with Him… To be alive unto God."  These reference not the physical resurrection to be experienced by born again believers at the coming of the Lord Jesus for His saints (I Corinthians 15:52).  The Apostle Paul rather calls us to affirm the spiritual resurrection that has already taken place in us through the entrance of the Holy Spirit into our hearts at the time of our new birth.  "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).  Transcending space and time in the realities of the Spirit and of our spirit, the Lord Jesus came forth from the grave with you and with me following in His triumphant wake.  His risen life is our risen life, and we minimize the truth of His resurrection if we do not affirm and declare that we are "risen with Him". 

   A great encouragement exists in this blessed truth, namely, "we shall live with Him by the power of God" (II Corinthians 13:4).  Strength for this day and this moment, the power of Christ's Life beyond life, infuses our innermost being with then abundant energy of grace - "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13).  However, great challenge also presents itself to our hearts.  "If ye then be risen with Him, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).  All excuses for failing to trust and obey God dissolve in the bright light that reveals more than one set of spiritual footsteps exiting the Lord's tomb so long ago.  The risen Christ dwells with and within us by His Spirit.  We presently live in the vibrant life of His resurrection, which is also our resurrection.  We may or may not experience the glory thereof.  But the glory exists nonetheless, and challenges us to believe that Life beyond life energizes us both now and forevermore.

   Angels declared, "He is not here, for He is risen" (Matthew 28:6).  The Word of God and the Spirit of God declare, "Ye are risen with Him".  This is truth.  This is reality.  This is resurrection, the Lord's newness of life and our own.  May we walk in this "faith of the operation of God", and this grace-given Life beyond life made possible by our Savior's sacrifice of sorrow, suffering, and death.  Indeed, too much was given for believers to not avail ourselves to so much that is given, to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to our own resurrection in Him…

"If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin.  But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh" (Romans 8:11-12).

Weekly Memory Verse
   For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
(II Corinthians 13:4)

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