A Spiritual ResurrectionBro. David Chancellor
4/12/2009 11:00 AM
My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Paul had been very religious, but something happened to change his life – Jesus rose from the dead. He viewed Jesus as an imposter, but one day on the road to Damascus, he met the resurrected Christ. At that point, his perspective changed. He found out it wasn’t just a story. He met the risen Lord.
"Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" Why would we think that’s an incredible thing? God is all powerful. He can do whatever he wants to do.
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid; go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there they shall see me.
This tells about Jesus’ resurrection. These Mary’s had noted where the tomb was and were going to come to do the customary burial duties. The angel told them their task wasn’t necessary. He told them that Jesus had risen. Things changed in an instant. They ran to tell the disciples. Everything turned around for them in one day. Defeat became victory. Jesus laid down his life and then took it up again. The resurrection is the wonderful message of the gospel.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
"Verify, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." Jesus describes a resurrection here. He’s talking about a resurrection that is now, not some day in the future. Those that hear God’s voice shall live. Why do people find it hard to believe that God can raise the spiritually dead? If there’s only forgiveness, we don’t have any hope, because we’ll just mess up again. The miracle of salvation is found in newness of life. God can put new life in you and make you a new creature. Paul found the difference the resurrection made was that it brought hope and new life. Jesus knows everything we suffer; he brought a way for us to live clear before God. In Jesus there is life and hope.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But 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:
"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:" He’s describing that spiritual resurrection. All of us were dead in sin, but those that know God have been given new life. We can look forward to heaven. We want to keep this life until we make it to heaven. We want people to know God, but more than anything else, we want to make it to Heaven ourselves.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Grace gives us newness of life. Baptism is a testimony of what Jesus did for us. It is a representation of a burial and resurrection. God makes a change in us when he puts new life in us.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death:
Paul was on the road to the top. He gave all that up to have the righteousness that comes by faith. God gives us the power to live the life he intended when he created us. He can help us overcome what we can’t overcome on our own. It’s not incredible that God can raise the spiritually dead; it’s possible. All things are possible to God.