New LifeBro. David Chancellor
4/4/2010 11:00 AM
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
When Paul came to Corinth and began to preach the gospel, his focus was on Christ. As he spoke to them, he told them of the one who suffered the indignity of the cross, the rejection of those who should have accepted him, and the failure of those that should have stood by him. The cross is a picture of God’s love to us and the awfulness of sin. The story didn’t stop at the cross; he rose again. His resurrection brings us new life.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead;
Jesus came by the plan of God as foretold by the prophets. "Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead…" Jesus was holy. His resurrection stands him apart from all other religious founders. He is the only one to rise from the dead. He was more than a good man; he rose from the dead.
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Jesus went to the cross so that he could lay down his life. He had the power to lay it down and the power to pick it back up. Humanity struggles to lay down life. Jesus could set it aside and take it back. We are encouraged to lay down this life for God, by the resurrection of Christ. Because he died and rose again, we can lay down the old life and take up a new one. We need the new life he brings.
And it is yet far more evident; for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Christ wasn’t made a priest by the same way as the Old Testament priests. He has the power of an endless life. You will always have that connection to God through Christ. Only Jesus can save to the uttermost. In his endless life, we find new life. He gives us the power to change.
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: If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Paul counted everything a loss. He had a good heritage, but when he met Jesus, he found out what mattered. His obedience to the law couldn’t atone for his sins. Jesus came so that we could have life. Paul wanted to give himself to God. We want to live life for God. Give your life completely to God. He has power to give life to what is dead and destroyed.
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. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 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.
Paul saw in the resurrection a living, walking Jesus. In baptism, we have a symbol of dying to sin and being raised to new life. He died so that we could be forgiven; he rose so that we could have life. Paul shared a message that brings new life. It was a message of what can be changed. It’s a message that’s good year-round. Count on Jesus. Everything else will fail. He came so that we can live and walk with God. Keep your faith in him.