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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Resurrection is a Fact

Chuck ColsonCharles Colson:

I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world – and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.

Resurrection Sunday

The ResurrectionPaul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:1-4 ESV)

We know that all who believe in Christ have hope for redemption and salvation by Him. However, what if there was no resurrection? Then our hope in Him would be limited to this life and we would be in a worse condition than the rest of humanity. The Apostle Paul tells us, among other things, that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ declared Him the Son of God in power. The Gospel is concerned with two facts about Jesus Christ our Lord. The first is that He was really man. The second that, although man, He was more than man. Jesus was truly a man by the fact of His birth and the Son of God by the fact of His resurrection.

The resurrection was not only miraculous; it was a lesson. The resurrection teaches us that Jesus was much more than the prophets or apostles. He was the Only-Begotten Son of God, who had shared God’s throne and His Nature from all eternity.

Paul points out that this single event declared Christ to be the Son of God by His Resurrection from the dead. Why should our Lord’s resurrection have the particular effect of declaring Him the Son of God? The resurrection of our Lord verified the truth of His claims and teachings. Had Jesus lived, taught, and decayed in His tomb, He would have been regarded by history as a great moral teacher who in the end was simply a man. However, the resurrection proclaims to the entire world that He Who was crucified, dead, and buried, is the Son of God.

When the lifeless soul hears the voice of the Son of God, his eyes open to behold His mercy and love. His tongue bursts forth in prayer and praise to Him who is the Redeemer and Lord. His sinfulness is exchanged for purity, light, and eternal life. In the Church of our day when a man is turned from the fatality of sin to a life of godly righteousness, we must give all praise to God and pray that more sinners will do the same.

The power of the resurrection of Jesus is as supreme now as it was in the days of the apostles and disciples. The Holy Spirit is just as ready to quicken us who are dead in trespasses and sins – as anyone in the Book of Acts. Jesus Christ will abide in us. At the resurrection of the last day, Jesus will confess us before his Father and we shall receive that wonderful invitation: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34 ESV)

Jesus rose from the tomb to prove to us that we could have everlasting life with Him. I give thanks to God for His grace and mercy on this Resurrection Sunday and pray that you will come to know the greatness of His power towards you.

Samuel at Gilgal

 

The Truth of the Resurrection

John MacArthurJohn MacArthur:

The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation.

Ronald Reagan: He Really Was What He Said He Was

President Ronald Reagan

Quoting President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004):

“I still can’t help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where … is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time — possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father’s shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father’s shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing — the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, property-less young man has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived — all of them put together. How do we explain that — unless He really was what He said He was?”

The Good News Of The Resurrection

In the verses below, we find that the best of men owe their praise to the great mercy of God. All of the evil in this world is from man’s sin and all the good from God’s mercy. He has given us a new birth which is worthy of our eternal thanksgiving!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, [7] so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. [8] Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, [9] obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV)

Are people basically good? Answers from most people lean towards good. Secular counseling practices begin with the foundational belief that people are basically good. Such claims fall very short when compared to the reality of human nature. The Bible is very clear that the opposite is true.

In the Scripture above, the Apostle Peter wants us to see that we have a great need and only Jesus Christ can meet that need. We need to be spiritually alive, but we are spiritually dead and most of us don’t know it and there is nothing we can do about it for our selves anyway. We are spiritually dead; not sick and in need of medicine, but dead and in need of a resurrection.

The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead can also raise us from the dead and secure our salvation. Are you a Christian? If you are, you have experienced this new birth or this resurrection. You know the reality of being brought from death to life. If you have never trusted Christ as Lord and Savior, read again carefully the verses from 1 Peter above. His resurrection brings about our resurrection.

God looks down on His people and, in His great mercy; He causes us to be born again spiritually. Our Lord Jesus was the first to put on immortality. His resurrection results in our resurrection.

By faith we understand that someday Jesus will return. When He is revealed to us then our joy will be complete. The resurrection is all about the grace of God. It’s grace because it secures salvation for the people of God. There isn’t a person who deserves it. But because of His death for the elect and His resurrection to secure us, we can rejoice. The gospel is the good news that Jesus completed for His people what they could never do for themselves.

Pursue The Holy Spirit

It is a constant necessity to ask God to keep you from presumptuous sins. (Psalm 19:13) None should presume upon God’s grace. Your decision for Christ and your emotional experience may not mean anything. Al Baker explains to us the need of keeping the Holy Spirit close to our hearts:

Watch over your own heart with diligence, for from it flows the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

[Y]ou must daily pursue a personal visitation of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us to not quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19), to not grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30), and to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Just as a man who offends his wife with unkind speech finds a wall of separation between them, so our sin breaks fellowship with God Isa. 59:1-2, Psa. 66:18). You are still married and you still love your wife when there is tension, but you nonetheless know things ‘just aren’t right.’ And so it is with God and our sin. Your sin brings a degree of separation from him which can lead to a lack of power over sin, a decrease in passion for Christ and his kingdom, and a downgrade of purity in thought, word, and deed. So each day, when you detect that God is far away from you, when you sense dryness or coldness to the things of God, then be very quick to repent, to ask for the Spirit’s filling.

[Y]ou must [also] regularly pursue personal holiness for without this you will not see God (Heb. 12:14). It is wonderfully and gloriously true that no one can snatch the believer from God’s hand (John 10:28-29), that nothing will separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39), and that we are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that we will receive an inheritance that will not fade away (1 Pet. 1:3-4). (“Pursuing a Personal Inquisition of the Heart”)

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