RESURRECTION LIFE

RESURRECTION LIFE

John 14:20 “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

 What a powerful promise!  As the believer is in Jesus and He is in the believer, everything that Jesus is – is in us.  One important thing Jesus is in us is the resurrection and the life.  It sounds like two things, but it is one.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

 Every person who has received Jesus into his heart has resurrection life within him now.

Romans 5:8-10

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

 To see that resurrection life is in us we need to differentiate between being “saved from wrath” and “more so,  .  .  .  saved by His life”.  To help us, let us look at verse 10 in the Amplified Version.

 Romans 5:10 (Amplified Version) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life.

 Through Christ we are reconciled to our Father in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:18, 19).  Being reconciled to our Father is being saved from wrath (verse 9 above).  Jesus has paid the penalty of sin for us, and experienced the full brunt of God’s wrath in our place.  So now we are dead to the penalty of sin.  Therefore, Paul is pointing to a different aspect of being saved in verse 10.  There is no reason to again say that we are saved from wrath in this verse.  It’s evident that Paul is telling the Romans that there is additional benefit to them because they are reconciled to Father God.  Everyday they can experience the power of the resurrection life of Christ.  Talk about benefits, there are many benefits to us in resurrection life.

Here Paul was showing the Romans that sin did not have to be their master anymore.  He elaborated on this theme in detail in the rest of this chapter and throughout chapters 6-8.  This was obviously very important to Paul that he gave this much space to this topic in this letter.  The reason he could say these things is that he had experienced the difference in his own life.  And he pointed to the source of this victory.  The risen Christ now lived in him.  Resurrection Life – Jesus – lived in Paul.  Daily Paul experienced being saved (delivered) from sin’s dominion.

Paul said some other incredible things based on his experience and the word of God, which we seldom hear people talk about.  He shows us the benefits included in resurrection life.

Romans 5:17-21

17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 We are to reign in life.  Who?  “Those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”  To reign means to rule.  We are to rule in life.  The key is receiving grace and righteousness which only come through Christ.  But as we walk in grace and righteousness we will be raised up to rule in this life.  Reigning in life is the overall package.  As we explore this more we shall see the details.

 Victory Over Sin

Under the law we had no power against sin.  Knowing we had sinned and the penalty was death, we accepted the label of “sinner.”  Sin reigned over us, as every one of us sinned.  Some did not recognize their sin or want to admit it, but no one is righteous on their own.  We have all sinned (Romans 3:10 and 23).  Jesus said He did not do away with the law.  Paul makes it clear that the power of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).  So how are we victorious over sin?  We aren’t really.  Jesus is.  Because He is righteous and lives inside of us, He gives us the power, through resurrection life, to rule over sin (Genesis 4:7).  This power is called grace (Romans 6:14).  Without grace available through resurrection life, Cain failed.  With grace we are given the power we need to rule over sin.  Today, without merit, God gives us the power to be and to do what we cannot do in our own strength.  By grace we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not of ourselves.  By grace we have victory over sin as well.  How do we enter into that?  Death.  But not physical death.  That would not give us victory over sin in our mortal flesh.

Study these verses of Scripture.

 Romans 7:1-6

1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another— to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

 Romans 6:2-11

2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 Romans 6:2 holds the key revelation.  Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, when we accept Him as Savior, we accept His payment in our place as sufficient to release us from the penalty.  In His death He died to the penalty of sin once for all mankind.  As we receive Him as Savior, the shed blood of Christ wipes our record of sin (the “body of sin” of Romans 6:6) perfectly clean.  If we sin again tomorrow, His shed blood has already cleansed that sin.  God the Father sees us now as in His sinless Son.  He imputes the righteousness of Christ to us in every case.  That’s why believers are called “saints.”  Our victory begins as we realize that the penalty is forever removed and we are not guilty before God.  There is no more wrath in God’s heart towards us.

But the victory is not experiential until we surrender to the indwelling resurrection life of Christ; His grace.  Part of the free gift of grace is the Spirit of God who also now lives within us to lead us into all truth.  He is the agent of the grace of God which teaches us to say, “No” to sin, and “Yes” to the righteousness of God.

Titus 2:11, 12 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

Romans 6:12-14

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 When we received Christ we were baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 12:13). The power of being in Christ in His death and resurrection was released in us (Ephesians 1:19, 20).  In that baptism into the body of Christ we were released from the penalty the old man lived under and we were given the anointing of grace to recon ourselves (renew our minds) dead to the penalty of sin and alive to God.  We step into the reality of resurrection life in Christ.  We are new men and women created in righteousness and true holiness able to walk in resurrection life everyday (Ephesians 4:24).  Anointing does not compel us to do what we now can.  It gives us the power to do what we now can.  We now can recon ourselves dead to the penalty of sin, never to fear punishment again, and alive to God and the abiding truth that He walks with us everywhere we go and will never ever leave us (Hebrews 13:5)

You are dead to the law because you are in Christ.  When He died, you died.  When He rose from the grave, you rose from the dead.  You can walk in the power of the new man over sin because of the resurrection life of Christ within you.  This is what Paul was talking about when he wrote Romans 8:2.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

 Authority Over Demons

Now we are not only in Christ, but we are in Him wherever He is.

1 John 4:17 . . . as He is, so are we in this world.

 You need to see this.  Let these Scriptures sink in to your heart.

Ephesians 1:19-22

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

 Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

 Notice the exceeding great power released to us who believe.  It is the same power that raised Christ from the dead: resurrection power.  Through this power God not only raised Christ from the dead, but seated Him at His own right hand, the hand of authority.  Now He is seated above all demonic powers of Satan and his horde of demons.  But as we submit our lives to God, we are also seated at the Father’s right hand, because we are in Christ.  This is our new position over all earthly and second heaven powers.  We are dead to sin and alive to God, just as Jesus is.  As He is, so are we in this world.

To activate this level of authority and power there is one more thing we need.

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 Being seated in Christ at the right hand of the Father is the position of resurrection life – Authority in Christ.  But the power to operate with the power Christ operated in requires us to receive the same source of power Jesus received.  Jesus told the disciples that they needed to wait for the Holy Spirit so they could release the same level of authority and power that He did while walking as the Son of Man. Everything He did was according to the will of the Father and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 Acts 1:4, 5

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

 Once these living realities are in place within us we are now ready to receive our mandate.

 Mandate – Preach the Gospel

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

 Mark 16:16-18

16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 Notice that both of these passages are about the mandate to preach the Gospel.  But the passage in Mark reveals an expectation of Christ, that they would have the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through them as they preached the Gospel.  And of course, they did receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and signs did follow them to confirm the word wherever they went (Acts 16:20).

Look at what Paul had to say about signs and wonders.

Romans 15:18, 19

18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

 The thing that Paul said to be the reason he could declare that he had fully preached the Gospel was that Christ had worked signs and wonders through him by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Many people who argue that signs and wonders are not important to the Gospel would rather point to other good works like feeding the hungry or starting homes for orphans.  These are important and should be done by the church.  People are won to Christ in both ministries.  But Paul saw signs and wonders following his preaching as evidence to him that he had fully preached the Gospel.  Any good works organization can feed the hungry and run orphanages without being Christian.  You do not need the power of the Spirit to do those things.  You do not even need the Holy Spirit to heal.  New Agers and occult groups can do that to a limited degree.  But to do the impossible that convinces the hardest of hearts, God told us to wait for the resurrection power of Christ which comes by the Holy Spirit, Who raised Christ from the dead.  Paul did not need wise and persuasive words that many ministries rely upon.  He had the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost.  He could stop the power of imitators or sorcerers by a command (Acts 13:6-12) and declare Christ with authority because he knew Christ would work through Him this way to win the most skeptical minded, if they could be won at all.

This is resurrection life.  It means power over sin and power over the works of the devil to win souls to Christ.  The power of the Holy Spirit in resurrection life is essential and integral to the commission by Christ.  As He sent the disciples to preach the kingdom before He was crucified, without resurrection life; so He sent them, and us, after He rose from the dead, with resurrection life.

The same command to preach the kingdom applies to us today.

Matthew 10:7, 8

7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

Jesus is resurrection life.  It flows by the Holy Spirit through us to heal our bodies and release power to change lives around us for His glory.  You cannot release this kind of life without Jesus and His Spirit.

In a Nutshell

In Colossians 2:8-23 and 3:1-17 Paul very clearly elaborates what Christ has done to bring us into resurrection life and what is now possible as we follow Him.  Colossians 2:20 and 3:1 contain a nutshell version of resurrection life.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

 “If you be dead with Christ” (KJV) – then the world has no attraction for you.  It cannot pull you away from a focus on Christ

Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

 “If ye then be risen with Christ” (KJV) – you are captivated with the scenes of Heaven and experience the reality of Christ at the Father’s right hand.  For that’s where your life is now.  Oh, how often the disciples spoke of this.

Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

 Your life is hidden with Christ in God.  This is surely the place of love and freedom, security and joy, honor and authority; because here all righteousness is fulfilled in Christ and the Father is perfectly satisfied with us in Him.  This is His will and the essential element of His purpose fulfilled.

Strong Suggestions

Put seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness as your first priority.

Be saved.  We are only righteous in Christ (Romans 10:2-4).

Be baptized in water to step into the reality of His resurrection,

Be baptized in the Holy Spirit to initiate the power of resurrection life.

Submit to the reality of co-crucifixion and co-resurrection.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind to Kingdom of God reality.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

 

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