Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Power of His Resurrection


Rom.1: 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:

Rom.6: 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:

Phil.3: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

I Pet.1: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Rev.20: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power

Let me say from the outside that the Incarnation, the cross, and the resurrection are inseparable. They actually make up what we call “the gospel”. The cross is usually amplified in our spiritual minds, and well it should be. However if Christ was not God in the flesh then His death was just another human death including many tens of thousands on a Roman cross. So the divinity of Jesus must be clearly understood and upon that truth there can be no compromise or even an open discussion. All who even question the deity of Christ are either searchers still seeking the truth or the vilest of heretics.

But the resurrection is also indispensible if we are to understand the Incarnation and the cross, for if Christ did not resurrect from the dead then we are serving a dead Savior. And Paul even suggests that given that scenario we would be the most miserable of all men. So often we under emphasize the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died upon that cross. He was dead. I cannot begin to fully unpack that mystery that God did actually die. God is life and even the word death seems to be completely incongruous with His eternal nature. And yet Jesus died. Some attempt to seem oh so intellectual and exhibit doctrinal prowess by explaining which part of Jesus died or the process of divine death or other things which the Scriptures do not explain and therefore we should not either. Is it not enough to make our very beings tremble when we say “Jesus died”?

But on the third day Jesus resurrected from the dead. That is no metaphor. That is an eternal truth and theological fact. Now before we go any further let me expose some heretics who take the gospel narrative of the resurrection and translate it to us as some kind of a fresh start or a turning over of a new leaf. Rob Bell and others take that kind of license and by doing so they dilute the power of the resurrection and expose themselves as heretics. The resurrection of Jesus Christ came through the power of Almighty God and it authenticated, substantiated, and openly proved who Jesus was, what He did on the cross, and that every word He spoke was the Word of God.

This was not just some noble Jew who was martyred because he was a trouble maker. He was not just a wise man who has some interesting and arresting communication skills. This wasn’t even some Jew who had some divine power and healed people. But how can I reveal who He was through the limitations of human words? God the Word was born to a virgin, lived a sinless life, and then finished what He came to accomplish. Jesus did not start at Bethlehem. He was God the Son, God the Word, from eternity past to eternity future. Even while being in the grave dead for three days He was still alive. Go ahead and run that through that pea shooter we call our “intellect”.

Jesus was dead and resurrected and showed Himself alive to many hundreds of people. The resurrection is still that which makes many stumble. They will admit that Jesus died upon that cross and they can define it in many ways that suit them. But if you deny the bodily resurrection then you deny Christ. Plain and simple.

But the power in that resurrection can and does change a person’s life from the inside out. I am not one to micro manage doctrinal words or to slice things so thin it elicits arguments over the finer points. But please understand what I am going to say. The glorious resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was not just so people could get a new start or alter their lives in some way. That does happen but it is residual. The resurrection and the power revealed by that event was to make a show openly that Christ has triumphed over sin, hell, and the forces of darkness as well as to broadcast throughout eternity that Jesus is and always was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! And who can stand against Him from whose face the earth and the heavens fled? And when you read the Book of the Revelation and get some glimpse of the eternal place we call heaven, you may have missed something very revealing.

It always seemed that Jesus while upon this earth was subordinate to the Father. Even the term “Son” seems to indicate a subordinate status. However that is untrue albeit a very great mystery. But when you read the Revelation we find very much more about Jesus the Son than we do the Father or the Spirit. Again and again Jesus is seen in all His regal glory and He is worshiped by the throngs of the redeemed. Can you see what has happened? The Son willingly humbled Himself and was born in the likeness of sinful flesh, and He suffered and died, and all the while He submitted Himself to His Father. And now, throughout eternity, it is the Father and the Spirit who step back while the Son, the Lamb, the Lion, the Redeemer, the King, the Lord, and the Word is openly and without end glorified in front of all creation!

The resurrection has always been that which establishes a true believer from a fraud. Death and life are great mysteries, but to understand that someone could die and then return to life here on earth is astounding and boggles the mind. But to understand further that someone could die and after three days could return to life again shakes the intellect. But then to understand those two things but also being asked to understand that this “someone” was the Creator of all there is and all there ever will be is a feat of faith which can only be realized with divine power. The resurrection lifted up the Son of God and proclaimed Him to be the Eternal Lord of Glory.

Many students of the Word believe that the last few verses of Psalm 24 describe the victorious entrance of Christ as He ascended into heaven and was recognized and glorified by all its inhabitants. I kinda agree with that interpretation, and so with that backdrop please allow you spirit to soar into that wondrous event as the Resurrected King returns to sit on His majestic throne!

Ps.24: Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

So let the world receive this glorious news! The Eternal Son of God has risen from the dead! There is a God and He is alive! Spread the glad tidings that Jesus has risen from the grave and He lives forevermore! Up from the grave He arose in a mighty triumph o'er His foes! There is no one so called season where this news is celebrated, no, we who know and follow Him must celebrate that breathtaking truth every single day! He who suffered and died and was mocked and derided and was buried in a tomb for three days has resurrected and has shown Himself openly for all to see! And it is the Risen Christ who we adore and praise and worship!



Cherie c. said...



michael said...

He is risen; Jesus wept! There's a couple profound Scriptures!

Three things Rick. It's Romans "6":4, not Romans 4:4 in your intro verses.

This sentence is powerful: "... All who even question the deity of Christ are either searchers still seeking the truth or the vilest of heretics."!!!!

And near the end you write "Grace" and I believe you meant "grave"???

I came to know the truth about His resurrection by hearing! Sometimes we are deceived by what we see and feel about another. What we may easily write off as a vile heretic is really a seeker of truth and "truth" not heard yet!

The great reformer Martin Luther was indeed a vile heretic until one day he read Romans 1:16-17 and the Spirit opened his mind up to understand the heresy he was practicing. That goes to show me God's sovereign work of election according to predestination! The Apostle Paul was after all Saul of Tarsus a Pharisee of Pharisees that all the Christians were convinced by his deeds against them just how vile a heretic he was first!

Oh the great abundant Grace of God! It surpasses our intellect and capacity to comprehend!

Anonymous said...

As far Martin Luther goes I believe that much of his writing is ungodly!
He certainly spread lie after lie when he wrote about water baptism!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Great post Pastor Rick and an encouragement to my day! Praise the King of Kings and LORD of LORDS!

Thank-you also Mr. Sefton as I find agreement in your assessments pertaining to Martin Luther. He did not totally divorce himself from catholicism.

Anonymous said...

There it is, nothing can be added to it. So many great teachings this week, I can't keep up!


Anonymous said...

Was Martin Luther obedient to Lord Jesus Christ?
Our great Lord commanded us to love our neighbor as ourself.

Did Martin Luther love his Jewish neighbors as himself?

Dear readers, teachers of the Bible have a great responsabilty to teach the truth. If any readers of this blog hate their Jewish neigbors they need to repent!


Josef Sefton

Rick Frueh said...

I have written about the serious flaws in Martin Luther. However God used him. But we must never idolize any preacher. But this post is not about Luther.

Anonymous said...

Did God use Martin Luther to leave us with his teachings about water baptism and the Jews or was it Satan? The answer is Satan!



Rick Frueh said...

How did Luther get into this?

Cherie c. said...

The reformation had a purposd te. But like all those with self righteous notions fall by the way side.

Luther, Calvin have some good teachings, but both were still grounded in Catholicism, which is unfortunate. The Reformation brought in denominations other than Catholicism.

Foreknowledge is not predestination, and I'm no scholar, but when the Lord speaks about the elect, I believe He is speaking about those who have prominent purposes like the Apostles, the two witnesses.

Michael, with all love and respect, I refer you to an article - Correcting Calvinism; OnlyJesuaSaves.com Ministries with a reference to Brenda Nickels, a former Calvinist. And if Pastor Rick has written anything about it as well.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Cal said...

Amen, thanks for this Rick. Reading this,in conjunction with prayer: I was with a friend a little over a year ago and prayed through that passage in Philippians. I've had a really rough year, but never have I been convinced of the power, the necessity even, of the resurrection.

Either Jesus rose from the dead and is savior of the world or not, and we live in a Godless world populated by demons.

He is Risen!

Anonymous said...

Truly Jesus is risen from the dead. Let's praise daily the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for being such an astonishing person.

Re: Election Cherie, Romans 9:11 is a key verse.

The elect are those called by God to salvation. This calling occurs before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

The elect are called by God to salvation according to God's will not man's (Rom. 8:29-30; 9:6-23) because God is sovereign (Rom. 9:11-16).

Josef Sefton

michael said...

Rick, in your opening verses is your reference verse Romans 4:4

Which says: "4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due."


Romans 6:4

Which says: "6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."


Cherie c. said...

No, Josef, I have to respectfully disagree dear brother, foreknowledge is not predestination. That is claiming that Jesus only died for a select few and that is not what the Bible says.

I was listening to a sermon last night from a preacher named Walter Martin. I wish the entire sermon was available, but what I did hear convinces me more that "Calvinism is not true.

Everyone uses Scripture to prove their opinion of free-will verse predestination, but I heard something I didn't hear before.

Lucifer was made the most beautiful of all angels. He also had the free will to choose good or evil and because he was so full of pride, he became evil. Angels have not the ability to repent. Once they choose either good or bad, they are then that way forever.

We are given the free will to choose whether to believe or not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Himself said to believe on the One Whom He sent and believe on the One who sent Him.

Scripture unequivocally supports this.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Rick Frueh said...

Does anyone see what happens very frequently? It is a topic of an upcoming post and it highlights the American mind. It usually does not matter what I post about. It can and often does lead to topics not even remotely within my post. But we as "Americans" are so filled with doctrinal issues and are so filled with our own opinions about almost everything that even a post which was meant to life up the resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ can evolve into Luther and Calvinism.
And it is because of the irresistible temptation to use your comment to present your point of view on something you enjoy defending or promoting. We are so ready to launch a certain opinion that we cannot even sit back and fully consume ourselves with the power of glory of the Resurrection.
There are times where the Spirit just desires to bless us with a sacred revelation with no strings attached.

Cherie c. said...

guilty as charged.

obum said...

spot on pastor rick, i follow your blog all the way from nigeria. And what you have just said is true.

Annette said...

A Brief Encounter-Too Brief

I had the pleasure of vising with a missionary woman this past weekend as I so delight in hearing how the Spirit of God is moving in testifying to our LORD Jesus Christ, even while shopping in department stores. If the circumstances were up to me, it would have been an absolute joy to share the day hearing of her and her husband's missionary journey in the remote parts of Asia, where, and I quote, "These people were very poor and not westernized in any way, so they were so accepting of Jesus and His teachings."

She also made another statement that will forever be engraved in my heart, "In our work, these poor people came to us (missionaries) constantly looking for physical help and seeking answers to life's problems. And pretty soon they think that you have all the answers, so we constantly had to remind these new brothers and sisters in Christ that only Jesus has all of the answers. The power we had over these people can be quite heady at times and we constantly had to keep reminding ourselves and these new converts, that it is the Kingdom of God that is being built, not our own personal kingdoms."

"From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew Matthew 4:17

"And as you go, preach, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Matthew 10:7

Public confessions can and do witness to the soul as they testify to Christ, and Him alone. It is a good day when one leaves the store with tears of utter peace and joy, fully knowing that God, the Holy Spirit, is still building.

Rick Frueh said...

Thank you, Annette.

Anonymous said...

The most important thing is to relax and let the LORD do the saving, for that is what He does!

God saved me long before I had read the passages in the Bible relating to election. As a teacher I teach all people and endeavor not to ignore the stubbornly rebellious, although I do run away from their company quite quickly when they continuously spew obscene remarks back at me.

I focus on the words of Jesus for He was the person who first interested me as an unbeliever. I especially focus on Mathew 5 and 6, His death, resurrection and soon return.



Anonymous said...

Greetings Cherie!

No human being can repent of themselves. Repentance is something the LORD grants or He doesn't grant.
If man could do it in his own strength he would boast from morning to evening about it! God commands us to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The ability to do this is also a gracious gift of God!

Rick Frueh said...

Yes, the "ability" to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is a gracious gift from God. It is sometimes called "free will".