Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, class 'collapsArch' does not have a method 'enqueue_scripts' in /home/customer/www/shepherdofhope.org/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 307
Do Not Fear! King Jesus is Here! - Part 4 - The Destructive Power of the Resurrection - Shepherd of Hope

On Resurrection Sunday, I have followed a tradition in our church throughout the years of ministry. It’s a tradition I learned as a young Christian in my home church. The tradition is on Resurrection Sunday Morn, when gathered together to worship, the pastor will say, “He is risen!” to which the congregation will respond, “He is risen indeed!” I love that!

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is what makes Christianity unique. All other religions serve dead gods or dead leaders and their memories. Christianity serves a risen living Savior. There’s an old Hymn based on this face entitled He Lives!

He Lives by Alan Jackson

I serve a risen Saviour, He’s in the world today
I know that He is living, whatever men may say
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him He’s always near

He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart

In all the world around me I see His loving care
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair
I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast
The day of His appearing will come at last

He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind

He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart[1]

This Hymn expresses the joy and personal saving eternal relationship we can have with God in Christ. And that experience is rooted in and based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection is the Linchpin, the Power of the Christian Faith.

The resurrection is God’s exclamation mark on the work of His Son Jesus Christ. The resurrection is the evidence of the completion of Christ’s work and that it was acceptable to God for atonement and forgiveness of sin. To the Corinthians the apostle Paul writes:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”

Therefore, what place and purpose does the resurrection have in the life? What power does the resurrection manifest?

The Destructive Power of the Resurrection

When we think of the gospel, the death and resurrection of Jesus, and all that it entails, we may only think of it in positive terms. We may not think of what Jesus did in terms of a word like “destruction.” But there are things in our lives that need to be destroyed. There are things, attitudes, unholy habits, unholy thoughts and practices that hinder us from knowing God and growing in our walk with God. Because of this we need to understand that the resurrection has destructive power.

The Bible states:

  • 1 John 3:8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

The word “destroy” (Greek luo) here means, destroy, break up, break down, dissolve, put off, melt, or to loose anyone in bondage.

There are things that get (or we allow to get) ingrained or rooted in our lives. Fears, doubts, false perspectives, misinformation and a host of other things take root in our lives like unwanted weeds. If left to grow unchallenged, they choke off the life of the good things in our life. Weeds in a garden choke off and steal nutrients from the flowers or vegetables we plant; the good things. The bible tells us that the resurrection is evidence of God’s power to destroy the destructive things in our lives.

It should be added here that the process of applying the power of the resurrection is not only destructive, or putting off bad things in our lives. Once the bad is put off, the vacuum left must be filled with God’s good. Paul was inspired to put it like this:

  • Colossians 3:5–14 – Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

By destruction we put off. By God’s creation in us we put on. Therefore, as we discuss the destructive power of the resurrection to remove unwanted things, let us also seek the Lord about what good holy things God would have us fill in the space left by what was removed. (Otherwise, what was removed may just return.)

The Resurrection has the Power to Destroy the Excuses of Skeptics

The resurrection is a powerful sign for unbelievers. This means that in light of the resurrection, there is no excuse to not come to Jesus for salvation. Jesus stated:

  • Matthew 12:38-41 – “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.41 “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.”

The resurrection is one of the most well documented and provable events in history and as such unbelievers should take it to heart and come to the Lord. If any skeptic truly seeks out the truth of the resurrection, they will come to see the truth of it.

Many have sought to study the resurrection in an effort to refute it only to find that it truly happened just as He said it would and ultimately came to faith in Christ (Matthew 28:6). (See Who Moved the Stone by Frank Morison, a skeptic who came to Christ when he investigated the resurrection). Before you forget about the resurrection and whether or not the gospel is for you, you need to check it out and see for yourself. If you fail to do so, you will not only miss out on the meaning and purpose you were created for, but you will miss out on eternal life.

The Resurrection has the Power to Destroy Doubt.

Jesus gave the ultimate answer to anyone who would antagonistically say to Him, “Show me!” His answer was His power over death displayed in the resurrection. Read what Jesus said to those who doubted:

  • Luke 24:38-43 – “And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?39 “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.43 And He took it and ate in their presence.”

The reality of the resurrection destroys doubts because if Jesus is raised from the dead, than any and all other obstacles to belief in Him are eliminated.

The Resurrection Has Power to Destroy the Penalty of Sin

The resurrection is central to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to cancel out our debt of sin. The death and resurrection of Jesus “wiped out” our debt of sin:

  • Colossians 2:11–15 – 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

The resurrection is central to the power of the gospel message. There is no gospel without the resurrection. The gospel has no power without the resurrection. But with the resurrection of Jesus, the gospel is potent and powerful to cancel our debt of sin.

The Resurrection Has the Power to Destroy the Power of Sin

When the apostle Paul discusses the practical application of the righteous life, he does so referring to the resurrection because if the resurrection is possible, all other obstacles in life pale in comparison. If God in Christ had the power to defeat death, every other obstacle in life pales in comparison. Read how Paul includes reference to the resurrection as demonstrating the power of God available to the believer:

  • Romans 6:4-14 – “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.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.” (See Philippians 3:10)

The power of God demonstrated in the resurrection is the same power that is made available to the believer to live life. Indeed, Paul was inspired to write that knowing this power was of the utmost importance for people:

  • Philippians 3:7-11 – “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

The resurrection is not simply a theological truth or something that happened millennia ago. The resurrection shows us the power of God that is at our disposal in life now! Disciple, you need to know and apply the power of the resurrection to your lives!

The Resurrection Destroys the Power of Death

The Bible refers to Jesus as the “firstfruits” of the resurrection; Victor over death:

1 Corinthians 15:20–21 – 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

 The resurrection of Jesus did not only confirm that His substitutionary atoning sacrifice was totally sufficient and satisfied God’s glorious just standard of the required righteousness to gain access to heaven, and that we benefit from when we trust Jesus as Savior. God always does exceedingly abundantly beyond what we think (Ephesians 3:20-21). Jesus’ resurrection provided a path He now invites us to follow Him in. Jesus said:

John 11:25–26 – 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

When we trust Jesus as Savior, we are blessed with the prospect of our own resurrection to eternal life.

Couple Jesus’ death with His resurrection, and death is dealt a death blow! This glorious truth is expressed in the inspired words of Paul in that great Resurrection chapter 15 in 1 Corinthians where it states:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:54–58 – 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 The Resurrection Destroys the Fear of Death

Now thorough faith in Christ, we need not fear death. In Christ, we need not look at death as a great black hole of fearsome uncertainty. Jesus died on the cross to defeat our greatest enemy, death, and in the process, He also defeated the fear of death! In Hebrews it states:

  • Hebrews 2:14–15 – 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Because of Jesus, when we put our faith in Him, we can know and tell others:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:1–2, 5-8 – For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, . . . . Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

 What a glorious provision and hope we have in the risen Jesus. “To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” What glorious, victorious blessed hope!

When a pandemic or plague comes and takes the life of a loved one. Should an unexpected loss of life occur, or a prolonged debilitating disease prey upon us or a loved one and take life, we need not fear the end. Because Jesus has died for our sins and risen from the dead, we can face whatever tomorrow holds for us.

There’s a well-known, beloved and popular song that expresses this blessed hope we have in the risen Jesus. The title is Because He Lives. It’s a wonderful song. Look at the lyrics and be blessed:

Because He Lives

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and the joy that he gives
Oh but greater still, the calm assurance
We can face uncertain days because He lives

And because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living just because He lives

And then one day, I’ll cross that river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He reigns

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living just because He lives[2]

The Destructive Power of the Resurrection is Something You Need to Know

The apostle Paul wanted every believer to know and experience this power of the resurrection. And said so through Divine inspiration when he wrote:

  • Ephesians 1:15-21 – “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power20 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.”

Paul, inspired by God, would not have prayed this prayer, unless it was possible to know this power of the resurrection in Jesus Christ. Knowing this power and experiencing it in your life, begins with a first step.

The First Step Decision Required to Receive the Benefits of the Resurrection

There is a decision required of you to benefit from all of this.

What will you decide? Indecision is decision. How will you respond to Jesus?

Realize eternal life is not a matter of religion, but involves personally knowing God –

    • John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Realize sin separates people from Holy God –  

    • Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear”
    • Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you”
    • Habakkuk 1:13 – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness”

Realize you are a sinner –

    • Exodus 20:1-17 – Examine and assess yourself by the Ten Commandments
    • 2 Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”
    • Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one”
    • Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
    • James 2:10 – “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (also Gal. 3:10)

Realize there is a penalty for sin –

    • Matthew 25:46 – “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”
    • Romans 2:8–9but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
    • Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death,”
    • Galatians 6:7-8 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Realize you are lost and need to be saved from your sins –

      • Luke 9:25 – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
  • Luke 13:3 – I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
  • Luke 18:11 –11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
  • Luke 19:10 – 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
  • John 3:18–20 – 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
  • John 8:24 – 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Realize Jesus paid the penalty for you –

    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    • 1 Peter 3:18 – 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Realize your salvation is a free gift from God

    • Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    • Ephesians 2:8–9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    • Titus 3:5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Realize God did this because He loves you –

  • John 3:1616 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • 1 John 4:9–10In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Realize salvation requires a repentant-heart-faith decision from you to receive it – To “repent” means to confess to God and forsake your sin. To “believe” or have “faith” unto salvation means Forsaking All (others or other means of salvation) I Trust Him.

    • Acts 3:19-20 – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you”
    • Acts 16:31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”
    • John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”

Realize salvation is a matter of the heart –

    • Acts 8:36–38 – Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
    • Romans 10:10 – “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Realize now is the time to call on God to be saved from your sins –

    • Romans 10:13 – For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    • 2 Corinthians 6:2 – “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

A SALVATION PRAYER:

 If you believe the above Gospel and are willing to trust in Jesus with all your heart as Savior, if you want the forgiveness of sins and eternal life God in this Gospel freely offers to you, with all your heart, pray this prayer:

“Dear God, I have sinned and disobeyed Your Laws. I admit I deserve eternal punishment. But I repent; I confess my sins to You and forsake them. I ask that You please forgive me, not because of any good works I have done, but because I believe Jesus paid the just penalty for my sins by dying for me on the cross. I believe He rose from the dead. I believe that with all my heart. I receive it by faith, as a gift of Your grace. Help me to live for You. Please Holy Spirit fill me, give me spiritual life, eternal life. Please help me to know you Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. Help me grow in a relationship with You. Help me to know the power of Your resurrection. Help me to destroy what needs to be destroyed in my life and then please help me to replace what was removed with whatever you choose. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Now, begin praying and reading your Bible daily, regularly. Find a church that believes in and teaches the Bible as the word of God. Find a church where the Gospel is preached and people believe in being born again. Find such a church and become a part of your new eternal family. And tell someone else about what God has done for you. Don’t go by feelings, live by faith in Jesus. He is faithful. He will help you. Remember this:

2 Corinthians 5:1717 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

1 Corinthians 10:1313 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

2 Timothy 2:1515 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16–1716 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 Now live on in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And remember, we serve a RISEN Savior. We serve King Jesus! And King Jesus is HERE!

 

 

 

[1] https://www.bing.com/search?q=Lyris+to+the+hymna+%22He+Lives%22&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IESR4S&pc=EUPP_UF03

[2] Songwriters: Gloria Gaither, William J. Gaither – https://www.bing.com/search?q=Lyris%20to%20the%20hymn%20%22Because%20He%20Lives%22&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=lyris%20to%20the%20hymn%20%22because%20he%20lives%22&sc=1-36&sk=&cvid=69A8785171804EDAA31DF6CFA931A68F

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This