The Truth and Beauty of Resurrection Life: Christ’s and the Believer’s
Introduction: The blog: The Truth and Beauty of Resurrection Life: Christ’s and the believer’s highlights these facts for the believer as a result of being in Christ. Resurrection life begins at salvation and continues eternally. The benefits of that life begin the moment of salvation. That is good news!
A non-negotiable truth of Christianity is the truth and beauty of Resurrection Life. Today is Easter Sunday. The day is a day that is associated with much activity. The activity ranges from church going – often by people who rarely keep holy the Sabbath Day, let alone attend worship services – to enjoying egg hunting with the kids. How about you? How did you approach this day? Do you capture the truth and beauty of Resurrection of Life that begins at salvation and continues into eternity? Moreover, how do the facts associated with THIS DAY simplify your life?
By simplify I mean how did THIS DAY give you a sense of direction and purpose because you know your origin, your identity, purpose in life, and destiny? We all enjoy simplification. Simplicity is a blessing in a world that seems so far out of control. For the Christian every day is simplified because he knows the answer to four fundamental questions that people have asked and answered over time: what are one’s origin, identity, purpose, and destiny. I add: for this life and the next.
All people at some time seek the answer to these questions. Philosophy and psychology attempt to answer them in any number of ways. However, only the Bible provides accurate answers because the Bible is God’s powerful, purposeful, self-expression. Since God is Creator, Sustainer, and Controller of this, His, world, He is the only One Who provides the correct answer. The Triune God proclaims that there is one standard for determining truth, light, and life: His Word and His Son.
As to origin, man is the image of God and was breathed into existence by the breath of God (Genesis 2:7). Supernatural and magnificent, yes! Is it complex? Yes! But knowing and acting upon the fact of God’s creation simplifies life. Man is not an animal that originated from eternal inanimate material and a slime pit of stuff. No, ma is a created, dependent being and image bearer of God. Initially he was in right relationship to God. For the believer, evolution, a distortion of science and the God of science, is out but God and biblical truth are in!
Moreover, man has an identity. He is in relationship to God as His image bearer. To deny that fact, and man does, places man in the business of labeling himself or accepting the label of others including those associated with the practice of medicine and counseling. Often, as a result, the label of victim takes center stage. Life takes on a greater self-focus. Life is complicated by the person and others around him or her.
Out of man’s true identity, a dependent being and the image of God, God gives man purpose. Man was created to demonstrate God’s glory. The Triune God chose to create in order to bring created beings into His eternal presence. He would enjoy and delight in them receiving praise and adoration. They would enjoy Him in eternal bliss. Man’s purpose flows from who God is and man’s identity. Life is simplified when he lives with the singular purpose of pleasing the Father and thus imitating Christ (John 4:31-34).
Lastly, since God is an eternal God and man is His image, man has an eternal destiny – heaven or hell. The believer was initially designed in eternity past to be Christ-like – holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4). For a time (we don’t know for how long) Adam and Eve were just that! Those facts simplify life such that the believer makes it his ambition to please God thus growing in Christlikeness (2 Corinthians 5:9). He follows Jesus’ lead and runs the race with an eternal focus and joyful hope looking forward to seeing God as He is (Hebrews 12:1-3; 1 John 3:1-3).
What is the big deal about Easter? It highlights and screams the truth and beauty of Resurrection Life. It focuses on Christ’s resurrection and on the believer’s resurrection because he is in Christ. Jesus is not simply a crucified Savior. Jesus is the resurrected and ascended Savior. These were necessary because Jesus “had” to finish His work and return to the Father’s house (John 14:2-3) in order to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:25-26; 15:26-27; 16:13-17; Hebrews 12:1-3). The Church corporately and each individual believer has a piece of heaven as a result of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Therefore, life is simplified as the believer can and does think God’s thoughts, desires what God desires, and pleases God rather than self.
Moreover Romans 6:1-11 highlights the believer’s union with Christ. Paul uses the terms: baptized into Christ and into His death. What Christ gained for himself He gained for believers and we gain what He gained as believers! Union with Christ means that the believer died with Him (the old life is gone!), was crucified with Christ, and was resurrected into the new life as Christ was resurrected into His new life (Romans 6:3-6). For the believer, eternal life begins at regeneration – through a relationship with Christ (John 17:3). Moreover, Paul teaches in Romans 6, that resurrection life begins at salvation (6:3-5). Therefore the believer is to think forgiven and live as forgiven people because believers are!
Believer, every day should remind you of Easter – the resurrected Lord. He was ushered into heaven as Lord of lords and Kings of kings even though it does not appear so (Hebrews 2:8-9). A forward, heavenly perspective directs your life so that you are of earthly good – for yourself and for others. It did for Christ who bids all believers to come and follow him.
1. Please read Romans 4:24-25 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 19-20, 54-57.
a. What do you learn about Christ?
b. What do you learn about yourself?
c. How do those facts help you get victory in this life?
2. At Pentecost Peter preached a crucified AND a resurrected Christ. Without the resurrection, Jesus’ mediatorial work would be useless. What is your response?
3. Read Romans 6:1-11. These verses speak of union with Christ and true resurrection life and its beauty. This life begins the moment the believer is saved and continues daily.
a. What truths about God and you are recorded in verse 3-5, 6-7? What is their significance?
b. What true is taught in verse 9-11?